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by Tim Regan September 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Riggsby happy hour, photo via facebook.com/TheRiggsbyThe Riggsby has expanded its menu once again.

The restaurant, located in the Carlyle Hotel at 1731 New Hampshire Avenue NW, today announced it had launched a cocktail party-themed happy hour and Sunday brunch menu.

The new happy hour menu includes 11 hors d’oeuvres such as marinated olives and almonds, avocado and crab toast and spicy shrimp rolls. The new menu also includes a new drink menu with $6 martinis, Manhattans and gimlets alongside $4 local draft beers.

During brunch, guests can nosh on avocado toast with Maryland crab meat, jalapeno and pickled red onion, “morning after” sandwiches with eggs, prosciutto cotto and pecorino and chorizo breakfast burritos. The new brunch service also includes specialty cocktails such as mimosas and two different bloody mary drinks.

Happy hour is available Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and brunch is served on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Image via Facebook.com/TheRiggsby

by Jared Holt June 4, 2015 at 4:15 pm 0

Ankara

Newly opened Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant Ankara, located just south of Dupont Circle, will start serving weekend bottomless brunch beginning Saturday, June 13.

For $37, patrons can order endlessly from a menu filled with hummus, omelets, flatbreads, and baklava.

The price also includes unlimited tea, Bloody Marys, Mimosas or cranberry juice cocktails with vodka or gin. Coffee, soft drinks and other beverages cost extra.

Photo courtesy of Ankara

by Borderstan.com May 21, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

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

"Books"

What will you read? Tenth of December by George Sounders. (Courtesy Ramdom House)

There’s a trend happening in young professional social circles across the country. 20-something professionals are coming together and forming clubs with the purpose of reading books. Yes – you read that correctly.

After leaving four plus years of higher learning, my fellow young professionals are deciding that this reading business which Kunta Kinte LeVar Burton talked about so much is actually fun. Plus if Oprah does it, it must be cool (that woman is timeless).

But a book club doesn’t just run itself. You must cultivate it. But how? Here are some guiding principles to keep up with the trend and start your own book club.

The More, the Merrier

Has Oprah ever disallowed someone to join her book club? Of course not! She’s way too classy for that kind of shenanigan. There are three values to take away from kindergarten: share with others, reading is cool, and don’t kill the class hamster (whoops) – and having an exclusive book club breaks two of those rules.

It’s a Book Club, Not a Book Tyranny

You may have started the club, but you certainly don’t get to pick all the books. Choosing books that everyone will enjoy, or at least appreciate, is fundamental to book club success. Take turns choosing or vote during get-togethers. And whatever you do, don’t start with The Casual Vacancy (I learned that one the hard way).

Keep it Boozy and Delicious

Whether its wine and cheese or mimosas and brunch, no one wants to talk about a book in their free time without some serious refreshments. Maybe you can rotate book club locations at people’s homes and make it potluck, or follow along with Bitches who Brunch with a standing brunch book club. Or find a nice outdoor patio for book club happy hour. Just keep the drinks and noshes coming.

Pick a Set Date

Gosh it sucks trying to find free time amongst a whole group of professionals. You can Doodle the heck out of your calendars, but you’ll never have any success unless you just pick a standing date (like the first Sunday of every month). You may have to go on without someone every once in a while, but at least it will work!

Have Fun With It

You may have been an English major, but this isn’t your dissertation. Don’t get upset if someone didn’t like your pick or if they didn’t see the same symbolism that you did in Gone Girl. If you take it too seriously, your book club may just go rogue and pull a Gone Girl on you.

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by Borderstan.com May 9, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

"Brunch"

Give your mother some fun this Mother’s Day. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Sarah Griswold. Email her at sarahg[AT]borderstan.com

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, many of us need to start getting our celebratory plans in order. As we all know, holidays can be hectic when left to the last minute and you don’t want to look like you don’t have it together in front of mom.

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered fellow Borderstanis! I’ve got some of my personal favorite brunch spots as well as some more unique options and all with room for mom’s favorite breakfast cocktail — virgin or spiked of course.

  • First up: Locolat CafeFrom 9 am to 3 pm, Locolat (1781 Florida Avenue NW) is offering buy 2 get 2 mimosas FREE, plus a special Mother’s Day waffle with shrimp and free chocolate all for $19. And trust me, the chocolates here are ah-mazing. You’re likely leaving with more than just one. Phone: 202-518-2570.
  • Right around the corner at L’Enfant CafeHere they are giving your mother her first mimosa for FREE. Also, they just launched a brand new brunch menu that looks pretty délicieux! Brunch is served from 10 am to 3:30 pm. Phone: 202-319-1800.

Now on to something a little different.

  • The Mansion on O StreetThe museum collection rotates and changes daily, and includes art, musical and even written manuscripts for mom to browse. On Mother’s Day they are offering champagne brunch at $85 per person, international and regional foods with award winning desserts from 11 am to 4 pm. Your mom may choose to follow up brunch with afternoon tea at $45 per person from 3 to 5 pm. Phone: 202-496-2000.
  • The Greenhouse at the Jefferson Hotel (1200 16th Street, NW). Starting at 7 am, running to 2 pm, the The Greenhouse is serving up a delectable four course brunch experience at $80 per person. Afternoon tea may also follow this brunch from 2 to 3 pm for $39 per person. Phone: 202-448-2300.
  • Masa 14If you are looking to keep mom’s mimosa full, Masa 14 offers a $35 per person unlimited prix fixe brunch with menu items ranging from breakfast pizza to chilaquiles to salted caramel and chocolate flan. Brunch is served 10 am to 3 pm. Phone: 202-328-1414.

Whatever your plans for Mother’s Day, here’s wishing you, and your mom a very special day together! Cheers!

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by Borderstan.com April 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

The best places in Borderstan to brunch. (HarrisQ from the Borderstan flickr pool)

The best places in Borderstan to brunch. (HarrisQ from the Borderstan flickr pool)

A few years ago, we polled our contributors to find out where they loved to spend a leisurely Saturday or Sunday morning brunching with friends.

Since then, several more restaurants have joined the neighborhood, so we thought it was time to update the Borderstan Brunch List. Of course there are other great places to brunch in the neighborhood — tell us your favorites!

Oldies, but Goodies 

  • Cafe Saint-Ex, 1847 14th Street NW. On the menu: Fried Green Tomato and Ham Benedict.
  • Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, 1517 Connecticut Avenue NW. On the menu: Filet ‘Oscar’ & Eggs Benedict, Berry Berry Berry Pancakes.
  • Bar Pilar, 1833 14th Street NW. On the menu:  Bulls-Eye Toast.
  • Commissary, 1443 P Street NW. On the menu: Potato Pancakes w/ Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Sour Cream & Toast.
  • Darlington House, 1610 20th Street NW. On the menu: Red Flannel Hash.
  • Scion, 2100 P Street NW. On the menu: Bottomless Beermosa. Need we say more?
  • Florida Avenue Grill, 1100 Florida Avenue NW. On the menu: World Famous Hot Cakes.

Newish Spots 

  • Maddy’s Taproom, 1100 13th Street NW. On the menu: Huevos Rancheros with Refried Beans.
  • Drafting Table, 1529 14th Street NW. On the menu: Sexy Egg Sandwich.
  • Matchbox, 1901 14th Street NW. On the menu: Bloody Mary Burger.
  • The Pig, 1320 14th Street NW. On the menu: Gruyère & Smoked Ham Waffle.
  • DGS Delicatessen, 1317 Connecticut Avenue, NW. On the menu: DGS Pastrami Hash.
  • Brixton, 901 U Street NW. On the menu: Indian Papaya Curry

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by Borderstan.com March 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]borderstan.com.

"Masterpiece"

Raiquel Brown (front center) at Merlot’s Masterpiece. (Courtesy of Merlot’s Masterpiece)

Since opening in June of 2012, Merlot’s Masterpiece has grown from just three paint and sip classes per week to hosting a wide range of adult and kids classes, as well as private events, seven days a week.

According to owner Raiquel Brown, the most popular classes remain the paint and sip classes during which students recreate a classic work by Van Gogh or Monet.

At Merlot’s Masterpiece, students can buy a ticket that includes the cost of wine, or choose a different ticket option and bring their own bottles to enjoy during class.

Classes that go beyond the standard “paint and sip” model, including animal portrait, sketching and jewelry making classes have been successful, as well. Merlot’s Masterpiece also has “Jr. Picasso” camps and classes for kids and families.

This spring, new programs will include self-portrait painting classes and “an interactive art and brunch experience.”

Additionally, the studio hosts private and corporate events, from kids’ birthday parties to team building experiences to bridal showers.

This was Brown’s first attempt at starting a brick and mortar business, and the initial hurdle of getting up and running proved to be the hardest part. “The biggest challenge,” she says “was getting established as a retail business in DC. I’ve run online businesses but a brick and mortar location was a new experience for me. I learned a lot during the process, from getting a liquor license to getting the proper certifications to operate a storefront. ”

Although opening a brick and mortar was challenging, Merlot’s Masterpiece’s location, close to the U-Street Metro, has played a role in the business’s viability. “I have felt very welcome by the small businesses from the very beginning,” she says. “The neighbors and small businesses are very supportive. The small businesses all want each other to succeed and are always willing to help out.”

Brown says that U Street’s reputation as a “hip and trendy, artistic and cultural center of DC” make it a “great fit” for her concept.

Nine months after opening Merlot’s Masterpiece, Brown’s efforts are paying off — for her and her clients. “The most rewarding part is seeing people come in with no painting experience create an amazing work of art… When people come in after a long and stressful day and can unwind and enjoy a relaxing painting experience, we know we’ve done our job.

Details

  • What: Merlot’s Masterpiece.
  • Where: 1512 U Street NW.
  • When: Follow the link to view the full schedule of classes at Merlot’s Masterpiece. Check for additional listings, like brunch classes, later this spring.

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by Borderstan.com February 26, 2013 at 10:00 am 9 Comments

"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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by Borderstan.com November 21, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,159 0

"quiche"

Roasted Sweet Potato, Caramelized Onion,and Blue Cheese Quiche. (Ashley Lusk)

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

This year, my father’s relatives decided that instead of facing the double food coma that accompanies two family dinners, we would hold a Thanksgiving breakfast.

This new tradition presented a perplexing challenge, however, for, once again, the matriarchs of our family will own the bacon, eggs and hash, leaving this city girl to deliver the exotic goods.

This weekend I road-tested this Roasted Sweet Potato Quiche and found it to be a worthy addition to our family brunch. There is a little time involved with the initial preparation, but once the quiche goes into the oven you can sit back and watch your cousins attempt to sneak mimosas.

Roasted Sweet Potato, Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Quiche

Adapted from Naturally Ella

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook time: 55 minutes
  • Serves: This recipe serves 81-10 people or 5 hungry adults.

Ingredients

  • 1 deep-dish pie crust
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 large onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½-1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 2½ cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • pinch nutmeg

Instructions

  1. You could make your own crust if you’ve got the time, but Sandra Dee made this quiche by using a pre-made deep-dish piecrust.  Remove the crust from the package and gently poke the entire crust with a fork (this will keep your crust from bubbling). Parbake the crust for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees, just until the crust gets a little brown color. Remove from oven and set aside on a baking tray.
  2. To caramelize onions, slice onions into an even ¼ inch slice and heat a medium pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat. Start cooking onions, stirring occasionally. After onions have cooked for 15-20 minutes, add salt. Continue to let cook, letting more time go by before you stir the onions (I go for about 10-15 minute increments.) Continue to cook and stir onions until golden, soft, and cooked down- usually 60-75 minutes. Set aside.
  3. To prepare sweet potatoes, peel and cut into ¼ inch slices. Toss with one tablespoon of olive oil and place on a covered baking tray. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and begin to brown. The crust, onions, and sweet potatoes can be done all at the same time.
  4. Reduce or preheat oven to 375˚.
  5. Once these three elements are ready, layer the sweet potatoes in the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle caramelized onions and blue cheese on top. Finally, whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg together. Pour over filling ingredients.
    Note: At this point you can cover the quiche, place in the refrigerator, and let sit for up to day before baking. My crust was soggy the next day, but still baked a beautiful golden brown.
  6. To bake, carefully transfer quiche to the oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the filling domes up and barely jiggles. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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by Borderstan.com October 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2 Comments

"breakfast"

Breakfast all around Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, it’s also the best meal of the day. Think about it — breakfast is so good that it’s sometimes served twice a day (breakfast for dinner, anyone?) or, if you’re lucky, all day.

To celebrate the gloriousness that is breakfast, the Washingtonian recently dedicated an entire issue to the meal worth waking up for. And guess what, Borderstan? Several of the best breakfast (and brunch) spots are right in your backyard.

If you don’t have this month’s issue, don’t worry. We’ve done the work for you. Here’s the run-down on where to find breakfast favorites in the neighborhood:

  • Florida Avenue Grill (1100 Florida Avenue NW): Good for all of your breakfast staples, such as fried eggs, buttermilk biscuits and hot cakes.
  • Busboys and Poets (2021 14th Street NW): This beloved 14th Street restaurant and bookstore serves breakfast daily, as well as brunch on the weekends. On the menu you’ll find bagels and lox, omelets and egg wraps.
  • The Diner (2453 18th Street NW): While technically in Adams Morgan, The Diner is too good to be left off the list. It’s open 24 hours and, wait for it, serves breakfast all day (and night).
  • Peregrine Espresso (1718 14th Street NW): The espresso is sure to wake you up and get you going.
  • Filter (1726 20th Street NW): Try the “pour over” coffee. And make sure you watch how it is made.
  • Birch & Barley (1337 14th Street NW): This Logan Circle favorite landed a profile in the Washingtonian for its pastries and breads. Fresh, fried donuts? Yes, please.
  • Estadio (1520 14th Street NW): Think tapas, but brunch style with a variety of sausages, eggs and breads.
  • Bar Pilar (1833 14th Street NW): Washingtonian writers were blown away with Bar Pilar’s bulls-eye toast, which includes “fat slices of ‘Texas Toast’ with a poached egg in the hollowed-out middle.”
  • Bistrot du Coin (1738 Connecticut Avenue NW): If we’re supposed to eat like the French, then I am all in! Bistrot du Coin has a brunch menu overflowing with eggs and omelets.
  • Eatonville (2121 14th Street NW): Southern style food at its finest with specials like biscuits, steak and eggs and eggs and hash.
  • Howard Theatre (620 T Street): Breakfast and a show? You heard that right. Each week, the Harlem Gospel Choir entertains an audience that also dines on brunch favorites.
  • Bistro Bohem (600 Florida Avenue NW): Serving Czech favorites (a Bavarian Bratwurst and Potato Frittata) to the Shaw neighborhood.
  • Cork Wine Bar (1720 14th Street NW): This wine hot spot now serves up a brunch that caught the eye of the Washingtonian with its mimosa flight.

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