Young and Hungry

The ’Wiching Hour: Dirty South Deli’s Mr. Chips

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The Sandwich: The Mr. Chips

Where: Dirty South Deli at the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ Mezzanine Cafe, 1250 New York Ave. NW (and on its food truck)

Price: $12 including one side

Bread: Brioche bun

Stuffings: Chopped pork, bread and butter jalapeños, Manchego cheese, cilantro, citrus mayo

Thickness: 4 inches

Pros: The juicy pulled pork piled high on the bun deserves the majority of the eater’s attention, but it’s the accompaniments that turn the meat and bread combo into something beyond the sum of its parts. The Manchego adds a rich, nutty flavor, while the light citrus mayo and cilantro deliver some tang and lightness. Pickling tones down the jalapeños’ assaulting heat, and a pleasant smokiness remains.

Cons: Meat this moist will weaken even the toughest bread, so it’s not surprising that the bottom of the brioche bun gets a little gummy as you eat. Toasting it lightly might help, but it’s not absolutely necessary, since the sandwich is pretty much perfect.

Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 5. Brioche is already soft and adding wet, precariously balanced ingredients to it turns this sandwich into a big mess. Grab a fork to reassemble the sandwich as you eat it.

Overall score (1 to 5): 5. The mix of hard cheese, smoky pickled peppers, and drippy pulled pork come together with the harmony of peanut butter and jelly. The team from Dirty South Deli fine-tuned the salty, sour, and sweet elements to create a weird, messy, memorable bite.

Brohibition: With McFadden’s and Rhino Bar Gone, Where Will College Kids Go?

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On a recent Saturday night at Georgetown’s Rhino Bar & Pumphouse, the crowd is drunk, loud, and overwhelmingly young. From my position at the far left corner of the upstairs dance floor, the scene resembles an abstract painting. Pastel polos and oxfords are the uniform of choice for the men of Rhino, and they swirl against the bright, skintight dresses of their grinding partners. 

The revelry is tinged with a bit of melancholy for the mostly college crowd. It was one of their last nights at Rhino, which closed Feb. 28. Its space has housed watering holes since 1952: first Shamrock, then Winston’s Bar, and, since 1998, Rhino. According to manager George Kennedy, the bar isn’t renewing its lease at the end of February due to rising rent. 

“I don’t know what we’re going to do when it finally closes,” says Jeff, a Georgetown sophomore swigging Coors Light, who didn’t want to share his last name because he was drinking underage. Jeff admits that he got into the bar using a fake ID—and that most of his companions did, too. “There’s no other bar in the neighborhood that’s as easy with IDs,” he says. “Rhino’s awesome, because you can leave a party, come here, and know that almost all your friends can get in.”

It’s not the only undergrad bar disappearing from the District’s college neighborhoods. McFadden’s, a favorite of George Washington University students, closed for good in December after five patrons were stabbed inside the overcrowded establishment. Meanwhile, Chadwicks and Third Edition—student standbys in Georgetown that had been open for decades—both shuttered in the last two years. Those college campuses are now left without their signature purveyors of cheap beer, top 40 hits, and darkened hookup spaces. 

Georgetown has long been a tony neighborhood with high-end retailers like J. Crew and Brooks Brothers, but the new crop of restaurants and bars opening there—Chez Billy Sud, El Centro D.F.—are more likely to serve $12 cocktails than $2 Natty Lights. While neighbors may see the loss of destinations for debaucherous nightlife as cause for celebration, students are asking: Where will we go now?  Read more Brohibition: With McFadden’s and Rhino Bar Gone, Where Will College Kids Go?

Whiskey Dream Team to Open Joseph A. Magnus & Co. Distillery in Ivy City

Joseph MagnusA group of whiskey experts from around the country is coming together to launch a new distillery in D.C. called Joseph A. Magnus & Co., named after one of the most successful pre-Prohibition producers of bourbon and other spirits.

Magnus' great grandson, Jimmy Turner, is behind the distillery, which will be located above Atlas Brew Works in Ivy City. Turner has partnered with an all-star team, which includes Pork Barrel BBQ co-founder Brett Thompson, former Woodford Reserve distiller and winner of the Whisky Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award Dave Scheurich, American Distilling Institute director of research and whiskey blending pro Nancy "the nose" Fraley, and former Buffalo Trace Distillery VP and General Manager Richard Wolf.

"I jokingly refer to these guys as our whiskey dream team," says Thompson. "It's going to be exciting for D.C. to have people of these talents helping bring back this heritage." Read more Whiskey Dream Team to Open Joseph A. Magnus & Co. Distillery in Ivy City

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken Coming to Falls Church

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Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken—creators of Old Bay doughnut chicken sandwich and home of the must-try crème brûlée doughnut—will open its second location in the Idylwood Plaza at 7501 Leesburg Pike in Falls Church.

The menu won't change much from the downtown D.C. location, but expect more sides, sandwiches, and breakfast options. La Colombe will supply drip and cold brew coffee. There will also be expanded catering and private event offerings.

Unlike the original grab-and-go location, the new spot will have a small amount of seating in its 1,200-square-foot space. It's expected to open this summer.

Photo by Jessica Sidman

Last Night’s Leftovers: Fondue Edition

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Five takes on cheese fondue around D.C. [Zagat]

The lineup for Sweetgreen's annual Sweetlife festival is in. [Arts Desk]

Moderntimes Coffee House closes at Politics & Prose. [Eater]

Why Restaurant Eve decided to keep its Asian tasting menu [Post]

Five vegetarian Reubens even corned beef fans will love [Washingtonian]

Italian market and restaurant Carluccio's headed to Pike & Rose. [WBJ]

Lasagna, two ways [Express]

Photo via Shutterstock 

Proposed Legislation Would Allow Outdoor Drinking at D.C. Distilleries and Breweries

atlasDistrict law currently prohibits production breweries from building outdoor beer gardens or distilleries from serving cocktails from a sidewalk cafe. But that could change with legislation that Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie introduced today to the D.C. Council.

The legislation, which already has the support of every councilmember, would allow D.C. distilleries, breweries, and potential wineries to apply for the same "sidewalk cafe" or "summer garden" permits that restaurants and bars have.

Among the alcohol producers hoping to take advantage of such law is Atlas Brew Works. Co-founder Justin Cox says he contacted McDuffie about the issue and worked with his office to introduce the legislation. Cox says the Ivy City brewery has 35 to 40 feet of public space in front of its facility on West Virginia Avenue NE that it would like to convert into a fenced off beer garden with picnic tables where people can hang out during tastings or while they're enjoying a pint. Read more Proposed Legislation Would Allow Outdoor Drinking at D.C. Distilleries and Breweries

Union Kitchen Members Can Make—But Not Sell—Marijuana Edibles

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Food incubator Union Kitchen has given its members the OK to possess marijuana in its kitchen facilities and even use it as an ingredient, as long as they abide by D.C. law—which now says weed is legal. That means that while food producers are welcome to make cannabis chocolate or pot-buttered popcorn, they can't sell it or possess more than two ounces.

"I see no reason to disallow it," says Union Kitchen co-founder Jonas Singer. "We're certainly willing to follow the law of the land and allow possession of it in the facility. The alternative is to say 'you're not allowed to bring it here,' and I don't know we'd even go about enforcing that."

While members can eat marijuana edibles at Union Kitchen (as long as they behave themselves), they are not allowed to smoke at the facility. Singer emphasizes that they are not endorsing the sale of any product with marijuana, which is illegal. "That said, people can come in and use the kitchen as they please," he says.

Union Kitchen's founders sent an email to members about the policy yesterday in order to get ahead of any questions. "We wanted to be proactive," Singer says. "It's something that's obviously been on the minds of people, and it's better for us to have a discrete and proactively communicated policy to set expectations as opposed to being caught behind the eight ball on it." Singer says he doesn't know which specific members may want to experiment with marijuana in their products.

As for those who might not be thrilled about their fellow food entrepreneurs baking up a batch of pot brownies? "I'd almost equate it to when a vegan comes in and there's pork next to them," Singer says. "They don't love it, but they live with it."

If and when the sale of marijuana ever becomes legal, Singer says Union Kitchen would be supportive of that as well. "[We'd] certainly figure out how to allow that production to be done in the kitchen," he says.

Here's the email sent to Union Kitchen members yesterday: Read more Union Kitchen Members Can Make—But Not Sell—Marijuana Edibles

Last Night’s Leftovers: Coffee Edition

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Food critic Todd Kliman mourns the eradication of a simple morning brew. [Washingtonian]

Q&A with the Palm veteran of 43 years, Tommy Jacomo [Eater]

Rose's Luxury chef Aaron Silverman experiments with potato skin ice cream and scrambled eggs with uni for new restaurant. [Express]

Oyamel kicks off its annual Tequila & Mezcal Festival. [DCist]

Meet the guy who chefs call for squab, yak, or even guinea pig. [Post]

Garden District reopens on 14th Street NW. [PoPville]

Don Tito opens in Clarendon next week. [ARLnow]

Photo via Shutterstock 

D.C. Restaurants Face Mussels Shortage Due to Frozen Waters

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If you want mussels this weekend, you're probably out of luck. The cold temperatures have frozen over East Coast waters that supply much of region's shellfish.

John Rorapaugh, the Sustainable Director for one of the area's biggest seafood suppliers Profish, can't recall anything like what he's seen over the last few weeks because of the sustained cold weather and low salinity. "It's an anomaly because of the ice," he says. "All shellfish, we've had the worst two or three weeks that I've seen in a long time... It's affected the whole Eastern seaboard."

While sometimes Profish may have trouble getting one type of shellfish, he can't recall a time when the scarcity has been so widespread. "Never have I seen where lobsters, clams, mussels, and oysters are all affected in the same three week period," he says. "It's happened. It's happened right now." Read more D.C. Restaurants Face Mussels Shortage Due to Frozen Waters

Last Night’s Leftovers: D.C. Food Policy Council Edition

blog_spike-1Mayor Muriel Bowser taps burger and pizza shop owner Spike Mendelsohn to chair D.C. Food Policy Council. [Eater]

Food clubs bring together charcuterie, sandwich, and wine enthusiasts. [Express]

Eight D.C. pop-ups that might as well just happen [Thrillist]

How to decode D.C.'s coffee roasters [Post]

Custom Fuel Pizza closes in Dupont. [PoPville]

First look and taste test of SER [BYT]

A look inside Gaithersburg's Old Town Pour House [Washingtonian]

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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