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by Jared Holt — July 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm 227 0

Sauf Haus

A German beer hall near Dupont Circle will celebrate its one-year anniversary next weekend with giveaways, live music and cheap brews.

Sauf Haus Beir Hall (1216 18th St NW) will open its doors at 12 p.m. next Saturday to celebrate the occasion.

Five bands will perform and bartenders will pour Schofferhofer Grapefruit Radler and Radeberger Pilsner for $1 until the taps run dry. Customers will also be able to enter to win prizes.

The owners of Sauf Haus are donating a percentage of the day’s proceeds to The Yellow Ribbon Fund, which assists injured military service members.

Image via Facebook.com/SaufHausDC

by Tim Regan — July 10, 2015 at 3:30 pm 208 0

The Riggsby, photo via Facebook.com/TheRiggsbyA James Beard Award-winner will soon open a new American restaurant in Dupont.

Chef Michael Schlow’s newest eatery, The Riggsby, is set to open in the newly remodeled Carlyle Hotel at 1731 New Hampshire Avenue NW next Monday.

The restaurant seats 75 people and serves steaks, seafood and “bar snacks,” such as house-made potato chips and green onion dip.

The restaurant also has a lounge area that seats 40, where patrons can order contemporary cocktails and drinks meant to invoke bygone eras alike.

Facebook.com/TheRiggsby

by Jared Holt — July 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm 585 0

The tables at Olivia’s Diner (1120 19th Street NW) are already set for tomorrow’s 11 a.m. soft opening.

A preliminary peek inside the restaurant’s dining room reveals dark wooden tables and a long marble bar. The space also features cocktail seating at the front of the restaurant and a large seating area in the back.

But don’t be fooled by the restaurant’s upscale appearance; as we reported last month, the eatery will serve fried comfort food such as wings, chicken-fried steak and burgers.

“We didn’t want a traditional diner atmosphere, but we did want traditional American food,” part-owner Thomas Marr said.

Marr owns the restaurant with his business partner and childhood friend Tri Nguyen. Both also co-own Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza.

Olivia’s will serve customers from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

But Marr says the goal is to go 24 hours eventually, as long as there’s interest.

by Tim Regan — June 29, 2015 at 11:00 am 154 0

Congratulations to Chef Seng of @thipkhaodc, winner of the annual #AIWF crabcake contest.

A photo posted by Fritz Hahn (@fritzhahn) on

A Columbia Heights restaurant took home a big honor yesterday.

Thip Kao, a Laotian restaurant located at 3462 14th Street NW, won highest honors at yesterday’s American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) 10th Annual Crab Cake Competition.

Along with the bragging rights, Thip Kao will receive funds to support a culinary intern in its kitchen.

Thip Kao’s Chef Seng Luangrath’s crab cake was chosen over entries from the likes of Chef Spike Mendelsohn from Bernaise, Chef Joe Palma of Bourbon Steak and other award-winning chefs.

The crab cake competition is a yearly contest aimed at raising money for culinary internships, scholarships and educational programs in D.C. Each year, the contest pits eight local chefs against one another in a showdown to create the perfect crab cake with Maryland blue crab.

by Tim Regan — June 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm 0

Meridian Pint 5 Year PartyIt can be hard to get a craft beer for $5 around here, but that changes at Meridian Pint’s 5-year anniversary celebration next Wednesday.

The Columbia Heights bar,  known for its selection of craft beers and located at 3400 11th Street NW, will pour 24 different drafts for just five dollars per glass starting at 4 p.m.

The bar will also serve food from a special $5-per-item menu that was “created from guest favorites.”

by Tim Regan — June 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm 159 0

Pop's snow conesPopular Adams Morgan hangout Pop’s Sea Bar (1817 Columbia Road NW) will begin serving alcoholic snow cones on July 1.

For $7, patrons can order a color-coded cone in three boozy flavors: Baltimore Lemon Stick, Strawberry and Bing Cherry.

Non-alcoholic versions of the flavors will also be sold for $3.

Between July 1 and 7, $1 from each snow cone sold will be donated to Brainfood, a local nonprofit dedicated to teaching youths food production skills.

Photo via Facebook.com/PopsSeaBar

by Tim Regan — June 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm 0

drink composite

P Street hangouts and EatWellDC restaurants Commissary and Logan Tavern will each sell a Pride-themed cocktail this weekend.

Commissary’s Shut Up and Dance cocktail, a blend of pineapple-infused vodka, sage, mint, ginger, and lime will be sold all weekend for $8. Seven-drink pitchers of the cocktail will also be available for $48.

Logan Tavern will be serving a drink called the Stonewall Strawberry, an amalgam of strawberry infused vodka, mint, simple syrup, St. Germaine and soda. That cocktail will only be available on Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Both Logan Tavern and Commissary are located along this year’s Pride Parade route.

Photos courtesy of Zest PR

by Tim Regan — June 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm 0

D.C. Passport promo photo

D.C. residents can now double-fist drinks for half price at 42 bars across town.

The Passport Program is a national two-for-one drink special program available at bars such as Masa 14, Roofers Union, and Hank’s Oyster Bar.

Here’s how it works: For $20, you get a pocket-sized booklet that lists 42 local bars. Bring that booklet to any one of those bars for a two-for-one drink special. Though the deal can only be used once per bar, the booklet is valid until Sept. 7.

Check out a map of all 42 D.C. locations:

by Borderstan.com — June 28, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

"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 décor 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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by Borderstan.com — June 26, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

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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by Borderstan.com — June 26, 2013 at 8:00 am 0

"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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by Borderstan.com — June 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

"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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by Borderstan.com — June 25, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

"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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by Borderstan.com — June 24, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

"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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by Borderstan.com — June 20, 2013 at 10:30 am 0

"Bourbon"

Come out and enjoy the Bourbon Bash this Saturday. (Luis Gomez Photos)

If you enjoyed The Whiskey Walk and the Margarita March you should be a part of the first annual Bourbon Bash. It will happening this Saturday June 22. So get ready to enjoy the popular Kentucky spirit as it will be found at eight local bars. A portion of ticket sales will benefit Lead The Way Fund, a non-profit organization that supports active duty, disabled and deceased U.S. Army Rangers and their families.

Tickets are $55 a person and can be bought online. Participating in this event are local favorites Board Room, Buffallo Billiards, Front Page, Maddy’s Bar & Grille, James Hoban’s, MadHatter and Science Club.

The Bourbon Bash gets participants into a Kentucky spirit with a bluegrass band and specials on beers, food pairings and the featured bourbons; the bourbon tasting notes can be found here. The crowd will begin their day by checking in from noon to 3 pm at James Hoban’s or Buffalo Billiards, and then proceed in whatever order they choose during this unique all-day tasting tour. The guests can enjoy their bourbons neat, on the rocks or with a soda mixer.

Participants are also entitled to special prices on (a) the bourbon each bar is featuring, (b) a beer pairing at $3 to $4, and (c) a food pairing at $4 to $7 hand-selected by each venue’s executive chef.

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