Tag Archives: grey market

What’s going down this weekend

15 Jul

It looks to be a busy weekend ahead with a lot of food-related events going on in the DC area. This is probably a good thing, considering I have no internet or TV at home right now (I’m switching from Comcast to Verizon and Direct TV). I’m supposed to have internet at home by now but there’s an issue with the connection and have been on the phone with tech support at least once a day this week. Ugh. Of course I didn’t realize how much I rely on having internet access until I’ve had to live without it.

So I’ll be jumping around from place to place, participating in some fun events, and probably eating a lot. That last part kind of makes me forget that I’ll be cut off from the online world for a little while! If you’re in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area, check out these happenings:


Celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and PassionFish’s Chef Christopher Clime will be engaging in a friendly, themed, cooking battle for the Cadillac Culinary ChallengeAttendees can sit and watch the battle and sample the chefs’ creations, as well as test drive new Cadillacs.

The event is actually going on around the US, but will be in the DC area at Reston Town Center (11900 Market St. Reston Town Center, Reston, VA 20190) on both Saturday, July 16th and Sunday the 17th. You can catch the cooking challenges at 11a.m., 2p.m. and 4p.m. on both days. I’ve been asked to attend, so I’ll definitely be there! And expect to see a post on it next week. 🙂

You can register for the event here: http://www.cadillacchallenge.com/


Markets! Who doesn’t love markets. There are actually 2 going on this Sunday, first is the DC State Fair Bake Sale, being held to help raise money to contribute toward making the fair an awesome one.

Expect a lot of great baked goods, especially from local food bloggers. I unfortunately have no time to bake this weekend, but I’ve made a plan to swing by and pick up some goodies and contribute monetarily. The sale is at Zorba’s Cafe in Dupont Circle, from 8am to 11am.

The second market going on this Sunday is DC’s Grey Market. It’s basically an “underground” market that is giving local food producers who don’t yet have the capital to open a store or pay farmer’s market fees a chance to sell their products. I attended the first one awhile back and though cramped in part of a restaurant space, there were a lot of great foods and food products being sold. So I’m looking forward to seeing an even larger lineup of small businesses selling all kinds of delicious things. It’s only $2 to get in, and it’s located at the Liberty North Market space, at 5th and I St., NW, from 1pm to 5pm.

Again, if you’re in the area, check out the Culinary Challenge or get some baked goods and other foods at the markets. And hope everyone (in the area or not) has a great weekend!



31 Jan

Have you ever gotten to the point where you’ve eaten out so much that you feel like a blob from the inside out?

That’s me right now. I’ve either ordered take-out or have been going out to restaurants multiple times in the past week due to a) being too tired (aka lazy) to cook, b) having to use up Groupons or Village Vines or Living Social coupons before they expire or c) having visitors and/or d) lack of time to cook.

There were some gems in the slew of my personal restaurant tour of DC. I didn’t bring my camera along to everything since it’s a pain to carry and I just don’t always feel like taking photos of every single thing I eat. So for one, Zentan, in the Donovan House hotel, has great sushi and a delicious Hong Kong-style Steamed Fish with a light black bean sauce that was perfect for sharing with The Bf.

Dad was here this weekend, and we attempted to get dinner at Matchbox on Saturday night, but (surprise, surprise) it was packed and the wait for 3 was an hour and a half. Kind of ridiculous. So we opted for delivery pizza from the new Z Pizza that had recently opened (close to Matchbox, actually). We were pleased. It’s affordable, tasted fresh, and offered flavors that you don’t normally find in a pizza delivery menu. Case in point, we shared a Tuscan, with 3 different mushrooms, caramelized onions, feta, mozzarella, truffle oil and roasted garlic sauce on a thin, wheat crust. It was more like a flatbread than a regular pizza, but I liked its fresh taste. We also tried a create-your-own calzone, which was actually larger than I thought it was going to be (its definitely share-able between 2). It had a crisp crust on the outside, and was satisfyingly stuffed on the inside. I put ricotta, Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, eggplant, and onion in ours and the combination was delicious.

I continued the Italian food theme at Dino in Cleveland Park, which has great new brunch special. I was invited by fellow food blogger Sylvie (Thrifty DC Cook ) to a special food bloggers’ brunch that the restaurant was hosting. For $25 diners get 3 courses with multiple dishes to choose from (you can get a starter or half-pasta, then a main or full pasta, then dessert or a drink). The food overall was hearty and homey, and successfully captured that rustic feel that Dino seems to shoot for.

For my first course, I tried their Cavolini, or brussels sprouts with pork belly and caramelized onions in an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. I love caramelized onions and am definitely going through some sort of brussels sprouts phase, so I pretty much picked this to satisfy my constant craving. It the job well. The onions were sweet and gave a lot of flavor to the subtlety of the brussels sprouts. I could’ve actually done without the pork belly, which was quite thick and chewy, but I’m sure the fat in it contributed much to the dish. I followed with their Budino di Pane, or breakfast bread pudding. It’s made with challah bread and includes a house sausage, chanterelles, carrots, rapini, kale and a combination of cheeses. I was very pleased with this dish, it was flavorful and very savory, though thick and filling enough to be eaten on its own.

Somehow I pushed aside enough room in my stomach for dessert and opted for the gelato tricolore, with Valrhona chocolate, raspberry and (I think) cinnamon gelatos (there were a couple gelato options so I kept confusing one with another). It turned out to be a nice, relatively light ending to a huge, filling meal, and each flavor was very prominent on its own. I liked the neapolitan presentation as well.  Overall, everything made for a very filling and satisfying meal and I literally wasn’t hungry for the rest of the day until about 8:00pm. Not sure if that’s a good thing for my health but it certainly set me up for an awesome nap.

After brunch, I swung by DC’s new Grey Market, an “underground” market that has been set up for vendors who are (yet) unable to get licensing. Kushi hosted the shindig, which took up one end of the restaurant while normal service ran on the other end. It was a bit cramped but it looks like the market itself was a success, especially with the amount of people and the line that had formed for people to sign up for membership. I actually ended up splurging on some goodies: two tiny cupcakes from DE(vi)LISH! Confections by Wendy (both were adorable and tasted great), Sweet Potato Butter from Cunningham Farms (I’m looking forward to trying one of their recipes), and chocolate pop from one of my fave local producers, Seasonal Pantry. The Bf also purchased a vanilla bread pudding from Gourmet Cherry. Judging from all the samples I tried at the market, my money was worth it – and everything was fairly inexpensive. I’m already looking forward to trying more local foods at the next market.

For now though, I’m finishing off leftovers and sticking to homemade meals. This nosher needs a detox!