Before hitting the stores this holiday season, grab a quick bite at these new, fast-casual spots.
EAT: EatsPlace Cafe & Market
SHOP: Old Town Alexandria
The blocks and blocks of shopping feels endless in Old Town, so start at the beginning: The Torpedo Factory, on the water’s edge, is home to artists performing their craft inside their working galleries right in front of potential customers. It is the quintessential adherence to supporting local, including the newly installed EatsPlace cafe on the first floor. The pop-up (headquartered in D.C.) features a menu of sandwiches, soups and salads and the ready-for-fame bronut, a cakey brownie in the shape of a doughnut covered with sprinkles encapsulating the hybrid perfectly.
On an otherwise tame menu, the kimchi grilled cheese is a standout, with just enough heat and funk to add some spunk to the otherwise staple sandwich. There’s also coffee, beer, wine and drink-friendly cheese and charcuterie.
The small outfit also stocks local and eclectic snacks to-go like fruit leather, vegan chocolate espresso beans and fermented black bean hot sauce, by co-owner Katy Chang.