by June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

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


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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by June 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

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


Squash Blossoms are ready this summer. (Aparna Krishnamoorthy.

The arrival of summer squashes brings with them their delicate, edible flowers typically found at area farmers’ markets and specialty stores — we are lucky to have such great farmers’ markets in the area.

This past weekend, I spotted zucchini blossoms at the 14 and U Farmers Market, and immediately picked up some. I also learned that all squashes produce flowers, but typically it’s the zucchini flowers that are popular as edible treats.

Squash blossoms are best eaten the day you buy them.  While there are many ways to enjoy them, the blossoms are such a rare and seasonal treat that I serve them simply fried.

Squash Blossoms


  • Oil, flour, milk, salt, pepper. And the blossoms.


  1. Whisk up a couple of spoonful’s of flour with a splash of milk, keeping the batter light and thin. (A thick batter will overwhelm the delicate flowers)
  2. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan to cover the base (a couple of millimeters will do)
  4. When the oil is hot, take a blossom, dredge it in the batter using a swirling motion and slide it into the hot oil.
  5. Turn it a couple of times, until it’s is golden and crisp all over.
  6. Drain on a paper towel; add pepper and a bit more salt.
  7. Enjoy after cooling very slightly.

Simple and delicious.

If you are averse to frying, stuff the blossoms with cheese (ricotta or goat works great) and bake them in the oven.

Whatever you do with them, and look here for ideas, don’t let them scare you. These treats are not often seen in restaurant menus, so grab them when you see them. It’s one of the best summer foods.

Any other ideas for squash blossoms? Share them in the comments!

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by June 4, 2013 at 11:00 am 1 Comment

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


Chai, not your cup of tea? (Luis Gomez Photos)

Every time I walk into a coffee shop, it alarms me how many people are misinformed about the beverage commonly known as “chai.” I hope this little post helps to clear up some of that confusion.

Here’s the thing. It is actually pretty simple. Chai is tea. Chai is the Indian word for tea. Repeat that: CHAI MEANS TEA. When I read the words “chai tea” on a menu, I cringe. It’s like saying tea tea. We don’t say caffe coffee, do we?

I understand if we put this on packaging or even on the menu as a translation — chai/tea, but actually saying chai tea is plain redundant.

Feel free to call it tea, or chai, but please do not call it chai tea.

And a chai tea latte? That is just beyond control. Latte literally means milk. Chai is almost always made with milk. Chai is tea. Can you spot the redundancy here?

Chai does not have to have spices in it. In fact, in the majority of Indian homes, everyday chai is made with water, tea leaves, milk and sugar (optional).

It’s easy to deal with the word chai — it’s short and easy to pronounce. Otherwise, just say tea. Because that is all it is: tea.

Everyday Chai

  1. Heat 1 cup water in saucepan/kettle
  2. Bring to boil, turn down the heat and add 1 teaspoon tea leaves
  3. Simmer for a couple of minutes, add 1/8 cup milk and sweetener of choice.
  4. Turn up heat but do not boil.
  5. Strain into your favorite tea mug and enjoy.


  • Mint Chai – Tear 4-5 fresh mint leaves and add to water in Step 1. It is a refreshing change from the basic everyday chai.
  • Ginger Chai – Crush a couple small pieces of fresh ginger and add to water in Step 1. Perfect for days when the allergies are kicking in, or for that cold that won’t go away.
  • Masala Chai -My favorite blend includes 2 cardamom pods, 1 clove , a teensy bit of cinnamon and black peppercorns, all crushed together using a mortar and pestle and added to the boiling water.

I make chai. Lots of it. But never a chai tea.

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by May 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

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


Delivered to you. (Aparna Krishnamoorthy)

Green and red brews of fruits and vegetables (that look unappetizing and like it came straight out of the Potomac) have been all the rage the last couple of years. We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for our health, but who really has the time to shop for kilos and kilos of vegetables, juice them (in that $500 juicer!) and drink it up?

Enter Alive Juices. Started by programmer turned master juicer, Rachan Malhotra, Alive Juices makes and delivers juices right to you. Within DC, they deliver to your house, to your office or even the gym or yoga studio! No more excuses.

Organic Ingredients, Six Different Types

All their juices have been extensively tested, use organic ingredients as far as possible and are freshly made in a commercial kitchen in Silver Spring. Alive Juices currently offers six different juices, each with a distinct flavor (mint, carrot, ginger, etc.) and targets a different health aspect (cardiovascular, colon health, etc.).

All the juices are unpasteurized to preserve the living nutrients (hence the Alive juices, get it?) and are based on Ayurvedic principles. And while juicing has been a fad only recently in the West, Ayurveda, the ancient Indian line of medicine has prescribed juices and concoctions of herbs and vegetables for more than 5,000 years. Hardly a fad really.

I recently had the chance to try some samples of the juices, and was very happy with what I had. All of the juices contain what they call the “Big 5” — sprouts, ginger, garlic, apples and lemon. That may not sound so appetizing, but in fact the juices are really good. Even the green juice was really good with the bitterness of the greens cut by the ginger and lime.

In addition to the juices, sometimes they also provide nutritious nuts and seeds, so that you don’t snack on that bag of chips. Nice touch.

Want to give it a try, or get more information? Check out their FAQ’s , email info[at]alivejuices [dot] com or call 202-436-2300 to order.

Not ready to order yet, but want to try a sample first? Stop by the Rolls on Rolls food truck during lunch time and ask for a sample of the juices. And while you’re there, get a paneer kathi roll for lunch.

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by April 15, 2013 at 9:00 am 0


Plenty of breakfast options in the neighborhood. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Most days, breakfast consists of coffee and any fruit I can grab. If I have an extra five minutes, it’s a smoothie or a piece of toast before running out of the door.

But occasionally, I have one of those days when I roll myself out of bed especially early and am ready to take on a big breakfast by 8am. And for those days, an early meal can make or break my day. To save you the distress of a horrid start to the day, I’ve compiled a list of where to find breakfast in Borderstan without having to wait till 9 am, when the rest of the world decides to get going. And I’m not talking about grab and go places — these are full on sit-down, ready to crush the day breakfasts.

  • Commissary – Love this neighborhood spot for their egg heavy breakfast and for early morning people-watching before heading to work.  It’s also awesome that they serve breakfast till 4 pm and massive mugs of coffee. Open Monday through Friday, 8 am;  Saturday and Sunday, 9 am.
  • Luna Grill and Diner – Decent breakfast, decent service and decent prices. Location in Dupont makes it perfect for a quick breakfast if you work in the area. Opens every day at 8 am.
  • Java House – A landamark in the area. Great coffee selection and wonderful service. From granola  to bagels. Check their menu onlineOpens every day at 8 am.
  • Kafe Bohem – Kafe Bohem has pretty much all the makings of a perfect neighborhood spot. Chicken schnitzel croissant sandwich plus coffee and you leave with a spring in your step. Nothing can screw up your day.  In addition to potato pancakes and lox, bratwurst and Czech toast (egg fried bread!), they have a daily selection of pastries. Check out their full menu here, and go there tomorrow morning. Opens Mon through Friday at 6 am; Saturday and Sunday at 8 am.
  • Florida Avenue Grill – This place has been in the business of breakfast since its inception, and they do it right. A few months back, this made it to my list of DC institutions to try. Fellow contributor Ashley and I checked out their breakfast one morning. No frills diner breakfast, with friendly service and superb grits. Opens Tuesday through Sunday at 8 am.
  • U Street Café -Gigantic waffles, free wifi and friendly service. Nice spot to get some work done with breakfast, or catcsh up on the morning news. Opens Mon through Friday at 7 am;  Saturday and Sunday at 8 am.
  • Pica Taco -For those mornings when you know you need a breakfast burrito, this is where you go. Decent size, nice fillings and quick service. Perfect for the morning that you are regretting the fun you had on a school night. Opens Monday through friday at 8 am; Saturday and Sunday at 9 am.
  • New Orleans Po Boy shop – I haven’t actually been here, but I hear they serve up a mean Andouille, egg and cheese poboy in the mornings.  Finish that off with freshly made beignets to satisfy any sweet cravings. Opens Mon through Friday at 7 am.

In addition to these, most hotel restaurants also have a fairly priced breakfast every morning – Firefly,  M Street Bar and Grill, Beacon Bar and Grill, Urbana, and Tabard Inn offer full breakfast every morning.

And of course, there is always Busboys and Poets, Kramerbooks and Afterwards and Le Pain Quotidien (love!) all in the neighborhood. So, for the next time you have those early morning cravings and some time, you know where to go!

What’s your early AM favorite? Let us know in the comments.

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by March 18, 2013 at 10:00 am 1 Comment


Where to find Duck Confit in the neighborhood. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

You see confit on a menu and wonder… Is it a dish? Is it a technique? Is it something French and fancy that you don’t bother with? Well, it’s really the first two, and if you have ever had a piece of duck confit leg that melts in your mouth, you know that you should most definitely bother with it.

The Science and the Technique

The word confit (“con-fee”), translated from French literally means “preserve.” It was a technique developed by French farmers to preserve meat before refrigeration became available.

The technique of “confit” is all about cooking the meat in a fat and storing it in a fat. Cover your meat in fat and cook it. Wait, doesn’t that sound like deep frying? The difference lies in the temperature. Typically, deep frying temperatures are between 325 to 450 degrees F and result in a crisp surface due to the evaporation of the water content from the meat.

In contrast, to confit, the meat is covered with cold or room temperature fat and cooked at lower temperatures between 250 to 275 degrees F. What this does is allows the meat to cook and tenderize by breaking down the connective tissue in the meat with no moisture or flavor loss.

The Dish

Confit is most commonly seen with duck or goose legs, which are the fattiest portion of the birds. However it can be very effective for cuts of meat that have a good amount of connective tissue such as pork shoulder. And there is such a thing as confit chicken wings too!

The same technique can be applied to vegetables as well, resulting in concentrated flavor and tender texture. I have not tried this myself, but there are plenty of recipes out there on the web.

Where to Find It?

If you are not so inclined to get up close and personal with the duck and duck fat at home yourself (recipe here ), do not worry, there are plenty of restaurants in the area that offer this for your pleasure.

  1. Bistrot du Coin – Most French places (dare I say all?) have a confit on their menu. Bistrot du Coin’s duck leg confit is served with frisee and sautéed potatoes.
  2. Bistro La Bonne – This U street bistro offers a roasted five-spice duck breast and& duck leg confit, served with a sweet potato & potato gratin, ratatouille and port wine sauce. Sounds delicious!
  3. Woodward table – New spot offers a number of confit items on the menu. Go confit yourself out with duck confit flatbread, duck soup with confit to start with and a duck confit entrée!
  4. Corduroy – If you have had enough confit duck, get down here where they have a Confit Guinea Hen with mushrooms on the dinner menu.
  5. Restaurant Nora has a crispy Amish duck confit with faro, beets and a sour cherry sauce.
  6. Neighborhood spot Bar Pilar offers up a delicious duck confit with Dijon.

Now, go sound like a class act and impress your dining friends with your knowledge of fancy sounding French food.

If you have any other burning food questions, let me know in the comments!

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by March 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

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


Philanthropub on 9th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Cause, the Philanthropub opened a few months back bringing a unique concept to DC – operating just like any other bar, but donating their profits to various charitable causes.

But even if you completely ignore all the good charitable things they do, this place is still delicious and a great addition to the area. Why?

  1. Cause they have awesome cocktails and a great beer selection. I got the “Madiba” — South African Pinotage, cognac and ginger. Refreshing and delicious. My friends had the Mahatma and the Truth, and claimed both to be very good.
  2. ‘Cause of the service. The service has always been attentive, friendly and prompt, even if the place is full. The owners even set aside tables specifically for us when we were a large group, without us specifically requesting it.
  3. ‘Cause they have great food. We got to try an assortment of the menu. To start with, we got the duck hearts on toast. I am not particularly an adventurous eater, but I loved this dish. Crusty bread with buttery duck hearts. Yum. I love wings, and really enjoyed the General Tso style chicken wings. My vegetarian friend got the “Quentil” burger — Quinoa and lentil burger. When a place offers not one but two vegetarian burgers that are not the standard “Boca” burger, I am way more than impressed. The African chicken groundnut stew with chicken confit and ground peanuts is warm and filling.  Prices are reasonable and the portions are plentiful.
  4. ‘Cause of the dry erase tables, which provide for hours of entertainment. They are meant for “brainstorming” while eating, but serve just as well for Pictionary.
  5. ‘Cause you feel better about paying your tab when you know there’s some money going to charity. At the bottom of the receipt, you check off the charity that you would like your contribution to go to.

At the end of the day, Cause is a great neighborhood bar. I will definitely go back to try some more of the innovative cocktails and interesting menu items.

If you have been, what did you think?

The Details on Cause

  • Where Am I Going: 1926 9th Street NW (just south of U Street)
  • When Am I Going: Sunday to Thursday, 5 pm to 1:30 am; Friday and Saturday, 5 pm to 2:30 am.
  • Paycheck Pain: Cocktails are about $9, beers average $6 to $8, $10 bottles of wine between 7 and 9:30 pm, Food prices range from $8 to$12 on average, with large portions.
  • Say What?: Loud, but fun.
  • What You’ll Be Eating: Eclectic, but something for everyone. Vegetarian friendly.

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by February 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

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

Awww shucks. Let's just have fun. Borderstan oyster happy hours. (Aparna

Awww shucks. Let’s just have fun at Borderstan oyster happy hours. (Aparna Krishnamoorthy)

Oysters have always been an elegant, complex, luxury treat in my book. But then again, there are some times when I just want to gorge on these beauties along with a few glasses of wine, and not have to sell a kidney to pay the resulting tab.

If you want to enjoy oysters at a reasonable price alongside a glass of wine or a cocktail, Happy Hour is clearly the way to go. Here are some reliable bets in Borderstan to enjoy these briny bivalves:

  • Pearl Dive Oyster Palace: This popular 14th Street haunt needs no introduction. Its Happy hour, which runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm, includes two-for-one local oysters along with drink specials. Definitely shuck it out for a gluttonous, great time.
  • Hank’s Oyster Bar: A visit to Hank’s is a must for anyone who wants a good oyster deal. The happy hour is offered daily from 5 to 7 pm and late night from 10 pm to midnight, both of which are ideal times to take advantage of a good oyster special. Great atmosphere, $1 oysters at the bar, friendly service — Hank’s knows the way to my heart. It fills up pretty quickly most evenings, so get there early!
  • Urbana: I recently discovered the Happy Hour at this subterranean wine bar. $1 oysters and $8 pizzas, along with $5 sparkling, reds and whites make this a great deal. $1 oysters are even more delightful when accompanied by the bar’s oyster-friendly happy hour list of wine, beer and cocktails. Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 pm daily. Urbana recently started a monthly oyster and beer happy hour on the first Friday of each month: $6 for six oysters and a pint of Port City beer. There is really nothing to think about here.
  • Black Jack: Okay, its happy hour is literally an hour each day Tuesday through Friday from 6 to 7 pm, which is a bit sad, but that just means more oysters crammed in less time, right? Black Jack has two-for-one oysters just like Pearl Dive, but here’s the best part: They have an all-day Happy Hour on Sundays from 3 pm to close. Stumble in after a bottomless brunch to continue Sunday Funday activities.
  • Tabaq: Did you know Tabaq has $1 oyster specials everyday from 5 to 7 pm and again from 10 pm to midnight along with Happy Hour cocktails? I did not, and hence I have not been to this one yet. If you have, what did you think?
  • Tel’veh: I know, this is not technically in Borderstan, but with $1 oysters and over 48 wines by the glass to choose from, this lesser known cousin of Agora a few blocks from Chinatown makes it completely worthwhile to step (not too far) out of Borderstan. Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday from 4.30 to 7:30 pm.

So there you go, tame that oyster craving and quench that thirst without a huge dent in your wallet. Tell me in the comments if I missed your favorite!

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by February 8, 2013 at 8:00 am 0

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


DGS Delicatessen on Connecticut Avenue. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Starting Monday February 11, DGS Delicatessen in Dupont will debut a bar menu from Chef Barry Koslow and inventive cocktails from General Manager and Beverage Director Brian Zipin for Happy hour.

The Happy Hour Bar Menu will be available at the bar between 5 and 7 pm Monday through Friday and includes $6 wines by the glass, beer for $3 to $4 and cocktails for $7  to $9.
Incorporating elements of traditional Jewish cooking into a modern interpretation of comfort food bar bites, DGS is now offering a “smoked salmon tartare with Everything Aioli and Bagel Crunchies”.


• Pastrami Chili and Cheese Fries $6
• Smoked Salmon Tartare, Everything Aioli, Bagel Crunchies $5
• Fiery Brisket Balls, Roasted Garlic Yogurt (3 for $5)
• Chopped Liver, Rye, Gribenes $5
• Mini Grilled Tongue Reuben $4
• Nick’s Mixed Nutz (crispy chickpeas, smoked almonds and ras el hanout dusted walnuts) $4


• Genesee Cream Ale $3
• Tsingtao $4
• Mama’s Little Yella Pils $4

Wines by the Glass

• CHARDONNAY, Di Lenardo, Friuli, Italy $6
• GAMAY, Domaine Dupueble, Beaujolais France $6
• GRENACHE/SYRAH, Dauvergne-Ranvier, Luberon Vin Gourmand, Rhone, France $6
• SPARKLING ROSE, Weingut Gruber, Austria, $6
• COLOMBARD, Montgravet, France, $6


• LE MARAIS –Sparkling Rose, St. Germain, Orange Juice, Peychaud’s Bitters $7
• MEYER LANSKY SOUR — Small’s Gin, Meyer Lemon Juice, Regan’s Orange Bitters $7
• THE MENSCH — Old Overholt Rye, Regan’s Orange Bitters, Blood Orange, Sugar $7
• PICKLE BACK — Jameson, DGS Pickle Brine & a Genesee Cream Ale $9
• THE CHOSEN HIGHBALL — Cuba Libre, Flor de Cana White Rum, Coke, Lime

Borderstan reviewed DGS back when it opened. Pastrami Chili and cheese fries? See you there!

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by February 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm 3 Comments


Aparna’s To-Do Dining List. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Now that we are in February, we can stop talking about New Year resolutions to eat better and exercise and all that good stuff, right? Let me be honest, what I *actually* also did this year is make a list of DC establishments that I absolutely must visit this year. By that, I don’t mean the new hot spots (and there are many!), but the DC institutions that I have not been to, the places that have history, the places that get people dreamy-eyed when they talk about them.

  • Tabard Inn: I know, I know, I might be the only food lover who has not been to the Tabard Inn for brunch. Don’t judge. This will soon change.
  • Komi: Impossible as it is to get a reservation, I will make it happen in 2013. I can’t usually justify high-end tasting menus, but I am really willing to make an exception for Komi. More so after eating at Little Serow, although the two are different in all possible ways.
  • Florida Avenue Grill: I am a bit embarrassed to admit this one. But seriously, I have been meaning to go to this no frills, legendary DC establishment for a while now. I have to go for the fact that it is as big a DC institution as it can get! Or at least for the cornbread and the hotcakes.
  • Restaurant Nora: Did you know that they were the nation’s first certified organic restaurant? Restaurant Nora was one of the earliest in the area to start on the organic, sustainable, local food movement and is known for their innovative food with high quality ingredients.
  • Pasta Mia: After all the Soup Nazi style stories I have heard about this place, I should probably be scared away. But hey, I am going for one thing and one thing only — the home-cooked Italian pasta that people rave about!
  • Lauriol Plaza: I am not sure about this one yet. I don’t drink margaritas, and I tend to stay away from loud, crowded, places. But I feel like everyone in the city has been here!

What do you think, any of these places on my list overrated? Any others I should add? Do you have any must-visits for yourself?

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by January 11, 2013 at 10:00 am 0


Enjoy Batala with the NSO at the 9:30 Club this Saturday. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Ever walked past the 9:30 Club at 10 am on a Saturday morning and heard the sound of 60-plus drums? That’s the drum corps I play with, Batala Washington, having our weekly practice session. You might have seen us otherwise at the Marine Corps marathon, at the AIDS rally with Wyclef Jean, at the annual Cherry Blossom festival or just playing a guerilla show at 14th and U Streets NW.

Most recently, Batala participated in three separate shows in New York and New Jersey as part of the 50th anniversary tour of The Rolling Stones. You read that right, The Rolling Stones. Yep, we were in the same show as Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen and The Black Keys!

Batala Washington is an all-women percussion band that empowers women through drumming & promotes Brazil’s dynamic music & culture. Currently, we have over 60 members from the greater DC area, playing Afro-Brazilian / Samba-Reggae rhythms as part of the international collective of Batala bands. Batala Washington was voted by City Paper as DC’s 2012 Best Local Band.

On Saturday, January 12, we will be joined by percussionists from the National Symphony Orchestra in a demonstration and workshop as part of NSO in Your Community. The FREE event, from 11 am to 1 pm at the 9:30 Club will be an interactive workshop with the audience. For you fellow musicians, you are welcome to bring your drums and play with us. If not, just bring yourself, your friends, your kids, and your participation and we will have some spare drums.

Come out and support the NSO, Batala Washington and the community as we fill the U Street Corridor with music! Or, just come out to have a good time!

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by January 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

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

After a long month of lots of drinking, eating amazing food and traveling with friends around the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, I am ready for some rest, recreation and home cooked meals. We are all probably still heavy in resolution making mode. One of my “resolutions” is to eat more home cooked meals this year, which will be good for my waistline and my wallet. This may be an obvious and boring resolution, but necessary.

On the menu today is a hearty breakfast casserole with sausage, kale, red peppers and cheese.  This makes for a great start to the day, and even warms up decently for a grab-and-go breakfast if refrigerated.

Easy Breezy Breakfast Casserole


Make Aparna’s Breakfast Casserole. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Ingredients (Makes about 8 servings)  

  • 4 links reduced-fat pre-cooked chicken-garlic sausage (or any sausage of your liking)
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • 4 cups (packed) sliced kale leaves
  • 2 red bell peppers – diced into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup green onions
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • Seasoning – salt, pepper, oregano


  1. Cut the sausage into half lengthwise, and then into 1″ chunks. Heat 1 tsp. of olive oil in a pan and cook sausage till well browned.
  2. Put cooked sausage into a greased casserole pan about 9″ X 12″.
  3. Sauté kale in the same pan for about 3 minutes until it wilts.
  4. Layer the kale over the sausage, and add in the red pepper and green onions.
  5. Beat eggs with seasoning spices are well combined. Pour eggs over mixture in pan, and then stir gently with a fork so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed in the eggs.
  6. Bake at 375F for 30-35 minutes, depending on how browned you want it.
  7. Egg casseroles makes for an ideal breakfast, brunch or even as a light dinner alongside a salad. It takes hardly any effort, you can serve a lot of people and you can use up almost any leftover vegetables!

What veggie/cheese/meat combo egg bake would you most like to eat?

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by December 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm 36,609 1 Comment


A recipe for 64-degree Celsius eggs. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

I like my eggs scrambled, poached, over-easy, as an omelet, with a runny yolk, boiled and every which way possible. You get it, I love eggs. But then, I see this thing called a 64-degree egg popping up on some menus. Or in some cases a 63-degree egg. Huh? Say what?

What is a 64-degree egg? A 64-degree egg is an egg slow cooked in the shell in a water bath of 64 degrees Celsius. (For those of you who don’t remember Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion, that’s approximately 147 degrees Fahrenheit).

What’s the big deal, you say? According to this experiment, cooking eggs at slightly different temperatures in a water bath makes a huge difference. A 64-degree egg has a custard-like white and somewhat solid yolk. With a 63-degree egg, the whites are a bit runnier although still custard-like and the egg yolks are gooey and rich, but fully cooked.

The 64-Degree Egg Recipe

  1. Place an egg in a 64 degree C water bath for 45 minutes.
  2. Monitor the temperature constantly – and adjust the water bath by adding hot water if the temperature drops, or scooping out water if it rises. Keeping the lid on helps conserve heat.
  3. Once the eggs are ready, crack the shell and remove it under a water bath to prevent stress to the delicate egg.
  4. Use a spoon to remove the egg
  5. Enjoy atop a sandwich, break it into a salad or pasta!

Disclaimer: If your thermometer is off by a few degrees, the perfect egg might be elusive.

If you want to read about the science behind the 64-degree egg, go on here. For you handy DIY types, build your own cooking apparatus. Does that seem like too much work? No problem! Head over to Drafting Table instead, where they will top anything on their menu with the perfect 64-degree egg.

To me, an egg is an egg, 63 degrees or 64 degrees. But maybe that’s just me. Does the 64 degree egg fascinate you?

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by November 12, 2012 at 8:00 am 2,039 2 Comments


Plenty of options in the neighborhood. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

You have probably gathered by now that I have pretty much no food restrictions. Pig blood ice cream? Heck yeah! So when a vegan friend announced that she would be in town, I was stumped.  Where would we eat? Well, Borderstanis, no need to panic. Plenty of great restaurants in the area have vegan options, so even if you and your dining buddies have divergent food preferences, you can still eat out together and have a delicious meal.

  1. Eatonville– One of my favorite restaurants in the area, they offer a number of vegan entrees and sides that really fit into their menu, including a vegan gumbo, vegan fried chicken, pan-seared tofu and various sides.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they have a great cocktail list as well.
  2. Commissary – This casual Logan Circle lounge offers clearly marked vegan items on their menu. The house-made quinoa and veggie burger is popular, and my friend loved the side of Brussels Sprouts.
  3. Ghana Café – This 14th Street restaurant offers a separate vegan section on their menu, with items such as Ghanain stew and fried plantains.
  4. Mandu– This Dupont circle Korean restaurant features flavorful vegan items on the menu.  I have been told they have several staff members who are vegan, and get their feedback with adding vegan menu items. Steamed or fried vegetable dumplings followed by a tofu bibimbap are sure to satisfy.
  5. Science Club (1136 19th Street NW) – This all vegetarian restaurant and lounge near Dupont Circle has delicious options and a great weekday happy hour to go with it. Their homemade vegan burger is a crowd favorite and the mushroom stuffed with quinoa is a delicious and hearty dish.
  6. Smoke and Barrel (2741 18th Street NW) – Vegan BBQ? May seem like an oxymoron, but Smoke & Barrel offers vegan BBQ tofu, vegan wings and a number of vegan sides. Vegan BBQ is popular enough for them to have a vegan brunch on weekends! Their smoked BBQ tofu sandwich and sweet potato and oat burger are definitively favorites.
  7. Rogue 24 (922 N Street NW) – An upscale culinary experience featuring a progression of either 16 or 24 small courses at each meal can be had vegan style with a week’s notice. And you can watch the amazing artistry of the chefs in the open kitchen, as a bonus!
  8.  Pizzeria Paradiso – At this upscale pizza parlor, you can substitute vegan cheese on any pizza offered and add veggies, making vegan life simple and delicious.  Or you can get one with pancetta, prosciutto and salami. Whatever you get, wash it down with one the many beers on tap.
  9. Casa Oaxaca– This modern Mexican restaurant in the heart of Adams Morgan offers a separate vegan menu with over 10 vegan items such as vegan Chile Rellenos and tricolor quesadillas. They even have a vegan version of Tres Leches , made with coconut milk! Vegan or not, you will not be disappointed with Casa Oaxaca.
  10. Duccini’s pizza Pizzeria with vegan cheese options for their pizzas. For those nights of debauchery, Duccini’s also serves DC’s only vegan Jumbo slice available Saturday nights starting at 10 pm. Need more to soak up all that indulgence – go for the vegan cheese fries!

Other neighborhood places include Dukem (Ethiopian – lentils and veggie dishes along with injera, which is a fermented Ethiopian pancake), the ever popular Busboys and Poets (legendary coconut tofu bites) and Twins Jazz which also has an Ethiopian platter and all vegan sides. Oh, and last but definitely not the least – Estadio has a separate vegan menu as well!

Whether you want a fancy meal or just a casual dinner, it is sure that dining out as or with a vegan is easy! Do you have any favorites? Tell us in the comments!

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by October 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,655 0


Eight late-night places with a bit more class. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

DC isn’t exactly a night owl of a city, but just because it’s way past Happy hour, it does not mean there isn’t a great meal to be had. Last week, we listed the area’s cheap eats to sop up those nights of debauchery. Here we run down the best of Borderstan’s (somewhat) classier late night nibbling.

  1. El Centro D.F. – After chilling on the roof deck, come on down to the main floor for their late night menu, available from 11 pm to 2 am on weekends. They offer tacos, quesadillas and tortas. I especially like their Pork Carnitas torta. Head on down to the tequileria afterward for some dancing. Don’t let the lines outside fool you. Let the bouncer know you are going in to eat, and you can get right in.
  2. Bistro du Coin – Steak frites and mussels craving at midnight? Bistro du Coin has you covered.  This Dupont Circle restaurant serves up French bistro fare and is open till 1 am Thursdays through Saturday, midnight on other days.
  3. Mandu – Mandu’s late night bar menu, offered between 11 pm and 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays, includes kimchi quesadillas, pan fried dumplings and bulgogi tacos. This lively restaurant is sure to satisfy your late night cravings.
  4. Bistro La Bonne – If you are staying out late on U Street, Bistro La Bonne is open till 2 am with a special late night menu offered after midnight Thursday through Saturday. Good French food in a casual atmosphere at reasonable prices is what you will get here.
  5. Satellite Room – This new Hilton brothers spot by the 9:30 Club opens every evening at 5pm, but the kitchen stays open until last call every night. So if you are craving a patty melt or Huevos Rancheros after a show, the Satellite Room is waiting. Oh, and you can have a boozy milkshake to go alongside.
  6. The Passenger – When one of the area’s finest drinking establishments serves up a kimchi hot dog and Truffle Mac n Cheese till 2am on weekends, there is no reason not to join the late night cult following that this place has.
  7. Oohs and Aahs – Fried chicken, collard greens and other Soul food staples are dished out at this U street spot way past midnight. On Fridays and Saturdays between midnight and 4am, you can even get a waffle to go with that fried chicken. A perfect ending to an evening out on U Street.
  8. Black and Orange – At this 14th Street stop, you don’t have to settle when it comes to a late night burger. This place is open till 5 am on weekends, which is awesome. The “No Jerk, No Cry” burger with Jamaican seasonings and spice is a crowd favorite.

Where do you go for a post-drink meal that is not a diner or a Jumbo slice? Tell us in the comments.

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