Where have all the mobile restaurants gone? Have no fear, food truck followers—you can find more than 20 trucks serving savory and sweet treats at the Truckeroo food truck festival from 11 to 11 at the Bullpen, near the Navy Yard Metro stop.
The newest doughnut shop in the game, District Doughnut, opened at 8 o’clock Friday morning, creating yet another opportunity to line up for fashionable food in Washington. Cofounder Greg Menna said the small aqua-and-white shop on Barracks Row has a goal of producing 1,200 doughnuts a day, and will stay open until they sell out. When could that be?
“We would love to be open ’til 5,” says Menna.
When the operation is fully up to speed, the goal is to produce 3,000 doughnuts per day in flavors such as PB&J, lemon meringue pie, and cannoli.
Because District Doughnut is on the same block as Rose’s Luxury, Manna expects his store’s line to merge with the newly appointed "best new restaurant in America." Rose's line starts to build at 4:30 in the evening and often grows to 75 to 80 people before the restaurant opens its doors at 5:30. Menna said that during the doughnut shop's pop-up phase, the two queues intersected. Couples aspiring for a taste of both could plan to divide forces and have a fried dough appetizer before digging into Rose's pickle-brined crispy chicken.
UPDATE, 3 PM: They sold out by 10:30 AM, and tweeted us, "We need unlimited doughnuts." Or at least double what they made today.
There's been a hole in our burger-loving hearts ever since Michael Landrum closed his Ray's Hell-Burger and Hell-Burger Too locations in Arlington. Sure, you can still snag patties at his sit-down restaurants, but there's a certain beauty in digging into an American-cheese-smothered Mack in a temple devoted to its glory.
Now there's reason to celebrate: Landrum says Hell-Burger has reopened across the street in the former Ray's to the Third space. While virtually nothing has changed in the look, the former sit-down restaurant has switched over to counter service and boasts an entirely new menu.
The eatery, though much larger than the original burger joints with 125 seats, will operate similarly. Guests can come in and order small or large burgers (such as "little devil/big devil"), which are brought to the tables alongside beverages, including wine and beer. Filling out the lineup of flame-broiled patties are cheesesteaks—including an over-the-top version decked out with fried eggs—and grilled chicken sandwiches. An old-fashioned popcorn machine churns out buttery kernels for free while guests wait.
The man behind Ray's the Steaks has never been known for catering to the meatless crowd, but hell may have frozen over.
"We're rolling out the welcome mat for vegetarians," says Landrum, who's added a selection of "hot and buttered" grilled cheeses made with brioche Texas toast. Simple, griddled American or more elaborate combinations such as pepper jack, avocado, and charred jalapeños can all be ordered with house-made tomato soup for dunking. Carnivores can always opt to add a slab of bacon or get a sidecar of chili instead of soup.
The good burger news doesn't stop here. Guests at Ray's the Steaks can try a new lineup of patties fashioned out of meat specially dry-aged for the dish. The "inferno burger" menu takes on a Dante theme. There's a good chance you're going to taste heaven—followed by some level of inner torment—when ordering the "third circle" topped with foie gras, bone marrow, and porcini mushrooms.
Ray's Hell-Burger. 1650 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-974-7171. Open daily 11 to 10. Find Anna Spiegel on Twitter at @annaspiegs.
The Festicle isn't the only thing coming down the pipeline for Spike Mendelsohn. The Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza toque will host a new television show on the FYI Network called Midnight Feast.
Based out of New York's Chelsea Market, the series will feature one-hour episodes in which chefs are allowed full access to the Union Market-esque food hall after hours. Contestants make ambitious meals out of ingredients found in the various shops, from Italian speciality stores to seafood markets. Winners leave with a cash prize equivalent to ten times the total price of their ingredients, while losers have to pay for every item they grabbed. So pack your knives and go, but don't forget the tab.
Spike fans can catch him playing host and head judge on the series premiere October 16 at 10 PM.
Mini fried-chicken doughnut sandwiches at Astro Doughnuts
1308 G St., NW
If a whole fried chicken breakfast sandwich seems a little too indulgent for midweek, Astro has a solution: one served on a mini doughnut with house-made pepper jelly. (Okay, it’s still pretty over-the-top.) The breakfast item will be served from 7:30 to 10:30 on weekdays and 9 to 11 on weekends for $4.25.
The Grill debuts at Alba Osteria
425 I St., NW
Those who remember Roberto Donna grilling delicious dishes outside Galileo can get a taste of the old days when Donna launches the Grill menu at Alba Osteria on Friday. The lunchtime grab-and-go counter will serve panini stuffed with pulled pork shoulder and salsa verde or fried eggplant, with a drink and chips included ($12). To celebrate the launch, Donna will offer the first 50 panini for free on Friday. Regular hours run Thursday and Friday 11:30 to 1.
New menu at Poste Moderne Brasserie
555 Eighth St., NW
Poste’s newly appointed chef Kyoo Eom has settled in, and launches a new dinner menu on Wednesday. Look for French-inspired dishes such as onion soup with beef short ribs and asapargus-wrapped halibut, as well as a few influences from Eom’s Korean upbringing. The new brunch menu will begin September 20 (with more fried chicken).
More sandwiches—and cheesesteaks!—at Taylor Gourmet
Taylor Gourmet switches up its menu for fall, whipping up cool-weather hoagies like the Passyunk Avenue with hot pastrami and cherry pepper Dijonnaise, and Thanksgiving-esque Penn’s Landing stuffed with cranberry-sage chicken salad and bacon. Get ready for the return of cheesesteaks October 1 (RIP Taylor Charles Steak & Ice), with either rib eye or chicken.
Brunch begins at DC Harvest
517 H St., NE
The new H Street spot DC Harvest starts brunch on this weekend. Seasonal, locally minded dishes include fresh oysters with watermelon mignonette, organic egg scrambles, and spelt-buttermilk pancakes. Service runs Saturday and Sunday 11 to 2:30, with dishes priced between $7 and $16.
Bigger happy hour arrives at Commissary
1443 P St., NW
More happy hour eats and drinks fill the new menu, including a variety of tacos ($3.50 to $4) pizzas ($6 to $7), and Champagne cocktails ($4.75), and more. The deals run between 3 and 7 on weekdays, and include a Natty/whiskey shot combo for the severely stressed.
Power lunch at Teddy & the Bully Bar
1200 19th St., NW
Just in time for fall wheeling and dealing, Teddy’s starts a prix-fixe “power lunch” menu, offered weekdays from 11 to 3. The three-course offering includes steak tartare, salmon Niçoise, and a seasonal fruit trifle ($23.99), plus more dishes.
Find Anna Spiegel on Twitter at @annaspiegs.
On the heels of foodie flash mob Dîner en Blanc, a new kind of supper club is heading to DC. Richmond’s Underground Kitchen (a.k.a. UGK) just announced a Washington expansion, though the details and location are fittingly vague.
Like other “secret” dining experiences, aspiring guests must register for a chance to be part of the covert fun. In this case, an e-mail will be sent out prior to the event, which includes the date of the five- to seven-course meal, the time, and a hint about the location. Only 25 to 40 people will then be allowed to purchase tickets, which go for $175 including food, wine, and gratuity. The menu and chef remain a surprise; past toques from down South include Mike Yavorsky of Belmont Food Shop and the Magpie’s Owen Lane.
So when is this all going down? In the ambiguous timeframe of “a couple of weeks,” but registration is currently open. Let’s hope the dress code is all black this time (it’s post-Labor Day, after all).
Find Anna Spiegel on Twitter at @annaspiegs.
Uber, the car service that brought you ice cream, Christmas trees, and condoms, is now jumping into the restaurant game. More specifically, the José Andrés empire. The company just announced a partnership with the Spanish restaurateur’s Think Food Group, which involves a number of promotions and giveaways through Monday, September 15.
The “all access” week (#UberALLACCESS) starts today. App users who order the service’s pricier black-car option between 6 AM and 5:30 PM can enter a promotion code for the chance to win various freebies for two, such as cocktails and snacks at Barmini, a late-night tasting at Oyamel, or a chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings at Jaleo DC. Uber transportation to each restaurant is complimentary up to $100, and winners are given a $50 credit toward their ride home. Only one winner is picked a day, but anyone without luck on their side can opt for “secret” (yet publicized) “Uber experience menus” at participating Andrés eateries. What is an Uber menu? We’re not entirely sure, but we guess it involves candy peppermints and miniature bottles of water. Good luck!
Find Anna Spiegel on Twitter at @annaspiegs.
Happy Tuesday, food truck followers! The gloom isn't stopping the fleet of food trucks today, so head out to satisfy your Mediterranean craving with hearty gyros from Mediterranean Delight or warm up with some chicken pho from Phonation.