by Borderstan.com June 28, 2010 at 5:10 am 2,038 2 Comments

Alejandra Owens Filter Coffeehouse Dupont Circle

Filter Coffeehouse is on 20th Street NW, south of S Street. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens at One Bite At A Time

Filter Coffeehouse opened in March and had gone largely unnoticed by me until I was taking a round about way home one day. I was walkin’, jammin’ out to Taio Cruz… there’s The Real World house… wonder what they’re doing with… hey! What’s THAT!

That… was Filter Coffeehouse. I told my boyfriend we needed to stop by sometime and deviate from the usual Starbucks routine. But, we didn’t go until my friend, Adventures in Shaw, was enthusiastically tweeting about Flat Whites one day. What is a Flat White? Adventures In Shaw says it best:

A flat white is an espresso based drink that originated in New Zealand and Australia. Steamed milk (apparently pulled from the bottom of a steaming pitcher… no, I don’t know what that means either) is poured over either a single or a double shot of espresso and handed over to an unsuspecting person to drink.

Filter Coffeehouse Alejandra Owens Dupont Circle

The Flat White originated in Australia and New Zealand. (Alejandra Owens)

Done! I was there in a jiffy! I really love coffee. I’m not a connoisseur, more of a junkie.

Their coffee was great, the price point was just right (see below) and frankly, I think Dupont needs more indie coffeehouses. I’m thankful for places like Afterwords Cafe at Kramer Books, but this, this is a coffeehouse. What do you guys think? Are there coffeehouses in or near the Circle I am woefully missing?

Filter Coffeehouse and Espresso Bar

Where Am I Going: Just a bit north of Dupont Circle at 1726 20th NW (20th and S Streets).

When Am I Going: Monday-Thursday 7 am-7 pm; Friday 7 am-9 pm; Saturday 8 am-9 pm; and Sunday 8 am-6 pm. Pretty much whenever you need coffee the most.

Alejandra Owens Filter Coffeehouse Dupont Circle

A scone at Filter Coffeehouse. (Alejandra Owens)

Paycheck Pain: Espresso? $2.25! Flat White? $3.00! Plain coffee? $2.75 for a large! Pretty much the most “expensive” thing on the menu is the $5 mocha. HA! Treat and snacks are equally pocket-friendly.

Say What?: Really quiet. Almost… awkwardly quiet? At the time I was in there, Sunday late afternoon, there wasn’t  much hustle and bustle or raucous goings ons. Anyone have a different experience?

What You’ll Be Eating: The usual croissant or scone action.

Happy Hour: It’s caffeine… isn’t every hour a happy hour when you’re drinking coffee?

Follow them on Twitter and Like ’em on Facebook.

by Borderstan.com June 5, 2010 at 7:53 pm 2,776 2 Comments

Luis Gomez Photos Kramer Books Dupont Circle Alejandra Owens

Kramerbooks & Afterwords is north of Dupont Circle on Connecticut Avenue NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens of One Bite At A Time.

It’s a DC landmark. At least, I think so, what with Monica Lewinsky and Kenneth Starr and subpoenas and all. But, it’s definitely a Dupont landmark.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe is also a well-known book store and brunch destination, a cozy place to plop down with your newspaper (or iPad, whatever!) and have a cup of joe at the bar and a fine, fine place for patio dining when the sun is shining.

No matter how you hack it, the place has serious charm and history. The bookstore you’ll be perusing while you wait for a table has been around since 1976 and boasts stacks and stacks of everything from history books, to fiction, to cookbooks to a well-stocked children’s section.

Kramer Books Afterwards Cafe Alejandra Owens Dupont Circle

Inside the Sometimes Outdoor Dining Room. (msilvaonline’s flickr photostream)

I’ll admit I’m biased on this one, too. I have taken every visiting friend and family member to Sunday brunch here and have spent many weekend mornings at the bar sipping on coffee by myself. But, I’ve lived in Borderstan for five years, so we may be hard-pressed to find a place I’m not biased about.

What do you guys think of Afterwords Cafe? Any favorites? Thoughts on the dessert case or wine list?

Afterwords Cafe

Where Am I Going: Dupont Circle: 1517 Connecticut Avenue NW, to be exact.

When Am I Going: Monday-Thursday and Sun 7:30 am to 1 am; Friday and Saturday, 6 am to 6 am.

Paycheck Pain: Brunch is gonna run you $15-$18 but remember it includes mini-muffins, OJ and coffee/tea. Dinner runs about the same. No mini-muffins for dinner.

Say What?: The bar has just enough buzz during the evenings and weekends that you can have a private conversation without feeling like you’re broadcasting to the world. The dining room and patio are always a pleasant place for gabbing with your buddies or maybe even a networking meal.

What You’ll Be Eating: Afterwords Cafe puts an eclectic spin on traditional American food. Love mac ‘n cheese? Try their amped up Café Macaroni & Fontina cheese topped w/Parmesan. Jonesin’ for some meat and eggs for brunch? Try the Porker’s Brunch & Eggs which features three different types of breakfast meats.

Happy Hour: 4 to 7 pm daily

You can also follow Kramerbooks on Twitter and Facebook for the latest specials and to find out what they’re cooking up.

by Borderstan.com May 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm 2,015 2 Comments

Alejandra Owens One Bite At A Time Borderstan Dupont Circle

Zorba’s Cafe at 1612 20th Street NW has been a personal favorite since I moved to DC. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens at One Bite At A Time.

Is it gee-ro or giii-ro? Hummus or hummoustomato or tomahto? Let’s go to Zorba’s and see what they say. This Greek cafe has been a Dupont Circle neighborhood mainstay since 1984.

A cozy indoor space, riddled with photos of Anthony Quinn as “Zorba The Greek” and copper pots and pans, draws you in to a small  kitchen in the back where a regular crew of guys grill your chicken, shave your gyro meat and mix your fire feta (a personal favorite) seven (yep, seven!) days a week. Better yet, when weather permits you can dine on an umbrella’d and flower-potted patio.

I’ve been going to Zorba’s Cafe since I moved to the neighborhood (when I moved to DC) five years ago. I’m there so often that the guys know my order, my relationship history and many friends joke that Zorba’s makes them think of me. Okay, so I’m a little biased on this restaurant profile, kill me!

Alejandra Owens Borderstan One Bite At A Time Zorba's Cafe

Inside Zorba’s Cafe, which is practically next to the Dupont Metro stop. (Alejandra Owens)

What about you guys? Do you have a favorite here?

Zorba’s Cafe

Where Am I Going: 1612 20th Street NW (Just a block away from the Q Street exit of the Dupont Circle Metro.)

When Am I Going: Monday through Saturday 11 am to 11:30 pm, and Sunday noon to 10:30 pm.

Paycheck Pain: Appetizers are pulling in around $5. Salads are $4 to $11. Classic Greek sandwiches are about $8. Entrée plates are $11 to $15.

Say What?: Zorba’s is a great place to take a casual date, a medium or even large group of friends and even your mom. Maybe that’ll be the new way of gauging whether or not you can have a decent conversation in a place. If you can take your mom there, you can talk there.

What You’ll Be Eating: Greek food. Opa!

Happy Hour: Not so much. But they do have daily specials and deals, check the website for updates or the giant board found outside the patio.

Alejandra Owens One Bite At A Time Borderstan Zorba's Cafe

Zorba’s Cafe patio. (Alejandra Owens)

by Borderstan.com May 16, 2010 at 10:50 pm 2,477 0

Dolcezza Alejandra Owens Connecticut Avenue restaurants

Cilantro Lime Gelato. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens, One Bite At A Time

Dolcezza is a recent addition to the Dupont Circle/Connecticut Avenue family. The space, once inhabited by Kultura Books, has gone through a few makeovers in the five years I’ve lived in the neighborhood. However, the most recent change has it looking as charming as ever.

Old fashioned coffeemakers, flaky pastries and creamy gelato greet you when you walk in the door and the mural, penny tiles and cozy communal seating makes for a friendly, casual experience. Dolcezza has been open a few weeks now and there isn’t a morning that passes where I don’t see a few folks sipping their morning espresso in the window. Something must be good here.

Dolcezza Alejandra Owens Connecticut Avenue restaurants

Dolcezza Dupont at Connecticut and R NW. (Alejandra Owens)

During the opening extravaganza (300 pounds of pork was roasted, gelato was given away, music was jammed), I tried cilantro lime and dulce de leche and both were delicious. So tell me, do you guys have a favorite flavor?

Dolcezza Dupont

Where Am I Going: 1704 Connecticut Avenue NW (at R Sreet).

When Am I Going: Monday-Thursday 7 am-11 pm, Friday 7 am-midnight, Saturday 8am-midnight and Sunday 8 am-10 pm.

Paycheck Pain: Gelato will run you anywhere from $4.50 for a small to $10 for a pint. Coffee and tea selections range $1.75 to $4. A note on the coffees: doublecheck the size you’re getting! Macchiatos come traditional in tiny little espresso cups. Your best to-go options are black coffee or a latte.

 

Alejandra Owens Dupont Circle restaurants Dolcezza

Dulce de Leche Churros. (Alejandra Owens)

Say What?: Um… I think you’ll be fine having a conversation here. Take your date, take your mom. Chat it up!

What You’ll Be Eating: Gelato, sweets and treats, and maybe a coffee if you’re so inclined.

Happy Hour: Don’t we wish, ladies?


by Borderstan.com May 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm 2,442 4 Comments

Masa 14 Alejandra Owens 14th Street restaurants Logan Circle

Wagyu Beef and Pork Meatballs. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens, One Bite At A Time

Well… wasn’t that first Restaurant Profile fun? HA! I think we can all rest assured that Masa 14 won’t be leaving us anytime soon. Touting one of the longest bars in town and a mish mash of flavors, dishes and drinks, Masa 14 is a popular gathering place.

Here’s our assessment of the basics, but what do you guys think? I’ve heard folks wax poetic about the wings–anything else on the menu a favorite?

Masa 14

Where Am I Going:1825 14th Street NW, just south of U Street.

When Am I Going: Monday-Thursday, 5 pm to 2 am; Friday, 5 pm to 3 am; Saturday, 11 am to 3 am; and Sunday, 11 am to 2 am.

Paycheck Pain: Soups and vegetable dishes start at $5 with fish and beef clocking in at $12. But these are small plates, so you’ll need a few to yourself to fill up!

Say What?: A long, skinny bar makes for easy one-on-one conversations, but difficult for larger groups to chat it up. It’s a social scene, whether at the bar or seated at a table… expect to raise your voice a little.

What You’ll Be Eating: Chef Richard Sandoval of Zengo and partner Chef Kazuhiro Okochi of Kaz Sushi Bistro came together to put the best of Asian and Latin flavors on “small plates.” (Let’s just call it what it is, folks: tapas.)

Happy Hour: $4 happy hours are a draw–everything from popular nibbles like their signature wings, to cocktails and bars.

 

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