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Tag Archive | "Borderstan food"

Tips to Lighten Up Your Summer Cooking


From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com.

"Summer"

Some healthy tips for your summer cooking. (Chelsea Rinnig)

Healthy meal tips to keep you on track this summer

Barbecues, picnics, beach and beer — all a recipe for fun activities this summer. But frankly, I begin to feel it after a weekend of drinking beer all day; all of a sudden, a beach weekend becomes a looming fear where you wished you’d toned up a little more and drank a little less.

So, here are a few tips and past articles that may allow you to indulge a little in the outdoor events while staying healthy and looking good!

Substitutions

  • Instead of butter, use extra virgin olive oil and just a drizzle. Roast vegetables on the grill for a side instead of the potato chips and go for the ground turkey or chicken breasts when making your burgers.
  • Instead of bringing that baguette and cheese to the picnic, try these collard wraps.
  • Try out zucchini hummus instead of chickpeas for a backyard bash: roast a large zucchini, whole, at 425 for 30-40 minutes (until tender). Cool, slice, and blend with a ÂĽ cup olive oil, juice from half a lemon, and 3 tablespoons of Tahini. Serve with carrot sticks — it’s delicious. Add spinach for a boost of iron and extra green! The color is beautiful.
  • Swap a juicy, fresh watermelon for dessert — they will be in season soon! Or roast some peaches and serve with plain vanilla ice cream or vanilla yogurt.

So have a beer for being good all week and enjoy the best your local markets have to offer this summer!

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Summer Skies at Borderstan’s Rooftops


"Rooftops"

Plenty of outdoor options to enjoy the summer nights. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Nothing can be better than enjoying the rooftops in the city. DC has great views that need to be discovered. You can definitely do that at the many bars and restaurants in the city while you enjoy a glass of wine, a drink, a beer or a meal.

Looking for a rooftop bar in the DC area? The Rock The RoofDC guys have a great list of all the rooftop bars and restaurants, with descriptions and calendar of events.

We have covered, reviewed and enjoyed many of our local ones.  But then again here is a list for you to find them all together at once while you are enjoying this Summer.

  • 1905 Bistro, 1905 9th Street NW. This new roof deck is exactly what the restaurant’s name implies; it’s garden-themed. The space makes use of reclaimed wood and old metal sheets, while sporting views of the neighborhood and monuments.
  • Above DC @ Donovan House Hotel, 1155 14th Street NW. Because nothing is better than a rooftop pool and bar. This one is located right in Thomas Circle and comes with great views. Pack your suit!
  • Brixton, 901 U Street NW. This brand new British pub-style bar boasts more than just bangers and mash. Check out the expansive rooftop terrace for terrific views of the Washington Monument.
  • DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Perfect place to enjoy the music as you sip on that refreshing drink.
  • El Centro DF, 1819 14th Street NW. While it technically opened last summer, the modern taqueria’s rooftop bar is still somewhat new to local residents. A cool breeze up top and an agave cocktail are sure to subdue the heat of the salsas.
  • Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th Street NW. If you thought nothing could top barbeque and bourbon, then you were wrong, literally.
  • Lauriol Plaza, 1835 18th Street NW. This 18th and T spot has a large shaded rooftop dining area (great for hot sunny days when you need some shade). You’re right on the cusp of the Dupont, U Street and Adams Morgan hoods.
  • Local 16, 1602 U Street NW. Although it may be too hot to even think about being outside, Local 16 has you covered. The roof deck has water spritzers and fans going constantly to make sure you and your beverage stay at the perfect temperature.
  • Lost Society, 2001 14th Street NW. The chandeliers and dĂ©cor make it hard to believe that you are outside. Thankfully, the cool breeze, neighborhood views and U Street noise remind you that you are sipping cocktails on a DC roof, and not in a palace!
  • Marvin, 2007 14th Street NW. This is also a great roof spot, perfect for enjoying one of the many beers on tap and some of the best chicken and waffles in town.
  • Masa 14, 1825 14th Street NW. The neighborhood hotspot expanded its space to include a roof deck. Mojitos taste better when sipped in the open, summer air.
  • Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U Street NW. Great and breezy rooftop. It has an ample bar covered with a tent and also a nice corner area for smokers. You can always enjoy their popular buckets of beers.
  • Tabaq Bistro, 1336 U Street. Snag one of the best views of the city while getting your workout in! Yes, you will have to climb up several flights of stairs, but the views on a clear night will quickly make you forget your burning thighs.
  • Zabb, 1836 18th Street NW. Modern Asian inspired food and a generous terrace to enjoy the night.

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What The Truck?! DC Ballers


From Katie Andriulli. Email her at katie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @kandriulli.

This week we fell in falafelove with the DC Ballers truck.

"Ballers"

DC Ballers: Get it soon. (Katie Andriulli)

Food Selection

The “balls” in DC Ballers’ namesake are falafel patties (my third favorite type of ball following meatballs and arancini… I’m Italian, deal with it) but the truck also specializes in hummus, French fries (regular or Greek style with feta, oregano and olive oil) and other Middle Eastern delights including Tabouli (tomato, onion, parsley, mint, and bulgur wheat in a lemon mint dressing) and Israeli salad (tomato, cucumber and parsley in a lemon mint dressing). Carnivores take heed: DC Ballers is meat-free, but the falafels are so hearty you really won’t miss it.

Price Range

Platters (hummus, with or without a falafel, plus Tabouli, Israeli salad and pita) range from $7.50 to $9.50 and sandwiches range from $5.50 to $7. You can also get a side of fries with dipping sauce for $3.50, Greek fries for $5 (well worth the extra $1.50), and hummus, falafel, Israeli salad and Tabouli are all available a la carte for $4 to $5.50. Fresh ginger-mint lemonade, on special, was $2.50.

The Verdict!

  • Wait time: 5/5. There was no line when I arrived promptly at noon, and my food was handed to me (hot!) in less than 60 seconds.
  • Service: 5/5. Efficient and friendly. And they take cards. What more do you need?
  • Bang for your buck: 4.5/5. My order of hummus with falafel came with a sizeable pita, four falafel balls and a TON of hummus, and was filling enough to stretch to two meals, turning my $7.50 lunch turn into two $3.75 lunches, which is pretty magical. The extra $2.50 I paid for their homemade lemonade seemed a little steep, although not inconsistent with what other trucks charge for similar beverages, so I’ll allow it.
  • Deliciousness: 5/5. As a self-described hummus connoisseur, I have probably tried every brand I can get my hands on, but DC Ballers’ puts all of the others to shame. It’s seriously stellar… smooth and creamy with just the right amount of garlic (i.e., lots) and tahini. Game over Sabra. Pack up your individual hummus n’ pretzel cups and saunter on out of here. Thanks for playing.
"Ballers"

A really good pita. (Katie Andriulli)

I have had many a falafel in my day as well and I can say with moderate authority that DC Ballers’ are right up there with the best I’ve had… crunchy and flavorful and they didn’t instantly disintegrate once cut into. The tahini sauce drizzled on top (and in an extra container on the side) provided a lovely dipping sauce and compliment to the hummus.

Now, this whole operation could have fallen apart if the pita was second rate, but luckily, the Ballers have that locked down as well. The pita was obviously freshly baked since it was handed to me piping hot in tin foil. It was thick enough to support the weight of my self-made falafel sandwich without being too bready, and I also I loved the za’atar spices sprinkled top, which gave it a little extra zest.

I also sprung for the homemade ginger-mint lemonade, which was quite pleasant, but could have benefitted from a bit more ice, and/or the addition of gin.

Admittedly, after a weekend of eating badly (re: basically an entire 3-pound calzone in one sitting on Sunday… whoops) I could not muster the courage to order the truck’s other signature dish, the French fries, at lunchtime. However, an acquaintance of mine mentioned that she had tried the Greek fries before and that they were pretty stellar and she is generally pretty reliable, so just take her word for it, okay?

  • Overall: 5/5. Assuming your co-workers aren’t vampires, they won’t mind a bit of a garlic smell in the air (or on your breath) so go get Ballin’.

Follow DC Ballers on Twitter @DCBallers and check out their full menu here.

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From AM-PM Carry Out to Tex Mex Diego


"Diego"

14th and V NW: From AM-PM Carry Out to Diego. (Luis Gomez Photos)

One more restaurant opening on the 14th Street corridor will be happening this summer. Diego will join the latest opening of Piola, Taqueria Nacional, bar di Bari and Kapnos (the last one now scheduled for July 5).

We have been looking at the transformation of the AM-PM Carry Out to Diego at the northwest corner of 14th and V Streets NW; Eatonville and Busboys & Poets  are already at that intersection. Now, after months of dealing with city permits and a lengthy renovation process, the Tex Mex restaurant NW restaurant is gearing up, probably for a late summer opening. Diego is owned by brothers Tony and Michael Askarinam, proprietors of Dupont Italian Kitchen on 17th Street NW.

With two levels, outdoor seating and a Tex-Mex menu it will be hard to wait for it.  Missy Frederick at Eater DC has more details.

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Borderstan Restaurants Win Big at RAMMYs 2013


"Rammys"

Borderstan’s RAMMYS Winners. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Kim Vu. He also has his own food blog, DC Wrapped Dates. Follow him at@dcwrappeddates or email him at kim[AT]borderstan.com.

Much like last year, Borderstan saw its fair share of winners at the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s annual awards gala, known as the RAMMYs. With the vibrant theme “Restaurants in Bloom,” many finalists, awardees, and gala-goers alike showed up in garlands, boutonnieres and floral prints. It was in this festive atmosphere that our neighborhood was honored multiple times over.

The burgeoning 14th Street Corridor and its rapid transformation into a revitalized restaurant destination was a running theme throughout some of the acceptance speeches, most notably from the team from Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene winner Bar Pilar, who commented “when we first were doing the build-out for Bar Pilar, we had pimps come into the restaurant and ask, ‘what are you doing?’ And we’d say ‘building a restaurant.’ And they’d ask, ‘For who?’ Now we know.”

Neighborhood RAMMY Winners

The following Borderstan restaurants were winners last night:

  • Upscale Casual Restaurant – Estadio
  • Casual Restaurant – C.F. Folks
  • Neighborhood Gathering Place – Nellie’s Sports Bar
  • Hottest Bar Scene – Bar Pilar

Other Nominees

Borderstan also saw its fair share of nominees. Joining Estadio in the Upscale Casual category were fellow 14th Street neighbors Birch and Barley and Cork; and C.F. Folks had to squeeze past Bar Pilar for its Casual Restaurant award. Additional nominations also went to Dupont Circle newcomers Boqueria and DGS Delicatessen, and Estadio’s manager, Justin Guthrie.

Taking home the big prizes last night were Blue Duck Tavern for Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year, Mintwood Place for Best New Restaurant, and Fabio Trabocchi for Chef of the Year. Congrats to all the winners!

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Bikes and Ice Cream Sandwiches: Cream Cycle DC


From Aparna Krishnamoorthy. Email her at aparna[AT]borderstan.com. Follow her on Twitter @aparnakris.

"Cycle)

Delicious combinations from CreamCycle DC. (Aparna Krishnamoorthy)

Food trucks and their regulations be damned. Restored vintage tricycles filled with gourmet ice cream sandwiches are the way to go! Perfect for this hot summer weather, CreamCycle DC brings these delicious frozen treats in a variety of unique flavor pairings to the masses.

With awesome combinations like peanut strawberry, cereal milk, bacon and olive, and corn brown sugar — there is something for everyone to enjoy.

I tried the chocolate-jalapeno sandwich — a chocolate butter cookie with spicy jalapeno ice cream and it was delicious. The cookie is nice and chewy, and the ice cream, while creamy, has a nice kick to it from the jalapeno.

I couldn’t stop at one, so I also picked the peach-vanilla to enjoy later. The peach ice cream is light and refreshing and the vanilla cookie complements it well.

Heading the CreamCycle movement is Chef Carlos Delgado, the executive chef at Boveda. According to their website, “The idea for a fleet of ice cream bicycles in DC came from the streets of chef Carlos Delgado’s native country – Peru”

A fine concept, with a delicious product! Some of their other combinations sound equally delicious, and I can’t wait to try some more of these sandwiches through the summer!

Where Can You Find Them?

The locations of the cycles are announced via Facebook and Twitter, but if you don’t want to wait, head on over to Smucker Farms on 14th Street or Bean and Bite to make a purchase. CreamCycle also offers catering services for events!

Have you tried CreamCycle yet? Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite!

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Kapnos and G from Mike Isabella on 14th Street


"14th"

Kapnos and G: Isabella’s new restaurants at 2201 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

It has been more than a year since we heard of Chef Isabella opening Kapnos and G on 14th Street NW.

Isabella’s restaurant Kapnos will open July 5, the time is getting closer and as you walk by the two locations at 14th and W Streets NW; the final touches seem to be added.

Isabella’s restaurants on 14th Street will occupy 7,000 square feet at 2201, which is the 14th W Jefferson, at 14th and W Streets.

"14th"

The interior of Kapnos. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Kapnos

The Greek-themed restaurant, Kapnos, will include five roasting spits and feature Northern Greek food with have a menu of spreads, breads, phyllo pies, vegetables and other small plates, including his signature wood-grilled octopus as Isabella let us know last year.

The bar menu will include Greek wines on tap and a number of by the glass offerings. The restaurant decor modern with brown leathers and an industrial feeling.

"14th"

G Sandwich Shop. (Luis Gomez Photos)

G Sandwich Shop

Next to Kapnos is G, the Italian Sandwich Shop concept shop that Isabella hopes to turn into a chain.  It will serve sandwiches and it will be open for lunch.  Jessica Voelker of Washingtonian has the details of what you will find there.

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bar di Bari Open at 14th and R NW


"Bari"

Red umbrellas and colorful outdoor seating at bar di Bari. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From the owner of Drafting Table, Aaron Gordon’s bar di Bari is open. At 1401 R  Street NW the red umbrellas and colorful outdoor patio furniture are welcoming guests since Saturday morning. Although they had been offering morning coffee since Wednesday last week as a sort of soft opening.

From the corner of 14th Street the smell of fresh baked goods is inviting and once inside it is hard to choose. The food is Italian-Mediterranean inspired. A selection of salads and healthy meals is on the menu. There are cheese and charcuterie plates, antipasti  and entrees and sandwiches.

Happy Hour starts at 5 pm with a menu of three draft beers and 10 bottled beers plus a list of 20 French and Spanish wines.

Bar di Bari wants to be a casual place to enjoy a coffee, a pastry or have a bite for lunch or dinner. Coffee service and a lighter fare is available from the counter all day. Dinner service starts at 4 pm.

bar di Bari Will be open Monday trough Friday from 7 am to 11 pm, Saturday from 10 am to midnight and Sunday from 10 am to 9 pm.

Now we are still waiting for Ted’s Bulletin and M Cafe &  Bar (the later looks like it should be the next to open).

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It’s a Cherries and Berries Market


"berries"

Cherries and Berries at 14th & U Framers Market (Luis Gomez Photos)

This Saturday the 14 & U Farmers Market is a cherries and berries market. From 9 am to 1 pm enjoy strolling through the market, picking up sweet cherries, raspberries, red currants, blueberries and a few blackberries are all around. Here some recipes for you.

Market Highlights

  • Do stop by Itbi at 10 am for a cooking demo with two summer salads: Kale and mixed root vegetable slaw.
  • Panorama is bringing as always their delicious croissants, bear claws and pretzels, and a great selection of pastries and baked goods.
  • Cherry Glen Goat Cheese’s  Bryan will have a sampling of the best French style goat cheese you will find. Fresh chevre only a day old, ricotta, and five different kinds of soft, wedge shaped Monocacies.
  • Mountain View has carrots, squash, kale, radishes, beets and cut herbs.
  • Truck Patch is bringing turkey and turkey breast this week.

Come early for your full selection of your favorites vendors at the market. Market hours are 9 am to 1 pm, Saturdays only.

So there you have it. Enjoy the market and try to keep cool during this weekend.

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Dunya, Rooftop Included


"Dunya"

Dunya Restaurant & Lounge is coming to 801 Florida Avenue NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]borderstan.com.

14th Street NW isn’t the only corridor in the neighborhood with new restaurants opening up. Florida Avenue has seen a share of development recently and now, it will soon be the home of Dunya Restaurant and Lounge.

Located at 801 Florida Avenue NW, this new establishment will feature Mediterranean tapas as well as high-end cocktails. The drinks will also follow the same regional inspiration as the restaurant, with beers from Spain and wines from Mediterranean.

These food and drinks are going to be served all across what is sure to be a large restaurant. Plans right now call for the ground floor, a second floor area, a rooftop bar and a summer garden. The interior is slated for 150 seating capacity and a total load of 150; the summer garden is slated to have seating for 25. Plans also include having live jazz performances for brunch.

The owner of Dunya Restaurant and Lounge is Siyamak Sadeghi, who was once the owner of both Shaw Tavern and Axis Bar and Grill. He has high hopes for this new location, which will offer a simple and relaxed atmosphere where patrons will be able to enjoy delicious foods within a space designed around Spanish aesthetics.

Dunya Restaurant and Lounge is expected to open in mid- to late-June. So when 14th Street feels a little overcrowded, too hip, or you and your friends feel like exploring the area a little bit, keep an eye out for the worldly delights of Dunya.

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