Young and Hungry

Get a $6 Sausage Sandwich at Meats & Foods

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It's not easy to name a sausage company. The chances of bad puns and innuendos, as you might imagine, are pretty high. So when husband-wife team Scott McIntosh and Ana Marin first launched their sausage company  three years ago, they named it 13th Street Meats after the street where they live. Dodge City, American Ice Company, Boundary Stone, and others all carried their products. But now that they've expanded the operation to their own shop at 247 Florida Ave. NW, the name doesn't quite fit. "I don't know anything about branding, but I know that that's 3rd Street," McIntosh says pointing out the door, "and if we're 13th Street Meats, it's just going to be confusion until the end."

So they've switched to another equally straightforward name: Meats & Foods.

The small shop opened quietly last week with a menu that's as simple as the name. For now, there are only six sausage sandwiches—all $6 each—with add-ons like beef chili, cheese, or Gordy's pickles. The half-smoke is so far the top seller, but the veggie dog made with seitan, veggie stock, soy sauce, olive oil, and beans has been a surprise favorite. Eventually, Marin, a former vegetarian, would like to add some vegetable sides like tomato salad or pasta salad. (Right now, the only side is chili.) Beers ($4-$6) include DC Brau, Natty Boh, Coors Light, and Yuengling, and Marin and McIntosh are also looking to add some wine if they can find something good and affordable. Read more Get a $6 Sausage Sandwich at Meats & Foods

Chef Jennifer Nguyen Leaves Zentan

jennifer_mugZentan chef Jennifer Nguyen has parted ways with the Donovan House's Japanese restaurant. Nguyen took over the kitchen in the spring of 2013 after celebrity chef Susur Lee, who opened the restaurant, split with Zentan.

Jacque Riley, publicist for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, sent Y&H the following statement:

Chef Jennifer Nguyen has left Zentan to pursue other opportunities. We are very grateful for the passion, dedication and talent she brought to the restaurant and will be actively seeking a new executive chef who can carry the torch of Zentan. In the meantime, our team remains committed to creating the great Japanese cuisine and warm service our guests have come to expect at Zentan.

No update yet on who will takeover Nguyen's position. Y&H is trying to reach Nguyen to hear about her next move. Stay tuned.

Photo courtesy Zentan

Kapnos Chef George Pagonis Will Appear on Top Chef

Following in the footsteps of his boss Mike Isabella, Kapnos chef George Pagonis will appear on the next season of Top Chef. Set to premiere Oct. 15, the Bravo show will take place in Boston this year.

Prior to Kapnos, Pagonis spent time at Graffiato and Zaytinya (where he first worked under Isabella) as well as Aureole  in New York.

Meanwhile, Isabella has been back in the TV kitchen for spin-off show Top Chef Duels, which pits former contestants against each other. Isabella's episode airs tonight at 10 p.m.

Check out a preview of the Boston season above.

Last Night’s Leftovers: Beer Scene Edition

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The state of the D.C. beer scene in 2014 [DC Beer]

The best happy hours in 15 D.C. neighborhoods. [Thrillist]

Master Chinese chef Peter Chang to open restaurant in Rockville Town Square. [Post]

Mr. Smith's will relocate to Chadwicks, which will close. [Eater]

Maple in Columbia Heights now has a back patio. [PoPville]

Revisiting D.C.'s mainstay restaurants. [Zagat]

Chefs start to see real cost savings from kitchen gardens. [WBJ]

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Marion Barry Performs at Republic’s Blues Night

Ward 8 D.C. Councilmember Marion Barry dropped into Takoma Park's Republic last week for the late-night menu. That's when the restaurant's music booker, Catherine Rytkonen, invited him back for Monday Blues Night. Not only did he show up, he requested a song from the band and then picked up the mic.

Barry performed T-Bone Walker's "Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)"—a song he's busted out on several occasions—with Frederick, Md.-based band Hard Swimmin' Fish.

"Everybody kind of went nuts," Rytkonen says. "He sounded pretty good. That raspy, bluesy voice, it's pretty amazing."

Maybe Barry missed his true calling?

Food Truck Association Launches Its Own Awards

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For the first time this year, the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington introduced a new category to its annual RAMMY awards that finally made food trucks eligible for the prize. Ultimately, though, no mobile vendors were nominated to this "fast bites" category, which also covered quick-serve spots, delis, and coffee shops with food.

That's OK, though, because now the DMV Food Truck Association has introduced its own annual awards that it hopes will have the same significance in its own community as the RAMMYS do among restaurants. (Other cities have the Vendys.) The association has done various awards in the past, but they were usually festival-specific and included less serious categories like "sexiest trucker." Among the eight categories now: Food Truck of the Year, Chef of the Year, Food Truck Design of the Year, and Best Five Buck Bite.  Read more Food Truck Association Launches Its Own Awards

Bon Appetit Names Rose’s Luxury America’s Best New Restaurant

Y_H_Aaron_Silverman-1-682x1024In case Rose's Luxury didn't have enough accolades and glowing reviews, here's another pretty big one: Bon Appetit has named it the best new restaurant in America. The magazine selected chef Aaron Silverman's Barracks Row restaurant from a list of 50 nominees, which also included Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency, and Mockingbird Hill. (For some odd reason, the three counted as one spot.)

"Rose’s isn’t just in the restaurant business; it’s in the making-people-happy business," writes Bon Appetit's Andrew Knowlton. "If that feels like a revelation in dining, it should. It did to me, and it’s why Rose’s tops our list of this year’s best new restaurants."

Although leave it to a national mag to be unable to resist a reference to power lunches when discussing D.C. dining:

Later, as I’m finishing my whiskey and paying the bill, I realize why those people were willing to wait two-plus hours for a table in a city whose food culture is otherwise known mostly for power lunches: Rose’s is a game-changer.

Because you named one our restaurants the best, Bon Appetit, we'll let that one slide.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Last Night’s Leftovers: B Side Edition

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Red Apron will be joined by a restaurant called B Side in Merrifield. [Post]

The nine most anticipated fall openings [Zagat]

Seven days of food specials [Eater]

The Diner temporarily closes for a refresh. [PoPville]

Rogue 24 releases new a la carte menu. [Washingtonian]

Roundup of new and almost-open restaurants in northern Virginia. [NoVa Mag]

Photo of Red Apron chef Nate Anda by Darrow Montgomery

Top Picks for D.C. Beer Week

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The latest installment of craft beer mania is upon us in the form of the city's sixth annual DC Beer Week. Today through Sunday, local breweries, bars, and restaurants will play host to over 100 events focused on drinking and learning about craft beer. Below are our picks for the best foamy fun the week has to offer.

MONDAY

Dogfish Head Dazed & Infused at Scion, 5 p.m.

Dupont Circle's Scion Restaurant will feature 30 different brews from Dogfish Head, including 10 beers infused with ingredients like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, jalapeños, and kimchi (not all in the same beer, luckily). All brews will be $3 off, and free glassware will be handed out while supplies last.

Craft of Comedy at The Big Hunt, 7 p.m.

Flying Dog, Altas Brew Works, Lagunitas, and Ommegang beers will be the backdrop to an evening of local stand-up comics at The Big Hunt presented by Sean Joyce, founder of Underground Comedy. No advance tickets necessary, and beers are pay-as-you-go. Raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes from each brewery will be given with each brew purchase. Read more Top Picks for D.C. Beer Week

Brookland Pint Opens Today

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Just in time for D.C. Beer Week, Brookland Pint opens its doors in the Monroe Street Market development in Brookland today. The timing, however, is purely coincidental: "I was trying to get open months ago," says owner John Andrade. The restaurant will have a lot of similarities to its sister establishment, Meridian Pint, in Columbia Heights: all American craft beers, a vegan- and vegetarian-friendly menu, and an emphasis on all things local and environmentally friendly. In fact, many of the staff and management of Meridian Pint are now at Brookland Pint.

The bar has 24 beers on tap plus some large-format bottles. Look out for "No Sleep 'Til Brookland," a dry-hopped IPA brewed exclusively for Brookland Pint by Franklins brewery in Hyattsville. While you can expect various beer events at Brookland Pint, Andrade says it likely won't be as much of a beer-nerd destination as Meridian Pint. "I don't think anybody does it as well as Meridian Pint, and I don't aspire to try to compete with that," he says. (Because Brookland Pint is just opening, there will be no D.C. Beer Week-specific events there this week.)

Chef and Brookland resident Rebecca Hassell is carrying over burgers and quesadillas from Meridian Pint, but you'll also find dishes like kashmini curry, Puerto Rican mofongo, and fish and chips. Lunch and brunch will begin Sept. 1.

One of the best perches in the restaurant is along the huge open windows where bar stools straddle a counter between the indoors and outdoor patio. The bar area has two long community tables made with wood beams from a southern Maryland tobacco farm, plus USB ports and outlets along the bar itself. The marble on the back bar and around the beer cooler come from a quarry in Vermont that also supplied marble to the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials. Turn the corner, and you'll find two-tops and booths plus a banquet room in the back that can seat an additional 30 people.

Andrade also believes that restrooms are one of the most important of the restaurant aesthetically. If they're dirty, he says, it tells diners that those same (lack of) standards are applied to the rest of the restaurant. "This is probably one of the most hands on environments in a restaurant and often the most overlooked," he says. At Brookland Pint, all the stalls are unisex, but men and women share the same hand-washing area. And if Andrade has his way, they better be clean.

Check out more photos and the menus below. Read more Brookland Pint Opens Today

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