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Kale, Meet Broccoleaf

Posted by / Friday, February 27th, 2015

Kale vs. Broccoleaf

JKB Stock/

There’s A New Superfood in Town.

Broccoli leaves, the young, tender leaves of the broccoli plant picked before the florets are ready for harvest, could be this year’s new superfood. At least that’s what its California grower, Foxy Organic, claims. Dubbed BroccoLeaf, it has twice the calcium of kale, yields more liquid for juicing, and, some say, tastes sweeter. The green is being considered for sale at area Wegmans and Whole Foods. —Stefanie Gans

(February 2015)


Hungry For Linkage: Start March in a Chocolate Class

Posted by / Friday, February 27th, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Beltway Brewing Company

Berliner Weisse / Photo Courtesy of Beltway Brewing Company

By Susannah Black

Learn about the growth of cocoa beans, witness the ganache making process, learn how to decorate bonbons and leave with many sweets this Sunday at Artisan Confections. [Artisan]

Real Food For Kids’ KIDS COOK Competition is this Saturday at noon in Arlington. [RealFood]

A “trademarkologist” chimes in regarding Red Bull‘s opposition with Old Ox. [Trademarkologist]

Beltway Brewing Company releases its original brew: Beltway Berliner Weisse this Friday. Expect live music and a food truck. [FB]

Sheraton Tysons Hotel welcomes a new executive chef and a new director of food and beverage. [PRWeb]

The Whole Ox hosts two events this Saturday for wine and beer lovers alike. [TheWholeOx


Q: What’s an Easy, Gateway Indian Dish to Make at Home?

Posted by / Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Indian for Everyone cookbook

Photo courtesy of Agate Publishing, Inc.

A: The first one I start with is dal makhani. It’s almost a light bulb going on. It’s this ah-ha moment. They’re like, ‘Are you kidding me? Is it really that easy?’ And it’s really that easy.

A couple of the ingredients in this (lentil dish) are a little bit tougher (to find) like the dried fenugreek leaves and getting your hands on the cardamom powder. But all I say with that is leave it out. It’s a no-brainer. If you come across an ingredient that just seems really bizarre and you don’t know where to get it, don’t get discouraged.

When we cook Indian at home we don’t always have everything right there, we just leave it out and we move on. You have enough flavor to be able to make up for it.

Anupy Singla, former reporter, future public television star on Chicago’s WTTW and author of her third cookbook, “Indian for Everyone: The Home Cook’s Guide to Traditional Favorites.”

(February 2015)


BadWolf Brewing Company to Open Larger Second Location This Summer

Posted by / Thursday, February 26th, 2015


Grisette, a French saison-style ale by Bad Wolf Brewing Company / Photo courtesy of Sarah Meyers

By Nicole Bayne

It’s all because of the glycol chilling system. 

Right now, BadWolf Brewing Company can only produce ales, not lagers. And that’s a serious limitation.

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Review: A Taste of Vacation at Saba in Fairfax

Posted by / Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Get deliciously lost in translation at Saba.

Saba in Fairfax

One of many foreign combinations, areekah is a dessert combining bread, cream, cheddar cheese and bananas. Photo by Jonathan Timmes.

Words by Stefanie Gans  Photos by Jonathan Timmes

There’s a saying that food tastes better on vacation. It’s the cliche of warm breezes and palm trees, fresh fruits and exotic flavors. But that’s not all vacations.

Vacation meals can also be hard won. There’s little signage and big language barriers. There’s vague menu descriptions, but clear hope for a fantastic meal.

Dining at Saba can be like this. Assuming you’ve never been to Yemen and do not speak Arabic, you may have to work for your dinner.

Saba in Fairfax

A dish of rice and roasted meat topped with fried onions. Photo by Jonathan Timmes.

While the menu is in both English and Arabic and most of the servers speak fairly fluent English, there can be questions misunderstood or requests unfulfilled. But there’s a charm in this too, just like that big smile from the server who brought out a $40, 16-inch croissant-like cake when we asked for a slice. They graciously comp’d us the dessert when we explained our surprise to find a layered, honey-sweetened bready dessert, bulbous like a balloon, quickly deflating. Around the table we took video and Snapchatted the delicious mistake to friends.

I tell this story with the heart of a vacationer happy to bring home a lost-in-translation tale of delicious, foreign food.

The restaurant is in a strip mall off Little River Turnpike in Fairfax. The first floor has long tables. To the right, a few steps to a second landing where there’s couches, plus room for people to sit on the floor and eat with their hands. It’s called majalis, or living room, and is reminiscent of how families eat at home in Yemen. We saw little kids running around and women dressed in niqab.

To start, there’s excellent sambusas, chunky triangles of fried pastry with vegetables embracing warm spices. Fried pieces of pleasingly chewy lamb, qullaba, is a bit like the American-Chinese dish pepper steak, or as a friend who lived in China said, it reminded her of a Uyghur stew, laghman, and carries the same flavors of cumin and peppers. In Yemen, this is a breakfast dish, but at Saba—which refers to the ancient kingdom where the Queen of Sheeba is from, which is considered to be in modern day Yemen—it’s available all day.

Shakshukah, eggs with tomatoes, jalapenos and caramelized onions, turns scrambles into a full meal that’s savory, hearty and spicy. A less recognizable pre-noon dish on American tables is a stew, foul, of fava beans pureed with tomatoes and onions. It’s like a warm lentil salad, subtle and comforting and to be scooped up with bread. Right now the kitchen purchases its naan-like bread, but owner Taha Alhoraivi, ordered a tandoori-like oven which should be installed in his restructured and expanded kitchen in the spring, promising housemade carbohydrates.

Saba in Fairfax.

Photo by Jonathan Timmes.

For a sweet take on the morning, fatah bil-at-tamr wa asl is a bit like chewy bread pudding, flakes of bread, rashoush, sticky with honey and dotted with dates. The portion is large; take leftovers with you for an afternoon snack break.

But why you’re here is for the fragrant rice and soft meats. There’s three sizes available for these meat-and-one plates and even the individual portion is enough to easily share. The roasted chicken mandi is gorgeous and tender, both familiar and exotic (the lamb is tougher). Named for the eponymous spice blend, Alhoraivi, 38, asks friends to bring mandi, and other herbs, back to the United States from their travels to Yemen.

Saba in Fairfax

Fried lamb, often served for breakfast. Photo by Jonathan Timmes.

Large cubes of beef are served stew-like in fahsa. Instead of feeling heavy, weighed down with fat or cream, it’s fresh and bright; it’s more like the Korean bibimbap. Most dishes are served with a salad that is a bit like a salsa fresca, chopped tomatoes and onion with loads of garlic greased together with oil.

In other countries of the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa there’s flaky, honey-drenched pastry cakes, at Saba there’s similar dishes. But there’s nothing in the family of baklva that will prepare you for the combination that is areekah. It uses the same chewy bread pieces, rashoush, with bananas, cream, honey, nigella (black seeds tasting of onion) and shredded cheddar cheese. It’s not a sharp, interestingly granular cheddar cheese we’re used to. The cheese is soft and almost tasteless. It adds volume and a little salt and easily blends into the cream. Together, it’s creamy and a bit chewy from the bread. It forms a bowl of sweetness, a comfort I never knew before.


There’s a few interesting sweet drinks and sludgy Turkish coffee, but no alcohol here.

Appetizers: $1.50 – $8.95; Entrees: $12.95 – $18.95

Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily

3900 Pickett Road, Fairfax

(February 2015)


Hungry for Linkage: Vienna Inn Celebrates 55 Years

Posted by / Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Mason Social / Ashleigh Hobson Photography

Mason Social / Ashleigh Hobson Photography

By Stefanie Gans

Vienna Inn celebrates its 55th anniversary this week with a half-priced kid’s menu plus other specials. [FB]

School lunches around the world interpreted by Sweetgreen salad chain. [Fast Company]

SER,the Ballston restaurant challenge winner, will open soon. [WCP]

Arlington’s Boccato Gelato and Espresso turns, partly, into the new CoworkCafe during the day. [WBJ]

Mason Social, with dishes of lamb and pork meatballs, celery root hummus, burgers infused with bone marrow and fried chicken thighs with dumplings, opens in Alexandria tomorrow for lunch at 11 a.m. [Mason Social]

Maybe grass-fed beef isn’t better. [WaPo]


Screen Time: 5 Free Virginia-Based Food and Drink Apps

Posted by / Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Visit Fairfax app screenshotiPhoneShell_OpenScreeniPhoneShell_Offers

Visit Fairfax screenshots courtesy of Visit Fairfax,

By Nicole Bayne

According to Baum + Whiteman’s annual trend forecast, something called “restless palate syndrome” is causing consumers to constantly seek out new flavors, and restaurants are turning to technology to keep up. The 2015 report predicts a rise in customer-oriented mobile applicationsApps providing information on restaurants are already popular because the food, wine and beer markets are ever-changing and quick access to information on where to grab your next bite or where to sip the newest craft beer is becoming a necessity. These free Virginia-based apps will help you get food and drink information directly to your phone whether you’re planning a visit or already live here.

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Show & Tell with The Whole Ox’s Derek Luhowiak

Posted by / Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Northern Virginia Magazine's Show-and-Tell

Photo by Mollie Tobias.

The Whole Ox’s Derek Luhowiak and His Knife Collection

In celebration of his 25th anniversary in the food industry, Derek Luhowiak will buy himself a knife.

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Hungry For Linkage: From the Outer Banks, Duck Donuts Lands in NoVA

Posted by / Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Octopus With Spiced Carrot Puree & Fennel, Mint, Orange Salad

Photo courtesy of The Curious Grape.

By Nicole Bayne

Been to The Curious Grape lately? New chef: Aaron Wright. New dish: seared octopus with spiced carrot puree, fennel, orange and pomegranate.

Beltway Brewing Company’s new head brewer, Patrick Zanello, has a degree from Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology. [BeltwayBrewing]

Foodie-themed tarot card guidebook, The Cook’s Tarot, is available online. [SchifferPublishing]

Get ready for beer and wine delivery as Ultra comes to Arlington. [ARL]

Outer Banks’ famed Duck Donuts will open in Bristow. [Prince Williams Times


Dinner and a Movie

Posted by / Friday, February 20th, 2015

Refrigerator Art

Illustration by Will Mullery.

(February 2015)


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