The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

Every week we fill you in on what's been going on in the food and restaurant world.

By: Kate Nerenberg

The tension between food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants continues. Jonathan O’Connell wrote in the Washington Post’s Capital Business section that DC Council member Jack Evans introduced legislation Tuesday to require food trucks to pay sales tax—a sticking point for aggravated restaurants. As it stands, food trucks pay $1,500 a year in fees, which Evans wants to replace with a traditional sales tax. Mike DeBonis, also of the Post, followed up on his local-politics blog with a letter that the DC Food Truck Association sent to Evans, asking that he not just quickly slap on the tax but rather do a “holistic and comprehensive overhaul” of the current laws.

Wagamama, a British-based noodle shop, first announced plans for a Washington outlet in 2008. Since then, there have been reports that it backed out. But DCist got a tip Wednesday that the company is in fact going to open at 418 Seventh Street, Northwest.

Prince of Petworth talked to the owner of Asylum in Adams Morgan, who said he’s renovating the upstairs portion of his 20-year-old bar to focus on craft beer and barbecue. The basement bar will remain largely unchanged, says owner John Andrade—who’s also behind the new Columbia Heights beer-centric spot Meridian Pint. He’s hosting a contest—with a whopping $1,000 prize—to find a name; click here to enter.

Tasting Table’s Dining Dispatch posted that Morso and Morso Express, which opened just a year ago in Georgetown, have closed.

Travel & Leisure came up with a list of the 20 best coffee cities in America, and Washington slid in at number 19. What do you think? Is there good coffee here? Do we deserve to be higher up?

It took wading through some red tape, but Hank’s Oyster Bar chef/owner Jamie Leeds finally got approval to expand her narrow Dupont Circle fishhouse into the adjacent space. Borderstan has all the details, including doubling the size of the patio, an upstairs private dining room, more cocktails, and a late-night bar menu (think house-made pretzels and ceviche). Leeds hopes to begin construction in May.

The owners of Oya and Sei, both in DC’s Penn Quarter, are at it again, reports Justin Rude of the Washington Post. Their newest project, Sax, is at 734 11th Street, Northwest, and they “seem to be attempting to create an anachronistic fusion of a French cabaret and an opera house at the height of the Venetian Renaissance.” Yes, that means there’s a stage with an in-house dance troupe. Chef Jonathan Seningen, formerly at Oya, is in charge of the French small-plates menu; it’s fixed-price and starts at $50.

First Lady Michelle Obama is getting more than just produce from the White House garden: The Washington Post reports that she inked a deal with Crown Publishing Group to write a book about her green thumb and healthy eating, including family recipes. Proceeds from the book will go to charity.

The New York Times' Frugal Traveler visited Washington and was on the prowl for kid-friendly cheap eats. Author Seth Kugel hit lots of ethnic spots—Etete, Dukem, Irene's Pupusas III, among them—and one DC institution: Ben's Chili Bowl, where he wasn't so excited about the grub. 

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