We've missed Tiffany MacIsaac's presence on 14th Street ever since the ultra-talented pastry chef moved on from Birch & Barley and other Neighborhood Restaurant Group eateries like Buzz Bakery to launch her own business in Alexandria, Buttercream Bakeshop. Now she's making a DC comeback—at least temporarily—with a pop-up at Cork Market on November 7 and 14.
On the creative menu: confections such as a Cookie Monster chocolate chip cake, layered with eggless cookie dough and crowned with miniature oatmeal cream pies. Other sweets include marshmallows in flavors like Mexican chocolate and passionfruit, pumpkin whoopie pies, and Fruit Pebbles krispies. Cakes and packages of desserts must be preordered for pickup, while items such as roasted-beet red velvet slices and macarons are available to grab and go. Cork owners Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts will be on hand pouring samples of their favorite sweets-friendly wines and bubbly for pairing, which can be purchased as well.
Both Friday pop-ups will run from 11 to 7.
While you guys are watching the World Series, I’ll be over here getting drunk with Ina. [Buzzfeed] —Ann Limpert
Think you can sneak homemade snake wine or trash bag of deer penises past customs? Bon App takes a look at the many edibles (and hopefully non-edibles) at Border Control. [Bon Appétit] —Anna Spiegel
"Yes, the fucking chickens are pasture raised. No, the fucking chickens aren’t grass-fed. Because they aren’t fucking ruminants, that’s why, not because I’m part of a secret rural conspiracy to disrupt the endocrine systems of America’s urban masses." An organic farmer has many things to tell you… [McSweeney's] —AS
Mark Bittman shares the only two rules for a good diet. Thankfully, neither wholly excludes carbs. [New York Times] —AS
NatGeo takes an in-depth look at the "Carnivore's Dilemma," a must for all the meat—and also meatless—eaters out there. [National Geographic] —AS
Martha Stewart Living published a guide to throwing your kids a "punk party." Go for the party tips, stay for the comments. Actually, skip the party tips and just go directly to the comments, especially the one about Jell-O Biafra Jigglers. [Martha Stewart Living]
This Week in Millennial Food Trends: McDonalds just had its worst quarter since 2003, and it's all because millennials like Chipotle and Panera instead of the Golden Arches, according to a "millennial retail expert." What kind of Hell-forged job title is that? [CNBC] —BF
An obnoxious online activist claims he hasn't had a sip of water in more than two years, instead preferring to get his hydration through raw fruits and vegetables. Apparently he also does a bit of porn on the side. This 33-minute rant isn't NSFW, though it does sound incredibly daft. [First We Feast] —BF
In case you've retained a love of trick-or-treating past the age of 21, here's a guide to pairing wine with Halloween candy. [Boston Magazine] —Tanya Pai
I sympathize entirely with this Chinese woman who spent a week in a KFC mourning a breakup, and recommend the mac and cheese. We've all been there. [Yahoo News]
Sexy devil? Sure. Sexy cat? Been there, done that (with some regrets, only one involving Goldschläger). But when it comes to more risqué Halloween outfits, food-themed getups tend to push the limits of low-cut, high-heeled ridiculousness. Here are seven of my favorites this season, suited for every personality—except modest. Note: some, particularly one involving strategically placed gumballs, are NSFW.
For fans of Lady Gaga's meat dress: Sexy bacon
Nothing says classy like a one-shoulder sheath from Walmart. Or a pork dress. Either way.
For a stoner's girlfriend: Sexy pizza
"Dude, like what if you had a hot chick, and a pizza, but the hot chick was the pizza?"
For home bakers: Sexy cherry pie
A solid clothing rule: dress your age, not your shoe size. Though the outfit description is pretty gag-worthy (“succulent,” “moaning”) thankfully there’s no mention of hand-pies.
For New Englanders: Sexy lobster
The scariest thing on Halloween: how many times any woman wearing this will hear references to blowing, bursting bubbles, and slots.
For vegetarians: Sexy corn
Thankfully not included: a sign reading "Shuck me."
For Big Mac lovers: Sexy McDonald's
What Ronald's female equivalent would look like, if she a) wore a one-piece bodysuit with a zip-up V-neck, and b) never ate McDonald's.
When Mango Tree debuts in CityCenterDC in December, the two-story Thai eatery will be the first in the US for the Bangkok brand. Restaurateur Richard Sandoval of El Centro D.F., Masa 14, Toro Toro, and many more has teamed up with founder Pitaya Phanphensophon for the project. On the menu: classic and reinvented dishes found throughout Thailand, such as chicken satay and red curry duck with apricots.
One of the more traditoinal items is lightly spicy, aromatic tom yum soup with shrimp. This home-cook-friendly version is simple and relatively quick to prepare. Look for specialty ingredients like lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves at Asian markets, or a well-stocked Whole Foods, which often carries them.
Tom Yum Soup
17 ounces water
10 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 sticks lemongrass
1 4-inch piece galangal
6 kaffir lime leaves (available at Whole Foods)
4 bird’s eye chilies
4 tablespoons fish sauce
Juice of 2 limes
4 tablespoons sugar
6 button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 teaspoons Thai chili paste
4 teaspoons coconut milk
4 cilantro leaves, thinly sliced
Thai parsley for garnish
Make the soup:
Place water in a pot over high heat.
Roughly chop galangal and add it to the water.
Crush the lemongrass with a rolling pin, meat tenderizer, or heavy spoon to release the oil and flavor, and add it to water.
Tear kaffir lime leaves and add them to the water along with the lime juice.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, and let stand for another 10 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
Using a strainer, strain the soup into a separate pot and place over medium-low heat so it's simmering but not boiling.
Serve the soup:
Add mushrooms and shrimp to the soup, and poach them for 4 to 5 minutes.
Once cooked, remove shrimp from the soup and place into two bowls.
Season the soup, stirring in the fish sauce and sugar.
Add coconut milk, Thai parsley, and Thai chili paste. Mix well.
Pour into the bowls over the shrimp and serve.
Chef Colleen Conrad has been tapped as the new toque for 14th Street hotspots Pearl Dive/Black Jack, replacing James Huff, who is relocating to North Carolina. Conrad most recently held a sous chef position at sister Jeff Black restaurant Republic in Takoma Park, working alongside chef/co-owner Danny Wells.
While you won't find big changes to the menu—those fried-chicken buckets aren't going anywhere—a few new dishes are already in play. Look for items like a crispy Brussels sprouts salad with Benton's ham and pickled onions, panko-crusted fluke with jicama-apple slaw, and whole wood-grilled black bass with spicy peanut sauce and winter greens. Fresh additions to the brunch menu are expected in the coming weeks.
One of the biggest changes at the typically crowded eatery isn't entirely chef-related: Pearl Dive is now taking reservations from 5 to 7, seven days a week. There's also valet parking for $12 until 10 on weekdays and 11 on weekends.
District denizens can now get their doughnut fix on the street from the Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken food truck. The mobile vendor, previously only licensed in Virginia, begins serving DC on Wednesday.
On the menu: doughnuts in flavors such as classic vanilla glaze, crème brûlée, and maple-bacon, and a lineup of fried-chicken sandwiches. Combinations like a crispy bird BLT, Buffalo chicken, and Old Bay-fried chicken come on savory doughnut rounds. Chicken fingers are also an option for those (kind of) counting calories.
Look for the black wagon in Friendship Heights Wednesday, NoMa on Thursday, and back in Ballston on Friday. Want to find it every morning? Sign up for our Truck Stops newsletter for the most current locations of your favorite street eats.
Update: Wednesday's stop has been cancelled due to rain, but the truck will be back on schedule in NoMa Thursday.
Absinthe popsicles at Menu MBK
405 Eighth St., NW
The bar team just revamped the cocktail menu at this Penn Quarter spot with some pretty creative new sips (and solids). In the latter category you'll find "frozen fairyland" absinthe popsicles, as well as Fernet Branca lollipops. Liquid drinks include bubbly spiked with limoncello and gin, and a cereal-milk white Russian.
Bottomless dim sum brunch at Ping Pong Dim Sum
900 Seventh St., NW/One Dupont Circle, NW
Fall means the start of “East West” bottomless brunch, launching this Saturday and Sunday. Pick unlimited plates from traditional dim sum trolleys like dumplings and buns, as well as fusion dishes such as five-spice pork belly eggs Benedict with Sriracha hollandaise. To drink: an unlimited tableside mimosa bar. The meal and drinks are $36 per person, with service from 11:30 to 4 on weekends.
Hot chocolate menu at Fiola
601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Things get cozy starting on Thursday with the launch of a hot chocolate menu starring three flavors of Amedei Italian cocoa: Toscano white, dark, and gianduja. All are served with oversize, house-made marshmallows and cookies.
Bacon burger at Macon Bistro & Larder
5520 Connecticut Ave., NW
Macon took second place at the epic Brainfood Burger Battle last weekend, and celebrates by serving the beef-and-bacon patty at the bar for one week only. The burger comes topped with house pickles and tomato aïoli, with a side of fries ($14).
Dollar oyster happy hour at Second State
1813 M St., NW
The Pennsylvania-themed restaurant opens Tuesday with a good deal for bivalve-lovers: $1 oysters throughout the restaurant from 5 to 6 on weekdays.
Mexican barbecue at Toro Toro
1300 I St., NW
Chef Richard Sandoval launches a global barbecue series at his downtown grill, where you'll find specialties from Mexico, Japan, Korea, and more. First up, through December 31: Mexican barbacoa with dishes such as mezcal-braised beef cheeks, crispy ribs al carbon with tomatillo sauce, and more. The specialty items are offered during dinner only.