5 Things Our Food Editors Are Thinking About This July

Including nonalcoholic cocktails, tacos and a hoagie war.

Chop Shop Taco.

Taco Time

Another fast-casual Mexican spot? Yes, please, if it’s Alexandria’s Chop Shop Taco (1008 Madison St.). Here, chef Ed McIntosh—also behind the nearby Pendleton Carryout—stuffs freshly pressed tortillas with juicy pork cooked in a banana leaf and turns out a terrific riff on guacamole, done up with serrano-chili ash and scallions.

Hold the Liquor

Carlie Steiner mixes up non-alcoholic negronis at Himitsu in Washington, DC. Photographs by Scott Suchman.
Carlie Steiner mixes up non-alcoholic negronis at Himitsu in Washington, DC.

Bars and restaurants are finally starting to take non­alcoholic cocktails seriously. Métier (1015 Seventh St., NW) has a new tea-based drink pairing—Saffron-carrot “martini”? Yum!—and Himitsu (828 Upshur St., NW) is launching a full “sobrio” menu.

Tastes Familiar

Photograph of hoagie courtesy of Taylor Gourmet.
Photograph of hoagie courtesy of Taylor Gourmet.

Bring on the hoagie wars! Taylor Gourmet is coming back from the dead under new owners just as the sandwich chain’s former proprietor, Casey Patten, opens Grazie Grazie (85 District Sq., SW) at the Wharf—with a near-identical menu.

Here Comes the Neighborhood

Girl and the Vine.

Takoma Park, a neighborhood not known for a thrilling dining scene, is having a good year. First came the taco spot Cielo Rojo (7056 Carroll Ave.). Now there’s the Girl and the Vine (7071 Carroll Ave.), a wine shop, market, and counter-service restaurant from a pair of Elle alums. Our early favorites there: the Italian sub loaded with salami, prosciutto, and coppa; the turkey-and-potato-chip sandwich; and the carnitas nachos, drenched in spicy cheese sauce.

Noodle Fix

Henan-style hand pulled noodles with lamb.
Henan-style hand pulled noodles with lamb.

The Merrifield fixture Uncle Liu’s Hot Pot (2972 Gallows Rd., Falls Church) has new owners who previously ran Tempt Asian in Alexandria. While hot pot is still on the menu, what you actually want to order is the handmade noodles. Try the Henan-style stewed noodles with lamb or the wide strands that come with the chili-spiked “city large plate” chicken.

This article appears in the July 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.