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Hungry For Linkage: Bill Cosby to Attend Ben’s Chili Bowl Opening + Soup-Tastic + Postmates Expands to Arlington

Posted by / Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

By Evan Milberg

Leesburg’s National Conference Center’s chef Craig Mason launched a winter culinary web series: “Soup-Tastic.” 

Bill Cosby will attend the grand opening of Ben’s Chili Bowl in Rosslyn. [ARLNow]

Purcellville’s Doukenie Winery won two silver medals for its 2010 Dionysus and 2011 Chardonnay, along with five bronze medals, as part of last week’s Governor’s Cup. [Doukenie Winery]

Postmates has expanded delivery service to Arlington. [Twitter] 

New cake pop shop Custom Cake Bites will open in Vienna this summer. [Eater]


Sweet Belly Cookies Opens a Pop-Up In Arlington and a Shop in Falls Church

Posted by / Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Pat Giannelli

By Natalie Manitius

A new addition is in the works for the Falls Church food scene: Sweet Belly Cookies. The small dessert business that frequents the Falls Church farmers market recently announced a brick and mortar location opening in The Little City, and hopes for a May opening. For now, through April, Sweet Belly will have a pop-up location at Twisted Vines starting this Thursday, offering cookies and treats to go. 

Sweet Belly came into being in 2010 under the name of Panchadulce Artisan Cookies, and was a hobby on the side for Priscilla Giannelli and husband Pat. The business was named after Priscilla’s grandmother, nicknamed Pancha Dulce—which means sweet Grandma, and eventually changed its name to Sweet Belly Cookies. What began as a service for close friends and family became a part of the Falls Church farmers market ensemble in 2011, where it has since been attending year-round. The Giannellis also sell at The Organic Butcher of McLean and Mrs. Green’s in Fairfax

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Hungry for Linkage: Pizza Steals the Oscars + Easter Candy + Ramen Taco

Posted by / Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Nuttapol Noprujikul/

By Stefanie Gans

The biggest star of the Oscars: Pizza. [ABC]

Sweet Belly Cookie was supposed to start a pop-up shop with coffee, cookies and scones at Twisted Vines in Arlington from 8 a.m. to noon today. But check back Thursday. [FB]

The DMV Food Truck Association is holding a contest for a new logo. The winner scores 70 free lunches, one from every truck in the association. 

The ramen burger is over. It is now the ramen taco. [Endless Simmer]

It may be snowing, but shelves already made room for new Easter candy. [The Impulsive Buy]


Flatbread, Beer and Kid-Friendly: Caboose Brewing Company to Open in Vienna

Posted by / Friday, February 28th, 2014

Caboose Brewing / Photo Courtesy: Matt Greer

By Evan Milberg

Last month, Matt Greer stood before the Vienna Town Council with a proposal to create a hybrid gastro-pub/brewery, Caboose Brewing Company. The council’s question to him was simple: Why Vienna?

“I told them the story about how I would call up friends and they would say, ‘Yeah we’re having a beer. Come down to Whole Foods and join us.’ And how sad that was to have my friends drinking beer at Whole Foods—the only place in town to get good beer,” says Greer. The council officially approved the brewery last Wednesday.

Greer and his friend Tim McLaughlin decided to do something about it by starting their own brewery near the caboose of the W&OD Trail. They experimented with brewing in college, but knew they were much better at drinking beer than making it; They hired Chris Mallon from Heavy Seas Alehouse as brewermaster.

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Hungry for Linkage: Shadow of Truth Unveiled + Food Trucks Return to Crystal City + All Aboard to Heavy Seas Alehouse

Posted by / Friday, February 28th, 2014


By Natalie Manitius

Beltway Brewing Company in Sterling releases Crooked Run Brewing’s “Shadow of Truth” Black Belgian Tripel. The party’s tonight from 4-9 p.m with live music by Aaron Dugas and burgers by DC Sliders.

Starting in April, Crystal City will host Food Truck “Taste Thursday,” with Doug the Food Dude, Willie’s Po Boys and Curbside Cupcake. Locate your lunch on the corner of 18th St. and Crystal Drive every Thursday in April from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. [Crystal City BID]

Heavy Seas Alehouse in Rosslyn opened yesterday. [WCP]

Kick off Virginia Wine and Dine Month with a free download of a Virginia Wine in my Pocket’s Wine Travel Guide, suited for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The app will be free for a week starting March 1. [Virginia Wine in my Pocket]

whiskey shortage looms as distillers try to keep up with increased demand for the good stuff. [Esquire]


New Farmers Market to Open in Mosaic District

Posted by / Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Photo by Stefanie Gans

By Stefanie Gans

“I’ve failed at retirement,” says Mitch Berliner, the owner of Central Farm Markets. Berliner, who after selling his interest in a food distribution business, delayed retirement by starting farmers markets in Maryland, is now bringing vendors to a new market in Mosaic District.

Mosaic Central Farm Market in Merrifield, starting May 4 and continuing every Sunday through November, will stretch down District Avenue with 30 farm stands and craft food suppliers. Number 1 Sons will be there with fermented goods and pickles, Liberty Delight Farms will provide Kosher beef and Springfield Farm with kosher poultry (“I think it’s a first for natural, local and kosher at a farmers market,” says Berliner) and Mediterrafish, which has a storefront in Mosaic, will set up a stand at the market selling both fish for at-home cooking and prepared grilled fish. 

“We’ve sort of become the village square,” says Berliner of his Bethesda market, and he plans to build the same feel at Mosaic. Setting up tents, tables and chairs, he sees the market not only as a place to shop, but as a place to be a part of the community. To keep people at the market, there will be ready-made eats, such as Rita’s Crepes and Haute Saison, a waffle stand from a former Belgian embassy chef. And like any good party, there will be wine. Berliner wants to showcase a different Virginia winery every week with free tastings and bottles for sale. (But no drinking at the market.)

“I told my friends to shoot me if I opened another market,” jokes Berliner, who started farmers markets (now closed) in the early 1970s. But after being wooed by developer Edens, he brought his wife to check out Mosaic. “It’s too wonderful a spot,” he says. 



With Farm Brewery Legislation Passed, Expect The Next Wave of NoVA Beer

Posted by / Thursday, February 27th, 2014


By Stefanie Gans & Evan Milberg 

A bill that will allow breweries on rurally zoned land has passed both houses of the Virginia General Assembly this week. SB 430 creates a specific license for farmers to brew, grow and maintain a residence on the same property. Previously, says Kate Zurschmeide of Great Country Farms, “you can open a brewery in one of the towns or the commercially owned areas, but it’s not an activity that’s permitted use on agricultural land.”

Once signed by the governor, the law will create greater equality for breweries to operate in the counties now dominated by wineries. By being able to grow hops, barley and other ingredients on the same land as the production facility, breweries can impart terrior into the beer, just like how grapes grown on vineyards mirror the personality of that land and come through in the wine. 

“For Northern Virginia, it creates an opportunity for more businesses and farms to be part of this growing trend,” says Zurschmeide, whose family farm is based in the Blue Ridge Mountains. “I think it’s going to open up opportunities for farmers to grow grains and expand as demand grows.” With this new legislation, Zurschmeide’s sister- and brother-in-law, Janell and Bruce Zurschmeide, can go forward with Dirt Farm Brewing in Bluemont. Dirt Farm is hoping for an early fall debut, as an old farm building is converted into a tasting room. 

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Austin Grill Will Re-Open in Old Town Alexandria with a ‘Tequila Tower’

Posted by / Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

The new barbecue meatloaf at the revamped Austin Grill / Photo Courtesy of Austin Grill

By: Evan Milberg

Austin Grill in Old Town Alexandria, which closed down in December for renovation, will re-open by the end of next month with a refurbished bar sporting a “Tequila Tower.” The tower—a custom-made chandelier-style centerpiece imported from Florida and displayed beside the bar—will showcase Austin Grill’s expanded variety of premium tequila. 

“In much the same way you see fine dining establishments showcase their wine collection, we’ll be doing somewhat of the same thing with our tequilas,” says Michael Curtis, of Thompson Hospitality, the company that purchased the Austin Grill franchise in 2006. Before renovation, Curtis says Austin Grill’s Old Town location offered less than 40 different types of tequila; In March it will expand to almost 100, including 1800, Avion, Cabo Wabo, Casa Noble, Cazadores, Corazon, Don Julio, Herradura and Patron.  

The menu will also get a make-over, with the additions of Austin-style jambalaya, barbecue meatloaf and Texas brisket sliders. Used previously on the wings, now the barbecue salmon and pork ribs will come mesquite-smoked. / Austin Grill, 801 King St., Alexandria


Hungry for Linkage: Eat Your Brussels Sprouts + RIP “Got Milk” + Universal School Meals

Posted by / Wednesday, February 26th, 2014


By Evan Milberg

Say goodbye to “Got Milk?” The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) has retired the slogan in favor of “Milk Life.” [NPR] 

Michele Obama‘s Let’s Move! initiative announces universal school meals. [FoodPolitics]

Arlington‘s Little City Gourmet will re-open as Urban Pantry on March 3. [NVM]

Nutrition labels are getting set for a “major overhaul.” [PoliticoPro]

Kale doesn’t get all the glory. Six reasons to eat Brussels sprouts. [Tree Hugger]



Opening Monday: Little City Gourmet Turns Into Urban Pantry

Posted by / Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Urban Pantry owner Max Emma / Photo by Natalie Manitius

By: Natalie Manitius

Arlington’s Little City Gourmet was shy of nine months old when it closed its doors in January, but the space has since turned into Urban Pantry, a mixed concept of retail, sandwiches and gelato. 

Under the leadership of owner Max Emma, formerly a catering sales manager with Little City Gourmet, Urban Pantry reopens Monday, March 3. After a business reevaluation coupled with community feedback, Little City Gourmet owner Rachelle Slotnick sold the business to colleague Emma, who has since redesigned the concept. Though patrons can still expect some of the former items like coffee and sandwiches to remain intact, now under the direction of a new chef, Kenneth Hues, Urban Pantry greets newcomers with a largely revamped retail section. 

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