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Hungry for Linkage: The Butcher’s Block and Matsutake Close + State-Worthy Burger Toppings + Kick Up the Heat in Summer Cocktails

Posted by / Monday, June 16th, 2014

Joshua Resnick/

The Butcher’s Block in Old Town Alexandria plans to close its doors on June 28. [Eater]

Get your fix for a home-cooked meal while traveling in San Francisco with Airbnb‘s new pilot program. [Bloomburg Businessweek]

Matsutake Steak and Sushi Restaurant in Arlington closes unexpectedly. [ARLnow]

From Maine lobster to Georgia peaches—and Virginia ham—find out what toppings made the cut in Burgers on Parade. [Taste of Home]

Frankenfood knows how to put a little kick into your cocktail. [Yahoo]


Alex Brown: A Fairfax County Engineer Technician By Weekday, a Master of Barbecue by Weekend

Posted by / Friday, June 13th, 2014


BBQ Judge Alex Brown / Photo By Francene Marie Morris

By Allison Michelli

On shows like “BBQ Pitmasters,” images of sauce-covered ribs and slices of brisket are enough to make anyone’s mouth water. So who are the lucky people that get to taste those tender morsels and burnt ends?                                                                                              

What started as a weekend hobby for Fairfax County employee Alex Brown, eventually turned into a paid hobby. About 25 years ago Brown learned about the opportunity to judge barbecue contests after attending the National Capital Barbecue Battle. Brown is now both a certified judge with the Memphis Barbecue Network and a certified master judge with the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS). His credentials make him eligible to judge at barbecue contests around the country. “My range for the last 20 years has been from Lake Placid, New York down to Georgia and over to Memphis, Tennessee.”

So how does one become a master barbecue judge?

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Hungry for Linkage: Butter Wins + New Fanfare + Where to Take Dad for Father’s Day

Posted by / Friday, June 13th, 2014

Robyn Mackenzie/

Butter wins. [Grub Street / Time]

New owners at King Street Coffee in Leesburg. [Loudoun Times Mirror]

Construction may displace food trucks gathered near Rosslyn. [ARLnow]

Where to take dad for Father’s Day. [NVM]

A new Fanfare heads to the Greenbriar Town Center. [Eater]

Build a deep fryer in your backyard, says Alton Brown. [Lifehaker]


Starting Tonight: 5 Things to Do After Midnight at the Booze-Free Cloud Lounge

Posted by / Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Turkish coffee cups at Cloud Lounge / Photo by Ghena Kabbara

By Ariel Yong 

Starting tonight Cloud Lounge is open until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. But owner Ramzi Iskandar, and his partner Hamza Jaber, don’t entice their customers with the usual attraction: booze. Alcohol is prohibited. 

“I don’t like the lifestyle of having a business with alcohol in Arlington,” says Iskandar. “I don’t think it would fit that area [of Arlington.]” So what keeps people there until the wee hours of the morning? Other vices, of course: food, tobacco and caffeine. And it must be going well, Iskandar says a second Cloud Lounge to open in Tysons Corner by the end of this year, is already in the works.

Iskandar also owns the Burger 7 above Cloud Lounge, so although it closes at 11 p.m., lounge guests can order from the full menu of burgers, hot dogs, fries and milkshakes. In the coming weeks, Iskandar will add an original Cloud Lounge menu including caviar, duck foie gras and duck prosciutto and a range of baguette sandwiches featuring smoked salmon, mortadella, pate and scrambled eggs with hot dogs.

Cloud Lounge imports its Turkish coffee from Turkey and Lebanon and blends it in-house. The combination includes Lebanese grinds, says Iskandar, because of it’s addition of cardamom.

These desserts are imported from Turkey and are very close to “the French nougat,” says Iskandar. They are “basically a gel of starch and sugar” and the rotating flavors include coconut, cappuccino, pomegranate, pistachio, rose water and walnut. Shipping through Chicago, the desserts should arrive in time for the weekend crowds.

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7 Places for World Cup-Inspired Drinks at NoVA Restaurants

Posted by / Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Copperwood's Boris Stojkovic World Cup cocktail: Red, White and Blue / Courtesy of Copperwood Tavern

By Ariel Yong

Looking for World Cup-inspired drinks while you watch the games? Here are 6 local places with drinks to get you in the soccer spirit. 

What: The Red, White and Blue Cocktail is a combination of Leblon Cachaça, VeeV Açaí berry liqueur, raspberry puree and lime juice, served over ice and topped with sweet lime foam and fresh blueberries
When: Offered during televised games from June 12 to July 13  
: 4021 Campbell Avenue, Arlington 

What: “World Cup Spotlight Beers” which include Dos Equis, Newcastle Brown Ale, Heineken Lager and Kilkenny Irish Ale
When: Offered during televised games from June 12 to July 13
Where: 7380 Atlas Walk Way, Gainesville

What: Caipirinhas and margaritas 
When: Offered during televised games from June 12 to July 13  
Where: 9116 Mathis Avenue, Manassas 

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Hungry for Linkage: Free Beer Tasting + New Mediterranean/Hoagie Shop to Open in Clarendon + Iced Coffee Kegerators

Posted by / Wednesday, June 11th, 2014


By Ariel Yong

Free beer tasting at Crystal City Wine Shop in Arlington tomorrow from 5 to 7 p.m. / 220 20th St. South, Arlington 

A combination Mediterranean restaurant and Italian hoagie shop set to open in Clarendon. [ARLnow]

A pepperoni pizza will cost World Cup spectators $35 in Brazil. [CBSNews]

In the race for America’s Best Burrito, Arlington’s Pedro & Vinny’s nabs a spot in the southern region. [FiveThirtyEight]

Still need plans for Father’s Day this weekend? Grapes & Grains Trail is hosting its 3rd Annual Father’s Day Festival at A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg this Saturday. 

Kegerators of iced coffee make their way into the office. [Yahoo]

The sugar battle: fruit juice vs. soda. [NPR]


What To Do For Father’s Day: The Foodie Edition

Posted by / Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Father's Day on the water / Courtesy of Entertainment Cruises

By Allison Michelli

Father’s Day is right around the corner. Feed dad’s appetite by giving him a present that he is sure to love.

For the Fancy Foodie
2941 Restaurant in Falls Church will be featuring a la carte menu options for lunch and dinner, a three-course lunch prix fixe menu ($50 pp) and a five-course dinner tasting menu ($90 pp). Dishes include potato crusted rockfish, crispy soft shelled crab, short rib and chocolate tiramisu. / 2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church.

Join The Restaurant at Potowmack Farm on June 15 for a Father’s Day inspired brunch featuring local, organic and seasonal ingredients. Event is from 11 a.m.2 p.m. / 42461 Lovettsville Road, Lovettsville.

Go surf and turf with The Wine House in Fairfax for Father’s Day brunch.  Menu features petite filet and lobster. For dinner the theme is Rack it Up Night! Dine on rack of veal, rack of lamb and rack of wild boar. /  3950 University Drive Suite 212, Fairfax.

 For the Music Lover
Spend a relaxing Father’s Day sipping wine and enjoying the sounds of Marcus Johnson with the Dave Wilson Quartet and Night and Day at the 10th Annual Manassas Wine and Jazz Festival.  Event is June 15, noon – 7 p.m. and will be held on the Manassas Museum lawn. Tickets can be purchased online. $30 taster, $20 non-taster /Manassas Museum Lawn, 9101 Prince William St., Manassas.

For the Carnivore 
Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington will be hosting a Father’s Day a la carte brunch and dinner. The menu features  hearty dishes like grilled bison chops and Ossabaw pork chops marinated with coco-chili rub and rhubarb currant chutney along with 10 types of moonshine, 20 draft beers and over 23 bourbons and craft cocktails. Dads will also receive a complimentary goodie bag, which includes house-made bison jerky and BBQ spices. / 4021 Campbell Ave., Arlington.

What says Happy Father’s Day more than a box of cured meats? Buy dad a monthly subscription to the Carnivore Club, a cured meat of the month club featuring artisan cured meats from around the world. A monthly subscription will run you $50 or try commitment free for only one month for $55. 

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Hungry for Linkage: DMV Food Truck Week + Bagels Around the World + 3-D Printed Food

Posted by / Monday, June 9th, 2014


By: Allison Michelli

DMV Food Truck Week is officially in full swing. Find out where the trucks will be rolling into town. [DMVFTA]

Take the traditional bagel and schmear to international heights.  [Yahoo]

Get your fix for food and wine tastings, live music, and more at the 2014 Taste of Reston food festival. [Reston Now]

3-D printed food. Not as tasty as it looks. [Vice]

New USDA Conservation Reserve Program aims to protect environmentally sensitive land by providing monetary incentives to participating farmers who use conservation methods. [USDA]


Get Your Doughnut Fix On a Stick: Mac’s Donuts at the Arlington Farmers Market

Posted by / Friday, June 6th, 2014


By Ariel Yong

Sprinkles, cookie crumbles, jelly fillings and bacon bits often find their way into doughnuts, but at Mac’s Donuts, you’ll find a stick. The mini apple cider donuts made out of John “Mac” McIntire‘s food truck, come six to a shish kabob skewer, so, says McIntire, “you don’t get your hands dirty and it looks fun.” 

If you don’t get your doughnut fix today, National Doughnut Day (whatever that means), you can find Mac’s Donuts at the Arlington Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. / Arlington County Courthouse Parking Lot, N. Courthouse Road and N. 14th St.


Hungry for Linkage: VA Beer Doc + Donuts + RJ Cooper vs Groupon

Posted by / Friday, June 6th, 2014

Stefanie Gans

From Grain to Growler – Trailer from Take A Penny Productions on Vimeo.

Arlington’s Arepa Zone makes Hottest Food Truck list. [Eater]

Donuts in the Breakroom.” [McSweeny]

RJ Cooper vs Groupon [Don Rockwell]


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