If you’ve ever left one of the Eat Good Food Group’s Alexandria restaurants wishing you could replicate what you just ate at home, consider yourself one step closer. Tomorrow at 6 PM, Society Fair opens its doors to the public, offering many of the ingredients used at Restaurant Eve, the Majestic, Eamonn’s, PX and Virtue Feed & Grain. Get ready to raid Chef Cathal Armstrong’s pantries.
We had an opportunity to take a look around as Rob Shinn and his team were getting ready for this week’s opening, and we were like kids in a candy store as we moved from butcher’s counter to coffee station to bakery racks. Goods we’d only read about before (being unable to find them at local grocers) were all around us. Where’s Julie Andrews to sing about “favorite things” when you need her?
Lots of pictures and your plan of attack after the jump. (more…)
Last year, Tim Carman over at the Washington City Paper called attention to an often overlooked holiday: Meat Week. So he did what any self-respecting barbecue lover would do. He spread the word, inviting anyone who was interested to join him in a one-night celebration of the holiday at Urban BBQ in Rockville.
We had a lot of fun and enjoyed some surprisingly good ‘cue. And, as is often the case with good barbecue, that first taste just wasn’t enough. I wanted the full Meat Week experience. I promised myself that when the time came for Meat Week 2010, I would make sure Washington DC was represented with a Meat Week chapter of its own.
The time is now.
In just ten days, Meat Week 2010 begins. And Washington is no longer cueless.
1949 American Meat Institute advertisement
So what is Meat Week? Born in Tallahassee, Meat Week is a festival of smoked meats. For eight days, participants pay homage to that most original culinary combination – meat and fire. Local chapters organize (I use the term loosely) a get-together at a different barbecue establishment each night for a week. At the end of the week stories are swapped, awards are given, and plans are made to do it all again the next year.
Here in Washington, as any fan of barbecue will tell you, the real challenge lies in site selection. We’re not exactly blessed with a plethora of authentic smokehouse options, and those that we do have often try too hard to please palates that grew up with ALL of the various barbecue traditions (Kansas City, Memphis, Texas, the Carolinas, etc). As a result, we’ve got a fair amount of mediocre ‘cue but not a lot of really good stuff.
So I was careful as I planned out our inaugural Meat Week agenda. I reached out to several close friends, all of whom have significant experience with barbecue – smoking it, eating it, judging it. I also tried to keep all of the establishments Metro-accessible or inside the Beltway. The resulting schedule has a little bit of something for everyone: two establishments in Maryland (Rockville), two in Northern Virginia (Courthouse and Alexandria) and three within the District itself (Glover Park, Penn Quarter and Brentwood).
And I’m especially pleased to announce that one night of Meat Week will feature a real treat – a special sneak preview of an upcoming barbecue establishment put together just for Meat Weekers.
Check out the full schedule – and the special event – after the jump. (more…)
Click on the image to go to our Google Map that locates all of the restaurants participating in Alexandria's Inaugural Restaurant Week.
Even after all of the festivities surrounding today’s Presidential Inauguration finally draw to a close and the District’s bars and restaurants revert back to their standard operating hours, local foodies will have a reason to celebrate: in an effort to lure diners across the Potomac, 30 Alexandria restaurants have come together to offer Alexandria’s Inaugural Restaurant Week. The best part: the deals run through Sunday, so you can still take the opportunity to enjoy Restaurant Week prices without having to compete with visitors for a reservation.
The participating restaurants have taken an interesting, two-tiered approach to their promotion. Most restaurants are offering a traditional Restaurant Week-style special: a three course, prix fixe menu for $35 per person. But some of the more casual options among the participants have opted for an even more budget-friendly deal: dinner for two for $35.
A run-down of participating restaurants and some tried-and-true advice for restaurant weeks after the jump. (more…)