Eat Local

Interesting primer on the benefits of hunted and farmed game meat.  A co-worker of mine is married to a hunter and he actually hunts bear (!!). But this isn’t about a fancy rug for the cabin: he brings the meat home and she freezes it to feed the family in the winter. Apparently her bear lasagna is pretty tasty!

Trying out game meat.

It’s been almost two years since the Fojol Brothers burst onto the DC vending scene with their take on Indian cuisine.  Their butter chicken, lentils, and curry are fresh and flavorful, and the mango lassipop is a favorite warm weather treat.  But the Fojols are a nomadic people, and Merlindia has open borders and neighboring lands…

When the Fojol mobile carnival paid a visit to Capitol Hill just before the Curbside Cookoff, I had a chance to chat with Dingo (one of the ‘brothers’).  We talked about the diversity of food truck concepts that have launched over the past few months and the city council’s actions.  But there was one thing he told me that particularly piqued my interest.  Dingo suggested that if everything went smoothly we’d be seeing another Fojol Brothers truck on the street before too long.

I pressed him for details, but he demurred.  All he would tell me is that the truck would reflect the spirit of Merlindian enthusiasm, if not the same cuisine.  I was intrigued, and impatient to see what would come.

Well the wait is over.

On Saturday, as I was scouting the vending options along Independence Avenue near the Stewart/Colbert rally, I walked past the new Dangerously Delicious Pie Truck and came upon not one, but two Fojol Brothers trucks parked together!  A new set of Fojol Brothers have made their way to Washington.  They hail from Benethiopia, a land known for its spicy and savory dishes as well as the spongy injera bread upon which they’re served.

A sampling of Benethiopian cuisine after the jump. (more…)

It’s getting to be that time again.  The monthly DC Food Blogger Happy Hour is set to take place next Wednesday, November 3rd.  It’s the day after the elections, so you’re going to have a reason to come out for a drink regardless of which party you support.  And we’re here to support that.

So is Northside Social.  The neighborhood coffee house / wine bar / all-around enjoyable place to hang out is this month’s location, and we’ll have the back room reserved to give us room to get the party started.  If I know this group, we’ll be spilling out into the rest of the space before too long.

Why Northside Social?  Well, it IS our November Happy Hour.  We wanted to pick a place that offered some cozy warm beverages in case next week is more seasonably cold.  But we also wanted a spot with some solid beverage options as well.  General Manager and Sommelier Alison Christ has certainly seen to that, compiling a wine list that should offer something for everyone (and some choice beers for those who just don’t like wine).

And because the holidays are rapidly approaching, we wanted to try something new and (we hope) fun for this month’s happy hour: a cookbook swap!  Have a favorite cookbook you’ve worked your way through backwards and forwards?  Got a book you’ve been meaning to cook from but you just haven’t gotten around to it?  Bring it with you to Northside Social and trade it for another.  We’ll have a table full of cookbooks for everyone to pick and choose from.  Bring one book, take another home.  Bring two, take two.  It’s a great way to refresh your cookbook collection and see what your fellow foodies have been cooking at home.

We’ll kick off at 6 PM, as usual.  Northside Social is located in Clarendon, just a short walk from the Orange Line’s Clarendon Metro stop.  Head in the opposite direction from Hard Times Cafe along Wilson Boulevard, and you’ll pass a couple of additional foodie destinations: Eventide, Spider Kelly’s and Liberty Tavern (owned by the same folks who bring us Northside Social and Lyon Hall).

If you’re planning to come by, take a second and let us know on the event page over at Facebook.  And if you still haven’t joined the group, sign up to become a member of the DC Food Bloggers Facebook group.  It’s a great way to hear about each month’s happy hour as well as other fun events that come up from time to time.

Any questions?  Drop us a comment or ask on the event page.  We can’t wait to see you there…and Baby Spice may even make an appearance to sweeten the deal.

Best Farmers Markets – Local Farmers Markets –

The list includes DuPont’s weekend market. Do you think it’s the best in DC? Our favorite is actually the Thursday Penn Quarter market. It’s weekday schedule makes it a challenge for many to attend, but that’s also one of its charms – less crowds!

Image Credit: Pressed Magnolia Studio

When we told you about FryCaptain’s debut yesterday, we warned you that there were a couple of additional food truck launches on the very near horizion.

Is today soon enough for you?

Wonky Truck has done a few test runs over the past two weeks, and today they go live.  They’ve even got a new website up and running, though they’ll continue to post location updates via Twitter (@eatwonky) and Facebook.  Hungry fans can find them at Franklin Park today from 11:30 to 2 to find out what all the fuss is about.

Image Courtesy eatWonky

I had the chance to chat with Jeff Kelley, one of the pair behind the Poutine Machine, and he gave me some more information on the gravy-and-cheese curd concept that he and partner Minas Kaloosian are about to unleash on the DC dining scene.  Like any good politically-minded Washingtonian, I wanted to see just what makes a Wonky Dog so wonky.

As it turns out, wonky means “a little off-center” in Canadian slang – the perfect description for the idea of putting cheese curds, gravy and fries on top of a hot dog.  But somehow that’s exactly the idea that Jeff and Minas came up with upon first tasting poutine in Vancouver.  So all you policy wonks with a dream of chucking it all and starting a new career as a food truck driver/chef will have to find a new inspiration (may we suggest the guys at Pork Barrel BBQ?).

Kelley gave us a few hints of things to come and a look at the truck’s menu board.  Check them out after the jump. (more…)

It’s official!  After test runs on Friday night in Adams Morgan and Saturday evening in Dupont Circle, the newest food truck to hit the streets will be serving its first lunch crowds today.

FryCaptain, the brainchild of Jake Sendar, will be bringing crisp, hot french fries (complete with an array of flavorful dipping sauces) and cold, thick milkshakes to compete with the lobster rolls, frozen yogurt, cupcakes and all the other food truck treats.  And they’re not a moment too soon – there are at least two other trucks scheduled to start making the rounds within the next week.

We talked with Jake and his fry chef Rusty to get an idea of what to expect when the truck pulls up to its first stop – 1 Massachusetts Ave., NW (near Union Station) – today.

We asked about the fries and learned that they’re cut and prepped each day before service begins, then fired up hot on the spot.  For now, at least, they’re cooking the fries in a trans-fat free vegetable oil, but they’re still looking into other options and may consider peanut oil or another option down the road.  They are also committed to bringing their promised duck-fat fries online within the next few weeks, though they’re rolling out with just the basic fries for now.

Funky flavors for dipping sauces and shakes after the jump. (more…)

When it’s time to celebrate a special occasion, most of the better restaurants in the area are only too happy to offer up a Tasting Menu.  Designed by the chef and choreographed from start to finish, these multi-course culinary adventures have become de rigeur for celebratory dining.  And because they show off the skills of the chef and the best of what’s in the kitchen, they tend to be meals to remember.

Unfortunately, those meals come with the kind of price tag that makes them impossible for most of us to do with any regularity.  Sure, you can order off the a la carte menu and save some cash, but there are some real deals out there that allow even the most dedicated of bargain hunters to enjoy the cuisine at a few of the highest-rated restaurants in the area.  You just need to know where to look.

The Inn at Little WashingtonBoxed Lunches
Yes, that Inn at Little Washington.  For more than thirty years, Chef Patrick O’Connell’s cuisine has drawn guests to “little” Washington more than an hour away from the District.  The setting and the service don’t hurt, of course, but this is still the Holy Grail for many DC foodies.  The cost of dinner at the Inn begins at $148 per person (Sunday through Thursday) and tops out at $178 on Saturday nights.  Add in the cost of wine and a room at the Inn so you don’t have to drive back after your two-to-three hour meal concludes, and you’re looking at a significant investment.

This past weekend, while on a road trip through northern Virginia that turned up an impressive winery (Gray Ghost) and a charming downtown worth further exploration (Culpeper), we discovered the Inn at Little Washington’s great big secret: they offer an $18 boxed lunch that’s packed with enough food for two people!

What you get for the money – and a pair of additional money-saving dining options – after the jump. (more…)

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