News roundup replaced by new restaurant roundup today because food is delicious

Willkommen new DC beer garden!

So basically, news this week has not been that interesting. It has either involved bodies (on the side of the road, in the Potomac, in overturned vehicles etc) or Fenty. All suboptimal. So instead, I have decided to round up the restaurant buzz! Here are some restaurants that are going to be opening around town:

  • Point Chaud (14th Street): A new creperie on 14th and S St. Soft opening set for today or this weekend. 1734 14th St NW (PoP)
  • Beir Garten Haus (H Street): Damn straight DC is getting a new beer garden. It’s Grand Opening has been postponed, but the owners promise it WILL be opened by 6/11. Yes, the World Cup. 1355 H street NE. (http://biergartenhaus.com/)
  • Cuba Libre (Penn Quarter): Mojitos, salsa and patio dining come to Penn Quarter. Cuba Libre has successful locations in Philly, Alantic City and Orlando. Set to open in June. 801A 9th St. NW (Zagat)
  • Carmine’s (Penn Quarter): The famous NYC eatery is opening a new 700 seat location in Penn Quarter. It is slated to open by late summer. 425 7th St. NW (Washington Post)
  • Lupe Mexican Cuisine (Dupont Circle): Will replace Sesto Senso next to public bar. No information on the new place. Prince of Petworth asks a good question, did anyone ever eat at Sesto Senso? 1214 18th St. NW (PoP)
  • Uniontown Bar & Grill (Anacostia): Yes, Anacostia. The first sit-down eatery in one of it’s poorer neighborhoods. Antibiotic-free meats, fresh juice mixers, sandwiches and beer. But will the business model work? (Washington Post)

Oh, and one rumor I had to pass along. Trader Joes may open a location near 14th and U St. I KNOW. But this is hearsay. A guy at Prince of Petworth asked the manager and he said they were actively looking for space at 14th and U St. Would REVOLUTIONIZE spy shopping. Get excited!

Jack’s on 17th Street replaced by Turkish restaurant Agora

Happy Monday reader(s)! Big day today, because today I am finally FINALLY back from the Far East. Ahh. Such a nice feeling. Back to my bed and my food and my routine. So, in celebration of coming home, I decided to open this week about something I observed walking to Dunkin Donuts this morning (yes, Dunkin Donuts, maple frosted, and it was delicious thank you). Namely, Jack’s Bar and Restaurant on 17th Street has officially closed and is being replaced by AGORA.

Jacks from Yelp

First reaction? Suspicion. I know, I know I should be happy about a new restaurant coming into town. But look, I really did like Jack’s. Jack’s was what 17th Street was known for: nice outdoor seating, food and happy hour specials. And unlike other happy hour places that just offer half-priced burgers or wings, Jack’s offered half-priced PASTA. Like angel hair pasta with goat cheese and pine nuts for like 5 bucks that you could order with happy hour priced wine and just bitch about your work day. So for what it was, Jack’s was perfect really.

It also ALWAYS had people in it, so when it closed for apparent construction my friend and I were perplexed. Was it a face lift? Were they doing construction because 17th street was being torn up anyways by the city, so why not renovate? There was no way Jack’s just went under, right??

Well, turns out we were partially right. After doing some research on Agora, I discovered it was started by Jack’s owners. The owners are Turkish and actually disliked Jack’s growing reputation as a bar rather than a restaurant, so decided to just shut it down and open up a pure Mediterranean restaurant. According to the Washington Post, Agora will specialize in seafood and innovative takes on Turkish classics (so no simple hummus and baba ganoush). The owner even brought his father in from Turkey to help shape the menu and their olive oil will come from their family farm in Turkey.

Curious non? I will definitely give it a try. Though it better be good, because $5 goat cheese pasta is NOT easy to find. Just saying.

Oh, Agora is supposed to open this month, will keep you posted

Earth Day and other events in the District

Now I know I normally do not comment on events. It’s because I am NEVER aware of anything in time for people to actually plan for things. However, since it’s Earth Day on Thursday (go planet!) and the DC international film festival and I am sort of “between” jobs (cough), I figured I would help you plan your week. You know, list 4 things to check out and 4 things to miss….

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Food trucks and fish tacos in the name of journalism

Good morning readers. Figured I would start the terribleness that is Monday morning with a post about something delicious. Namely, gourmet food trucks.

So hot right now. For those that don’t know, these trucks roam around DC tweeting their locations, building hipster armies of followers with their witty foods and phrases. The most famous in DC is Fojol, i.e. the “traveling culinary carnival” or, as most people know them, the costumed Indian food truck guys. Many trucks have been in DC since early last year, but since tweet-following requires a degree of planning that I truly do not possess, I only finally visited one this weekend. It’s called Sauca and I ran into it by chance:

Sauca has only been open 2 months. It is owned by an former global investment banker, driven by a former international communications officer and it’s foods are inspired by different international cuisines. So, butter chicken from India, Pork Bahn Mi from Vietnam, and dessert waffles from Belgium, among others. The menu changes. In the name of investigative journalism, I ordered a Mexicali fish taco. DELICIOUS. It looked like this:

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Travel Channel’s Food Wars battled DC jumbo slice places and… wait, what?


Could they have possibly made pizza look LESS appetizing?

 

 OK. So travel channel has this show Food Wars where the host goes to different cities to settle local rivalries about famous food items. Basically, two establishments battle one another over a food, locals are interviewed, and the winner is decided by a panel of judges. The food is as you would expect in places, cheesesteaks in philly, hot wings in Buffalo, BBQ in Texas, and… jumbo slice in DC? Wait, what? 

 

We got effing JUMBO SLICE??? Jesus. Of course DC’s mark on the U.S. culinary landscape would be wasted-face pizza. Although the judges DID have to eat it sober, which is more than I would ever do.  

Anyways, the battle was between Pizza Mart and Jumbo Slice Pizza. Don’t worry, I had no idea which ones those were either. I mean, reading comprehension and jumbo slice don’t really go together. So, I actually researched it and discovered I had eaten at both probably a million times. Their signs look like this…  

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Pho Phix DELIVERED (Updated!)

GOD. I love pho. So much. For those not familiar with Vietnamese cuisine, it’s a noodle soup that looks like THIS:

Which then only becomes truly delicious when you add THIS:

Yes, it’s hot sauce and yes I need my pho to be spicy. Personally, I can take or leave the plum sauce, but that’s just me. NOW I have no concept of Vietnamese culture or customs but what I DO know is that Pho must be prepared on the spot (save the broth itself). This is because the meat and the noodles and the veggies actually cook in the broth, reaching that perfect consistency while you eat. However, this also often precludes it from delivery, meaning I have to walk for pho. LAME.

That is UNTIL…

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Oh KFC, just when you thought America couldn’t get any fatter

So in theme with my last post on the anti-obesity Obama Easter egg roll, I figured I would post this new addition to the KFC line up. It is set to drop April 12th. OK. Brace yourselves:

OH, yes. It is what you think it is. It’s the KFC new double down “sandwich” and has fried chicken for buns. FRIED CHICKEN. It also has cheese and bacon and a ‘special’ Colonel’s sauce, which (and I may be going out on a limb here) I am going to guess is mayo-based. Now I secretly (well, not so secretly) indulge in fast food now and then. It’s a road trip fave, even if my stomach disagrees. But in this case, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t. This shouldn’t exist. We are too fat. TOO fat. As a nation we should reject it, for our health, our food industry and everything else. TOO much.

If you are interested in reading more about the double down and other depressing fatty trends, you can do so here. Thanks for the tip Jonathan!

If Bua Thai went out of business a part of me would die inside

It’s true. Bua Thai is one of my regulars. It’s one of those austere Asian restaurants that you probably order take-out from but would never notice walking down the street, that is, until one day it’s snowpacalypse and everything is closed but Bua and you sit down and it’s so small and dim and cozy with its little Christmas lights that you look out the window and it feels how you always thought Christmas should. Like how it does in movies. Hole in the wall Asian restaurants can just do that, don’t know why but its true. No other cheap cuisine does it, maybe a diner but that’s about it.

Anyways. For some reason or another I have become WAY overly invested in Bua Thai. I don’t know why. I just like the people, the localness of it, the fact there are always customers there but never too many (save maybe at lunch on a workday) and that at the end of the day, it’s a comforting default if I can’t decide what I want but am hungry. Basically I just get this…

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Best of DC winners and some DCspy opinions

Ok kids. The Best of DC results are in. Now, last time some DC results were in (i.e. my James Beard post), I thought I would get all bloggery and say “hey readers, let me know your thoughts!!” You know, because that’s what blogs do.

Yeah. You all failed. Basically, none of you commented except for empire state elitist who did not comment on the restaurants at all and instead talked about how much DC food sucks. Way to snark up the comments section.  ANYWAYS, learning from my mistakes, I have highlighted some of the Best of DC winners, MY thoughts, and could effing care less if you comment. take THAT…

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Free fancy brown bag lunch? Yes PLEASE. At Urbana, tomorrow!

Just as a heads up, my 10 beloved readers, TOMORROW (April 1st), Urbana in Dupont Circle is giving away 300 bagged lunches to promote its new lunch menu. The lunch bags will come with a pulled-pork/Parmesan sandwich, a dilled pickle, a bottle of water, and a chocolate-chip cookie.

Lunches will be given away starting at 11:30am and its first come, first serve. Get there in time! Thanks for the tip Chrissy!