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Here are some of our favorites and where to find them. By Will Grunewald
Photograph via Shutterstock.

At Oktoberfest’s oompah-blasting, sausage-sizzling festivals, local brewers try their hand at the traditional Bavarian lagers known as Märzen, a balance of subtle hops with smooth, sweet malts that goes down easy between rounds of boisterous song. Here are some of our favorites and where to find them.

RhinO’fest

Lost Rhino Brewing, Ashburn

This gold-medal winner at last year’s Great American Beer Festival in Colorado hews to traditional Oktoberfest style, with warm notes of toasted malts and a crisp finish. At Lovettsville Oktoberfest and Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest.


Hitzig Frau

Mad Fox Brewing, Falls Church

This light-bodied, less filling Märzen leaves lots of room for bratwurst and sauerkraut. At Hoppy Oktoberfest, Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest, and Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest.


Oktoberfest

Port City Brewing, Alexandria

Port City uses only German malts and hops and leaves its beer unfiltered, lending it a hazy complexion, full body, and deep flavors. At Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest and Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest.


Corktoberfest

Corcoran Brewing, Purcellville

This brew from the owners of Corcoran Vineyards is a winemaker’s bright, floral take on beer’s hoppiness. For festivals, see facebook.com/corcoranbrewing.


Smoketoberfest

Capitol City Brewing, DC and Arlington

Märzen meets smoky Rauchbier in this innovative brew that bursts with campfire flavor. At Hoppy Oktoberfest and Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest.


This article appears in the September 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 08/29/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Summer salads, boozy melons, and the best of the grill. By Anna Spiegel
Marinated mozzarella and tomato salad makes an addictive alternative to caprese. Photograph by Anna Spiegel.

Whether you're at the beach or on a staycation, Labor Day weekend is one of the best times to cook. The tomatoes are sweet, the berries ripe, the grill well-seasoned, and you'll find plenty of friends ready to drink and eat away the last days of August. 

Here are ten of our favorite summertime recipes, including dishes from hot new restaurants, old standbys, and top food trucks. 

Marinated mozzarella and local tomato salad from Duke's Grocery

We're addicted to this twist on the caprese. Buffalo mozzarella is marinated in a bright, citrusy blend of herbs and chilies that's also used to dress the salad. You'll never go back to balsamic again. 


Molokai Mule cocktails from Bar Charley 

These deceptively potent tiki cocktails are simple to make and even easier to drink. Garnish them with little umbrellas and fruit for a beachy look.


The Burger Américain from Le Diplomate

Sure, these patties are griddled instead of grilled, but you can always tweak the cooking style if you're set on live flames. Just don't miss the American cheese, pickles, and "special sauce."


Gazpacho from the Pepe Food Truck

One of the best gazpachos in Washington can be found aboard José Andrés’s food truck. The silky soup gets its kick from sherry vinegar and its richness from quality Spanish olive oil.


Fried chicken tacos from Tico 

Tacos? Good. Fried chicken? Gooood. Combine the two and you have the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Fennel slaw and spicy buttermilk dressing make for tasty toppings. 


Vodka-infused watermelon from Bourbon Steak

Channel your inner college kid and prepare to get tipsy off of this booze-infused melon. The main difference between now and the frat party days: quality vodka such as Belvedere—this is from a Four Seasons restaurant, after all. 


Avocado bruschetta from Cork 

An oldie but a great-y. This vegetarian/vegan appetizer requires little effort, but scores big in the flavor department. 


Spice-grilled chicken with yogurt and herbed slaw from Estadio

Consider chef Haidar Karoum's dish perfect party food: Marinated chicken thighs can feed a crowd without breaking the bank, and most of the components can be made ahead. More important, it's delicious. 


Lamb burgers from Brandon's Little Truck

Skip the beef and try these juicy, rich patties kicked up with garlic, fresh mint, and cilantro. Feta takes the place of cheddar, and a topping of spinach, fennel, and more herbs brightens the burger. 


Berry cobbler from Red Truck Bakery

Farm stands are overflowing with blueberries and blackberries, so it's prime time to whip up this divine cobbler. Serve vanilla ice cream alongside for the perfect summer dessert. 

Posted at 12:56 PM/ET, 08/26/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The return of hot hot chicken sandwiches and much more. By Anna Spiegel
It’s baaaack! Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The time has come: Chef Dan O’Brien launches his fried chicken pop-up at Seasonal Pantry Wednesday at noon. Four styles of crispy bird will be sold through Saturday, with the first being the hot hot chicken sandwich pictured above. Yes, it’s real, and 200 are waiting to be ordered. 

In addition to the crispy birds, you’ll find sides such as pimiento mac and cheese, spicy cabbage and peach slaw, potato salad, and more. Blue Duck Tavern pastry chef Naomi Gallego will serve her doughnuts on Thursday and Friday for a sweet finish. Orders start at noon each day, with the exception being fried chicken with corn-jalapeño waffles on Saturday, sold from 5:30 on. 

A limited quantity is available for takeout, so better get dialing—and then feasting. 

Seasonal Pantry. 1314 Ninth St., NW, Washington, 20001.

Posted at 09:33 AM/ET, 08/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
One of Washington’s best fishmongers says no. By Anna Spiegel
No shark-fin soup for you. Photograph via Shutterstock.

The Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is always a summer highlight, but BlackSalt fishmonger MJ Gimbar urges diners to keep their fascination with the toothy fish off the plate. 

“There are plenty of other things to eat in the ocean with a good conscience,” says Gimbar. “Leave sharks to Shark Week on TV. They’re awe-inspiring animals.”

Worldwide, wild sharks are listed on Seafood Watch’s “avoid” list, with the exception of thresher and shortfin mako species from California and Hawaii. Gimbar doesn’t even carry these varieties or serve them in the restaurant, since scientists have a difficult time establishing how sustainable these shark populations truly are. Gimbar also cautions against purchasing any meat simply labeled “mako,” as the longfin species is threatened. 

That’s not to say you won’t find shark sold around Washington. Despite President Obama passing the Shark Conservation Act, which includes laws against “finning” (killing sharks solely for their fins), you can still order shark-fin soup at several local Chinese restaurants; the Animal Welfare Institute keeps a list of the offenders. Some have consequently take the dish off the menu, while others insist they’re using imitation versions. 

Still hungry for the steak-y meat? Gimbar says to try sustainable varieties of sturgeon or swordfish instead. 

Posted at 02:28 PM/ET, 08/12/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
How to get the best bargains, quality meals, cheap drinks, and more. By Anna Spiegel
Want to get more bang for your buck at a restaurant like Central? Try it for lunch. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Summer Restaurant Week starts Monday, August 11. While the premise is simple—three-course menus for $20.14 and $35.14 for lunch and dinner, respectively—getting the most out of the promotion is a little more complicated. Here are six pro tips to help you do RW right. 

1) Look for restaurants offering almost their regular menus

Chicken or fish? Yes, certain Restaurant Week menus are so limited they sound like airline selections. Still, many places go all-out, and even give near free rein of the regular offerings. Such spots include Al DenteArdeo+Bardeo, most of the Passion Food Hospitality restaurants (DC Coast, Acadiana), DGS Delicatessen, and G’s tasting menu.

2) But beware of surcharges

Larger menus like the ones above can also include surcharges for more expensive options such as rib eye, lobster, or signature dishes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if your goal is to explore the restaurant’s true talents. But if you’re deal-seeking, tacking on an extra $5 or $10 can add up to the price of a non-Restaurant Week meal.

 

3) Find true bargains at lunch

Restaurant Week isn’t always a bargain, and it’s often called “free dessert week” for a reason. The $35.14 price doesn’t include tax, tip, or alcohol. Add two moderately priced glasses of wine, the sales tax, and your 20-percent tip—yes, you should still tip well during RW—and you could be looking at a $120 tab for two. 

The best value is mostly found at lunch. A three-course afternoon meal for $20.14 is a bargain at pricier, fine-dining restaurants like Del Campo (menu), Sushi Taro (menu), Central (menu), Rasika (menu), Fiola (menu), the Source (menu), and others.  

Another lunchtime bonus: Reservations at top-tier restaurants like the ones above can be tougher to snag in the evenings.

 

4) Try unofficial “Restaurant Week” 

In order to participate in Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week, eateries have to be a member of the RAMW association. But a number of nonmembers are offering corresponding specials, which are sometimes more eclectic or generous. Dino’s Grotto “anti-Restaurant Week” lists ten courses for $35. For a similar price, El Chucho serves a snack and cocktail, a flight of three tequilas, your choice of tacos, elote, and dessert. Sister eatery Jackie’s will offer a special menu and 50 percent off bottles of wine through August, while chef RJ Cooper dishes up the semiannual “Restaurant Week gone rogue” at Rogue 24.

 

5) Look for deals on drinks

Alcohol is the main culprit for higher Restaurant Week bills. Sure, offering booze at a discount provides a bigger incentive to drink/spend money, but if you’re planning to imbibe regardless, might as well do it for less. José Andrés spots like Jaleo and Zaytinya will have special wine lists with less-expensive bottles; Slate Wine Bar + Bistro serves $4 drafts, $7 cocktails, and discount wines during dinner; and Zentan offers $14 sake flights, typically priced at $20.  

 

6) Take advantage of extensions 

A warning for the crowd-adverse: Certain Restaurant Week scenes can feel like Valentine’s Day or (shudder) New Year’s. Many spots offer extensions, which typically thin out the hordes. Such spots include the Oval Room, Masa 14, Graffiato (lunch and brunch only), 2941, and Mintwood PlaceCheck back for a full roundup of extensions on the Best Bites Blog. 

Posted at 04:22 PM/ET, 08/06/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The options range from casual neighborhood eateries to celebrity chef-driven restaurants. By Anna Spiegel
José Andrés’s America Eats is one of the many new eateries participating. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

The Metropolitan Washington Summer Restaurant Week is upon us, starting Monday, August 11. More than 200 area eateries will offer a three-course lunch and dinner for $20.14 and $35.14, respectively. How to choose? One way: Try somewhere new. The places below have all debuted in the past six-odd months, including a number of summer openings. Whether you’re looking for a casual meal, a celebrity-chef-driven restaurant, or an anti-summer Restaurant Week promotion, you’ll find plenty of options.

Aggio DC

5335 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Chef Bryan Voltaggio goes modern Italian with this separate restaurant inside Range. Think Caesar salad with oyster croutons, and prawns over sweet corn polenta with fra diavolo sauce.

When: dinner

Al Crostino

1926 Ninth St., NW

This former U Street Italian recently relocated to Shaw, with a few new menu items. Expect the same homey feel and dishes like stewed meatballs and gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce.

When: dinner

America Eats Tavern

1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean

José Andrés’s American eatery inside the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner is one of the biggest summer debuts, serving a mix of local and regional dishes such as fried chicken and soft-shell crab jambalaya.

When: lunch and dinner

Dino’s Grotto

1914 Ninth St., NW

The new Dino’s in Shaw isn’t participating in the official RAMW Restaurant Week, and they’re pretty honest about why. According to the website: “3 courses at $35.14 simply IS NOT a great deal at Dino’s Grotto. It comes out to a half-priced dessert, which IS NOT a savings in our minds.” Instead you’ll find ten plates of antipasti, pasta, eggplant Parm, and more for $35.

When: dinner

I-Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar

3003 M St., NW

Georgetown’s newest Thai-and-sushi spot offers fare from both cuisines during Restaurant Week, including mixed seafood rolls and drunken noodles.

When: lunch and dinner

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

750 15th St., NW

The Washington branch of the iconic Miami original is a pretty pricey spot, so Restaurant Week may be a good time to try it. Though you won’t find the iconic claws, other options include fluke ceviche and marinated skirt steak.

When: lunch and dinner

Menu MBK

405 Eighth St., NW

Look for seasonal European cooking at chef Frederick De Pue’s Penn Quarter restaurant/market, such as escargot in garlic-butter sauce and bass bouillabaisse.

When: lunch and dinner

Roofers Union

Ripple’s more casual Adams Morgan sibling focuses on house-made sausages, smoked meats, and drink-friendly small plates. You may want to hit the rooftop for a cocktail before your four-course dinner.

When: dinner

Rural Society

1177 15th St., NW

The first Washington restaurant from celebrity chef Jose Garces focuses on Argentinian specialties such as thick-crust fugazza pizzas, Wagyu belly empanadas, and plenty of options from the wood-burning parrilla grill.

When: lunch and dinner

Sona Creamery and Wine Bar

600 Pennsylvania Ave., SE

Get your cheese fix at this Eastern Market creamery, which makes fresh fromage on-site. Dishes include cheddar-tomato pie, mac and cheese, and a variety of burgers.

When: lunch

STK

1250 Connecticut Ave., NW

Dupont’s “female-friendly” steakhouse goes into its first Washington Restaurant Week with tuna tartar, strip loin, and market fish. Given that two Wagyu sliders normally go for $19 in the evenings, a whole lunch for $20.14 is a deal.

When: lunch and dinner

Toro Toro

1300 I St., NW

Restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s pan-Latin steakhouse offers the likes of bay scallop ceviche, churrasco grilled steak, and ancho-chocolate brownie sundaes for its first Restaurant Week.

When: lunch and dinner


Find Anna Spiegel on Twitter at @annaspiegs.

Posted at 02:03 PM/ET, 08/05/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A bounty of Chinese and Kenyan specialties on the Mall. By Vicky Gan

Catch Chinese and Kenyan cooking demonstrations on the National Mall this weekend. Photograph courtesy of the Smithsonian.

Curators of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival wrestle with the same problem every year: fitting the cuisine of an entire country into a single concession stand. The two-week event, which concludes Sunday, July 6, on the Mall, celebrates cultural traditions in the US and around the world, from Appalachian bluegrass to Bhutanese archery. This year’s spotlight is on China and Kenya, with both cuisines represented in the festival’s concessions and foodways demonstration areas.

So what can you expect to eat when you visit over the holiday weekend? China’s concession feature Chinese-American staples such as lo mein, as well as more unusual dishes such as Szechuan ma po tofu with minced pork and spicy chili sauce. Many Washingtonians have become familiar with the latter at places like Great Wall Szechuan. Program curator Preston Scott faced a sharper learning curve when it came to African cuisine. 

“Americans may think, ‘Kenyan cooking—what could that possibly be?’” says Scott. “They’ll see similarities that may not be quite as strange as they anticipated.”

Folklife partnered with Beltsville’s Swahili Village and a number of Kenyan caterers to create traditional dishes, which are split into coastal and uplands varieties. Coastal cooking, served at the Spice Routes Cafe, features ingredients including coconut milk, basmati rice, and masala spices familiar to Indian food lovers. Meanwhile, at Choma Grill, guests can dig into grilled meats and ugali, a cornmeal mash similar to polenta.

Foodways demonstrations offer more opportunities to explore the depths of each cuisine. In China’s Five Spice Kitchen pavilion, chefs prepare regional specialties including duck-blood glass noodle soup and zongzi, sticky-rice tamales eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. Due to National Park Service regulations, guests won’t be able to sample dishes prepared in the demonstration areas, but the festival posts recipes online so visitors can try them at home.

Since the weekend is looking steamy, you can beat the heat at China’s concession stands with a cucumber salad and a mango coconut dessert that resembles tapioca pudding. On the Kenyan side, snack on meat and veggie samosas, perfect for festival eating on the go. Both areas also highlight the great equalizer of beer—Tsingtao for China and Tusker for Kenya, among other national brews.

Posted at 10:17 AM/ET, 07/03/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Free hot dogs and crepes, all-you-can-eat mussels, and plenty of beer. By Anna Spiegel
Watch Team USA's fourth world cup match over Belgian and American specials like free dogs, discount beers, and all-you-can-eat mussels. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Team USA faces the Belgians today in the World Cup’s round of 16. Even though kickoff is near happy hour at 4, many bars are opening at noon (or before) and expecting large crowds. If you’re planning on watching at one of these popular spots, make sure to sneak out of work early for free hot dogs and crepes, discounted boots of beer, all-you-can-eat mussels, and other themed specials for the big game.

Black Squirrel

2427 18th St., NW

The Adam’s Morgan bar starts its usual Tuesday all-you-can-eat mussels night early, beginning at 3 for the match. Several varieties, all $16.50, include mussels simmered in tomato-white wine sauce or with garlic and chorizo.

Belga Café and B Too

514 8th Street, SE; 1324 14th St., NW

Stop into either of Belgian-born chef Bart Vandaele’s restaurants for dueling Belgian and American specials. The restaurants pit Stella Artois against Budweiser to see which sells more; Bud buckets and bottles go for $15 and $5, respectively, while Stella sells for $23 and $7. You’ll also find glass giveaways and a raffle for a USA World Cup jersey. Additionally, B Too will serve a special menu of Belgian dishes and beers for its competition against the Pig (see below).

Buffalo Billiards

1330 19th St., NW

If a large, air-conditioned space with plenty of beer sounds good for the game, head to this subterranean Dupont bar with five ten-foot screens and 62 smaller ones. Specials include $5 Palm Speciale Belgium and New Belgium Snapshot drafts, and $15 pitchers.

The Bullpen

1299 Half St., SE

One of the biggest outdoor viewing parties will likely be DC’s official one at Freedom Plaza, but the police could make things less free if you break out a beer. Head to the spacious open-air bar outside Nationals Park instead for $6 Miller Lite, Coors Lite, Blue Moon, and Red’s Ale, food truck fare, frozen drinks, cornhole, and the game on a 165-square-foot screen. Doors open at 3.

Columbia Firehouse

109 S. St. Asaph St., Alexandria

You’ll find the match on a large, high-definition screen and a lineup of USA specials at this viewing party, including $9 double cheeseburgers and chili-cheese half-smokes. Wash it down with specially priced Miller High Life and Belgian-style American craft brews.

Dacha Beer Garden

1600 Seventh St., NW

Cheers with $10 glass boots of Belgian and American beers at this popular Shaw beer garden. The Germans may have beaten the US team, but we won’t hold it against their brewers, especially when half-liter mugs go for $5. The bar opens at noon.

Duke’s Grocery

1513 17th St., NW

Hang out on the outdoor patio while watching the game from a window-mounted television. Happy hour runs from noon to 7, and you’ll find Belgian-style (but locally made) Port City Optimal Wits for $5. Shots of Absolut vodka, Fireball, and rye also go for a Lincoln. If the US scores a goal (fingers crossed), the shooters are free.

Food Wine & Co.

7272 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda

Drop into this Bethesda bar and restaurant to watch the match while sipping $1 Sam Adams drafts and snacking on $5 fried chicken. The deals start at 4, and aren’t offered in the dining room.

Granville Moore’s

1238 H St., NE

The doors open early at 3 for a watch party fueled by $5 Bavik beers and a limited number of Raging Bitch bottles, as well as the usual lineup of mussels and fries. Any tabs open before the end of the match get the neighborhood 12.38-percent discount all night long.

The Pig

1320 14th St., NW

This porky restaurants made a wager with its Belgian neighbor, B Too: Whoever wins the match gets to choose a guest at the watch party and offer him or her a free dinner for four at the other’s eatery. A special American menu includes burgers, dogs, and sausage gravy-smothered “freedom fries.”

Roofers Union

2446 18th St., NW

Regardless who wins, there’s free food for American and Belgian fans alike in the form of complimentary “dirty water dogs” and crepes. The spread will be offered in the second-floor dining room during the first half of the game, which you can also catch on the rooftop deck.

Tyber Bierhaus

7528 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda

American, Belgian, and German beers are the name of the drinking game at this bierhaus, and you’ll find $2 off half-liter drafts during happy hour from 4 to 7. Also get half off wings, onion rings, and select beers during the game, and a sausage platter with a liter of cold brew for $20 during happy hour.

Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 07/01/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Barbecues, brunches, picnics, happy hours, and more. By Anna Spiegel, Vicky Gan, Maddy Berner
Hit Marvin for brunch, and then head to the roof deck for boozy snow cones. Photograph by Stephanie Breijo.

You don’t have to hit the beach to have fun this Fourth of July weekend. Restaurants and bars throughout Washington are celebrating with outdoor barbecues, pool parties, special brunches, all-day happy hours, and more. And if you’re planning on heading down to the Mall or the Georgetown waterfront to watch the fireworks, make sure you pack a picnic.

BARBECUES AND PARTIES

Poolside barbecue at Art and Soul

415 New Jersey Ave., NW

Fancy a dip? The Liaison Capitol Hill throws a rooftop pool party with all-American eats from Art and Soul—think burgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob. Tickets ($35) get you all-day access to the hotel pool and a limited view of the fireworks (food and drinks are priced individually).

Patio barbecue at Cafe du Parc

1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Celebrate America’s birthday with a block party-style feast before hitting the fireworks at this French bistro in the Willard InterContinental. The kitchen grills up hamburgers, hot dogs, and vegetarian wraps from noon to 8 on the patio, while you can also purchase $15 picnic lunches to go to from the à-la-carte menu.

All-you-can-eat cookout at Cashion’s Eat Place

1819 Columbia Rd., NW

Enjoy homestyle favorites such as slow-roasted pork shoulder, corn dogs, and coleslaw at Cashion’s all-you-can-eat cookout on July 4. Service runs from 2 to 6 or whenever food runs out, so come early and hungry—the restaurant will not be open for regular dinner service. Tickets ($40) are required for the party and include a cocktail.

No-cover party and boozy pops on the DNV Rooftop

1155 14th St., NW

One of the best roof top pool bars in DC revisits its “freedom from cover charges” bash on July Fourth. Look for the regular, individually priced menu of Asian-inspired eats from Zentan like pork belly bao buns, tamarind-beef tacos, and Jon Harris’s cocktails. Another plus: boozy red, white, and blue popsicles. There’s no direct view of the fireworks, but you can catch them on an outdoor screen. The doors open at noon, and it’s best to get there early for a space.

Boozy popsicles and deejays at the Gibson

2009 14th St., NW

Hit this 14th Street cocktail bar’s back patio for alcoholic popsicles and tunes from DJ Jazmine and DJ Eskimo from noon to 8 (no-reservation admission is free, pops are $6). You can pad the stomach with $1 veggie burgers and hot dogs.

’Cue and tunes from Hill Country

401 F St., NW; 410 Seventh St., NW

Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue at the National Building Museum opens from 2 to 9 on July 4 with the regular menu of barbecue eats and live music by Jeremy Steding and the Slim Kings (free admission; food and drink priced individually). Should you decide to head inside, the Penn Quarter restaurant serves special cocktails like a watermelon-vodka “watermelon crawl,” and throws a free post-fireworks show by Jonny Grave and the Tombstones at 9:30.

AmeriCan Drink Dependence Day at Jack Rose

2007 18th St., NW

Nothing says freedom like inexpensive canned beer, and you’ll find plenty of it during Jack Rose’s rooftop party. Flying Dog supplies $4 Snake Dog IPA and Easy IPA from noon to 5 ($5 from 5 until close) as well as $5 to $6 drafts alongside food specials. Another party July 3 features a Sam Adams tap takeover, more inexpensive pours, and $4 beer snow cones.

Unlimited punch and half-smokes at Lincoln

1110 Vermont Ave., NW

Starting early on Monday, June 30, you’ll find specials on American beers including $3 PBR, $5 Jack’s Hard Cider, and $6 Port City Pilsner. On July 4 the party includes unlimited drinks from the “emancipation punch bowl” and a barbecue menu ($30 adults; $15 kids under 12).

Roof-deck barbecue at 1905

1905 Ninth St., NW

Hit the deck at this Shaw bistro and bar for an outdoor bash from 3 to 10 featuring 3 Stars beer, and grilled fare such as burgers and ribs. Tickets ($15; $20 at the door while available) include either two gratis beers or a choice of protein and two sides. Extra beers and food are $5.

First Annual Freedom Fest at Republic

6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park

Republic hosts an al fresco beer and barbecue festival from 11 to 7 featuring live music from Yamomanem and Human Country Jukebox. More than 25 local brews will be on tap, along with cookout classics like slow-smoked pork, deviled eggs, and corn on the cob. Tickets include free-flowing beer and food, and run $35 for a four-hour pass (11 to 3 or 3 to 7), or $50 for the whole day. Those looking to just swing by can grab $1 oysters in the tent outside the restaurant.

Patio party at 701

701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

The Penn Quarter restaurant opens its outdoor patio for an Independence Day cookout. An à-la-carte menu features starters and sides such as green eggs and ham and Mexican grilled corn for $4 to $8, and heartier barbecue fare like pulled-pork sandwiches and Chicago-style hot dogs for $8 to $15. The 701 dining room is also open for regular business from 4 to 10.

Dinner and dancing cruise aboard Spirit and Odyssey Cruises

600 Water St., SW

Skip the crowds on the Mall and catch the fireworks from the water aboard these sister vessels, which host dinner cruises on July 4. The Odyssey trip starts at 6 and includes a three-course meal, open bar, and dancing ($275). The Spirit ride involves a dinner buffet, open bar, and deejays ($200). Both offer full views of the light show and end at 11:30.

All-you-can-eat and $1 oysters at Teddy & the Bully Bar

1200 19th St., NW

Just a couple of blocks from Dupont Circle, this presidential-themed eatery has a whole lineup of specials for the holiday. Stop in between 2 PM and 1 AM for $1 oysters, happy hour specials, $8 cocktails, and an all-you-can-eat menu of grilled fare, salads, sides and desserts for $32 per person ($16 for kids 12 and under).

There’s no charge for an outdoor party at the DNV Rooftop, which serves its regular menu of Asian-inspired eats and drinks. Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

PICNIC BASKETS

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

1308 G St., NW

Show your stripes with Astro’s picnic basket ($36), which includes eight pieces of fried chicken, three USA doughnuts (vanilla with raspberry drizzle and blueberries), three chocolate birthday cake doughnuts, and one pint of potato salad. The picnic feeds four and is available for pickup on July 4 from 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Place your order online, e-mail info@astrodoughnuts.com, or call 202-809-5565.

Boundary Road

414 H St., NE

Take your Fourth of July feast to go with a fried-chicken bucket ($40) from Boundary Road. The picnic-ready package includes eight pieces of fried chicken, watermelon salad, potato salad, and cookies for four, and must be reserved by Thursday, July 3. Call 202-450-3265 to place your order, then pick up at the restaurant on the Fourth.

Society Fair

277 S. Washington St., Alexandria

Society’s Fair BBQ bag for four ($75) comes with cookout essentials like pulled pork, barbecue chicken, coleslaw, honey cornbread, and potato salad. Reserve online or call for availability. Bags can be picked up at the Alexandria store from Thursday at 11 until Friday at 2.

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

1612 14th St., NW

Fried chicken lovers can pick up some of the best in town when preordering Pearl Dive’s crispy bird buckets. The $35 deal includes six pieces of dark-meat chicken, German-style potato salad, slaw, jalapeño corn muffins, and blueberry hand pies. Orders must be received 24 hours in advance.

Pinstripes

3222 M St., NW

Stop by this Georgetown bocce and bowling restaurant for a game and some takeout before watching the fireworks from the waterfront. The Italian fare includes sandwiches and party platters like Italian grinders and a roast turkey cobb.

Take Pearl Dive’s tasty fried chicken to go alongside biscuits and sides. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

HOLIDAY BRUNCHES

EatWell DC restaurants

Various locations

All five of EatWell DC’s restaurants serve brunch on July 4, including the Heights, the Pig, Commissary, Logan Tavern, and Grillfish. Offers vary by location, from $1 oysters and $5 American drafts at Grillfish to a swine-centric barbecue menu at the Pig.

Granville Moore’s

1238 H St., NE

Sip cocktails and munch on brisket hash, sourdough French toast, and eggs Benedict as part of this Belgian gastropub’s special Firecracker Brunch. At 4 PM, Granville turns into a day-drinking haven until the fireworks at 9.

Marvin

2007 14th St., NW

A limited brunch menu runs from 11 to 6 for all your egg-and-mimosa needs. Hit the upstairs roof deck before or after for boozy snow cones, available starting at noon.

Richard Sandoval restaurants

Various locations

Each of Richard Sandoval’s six DC establishments offer unlimited brunch for patriotic patrons, including Masa 14, both El Centro D.F. 14th Street and Georgetown, Ambar, Toro Toro, and Zengo. The $35 feast includes all-you-can-drink cocktails, wine, and beer, and never-ending dishes. Flavors vary by eatery, from Latin-Asian-style drinks and eats at Masa to Balkan fare at Ambar.

Tequila abounds at El Centro D.F., where you’ll find all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunch on the Fourth. Photograph by Erik Uecke.

SPECIAL HAPPY HOURS

Barrel

613 Pennsylvania Ave., SE

The Capitol Hill bourbon bar is serving up an all-American menu featuring lobster rolls, Chicago-style hot dogs, and deep-fried apple pies. Happy hour starts at 4 PM, with $3 Bud and $5 American bourbons and whiskeys.

The Heights

3115 14th St., NW

Boozy red, white, and blue floats are offered all day ($9), with cooling combinations such as gin, St. Germain, bubbly, and sorbet. The regular happy hour menu runs 3 to 7.

Capitol City Brewing

4001 Campbell Ave., Arlington

A tri-colored brew, $8 cocktails, and food specials for the entire holiday weekend will be available at Capitol City Brewery’s Arlington location. Grab a burger-and-beer combo or a wing-and-beer combo and get Capitol City Core Four beer included. Members of the military receive 10 percent off.

Policy

1904 14th St., NW

Policy starts the weekend on Thursday with an all-night happy hour, including a $5 food menu and other drink specials. On Friday and Saturday, pair a cocktail with items from the Patriotic menu: pulled-pork sliders or fried chicken drizzled in honey.

Urban Butcher

8226 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring

Kick-start your weekend with an early happy hour at Urban Butcher, starting at 3 on Thursday. The Silver Spring market/restaurant is also serving brunch on the Fourth from 11:30 AM to 5 PM, with happy hour running all day.

Posted at 03:16 PM/ET, 06/30/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Cheer on the US against Germany with free hot dogs, cheap beer, and more. By Anna Spiegel
Snag free hot dogs at Ivy and Coney this weekend. Image via Shutterstock.

Team USA’s performance against Portugal may have been incredibly disappointing on Sunday, but that’s all the more reason to cheer on the squad when they face off against Germany on Thursday at noon. In case you missed them the first time around, here are specials for cheering—and, fingers crossed, cheers-ing—them on American style, from free hot dogs to plenty of Bud.

Penny beers at Drafting Table

What’s more American than cheap beer? Every time Team USA scores a goal, you can celebrate with a penny draft. The bar is a headquarters for the World Cup, showing all 64 matches with plenty of specials, so better get there early for a seat (or even standing room).

Bud America tallboys at the Blaguard

This Adams Morgan pub is a hub for Washington sports, so it only makes sense it’s rooting for the American team. During USA matches you’ll find $4 red, white, and blue Bud tallboys. 

Dollar dogs at the Pug

Say U-S-A! at this Atlas District dive, which serves $1 dogs and $3 Bud tallboys during American matches. 

Free dogs at Ivy and Coney

Nothing says freedom like cheap meat. Grab a gratis hot dog with the purchase of a beer, including the bar’s signature Chicago dogs from noon to 4 (limit two per customer).

Two-buck cans at Bracket Room

Reality TV and inexpensive beer? Sounds like an American evening. Score $2 cans of beer during the game at The Bachelorette alum Chris Bukowski’s sports bar. The “Sports Junkies” from 106.7 The Fan will be hanging out starting at noon, and you'll also find a new lunch menu.
 

“Fu*k it buckets” at Kangaroo Boxing Club 

To say that KBC is jazzed about the World Cup is an understatement—just check out its flag-bedecked patio, where you can watch the game on projection screens, and extended hours. While not explicitly devoted to Team USA, you’ll find a very American serving of fried food in the “fu*k it buckets” ($12). 

RBVs at Public (Dupont and Tenleytown locations)

Pay homage to the red, white, and blue with $5 Red Bull vodkas during the match and $3 Bud and Bud Light during games at these sister sports bars. 

Free doughnuts from Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Snag a free red, white, and blue doughnut if the US wins; 32 are available, the number of teams in the World Cup. The patriotic rounds are also available for $2.50 as long as our team stays in the tournament. 

Cornhole and Bud at Penn Social

If you like to play the all-American game of cornhole while watching games on the big screen, this Penn Quarter sports bar/playground is your place. The bar serves $3 Bud Light for all matches, boasts ample televisions of all sizes, and offers various other games such as basketball and skeeball. 

World Cup Budweiser at Lucky Bar 

This Dupont watering hole screens soccer year-round, so you’ll find a devoted crowd sipping official World Cup Budweiser bottles ($5 each). The rest of the menu skews Brazilian, with Rio-style street fare. 

More Cheap Bud and apps at Tommy Joe’s

Catch the game at this Bethesda sports bar over $3 Budweiser and Bud Light, $6 appetizers, and other game-time specials.

Posted at 10:50 AM/ET, 06/25/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()