Groove and Food
This week I found myself in Vienna, Va., at local venue Jammin Java sipping some tea, having a meal and catching a show. Located in a strip mall far from the D.C. music scene, Jammin Java has nevertheless established itself as the little-coffee-shop-that-could, brewing up 12 years of consistently strong acts. Here you will find a garden variety of performers seven nights a week with good food to accompany. Always a sucker for a suited-up hot dog, I particularly enjoyed their selection of tubed pork, like the BBQ Dog (baked beans, cole slaw and Famous Dave’s rich and sassy sauce).
Although live music is never my first look on a week night, I enjoyed my Java so supremely that I added yet another resolution to this year’s growing list: see more shows! Live music and good food vibrate and rejuvenate the soul and we could all use a little of that! Seek out some rhythm and food at these joints in and around D.C.
Already a lauded restaurant of the Clyde’s Restaurant Group in its own right, the Hamilton at 14th and F Streets NW also features live acts. The shows are well curated and you get gem acts that are quality but not huge, like Alejandro Escovedo playing Apr. 26. The early fan will get seats in the limited table area, but all can order from their live menu. I haven’t made it here yet, but definitely on the set list for me.
Rivaled only by Wolf Trap, the Birchmere at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, is home to the classic talent circuit in D.C. Its calendar features the stars who have survived their prime and are refining and redefining their sound to old fans and new audiences. The seated setup also affords visitors a more laid back concert experience. No need to fear the mosh pit here. Order fine beers by the pitcher and food by the platter.
Hope these suggestions get your head nodding and feet taping. Get out there and make some music in 2014!
Richard is a freelance writer who enjoys building a healthy appetite with long runs around the city. When not logging the miles, he can be spotted training the palate at brunches, happy hours and food trucks.