Pop-Up Alert: Austin’s East Side King at Toki Underground

Plus Ripple previews its new spot, Roofers Union.

Thai-style fried chicken and beef tongue steamed buns hit Toki Underground next week. Photograph courtesy of East Side King.

We’ve already seen a wave of restaurant openings in 2014, and now the pop-ups have begun—though with fried chicken and corn dogs on the table, we’re not complaining. Start planning next week’s meals around two new temporary restaurants-within-restaurants: Austin’s East Side King at Toki Underground, and a preview of the Ripple team’s upcoming project, Roofers Union, in the Cleveland Park eatery.

You may remember Paul Qui from the Texas-set ninth season of Top Chef (he won), or visited one of the four funky locations of East Side King in Austin. Even if neither rings a bell, the menu Qui and partners Moto Utsunomiya and Jorge Luis Hernandez—a former executive sous chef at Minibar—have planned for their Toki takeover on Friday, January 24, looks oh so tempting: Thai-style fried chicken, jalapeño-spiked crispy Brussels sprouts, beef-tongue steamed buns, and more. Seats will be first come, first served as usual, starting at 11:30, so you may want to line up early.

Over at Ripple, chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley prepares a sample menu of what you’ll eat when the new restaurant, Roofers Union, debuts in Adams Morgan at the end of the month. A three-course menu gives a sneak peak of some of the sausages, burgers, snacks, and throwback desserts you’ll find at the casual eatery; options include pork-trotter arancini, an andouille-sausage corn dog with house “whiz,” and a pretzel hot fudge sundae. The $25 lineup also includes cold ones from 3 Stars Brewery. Make reservations for the pop-up menu (as well as the normal one) during regular hours on January 22 and 23. It’s true: You can have Roofers’ Boston-cream layer cake and eat East Side’s fried chicken, too.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.