Taco Bamba to Open in Springfield, Vienna
Chef Victor Albisu is expanding Taco Bamba, his takeout taqueria located at 2190 Pimmit Dr., Falls Church. Taco Bamba’s second and third iterations will be located in Northern Virginia’s Springfield and Vienna neighborhoods.
Springfield, the first of the planned expansions, will open its doors at 6691-A Backlick Rd. in the Backlick Shopping Center in early 2016. The Vienna location will follow next summer, opening in the Vienna Shopping Center at 180 Maple Avenue W. in the former Magruder’s Supermarket building.
“When I opened Taco Bamba I never expected it to be as successful as it has been,” Albisu said in a press release. “But the Falls Church community really responded to it, and now we’re regularly doing four times the volume I originally planned. I think people want quick options for carryout, but they also appreciate our chef-driven menu. At lunch we regularly have a line of guests from the surrounding offices who don’t mind waiting 15 to 20 minutes for fresh tacos. I think this concept can work almost anywhere, and I have my eye on spots in Arlington, Alexandria and D.C. as well.”
While each location will have its own menu, they will all be anchored by favorites from the original. Tacos, sopes and tortas will remain the primary menu items, while daily specials will rotate tamales, soups and classic Mexican dishes through the offerings. Each location will also offer platos fuertes, larger entrée-sized Mexican meals. The new stores will also feature a menu of quesadillas stuffed with unusual fillings like squash blossoms, chilies and other traditional and non-traditional ingredients.
Distinguishing the new Taco Bambas from the original will be adult beverages. At Springfield, guests will be able to enjoy frozen margaritas and margaritas on tap, draft and canned beer and Mexican beer cocktails like micheladas. The early plans for the Vienna location will be more ambitious with a full bar program of beer, wine and cocktails, and a focus on tequila.
The Springfield and Vienna locations will retain the signature red, black and grey design of the original, though in larger spaces with more indoor seating. Both Springfield and Vienna will have about 50 seats in 2,000-square-foot spaces. Both will keep Taco Bamba’s counter service ordering style, though the Vienna location will allow guests sitting at the bar to order from the bartender.
Cava Grill launches new fall menu
On Oct. 1, Cava Grill unveiled its new fall menu offerings, including seasonal roasted vegetables, hearty soup, house-made juices, and vegan and gluten-free grain and protein options. The new items, like black lentils, oven-roasted Brussels sprouts, carrots and butternut squash, and cauliflower quinoa tabbouleh are available at all 11 of Cava Grill’s DMV locations.
Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, Cava Grill’s new black lentils with olive oil and parsley are high in protein and fiber, and, when combined with the restaurants’ own supergreens – a mix of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and chicory — make for a hearty and nutritious bowl.
Cava Grill is turning up its stone-fired ovens and roasting a seasonal vegetable blend of Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, and butternut squash for the restaurant’s newest protein offering. Roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, the blend of veggies will be available as a protein option in grain bowls, salads and pitas, as well as an add-on for $2.75.
Heart-healthy new topping s include Cauliflower quinoa tabbouleh, prepared with quinoa, tomato, onion, raw cauliflower, parsley, lemon juice and salt. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, the tabbouleh preparation provides a bite and a variety of health benefits.
The four new house-made seasonal juices include cucumber-mint-lime, blackberry-sage, apple cider and honey-green tea.
Lastly, the summer gazpacho is making way for its fall replacement: Greek minestrone soup with carrots, celery, onion and chickpeas.
Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza celebrates National Pizza Month
Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza is celebrating National Pizza Month during October with 31 days of pizza. Each day throughout the month, Pete’s will offer $2 slice specials on a different pizza-of-the-day.
Each day in October, Pete’s will announce the pizza-of-the-day on social media. Specialty pizza options will range from the classic, signature New Haven with clams, garlic, oregano, extra virgin olive oil and pecorino romano; Metro-North with slow-roasted pork, caramelized onions, ricotta and house-made pancetta; the vegetarian Edge Of The Woods with fried eggplant, sautéed spinach, onions and ricotta; and the Wooster Square with broccoli rabe, hot sausage, Milano salami, extra virgin olive oil and parmigiano-reggiano.
Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza is characteristically lighter and Neapolitan-style, with a thin and distinctly charred crust, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Guests are limited to one $2 slice per person, per day. The specials will be available at all four locations: Clarendon, Silver Spring, Columbia Heights and Friendship Heights.
Mango Tree adds endless brunch mimosas
Starting this weekend, Mango Tree, 929 H St. NW in CityCenterDC, will offer endless mimosas for $20 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during weekend brunch.
Each week, the classic with orange juice and a mango mimosa will be offered. In addition, there will be two or three rotating flavors each week. This week’s selection ncludes a pineapple lemongrass, grapefruit and cranberry cardamom mimosas.
The unlimited mimosas are available in the downstairs bar and lounge, upstairs bar, dining room and n the outdoor patio.
Macon Bistro & Larder hosts chef and homebrew competition
Macon Bistro & Larder, the French and Southern-inspired bistro at 5520 Connecticut Ave. NW in Chevy Chase, will host a chef and homebrew competition on Sunday, Oct. 4 from 4-10 p.m. with the judging taking place from 4-8 p.m.
Chefs have been randomly paired with brewers. Their goal is to create the perfect dish to pair with their team member’s crafted brew. Three prizes will be awarded: $100 for best brew, $100 for best plate and $250 for best pairing to be donated to the winners’ favorite charities. Guests who purchase tickets are the judges for event.
Home brewers include Brian Martin of St Fuad Brewing; Macon Bistro’s executive chef Dan Singhofen; Aaron Gordon, general manager of Mussel Bar Bethesda; Jamaal Dixon; Ben Schnable of Pete’s Pizza; Keith Wickstrom; Chris Cherbin; Mark Argyle; Chris Stanton and Nathan Gonzalez. Participating chefs include Doug Alexander of Art & Soul, Jenna Pool of Macon Bistro, Alexis Rivas of Macon Bistro, Jamie Pridemore of Room 11, Les White, Steve Forbes of Joe’s Steaks & Stone Crab, Damian Brown of Del Campo and Marty Anklam of the upcoming Homestead in Petworth.
During the event, 3 Stars draft beers on tap will be $5. Tickets are $45 per person online or at the 3 Stars Brewery.
Bourbon Steak to celebrate Corktober Fest
Bourbon Steak, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW at the Four Seasons Hotel, will team up with D.C.-area distributor Country Vintner to host an Octoberfest wine dinner on Monday, Oct. 5. The dinner will feature an array of German varietals.
The three-course dinner will feature German dishes such as pork schnitzel with house-made kraut and mustard jus; cassoulet-confit duck leg with grilled fennel sausage, smoked hock butter and marrow fat beans; and apple glazed doughnuts with oat streussel sea salt ice cream and cinnamon caramel. Wines include Fitz Ritter Riesling Sekt, Robert Weil Riesling Trocken, 2014, Meulenhof “Erdener Treppchen” Riesling Kabinett 2012, and Wittmann Spatburgunder 2013.
The three-course dinner will be held in the private dining room. Cost is $85 per person. Call 202-944-2026 to RSVP.
Yona to celebrate National Noodle Day with pop-up
October 6 is National Noodle Day, and Yona, the upcoming Japanese noodle bar from Jonah Kim and Mike Isabella, will host a two-day pop-up at G, 2201 14th St. NW, on Oct. 5 and 6.
Available during dinner only, the pop-up will showcase some of the favorite dishes from Yona’s April and May pop-up along with a few brand new dishes. The menu includes pork miso, veggie noodles, ja-jang ramen and chilled soba along with raw unit, fluke, geoduck and smoked Hamachi along with dry fried wings. Prices range from $9-$16.
Reservation can be made by calling 202-234-5015.
Carnitas return to most Chipotle restaurants
Chipotle Mexican Grill has restored most of its pork supply and is again serving carnitas in 90 percent of its restaurants. The company expects to have carnitas back in all of its restaurants by the end of November.
Chipotle stopped serving Carnitas at more than a third of its restaurants earlier this year after it suspended one of its primary pork suppliers when routine auditing found inconsistencies between the supplier’s operations and Chipotle’s pork protocol. Chipotle requires that pigs are raised with access to the outdoors or deeply bedded barns, without the use of antibiotics and with no gestation crates. These practices are in stark contrast with how pigs are conventionally raised, so Chipotle opted to pull carnitas from hundreds of restaurants.
Carnitas is now available at all Chipotle locations in the U.S. with the exception of restaurants in the Cleveland and Atlanta areas, and in North Carolina and South Carolina. Chipotle has been able to replenish its pork supply working with existing suppliers and by adding a new partner, United Kingdom-based Karro Food.
While Chipotle continues to prefer domestic sources for all of its meat, conventionally raised pork in the U.S. does not meet the company’s standards for animal welfare. Pigs raised conventionally are raised indoors, in densely crowded conditions with little or no bedding. Most live on slatted metal floors that allow their waste to collect beneath them in liquefied pools. Mother pigs are often kept for months at a time in metal crates so small that they cannot turn around, and copious quantities of antibiotics are used to keep the animals from getting sick in these conditions.
Port City Brewing wins at Great American Beer Festival
Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Co. was awarded Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo. recently. The title came after the brewery won three medals for its beers in the Belgian-style at the national competition.
Port City’s Port City Porter took the silver medal in the robust porter competition and its Monumental IPA took the silver in the robust porter category for its English-style India pale ale. Its Optimal Wit took a bronze medal in the Belgian-style wittier competition. It was in a four-way tie for most medals at the 2015 festival.
Port City was one of 518 breweries that entered beers in the small brewing company category, which, due to its large size, was the most competitive class at the festival. Medals were awarded in 92 categories, with points allocated for each to tally up the Brewery of the Year.
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.