Foodie Newz

Celebrate The Holiday Season By Visiting Alexandria’s Foodie Spots!

Celebrate the holiday season at Joy on the Avenue (Photo: Debby Critchley)

Alexandria, VA – Here it is, we’re heading into the home stretch of 2023. We’ve finished the Thanksgiving leftovers and are planning the next feast whether it be Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you are celebrating. New Year’s marks the end of the year and new beginnings. We at the Zebra are hoping you have a wonderful and blessed end of the year and good wishes for the new year.

What’s Old is New Again

The Royal Restaurant (Photo courtesy of the Royal Restaurant)

We were all stunned by the news that the Pikrallidas and Euripides families had sold the venerable Royal Restaurant at 730 N. St. Asaph St. As the restaurant moves forward to the new year, we now know that Alexandria Restaurant Partners including Matt Sloan of Sloan Hospitality. Sloan is the owner of Matt & Tony’s All Day Kitchen + Bar is taking over the day-to-day operation of the restaurant. In statements by Scott Shaw of ARP and Matt Sloan, they assure us that much will remain the same According to Sloan, we only want to build on that incredible legacy (of the original owners),” said Sloan. “The Royal has been a fixture in our community for generations,” added Shaw. “Matt’s community-first approach as a hands-on owner, is what this restaurant deserves and we are thrilled to be partnering with him once again.” In addition, the parking lot next to the Royal will be converted to an outdoor dining eating space.

Jill Erbe gets her first taste of the pasta carbonara at Corso (Photo courtesy of Cheesetique)

Cheesetique in Shirlington is becoming an Italian restaurant in Shirlington. Local favorites, Chef Cathal Armstrong, best known as the former chef and owner of Restaurant Eve and Jill Erbe, owner of the wine bar/cheese shop, Cheesetique, have partnered to create the new restaurant and market, Corso, 4024 Campbell Ave. According to their website, the new restaurant, Corso Italian is: “Italian-inspired Restaurant. Vibrant. Chic. Comfortable. You’re invited to our eclectic vacation home — raid the wine cellar, relax in the lounge, and feast from the garden and larder. Hand-made pasta and modern-Italian classics greet you. Italian wines and cocktails urge you to stay. Market provisions send you home with love. Welcome, famiglia.” The new restaurant will serve a variety of Italian-American platters and well-known regional specialties including pasta dishes and secondi. Menu items planned are bone-in veal parmesan, rosemary-scented bistecca alla Fiorentina, Chicken Vesuvio, pasta carbonara with house made guanciale and a variety of seafood dishes. The small Italian gourmet market will feature fresh pasta, salumi, cheese, and wine.

Hear the screams of horror as they change to screams of delight as Nightmare on the Avenue as it morphs to Joy on the Avenue.  This annual holiday treat is now open seven days a week. As always, the décor is festive with lots of ornaments and sparkling lights. The menu reflects the season with imbibables including the Partridge in a Pear Tree made with Grey Goose La Poire vodka, Canton Ginger, mango juice, lemon, and crystalized ginger. Get a souvenir ornament when you order the Yulnament made with Tito’s vodka, cran-rosemary lime juice, and ginger beer. There is a choice of Joy to the Wines and Reinbeers. And as always, the munchables are sure to bring you joy with nibbles including a choice of a charcuterie platter or fromage board, Brie & Cranberry Bites made with filo pastry, cranberry sauce, and brie, Buddy the Elf sliders made with smoked turkey, Swiss, caramelized onions, gray, and cranberry sauce, or the always fabulous Yippiee Ki-Yay Sliders with smoked wings with a choice of sauces like garlic parmesan, bourbon glaze, or umami glaze, all served with blue cheese.

In Pizza News

There’s a pizza to fit everyone’s preferences (Photo: Debby Critchley)

Jet’s Pizza is now opened at 6 E. Glebe Rd. The Detroit-based franchise features multiple styles of pies including Detroit, hand-tossed, thin crust, NY style, deep dish, and more. Pizzas are available on gluten-free crusts while vegans, vegetarians, and health-conscious eaters will enjoy the cauliflower crust. In addition, the restaurant offers calzone style Deli Boats, freshly baked Turbo Stix, salads, wings, and boneless chicken. The restaurant is strictly takeout and delivery. Place your orders online, by phone, in-person, and by text. Say hello to Dan the manager, and Dan the operator when you stop in.

Check out the Patata Rustica pizza available until the end of the year at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, aka Pepe’s Pizza, 3231 Duke St., has announced the Patata Rustica fall special available now through the end of the year. This pizza features a blend of seasoned, gold potatoes and bacon melted into asiago, mozzarella, and grated Pecorino Romano cheese. The white pie is finished with a touch of imported olive oil, all atop the pizza’s signature crispy yet chewy, slightly charred crust.

Saying Goodbye is Hard

Say goodbye to the Szechuan salt baked chicken at Sunday in Saigon (Courtesy photo)

By the time you read this, Sunday in Saigon, 682 N Saint Asaph St. has closed. This well-loved Vietnamese restaurant was known for its Vietnam’s regional diversity of flavors with modern Saigon. Some of the favorite dishes we will miss are the Bun Cha Ha Noi from the North and Bun Bo Hue from Central Vietnam. According to their Facebook page, “We would like to thank all of our Sunday In Saigon family and Patrons for a wonderful 6+ years for all of your support during our time in North Old Town.” You can still get your fix of Vietnamese food at Café Bahn Mi.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dining

There’s still time to order your holiday turkeys, roasts, geese, and more at Let’s Meat on the Avenue (Photo: Debby Critchley)

Let’s Meat on the Avenue, 2403 Mt. Vernon Ave., is ready to take your order a variety of meat and fowl for the holidays. Among the offerings are heritage and organic turkeys, geese, beef and pork roasts, and hams. They also stock a selection of seasonings and rubs, a variety of exotic woods for smoking, farm fresh eggs and bacon. And if you had trouble carving your Thanksgiving bird or roast, they also sharpen knives. Be sure to get your orders in by December 17.

There are many restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dining with eat-in and/or carry-out options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  These are the restaurants we found that should be open. Please check each of these venues to find out their availability. Be sure to make a reservation for both eat-in and take-out meals at all of these venues.

Lena’s Wood-fired Pizza and Tap, Bastille, Bob & Edith’s Diner, Gadsby’s Tavern, Lebanese Taverna, Mount Vernon Inn, Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub, Aditi Indian Dining, Oak Steakhouse, Brabo Brasserie, Clyde’s at Mark Center, Del Ray Café, Chart House, McCormick & Schmick’s, Vermillion, Ada’s On the River, BARCA Pier & Wine Bar, Palette 22, The Royal, Theismann’s Restaurant and Bar Buffet, The Majestic, Mia’s Italian Kitchen, Vola’s Dockside Grill

Didja Know?

There is the preferred way to order a drink at Starbucks according to baristas. The ideal order follows the method your drink order is recording. In order, start with: iced or hot, decaf (or not), size, syrup, milk modifications (including temperature adjustments), name of the drink (e.g. caramel macchiato), and any other extras.

Until next time, eat well and enjoy.

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