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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

MaxyM/shutterstock.com

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]


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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. 

 


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

Posted by / Thursday, February 27th, 2014

jeka84/Shutterstock.com

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


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

Posted by / Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Crepesoles/shutterstock.com

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]

 


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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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Hungry for Linkage: Fried Chicken at Trummer’s + Carla Hall at Reagan National + Chocolate Cake at Home

Posted by / Monday, February 24th, 2014

Fried Chicken & Biscuits / Photo Courtesy of Trummer's on Main

The introduction of fried chicken and biscuits ($22) adds to the Trummer’s on Main-going-casual trend. Burger Bar pop-up starts next month.

Carla Hall, of “The Chew” and “Top Chef” fame, helps design a Southern restaurant at Reagan National Airport. [Eater]

Manasass Restaurant Week continues through Saturday with $25 and $35 three-course dinner specials. 

Officially stop holding your breathe for The Taco Place in Arlandria. [The Arlandrian]

With freezing weather returning, baking a cake in a mug is probably a good idea. [Table for Two]


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Lick Your Screen: Eel Edition

Posted by / Friday, February 21st, 2014

By: Stefanie Gans

Photo by Stefanie Gans

Because sometimes you want something crunchy, sticky, sweet—and just a little fishy: Liangxi-style crispy eel. | South China | Alexandria

MORE | Lick Your Screen


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Hungry for Linkage: NoVA Nabs James Beard Nominations + Sliders in Arlington + California Beer Drought

Posted by / Friday, February 21st, 2014

 

By: Natalie Manitius

James Beard Foundation semi-finalists include Luca Paschina of Barboursville Vineyards for Outstanding Wine Professional and Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve and Tarver King of The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm for Best Mid-Atlantic Chef . [JBF]

Model Jourdan Dunn‘s video cooking show, Well Dunn with Jourdan Dunn, starts its third season with a vegan Thai chili recipe. 

Arlington welcomes truck DC Sliders, equipping lunch-goers with an eclectic mix of mini burgers. Among them are the Elvis burger, a slider dressed with peanut butter, banana and bacon and the Slider Mac, a beefy bun topped with mac and cheese. [ARLnow]

Willow Restaurant unveiled new lunch specials, including  smoked brisket and chorizo chili and New England clam chowder. [Willow]

California weather woes threaten brewers: The state’s drought forces Lagunitas Brewing Company and Petaluma Brewing Company, among others, to consider new alternatives for keeping water sources afloat. [NPR]

Old Bust Heading Brewing Company releases Chinquapin Chestnut Porter this weekend. 


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Trummer’s On Main Resurrects Pop-Up Burger Bar

Posted by / Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Chef de Partie Eric Batson / Photo by Austin Fausett

By: Stefanie Gans

Trummer’s On Main will once again convert its upstairs gallery room to Burger Bar, a Tuesday-through-Thursday pop-up. Last April, the Clifton restaurant debuted Burger Bar on the same day it announced the hire of Executive Chef Austin Fausett.

This year’s pop-up will last from March 11 to May 29 and will rotate items frequently, featuring all new burgers staring falafel, pork and sauerkraut and traditional burgers using local Martin’s Angus Beef. The menu is still in development and Fausett plans for a secret menu spanning wings to bone marrow.

Pop-ups help restaurants learn what diners want and give restaurants a safe, time-limited space to try cuisines or styles that don’t necessarily fit into the current menu. If pop-ups don’t attract crowds, then it was a short, low-risk experiment, but if it works, can lead to new ventures. “We’re open to a lot of possibilities,” says Fausett, about the future of Burger Bar, “but I think the goal of this is to promote Trummer’s and get new clientele and to also look at different opportunities for new restaurants for us.  

 The team also hosted an Oktoberfest-themed pop-up last fall and as both Fausett and owner Stefan Trummer lived in Austria, implementing a beer garden is on the wish list. “Maybe someday,” says Fausett. / Burger Bar, March 11-May 29; 7134 Main Street, Clifton

*This post has been updated


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