Foodie Newz

March Brings Some Changes To The Restaurant Scene in Alexandria

Jula’s on the Potomac winning appetizer, Crispy Winter Roll (Photo courtesy of Julas’s on the Potomac)


Alexandria, VA – The months keep rolling along and so do the changes to the restaurant scene in Alexandria. We may not have Michelin stars but we have some of the best food in our neighborhoods.

So many changes are coming to town

La’Baik Del Ray is a Mediterranean restaurant that will be replacing Rubia’s at 2309 Mt. Vernon Ave.

The sign at Le Baitik says it will be opening soon (Photo: Debby Critchley)

The permit requests a change of ownership for the restaurant at 2309 Mt. Vernon Ave. The spot will offer Mediterranean fast food with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. According to the filing with the city, the hours are 8 am to 7 pm.  The new owner is Mohammd Abdel-Hay of Hay Enterprises LLC. According to the website, “At La’baik, we believe that food is more than just fuel for the body – it’s an experience that engages all the senses! That’s why we’re committed to offering a Mediterranean fusion of wraps, bowls and plant-based options that not only tastes great, but also guarantees quality. We use only the freshest ingredients and prepare them with care and attention to ensure that you experience a Mediterranean taste! Menu includes shakshuka.” Menu items include Mana’esh, a freshly baked flat bread that can be topped with spreads like za’atar, cheese, and meats. The menu features falafel, lamb/beef gyro, chicken shawarma in a pita or wrap, bowl, or a pita slider. Toppings include hummos, sumac onion, feta, roasted eggplant, Mediterranean pickle, tahini, tzasiki, pomegranate molasses, and more.

Just behind La”Baik is Le Petit Ananas Shaved Ice at 2307A Mt. Vernon Ave. As mentioned in the July 2022 column, the shop features Hawaiian-style shaved ice. They import their toppings from Hawaii and are made with 100% pure cane sugar, top-shelf purées, and fruit juices, and are gluten-free. Flavors include Hawaiian Dream, Supreme Strawberry, Deluxe Pineapple, Cotton Candy, Passion Orange Guava and more and can be topped with items like condensed milk and condensed coconut milk. The current location in Belle Haven brought their products to Bands and Brews where they were well-received. The shop will open in March or April and hours are planned for March to November, open Sunday through Saturday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm. Atlas Brew Works is scheduling its opening this spring in the Carlyle Crossing neighborhood at 2429 Mandeville Lane. As mentioned in February 2023, the brewery with a production capacity of 2,000 barrels, and tap room will offer food from Andy’s Pizza. The 6,000 square-foot space includes the brewery, a tap room with 16 draft lines, and a kitchen. They will offer both indoor and outdoor seating.

The Old Town Deli is now the Capo Deli at 109 N. Washington St. Although the interior will remain essentially the same, the Deli is discontinuing breakfast and will open in time for lunch and dinner. The new owner, Andrew Seligman, owns four Capo Italian Delis in the DMV. The menu features hot and cold subs. The sandwiches come with lettuce, tomato, onion, provolone cheese and homemade Italian dressing.  Some of the specialty sandwiches are the Capo Special with soppressata, mortadella, and provolone and the Capo Cheesesteak topped with provolone cheese, peppers, onion, and a homemade tomato sauce. Inhouse-made dishes include ricotta stuffed shells, eggplant parm, beef lasagna, and baked ziti. Gustave Le Jardin is now open next to the Gustave Boulangerie, 2213 Mt. Vernon Ave., which was featured in the July 2023 issue. The fenced area which has been used as a venue for Art on the Avenue, is now a family and dog friendly beer garden with picnic tables, a dog park, bocce courts, and a sandbox. Customers can order items from the Boulangerie and the beer and wine menu.

The new Gustave Le Jardin (Photo: Debby Critchley)

Anthony Chittum, currently the chef at Iron Gate is back to Vermilion. He left the restaurant 11 years ago. He is overseeing changes in the menus including a family-style, farm to table feel in the upstairs dining room. Downstairs will feature a more casual tavern-style menu.

The George Washington Cherry Challenge for 2024 is in the books.  The Cherry Challenge is sponsored by George Washington’s Mount Vernon and celebrates George Washington’s historic presence in his adopted hometown! Cherry-inspired dishes in honor of the myth of Washington’s chopping down the cherry tree were offered to the public from February 1-15. The winners are listed below.

Bastille’s Cherry Challenge 2024 winning cocktail, the Fleur de Cerisier (Photo courtesy of Bastille)

The winners are:

Beverage: Bastille’s “Fleur de Cerise”

Appetizer: Jula’s on the Potomac’s “Crispy Winter Rolls”

Entrée: Dishes of India Indian Restaurant serving Alexandria and Washington DC’s “Cherry Chicken Tikka Tandoori”

Dessert: Kiwi Kuisine’s “Monumental Cherry Pie”

The Honorable Mention winners are:

Beverage: Brabo Brasserie’s “Shirley Blossom”

Beverage: The Light Horse’s “Cherry Amour”

Entrée: Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub, Old Town’s “Cherry Duck Confit”

Dessert: Bastille Brasserie’s “Cherry Cheesecake”

Dessert: The Italian Place’s “Cream and Cherry Bomboloni”

The James Beard Foundation Semifinalist Awards

The James Beard Foundation Awards semifinalists selections have been announced and three local area restaurants are included. They are:

Outstanding Restaurant: 2941, Falls Church, Virginia

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA): Najmieh Batmanglij and Christopher Morgan, Joon, Vienna, Virginia

Travis Milton, Hickory at Nicewonder Farm and Vineyards, Bristol, Virginia

Until next time, eat well and enjoy.

Do you have a bit of Foodie Newz to share? Hit me up at [email protected]

ICYMI: Call Your Mother is at 1300 King St. in Old Town Alexandria!


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