Author Archive for Sasha Issenberg

It’s a Guitar, It’s a Plane…What is JetRock?

I flew out of BWI yesterday, and was reminded that despite its location the airport has a few things going for it, the best of which may be the absence of JetRock Bar and Grill. JetRock, a mainstay of the DCA and Dulles concourses, is an airport-only chain owned by the OTG Management group and […]

ESPN Zone Closes, People Care

It's hard to imagine a news event this week that required less reflection than the shuttering of ESPN Zone restaurants in Washington and Baltimore, but the Wednesday announcement set DCist commenters buzzing. The Post covered the basics, which also includes the closing of New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas. One ESPN Zone loyalist writing on […]

Chile Takes Soft-Power Campaign to Café Atlántico

If hearing that a Chilean Gastronomic Week will begin in Washington next Monday doesn't evoke any particular tastes, smells, or images for you, you are not alone. "Nothing comes to mind at the expression 'Chilean cuisine,'" says James Farrer, a sociologist at Tokyo's Sophia University and expert in culinary soft power who has written about […]

Eating the World Cup, Part Two

Check out today's City Paper for a useful World Cup drinking-and-eating guide — more or less in that order, heavy on beer specials — or find it online here.  But of the 32 countries competing in the World Cup, maybe only half have their national cuisines represented in the Washington area. Where are the Uruguayan […]

Guest Chefs Team Up with Columbia Room’s Derek Brown for Dinners

The Columbia Room, Derek Brown's prix-fixe cocktail counter hidden behind the Passenger, is bringing in outside chefs for a series of tag-team dinners. The details are predictably complicated and fussy.  According to a press release, "Each chef will join Derek Brown behind the bar and prepare two dishes that Derek will pair with hand crafted […]

Eating the World Cup

The World Cup kicks off Friday in South Africa, and I'm starting to plan my soccer-watching itinerary.  Soccer tournaments have been my favorite occasions for food-touristing in the cities in which I've lived, and the World Cup offers the most wide-ranging opportunities at all. I recall perhaps most fondly one long night of quarterfinals in […]

What We Talk About When We Talk About Pork

Someone I know recently sent an email blast to inform his circle of acquaintances that he had finally settled down in a new home in Washington.  It was brief and fairly direct, as these things go, including his new coordinates and a terse professional update.  He also wanted us all to know that he was […]

Behind Acqua al 2’s Florence-San Diego-DC Axis

The wood sign hanging above the doors of the new Acqua al 2 restaurant in Capitol Hill boasts an unusual geography for a trans-continental restaurant chain: Firenze, San Diego, Washington. "It's not the normal expansion of a restaurant group," concedes chef-owner Ari Gejdenson of the Eastern Market-via-Il-Duomo-and-The-Murph trajectory. Even at their expansionist heydays, neither the […]

Pizzeria Orso Finally Opens

Pizzeria Orso is open for business. The man who normally occupies this space has been waiting a while for this day. "Can you please open already?" Tim wrote in January, declaring that "of all the pizzerias scheduled to open soon, none gets me more excited than" the then-mythic Falls Church joint which had been in […]

Does the World Need a New Ketchup?

Gastronomista reported recently about the existence of something called Sir Kensignton's Gourmet Scooping Ketchup , whose materials look like a bad parody of a McSweeney's condiment-marketing initiative.  (The ketchup's old-timey figurehead has a top hat, monocle, mustache and plenty of antiquated Anglophonic excess.) Brand aesthetics aside, there is perhaps no American pantry category less wanting […]