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Tag Archive | "food"

Young Professional Problems: So You Think You’re A Foodie


From Lauren Levine. Email her at lauren[AT]borderstan.com

"Foodie"

Are you truly a foodie? (Borderstan collage)

How often have you read an “about me” for a 20-something and seen “food” or “restaurants” or “being a foodie” listed? “I can’t wait to try that new Mike Isabella restaurant,” they say, “I’m a self-described foodie.”

It’s no secret that food has taken over our country. And as a young professional, you could be struggling with defining your identity, and wind up calling yourself a “foodie.”

As someone who derives great pleasure from food but is certainly no expert and not a foodie, I’m here to guide you through deciding whether you are, or more likely, are not, a foodie.

Do you like going out to eat?

If yes, you are exactly the same as every other person in America. When given the option to cook for ourselves or have someone else cook for us, of course we are all going to choose the latter.

If no, you are most definitely, absolutely not a foodie.

Do you prefer going to restaurants that may be considered “fine dining”?

If yes, that simply makes you well-off, not a foodie. If you are a young professional, and self-described foodie, and you talk a lot about trying fancy new restaurants (and not in the context of restaurant week), then you’re kind of a dick. The rest of us are happy if we can pay rent in DC and maybe get sushi once a week.

If no, you may still be a foodie. Don’t be discouraged.

Do you like to cook?

If you answered yes to the previous questions, but no to this question, you are most definitely not a foodie. You are just lazy.

If yes, you may still be a foodie. Continue on.

Do you make up your recipes?

If no, and you still like to cook, you’re just a normal person. You may own a Joy of Cooking or worse yet, anything by Rachel Ray. But you are certainly not foodie.

If yes, you very well might be a foodie. I’m impressed.

Do you have a food blog?

If you do not make up your own recipes but you have a food blog, you are just a food scrapbooker, not a foodie. You may make my Google searches for “easy healthy turkey burger recipe” slightly easier, but you’re no Jose Andres.

If yes, and you make up your own recipes, you are probably a foodie. Congratulations!

Have you ever thought about food theory?

Can you name different spice palettes? Is food chemistry second nature to you? Can you explain the difference between julienne and chiffonade or hollandaise vs. béarnaise? You’re a foodie.

If not, just give it up. You simply like food, just like the rest of us.

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Posted in Food & DrinkComments (4)

Young Professional Problems: I Spend All My Money on Food


"Money"

Working to eat? (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Lauren Levine. Email her at lauren[AT]borderstan.com

You’re a young professional, and you live in the District. Your “save the world” job makes you feel good, but it only puts Shake Shack on the table and you’re looking for some Birch & Barley. Our generation loves food (for proof, check Instagram). Yet food has us counting more than just calories. Here are a few suggestions for making the most delicious and cost effective decisions.

Lunch

I don’t even want to count how much I’ve spent in 2013 on Sweetgreen salads (damn you February seasonal salad for being so delicious). Buying lunch out five days a week will add up before you can even figure out how to pronounce Pret a Manger. The minimum $6 you spend for lunch will add up to nearly $1,500 over the course of a year.

Obviously, you can bring lunch. I aim for compromise by telling myself that I can only eat lunch out Monday and Friday, but must bring lunch Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. If not bringing, try finding your local cheap eats. Food trucks and mom-and-pop type shops usually have more affordable prices than your DC-wide lunch staples. Also, skip the drink and chips. Nantucket Nectars is delicious and expensive.

Brunch

I used to fear those “birthday dinner” invitations – you know when your friend makes everyone go to a fancy restaurant because suddenly drinking excessively for someone’s birthday isn’t enough? Well that still sucks, but I’m more scared by brunch. Do I want to go to brunch with you? Hell yeah. I love me a bloody mary and some crab cake Eggs Benedict. But it is expensive to go to brunch in DC these days!

I have a “one brunch per week” rule. For the other days, bagels are an excellent solution to any breakfast problem. You can buy a dozen and invite friends over, probably for cheaper than brunch, and you can ask your friends to bring the mimosas. For a romantic bagel brunch, walk to Bethesda Bagel and bring your bagel to Dupont Circle. Too trendy for bagels? Wander the farmers market with friends, grab some goodies and sit down then and there to share and enjoy.

Groceries

I don’t need to elaborate here – groceries in the district are prohibitively expensive, even compared to other cities.

Have you met my friend Joe? He’s a trader, and while his produce is terrible, his prices are right. Thankfully there’s another one opening up at 14th and U. It can be hard to be an extreme couponer when you don’t live in the middle of Nebraska with a shed devoted to stock piling groceries, but you gotta work the deals to save some cash. If there’s a 2-for-1 sale on couscous, eat couscous all week! Learn how to freeze extras.

Or, the next time you find yourself outside of the District, hit a grocery store there and I guarantee you’ll save money.

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Posted in LifestyleComments (9)

There Are No Recipes for Grief


From Ashley Lusk. Check out her blog, Metropoetrylis. Find her on Twitter @arlusk or email her at ashley[AT]borderstan.com.

"grief"

No recipes for grief. (Luis Gomez Photos)

On Friday, after a day of watching Twitter feeds and broadcast news unravel the details of the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I felt sick.

I picked at lunch, ate half an apple and nursed a cup of tea. That afternoon a general sense of grief hovered as the catered appetizers at our work holiday party went largely untouched.

In times like these when we and others mourn, I want nothing more than to nourish the rawness inside us with food. The great tragedy is that in these moments food is only a necessity. Here are some tips to consider when providing food for the grieving:

  1. Keep it easy. Avoid spicy or complicated flavors; make a meal that is simple and nutritious.
  2. Frozen is best. Because food is often far from the mind of those in mourning, consider creating a meal that can be frozen. Always use dishes that may be disposed of later by relatives.
  3. Call it in. The first few days after a death, families are often flooded with food. Consider offering to pick up the check for a delivery order later in the week.
  4. Avoid painful memories. Was the departed loved one responsible for the broccoli casserole at family reunions? Make something else.
  5. Celebrate life. After welcoming those paying their respects, a quiet meal can often be appreciated by those in mourning.Offer to take the family or friend out for a special meal celebrating the life of the loved one.

Simple Recipes That Can Be Frozen

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Logan Circle Restaurants Take Home Some 2011 RAMMYs


Rammys, Borderstan

The grand ballroom of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel was the site of the 2011 RAMMYs.(Alejandra Owens)

This post is by Alejandra Owens. You can find her on Twitter at @frijolita and at her food blog One Bite At A Time.

We live in D.C…. the land of alphabet-soup agencies and associations galore. And with associations, comes their awards ceremonies, galas and black tie events where industry professionals let their hair down and cut some rug.

Last night, the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington held its annual awards gala, also known as The RAMMYs. Chefs take off their whites, don tuxedos and gowns and get into a competitive, but friendly spirit with awards such as Best New Restaurant and Best Beverage/Mixology Program.

I believe I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: damn it’s good to live and eat in Borderstan.

Neighborhood (and really, citywide) favorites like Birch & Barley, Tabard Inn and Estadio were all big winners this year (see below for categories) — and deservedly so.

Congrats to everyone from the restaurateurs who bring these great spots to our ‘hood and the staff that make us go back time and time again! Bravo!

  • Best New Restaurant: Estadio, 1520 14th Street NW
  • Upscale Casual Restaurant: Tabard Inn, 1739 N Street NW
  • Pastry Chef: Tiffany MacIsaac, Neighborhood Restaurant Group (includes Birch & Barley and Churchkey, 1337 14th Street NW)
  • Rising Culinary Star: Kyle Bailey, Birch & Barley

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First Look: Zabb Restaurant on 18th Street


Zaab Restaurant, 18th Street NW, Dupont Circle

Zabb Restaurant  soft-opened this week and plans to open in the next one-to-two weeks. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Laura Herman of LauraLikesThis. Laura is also a contributor over at Brightest Young Things; you can find her on Twitter @Lmhhabs.

Zabb Restaurant is now soft-open at 1836 18th Street NW, in the space formerly occupied by Straights of Malaya.

Construction on the space started several months ago, and the modern Asian restaurant and bar will serve a range of pan-Asian cuisine including Chinese, Japanese and Thai-inspired dishes. They plan to open “officially” in the next one-to-two weeks. Stay tuned for details on their grand opening party.

The menu features a range of traditional and non-traditional sushi rolls, creative dishes like lobster mango salsa and salt chili shrimp, as well as old favorites like drunken noodles, curries, and pad thai.

Zaab Restaurant, 18th Street NW, Dupont Circle

The main bar on the ground floor at Zabb. (Laura Herman)

In the interim, they are soft-open for dinner service only and are offering ten percent off of your total bill in exchange for your feedback on how they’re doing.

More photos below the fold!

Read the full story

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Alejandra’s Super Bowl Recipe Roundup


Alejandra Owens Super Bowl recipes Borderstan

What’s a Super Bowl party without French Onion Dip? (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens of One Bite At A Time. Follow Alejandra on Twitter @frijolita.

Okay. So maybe a rowdy crowd of 200+ 20- and 30-something dudes in Steelers jerseys and Cheeseheads aren’t your thing. I don’t blame you.

Watching a sporting event with a crowd does have its perks (Laura has done the legwork and found the best deals for you here) but staying at home for the game means no lines for the bathroom, ample supply of toilet paper and (this is why I’m here) better food.

I did all the research to bring you the best ideas for Super Bowl grub I could find from your DC Food Bloggers!

Read the full story

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Saint-Ex Pig Roast Raises $7K for Arts Education


Click on the collage to see pictures from the party. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Click on the photo collage above to see photos from yesterday’s Cafe Saint-Ex Labor Day block party.

It’s not every day in the hood that you see a pig roasting in an open cooker while bluegrass music plays in the background. Yesterday at 14th and T NW, long lines of locals were gobbling up roasted pork at the Cafe Saint-Ex 2nd Annual Labor Day Pig Roast/BBQ Sauce Cook Off. The afternoon block party on the 1300 block of T Street also featured a lemonade stand, local artists and plenty of arts activities for kids.

Sponsored by Cafe Saint-Ex, the fundraiser benefited the Fillmore Art Center. According to Saint-Ex, the event raised $7,594 for the center. Fillmore provides award-winning arts programs for students at Ross Elementary (1730 R Street NW) and nine other public elementary schools across DC. Virtually all the supplies and equipment used for the program are paid for by donations and special events.

The BBQ Sauce contest was between Saint-Ex employees. The winners were:

  1. 1st Place: Elsie Dwyer (Saint-Ex employee)
  2. 2nd Place: Jesse Miller (Saint-Ex chef)
  3. 3rd Place: Billy Klein (Saint-Ex chef)

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One Bite At A Time: Where’s Alejandra?


Alejandra Owens One Bite At A Time Borderstan

Where’s Alejandra? She’ll be back Tuesday with another restaurant profile. (Alejandra Owens)

Find out what food blogger Alejandra Owens has been up to lately… check out her blog, One Bite At A Time. She’ll have another restaurant profile for Borderstan next week.

Posts from Alejandra

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May 8 Opening Planned for Cork and Fork


Cork and Fork will open its DC store on May 8 at 14th and Church NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Cork and Fork plans to open its 14th and Church location on Saturday, May 8, “with a grand opening later in the month,” according to the owners. The family-owned business already has stores in Bethesda, and Gainevsille, VA. In addition to wine and beer, Cork and Fork will offer cheeses and fine specialty foods.


Posted in NewsComments (6)

New England Holiday: Boston’s Little Italy


Hanover Street in Boston's Little Italy. (Photo: Luis Gomez, One Photograph A Day.)

Hanover Street in Boston’s Little Italy. (Photo: Luis Gomez, One Photograph A Day.)

Luis and I are on vacation… a couple of days in Boston and now we are in Provincetown. We had dinner in Boston’s Little Italy on Monday night, then went back for breakfast on Tuesday.

I wish Washington had a fraction of the wonderful little places—delis, coffee houses and bistros—you find in Little Italy and other sections of Boston. And a lot of the places are cheap and authentic. I bought of a piece of ricotta pie (cheese cake, more or less) with a polenta crust for $2.50 at a bakery on Hanover Street. It was enough for a meal.

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