<<EDIT 8/13/10 11:23 AM: Bummer!  Apparently the truck is out of commission for the day.  Red Hook has tweeted:

So, we’re not as weatherproof as our favorite hard-shelled friends and Friday the13th demons struck our truck. So sorry. Hope to roll Mon.

Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery and a smooth opening run on Monday!>>

By the time you read this, Red Hook Lobster Pound may have already tweeted the site of their first stop (Brooklyn-based owner Susan Povich has already spilled the beans on their New York feed).  If that’s the case, you can bet that a line is already forming to greet them upon arrival, regardless of weather.  Before Red Hook had served even their first sample, they had more than 1900 followers hanging on their every update about when their mobile lobster shack would be hitting the street.

Well the wait is finally over, and we can say from experience it was worth it.  Last night the team behind Red Hook Lobster DC threw a launch party for some of their most eager fans and media types.  Guests enjoyed tastes of the truck’s signature lobster rolls as well as Cape Cod chips, shrimp rolls, whoopie pies and Maine Root sodas.  We gathered in the grassy park-like space where M and 2nd Streets meet in Southeast, near the Nationals’ stadium. (HINT: Apparently the Red Hook folks thought it was a good location…just saying.)

At the kick-off party we had a chance to meet Susan as well as Doug Povich (Susan’s cousin) and Leland Morris, the guys behind Red Hook Lobster Pound’s Washington operation.  The mood was festive despite the fact that we all huddled under a pair of tents while a storm blew through.  The mobile restaurateurs were effusive with their praise of their DC followers as they shared their excitement to be hours away from opening.

So what was that delectable-looking lobster roll like?  And what do you need to do to be ready when they come to your neighborhood?  Find out after the jump. (more…)

<<EDIT #2 4:39 PM 7/8/10 –As reported elsewhere (including Tim Carman’s Young & Hungry post), the opening has been pushed back a week and is now slated for Monday, July 19th.  Stay hungry!>>

<<EDIT 11:29 AM 7/7/10 – Official word from We the Pizza is that they’re planning for a Monday opening. They’ve been working ’round the clock to finish everything up and, in Mike Colletti’s words, “Everything’s great…but I’m tired!”>>

Brace yourselves.

Better yet, Capitol Hill, break out your fat pants.

In just a few days, Spike Mendelsohn (along with his family and friends) will be opening We, the Pizza in the space that used to be Zack’s Taverna.  Consider it the polar opposite to the new SweetGreen – the menu consists of pizzas, wings, sandwiches and gelati all washed down with ice-cold beers and hand-flavored Italian fountain sodas.

The opening party is tonight, and they’ll be turning out pies to the public as early as Friday.

Can’t wait that long?  Check out the menu on their already-live website.

Better yet, check out the following photos to get a feel for the place.  We were lucky enough to get in for a first look yesterday, and it’s clear that Spike, Mike Colletti and Brian Lacayo are ready to have some fun with their new concept.

More photos after the jump. (more…)

<<EDIT 12:24 PM, 5/13/10 – Sorry for the confusion – I listed the address as NE, not NW, but I’ve corrected it.

UPDATE 12:20 PM, 5/13/10 – Check out Buddha Bar’s dinner menu, just in!>>

If you’ve ridden the Circulator from Union Station to Georgetown or driven along Massachusetts Avenue near Chinatown at any point in the past year or so, you’ve been tantalized with a large advertisement for Buddha Bar in the ground-floor windows of 455.  The gigantic space has been a work in progress for almost twice that long, but the wait is finally over.  Buddha Bar opened for dinner service last night and is now ready for business.

Maybe you’re familiar with their popular series of music compilations.  Perhaps you’ve paid a visit to Little Buddha in Las Vegas or the original Buddha Bar in Paris.  Or maybe the Washington outpost of this global lounge and restaurant concept (branded as “eatertainment”) is your first experience with the concept.  Whatever your level of familiarity with Buddha Bar, prepare to be impressed.

After the jump, take an early look at the space with photos while you’re making your plans for this weekend. (more…)

Dangerously Logo<<UPDATE: 11/16/09 @ 6:00 PM:  I just got off the phone with the folks at Dangerously Delicious, and they told me they’re still a few weeks away from their official opening, but they are accepting Thanksgiving orders over the phone for pickup at the store.

They are offering five of their sweet pies for order: apple, apple crumb, pecan, pumpkin and sweet potato.  Pies are $30 each and weigh in at 5 pounds.  Give them at call at (202) 398-PIES and place your order today.>>

Every so often, we’re faced with something so coincidental that we just have to stop wonder if there isn’t something bigger at work.  Sure, for some people these kinds of existential questions are triggered by major life events.  For us, go figure, it’s food.

Back in June, we took a trip up to Hampden in Baltimore.  While checking out HonFest, an old favorite event, we made our way to Dangerously Delicious Pies.  It was our first experience with the rock n’ roll pie place, and we left with a major sugar high and a healthy respect for the shop’s repertoire.  We even promised a return visit next time we’re in Baltimore.

1339And that’s where the big coincidence comes in.

No sooner had we posted our write-up in early July than Alex and our friends over at Brightest Young Things broke the news that Dangerously Delicious would soon be expanding into Washington.  They’d be opening up at 1339 H Street, NE, near the Rock n’ Roll Hotel, before the end of the year.  That’s right – not only were the pies following us from Baltimore, they would be taking up residence in our neighborhood!

Now we’re just a few short days away from Thanksgiving, and the pieman is just about ready to throw open his oven doors.  Pick your favorite for the holiday after the jump. (more…)

Paradiso ExteriorIt’s a big week for pizza lovers here in Washington.  In case you haven’t heard already, Pizzeria Paradiso has officially made the move from 2029 P Street to 2003 P Street in Dupont Circle.  First announced by the Going Out Gurus on Friday, the news was quickly picked up by Mike at DCBeer.

We swung by to check out the new space and will be putting up our first look tomorrow.  For now, just know that everything you love about the M Street location has been carried over to this newer, larger P Street space…including the Birreria concept that has made Paradiso a destination for beer lovers as well as a pizza afficionados.

SeventhHill LogoBut that’s not all!  Wood-fired pizzas seem to be cropping up in restaurants all over town, and the next location is slated to open this week.  SeventhHILL, a concept from the folks who own Montmartre on Seventh Street, SE, is just about ready to start turning out their own version.

Though nothing is ever certain when it comes to final approvals and restaurants’ timelines here in DC, there’s a very good chance that Chef Stephane Lezla’s new restaurant – next door to Montmartre in the space formerly occupied by Ben & Jerry’s – will be open for business on Tuesday, September 1.

I stopped into Hill’s Kitchen one day last week and was rewarded with a bite of a pizza that owner Leah Daniels was sampling.  The vegetables that topped the blistered crust were bright and crisp, with strips of fresh zucchini and sweetly caramelized onions as well as briny Italian olives (like Kalamata olives).

The menu she showed me listed a variety of pre-set topping combinations as well as a ‘top-your-own’ selection.  No word on prices or delivery options yet, as their website (www.seventhhill.com) has not yet gone live.  We’re going to be watching for more information on SeventhHILL as it develops.

sisters_tinyWith the opening of the combination Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli / Sisters Pizza & Mussels this week, ATF headquarters may very well secure the title of Best On-Site Dining Options for a federal office building in the District.  The sandwich shop and pizza place join an already-open Five Guys and a Pound Coffee, giving the folks at Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms easy access to Burgers Pizza and Coffee at lunchtime.

If you haven’t seen the changes around the New York Avenue Metro stop lately (and I’m pretty sure most of you haven’t…it’s not that heavily trafficked), you’d barely recognize the place.  Look beyond the construction – the site of a new Courtyard by Marriott – and you find yourself face to face with the most traditional office-building facade of the new ATF headquarters.  A quick walk along 2nd Street toward Florida Avenue takes you past the new establishments, then Pound, and finally Five Guys on the corner.

I couldn’t help but be amused by the signs identifying this as government property and prohibiting smoking within 50 feet of the building…despite this being the home of the folks who regulate tobacco.

Perhaps the most important news for those of us in the neighborhood, Heidi’s and Sisters also deliver!

A look at their menus – and the details on delivery – after the jump. (more…)

Lots of developments in the food service industry today including responses to the economic crisis and new restaurants opening in the DC area. Let’s get to it!

Sales for vices like alcohol, chocolate and cigarettes are up despite financial concerns around the nation. These items, along with low cost consumer packaged goods, are typically considered recession proof. You know what else is recession proof? Porn. Seems like the smartest move to make here is a significant investment in chocolate Reddi-Wip stock. Awww yeah.

The folks at Starbucks corporate are apparently a bunch of divas who are difficult to work with. Maybe they should switch to green tea. They’ll have nothing to fear from McDonald’s coffee competition however. The recent Wall Street events have set back the mega-chain’s plans to revamp with high end coffee. Apparently franchisees are no longer able to secure the loans necessary to take part.

Another good reason to buy locally… the melamine problem in China’s milk continues to exacerbate, sickening 54,000 babies in China, causing the death of four and prompting countries such as France and South Korea to ban not only dairy products but cookies from China as well. Kraft and Mars are exploring claims that M&Ms and oreos have also showed contamination.

DC restaurant openings, $1 million for the right Halloween treater, DC Food Network auditions and a tribute to Paul Newman after the jump! (more…)