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More fast-casual pies from an LA chain. By Harrison Smith
Customize pies at Pizza Studio. Photograph courtesy of Pizza Studio.

Los Angeles chain Pizza Studio opens its first Washington restaurant today in Dupont Circle, and celebrates with a free pie giveaway from 11 to 2 and 5 to 8.

The fast-casual pizzeria lets customers design their own 11-inch rounds, picking among crusts (including a gluten-free option), sauces, cheeses, and toppings like spicy pork or sweet chicken sausage. Take a look at the full menu here. In addition to free lunch and dinner, the restaurant is donating $2 to the Capital Area Food Bank for every pizza sold.

Pizza Studio is the latest in a string of fast-casual, customizable pie joints opening in Dupont, joining a week-old branch of &pizza, DC Pizza, Flippin' Pizza, Alberto's Pizza, and the upcoming Veloce, among others.

Pizza Studio. 1333 New Hampshire Ave., NW. Open Sunday through Thursday, 11 AM to 11 PM; Friday and Saturday 11 AM to 2 AM.

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 04/23/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Stave off the first-day munchies with gratis flame-broiled poultry. By Noah Weiland

The best sauce to use on your chicken at Nando's Peri-Peri is the lemon and herb.

Today between 4:20 and 5:20 PM, the Portuguese-by-way-of-South-Africa chicken chain's four DC locations are running a promotion in celebration of a different kind of herb: Any dine-in customer will receive a complimentary quarter chicken, sandwich, pita, or wrap. If the timing doesn't make it obvious, this is how Nando's is applauding the District's new legalization of marijuana.

Everything else on the menu, including sides, will be regular price. And remember to leave the pot at home—Initiative 71 only allows consumption in private residences, not places of business or other public venues.

The restaurant boasts today that "where there's smoke, there's fire." While the chain won't be offering free pot as one of the sides, it's safe to assume the people rushing over to Nando's later this afternoon will find it easier than ever to satisfy their other craving.

Whether or not you're planning on a post-poultry blunt, free meals from Nando's should attract the hordes. This is, after all, the chicken that only yesterday inspired Kanye West to stand up on a table at one of the company's many London joints.

Posted at 01:51 PM/ET, 02/26/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Grab a free meal in the District and Gaithersburg today. By Anna Spiegel
Cava Grill offers gratis bowls and sandwiches on Thursday. Photograph by Chris Leaman.

Anyone looking for a free meal has two opportunities today. DC Pizza, a new pie shop in Golden Triangle, will give out gratis pies and drinks for lunch and dinner, while Cava Grill Kentlands officially debuts today with free rice bowls, salads, and pitas.

Anyone craving pizza can head to 1103 19th Street, Northwest, between 11 and 3, and again from 6 to 9, for a four-topping pie and soda. The independent shop's premise is similar to Chipotle—or the multiplying &Pizza locations: Customers pick a sauce like classic tomato or barbecue, cheeses, meats, veggies, and "free finishers" such as fresh basil or ranch dressing. There're also a number of suggested combinations for the indecisive.

Meanwhile, the quickly growing Cava Grill chainlet makes its entrance in Gaithersburg with a "community day," during which guests can eat for free but are encouraged to donate to local nonprofits MicroGreens and City Blossoms. Comped lunch is served at 213 Kentllands Boulevard from 11 to 2, and dinner from 6 to 9. The menu is also customizable, with bases like salad and rice bowls or pita sandwiches, plenty of dips and spreads, braised meats and falafel, and veggies for topping.

Posted at 10:54 AM/ET, 11/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The plus side: She’s giving away free veggie dogs. By Anna Spiegel

Wednesday won't be the first time 19-year-old Courtney Stodden dons a lettuce-like bikini for PETA. Photograph by Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com

Free food typically sells itself. But just to make sure, faux-lebrity Courtney Stodden will be giving away vegetarian hot dogs on Capitol Hill in a bikini of “strategically placed lettuce leaves” on Wednesday, according to a release by PETA. The television personality, most widely known for marrying 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison at 16, is partnering with the organization for its annual Veggie Dog Giveaway.

Stodden’s appearance won’t be the first time a leafy lady has advocated meat-free living on the Hill. The veggie bikini is becoming part of PETA’s yearly protest against the American Meat Institute’s hot dog lunch on National Hot Dog Day.

Should you care to g̶a̶w̶k̶ support PETA and grab a free dog, Stodden will be in the Rayburn House Office Building courtyard on Wednesday at noon. We’re hoping the AMI will beef up its publicity campaign and send Teen Mom’s Jenelle Evans to counter-protest in a sausage Speedo.

Posted at 02:01 PM/ET, 07/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Soi 38 serves gratis scoops and drinks starting at 11:30. By Anna Spiegel

Photograph courtesy of Soi 38.

There’s nothing like free ice cream and lemonade on a mid-80s day. Newish Thai street food spot Soi 38 debuts its sidewalk patio today, and plans to serve complimentary scoops of house-made coconut ice cream and glasses of spicy ginger lemonade from 11:30 to 2.

The Foggy Bottom restaurant built an outdoor dining area along 21st Street, surrounded by planters filled with flowers and Thai herbs. Those who stop by on opening day can try chef Mitchai Pankham’s ice cream, made from young coconut and jackfruit, and the ginger-infused citrus drink. The al fresco area will be open for lunch and dinner going forward.

Posted at 10:41 AM/ET, 07/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Free passes to sample more than 60 of the city’s top restaurants, all in one place. By Anna Spiegel
Sample bites from some of the area’s best restaurants at our Best of Washington party. Photograph by Len & Jacqui Depas.

Washingtonian’s AT&T Best of Washington party returns to the National Building Museum on Wednesday, July 16, and promises to be one of the most fun culinary events of the summer. Last year, more than 2,000 guests, celebrities, and restaurant insiders gathered to mingle, eat, and drink the night away. The 2014 bash is bigger than ever, with more than 60 of our 100 Very Best Restaurants spread across two floors. Want to score free tickets before they sell out? We at Best Bites can help.

One lucky winner of our online contest will receive two free general admission passes, normally $125 each. The tickets allow entry at 7, and you’ll spend the evening sipping free-flowing drinks and sampling some the city’s top eateries including the Red Hen, Blue Duck Tavern, Toki Underground, Rasika, Restaurant Eve, and many more.

To enter, tell us the best drink, dish, or dessert you’ve tried from one of our 2014 100 Best Restaurants. It could be a recent find or a tried-and-true favorite. Leave your detailed answer in the comments below, and we’ll pick our favorite. The winner will be announced by noon on Friday, July 11. Good luck! We hope you’ve enjoyed dining your way through the city as much as we have.

Contest question: Which drink, dish, or dessert from one of the 2014 100 Best Restaurants is your favorite? Leave detailed answers in the comments below. Make sure to sign in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Disqus account so we can contact you if you win!

Posted at 02:10 PM/ET, 07/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The stuff summer dreams are made of. By Anna Spiegel
New to the menu: chocolate-dipped strawberry ice cream sandwiches. Photograph courtesy of GCDC.

Grilled cheese/wine bar GCDC drew lines down the block when it opened in April, so we can only imagine what kind of crowd will arrive for free ice cream sandwiches on Wednesday, July 2. The White House area eatery plans to debut a 16-seat patio along with a new menu of “cheese ice cream sandwiches.” 

No, we’re not talking chocolate-cheddar. The ice cream is made from cream cheese, vanilla, and spices, then infused with cocoa or fresh fruits. Instead of cookies you’ll find the scoops sandwiched between slices of brioche French toast. Flavors include cinnamon-apple, fresh strawberry and bourbon-vanilla, and chocolate-Grand Marnier. Like you would dunk a savory grilled cheese, the sandwiches come half-dipped in either chocolate ganache or caramel. 

The cooling treats will be $7 each and served daily from 4 to 9, though on July 2 the first 40 customers can snag one for free.

Posted at 09:55 AM/ET, 06/27/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get a taste of hybrid eats from the show’s food truck. By Anna Spiegel
The likes of pork belly s’mores can be yours from the Frankenfood Truck. Photograph courtesy of Roaming Hunger.

Ever wanted to try pork belly s’mores or Fruity Pebbles chicken? Now you can, for free, courtesy of Spike TV’s Frankenfood Truck. The cooking show—in which contestants compete to make the best hybrid eats, such as “dubens” (doughnut-Reubens) and “burgettis” (spaghetti-topped sliders)—hits the road via food truck and stops in Washington this week as it makes its way across the nation. 

Chef/cohost Josh Capon describes frankenfood as “a combination of unexpected ingredients that come together to create something special and tasty, or something godawful.” The truck serves bite-size samples of a few favorites, which we’re hoping will fall in the former category. Think a bacon-wrapped hot dog eclair with Cheez-It purée, Fruity Pebbles chicken tenders dunked in tamarind-orange sauce, and an espresso-crusted chicken taco with marshmallow-wasabi sauce, kimchee, and a “burned tortilla.” We can’t guarantee culinary bliss from Slim Jim mac and cheese balls, but a few Facebook likes are probably in your destiny. See the schedule below for this week’s stops in the District and Virginia, with all stops happening from 11 to 2. 

Wednesday: Chinatown, Seventh and F sts., NW (west of Verizon Center on Seventh)

Thursday: Ballston, 901 N. Stuart St., Arlington (between Fairfax Dr. and Ninth St.)

Friday: Downtown DC, 1900 Pennsylvania Ave., NW (between 18th and 19th sts.)

Posted at 09:48 AM/ET, 06/18/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Reward your own generosity with a treat at the Georgetown bakery. By Jessica Voelker
Generosity gets a sweet reward at Sprinkles. Photograph Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Muy Yum.

If you plan to do some donating this holiday season, you might want to head to the Georgetown location of Sprinkles. Through December 16, the LA-based bakery will be handing over a free cupcake to anyone who makes an offering to Toys for Tots DC at its 3015 M Street, Northwest store.

Sprinkles is also running a holiday happy hour from 4 to 9 PM on December 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, and 19. Buy one cupcake, get another one free. Happy holidays.

Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 11/27/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Got a sweet tooth or a thirsty liver? Here’s how to enter. By Anna Spiegel
Sprinkles will be giving away 50 of these to one sugar-loving office. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Muy Yum.

Two big prizes are up for grabs this week: six months’ worth of free happy hour goodies from both Bar Pilar and Café Saint-Ex, or up to 50 gratis cupcakes from Sprinkles.

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Posted at 03:55 PM/ET, 09/10/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()