by Debby Critchley
We are so lucky to live in this area. We have all sorts of wonderful choices including at least 6 farmer’s markets on the weekends. One of my favorites is the 4 Mile Run Market on Mt. Vernon Ave. on the Alexandria side of South Glebe. The 4MRMarket is currently indoors but will be moving back outside by the end of April. Bring your compost tubs and empty them at the market every week.
Visit some of the wonderful vendors including Captain Xan’s Fishy Business. Xan provides wild caught Alaskan salmon straight from the nets to your table from “the most sustainable fishery on earth!” His fish is flash frozen and never thawed for firmness and taste. He won’t be here too much longer because he will be returning to his boat when fishing season starts in May.
Felicity’s Handcrafted Soaps are a beautiful and natural alternative to store bought soaps. She also has wonderful and soothing skin creams. Do you need tea or potpourri? Visit Whole Health organic teas, potpourris, and body scrubs.
Tom’s Amish Cheese Store provides artisan cheese and yogurt, farm-fresh eggs, and Pennsylvania honey. Ask about his great cave-aged cheeses. L & J Edelen & Family’s Homestead Farm in Faulkner, MD brings pesticide free, GMO seed free natural produce.
Savory ‘N Sweet is a local Bulgarian baker providing savory and sweet breads, breakfast pastries, fruit pies, breadsticks, and granola. Rebecca of Second Rising Bakery bakes delicious breads and cookies that are egg free and made with real butter, honey, and whole grains. Once this new business is up and running, it will help provide women that have been victimized by the sex trade a second chance.
She Peppers are backyard gardeners who have turned the peppers, vegetables, and herbs they grow into delicious and unique BBQ sauces, pepper sauces, hot sauces, dips, and rubs. She Peppers also sells seeds and seedlings of the various types of peppers, tomatoes, and herbs for patrons. And let us not forget Bagel Uprising. Chad offers authentic handmade bagels—boiled and baked in small batches—that will satisfy your craving for the real thing. Each bagel is a work of love for Chad and it shows. Add a schmear of cream cheese – what more would you want.
Every month I get the opportunity to cook up something wonderful from Let’s Meat on the Avenue, 2403 Mt. Vernon Ave. I grilled some of their lamb rib chops recently. This is Australian lamb which makes it less fatty than American lamb. A bit of lemon juice, oregano, and garlic for a marinade and a quick toss on the grill – they were heaven on the bone.
Just down the block, The Happy Tart, 2307A Mt. Vernon Ave. is changing. Emma Cech is closing the shop this summer to turn it into a crepe restaurant. You will still find a wonderful selection of your favorite gluten-free treats when they reopen. In the meantime, head to their Falls Church location if you need a gluten-free fix.
As to other happenings in the ‘hood, include the opening of ShakeShack, 1100 S. Hayes St., in Pentagon City Mall. If all goes as planned, they will be open by the time you are reading this.
Ashlar, 116 S. Alfred St., is the new restaurant at the Kimpton Hotel According to the website, “Rustic style meets fine-dining elegance at Ashlar, an upscale Old Town tavern where veteran DC chef Bobby Surdam crafts dishes rooted in Mid-Atlantic history.” The name is a nod to this area’s Masonic history. Expect tavern classics including blue crab fritters, bass and shellfish in a smoked tomato broth, and pork cheeks braised with local Port City beer.
Another iteration of the Majestic Café is coming. The restaurant closed March 14 for eight weeks of renovations. Chef/Proprietor Gaby Hakman will lead a new culinary direction in the kitchen. Expect a May opening.
Other openings and changes to watch for in the coming months include Live Oak, 1603 Commonwealth Ave., the new restaurant replacing Monroe’s and will feature a Southern style menu. Junction Bakery & Bistro, 1508 Mount Vernon Ave should be open in May. Mike Anderson is working hard to bring PTO Seafood to 333 John Carlyle St. The restaurant will feature 95 seats and include an oyster bar. ALDI, 425 E. Monroe, is hard at work remodeling and renovating the former Giant store. No word yet on when it will open. Cava Grill will be coming to the Foxchase Shopping Center on Duke St. and LongHorn Steakhouse is coming to the Bailey’s Crossroads with a possible late April opening in the Crossroads Place Shopping Center at Leesburg Pike and S. Jefferson St. Dolce and Bean, 2003A Mount Vernon Ave, filed paperwork with the city to open in the former home of Artfully Chocolate. They propose serving coffee, tea, lattes, ice cream and other sweet treats. Casa Felipe, 835 N. Royal, is changing from Mexican to Thai with its change of ownership in early March. And one of my favorites, Cheesetique #3 will open in Ballston at 800 N. Glebe.
Don Taco, 808 King St., has been open since March in Old Town but just celebrated its grand opening on April 2. This is the Alexandria cousin to Arlington’s Don Tito. The bi-level restaurant and tequila bar features a fresh take on Mexican cuisine including tacos, ceviche, lomo saltado, chopped salad, and nachos at lunch, dinner, brunch or late night.
Palette 22, 4053 Campbell Ave., has been open several weeks now to good reviews. It’s an interesting concept with artists in residence while patrons dine on Tacos Vampiros composed of skirt steak, serrano rajas, avocado, chipotle salsa and queso cotija; wild mushroom flatbread pizza (baked in the Marra Forni oven), and churros served with Mexican hot chocolate and strawberries.
On a sad note, Teaism, 682 N. St. Asaph, is closing on April 24. The menu featured non-GMO, locally sourced ingredients in a calming, Asian environment. Please stop by for lunch or dinner before they close and enjoy some of my favorites like the chicken curry or the Roseda beef tacos. The 3 DC locations will remain open.
Lastly, a big thank you to the Sugar Shack, 804 N. Henry, for providing doughnuts to the team taking care of Mary Wadland at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. There were lots of smiles and happy tummies on BLES, 6th floor! Favorites included the Samoas® and the red velvet cake doughnuts.
Until next time, eat well and enjoy!