Burger, Tap & Shake Opening in Tenleytown
Passion Food Hospitality will open its second Burger, Tap & Shake at 4445 Wisconsin Ave. NW in Tenlytown in mid-July. It is moving in where Neisha Thai Restaurant and EUR Asian Hot Pot had been.
Like its Washington Circle sister in Foggy Bottom, the new location will serve up a full range of premium patties along with milkshakes, hand-cut fries and small-batch craft beers on tap. BTS will anchor the corner of Wisconsin Avenue across from the Tenleytown Metro station with an industrial chic, urban-graffiti style.
The menu includes customizable beef burgers made with a blend of brisket and chuck ground in-house throughout the day. Six Buck Chuck, the house burger, comes with lettuce, pickles, onion, tomato, and AP Sauce, a house blend of mayo, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce and chipotle. For another buck each, diners can add toppings such as Lea & Perrins mushrooms, Benton’s smoked bacon, Texas chili con carne without beans, crumbled blue cheese or smashed avocado. The Haight-Ashbury is a meatless burger. Others burgers include turkey, chicken and salmon. Any patty can be added to the house salad for an extra $5. French fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings comprise the side-menu.
Shakes run from the traditional chocolate, vanilla or strawberry to something zippier like double espresso, blueberry-pomegranate or tart cherry. A secret off-the-menu item is the root beer float made with BTS’ own bottled root beer and house-churned ice cream. Grown-ups can enjoy “Shaketails” that combine a milkshake and a cocktail. Just in time for summer, Talladega Nights is a blend of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, house-made limoncello, vanilla ice cream and lemon juice and the Oreo Speedwagon combines Kahlua, Oreo cookies and vanilla ice cream.
There will also be small-batch craft beers from a dozen taps, a selection of wines by the glass and spirits and specialty cocktails.
Royal officially opens in LeDroit Park
LeDroit Park’s newest neighborhood bar and eatery, The Royal officially opened its doors on Thursday at 501 Florida Ave. NW. From Vinoteca owner, Paul Carlson, the restaurant is a coffee shop and lunch spot by day, and an intimate bar and casual eatery by night.
The Royal opens its doors early offering a full Counter Culture coffee program of espressos, lattes, cortados, drip and cold-brew coffee for dine-in and to-go, along with loose leaf teas from Good Thoughts Tea Co. There will also be freshly baked pastries, such as roasted plantain bread, homemade corn muffins and Nutella pin-wheels, and heartier fare like arepas stuffed with a fried egg, cotija cheese and avocado, and Calentado, a combination of rice, roasted potatoes and peas, topped with a fried egg.
Starting at noon, The Royal offers an all-day menu featuring a variety of salads such as grilled avocado with red quinoa, lentils and house vinaigrette made from ground pumpkin seeds; tomatoes with raw goat feta, herbs, garlic and cumin; cucumber and hearts of palm with lime, chili and red onion; and bibb salad with pickled carrots, red onion, salsa rosada and corn nuts. There will also be Latin-inspired snacks and meats, seafood and vegetables cooked on a custom-made four-foot wood-burning grill. Chef Lonnie Zoeller will hand-make beef empanadas and cheese arepas served with aji sauce. Entrees include grilled squid with smoked tomato, radish and cilantro; morcilla made with pork and rice, alongside roasted potatoes; Butifarra pork sausage with roasted potatoes; charred field vegetables with buttermilk dressing; and grilled steak with roasted potatoes.
The bar focuses on craft cocktails created by beverage director Horus Alvarez using exotic fruits, juices and herbs to flavor cocktails like the Ashes to Ashes with El Dorado 8-year rum, guava, mole, ancho chile and mescal. Signature cocktails will range from $11-$14. It will also offer classic $10 cocktails including a daiquiri with El Dorado white rum, lime juice and sugar and a rye Old Fashioned with Pikesville rye, bitters, sugar and water. A feature will be shaved ice cocktails, such as the Royal Cup with Ford’s gin, cucumber strawberry gastrique, Averna and ginger beer; and the Ascension with house-infused pineapple cachaça, dark rum, hibiscus syrup and citrus year-round, churned from a vintage ice shaver Carlson sourced from Guatemala. The bar will also boast an extensive vermouth selection, featuring a housemade vermouth on draft that is dispensed from a vintage copper fire extinguisher draft system build by Carlson.
The Royal offers 8-10 wines by the glass, plus some unique reserve bottles. Draft, can and bottled beers showcase local breweries such as Atlas, 3 Stars, DC Brau, Port City and Flying Dog.
The Royal is open from 7 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday, 7 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
Magnolia’s on King opens in Old Town on July 1
Steve Fogleman and Mehrnoosh Rajabi will open their first restaurant, Magolia’s on King at 703 King St. in Old Town Alexandria on Wednesday.
The 60-seat dining room is emphasizing southern hospitality and cuisine. The 30-seat second floor bar and lounge menu will focus on small, southern-inspired dishes. Executive chef Brian Rowe, who previously worked for Wolfgang Puck and Jacques Ganeu, and pastry and sous chef Hans Fogleman – the owner’s son who previously worked at Bayou Bakery and BLT Steak — will serve classic dishes with a southern twist. Dishes include molasses crusted pork belly with chipotle cheddar grits and smoked apple BBQ sauce; deep fried oyster po-boy sliders served on a grilled baguette with bibb lettuce, tomato and blacked aioli; watermelon and local feta salad with arugula, baby spinach, red onion and Champagne vinaigrette; cornmeal-dusted fried blue catfish served with house-made cornbread and Southern coleslaw; sweet tea-brined buttermilk fried chicken served with quinoa sweet potato hush puppies and greens; bison meatloaf with pan gravy, greens and mac and cheese; and grilled bone-in pork chop with mashed sweet potatoes greens and root beer gastrique.
Desserts include Bananas Foster pudding with banana custard, Nilla wafer crumbles, fosters caramel and brûléed bananas; s’mores bread pudding with chocolate pieces, graham crackers, torched marshmallows and whiskey caramel served with vanilla ice cream; and World Fair chocolate cake with pistachio, almond, peppermint and cinnamon-cocoa cream layers.
Prices range from $10-$15 for sharable plates, $9 for salads, $14-$27 for entrées, $3-$4 for sides and $6 for desserts.
Craft mixologist Zachary Faden, formerly of Rouge 24, will be in charge of the bar program, which features 12 house-made, specialty cocktails including the Magnolia Old Fashion, the restaurant’s signature drinkmade with Rittenhouse rye, pineapple syrup, Fee Brothers cherry bitters and Angostura bitters garnished with a maraschino cherry and brûléed pineapple. Cocktails are priced from $12-$18. There will be 15 wines by the glass priced from $9-$15 and $40-$300 by the bottle.
Magnolia’s on King will be open from 5-9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Sunday brunch will eventually be added from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The lounge is open from 4-10:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Cuba Libre celebrates National Ceviche Day
June 28 is National Ceviche Day, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, 801 9th St. NW, is celebrating with specials all weekend.
The restaurant is offering three variations of the popular seafood dish for $5 each. The special is available in the bar and lounge from 5-7 p.m. Saturday and from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday. The special include tuna ceviche made with diced yellowfin tuna, jalapeño-coconut-ginger sauce and red onion escabéche; bay scallop ceviche with Baja Bay scallops, tomato, Bermuda onions, cilantro and jalapeño salsa, fresh lime juice and extra virgin olive oil served with saltines; and shrimp ceviche, a Cuban-style shrimp cocktail with Latino cóctel sauce and avocado salsa.
Sushiko serves exotic ice cream trio for ice cream month
Sushiko, 5455 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, is serving an exotic trio of unique ice creams served in a two-ounce glass. For National Ice Cream Month from now through the end of July.
The trio includes lychee sorbet with pink peppercorn and a mint leaf; huckleberry with a shiso leaf; and the savory foie gras with pink himalaya Sea Salt. The trio is priced at $9.
El Centro D.F. brings back guacamole festival
El Centro D.F., 1819 14th St. NW and 1218 Wisconsin Ave. NW, is bringing back its guacamole festival from June 29-Sept. 30. The festival will feature different flavors that highlight various regional ways of preparing guacamole. Dating back to Aztec times, the traditional Mexican dip was made with avocado, onion, chilies, fresh tomato and salt. Over time, regions of Mexico began mixing local ingredients, creating thousands of variations.
Specials include the Yucatán, with flavors from the Yucatán Peninsula including shrimp ceviche, spicy salsa habanero, pickled onion, orange, lime and sea salt; the Baja, with ingredients from Baja California including kiwi, jicama, strawberry, mango, mint, chile arbol, lime and sea salt; Supremo, with flavors from multiple Mexican regions such as bacon, roasted corn, queso fresco and pumpkin seeds; and the Norteno, incorporating ingredients from the North such as chicharrón, menonita cheese, pickled onion, lime and sea salt. Featured guacamoles range from $12.55 to $14.75.
Drink specials to pair with the guacamole include the Engañado Margarita with sauza blue blanco tequila, roasted pineapple, habanero, fresh lime and pillincillo; and The Suavecito with sauza blue blanco tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime and Champagne. Both are $12.
During the festival, El Centro D.F. will hold an Instagram contest Diners are encouraged to snap a photo of the restaurant’s featured guacamole specials and upload it to Instagram with the hashtag #GUACFEST15 and @ElCentro_DF for a chance to win dinner for two including two margaritas, one appetizer, two entrees and one dessert.
Ice cream festival returns to Rosa Mexicano
All through the month of July, Rosa Mexicano, 575 Seventh St. NW and 153 Waterfront St. in National Harbor, brings back its annual ice cream festival featuring flavors of Mexico a la mode with desserts inspired by classic savory dishes such as guacamole and empanadas; paired with handmade ice creams infused with Mexican flavors ranging from prickly pear-blueberry sorbet to cinnamon-chili spiced chocolate.
The festival brings back the postre de guacamole, a sweet, frozen take the restaurant’s signature guacamole en molcajete and the new buñuelos rellenos, a take on Mexican fried ice cream.
The special menu features a guacamole sundae, made with avocado ice cream in a frozen molcajete with raspberries, white chocolate shavings, coconut crunch and mint served with piloncillo-chocolate sauce and cinnamon sugar buñuelos; empanadas de manzana, warm apple empanadas with spiced Mexican chocolate sauce topped with vanilla-chocolate mole swirl ice cream; buñuelos rellenos, deep-fried sweet corn-caramel and Mexican chocolate ice cream coated in cinnamon buñuelo crust served with churros and dipping sauce; crepas de cajeta, crepes folded and served with a caramel sauce topped with sea-salted cajeta ice cream; and abuelita banana split with Mexican chocolate ice cream, warm Mexican chocolate sauce, caramelized bananas, strawberries and cinnamon whipped cream.
Authentically flavored ice creams include avocado, vanilla with chocolate mole swirl, cinnamon-chile spiced chocolate, sea-salted cajeta and prickly bear-blueberry sorbet.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.