Tag Archives: Capitol Hill

brunch at 18th Amendment

On a recent busy Saturday afternoon, I received a text from a friend who was at 18th Amendment for their bottomless mimosas and a basketball game.  I was going to be passing by there on my errands so I decided to stop in to say hi and enjoy a brunch beverage.  I got there a bit on the late side, not really thinking about food (I blame the terrible cold I was fighting off for my strange behavior), until I went to the bathroom and saw a sign on the stall door saying that they serve breakfast until close.  My stomach immediately forgot about said cold and kicked into craving-breakfast-mode. Continue reading

brunch month at Belga Cafe

For the entire month of November, Belga Cafe will be serving its delicious brunch every day of the week.  It’s not every day that you can get good Belgian waffles and crepes in the middle of the week, so I had to share.  You can view the full brunch menu at BelgaCafe.com.

Crepes at the Market

When I arrived at Eastern Market last weekend for the grand reopening, I scoped out the lines at my favorite food vendors to decide where to get lunch.  I wouldn’t have time to wait in line for something like Market Lunch (mmm blue bucks…) but knew I would need to take a break from volunteering at some point for food. And then I got a craving for one of my favorite treats: crepes.  If you have never stopped by the Crepes at the Market stand, put it on your list for one weekend soon.

The line moves a bit slow, but only because they make the crepes to order, and they have a mouth-watering list of fillings to choose from.  My savory favorites include asiago with mushrooms and spinach, or ham with muenster, apple and maple syrup.  You can also order a sweet crepe with any number of delicious toppings.  Sweet crepes start at $4 and savory start at $5 but most of the best ones are in the $7 and $8 range.  I say that they are worth every penny!

I have heard from some people that they do not love how these are severed, but I am a big fan.  They crepes are rolled into a cone and placed in paper so you can eat them while walking.  It can get a little messy, but aren’t the best foods the ones that are the messiest to eat?

Crepes at the Market sets up their stand in front of the Aquatic Center on North Carolina Avenue, right behind Eastern Market.  (They used to be on 7th Street but all weekend vendors selling prepared food are now setting up on the North Carolina plaza.)  Their website says that they are only at Eastern Market on Saturdays from 8am-4pm, but I heard them telling customers that they are coming on Sundays as well, at least through the fall.

Eastern Market Building to Re-Open June 26

According to the Mayor’s office, the renovated Eastern Market building will re-open on June 26th, and a celebration will be held on the 27th.  Thanks to CHAMPS for first sharing the news after attended Mayor Fenty’s walk through of Eastern Market.  Shortly after, I got this email from the Mayor’s office: Continue reading

Breakfast Baking Class at Hill's Kitchen

While I can make some darn good pancakes, eggs, grits, and french toast, when it comes to baking my skills fall short.  I have tried making muffins from scratch before but I have this horrible problem with over-mixing, which can cause baked goods to be too dense and chewy.  I’m also not very good at following directions as closely as baking requires.  But I loved baked goods, especially of the breakfast variety.  Coffee cake, muffins, biscuits, bagels…YUM

Then a friend passed along news that Hill’s Kitchen was going to be holding a series of cooking classes, including one about breakfast baking! I decided that even on my current budget, $45 for a class that could help me overcome my baking issues would be a good investment.  At the very least, it would be a delicious way to spend a Saturday morning. Continue reading

Taste of 8th this Saturday!

tasteof8th

Full disclosure: I’ve been working with Barracks Row Main Street to help with a few of their annual events, including this one. So, yes, this is some shameless self-promotion, but it’s only because I am truly excited about this event on Saturday!

Taste of 8th is, well, exactly what it sounds like: a chance to get a taste of the many many restauants on 8th Street SE, which is also known as Barracks Row (because of the Marine Barracks, for those of you who are not familiar with the area).  The event is this Saturday, April 25, from 1pm-4pm.  Tickets are $5 or 5 for $20.  Each ticket will get you one tasting at any of the participating restaurants and can also be entered into a raffle for prized from the merchants on 8th Street. We’re also offering $3 tasting tickets for kids under the age of 10.

10 years ago when I left DC for college, this stretch of Capitol Hill was anything but a destination.  Most of the storefronts were boarded up and there was a good bit of crime.  There were a few restaurants on the blocks closer to Pennsylvania Avenue, but not many.  By the time I moved back after college, several stores and restaurants opened, and the city was working with the neighbors and the Marine Barracks to get the street cleaned up.  Now, you’re hard pressed to find parking on a Friday or Saturday night because all of the bars and restaurants are so packed.  And it’s not just because of a few hyped up bars.

The pides and hummus at Cafe 8 are currently one of my favorite things to get for dinner, the margaritas at Las Placitas are hard to resist, especially when sitting on their patio in 80 degree weather, and Fusion Grill has a great menu that keeps getting good reviews from my friends who stop by there.  Some more recommendations for Saturday: Levi’s is rumored to have the best macaroni & cheese in the city (I’ll have to test that one out for myself this weekend), Belga Cafe usually throws in a free beer with your tasting, and Cava will have a table set up with a preview of their menu (they will have their grand opening the next week).

So if you haven’t been to the neighborhood lately, or if you’d like a chance to try a few new places for not a lot of money, come on over!  A full list of participating restaurants can be found here. And if you want to get the scoop on other events and news, become a fan of our Facebook page!

brunch at Matchbox…take 2

matchboxI made it back to Matchbox for a second try sooner than expected since my cousin was in town and we needed a local spot that could accommodate a group that included two infants.  This time around, I ordered the stuffed french toast (very tasty although very sweet), and someone else tried the Bloody Mary burger, which was quite a dish.  Everyone else in our group ordered lunch items such as the mini burgers and the pizza roll, which is arguably better than the pizza.

One thing I didn’t explore on my last visit was the drink menu – I had somehow missed that there are 6 different Bloody Marys to choose from!  I ordered, surprise surprise, the Bacon Bloody Mary.  While the bacon didn’t seem to add much to the flavor of the drink, Bloody Mary-soaked bacon is a delicious treat!  If you make this at home, try putting some bacon salt in the Bloody Mary.  I have not tried this myself yet but suspect that it is the secret that has yet to be discovered.

More Hill News: Finn MacCool's, Lola's, Papa John's, Matchbox and more

More news about closings and openings on the Hill, from CHAMPS (Capitol Hill Association of Merchants and Professionals).  This email update doesn’t mention Matchbox but I have heard rumors that it will be open right around Thanksgiving. Thanks to my roommate for passing along the tips!

Bread and Choco is becoming Le Pain Quotidien lepainquotidien.com

Marty’s is bccoming Cava - cavamezze.com

I am 99% sure Montmarte is expanding into the Ben & Jerry’s space.
BTW, free ice cream on Ben & Jerry’s last day

Finn’s has been bought by the owner of Lola’s. From what I
understand, it will remain an Irish bar — just getting a menu
overhaul etc.

We have a new Thai place, Sanphan (I think I’m spelling that
correctly) on the 600 blk of Penn – just down from CVS.

We also have a Papa Johns now!? 914 11th St., SE 544-7272

We have an Italian restaurant going into the two spaces on 7th, SE
that were previously occupied by A&A Athletics and Dottie’s. Not sure
who the owner is at this point.

Another new restaurant going into Barracks Row – 8th Street Bar and
Grill – going into the space occupied by Capitol Hill Sporting Goods.

I think that’s everything, but will keep everyone updated of anything
else I hear about.

So Long Bread & Chocolate, Hello Le Pain Quotidien

bredandchocolate

While Bread and Chocolate was always packed in the weekends, it really never appealed to me in any way.  I never once had brunch there and don’t really feel like I missed out anything.  I did buy something from there once years ago, but it definitely didn’t impress me enough to go back.

Great news for anyone who was hoping for some newer options at Eastern Market!  Le Pain Quotidien, a Belgian chain that focuses on fresh and organic, will be moving into the corner space at 7th and Penn.  No word yet on when they will be opening, but renovations have already begun.

I have not made it to any of Le Pain Quotidien’s other DC-area locations (or gotten the pronunciation down yet…) but I have heard very good things from people who have eaten there.  It’s pricey but you get very good food for your money.

Another closing that was announced recently, that I am quite sad about: Ben & Jerry’s is closing on November 30, leaving the Baskin-Robbins on 8th Street as our only ice cream shop on the Hill.  Maybe this will be better for my waistline?  Montemartre will be expanding into the space where Ben & Jerry’s was.  City Desk explains the closing in more detail.

brunch at Pete's Diner

I generally love diners and diner food. After living in New York, “diner” was synonymous with quick and cheap comfort food. But DC is not New York, and neither are our diners. I pass Pete’s Diner all of the time but have never once eaten there because it looks so cramped and uninviting at first glance. And with Jimmy T’s just a few more blocks away, why settle for something else just because it’s a couple blocks closer to home?

I finally decided to stop being so judgmental and give it a try. And I have to say, I’m sticking with Jimmy T’s for my close-to-home diner breakfast in the future. Pete’s offers a basic menu with all of the staples, and food couldn’t come out much faster, but there was something missing. There are so many things on the walls and counters, and so many tables crammed in to one place, I barely knew where to turn when I walked through the door. I sat at the counter and ordered eggs with a side of grits. Both perfectly good but nothing really memorable. Although I guess diner food is rarely “memorable” and the experience really comes more from the atmosphere. Pete’s seems to be popular with a lot of people on the Hill but not me. But now I can at least say that I tried it!