Monday, June 29, 2015

Big 4th of July celebration at Old Soliders Home: games, food, beer, music, fun for kids, lots more!


Independence Day is upon us, and the Old Soliders Home (officially the Armed Forces Retirement Home) off Rock Creek Church Road is holding their annual 4th of July celebration.

The home is a beautiful green campus with rolling hills and trees, and a great place to watch the fireworks. Their event has lots fun things, including a community softball game starting at 4:30 pm (with equipment provided.) There's also food trucks, games for kids, music, beer and a lot more.

Click the flyer above for the full rundown. You enter the home at Rock Creek Church Road NW and Randolph Street NW.

Friday, June 26, 2015

14th Street bus fills with noxious fumes this morning, everybody evacuates


Well, this made for an exciting commute.

This morning around 10:30 I was sitting at the back of the 54 bus going south when all of a sudden I smelled noxious fumes and started coughing. It was a bit hard to breathe and everyone around me started coughing too. We spontaneously stood up and headed to the front of the bus, away from where the chemical smell seemed to be coming from. The bus driver saw everyone moving to the front and immediately pulled the bus over, opened all the doors and told everybody to evacuate.

We couldn't see any smoke, and only some of us smelled it, but everyone was coughing. It smelled kind of like gasoline, but much more unpleasant and irritating.

It was a pretty scary situation. Most people seemed to be ok, if a little shaken, but the bus driver (who had stayed on a bit longer making sure everybody was off) complained that her face and throat stung. Another older woman received oxygen when the police and fire department arrived. Thankfully there were only about 15 people on the bus and no little kids or frail people.

I called 911 as the driver called Metro, and within a couple minutes (maybe less) fire trucks, an ambulance, Metro staff and MPD showed up. They asked us all what happened and how we felt. Then the older lady and I think the bus driver went to the hospital. The fire department people asked us all multiple times if we wanted to go to the hospital, if we were sure, and so on, which was appreciated it, but everybody said they were ok.

I was sitting in the back near a family, closest to where the smell seemed to be coming from, and we guessed that it was some kind of mechanical problem that caused a chemical from the engine to go through the air conditioning system. A firefighter said the same thing.

The firefighters couldn't detect any chemical when they went on the bus, maybe because it dissipated when the doors were opened, but said they plan to try to figure out what it was. They asked us if we saw anybody spray anything, and none of us did. There weren't that many people on the bus so we would have noticed.

The firefighters and police took our info and after maybe 45 minutes we were free to leave, after they again made sure we were ok and didn't want to go to the hospital. All the fire trucks and ambulances blocked 14th Street at Girard, so traffic and buses were routed down 13th instead.

It was a pretty crazy trip to work, and a little scary, but the professionalism of the bus driver and first responders really helped the situation a lot.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cell phone store now open in the Tivoli building


Doh. We learned a few months ago that the space in the Tivoli building that used to hold the Uptowner, a pretty tasty deli, would become a Verizon Wireless store. And now it's open.

The store is something called the Verizon Wireless Zone, which is a reseller, and looks pretty sparse inside. Too bad, the deli was a much better use of the space.

In my opinion, cell phone stores and banks are the worst uses of street-fronting retail space because they don't cause much foot traffic and are dead most of the time, as opposed to restaurants, bars, or more interesting non-chain retail.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Heat Da Spot Cafe, new coffee shop with sunday Ethiopian buffet opening this Sunday at 3213 Georgia


I am getting hungry: Heat Da Spot Cafe, a new Ethiopian restaurant and coffee shop is coming to 3213 Georgia Avenue NW. That's right on the corner of Keefer Place where Tibet Shop used to be.

They'll be mostly a traditional coffee shop but will also serve an Ethiopian buffet for vegetarians and non-vegetarians on Sundays, plus a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. The coffee ceremony is something Harar Coffee Roasters does too.

Their website mentions other food like breakfast and sandwiches, but the menu doesn't include it, so I'm guessing that will happen sometime in the future. They have a big patio too.

They're having an opening part on Sunday from 2-6pm with free food and coffee.

It seems like this part of Georgia is heating up, with the new Colony Club coffee shop and bar, plus other spots. That also means the coffee shop gap I talked on Georgia about a few years ago is totally filled.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Australian coffee shop Habit, open in the old Last Exit space on Mt. Pleasant Street


If you like coffee, you have another option in the neighborhood: Habit, a new coffee shop with an Australian bent.

You may recall Last Exit the underground "speakeasy" cocktail bar that was a sister bar on Tonic, located at 3155 Mt. Pleasant. It was a pretty neat little spot, but closed along with Tonic.

Since then, Tonic has been replaced by Purple Patch, a Filipino restaurant, and the Last Exit space has been empty. But the Purple Patch folks have been working, and now it's open as Habit.

The place will serve coffee from M.E. Swing, a long time local coffee roaster, as well as Australian meat pies, which don't necessarily have meat in them -- as the Post reports, it's an Aussie specialty and varieties include beef and cheese, egg and cheese, and leek and potato. (The co-owner of Purple Patch and Habit is Australian.) They'll have tea too and the flat white, a newly trendy Australian coffee drink kind of like a latte.

M.E. Swing has a shop downtown at 17th and G, and it's pretty delicious, so I expect Habit to be the same. Looking forward to trying them out! Here's their coffee menu from the Purple Patch FB.



Just in time: city pools are open weekdays

It's crazy hot outside, but the city's pools have come to the rescue. Starting this past Monday, the outdoor pools are now open during the week. Banneker Pool at Georgia and Euclid is open every day but Thursday, 8am-10am for lap swimming and then 1pm-8pm. On the weekend it's open 12-6. 

They've also renovated the main building and added a snack bar with froyo, non-alcoholic drinks, hot dogs and nachos. 

I'm dreaming about the pool right now after being outside.

The city's pools are free with a DC license, DC college ID or DC utility bill.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Progess on Chick-fil-A at DCUSA; they are for real, 100% coming and looking at late fall


Just in case you weren't sure that Chick-fil-A was really coming to DCUSA, I spotted some work in the space the other day and floor plans with the Chick-fil-A logo. So it's happening. The controversial chicken restaurant is coming to the old Lime Fresh Mex space on 14th Street.

The Post reported that they're aiming for a late fall opening, and it seems like they are on track.

I'm torn, because I support gay rights but also really like those chicken sandwiches. My plan is to donate to the Human Rights Campaign or another local organization when I go. Got any recommendations for local orgs? Casa Ruby perhaps?

And of course, they'll be closed Sundays.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Japanese whisky residency, Bar Otsukare, coming to Crane & Turtle June 29


This sounds pretty great -- Bar Otsukare, a Japanese whisky pop-up, will be coming to Crane & Turtle on Upshur Street every Monday starting June 29 this Monday, June 29. The idea, from local mixologists Eddie Kim and Jesse Selvagn, is to "demystify Japanese drinking culture in an accessible and unintimidating atmosphere."

If you haven't tried it, Japanese whisky is pretty delicious and diverse, and it's actually getting rarer in the USA due to increased popularity in Japan. There's also often delicious snacks that go along with it. I'm excited.

The events will start with a small, ticketed educational tasting and food pairing event with Crane & Turtle's chef Makoto, then the bar is open to the public (free, no tickets) with whisky, sake and shochu, other Japanese spirits. Sounds like a good way to learn more or just get a tasty drink.

The word Otsukare comes from a phrase used among coworkers at the bar after a hard day of work in Japan. The event is the work of DC bartenders Eddie Kim and Jesse Selvagn, well-known cocktail makers around town who are Japanese whisky and sake experts. Among other places, both have worked at Daikaya in Chinatown, which is a fantastic spot combining Japanese izakaya food along with cocktails and whisky.

The full press release is below. Crane & Turtle is the Japanese restaurant from the folks behind Room 11, Petworth Citizen, Upshur Street Books, Slim's Diner and more. It's at 828 Upshur Street NW.

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Bar Otsukare is excited to make its debut with Monday night residencies at Crane & Turtle in Petworth (828 Upshur St. NW, Washington, DC 20001) on Monday, June 29th.


Over the course of the summer, Bar Otsukare aims to explore the unique and varied drinking traditions of Japan -- with sessions featuring a rotating selection of rare Japanese whiskies from Suntory, Nikka, Chichibu, Mars and others, alongside a spectrum of shochus and sakes.

Each two-part event will begin with a ticketed educational tasting, where Crane and Turtle’s acclaimed chef Makoto Hamamura will collaborate on a selection of accompanying bar snacks. Tickets are $75 per person and are limited to 15 seats per tasting, available through Eventbrite. Here is the link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/japanese-whisky-101-tickets-17406586569

The first tasting will focus on the history and production of Japanese whisky. We will lead a guided tour of six whiskies spanning the core portfolios of Suntory and Nikka, plus one popular style whisky highball. 

This will be followed by a full bar open to the public. The first bar night will showcase the whiskies of Nikka and its founder Masataka Taketsuru, commonly referred to as the father of Japanese whisky. We will also be pouring premium sakes representing five main style categories and shochus produced from a variety of traditional grains.


About Bar Otsukare
“Otsukare!” is a word often heard in Japan after a hard day’s work. Short for “otsukare sama deshita,” the respectful phrase said to co-workers thanking them for their efforts, it is also the refrain that takes the place of “Kampai” when sharing a well-earned drink. A project from D.C. bartenders Eddie Kim (Room 11, Columbia Room, Daikaya) and Jesse Selvagn, Certified Sake Advisor, (Mandu, Proof, Daikaya), Bar Otsukare aims to demystify Japanese drinking culture in an accessible and unintimidating atmosphere.


Whisky 101 Tasting List
Suntory Yamazaki 12 Year Single Malt
Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Single Malt
Suntory Hibiki Blended
Nikka Yoichi 15 Year Single Malt
Nikka Miyagikyo 12 Year Single Malt
Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year Pure Malt
Suntory Hakushu Highball


Nikka Night Bar Bottle List
Whisky:
  1. Yoichi 12 Year Single Malt
  2. Yoichi 12 Year – Sherry and Sweet – Component Yoichi malt for blending
  3. Yoichi 12 Year – Peaty and Salty– Component Yoichi malt for blending
  4. Yoichi 15 Year Single Malt
  5. Yoichi 20 Year Single Malt
  6. Miyagikyo 12 Year Single Malt
  7. Miyagikyo 15 Year Single Malt
  8. Tsuru 17 Year – Special blend created to showcase the essence of Nikka's smooth, mellow malt
  9. Taketsuru 21 Year Single Malt
  10. Taketsuru 21 Year Madeira Cask Finish – 1/500 Bottles released for Nikka's 80th anniversary
  11. Nikka Coffey Grain – Single Grain Whisky distilled in the Miyagikyo's 1960's era Coffey Patent stills
  12. Nikka Coffey Malt – Single Malt Whisky distilled in the Miyagikyo's 1960's era Coffey Patent stills
  13. Nikka 1990's Blend – Blend of vintage malts distilled during 1990's

Sake
  1. Chiyomusubi Oni no Shitaburui Honjozo – “Quivering Tongued Demon” named after the legend of Princess Tamahime and the crocodile
  2. Oze no Yukidoke Omachi Junmai Ginjo –  Made from Omachi, known as the original sake rice, in brewery with just 4 kurobito (brewers), 2 of whom are toji (master sake brewers)
  3. Suigei Tokubetsu Junmai – “Drunken Whale” Brewed in Kochi, home to Chef Makoto
  4. Tengumai Yamahai Junmai Daiginjo Kokoshu – “Dancing Goblin” Brewed using the traditional, labor intensive Yamahai Method  and aged 3 Years
  5. Ohyama Tokubetsu Junmai Nigori – Refined, dry Nigorizake from a brewery that made sake for the Shogun in the 19th century

Shochu
  1. Satsuma Kurodashi Genshu - Limited production, undiluted shochu from Kogane Sengan sweet potatos. Bottled at 37% abv rather than the typical 25%
  2. Tori Kai - A masterpiece of smooth, Ginjo style rice shochu produced by the same family since 1575
  3. Ginza no Suzume Kohaku - Aged 3 years in ex-bourbon barrels from one of the best known barley shochu producers
  4. Zuisen Awamori - Traditional clay pot ageing makes this a particularly smooth Awamori shochu
  5. Beniotome Goma - Distillation of roasted sesame and barley produces a round, complex, peanut buttery flavor

Full disclosure: Eddie Kim is a friend, but I would post this anyway because it sounds awesome.

Celebrate Juneteenth today on Georgia Avenue

Today is Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery. It started in Texas but has since grown to a popular celebration around the country, especially in the south. And there are a lot of events today to celebrate on Georgia Avenue. Check them out! 

Here's more from the organizers of today's events.

Come + Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of 
JUNETEENTH (African American Freedom Day)
on Georgia Avenue with 2 great events!
Emancipation Day celebration - 1900-06-19.jpg


Juneteenth (Freedom Day) is one of the celebrations commemorating the ending of slavery in the USA. On June 19, 1865 Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, TX with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was 2.5 years after Pres.  Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans because there were only a few Union troops to enforce it.  With the surrender of General Lee, in April of 1865, + arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Friday, June 19, 2015
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM: Georgia Avenue’s OWN, White House awarded, M.O.M.I.E’s TLC children’s program will feature an interactive children’s Black history booth on Robert Smalls (who escaped from bondage during the Civil War). Location: the M.O.M.I.E’s  TLC patio at 2616 Georgia Avenue, NW, WDC 20001 (right across from Howard Univ’s school of Biz, at Euclid + Ga Ave., NW, for more info see: www.momiestlc.org). Additionally, author and social entrepreneur Ayize Sabater will read from + sign his book: Tellin’ Children Our Story which is a fun resource book on `how to’ use history to inspire children. Books can be purchased on site (for more contact: 240.286.3765 or www.nmconsulting.org).  AND

5:30 PM to 8:00 PM : Historian, author and lecturer C.R. Gibbs (www.newlineartist.com) will present the Secret History of Juneteenth   and sign his books.  His books can be purchased on site.  Join us for a reception featuring - Texas style barbeque (FREE while supplies last or you can purchase from Torries menu)  (Torries@Wilson’s), Entertainment, Stimulating conversations...  Location:  Torries Restaurant., 700 V Street, NW, WDC 20001 (V Street on GA Ave. NW).    Please RSVP by E-Mailing: juneteenthongeorgia@gmail.com  or calling: 202. 549.0176.

For more info. contact: JuneteenthonGeorgia@gmail.com or call: 202. 549.0176. Partnerships + Sponsors are encouraged.


Sponsors: G. Avery + Associates (ginia@gaveryaa.com202.549.0176), (www.gaveryaa.com); Lockhart Insurance Services (bj@lisdc.com ), 202.829.6222., Fax: 202.291.9452, (www.lisdc.com) Emergence Community Arts Collective (www.ecacollective.org); Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force (202.462.2285).

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Update on the Airedale coming to 3605 14th: European beer garden and gastropub aiming for August



The other day I wrote about the Airedale, which is coming to the old Mad Momo's space at 3605 14th Street NW, just south of Spring Road. I didn't have much info aside from the business card in the window that said "Europub+beer garden," so I did some sleuthing and found the owner, Ben Jordan.

Here's what he had to say. It sounds pretty awesome.
Thanks so much for your interest! Our concept is a modern European beer garden with gastropub cuisine. We will be making full use of the 3 outdoor spaces as well as adding 8 more draft lines to bring the capacity to 15 beers (we will have 1 line of prosecco on draft). We are currently working on licensing and getting our team together but we plan to open in August. Our website will launch on the 1st of July.
That's fairly soon as restaurant openings go, but the inside was already really nice, so I expect that part won't take very long. I hope to see them soon, sounds like a nice addition to the area. The three areas he mentions are the big back patio area, the first floor balcony and the patio seats on 14th Street.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Anybody hearing loud booms near Meridian Hill Park and DCUSA?

Is anybody hearing loud booms in the area? Yesterday a reader posted on the blog's Facebook page asking if anybody else noticed some loud sounds, and I spoke to them about it afterwards. They said they were located on 14th near DCUSA and Meridian Hill Park and the sounds seemed to be nearby. Here's some from our conversation:
It started Friday night, around 1am. There was this boom that woke me up and set off car alarms on my street, then like, five minutes later it happened again. It happened periodically all weekend, sometimes in the middle of the day, sometimes later in the evening. Overall I've heard it now maybe 5 or 6 times. And there are never sirens or anything after... Since then, it's happened in the middle of the day, or in the evening.
The reader also said it sounded like a huge boom or a really loud crack of thunder, but there wasn't any storm in the area, and I checked a lightning maps website and didn't see anything. They also said it didn't sound like a gunshot or fireworks, it was more of a boom than a pop. 

Anyone hear the same thing, or have any ideas? I haven't heard anything in northern Columbia Heights around Spring Road.

The Airedale, new "Europub and beer garden" coming to Mad Momo's space


It looks like a new spot is coming to the Mad Momo's space at 3605 14th Street NW. The Himalayan/American restaurant closed a few months ago and we haven't heard much since the owners said they were looking for something else to take the space. Since then there hasn't been much action there, until the other day I noticed that there was paper on the windows.

Upon closer inspection, there was a small business card taped to the door, reading "The Airedale, Europub · beer garden," with a silhouette of the Airedale terrier.

And unfortunately that's all I can find out about it. I reached out to the Mad Momo's folks and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, and will update when I find out more.

But just based on that little info, it sounds like it might be interesting. They had a really nice space there and a nice back deck that could be good for a beer garden, plus a front patio and front balcony.

It's nice to see something come to the space, though I do miss Mad Momo's, they had good food and nice staff (plus some great happy hour deals.)


Monday, June 15, 2015

Improvements at Banneker Pool: snack bar with fro-yo, renovated building, more shade


The city's pool season is underway, and I got a nice surprise when I went to Banneker Pool at Georgia and Euclid on Sunday: there's now a little snack bar and a few canopies for shade. The snack bar is run by the folks from the Georgia Ave. Frozen-Yo location and has pre-packed froyo, Nathan's hot dogs, nachos and drinks like soda, Gatorade and water.

The main pool building is open too and appears to have been renovated. You enter through the main entrance now rather than the weird basement entrance before. The shower areas also looked a lot nicer.

But I'm most excited about the snack bar, which is something I've wanted for years. It's annoying to have to leave to get something to eat from McDonald's or something, and if you bring your own water it often gets hot. Plus I hope it raises some money for the city.

The pool is currently only open weekends, but opens every day but Thursday starting on June 20!
Here's the hours, and more info.
  • General Public Swim:
    • Mon - Fri 1:00pm - 8:00pm
    • Lap Swim Mon - Fri 8:00am - 10:00am
    • Sat, Sun 12:00pm - 6:00pm
  • Closed Day:
    • Thursday

826DC moving to the Tivoli, Museum of Unnatural History to close and be replaced


If you like the Museum of Unnatural History, the funny gift shop that serves as a storefront and fundraiser for the 826DC tutoring center on the Civic Plaza, you had better go there soon.

The Post reports that 826DC will be moving across Park Road to the mezzanine of the Tivoli Theatre. 826DC says it's more space and more affordable, so that sounds like a good thing.

Having only been inside once, I'm not exactly sure where that is, and how it would impact the current performance space.  I've reached out to the 826DC folks to ask. The Post says "The street-level entrance leads to a marble staircase. Murals visible through office windows and crown molding suggest a 1920’s-era grandeur."

Joe Callahan from 826DC just got back to me on the space:
Our space was the original mezzanine space of the old theater - it is next to the Gala theater on the Mezzanine level (on the other side of the dentist office that is there - if you are familiar).

The space has a street entrance on Park Road next to the side entrance of Z-Burger, and it was formerly occupied by Three Spot Media.
The Museum of Unnatural History shop will also close, but there will be a new shop in the same space with a new theme. Here's more about the funky shop.

Here's 826DC's announcement from an email:
After searching for nearly two years, we are so excited to announce that826DC recently signed a 10-year lease on a new location. 
As you know, over the past five amazing years, we have grown from serving 300 students to more than 4,300; by the end of next school year we hope to grow to serve 5,000 students per year. When we first kicked open our doors in October 2010, we had a staff of two. By the end of this summer, we will have a staff of eight full-time employees and one part-time employee. 
We are so proud to be staying in Columbia Heights, moving across the street to the historic Tivoli building, to a bigger and more cost-effective space, that will allow us to continue to grow and provide much needed arts education and academic support to DC youth. 
This is the beginning of the second chapter of our story here in the District, and we wouldn't have been able to get here without the amazing support of our friends, our donors, our volunteers, and the students who breathe life and fun and creativity into our work. 
By signing a long-term lease, we are planting ourselves firmly into our community, and will be able to continue to grow to make lasting change in Columbia Heights and across the Washington, DC, area.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Cuban Embassy is coming to 16th Street


A few months ago we heard about Fidel Castro's visit to Columbia Heights in 1959, where he hung out in Meridian Hill Park (see above). He was staying at what was then the Cuban Embassy to the US at 2630 16th Street NW, right across from the park.

However, since the US and Cuba ended formal diplomatic relations in 1961, the Embassy was closed. It had been operating as a de facto diplomatic mission, the Cuban Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy, since the Swiss were neutral -- a counterpart, the US Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy operated in Havana. But since Pres. Obama has been normalizing relations between the two countries and removing Cuba from sanctions lists, the Cuban Embassy is set to reopen in our area.

The Latin American Herald Tribune reports that the flagpole has gone up as Cuban officials cheered and sang their national anthem. The Swiss sign is still in place, but it looks like we'll have an embassy soon enough.

The Post noted a few months ago that a new embassy would mean more social and cultural events, which I would definitely be in favor of: Cuban music, drinks and food? Sign me up.

Photo from Old Time DC

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Timber Pizza Co., a former food truck, coming to Upshur Street NW


Upshur Street NW is about to get more busy: Timber Pizza Co., a mobile pizzeria, will be opening a brick-and-mortar location at 809 Upshur Street NW. The little one-story building formerly housed the Christ Our Redeemer AME Episcopal Church.

They make Neapolitan-ish pizza according to the Post (which looks pretty delicious), and have good reviews on Yelp, though I consider myself something of a food truck connoisseur and haven't seen them around.

It'll be a 1000-square foot space and a patio and they won't have alcohol at first, but plan to get it. They'll serve their own pizzas, plus salads and pizzas with ingredients from other DC businesses -- I would assume this means local butchers, farms and so on.

Upshur is really blowing up lately: Crane and Turtle, Upshur Street Books, Petworth Citizen and soon to be Slim's Diner from the Room 11 folks, plus the Twisted Horn cocktail bar from the Hank's Oyster folks. And the already-existing and tasty Domku.

This is, by my count, the third food truck that opened a brick and mortar place in our area, after Kangaroo Boxing Club, which came from the PORC truck and the Mothership, which grew out of El Floridano. KBC is going strong while Mothership sadly closed.

Single malt Scottish whisky tasting event June 20 at the Pinch


This sounds pretty awesome: a company called the Whisk(e)y Library is hosting a Scottish whisky (not whiskey) tasting at the Pinch. Here's more info!
On Saturday, June 20th at 4pm, The Whisk(e)y Library will be hosting a whisky tasting event at The Pinch (3548 14th Street NW). Guests will be treated to 5 single malt whiskies, one from each of the 5 major whisky regions of Scotland, and light appetizers that have been perfectly paired with each of the whiskies. This is an informal, yet informative tasting that will feature a brief presentation on each of the whiskies/distilleries being served as well as background on what goes into making whisky. Tickets can be purchased at ATourOfScotland.eventbrite.com 
The Whisk(e)y Library is a local DC company that works with individuals, bars, and restaurants to design and host educational and unique tasting events. From bourbon to scotch, and from local craft distillers to the old distilleries across the world, The Whisk(e)y Library find that there is always something new to learn about what your drinking. The whiskey boom has hit DC and if you want to know what it takes to make a great whiskey and how to enjoy drinking it, let The Whisk(e)y Library be your guide.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

¡Me gusta! Taqueria Habanero at 14th and Spring applying for liquor license

¡Más margaritas!

Taqueria Habanero, the popular Mexican spot a few doors down from the Red Derby, has applied for a liquor license. PoP spotted the signs in the window.

I've been there a few times and always really enjoyed it -- tasty tacos with awesome house-made tortillas, plus enchiladas, tortas and other traditional Mexican fare. It's all made in the Puebla style, which is where owner Dio Montero is from. The Post effusively praised the place and it has 4.5 stars on Yelp, no mean feat.

The interior is nothing special, some tables and plastic tablecloths (I usually get it to go) but I'd definitely spend more time there if I could have a margarita or two.

I hope the license application passes! I expect it will.

Taqueria Habanero is at 3710 14th Street NW.

Photo from Yelp

Friday, June 5, 2015

Free donuts today at Zombie Coffee!


Today, for some reason, is National Donut Day. and Zombie Coffee and Donuts on Irving Street is in the spirit with a couple of deals: if you mention National Donut Day you get a free donut, and my friend says a worker there told him another: if you buy one dozen donuts, you get another dozen free. You can be the most popular person in your office, or just have an awesome lunch/dinner.

They have a wide variety of wacky donuts, with toppings like bacon, like M&Ms, Fruity Pebbles and so on.

Zombie Coffee and Donuts is at 3100 14th Street NW, on the Irving Street side of DCUSA.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Filipino street food pop-up Kalye at EatsPlace, including chicken feet, grilled blood, Filipino beer, more

If you like trying new kinds of food, check out Kalye, a Filipino street food pop-up at EatsPlace, the restaurant incubator and "pop-uppery" at 3607 Georgia Ave NW.

The food sounds really interesting and unusual -- dishes include chicken feet, balut (fertilized duck egg,) grilled cubes of pork blood, barbequed pork ears an a lot more. Of course, these are common dishes in the Philippines and I bet they will be pretty delicious -- the Post calls the dishes "challenging." They'll also have Filipino beers and some theme cocktails.

Here's more from them about the popup and dishes (some of which they have given funny names, like Adidas for chicken feet and Walkman for the pork ears.)
I'm excited to let you know that our food incubator and pop-uppery EatsPlace is hosting Kalye (Filipino food) on Friday June 12 and Saturday June 13, from 6-11pm, The pop-up was originally scheduled for only June 12th, which coincides with Philippines Independence Day, but due to overwhelming demand, it has been extended.  Reservations are encouraged, but walk ins are welcome.

Kalye literally means street. And the masterminds of Kalye, Chefs Red Garcia and Santiago Cardenas, want to bring street food from the Philippines to Washington, DC. Red and Santi want to introduce Filipino cuisine to the DC Metro area with adidas (sous vide chicken feet), betamax (grilled pork blood), balut (fertilized duck egg), walkman (barbequed pork ears), crispy patata, and grilled pork sisig. I will be the guest chef on Saturday and am honored to work closely with Chefs Red and Santi.

I have created The Drinkubator cocktails just for this pop-up, like the Guapo Apo (vodka, cane syrup and muddled citrus topped with a shaved ice summit and tropical fruit puree is a tribute to the tallest mountain in the Philippines) and the Manila Punch (our take on the navy grog with rum and coconut water). Filipino beers Red Horse and San Miguel Light will also be available.
The menu is below, click it for a bigger version which has more details and talks about a lot of the other dishes such as pork belly, ears and spare parts with fried tofu and vinegar-infused peppers.




Wednesday, June 3, 2015

In It Together Fest is back with concerts around Columbia Heights (and around town)


Last year I wrote about the first In It Together Fest, a music and arts festival at DIY (do it yourself) venues around town, including a few in Columbia Heights and surrounding hoods. The festival benefits a few local nonprofits like Collective Action for Safe Spaces which fights street harassment, We Are Family, which works with seniors, and DC Abortion Fund.

This year's fest has been announced, and it's going from July 30-August 2, with a big show at St. Stephen's Church at 16th and Newton.

It sounds like a cool event. Here's more from the City Paper.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lyman's celebrating 1 year anniversary tonight, free pinball, Teddy from the Nats coming at 1 pm!


Whoa! Lyman's Tavern at 14th and Quincy is celebrating their one-year anniversary, and from 1-2 pm today Teddy Roosevelt from the Nationals will be there! Sadly he won't be there later on, but on the bright side, pinball will be free all day and drink specials start at 6.

Lyman's is a solid bar -- chill, neighborhoody spot with a good vibe, tasty food (pupusas, popcorn) and lots of space to sit or talk or play pinball. Check it out if you haven't been. (They also have a great birthday deal, you drink for free!)

Here's the photog setting up for Teddy!


Monday, June 1, 2015

The Coupe has fantastic happy hour, tasty summer cocktail with DC's One Eight Distilling vodka


The other day I was invited to check out happy hour at the Coupe, and to try their summer cocktail. The drink, called Grandma's Pink Lemonade, is maybe with District Made Vodka from One Eight, a new DC-based distiller, plus straberry-lemon shrub and Madeira. The drink is served on tap for $9, and was pretty tasty: fresh, sweet but not too sweet with a warm and tangy finish. Jeff the bartender said they were pretty popular.

They also have a happy hour I wasn't familiar with, which runs from 6-8 Monday-Friday, so a bit later than many other local ones. It's $5 for local beer, house wine and Tiki punch (also served on draft) plus some great snack deals: $2 for orders of four Sriracha chicken wings, lox deviled eggs or corn hush puppies. I had the wings and hushpuppies, both of which were quite delicious. I could have eaten about a dozen more of the hushpuppies, which came with green tomato chutney and tartar sauce, a surprisingly delicious dipping sauce.

The spot also has trivia on Tuesdays, with the winning team getting $50 off their tab plus tickets to an upcoming 9:30 Club show. I don't know much about the trivia itself, but that's a pretty good deal.