Local restauranteurs and bar owners are set to read some of their nastiest online reviews at an eatery near 14th Street tomorrow night.
Compass Rose, located at 1346 T St. NW, is scheduled to host is second “Industry Reads Bad Reviews” event Wednesday, Dec. 21, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The reading’s lineup includes many of the D.C. restaurant world’s movers and shakers: Smoked and Stacked’s Marjorie Meek-Bradley, The Passenger’s Tom Brown and Timber Pizza Company co-founder Andrew Dana, and others.
From a Facebook post about the event:
In the spirit of the popular (and purposely self-deprecating) segment “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” from Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Compass Rose is hosting its second evening to toast the food and beverage industry’s harshest Social Media critics by taking their criticisms (reviews, tweets, Facebook posts, emails) and airing them out for everyone to hear.
We invite you to join us at Compass on December 21 after our The Compass Rose Holiday Market at 10 p.m. for “Industry Reads Bad Reviews II” with some of our favorite bar and restaurant folks performing a dramatic reading of their best (worst?) “bad” review. Service industry professionals are constantly under the scrutiny of everyone: their consumers, food critics–even one another. While constructive criticism is always welcome, we’ve all encountered the occasional review that is not based in reality, but merely a projection of simplistic negativity. Rather than allowing these blurbs of craziness to get us down, let’s reclaim the power through community and humor. We’ll laugh at ourselves and recognize that you truly can never please everyone.
Photo via Facebook / Compass Rose
Specially priced meals are scheduled to come to D.C. restaurants again this winter.
About four dozen eateries in the Borderstan coverage area are set to take part in the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s Restaurant Week from Monday, Jan. 30, to Sunday, Feb. 5. The restaurants are slated to serve lunches and brunches for $22 and dinners for $35 from prix fixe menus.
The eateries include:
A longtime 19th Street hangout has a new name.
Rumors, the bar and grill at 1900 M St. NW, is now called “District Anchor.” Signs advertising the new name went up recently.
Patrick Morrogh, who owns Arlington’s crab-centric eatery the Quarterdeck, took over the business earlier this year. The plan is for the newly rebranded restaurant to serve seafood under the District Anchor banner during the day and sling drinks as Rumors late into the night.
So far, however, all that’s changed is the name. The restaurant will begin to roll out changes to its menu next spring, according to general manager Paul Kolokousis.
“We plan on being a crab house for lunch and dinner and continuing our DJ, dancing and drinks for late night in the Rumors tradition,” Kolokousis said.
The “home of the sweet potato pie” is back in business on U Street.
Henry’s Soul Cafe reopened its location at 1704 U St. NW this morning at 11 a.m. Today’s opening marks the first time the U Street soul food eatery has served customers since it closed after a fire in 2014.
A small handful of people gathered at the restaurant this morning to place their orders for pies, fried chicken and fish, mac and cheese, ribs and cornbread.
Owner Jermaine Smith said the reopening has been “pretty good” so far.
“We’re working out some of the kinks with the new system we have,” Smith added.
Locals can start picking up Thanksgiving orders on Sunday, Nov. 20. The store is open 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays.
Photos and additional reporting by Andrew Ramonas
Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s fast-casual restaurant in Shaw is set to pour free cups of java from Vigilante Coffee Co. tomorrow morning.
Smoked and Stacked (1239 9th St. NW) is scheduled to have the complimentary coffee from 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday to celebrate two months in business, according to a tweet from the eatery. The restaurant opened in September with breakfast and lunch sandwiches, as well as other food.
A cup of coffee normally costs $2.50 at Smoked and Stacked.
Photo via Twitter/Vigilante Coffee
A restaurant promising “epic” Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwiches is set to come to Adams Morgan in the coming weeks, an owner of the eatery told Borderstan today.
Epic Philly Steaks is slated to land at 1792 Columbia Road NW by the end of this month, co-owner Daniel Tarekegne said. The space was the former home of Mexican restaurant Mixtec, which closed in 2014 after 40 years in business.
In addition to “quality” cheesesteaks, the restaurant will have chicken wings, french fries and other food to eat there or carry out, Tarekegne said.
“We plan to make our customers happy,” he said.
Epic Philly Steaks, which will have seating for about 40 people, likely will open for lunch and dinner every day, with late-night hours on Fridays and Saturdays, Tarekegne said.
A District food safety and hygiene inspector found a vermin problem at a French eatery in Adams Morgan, the D.C. Department of Health announced last night.
L’Enfant Cafe & Bar at 2000 18th St. NW had a “gross insanitary occurrence or condition that may endanger public health . . . including but not limited to heavy infestation of vermin,” according to DOH.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the DOH official visited the restaurant and if, or for how long, the inspector required it to shut down. Typically, inspectors put up closure notices on the doors of restaurants when they uncover major vermin issues, which the agency will detail in public reports in the days after the discoveries are made.
But the full public report isn’t out yet and nothing from the agency was on display outside L’Enfant Cafe & Bar today. Only a restaurant printout saying it was “Closed for Maintenance” was attached to the door. The sign added, “Join us for Dinner at Our Sister Restaurant Red White and Basil,” which is at 1781 Florida Ave. NW.
Representatives of DOH and L’Enfant Cafe & Bar didn’t immediately return requests for comment.
A gastropub that’s been years in the making near Howard University appears to have set a firm opening date.
The Hilltop Bar and Restaurant (2737 Sherman Ave. NW) is scheduled to open Nov. 11, according to a recent Facebook post. Local blog New Columbia Heights was the first to spot the new opening date.
“[The Hilltop] is opening Nov. 11,” the Oct. 29 post reads. “Can’t wait to see you.”
This isn’t the first time the eatery’s owners said they were ready to start slinging food and drinks, however. The restaurant also said it would open last September, then again last May.
When the business finally opens its doors, it will serve a menu that includes offerings such as roasted brussels sprouts, cauliflower and burrata salad, according to the eatery’s Facebook page.
Photos via Facebook / The Hilltop
It’s official: Henry’s Soul Cafe says it will reopen its U Street location in time to bake pies for the upcoming holiday season.
The local spot hailed as the “home of the sweet potato pie” is slated to open its doors at 1704 U St. NW on the morning of Nov. 15, according to a recent Facebook post.
“ARE YOU READY? Henry’s U Street will reopen on November 15th @ 11 a.m.,” the enthusiastic message reads. “Tell your momma, cousin, friend… everybody! See you there!”
Locals can start picking up their Thanksgiving orders five days later on Sunday, Nov. 20, a sign posted on the front door of the restaurant says.
Though Henry’s Soul Cafe is best known for its pies, the eatery also slings heaping helpings of fried chicken and fish, mac and cheese, ribs and cornbread.
A fast-casual restaurant chain is set to bring its sushi, as well as its rice and noodle dishes, to NoMa in the coming weeks, according to a representative of the business.
Quickway Japanese Hibachi is slated to arrive at 77 H St. NW in mid-November, spokesman Leonard Pick told Borderstan yesterday.
Dishes — including bento boxes with meat, vegetables, dumplings, spring rolls and other food — are between $5.95 and $9.95, according to the menu.
Quickway has more than a dozen locations in Maryland and Virginia. But the NoMa location will be the chain’s first outpost in the District.
Photo via Quickway
A beloved U Street restaurant may reopen in time to sell sweet potato pies for the upcoming holiday season.
A new sign posted at Henry’s Soul Cafe (1704 U St. NW), “home of the sweet potato pie,” urges locals to “place your orders before Thanksgiving.” The sign lists dates for picking up orders and includes two locations: U Street and Oxon Hill, Md.
“Hopefully, it’ll reopen by then,” an employee at the Henry’s in Oxon Hill told Borderstan this morning. The employee said no opening date has been set, however.
Though the U Street store closed after a fire in 2014, its owners have vowed to return to the neighborhood. A banner hanging in the eatery’s window says it’s “coming soon.”
For members of the surrounding community, the opening couldn’t come sooner.
“We are excited to see you moving in,” reads a note recently taped to the restaurant’s front door. “Looking forward to the famous sweet potato pie.”
Photos by Andrew Ramonas
Adams Morgan’s newest eatery could take shape on a plot of land currently used as a parking lot.
A developer called “Jurassic Properties” has filed plans to construct a new restaurant at 2009 18th St. NW, according to a Historic Preservation Review Board public notice a Borderstan reporter spotted yesterday. The plot of land is currently used as a parking lot for Dupont restaurant Lauriol Plaza.
Though it’s unclear exactly what the new restaurant would entail, a representative for the company that owns Lauriol Plaza (and Cleveland Park’s Cactus Cantina) said a new “American restaurant” was in the works at that address but didn’t elaborate.
We’ll update this story if we learn more about the plans.
Photos by Andrew Ramonas
A Colorado-based fast casual eatery has plans to start slinging sandwiches, pizzas and salads in downtown D.C. early next year.
Modern Market will open a new location at 1010 Vermont Ave. NW, a representative for the company told us. If all goes according to plan, the new location would start serving customers in “mid-January” next year, the representative said.
When it opens, the downtown Modern Market will sell a long list of food made with “whole ingredients that come from farms, not factories,” according to the company’s website. The eatery’s menu includes egg scrambles, waffles, sandwiches, salads, brick oven pizzas and “homestyle platters” of protein, starch and veggies.
Modern Market also seeks to serve alcohol at the new restaurant, according to a recent filing with D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.
The forthcoming location will be the chain’s first in the District, but not in the surrounding area. A Modern Market opened in Bethesda earlier this year, and additional eateries are slated to open in Rockville and Reston, the company’s representative said.
A longtime Dupont Thai restaurant is set to debut a new look when it reopens later this week.
Thaiphoon, located near the northern edge of Dupont Circle at 2011 S St. NW, will open its doors and unveil its “new and fresh” as soon as tomorrow, said to general manager Lloyd Angus.
The restaurant, which ran under Mai Thai owner Woody Tongrungs until it was sold to a new owner in 2014, closed for remodeling about three weeks ago. The reason for the facelift, Angus explained, is that Tongrungs bought back his old restaurant after noticing it was “not living up to its standard.”
“The previous owner had done some remodeling of his own, but the building itself just needed to be worked on,” Angus said. “Business had slowed down so much it was a good time to make everything like new. We want out old customers to come back and see everything new and fresh in a different environment.”
Diners can expect to see some new items on the menu, Angus added. Offerings on the updated menu include basil shrimp and salmon and grilled trout wrapped in banana leaves. The restaurant will also serve such mainstays as spring rolls, crispy tofu and chicken satay.
“Our chef was brought over from Mai Thai Georgetown and she’s been amazing,” Angus said. “Everything is made by hand and fresh.”
Together, Lubens and Chiacchiaro — the “Fry Brothers” — sling piping hot cones of Belgian-style potatoes at their pop-up fry shop at Canteen (2100 M St. NW) on Fridays and bars and breweries across the District on Saturdays.
The idea to run a shop centered around french fries started more than a year ago.
“We were both interested in food and working with food,” Chiacchiaro said. “I had gone to New York and Boston and realized that a lot of french fry places existed, but none in D.C.”
But it wasn’t until this past winter that the two friends set their plans into motion by devising ways to make their taters unique.
Their idea: Turn the crispy fried potatoes into vessels for flavorful sauces. So, they created a batch of dippers that felt more fun than ketchup.
“We create sauces based on dishes, and we know what goes into the full version of that dish and how it’s prepared [and] made,” Chiacchiaro said. “If we want to keep on eating it, we’re sure our customers will want to as well.”
Today, the brothers’ menu includes DC Fry, a mixture of ketchup, mayonnaise and Ethiopian spices; Mumbo sauce; Old Bay aioli; and Pho 16, a “Vietnamese-pho inspired” concoction.
And there might be more sauces on the way, such as Peruvian green chili, Lubens added.
“We don’t have a shortage of idea for sauces,” Lubens said. “We have a lot of our own ideas, and we get a lot of ideas from customers as well.”
In addition to working on new sauces for the menu, Lubens and Chiacchiaro are trying to find a more permanent location inside an existing business, like a coffee shop.
“We want to make food people want to eat,” Chiacchiaro said. “Food that is delicious. We’ll travel for good food, and we think other people will, too.”
Find out where the Fry Brothers will pop up next by visiting their Twitter page.
Photos courtesy of Micah Lubens