by Andrew Ramonas November 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

Vietnamese Chelsea Restaurant at 1413 Park Road NW

A new place for pho noodle soups and other Vietnamese food could come to Columbia Heights within days, its owner told Borderstan yesterday.

Vietnamese Chelsea Restaurant at 1413 Park Road NW is in the process of securing all the paperwork it needs from the D.C. government to open this week, owner Andrew Nguyen said. The eatery is in the space formerly occupied by Change Inc., a nonprofit organization that left in 2014.

“I believe people will love it,” he said. “We will do very good food.”

In addition to pho, the eatery will have vermicelli and rice dishes with pork, beef, chicken, shrimp and vegatables, according to a menu shown to Borderstan. All entrees are between $12 and $14.

The restaurant won’t have alcohol for sale when it opens, however. Nguyen said he is still working to get a liquor license.

by Tim Regan November 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0


A Mexican and Salvadoran restaurant in Adams Morgan is scheduled host a celebration centered around pupusas this weekend.

El Tamarindo (1785 Florida Ave. NW) will serve buy-one-get-one-free pupusas all day this Sunday, Nov. 13, according to a Facebook event page. The Salvadoran food is the eatery’s “signature dish.”

The restaurant’s pupusas come stuffed with combinations like cheese, pork, beans and chicken, according to the restaurant’s menu.

The party will also include $5 RumChata shots and a contest where patrons can use the hashtag #PupusaMoments to have a chance to get some prizes.

Photo via Facebook / El Tamarindo

by Andrew Ramonas October 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm 0

The Bird (Photo via Twitter/The Bird)(Updated at 11:05 a.m. Oct. 25) Shaw diners could have the chance to eat fried chicken, stuffed quail or foie gras and wash it down with a “Flying V” or “Way of the Dodo” cocktail in the coming days.

The Bird might arrive at 1337 11th St. NW this weekend or early next week, owner David Winer told Borderstan today. But Winer noted that he still is working to get all his permits in order.

The restaurnt will serve “globally inspired poultry of every stripe” and use “every part of the animal,” Winer has said.

According to a draft menu, The Bird has fried free-range organic Amish chicken with braised greens and a spiced pickle for $17; jumbo quail stuffed with sausage, cheese, Brussels sprouts, onions and sage for $21; and foie gras with organic beets, fig jam, grapefruit confit, walnut dressing and sumac for $14, among more than a dozen other entrees and appetizers.

The drinks include “The Flying V” with vodka, beet juice, honey, five-spice powder and citrus for $10 and “The Way of the Dodo” with scotch, chartreuse, ginger, lime, pineapple and sage for $12.

The Bird isn’t Winer’s first foray into the D.C. dining. His company, Eat Well DC, also is behind The Pig, Logan Tavern and other local restaurants.

Photo via Twitter/Manuel Claros/The Bird

by Andrew Ramonas October 20, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

Old City Market and Oven (Photo via Facebook/Old City Market and Oven)

A corner store with “artisanal pizza, premium espresso [and] general artisanal groceries” is set to arrive near the H Street corridor next month, according to a representative of the business.

Old City Market and Oven is slated to open at 522 K St. NE Nov. 1, general manager Mahadi Lawal told Borderstan yesterday.

“The market brings in a fresh take on neighborhood general store,” Lawal said. “The huge wood burning oven produces some of the best artisanal pizza’s that D.C. has to offer. While you’re waiting for your pizza, or drinking some coffee, you can shop around and discover things you didn’t even know that you wanted.”

In addition to pizza and coffee, the store will sell beer, wine, produce, baked goods, pet food and children’s toys, among other items.

Customers also can sample a record collection and play a piano, which can get customers free pizza if they impress the chef.

In the basement, owner Curt Hansen and his son will make items out of wood and “attempt to fix anything you have that needs repairs,” Lawal said.

“It would take far too long to describe everything about this place so the best thing would be to come in and experience it for yourself,” Lawal said.

Photo via Facebook/Old City Market and Oven

by Andrew Ramonas October 14, 2016 at 10:30 am 1 Comment

Different Pizza at at 1764 Columbia Road NW

Locals now can try Different Pizza in Adams Morgan.

The pizza shop opened at 1764 Columbia Road NW on Tuesday, co-owner Wilfredo Martinez told Borderstan yesterday. The eatery replaced the O’Tasty Chinese restaurant, which closed earlier this year.

Martinez said business is on an upward trend over the past few days.

“It’s steadily growing,” he said.

Different Pizza has pizza, chicken wings, sub sandwiches, calzones and other food for customers to eat there, carry out or order for delivery.

Pizza prices range from $3.95 for jumbo slices to $17.99 for 16-inch “gourmet” pies, including bacon cheeseburger and barbecue chicken offerings, according to a menu.

Calzones with cheese, steak, chicken and other fillings are $8.95 to $9.95. Subs, which are 8 inches long, include Italian cold cut, steak and pepper and meatball sandwiches for $6.45.

Wings — in mild, hot, extra hot, BBQ, spicy BBQ and honey BBQ sauces — are $7.50 for 10 pieces, $14.95 for 20 pieces and $20.95 for 30 pieces.

“It’s fresh” food, Martinez said.

by Andrew Ramonas October 13, 2016 at 9:50 am 0

"S is for Shaw" advertising Walter E. Washington Convention CenterFor Shaw, today’s release of the first D.C. edition of the Michelin Guide is a reason to celebrate.

Shaw Main Streets is set to host a “Welcome, Michelin Guide” party tomorrow, according to the organization, which works to revitalize the neighborhood’s commercial corridors. The free celebration is scheduled for Columbia Room at 124 Blagden Alley NW from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

France’s Michelin, which awards highly coveted stars to restaurants in select cities around the world, already has announced that Shaw’s Chercher Ethiopian Restaurant (1334 9th St. NW) and Kyirisan (1924 8th St. NW) are members of the D.C. guide’s “Bib Gourmand” category. The honor goes to restaurants that Michelin’s anonymous inspectors say have quality food at affordable prices.

Michelin’s complete list of recommendations for the District will come out later today.

At Columbia Room, Upshur Street Books will have 100 copies of the 96-page D.C. guide available for a $20 donation to Shaw Main Streets.

“We’re expecting at least 10 Shaw restaurants to be listed in the Michelin Guide,” Alex Padro, executive director of Shaw Main Streets, said in a statement. “We may even have a starred restaurant or two to toast to.”

by Andrew Ramonas October 5, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) Hundreds of “Gilmore Girls” fans visited a coffeehouse near the U Street corridor for a free cup of Joe and the opportunity to step into Rory and Lorelai Gilmore’s world this morning.

Although the girls weren’t at Three Fifty Bakery & Coffee Bar (1926 17th St. NW) today, the eatery’s workers donned aprons and flannel shirts, just like the owner of the show’s characters’ favorite hangout, Luke’s Diner. Three Fifty also put up Luke’s Diner signage and a “no cell phones” notice, among other paraphernalia from the fictional restaurant, as part of a Netflix promotion.

By 8:30 a.m., Three Fifty had given away almost 250 free cups of coffee, which was “way more” than owner Jimmy Hopper said he expected.

“We weren’t prepared for this,” he said.

The shop’s visitors, who were mostly women, posed for selfies in front of the signs after some of them waited more than a hour in a line that stretched down U Street NW to grab gratis java in a Luke’s Diner cup.

Navy Yard resident Kristin Grant, who got in line about 6:50 a.m., said she watched the “Gilmore Girls” show live in the 2000s and re-watched it “11 times.”

“It’s really cute,” she said of the pop-up Luke’s Diner at Three Fifty.

Sam Brainard, who arrived outside the shop about 7 a.m., said she took an Uber from Arlington to get to Three Fifty.

“I could have been to work on time,” she said.

In addition to Three Fifty, Flying Fish Coffee & Tea in Mount Pleasant, Qualia Coffee in Petworth and other eateries across the country transformed themselves into Luke’s Diner for the morning for the Netflix campaign, which celebrates the show’s Oct. 5, 2000, premiere.

On Nov. 25, Netflix will release a new installment to the series, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.”

by Andrew Ramonas October 4, 2016 at 7:30 am 0

Firefighters rushed to a commercial strip of Adams Morgan this morning to put out a blaze in a restaurant.

El Rincon Espanol at 1826 Columbia Road NW had a fire in its basement, the D.C. Fire and EMS Department first tweeted about 6:45 a.m. By 6:50 a.m., firefighters had extinguished the blaze.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

by Andrew Ramonas September 30, 2016 at 9:50 am 0

Ice Cream Jubilee

(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) Ice Cream Jubilee is slated to arrive near the 14th Street corridor with complimentary Banana Bourbon Caramel, MarionBerry and other frozen treats tomorrow.

Ice Cream Jubilee is set to open at 1407 T St. NW at noon Saturday. The store will share the space with local bakery BakeHouse, which closed the retail portion of its business in May.

A news release adds:


by Andrew Ramonas September 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

Flying Fish at 3064 Mount Pleasant St. NW

A Mount Pleasant coffee shop has shut down temporarily for a new coat of paint and other improvements.

Flying Fish Coffee and Tea at 3064 Mount Pleasant St. NW closed yesterday and is slated to reopen tomorrow, after the completion of the shop’s first makeover since it opened in 2011.

“It’s time to freshen up a little bit,” owner Michael Visser told Borderstan yesterday afternoon.

In addition to new paint, the coffeehouse will get some new furniture and equipment that is intended to help workers cook up breakfast sandwiches quicker.

On Mondays starting next week, Flying Fish also is slated to have pastries from Republic Kolache.

by Andrew Ramonas September 27, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Shaw resident Andre McCain’s plans to build a U.S. restaurant empire are set to go into motion next week with the opening of a fast-casual, sausage-centric eatery in the neighborhood.

HalfSmoke is slated to open at 651 Florida Ave. NW a week from today, Oct. 4, with a focus on gourmet half-smokes, bratwursts, veggie dogs and other sausages, dressed how customers want them for $7-$10. McCain said he intends to use the restaurant as a prototype for other HalfSmokes across the country.

“The goal is to become America’s preeminent brand in terms of sausages,” he told Borderstan yesterday.

But HalfSmoke isn’t just about grilled tubes of meat.

The restaurant will serve cocktails, boozy milkshakes and more than 20 beers, as well as sugar cane soda, house-made lemonade and cold brew coffee. It also will have free games, a photo booth and a foosball table that is near a light display that says, “Don’t grow up it’s a trap.”

McCain said he’s looking to establish a “community gathering place” at the restaurant, which has seating for 100 diners inside and 50 customers outside.

“The goal is to create a place where everyone can hang out,” he said.

HalfSmoke only is slated to serve dinner and late-night customers for its first two weeks. The restaurant will open at 4 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 2 a.m. on the weekends for now.

Eventually, the eatery is expected to open every day at 11 a.m.

by Andrew Ramonas September 21, 2016 at 12:00 pm 1 Comment

Subway food (Photo via Facebook/Subway)Subway is set to get another place to sell its cold cut combo and meatball marinara sandwiches in the NoMa area.

The D.C. government this week issued a permit to build an outpost of the sandwich shop chain at 90 K St. NE, according to public records.

Construction crews will convert a “warm vanilla shell” into a 1,725-square-foot restaurant with 39 seats, a permit says.

The eatery is expected to open between late December and mid January, Subway spokesman Ben Cohen said.

“We look forward to adding another restaurant,” he said.

The eatery will open about a half-mile from Subway locations in Union Station and at 800 North Capitol St. NW.

Photo via Facebook/Subway

by Andrew Ramonas September 20, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Fried oysters po' boy (Photo via Facebook/Ben's Upstairs)

(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) The bar and restaurant above the Ben’s Chili Bowl on the H Street corridor has a new name after about a year in business.

Ten 01 (1001 H St. NE), which the owners of Ben’s Chili Bowl opened last fall, is now Ben’s Upstairs. The switch officially happened over the weekend, Ben’s spokesman Manuel Iguina said.

“As part of the Ali family’s full service restaurant group, it became obvious that an address name,’ was not inclusive,” Iguina said in an email. “The full service restaurants are either ‘Ben’s Next Door’ or now ‘Ben’s Upstairs’ and reflect that they are part of the overall family brand.”

Ben’s Upstairs bills itself on its website as “Southern with a splash of Caribbean.”

The restaurant has a fried green tomato BLT ($12), fried oysters po’ boy ($12), jerked salmon ($21) and meat loaf ($19), among other dishes.

“We are all very exited and cant wait to share food, fun, and good times with the neighborhood,” Iguina said.

Ten 01 served jerked salmon, but few of the other items at Ben’s Upstairs.

The old restaurant said on its website it had “spirited and creative food,” including a pork belly sandwich and shrimp and half-smoke corn dogs, which have disappeared from the menu.

Photo via Facebook/Ben’s Upstairs

by September 16, 2016 at 3:55 pm 0

Amsterdam Falafelshop sandwich (Photo via Facebook/Amsterdam Falafelshop)

Dupont Circle might get a new place for falafel sandwiches and fries.

Amsterdam Falafelshop is “exploring” the possibility of opening a location at 1829 M St. NW, president and CEO Arianne Bennett told Borderstan. House of Kabob, which currently occupies the space, is closing, a worker there said. But the restaurant’s departure date wasn’t clear.

Local blog PoPville first reported rumors yesterday that Amsterdam Falafelshop is replacing House of Kabob. In March, a “very good source” told the blog that House of Kabob would shut down in October.

Founded in 2004 in Adams Morgan, Amsterdam Falafelshop has seven locations across the country.

Photo via Facebook/Amsterdam Falafelshop

by Andrew Ramonas September 13, 2016 at 5:00 pm 0

Quara Ethiopian Restaurant at at 2406 18th St. NW

Another Ethiopian eatery has arrived in Adams Morgan.

Quara Ethiopian Restaurant opened at 2406 18th St. NW on Friday, a representative of eatery told Borderstan. The restaurant is in the former NYNY Diva space below the Omescape escape room.

The restaurant’s owner wasn’t immediately available to comment.

A menu posted outside the eatery lists several traditional Ethiopian dishes, including spicy meat and vegetable stews called wot and sauteed beef, chicken and lamb pieces known as tibs. The food all costs less than $20.

With the addition of Quara, Ethiopian restaurants on 18th Street now include Adams Morgan Restaurant & Coffee, Asmara Restaurant and Ababa Ethiopian Restaurant, which opened in June.


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