by Borderstan.com June 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm 0

"weekend"

Your weekend in Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Booze with the pros, a fro-yo-themed scavenger hunt, painting with your pet, and a vinyl extravaganza…consider your weekend sorted.

Friday, June 28

  • Chances are you were unaware that Suburbia has begun to dole out delicious frozen drinks, Tecate tallboys and more from an old-fashioned Airstream trailer parked right outside Union Market (1309 Fifth Street NE). Swing by The Washington Post’s Going Out Guide happy hour there tonight from 5 to 9 pm for discounted beverages and a quality hang.
  • Speak softly and carry a big drink at the gorgeous new Dupont restaurant Teddy & the Bully Bar (1200 19th Street NW), brought to you by the minds behind the popular downtown joint Lincoln. Did I mention they have a bar menu that includes a gin Rickey on tap?

Saturday, June 29

  • The feeling you get from giving back should be enough to motivate you, but it doesn’t hurt when it comes with the promise of free ice cream, either. Head to the The Farm at Walker Jones (131 L Street NW) at 1 pm to work in the community garden, then sample free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from 4 to 6 pm at the community party immediately following. Just make sure to register in advance to save your spot.
  • Booze and frozen yogurt only taste better when you have to work for them, which is why Mr. Yogato’s (1515 17th Street NW) 5th birthday scavenger hunt is so intriguing. Registration for the hunt, which will be at locations around Dupont, starts at 6:30 pm, with drink specials at area bars afterwards.

Sunday, June 30

  • Follow in the footsteps of George W. Bush (hear me out) and paint a portrait of your dog today at the ArtJamz (1728 Connecticut Avenue NW) “Paint Your Pooch” event from noon to 2 pm. A $35 ticket gets you two hours of instruction, painting supplies, and a glass of wine, beer or tea. Best of all, furry friends are welcome.
  • Get your hands on a copy of this (or, you know, something else) today at the DC Record Fair – Summer Edition at Penn Social (801 E Street NW). Early bird admission between 11 am and noon is $5, and regular admission between noon and 5 pm is $2.

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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 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

"weekend"

A Borderstan Weekend. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Well, we made it another week is ending and we are ready to take upon the weekend.

Friday, June 21

  • Will today be the best day of your life? Possibly, if you’re able to plant yourself at The Standard (1801 14th Street NW) early enough to partake in free beer courtesy of Thrillist. They’ll be footing the bill tonight as part of their “Greatest Day of Your Life” promotion.
  • Bike around under the full moon then eat some (free!) ice cream at the BicycleSPACE Summer Solstice Firefly Ride and Ice Cream Social, which kicks off at 8 pm at the shop (1019 7th Street NW). Be sure to RSVP in advance so they know how much delicious ice cream to buy.
  • Dress up in your best Stefon costume and go check out Seth Meyers (of SNL Weekend Update fame) live tonight at the Warner Theater (513 13th Street NW) at 8 pm. Tickets are $35.

Saturday, June 22

  • Here’s yet another reason to day-drink today: ticket sales from today’s DC Bourbon Bash bar crawl will benefit the Lead the Way Fund, an organization that supports Army Rangers, veterans and their families. Tickets are $55, which will get you eight bourbon pours at bars in Dupont, check-in is at 12 pm at either James Hoban’s (1 Dupont Circle NW) or Buffalo Billiards(1330 19th Stree NW).
  • Get your square-dance on (no, seriously) at The Great American Square Dance Revival tonight from 8:30 to 11:30 pm at St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church (1525 Newton Street NW). Tickets are $5 at the door and you’re encouraged to bring your own drinks and snacks.

Sunday, June 23

  • It’s going to be a beautiful day today (probably… I’m writing this on a Thursday, so, you know, meteorological predictions and all that) which means it’s patio time. Check out Borderstan’s own guide to patios in the neighborhood, and the always-solid Bitches Who Brunch ratings of patio brunches to steer you in the right direction.
  • Be one of the first to check out The Sunshine District (2010 9th Street NW), a brand new live music/food/booze venue soft-opening on Saturday near the 9:30 Club.

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by Borderstan.com June 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

"weekend"

Your weekend in Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Friday, June 14:

  • If you haven’t seen Rear Window, you need to seriously re-think your life choices. Luckily, The Heurich House Museum (1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW) is holding free movie screenings in their courtyard on select Fridays this summer, and the Hitchcock classic is on this week’s roster. Gates open at 8 pm.
  • The folks at Brightest Young Things are throwing an after-hours bash at the National Geographic Society (1600 M St. NW) from 8 pm – 1 am. A $25 ticket will net you entry to exhibits, samples of punches from around the world, magic shows and more. It’ll be just like Night at the Museum, except, mercifully, with less Ben Stiller.

Saturday, June 15:

  • Grab a gin and tonic (on tap!) and ogle the cured meats at Mockingbird Hill (1843 7th St. NW), the homey new bar in Shaw from The Passenger’s Derek Brown.
  • Catch dance-y, new-wave rocker Twin Shadow at the Black Cat (1811 14th St. NW) tonight or you’re gonna regret it. Tickets are $20 and doors are at 9 pm.

Sunday, June 16:

  • There is a myriad of Father’s Day brunch options out there, but perhaps none more enticing than Italian stalwart Dino (3435 Connecticut Ave. NW) meat-tacular special menu, which features sirloin and eggs, along with their normal repertoire of eggs “san benedetto” (their twist on the classic benedict) and Nutella stuffed french toast.
  • Generally speaking, dads love competitive sporting events that will allow them claim they let you win when they inevitably lose. Ergo, mini-golf is the perfect Father’s Day activity. The National Building Museum’s (401 F St. NW) course is open today from 11 am – 5 pm, and it’s only $3 to play when you purchase museum admission (and $5 without), but ticket sales end at 3 pm, so get there early.
  • Or, if your dad is more of the strong and silent type, take him to see Superman in IMAX, then treat him to a beer or two (seriously, it’s the least you can do).

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by Borderstan.com June 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

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

This week we get high on pie from the Dangerously Delicious pie truck.

Food Selection

The menu at Dangerously Delicious’ brick-and-mortar restaurants boasts dozens of sweet and savory pies and quiches, ranging from the classic apple and chicken pot varieties to zanier selections like pancake batter and tofu curry. The truck features a selection of about six to seven sweet and savory options daily, as well as two quiches (here’s a screenshot of the menu on the day I went).

Because they are indeed so delicious, I would advise you to stalk the truck on Twitter and hightail it outside as soon as they park so you can be sure to get your pick of that day’s offerings… sadly, almost two-thirds of the savory pies and both quiches were already sold out by the time I got to the truck around 12:45 pm.

Price range: Sweet pies are $6.50, quiche is $7, and savory pies are $7.50. A side salad is also included with all savory pies and quiches.

The Verdict!

  • Wait time: 5/5. I was still signing my receipt when the guy handed me my pies, so wait time was pretty non-existent.
  • Service: 5/5. A kindly man with awesome tattoos was on duty the day that I went, and was more than happy to explain the various pie acronyms to me. He also didn’t seem to mind that I called the S.M.O.G. pie “smog” pie, which I’m pretty sure is gross and not correct.
  • Bang for your buck: 5/5. Considering you basically need to sell your firstborn child to afford a salad or sandwich in DC, spending $7.50 for a monster slice of pie with copious amounts of filling – AND a salad – is pretty good. The $6 slices of sweet pie are also large enough to share if you’re so inclined.

    (Katie Andriulli)

    (Katie Andriulli)

  • Deliciousness: 5/5. As mentioned above, there were limited options left by the time I arrived, but luckily they still had the savory S.M.O.G (steak, mushroom, onion and Gruyere cheese) and the sweet Baltimore Bomb on board, which is what I opted for. Being a relative newcomer to the world of savory pies, I was slightly concerned that it would look like this horror show from the nursery rhyme, but when I opened up my box o’ pie I was pleasantly surprised to find this:

Let’s get a close-up on the filling…

    • (Katie Andriulli)

      (Katie Andriulli)

      Heck. Yes. The crust was perfectly flaky, and the steak was tender, blending seamlessly with the onions, mushrooms, Gruyere and just enough cream to add a touch of richness without weighing down the other ingredients.

      Once I plowed through my S.M.O.G. I turned my sights to the Baltimore Bomb, their signature vanilla chess pie topped with Berger Cookies (a chocolate-topped shortbread):

      Baltimore-Bomb_Borderstan

      (Katie Andriulli)

      The cookies not only melt into the filling itself they also caramelize on top of the pie, adding a lovely crispy texture to each bite. Because I am a generous individual (and because I like to have leverage with my co-workers) I cut the pie up into pieces and shared it with them.

      Everyone was either rendered speechless by how awesome it was, or used creative expletives to describe their pie-induced bliss. There was a major debate about whether or not the pie should be heated up, prompting me to pop it in the microwave for comparison purposes. The pie filling held up better in the cold version, IMHO, but it tasted delicious warm too, so, ya know, do what you want (YOLO).

      The only issue I found was that the salad became a bit warm whilst trapped inside the container with the hot pie rendering it a bit wilted and unappetizing by the time I turned my attention to it. Honestly, though, it was nice to have it there since it made me feel slightly less like a fat kid and more like someone eating a balanced lunch.

    • Overall: 4.5/5. If you think all pies should be sweet by definition, you need to seriously re-think your life choices…and track down Dangerously Delicious ASAP.

Follow Dangerously Delicious on Twitter @ThePieTruckDC and check out their website for their full menu.

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by Borderstan.com June 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

"weekend"

Your weekend in Borderstan . (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Superheroes, spandex, and speakeasies – sounds like a nice little weekend to me.

Friday, June 7

  • There are literally a bajillion things going on this weekend around town in honor of the annual Capital Pride celebration, so be sure to check their website for the full list of events. Here are two good ones to help you get things started:
  • Night Out for Trevor, a fundraiser for The Trevor Project at the Palomar Hotel (2121 P Street NW) is being held tonight at 7 pm. Tickets are $75 in advance and $85 at the door, and include an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and more.
  • The SPANDEX superhero party sponsored by BYT is being thrown in the old Wonder Bread Factory (which is apparently a thing that exists at 641 S Street NW), and features a very special performance by Sharon Needles. The party starts at 9 pm, and tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door.

Saturday, June 8

  • If you’re looking for a no-duh, always fun thing to do this afternoon, be sure to check out the Capital Pride Parade (with grand marshal Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter), which starts at 4:30 pm at 22nd & P Streets NW, and then travels through Dupont and up 14th Street NW, from P to R streets.
  • Nucky Thompson would approve of the Shaw Main Streets Roaring 20’s Bar Crawl, featuring stops at Bar7, The Passenger and other area watering holes. Check their website for full details and to get your tickets, which are $15.
  • If Friday’s spandex party left you wanting another excuse to wear neon, look no further than Policy (1904 14th St NW) which is hosting an “Electric Brunch” from noon to 4 pm today. The $50 entry fee includes bottomless drinks, delish food, BOOZE GELATO and a rye whiskey tasting, and all proceeds benefit local nonprofit DC Greens.

Sunday, June 9

  • Sample rare Israeli beer and wine and authentic Jewish cuisine today from 12 pm – 5 pm at Union Market (1309 5th St NE) during the [email protected] festival sponsored by the The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Admission is free and there will be live music and other family-friendly events happening throughout the day.
  • Edward Cullen Ruined My Mother’s Love Life is just one of the 6 original 10-minute plays featured tonight in “Afterwards,” part of the annual Source Festival, which kicks off this weekend and runs throughout the month of June at the Source Theater (1835 14 St NW). Tickets for the 8 pm show are $20 or $15 for students and seniors.

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by Borderstan.com May 31, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

"weekend"

Your weekend in Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Congratulations! You made it through one of the longest short weeks of the year. Reward yourself with booze on wheels, free museums, and fried chicken.

Friday, May 31

  • You haven’t lived until you’ve sipped champagne out of a trailer. Veuve Clicquot’s airstream will help you cross this off your bucket list tonight when it’s parked outside the W Hotel (515 15th Street NW) from 5 to 10 pm.
  • It’s going to be HOT so if you prefer to stay inside tonight, I won’t blame you. Just make sure you have some delicious beverages on hand. The Post has a good run-down of not-so-difficult to make cocktail recipes from local bars in case you want to give Sam Adams the night off.

Saturday, June 1

  • Score free admission to Dupont and Kalorama’s best museums and hidden gems, including the Phillips Gallery, Dumbarton House, Heurich House and the Textile Museum, from 10 am to 4 pm today (and 1 to 5 pm Sunday) during the Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk Weekend.
  • Get all the bikes, beer, and bands you can handle at The Yards Park (355 Water Street SE), which plays host to New Belgium brewing company’s traveling Tour de Fat from 11 am to 5 pm.

Sunday, June 2

  • Dupont’s GBD (1325 Connecticut Avenue NW) has been satiating the masses with their donuts and fried chicken for the past few months, and now they’re winning the brunch scene with their newly launched menu, featuring breakfast burritos, chicken and waffles, bottomless mimosas and rotating brunch punches.
  • Eat dogs and help dogs at Vinoteca (1940 11th St NW), which is hosting a special hot dog BBQ today from 3 to 8 pm benefiting City Dogs rescue.

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by Borderstan.com May 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

"weekend"

Borderstan Weekend. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

I know I’m not alone in saying HELLO, THREE-DAY WEEKEND. If you happen to be stickin’ around, you’re in luck, because there is a surplus of fun things going on.

Friday, May 24

  • Jazz! The free Jazz in the Garden series at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden (7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW) marks the unofficial beginning of summer tonight from 5 pm – 8:30 pm
  • New food! Since the city (in theory) should be emptying out, try your luck at one of Borderstan’s bajillion new restaurants, like Ghibellina (1610 14th Street NW), Piola (2208 14th Street NW), or B Too (1324 14th Street NW).

Saturday, May 25

  • Bar Crawl! For charity, at a numer of Borderstan bars, kicking off at 4 pm at Tabaq (1336 U Street NW). Tickets are $15.
  • Nerd comedy! Chris Hardwick of NerdiSt fame hits the 9:30 Club (915 V Street NW) tonight at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $25.
  • Burlesque! NYC review “Burlesque-a-pades” comes to the Howard Theater (620 T Street NW) at 8 pm. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

Sunday, May 26

  • Crustaceans! Snag unlimited crabs and fixin’s from 12 pm – 5 pm at Policy (1904 14th Street NW). Tickets are $35.
  • Swimming! Adult Swim hosts its first party of the summer today starting at 11 am at the Capitol Skyline Hotel (10 I Street SW). RSVP and more info here.
  • Bar Games! Hinge sponsors an all-American BBQ at Jack Rose Tavern (2007 18th Street NW) from 6 pm – 10 pm, with BBQ, an open bar, matchmaking and more. Tickets are $48 in advance and $60 at the door.
  • Live music! Grab a picnic and head to the West Lawn of the Capitol for the free annual National Memorial Day Concert, from 8 pm – 9:30 pm. More info here.

Monday, May 27

  • Giving! Don’t forget what today’s all about. Consider giving back by volunteering, or donate to one of the many awesome organizations that serve our troops, veterans and their families, like the USO, Fisher House, Honor Flight and Companions for Heroes. 

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by Borderstan.com May 22, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

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

"BBQ Bus"

BBQ Bus. (Katie Andriulli)

This week’s truck of choice is the BBQ Bus!

Food Selection and Price

I know it’s super hard to glean from the truck’s name, but the BBQ Bus does, in fact, sell BBQ… freshly smoked BBQ to be exact. You can get it in a few forms: pulled pork, beef brisket, and pulled chicken (in sandwiches or platters), or, if you prefer to give the finger (symbolically) to your salad-eating coworkers, spring for the full-on plate of pork ribs.

Although the meats are obviously the main event here, the sides are, dare I say it, even better than the headliner. Baked beans, slaw, black bean salad and roasted corn are featured daily, along with rotating specials. The day I went they were offering mashed potatoes with bacon, which… yes, please, always.

And, bonus! You can buy all of their meats by the pound, as well as larger portions of their sides if you want to take some home for dinner (or if you just have a lunch death wish).

Price range: Sandwiches are $9 to $9.50 plus tax, and combo plates range from $10 to $15 plus tax.

The Verdict!

How did BBQ Bus! do on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 the best?

  • Wait time: 5/5. We arrived at peak lunch hour, and there was a handful of people ahead of us in line. We only waited about a minute to place our order, and then only another 5 minutes after that to have the food in hand. A total wait time of less than 6 minutes was greatly appreciated by this starving carnivore and her friends.
  • Service: 5/5. Friendly and patient enough to answer dumb questions from me about their BBQ sauce (they put some on the sandwich, but have extra on the side if you like it sloppy). And, they take credit cards, so nothing to complain about here.
  • Bang for your buck: 4/5. Combo plates (choice of meat(s), slaw, beans and bread) will run you from $10 to 15 dollars depending on how many meats you choose, and sandwich plates, which include your choice of side, are $9 for pork or chicken, and $9.50 for beef brisket. Possibly a bit pricier than some trucks, but make no mistake: these dudes give you a LOT of meat. Like, full two sandwiches worth… which means that you could easily split one with a friend and get away with spending 4 to 6 bucks on an filling lunch. Not too shabby
  • Deliciousness: 5/5. I ordered the pulled pork BBQ sandwich with a side of baked beans, and my friends both went for the brisket sandwich with mashed potatoes and corn. Now, I am from New England and not by any means a BBQ expert y’all but let me just say… holy moly, it was good. The meat was tender and seasoned perfectly, the bun was soft, and the sauce itself (also homemade) was fantastic… I just wish I’d added more of it to my sandwich (check yours before you walk away to make sure it’s sauced enough for your liking). The sides I sampled, including the beans and potatoes, were insane in the brain. Huge… I mean HUGE pieces of delicious bacon in the potatoes and a zingy baked bean sauce left nothing to be desired. In all honestly, it was pretty disturbing/impressive how quickly my coworkers and I dispatched with our sandwiches. My only complaint (and I really had to dig deep to find something to complain about here) is that the crispy slaw on the sandwich was not really as coleslaw-ish as I had hoped, but rather more of a pickled veggie kind of thing. Still good, but if you’re looking for a creamier version, prepare yourself accordingly.
  • Overall: 5/5. BBQ Bus is quickly becoming one of my favorite trucks, much to the dismay of my waistline.
"BBQ Bus"

BBQ Bus offerings. (Katie Andriulli)

Follow the BBQ Bus on Twitter @bbqbusdc and check out their website for their full menu and weekly schedule.

Truck you’re too scared to try? E-mail me at katie[AT]borderstan.com and and let me know!

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by Borderstan.com May 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

"weekend"

Borderstan Weekend. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Yes, the Preakness is on Saturday, but luckily it’s only like 3 minutes long, so you’ll have plenty of time for other things this weekend…including craft beers, free museums, and (truly!) guilt-free milkshakes.

Friday, May 17

  • Perfectly named local band Lindsay Buckingham Palace plays an early show at Black Whiskey (1410 14th Street NW) at 6 pm. Tickets are $10.
  • Slightly more fun than watching 12-year-olds pee their pants with nervousness, the Rock & Roll Hotel (1353 H Street NE) hosts its weekly Rock & Roll Spelling Buzz adult spelling bee tonight at 8 pm (admission is free).
  • Admit it, you’re kinda curious to find out what the hell a “Comedy Prom Under the Sea” is. Swing by The Dunes (1402 Meridian Place NW) tonight at 8 pm to find out (admission is free).

Saturday, May 18

  • Come for brunch mimosas and stay for the beers at Scion (2100 P Street NW), which is featuring at least three craft beer drafts at 1/2-price all day, as well as other specials, in honor of American Craft Beer Week.
  • No more excuses not to be cultured! Several of DC’s museums that usually charge admission (including the fantastic Phillips Collection) are waiving their entry fees today for Art Museum Day.

Sunday, May 19

  • The 9:30 Club (815 V Street NW) hosts its annual Sound Bites fundraiser for DC Central Kitchen today at 1 pm. For a $40 donation, you’ll get food from over 25 local restaurants and food trucks, music from 7 local bands and cocktails.
  • Swing by Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral (2815 36th Street NW) which is throwing its annual Spring Festival today from 12 pm to 7 pm, with tons of delicious food, drinks, live music and more.
  • Have a milkshake for dinner (because, why not?) at Shake Shack (1216 18th Street NW), which is running its Great American Shake Sale during the month of May. Donate $2 to Share Our Strength during your visit, and you’ll get a voucher for a free shake ($5 value) on your next visit. It’s a win-win.

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by Borderstan.com May 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm 1,928 0

"weekend"

Your weekend in Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Hemingway-inspired boozing, The Boss, air guitar, and celebrating moms…what more could you ask for this weekend?

Friday, May 10

  • Drink like Hemingway (well, hopefully not exactly like Hemingway if you want to make it home in one piece) at the Kennedy Center’s (2700 F St) Passport to Paris, Pamplona and Beyond reception tonight from 9 to 11:30 pm, featuring 1920’s cocktails, music and snacks. Tickets are $55 in advance, or $60 at the door. And, if you hit up the new Washington Ballet performance of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises beforehand, the event is only $35 with your ticket stub.
  • Get your art, music, and dance on for social change at Danceportation tonight at one of Borderstan’s newest haunts, Black Whiskey (1410 14th St). Things kick off at 7:30 pm and tickets are $20, with proceeds benefiting Provisions Library.
  • See The Boss (kinda) for a fraction of the price when Springsteen cover band Bruce in the USA takes the stage tonight at The Hamilton (600 14th St).  The show kicks off at 8:30 pm, and tickets are $27.50.

Saturday, May 11

  • Jet-set like Kanye (but without carbon footprint) when the EU Embassies host their annual open house today from 10 to 4 pm.
  • Sample some homemade beer at Meridian Pint (3400 11th St) today during the DC Homebrewers & Sam Adams Homebrew Competition, where the winner will have their beer produced by the Boston-based brewery. The event starts at 1 pm, and brews are free with a $15 donation to Brainfood, a local charity.
  • The not-as-easy-as-it-looks hobby of air guitar is on display tonight at Solly’s (1942 11th Street) which is playing host to the US Air Guitar Qualifiers at 7 pm (free).

Sunday, May 12

  • Just call your mom, okay? Or, if she’s in town, take her out to brunch at one of Borderstan’s finest eateries. Lots of them, including DGS Delicatessen (1317 Connecticut Avenue), Mari Vanna (1141 Connecticut Avenue), and 1905 (1905 9th Street) are rolling out special menus for the occasion.
  • Moms overwhelmingly enjoy wine and art (often at the same time). Treat yours to a Bold Strokes painting class at Tel’veh wine bar (401 Mass. Avenue) tonight at 5 pm, and she’ll get in for 50% off the $50 per person entry fee.
  • Lots of moms also like birds and other nature-y things. If your mom is one of them, be sure to take her to “Birds of Paradise: Amazing Avian Evolution” exhibition, which is closing today at the National Geographic Museum (1145 17th Street). Tickets are $9 to $11.

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by Borderstan.com May 7, 2013 at 11:30 am 0

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

"Rolling Ficelle"

Perilli from Rolling Ficelle. (Katie Andriulli)

So, dear readers, DC has a lot of food trucks (like, over 100, somehow). Some of them are out-of-control good, others… meh. But how does one know what to pick when the hunger pangs come calling? Do longer lines necessarily translate into better food?

Or are the better trucks just more efficient? Which truck gives you the most bang for your buck? Why do you drive on a parkway and park in a driveway? Did anything about The Following make sense? These are just a few of the questions I’ll be attempting to answer for you each week.

This week, we road-tested the Rolling Ficelle, purveyors of fine sandwiches.

Food Selection and Price

The Ficelle specializes in sandwiches served on mini french baguettes (ficelles) from DC’s own Lyon Bakery. They offer eight options, all named after famous artists (see the full menu here). The Davis (roasted chicken, lemon aioli, avocado, romaine and slivered almonds) and the Rothko (prosciutto, provolone, romaine, tomatoes and herb butter) are just two of the standouts.

There’s also one veggie option, the Perilli (eggplant, red peppers, mozzarella and roasted garlic aioli). And don’t forget to ask them about their specials when you go…their french onion soup is better than it probably has a right to be.

All sandwiches are $7.75 plus tax. Chips are $1 and soda and lemonade are $2.

The Verdict!

  • Wait time: 5/5. The line was pretty short (2-3 people ahead of us) but it was straight up gross outside during lunch hour on the day we went, so the crowds may have been thinner than usual. That being said, it took less than three minutes from the time we ordered to the time our sandwiches were handed to us, which is almost implausible.
  • Service: 5/5. The guy who took our order was very friendly and had a nice hat on. Plus, they take credit cards, which is a must.
  • Bang for your buck: 4/5. The Ficelle is probably not the cheapest food truck around – sandwiches will run you about $8 bucks each – but the combo deal, which includes a sandwich, chips and a fresh lemonade (amazeballs!) for about $10 is a pretty sweet deal. Also, the sandwiches are BIG y’all (see below) and the ingredients are fresh and high quality, so you won’t feel swindled in the least.
  • Deliciousness: 4.5/5. I ordered the Perilli and my friend chose the Bluhm (roast beef, green peppers, giardiniera, herb butter and beef jus). We devoured them like ravenous bears at a Boy Scout Jamboree, and both raved about the taste. The roasted garlic aioli on the Perilli was especially indulgent, and all the ingredients complimented each other nicely. The actual ficelle is served warm and toasty, but not in a gross Quiznos kinda way. I took off 1/2 a point because my sandwich got a little soggy at the bottom under the weight of its ingredients, making it a bit less appetizing to finish (but I did anyway, obviously).
  • Overall: 4.5/5. If you want a kick-ass sandwich for a pretty good value and aren’t one of those jerks who seems to have a spare 3 hours to wait in line for your lunch, then the Ficelle is the truck for you.

Follow the Rolling Ficelle on Twitter @TheFicelle.

Truck you’re too scared to try? E-mail me at katie[AT]borderstan.com and and let me know! (I mean, I’m not saying I’ll try it either you weirdo, but who knows!) 

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by Borderstan.com May 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

"weekend"

Your weekend in Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

Hold onto your hats and livers kids…this weekend is the Kentucky Derby AND Cinco de Mayo, and Borderstan has more than enough fun things on tap for even the most discerning partier.

Friday, May 3

  • Hill Country BBQ kicks off its Texas pop up picnic series on the lawn of the National Building Museum (401 F Street NW) tonight from 4 pm to 11 pm. Live music from the Kalob Griffin Band starts at 5:30 pm and there’s no cover.
  • Comedian Moshe Kasher, who opened for Aziz Ansari on his recent tour, returns to the District tonight at the DC Improv (1140 Connecticut Avenue NW) with shows at 8 pm and 10:30 pm. Tickets are $20.
  • Don your favorite Buffy or Avengers costume (you know you have one) for a chance to win prizes at tonight’s Whedonism II burlesque show at the Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW). Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, and the show starts at 11 pm.

Saturday, May 4

It’s Derby day! Luckily, the race isn’t until 6:24 pm (and lasts all of 5 seconds) which leaves you with plenty of time to guzzle some mint juleps. Here are just a few places where you can watch the ponies:

  • Bayou (2519 Pennsylvania Avenue NW) hosts a Derby party from 3 to 7 pm benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Ticketsare $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
  • Bourbon’s (2312 18th Street NW) 8th annual free bash from 11 am to 7 pm features drink specials and complimentary Kentucky-inspired bites.
  • Class it up at the Willard Intercontinental’s (1401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW) annual Bonnets and Bowties party from 4 to 8 pm at the Round Robin bar. Tickets are $75 and include 2 cocktails, food, prizes, live music and more.

Sunday, May 5

Cinco de Mayo: a day when you don’t need an excuse to gorge yourself on guacamole. Here are some festivities happening around the neighborhood (and beyond):

  • The Brixton (901 U Street NW) hosts a free “Circus de Mayo” bash from 12 to 8 pm, featuring funnel cakes, a dunk tank, $4 Coronas and boozy sno cones.
  • Richard Sandoval’s staples El Centro D.F. (1819 14th Street NW) and Masa 14 (1825 14th Street NW) are both featuring brunch and cocktail specials today, including $5 specialty margaritas, DJs and more.
  • Borderstan fave Commissary (1443 P Street NW) will be offering Mexican-themed food and drink specials all weekend, including chilaquiles, and hibiscus margaritas, and their sister restaurant The Heights (3115 14th Street NW) will be holding their annual patio pig roast from 11 am to close.
  • Take your pup along for the festivities at the 2nd annual Running of the Chihuahuas at Kastles Stadium (800 Water Street SW). The event, which kicks off at 11 am, is free, but its $20 to enter a dog in the race (all breeds may apply!) All proceeds benefit efforts to build a dog park at the Southwest Waterfront.
  • The Howard Theater (620 T Street NW) hosts a Cinco de Mayo themed variety and burlesque show at 8 pm featuring Cherie Sweetbottom and Cherokee Rose. Tickets are $7.50 in advance.

And just in case you need a bit more:

  • Take in some family-friendly music and carnival games (and a Moonbunce!) at Stead Park (1625 P Street NW) from 11 am to 3 pm.
  • Break out your finest casual wear for Wonderland’s (1101 Kenyon Street NW) annual Sundress Fest starting at noon. All proceeds go to the local charity Ayuda, which works with low-income immigrants in the DC area.

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by Borderstan.com April 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

"weekend"

Your weekend in Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

So, this weekend is the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, aka the only time you could potentially wait in line for the bathroom with Jaime Lannister, or fight for a cab with Olivia Pope, so try to be on your best behavior (and tweet any celeb sightings to me at @kandriulli so I can live vicariously).

Friday, April 26

  • Drinking a beer next to a sword swallower: as awkward, or more awkward than it sounds? Find out tonight at the Bier Baron, when they play host to Philly’s Olde City Side Show at 9 pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
  • Since 90s clothes are back in style for some unfathomable reason, it won’t be hard to pick out an outfit for tonight’s No Scrubs dance party at the 9:30 Club. Tickets are $20 and things kick off at 9 pm.

Saturday, April 27

  • It’s not even Mayo yet, let alone Cinco de, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink margaritas anyway. Enjoy eight different kinds at venues across Borderstan at the Margarita March which begins at noon today at Alero on U Street. Tickets range from $20 to $50, and a hangover is included.
  • Completely terrify yourself about the onset of spring and the impending birdocalypse at a free screening of Hitchcock’s The Birds at the National Gallery of Art at 2 pm.
  • Artist Kreg Kelley will have an opening reception for his spring art exhibition, “Memento Vivere,” from 6-10pm at MOVA Lounge. He will be displaying many new works, and donating a percentage of sales to City Dogs Rescue and the Trevor Project.
  • Rooftops, drinks and interactive art abound at the soft-opening of Art Soiree’s Saturday Night Rooftop Fusion party tonight at 7 pm the Beacon Hotel. Entry is free with RSVP. More info here.

Sunday, April 28

  • Learn how to make a Betty Draper-approved Mai Tai at Hank’s Oyster Bar’s cocktail class today at 4 pm. Tickets are $45 and space is limited, so call them at 202-462-4265 to reserve your spot.
  • Indulge in some guilt-free shopping at Cause Philanthropub’s first ever Marketplace, which will feature food, drinks and local vendors. It’s free and runs from 2 to 5 pm.

Bonus! Monday, April 29:

  • One of the best bars in Borderstan, Dodge City, celebrates its 3rd birthday tonight at 8 pm with $4 DC Braus, drink specials, DJ sets and delicious grilled meats all night long.

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by Borderstan.com April 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm 0

"weekend"

Your weekend in Borderstan. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

It’s officially springtime in DC, which means that the cherry blossoms fanny-packed tourist hoards have descended upon us. Escape from them this weekend at one of these happenings, hand-picked with love, just for you, by me:

Friday, April 19

  • Cult of personality: 80s staple Living Colour headlines tonight’s early show at 6 pm at the 9:30 Club (815 V Street NW). Tickets are $25.
  • Strippers and raffles and contortionists, oh my: Get a little bit cray at Titled Torche’s burlesque and variety show tonight at the Black Cat (1811 14th Street NW). Tickets are $15 and doors open at 9 pm.

Saturday, April 20

  • Compete for a cause: Join in the charity bocce tournament (at Wallenberg Park near the National Mall) benefiting the nonprofit Move for Hunger. It’s $35 to register and things kick off at 11 am.
  • Nerd alert: DC finally got its very own comic and pop culture festival, Awesome Con, which makes its debut at the DC Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place NW) today and tomorrow. Tickets range from $15 to $75.
  • Show off your subtitle reading skills: Check out some of the best international films around at Filmfest DC, which closes tomorrow.
  • And, since it’s 4/20: Get your fill of pizza and beer tonight at Comet Ping Pong (5037 Connecticut Ave NW) which is hosting WONK N’ ROLL, an American University battle of the bands benefiting the local nonprofit the Free Minds Book Club. The show kicks off at 10 pm, and tickets are $10.

Sunday, April 21

  • Celebrate Earth Day: Hit up the grand opening of Glen’s Garden Market (2001 S Street NW), which will feature free snacks, coffee and more throughout the day
  • Greek out: Buy some delicious honey, olives and more at Zaytinya’s Agorá outdoor Greek bazaar, running from 11 am to 4 pm today (701 9th Street NW).
  • Brunch hard: Fight for a table outside at Borderstan’s epic new French bistro Le Diplomate (1601 14th Street NW).

Also…

If you’ve already given blood, you can help support the families most impacted by the tragedy in Boston by donating to charities like the One Fund Bostonthe fund set up by Boston-based company Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG), and the Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services fund. Or consider giving to the Boston Children’s Hospital, which has set up a special marathon giving fund.

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