Friday, June 29, 2012

Small Plates: 06.29.12

YO! Sushi is opening their spot in Union Station on July 23rd. [PoP]

Leave Birch & Barley's shrubberies alone, people! [Eater]

Speaking of beer events, Port City Brewing is having a party to celebrate their expansion. [Tasting Table]

Lalibela is moving a couple storefronts down, to fill the old Playbill Cafe space. [PoP]

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Attention Beer Lovers!

This is apparently going to be a very good weekend for beer people in DC, according to the Going Out Gurus. On Saturday, Churchkey is pouring five different beers from the Russian River Brewing company, starting at noon. Russian River is most their most famous, known for being one of the few IPAs to get a perfect score on Beer Advocate, but all of their beers are supposed to be quite good. They'll be pouring Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig IPA, Supplication, Consecration, and Sanctification.

Sunday, Meridian Pint is celebrating their 2nd anniversary by bringing to $2 pints of select local beers. Not only that, but Chef Logan Grear of Smoke and Barrel will be manning a barbecue outside from 3 until 6. I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it to Churchkey, but I'll probably swing by Meridian Pint some time on Sunday.

To Ban or Not to Ban

Photo by Sifu Renka, from flickr.
Mayor Bloomberg's recent edict banning the sale of large sized soft drinks once again brought up the question, what role should the government play is what foods we should eat. Baylen Linnekin, of Keep Food Legal, has an answer: none.
We want you to have the right to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, cook, eat, and drink the food of your own choosing. We’re opposed to subsidies that skew those choices and bans that clear those choices off the board. People are not stupid. They can make their own choices and live with the consequences.
This doesn't mean, however, that he thinks that the government should have no role.
There is one area where Linnekin agrees some government regulation is appropriate: “I’m flatly opposed to the hunting of endangered species for food purposes,” he says. But even that comes with a caveat. “If you’re dying in the desert and it’s you or the endangered snake, then a person should be free to eat an endangered species.”
He discussed this with Nevin Martell over Sharks' Fin Soup. I suppose I mostly agree with him. The government shouldn't be involved in banning foods that are supposed to be unhealthy, their role in regulating drugs aside. Protecting endangered species, on the other hand, is pretty important, as are regulations protection the stock of food we can draw on for the future -- fishing and hunting regulations, that sort of thing. I'm not sure I'm completely with Mr. Linnekin when it comes to subsidies, though. Subsidizing some crops, like corn, in order to help farmers seems to have worked out poorly in practice. I'm not opposed in principle, however, to a subsidy designed to make healthy food cheaper, a sort of libertarian paternalism as it's called. It doesn't have the same flat interference with people's preferences that a ban does, it merely encourages those preferences to follow different, more vegetable shaped lines.

The interview with Mr. Linnekin was originally published in the Washington, DC City Paper.

Small Plates: 06.28.12

Photo by m e c, from flickr.
Americans may be cupcakes, but Cupcake wines are surprisingly good. [The Gray Report]

Here's a long list of various Negroni variants, including the classic Negroni and the Kingston. [Speakista]

Radius Pizza, in Mt. Pleasant, will be closed for vacation until July 2nd. [PoP]

KFC Phillipines, for some reason only they know, is selling a cheeseburger with the cheese on top of the bun. [Serious Eats]

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It could be worse: Chicago Food Truck regulations

I'm not too much of a fan of the proposed food truck regulations. Business in DC is to tightly regulated as it is; we should really let a thousand food trucks bloom. But it's nice to see that it could be worse, in a schadenfreude kind of way:
Under the new proposal, truck owners would be able to cook food to order, park at designated food truck stands across the city, operate around the clock, and stay in a location for up to two hours. Trucks would have to undergo regular health department inspections, and at lease one employee on site would have to have sanitation training.
No wonder, as the article notes, the food truck scene in Chicago is years behind LA! Designated food truck stands make food trucks compete with brick and mortar restaurants with one hand tied behind their backs. But, again, it could be worse, and I'm sure Chicago's food trucks are happy for what they have.

Original story from Atlantic Cities.

4 P's Closing Party Tonight

Tonight is apparently the last night for Ireland's Four Fields, known as the 4 P's. The owner writes: Wednesday June 27 – Closing Party. We are closing this location forever. Drink the Bar Dry! Rumor is, it will be replaced by an upscale Irish pub run by McFadden's.

h/t: PoP

Small Plates: 06.27.12

Here's the story of how Carmine's came to have $50,000 worth of chandeliers in it's lounge. [The Plate]

Take a look inside Bandelero, Mike Isabella's new restaurant in Georgetown. [Serious Eats]

Apparently boozy delis are the new cupcake; here's the scoop on the Carving Room. [Washingtonian]

The Hitching Post's last day is July 31. It's apparently reopening August 7th with a similar theme. [PoP]

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Safeway Barbecue Battle

This past weekend, my wife and I finally made it down to the Safeway Barbecue Battle, 2012 edition. We're tempted to go every year, but it's usually beastly hot, and we've never been quite sure it's worth the price of admission. This year it was, again, beastly hot, but we figured we might as well go and see what all the hype was about. It's a pretty big festival, spanning Pennsylvania St. between 7th and 14th streets NW, with a bit of action on some of the side streets as well. There are several teams of barbecuers, being a battle and all, located in tents throughout the festival. For us, however, the main attraction was the food.
There were two ways to get fed here. You could depend on the free samples, or you could purchase some from a fairly substantial selection of vendors. We started off with the free samples. There was a pork table with a selection of four pork dishes to sample -- chop, tenderloin, burger, and I can't remember the fourth. It may have been another tenderloin. They were pretty good, and there wasn't a line, so it was a good start. Most of the samples, however, were in the Safeway Sample Tent, an amazingly bad idea. Putting them all in one place meant that instead of standing in several lines of moderate length, you had to stand in a single very long line. We waited an hour, and the line was even longer when we left the tent. The samples varied in quality. Most were pretty good, though not great, and some were pretty bad. The lamb was especially good, but overall, we felt that we spent more time in line than the samples were worth.
We weren't terribly hungry after the free samples, though, so we wandered around a bit more. Several of the booths had games like cornhole, which my wife enjoys more than I. PNC had a basketball court set up where you could play PIG. It was a good reminder of how bad I've gotten at basketball, but at least I beat my wife. Please don't take that out of context. I wanted to get some barbecue before we left, so we swung by one of the vendors to get some brisket. I think we picked the wrong one. The price was the same as the other vendors, but the serving size was not. Still, it was pretty good brisket, and I definitely wouldn't be heading down here again next year. Just remind me to avoid the free sample tent.

Small Plates: 06.26.12

Here's the story behind the very ugly dude guarding Sakuramen (presumably from drunk frat boys). [Young & Hungry]

Here are the winners from the 2012 RAMMY awards. Congrats to the big winners, Jeff and Barbara Black of Black Restaurant Group! [The Plate]

The Pig in Logan Circle is now open on the weekends for what is presumably a porcine focused brunch. [PoP]

The underdogs, Firefighting Barbeque Team, took home the trophy at the Safeway Barbecue Battle this weekend. Good job! [WaPo]

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quote of the Day

From Serious Eats:
There is a stigma attached to people who drink alone in bars, but I don't share it. Some of my happiest memories are from the days when I could buy the Sunday paper and spend hours lingering over every article and a few glasses of wine. Sure, I could have done this in my house, but being out in the public made the utterly unrushed moment more poignant, and more memorable.
It's part of a longer article by Michael Neff talking about drinking alone. I don't do it much any more, but I used to enjoy sitting at a bar with a good book, back in the day.

Negroni Punch

As long time readers of the blog are aware, I'm a big fan of the Negroni. But sometimes, I want something a bit lighter, especially when it's hot out. For a long time, I went for a Campari soda to get that nice refreshing bitterness. But this past weekend, I happened to have a grapefruit lying around, so I thought I'd see what I could do with it. I like the way negronis go with grapefruit anyway, so that's where I went.

I combined the juice of half of the grapefruit with an oversized negroni, and topped it off with soda water. I think I should have gone with a normal sized negroni, since there wasn't a whole lot of room for the soda when everything was said and done. But it ended up good enough that my wife made me make her one, so not too shabby. It's a great drink for an overly hot summer afternoon. Recipe after the jump.

Small Plates: 06.25.12

National Building Museum

Riot Act in Penn Quarter will be replace by a bar cum entertainment complex, Penn Social. [PoP]

Zola and Potenza are closing as their owner, the Malrite company, moves away from bars and restaurants. [Young & Hungry]

Red Rocks now has covered seating on their patio, just in time for summer. [New Columbia Heights]

Greg Kitsock thinks the the word 'imperial' is overused in beers. An imperial pilsner does seem like a contradiction. [WaPo]

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Brixton

I'm excited about all the cool stuff that's coming to the corner of U St. and 9th. I mean, Nelly's is already pretty cool, but in just the past couple years, we've added Dickson Wine Bar and Dodge City. And now The Brixton is coming. Prince of Petworth hears their just a few week from opening, and you can be sure we'll be there when they do. For now, check out these pictures.

Small Plates: 06.22.12

The new Cleveland Park tapas spot, Pulpo, now has a liquor license. [Washingtonian]

Now that it's the weekend, here's a list of five places to dine out without a two hour wait. [Borderstan]

Is the Las Vegas Strip (Steak) really novel enough for a patent? I guess we'll find out. [Slate]

What America spends on booze, in chart form. Apparently some people need to drink more whiskey. [Dash of Bitters]

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nut Butter Pouches

I find culinary innovations fascinating, especially when they come in pouch form. You see, it's a good idea, on longer runs, to have food to re-energize you midway through. Since you don't want to be carrying too much weight, or bulk, pouches work great. Unfortunately, most of the food that comes in pouches is goo. Actually, one of the brands is actually called Gu. This is less than appetizing, as you can imagine. So I was excited when I read, on Serious Eats, that there was a company that made nut butter pouches! I was a little bit demoralized when my wife told me that not only did she know about these things, we took some with us when we went to New Orleans for the half-marathon. So I guess it's not really anything new to me, it's just more exciting after you've actually tried Clif Shots.

Small Plates: 06.21.12

Play It, Sam, from Ripple. Sesame-oil infused gin, aquavit, and a date reduction.
In case your date is too big. Photo by Elizabeth Parker.
José Andrés is moving Minibar into the old Zola Wine & Kitchen space, which closed last month. [Young & Hungry]

Ripple, quickly rising to vie with Dino and Nanny O'Brien's for best spot in Cleveland Park, has fat-washed cocktails. [Washingtonian]

In addition to their Izakaya, the Daikaya team is opening a cocktail bar in Penn Quarter, below the Fuel. [Young & Hungry]

Sala Thai has a new spot on M St., where the Maoz used to be. [PoP]

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Safeway Barbecue Battle

The annual Safeway Barbecue Battle is coming to the National Mall this weekend:
The 20th annual Safeway Barbecue Battle, one of DC's largest and most unique food and music festivals, gets cookin' on June 23rd and 24th!
Over the course of two days, $40,000 in cash and prizes will be doled out to the best of the best in barbecue, as top vendors compete in the Safeway National Barbecue Championship. What does that mean for you? A full weekend of delicious barbecue and tasty treats, a variety of food samples, plus cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs and cookbook authors on the Safeway Demonstration Stage.

In addition to turning Pennsylvannia Avenue into a meat-lover's paradise, the festival will also feature over 30 bands on 3 stages, including acts like Soul Asylum, ConFunkShun, Cowboy Mouth, the Chuck Brown Tribute Band, and many more.
You can get tickets here.

This is Awesome

For people who fit the profile "Fans of the Transformers" and "Wine snobs" (I'm not the only one, right?), here's the thing for you: a six-foot tall, half-ton robot wine rack.
For the discerning individual who appreciates artwork and wine - you now have a great opportunity to meld those together into one piece of artwork that will display your bottle collection like no other wine rack. This will make you the talk of your wine club, HOA, alcoholics anonymous support group, etc...

There are only several times in one's life when one has the opportunity to purchase something that is RIDICULOUSLY COOL. This is one of those moments.

Need something unique? Sure, you could certainly go to the local Mercedes dealership and pick up a G55 or wait until next year's G63 comes out and yes, it would be unique, you'd be the talk of your friends, and ride around in style but it wouldn't be any different than the next G55 or G63 rolling around. Nooooo waaaaaaay man! Those suckers are mass produced!! You see those all over the place in Scottsdale!

What ya need is a one-off piece of artwork that you will not find anywhere else in the metropolitan area and likely - the entire state.
It can be yours for just $7000!

h/t: A Dash of Bitters

Small Plates: 06.20.12

They apparently had 100 year old balsamic vinegar at the Fancy Food Show. Fancy. [WaPo]

Noilly Prat is bringing back their clear, simpler dry vermouth for the U.S. Market. [The Gray Report]

Mt. Pleasant is bringing back food truck night this Thursday; at least five different food truck will be there. [New Columbia Heights]

Current is closing so that the owners can focus on their rooftop pation Rosebar. I didn't know they had a rooftop.  [PoP]

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Photo by John Holland, on flickr.
The Casbah is a bit of a variant on a Manhattan. Back when I was young, I took most of my drinking advice from a slightly older gentleman we nicknamed Jim "Beam". Among his drinks was a Manhattan, always with a splash of grenadine. I eventually moved on from those to different sorts of Manhattans, but the suggestion always stuck with me. So now that I have my own grenadine, it was time to play with it. Grenadine combined with sweet vermouth is just too sweet for me, but I figured I could replace the sweet vermouth, and it would be okay, so for my first recipe I got the following:

1.5 oz Rye
.5 oz Grenadine
3 dashes, Peychaud's bitters

It ended up very floral, since I added a bit more orange flower water to make the grenadine than may have been in fact ideal. It was somewhat sweeter than usual as well, and the Peychaud's seemed to aggravate that. It needed a different sort of bitters.

The second time I tried, I used 1/4 oz grenadine and added hellfire bitters.This version was much better and had a great finish. The third version I used Angostura bitters, and again, it was quite floral, though not exceptionally sweet. Not a bad summer drink for someone who likes brown spirits.

Toast of the Town

This Friday, Wine Enthusiast is hosting Toast of the Town at the National Building Museum. This event showcases 500 different wines from around the world, as well as food from area restaurants. General admission tickets are still available for $100. I can't wait!

Small Plates: 06.19.12

The pop-up restaurant from Jose Andres, America Eats, will close on July 4. [Young & Hungry]

Take a look inside The Pig, the Logan Circle restaurant featuring everyone's favorite wonderful, magical animal. [Serious Eats]

Non-profit philathropub Cause, 9th and U St, is getting closer to opening. [PoP]

Pearl Dive is going to do a crawfish boil on June 23rd. [Washingtonian]

Friday, June 15, 2012

Uni, A Sushi Place

There are, in my mind, two basic types of sushi places. There's your hole-in-the-wall, cheap but low quality type of place, like Cafe Asia. And there's your high-end, expensive but it melts in your mouth type of place, like Kushi or Sushi Taro. What's there's not a lot of are places in the middle, cheap enough that it's not going to break the bank, but reasonably good in quality. Uni is one of those places.

I shared a Picante Escolar roll and a Spicy, Crunchy Crawfish roll with my wife, in addition to a Nigiri Niners platters. The rolls were good, perhaps a little heavy on the rice, and while the Escolar wasn't particularly spicy, the Crawfish definitely was! The Nigiri Niners came with a lot of the usual suspects, salmon, tuna, whitefish, that sort of thing, but it also included salmon roe and, of course, uni. The sushi was good, definitely a lot better than some of the low-end places I've been, but also not as tender or flavorful as Kushi. We got out pretty cheap, though -- together with a 750 ml bottle of junmai ginjo sake, we only spent around $80 for the two of us. This is definitely a place worth considering if you're in the mood for sushi, but don't want to spent an entire paycheck to get it.

Uni, A Sushi Place is located at 2122 P St NW, DC

Small Plates: 06.15.12

Take an early look at Kangaroo Boxing Club. Looks chill. [WaPo]

Pearl Dive offers all-you-can eat crawfish boil with Abita beers on Saturday, July 23. [Washingtonian]

Shaw gets a new pizza-by-the-slice joint, near 7th and Florida. [PoP]

Del Frisco's Grill, 12th and Pennsylvania, looks set to open July 14th. [We Love DC]

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pork Chops with 'Leeks' in Mustard Sauce

Photo by Jake Chessum.
One of the fun parts of joining a CSA is figuring out what to do with all the crazy vegetables you get. Sometimes, especially on weeks when you're going out of town, that's the frustrating part as well. This week, we found ourselves with extra thyme and spring onions, and I was feeling pork chops, so I pulled this recipe up off of Epicurious. It's supposed to use leeks, but the spring onions appeared similar enough that I figured I could get away with using them instead. My wife put the spice rub on the meat about three or four hours before I got home, and we were ready to go.

I followed the recipe pretty closely for the most part, though I rounded the cooking time up a little. I neglected to boil off the liquid at the end, before adding the mustard and the sour cream, but I let the sauce reduce a bit after that, without letting it boil, and was able to get a pretty good thickness to it. My wife made some mustard cabbage to go with the pork chops, which was a lot tastier than it sounds, and the chops themselves were excellent, juicy and tender.

Capital Cooking Father's Day Giveaway

I've been a bit remiss about telling you this, but Capital Cooking has been doing a Father's Day giveaway every day this month until Father's Day. There's still some time left, so here's a link to today's offering.

Small Plates: 06.14.12

From Sakuramen
The 'Bar Rescue' episode featuring the short-lived Piratz Tavern renovation will air July 22, on Spike TV. [WaPo]

Think you're eating Maryland crab? Think again. Most area restaurant only serve Maryland style crab cakes. [Young & Hungry]

Due to mislaid inflation, the price of a Big Mac in Argentina just jumped 26%. [Yglesias]

Take a sneak peek inside Kangaroo Boxing Club in Petworth. [PoP]

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Marinated Hanger Steak

One of our favorite cuts of beef is the Hanger Steak, so-called because it 'hangs' from the diaphragm. It has all of the beefiness of rib-eye at a much lower price. Due to the coarser structure of the meat, it also takes well to marinades, and that's what we decided to do this past weekend. I used a recipe from Serious Eats as a baseline, but I added some Arbol peppers, since that's apparently what I was doing that weekend.

One of the reasons hanger steaks are as cheap as they are is that they're a bit of a pain to trim. There's typically a lot of excess fat and silverskin you need to remove before cooking. And you need to remove it! I tried it without once, and it wasn't nearly as good. Not to mention that if you're grilling, all that fat will cause massive flare-ups. After trimming, you'll see a thick sinew running down the middle of the steak. You need to cut the steak in half to remove; it's too tough to eat. I always recommend cooking steaks medium rare, but with hanger, it's almost a necessity. Any less, and it'll taste mushy.

I enjoyed the recipe below. I marinated for about four hours, and that probably wasn't quite enough. There was some spiciness from the pepper, for example, but with a few more hours, there could have been a better level. Also, I should have used some indirect heat to finish up the thicker bits. But it was still really good, and I look forward to cooking more hanger in the future. Recipe after the jump.

Spirits in Black tonight!

Courtesy of the Washington Post:
You won’t find Bryan Tetorakis behind the bar at Rogue 24 tonight. Instead, at around 10 p.m., he’ll be crafting cocktails with an edge at American Ice Company for Spirits in Black, a boozy, wink-and-nod tribute to heavy metal, replete with atonals, growling vocals, awesome hair and headbanging.
 American Ice Company is a great venue, and Bryan certainly knows what he's doing behind the bar, so this would be a great event to go to if you're in to cocktails.

Small Plates: 06.13.12

New food truck Wassub bringing you very large Korean inspired subs. [Washingtonian]

There's a Pret a Manger coming to 14th and New York Avenue. [Young & Hungry]

In addition to mini-golf, the Building Museum will have Hill Country BBQ. [PoP]

Looks like Kangaroo Boxing Club is opening June 19th. Fastest DC opening ever! [New Columbia Heights]

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pancetta Peppers and Eggs

Photo by Amber De Grace on flickr.
Normally, we go out to brunch on the weekend. (Protip: go to Mintwood Place.) But this weekend, we felt like we needed showers after our strength training class, and so we bought some eggs and pancetta, and I raided the pantry. I was looking for a bag of dried Guajillo peppers, but apparently I used them up the last time I made adobo sauce. I did have some Arbol peppers, however, so I got three of those soaking while I prepped the rest of the ingredients. I chopped up a shallot and a couple of plum tomatoes, and grabbed a bit of fresh thyme, mint, and rosemary. I also whipped the eggs with a bit of milk, and I was ready to go.

I let the shallots stew in a tablespoon of butter for a good twenty minutes before adding the peppers (deseeded), the herbs, and a handful of pancetta. Once those had cooked for a while, I took out the herbs, chopped them, and added them back in, along with the eggs. One of the tricks to scrambled eggs is to just let them sit for a while without stirring them. It helps keep them quite creamy. After they had mostly set, I stirred them up and let them finish. Some queso or feta would have been great to add at this point, but since we did not have any, I went without. The second trick to scrambled eggs is to remove them from heat just before they're quite done. I don't do so well at this, usually removing them a little early. But since they keep cooking after you plate them, it's important to make sure they don't overcook.

They turned out well. I was a bit nervous about the peppers, as I'm not used to working with peppers that are that hot. Three, deseeded, seemed to be a good number to give the finish eggs a medium to hot level of spiciness. I'm not sure the mint added much, but both the thyme and the rosemary gave the dish a bit of depth, while the tomato helped keep it fairly light. Definitely a keeper.

Small Plates: 06.12.12

Toki Underground
The Blaguard has a good beer selection, but did you know it has Korean style bar food? [Young & Hungry]

Sue Drabkin, from Inn at Perry Cabin, is the new pastry chef at Ris. [We Love DC]

Wise Guy NY Pizza is coming to 4th and H NW, promises authenticity. [PoP]

9 tips on drinking and dining this summer. They had me at crab boil. [Washingtonian]

Monday, June 11, 2012

Small Plates: 06.11.12

The Kangaroo Boxing Club, from the purveyors of PORC, is set to open June 19. [WaPo]

The Columbia Room made the short list for Best American Bar in the Spirited Awards. [Washingtonian]

Table, the new restaurant from Frederik de Pue coming to Shaw, will have a room deck. [PoP]

Three-level Italian restaurant coming to 14th St will have a gastropub and live music. [Eater]

Friday, June 8, 2012

Small Plates: 06.08.12

DGS Deli, coming to Dupont, promises they'll open in less than 40 years. Hopefully Z Burger can do the same. [PoP]

El Chucho may have margaritas on tap, but Bandolero got there first. [Young & Hungry]

Speaking of El Chucho, Andrew has pictures. It opens June 17. [New Columbia Heights]

The people behind Lincoln bring you Teddy & the Bully Bar, plans a 'crop' of them [Eater]

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Small Plates 06.07.12

Garden State, an outdoor restaurant with games and 'picnic food fare' coming to Shaw. [Young & Hungry]

The new taqueria in the old Italiano Cafe space will be called 'Tacos el Chilango' [PoP]

Find out how to make your own Mai Tais. Don't forget Orgeat! [Serious Eats]

Salvatore Ferro moves from Clyde's of Georgetown to Hamilton. [Washingtonian]

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Small Plates: 06.06.12

Photo by JoetheLion, from flickr.

In a stunning reversal of trends, Pinkberry is now also serving unfrozen yogurt. [Young & Hungry]

The son of the Hollywood East owner (best dim sum in the DMV) is opening a dumpling shop. [WaPo]

The famous 'Tio Pepe' sign, a neon sherry bottle wielding a guitar, might not return to the skyline. [Atlantic Cities]

The Cleveland Park Chipotle is finally open. It's next door to the Uptown Theatre. [PoP]

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Small Plates: 06.05.12

Bluejacket, the new local brewery by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, is premiering two new beers this week. [Washingtonian]

The State of Washington is privatizing its liquor stores in the stupidest way possible. [Outside the Beltway]

Mike Isabella got a new tattoo in honor of Bandolero. It's a skeleton bandolero. [Young & Hungry]

Sweetgreen opened a new spot at 19th and L St yesterday. [PoP]

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mexican Manhattan

As part of my never-ending quest to find more uses for a bottle of mezcal, I decided to add some to a Manhattan and see what happens. Given the spicy smokiness of the mezcal, I used Punt e Mes to provide a bit more sauciness; I figured Dolin Rouge wouldn't stand up to the mezcal well enough. I also used the traditional rye instead of bourbon. I added Hellfire bitters, because once a drink is this spicy, what's a little more spiciness?

Unsurprisingly, going for the spiciest ingredient at each step makes for a very spicy drink. It blends together very well, each ingredient adding its own thing to the cocktail. There's definitely an underlying sweetness here, with a bit of fruit I didn't expect. It's quite good, though it might be worth trying with bourbon to tone down the sweetness. Recipe after the jump.

Free Food at PAUL Opening Today

Via Young & Hungry, Free Food at PAUL Opening Today:
PAUL Bakery opens at 1000 Connecticut Ave. NW today at 7 a.m. with free baguettes or large macarons (chocolate, raspberry, or pistachio) for the first thousand customers.
I'm a big fan of their bread, so a location near where I usually work is great! They're looking to open two more stores in the area this year. 

Small Plates: 06.04.12

Toki Underground is working with DURKL on a food/fashion space. [Young & Hungry]

Once 24/Seven, now Mediterranean, a few week from opening at 15th and U. [PoP]

Townhouse Kitchen and Bar is coming to the Verizon Center. [PoP]

Beuchert's Saloon, with farm fresh menu, is looking to open on Capitol Hill. [PoP]

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Japanese Cocktail

Published in Jerry Thomas' Bar Tender's Guide of 1887, the Japanese Cocktail is one of the older cocktails out there. Story has it that it was invented by Jerry when the Japanese delegation was in town, visiting New York, and he created it in their honor. It is a combination of brandy, orgeat, and angostura bitters that goes down easy. There's a fair amount of sweetness, but the brandy is strong enough to make itself felt. As Keith at Speakista notes, the orgeat is really a prime contributor, as opposed to the Mai Tai, where it's just a bit player. The almond really hits you hard right up front. The Japanese is a nice drink, if a bit sweet.

Small Plates: 06.01.12

Pizza parlor 2 Amy's is now serving Porchetta. Only two every day, so order early! [Young & Hungry]

Pulpo has soft-opened in Cleveland Park, but it still doesn't have a liquor license. [PoP]

Vida Fitness might eventually have a new restaurant, maybe. Owner taking his time. [Young & Hungry]

Mudbugz, a creole crawfish joint, has opened in Adams Morgan. [PoP]