Author’s Note: At Borderstan.com you’ll always get food news from writers who actually eat in our neighborhood. They know where to find the newest rooftop bars, the brunch with unlimited Mimosas, and the best vegetarian options in the city. That’s why we’re giving you a chance to get to know the writers who bring you the best eats Borderstan has to offer. So, grab your fork and take a seat at our table.
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Ashley Lusk is a food writer for Borderstan.
What’s the best restaurant in DC? Why?
Lusk: The best restaurants in DC are the ones that are owned by people who live here. If you’re in the mood for good, humble American-style food, you can’t beat Open City in Woodley Park. But, if you’ve got some cash in your pocket and want a solid dining experience, head over to Cashion’s Eat Place in Adams Morgan. Not only will you get an aesthetically beautiful meal, it will be one you won’t soon forget.
Describe your food writing style; what kind of story are you looking to tell?
Lusk: Every meal has a story and some of my favorite interviews or recommendations find a way at getting to the heart of food. The best blogs and cookbooks convey the story of what it took to get the food to the table–the burned pie crust, or the laughter at spilled flour. I love that. One of my favorite stories for Borderstan was an interview with Chef Edam McQuaid and Chef Alex Vallcorba; when we met they described their love of the perfect pizza dough…you can taste that love in the food.
Which food writers are inspiring you right now? Who do you look to for food news?
Lusk: I’m loyal to a few food writers who dominate my Google reader and they are largely female writers: Deb at Smitten Kitchen, Ree Drummond at The Pioneer Woman, and vegetarian bloggers Alex and Sonia at A Couple Cooks. I live and die by FoodGawker. I love looking at food that I could actually make and feed to friends.
What is your version of comfort food?
Lusk: I became pescetarian two years ago and so many of the foods I associated with comfort — fried chicken, pork chops, bacon — were off the table. Today, my cravings fall more towards hearty pasta, white bean soup and this ridiculously good tofu dish from Veggie Belly. But, if you’re not of the vegetarian variety, you can’t go wrong making my mom’s signature dish: Melt In Your Mouth Chicken Pot Pie. You’re welcome for that one.
What is the cooking tool you can’t live without?
Lusk: How anyone ever got any cooking done without a spatula is beyond me.
It appears that plans for turning the large building at the southwest corner of 14th and T NW–including a 24-hour diner, theater, yoga center and comedy club –may be dead. Seems a large furntiture retailer has come along and made an offer to the owner. Two accounts of the matter, at Greater Greater Washington and Washington City Paper.
From Greater Greater Washington:
Prospects for the Tryst/Diner/ comedy club /yoga studio/dance company plan for 14th and T, which has become a major campaign issue in 2B09 are looking dim. The City Paper found out that the owners have decided to sell to a big-box furniture store, Room and Board, instead.
The deal isn’t totally done, and some neighborhood activists including 2B09 candidate Doug Rogers are already pushing Room and Board to pull out of the deal (which they have the option to do).
We learned today that Dave Chappelle, yes the Dave Chappelle, has signed on as a potential investor with the Diner/Tryst/ comedy club planned for the old Church of the Reformer at 14th and T Streets NW, the development plan we wrote about in July.
The bad news? That plan is close to imploding. Sources close to the deal say that the earlier agreement to lease the space from the current owner fell through. Rather than let their dream die, Diner/Tryst/Open City owner Constantine Stavropoulos and DC-Improv and Riot Act comedy impresario John Xereas, along with a few others–including Chappelle, a Xereas acquaintance who has D.C. roots–worked to get a deal together to buy the building. The bid is in the neighborhood of $9 million. The problem? They’re not the only ones interested.