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All is well in the nation’s capital this spring: the Nationals are hitting it out of the park, the craft cocktail scene is beginning to hit its stride, and clever cooks are relying on well prepared, new riffs on classic seafood standbys. Lobster and fish and chips are here to keep people fed while they sweat off a few pounds walking to and from the Metro, so dive in, chill out, and stay cool with all the new menus.
Acadiana, District Commons, Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, and Penn Commons
Whether it’s a Friday night snack after a game at the Verizon Center, or a south-of-the-border interpretation of fish and chips, Acadiana, District Commons, Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, and Penn Commons are cooking with gas. Acadiana is serving Louisiana-style specials like crispy catfish coated in cornmeal with a side of chips, or what the Brits call chips; District Commons serves their chips with fried fish coated in beer batter made with local ale from Atlas Brew Works; Fuego Cocina y Tequileria has local blue catfish fried in a Pacifico beer batter served with yucca fries and Valentina salsa picante; and Penn Commons is hosting a Wisconsin Fish Fry after 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, after 8 p.m. on Sunday that is only $12 a person.
Blue Duck Tavern
Blue Duck Tavern is on a roll this spring with intriguing things to imbibe from the bar, with or without alcohol. Cherry Quina, made with Plymouth Gin, house-made cherry tonic with Bittercube cherry-bark bitters, and club soda could actually be the cherry on top; don’t miss Kiss from a Rose made with Hornitos tequila, Los Nauhales mescal, peppercorns, and lemongrass wild rose syrup; or be as cool as cucumber with the Pepperoiska made with Belvedere unfiltered vodka, cilantro, cucumber, black pepper, and lemon. You can sit these out with virgin sippers like the District Ricky made with snap pea juice, lime, brown sugar, and soda; Lavender Lemonade made with lavender tea, and simple syrup; and Soda and Spice prepared with house-made carrot vanilla soda and orange.
The Met Bethesda
From soft shell crabs to their regular Taco Tuesdays, The Met Bethesda has been getting DMV diners to head to the mall for good eats, and their latest special menu launch is Twin Lobster Wednesdays. From Wednesday, June 17, until Wednesday, September 2, you can savor four succulent lobster dishes that include the twin Maine lobsters, steamed or grilled; there’s the salt and pepper fried twin Maine lobsters served with stir-fried vegetables and a house-made ponzu sauce, a classic lobster roll with chunks of fresh Maine lobster on a buttered roll, and the lobster mac n cheese with four cheeses topped with buttery bread crumbs. Available Wednesdays only from 5 p.m. to close.
Sushiko is omakase heaven, but did you know they do killer cocktails too? Still one of the best sushi palaces in the DMV, they’ve now put their considerable talents to crafting cocktails. Where else can you say, “Kanpai!” and do so with Japanese-themed cocktails? Sushiko's talented drinks team, led by Sue Ngyuen and Ian Chyun, have three new signature drinks you can enjoy on the patio or in the Zen-like restaurant’s dining room. In Japanese, minka means “farmhouse” and the Minka Old Fashioned brings new meaning to the now passé term farm-to-table, prepared with muddled cherry and orange, Maker's Mark, and Lindera Farms honey vinegar. Ease your way into sipping Sake with the Sagano Saketini. Named after the Sagano bamboo forest outside Kyoto, Japan, this cool cocktail is made with Namachozu sake, cucumber liquor, green tea, and simple syrup. Last, but not least is the spicy Shichimi Garu made with chili-infused vodka, pineapple juice, white cranberry, lemonade, and just a touch of Shichimi Japanese seven-spice powder.
Summer Whitford is the D.C. City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal and the DC Wine Examiner. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva.
Welcome to Flavortown, Population: Us
Guy Fieri is the latest chef banking on ghost kitchens to expand his brand in the middle of the pandemic. Fieri, perhaps best known as the host of cross-country eating bonanza Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, has launched Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen in 23 states and Washington, D.C., a delivery-only restaurant operating out of existing restaurants or industrial kitchens, and serving the sort of flavor-blasted Americana cuisine Fieri has become known for — overstuffed burgers, fried pickles, and snacks wrapped in meat. Of course, there is plenty of Donkey Sauce.
The Flavortowns (Flavorstown?) mostly operate out of the kitchens of restaurants, such as Buca di Beppo, Brio Italian Grille, Bravo Italian Kitchen, and Bertucci’s. Some of these restaurants have already opened their kitchens to ghost restaurants, which have also been called virtual brands or delivery-only concepts. For example, Bravo Italian Kitchen in Des Peres, Missouri, is the home of both Flavortown Kitchen and MrBeast Burger, the ghost kitchen project of the YouTube sensation of the same name. Fieri already owns a small chain, Chicken Guy, with Robert Earl, the owner of Bertucci’s, Bravo, Brio, and Buca di Beppo. Additionally, Earl — who built his empire on theme restaurants such as Planet Hollywood— is the founder of Virtual Dining Concepts, which oversees MrBeast Burger and Tyga Bites.
The expansion of ghost kitchens was well underway before the pandemic. Some of these brands, like MrBeast or Tyga Bites, rely on a celebrity name, while others, like Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings (which operates out of Chuck E. Cheese) and Buca di Beppo’s Wing Squad, allow for established chains to serve a wider variety of food out of their existing kitchens. (All of these except Chuck E. Cheese are part of Earl’s portfolio.) On top of that, independent chefs have used the format to launch pop-ups from within their own restaurants. Hundreds of concepts across the country have been able to launch as “ghost kitchens” more easily than if they had to operate as brick-and-mortar restaurants.
Fieri has been spending a lot of his time during the pandemic raising money and advocating for restaurant workers — and feeding firefighters in Northern California. He raised $21.5 million for a relief fund with the National Restaurant Association, from which restaurant workers could apply for $500 grants. While places like Buca di Beppo are hardly independent restaurants, presumably Fieri’s restaurant concept keeps some members of the service industry employed at a time when restaurant work is precarious.
However, this all runs up against the fundamental tension around the restaurant industry through the entire pandemic: the importance of keeping restaurants afloat and workers paid at a time when government assistance has been repeatedly denied, and the reality that restaurant workers experience a higher risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19. This leaves many workers feeling extremely unsafe, but forced to return to work because it’s their only option. And those $500 grants that Fieri helped raised are paltry, especially given that the National Restaurant Association has repeatedly argued against minimum-wage increases and paid sick leave for restaurant workers.
We believe in democratic baking so our recipes are your recipes. Give'em a shot and let us know how they turn out.
MILK BAR® PIE
This impossible-to-put-down fan favorite filled with gooey buttery goodness and delivered straight to your mouth in a hearty, toasted oat crust will have you coming back for more.
BAKE CLUB CHEESY LAVA LOVE CAKE
Valentines Day, date night, just because - whatever the reason, our red velvet take on this luxurious - and cheesy in the best way - treat always brings the heat.
From Tosi: Compost Cookies® always turn out great in my mother’s kitchen because she infamously has a hodgepodge of mix-ins, none in great enough quantity to make an actual single-flavored cookie on its own. My brother-in-law calls them “garbage cookies” others call them “kitchen sink cookies.” Call them what you want, and make them as we make them at Milk Bar, or add your own favorite snacks to the cookie base in place of ours.
We took the best parts of childhood, removed all of the awkwardness and added heaps of made-from-scratch birthday cake and frosting (inspired by the boxed supermarket stuff we grew up with). Meet Milk Bar’s B’day Cake, packed with b’day crumbs in the middle, even more on top and dreamy vanilla vibes throughout.
From Tosi: My favorite offering at Milk Bar is our cake truffles, spawned entirely from leftover bits and pieces of cake! You can choose to follow the recipe, or get crazy, without our guidance, using leftovers to concoct your own. Don’t limit yourself to birthday cake you can use any cake scrap and any leftover fillings, crumbs, or crunches from your kitchen!
Chocolate Malt Cake
Milk Bar's Chocolate Malt Cake is chocolate cake layered with malted fudge, malted milk crumbs and charred marshmallows all topped with malted chocolate frosting!
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE ICEBOX CAKE
Introducing: Hilly's Strawberry Shortcake Icebox Cake. This season's spinoff on Strawberry Shortcake Cake takes inspiration from the classic Good Humor strawberry ice cream pop. It's giving us all the ice cream truck vibes and we're here for it.
CHOCOLATE PRETZEL CEREAL SQUARES
The beauty of this recipe: freestyle however you'd like! Use your fave cereal and mix-ins, or whatever you have in the pantry. This simple yet satisfying recipe requires no baking, and is the perfect (kid friendly!) activity if you want a dessert fix, without the fuss.
Cinnamon Bun Quick Bread
Here's a kid friendly take on Cinnamon Buns from Christina Tosi's newest cookbook, Milk Bar Kids Only.
It took trial, error and more than a few taste tests to land on that hard to describe, but instantly familiar sorta sweet, sorta corny milk flavor at the bottom of your cereal bowl. Now you can recreate your own steeped milk sensation with our recipe as a guide.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CAKE
Our limited-time-only Strawberry Shortcake Cake is all about the flavors of springtime — buttery vanilla cake and whipped cream frosting with a brilliant punch of strawberry jam (not to mention a throwback to one of Tosi's earliest claims to dessert fame). Try your hand at the recipe!
Become a baker in 30 days
We've created our first-ever online baking course. Master classic Milk Bar recipes and create your own from scratch.
Introducing Milk Bar: Kids Only!
Cookbook for the next generation of young bakers with over 85 super-fun, super-easy recipes. Get your copy today!
Federal judge reverses bail for accused Capitol rioter Richard Barnett
The alleged stun gun-carrying Capitol Hill rioter photographed with his boot up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk has been ordered to remain in jail and brought immediately to Washington, DC, so his case can proceed, according to a new report.
Arkansas native Richard Barnett, 60, was initially scheduled to be sprung Saturday on $5,000 bail, to house arrest, pending the resolution of charges against him that could send him to prison for over a decade.
“If (Barnett) will travel across the country and engage in this level of criminal behavior because he believes that he is right and it is the Electoral College that is wrong, what would deter him?” Assistant US Attorney Kim Harris said in arguing against the original decision to grant bail, the Associated Press reported.
The decision from Chief US District Judge Beryl Howell stayed a ruling from federal Magistrate Judge Erin Weidemann, who said Barnett’s house arrest would be under “very, very restrictive conditions.”
Capitol rioter Richard Barnett shows a letter he grabbed from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Getty Images
“He appears to be a law-abiding citizen, for the most part, although there have been incidents that do cause the court concern with him being armed at rallies,” Weidemann said at the time.
Richard Barnett gets comfortable in Nancy Pelosi’s office during the Capitol siege. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Barnett is facing charges of unlawfully entering the US Capitol with a stun gun during a day of rioting on Capitol Hill that left at least five dead.
He has additionally been charged with disorderly conduct and theft of public property.
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Tony Gemignani’s Empire of Carbs Expands This Weekend With Bakery and Bagel Shop
Italian bakeries have been a staple in North Beach, but the art is slowly dying out, according to Tony Gemignani, prolific, award-wining pizzaiolo and restaurateur. He’s remedying that himself, by opening Toscano Brothers on May 1, a bakery specializing in sourdough bread and bagels. It’s actually a three-in-one operation, with bagels operating from within the bakery as Dago Bagel (yes, as in the slur that’s used against Italian-Americans), bread from Toscano Brothers, and eventually pastries under the name Antonio’s Pastries.
But first, the story behind Dago Bagel: Using the slur in the name of his bagel shop is Gemignani’s way of taking back the power of the word and educating others, following an altercation outside his shop with a customer who hurled it at him during an ugly altercation outside one of his North Beach restaurants. “Controversy creates awareness,” says the chef. “I think it’s important to challenge that and show how important Italian heritage is to North Beach.” He will also donate a portion of the sales of bagels to the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club Foundation, a North Beach-based fraternal organization Gemignani serves on the board or directors.
According to Gemignani, these are tried and true New York-style bagels, twisted by hand, boiled in water and malt syrup, and baked to a chewy, almost tough texture. He’s been working on the recipe for years with fellow pizza champion Adam Sachs, perfecting the style and even making his own pine boards for baking the bagels.
The bakery is a welcome addition to a neighborhood whose market options have dwindled in past years. Carb-forward stalwarts like Liguria Bakery, known for its slabs of excellent focaccia, and Victoria Pastry, which offers a case brimming with Italian cookies, pastries, and cakes, have been holding down the fort, but there’s certainly room for bread, and particularly bagels. “There’s not really a sourdough bread bakery in North Beach,” says Gemignani. “If you listen to your neighbors, that’s what’s missing from North Beach.”
It’s also the chef’s new production facility that supports dough production for all his restaurants, including Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, Capo’s, and his Tony’s Slice Houses. It was partially a response to the increased outdoor seating capacity that was added during the pandemic, when indoor dining was completely shut down. “We increased seating at Tony’s and Capo’s by 100 percent, so the dough production was crazy” says Gemignani. “I thought, we may do numbers we’ve never seen before when it goes back to normal, and I wanted to be ready.”
Gemignani will continue to use freshly milled grains from Central Milling Co. in Petaluma to bake loaves of Italian country bread, baguettes, and more, many of which will also be featured in panini sandwiches and French bread pizzas like his mother used to make. He’s used their flours in his restaurants for years, and has created his own spelt flour that he mills in-house. Here are the three main breads that will be available at opening:
- Cured black olive and rosemary Italian bread (pagnotta) that’s made with Tuscan rosemary grown behind the bakery by Tony and his crew. “We’ve been buying all the rosemary [plants] up around town,” says Gemignani.
- Sour cherry and chocolate sourdough sprinkled with Maldon salt that Gemignani says would be perfect with a glass of wine and some hard cheese. “It’s sour, salty, and sweet,” he says. “It’s pretty amazing.”
- Baguettes, which Gemignani says are the equivalent of making a Margherita pizza in the pizza world (as in, it’s so simple that it’s extremely hard to master). “The biggest challenge is getting those perfect,” says Gemignani. “The time, temp, starter are all good but the right steam and correct bake is something we’ve really been trying to work on here.”
And like any good Italian bakery, there will be coffee, sourced from neighbor Caffe Trieste to accompany the pastries that will soon be offered. That component of the bakery is Antonio’s Pastries, a line of the desserts served in his restaurants like tiramisu and panna cotta that will eventually be available wholesale to cafes around the city.
Best Vegetarian Meal Delivery Services of 2021
- Best Overall:HelloFresh
- Most Extensive Menu Options:Veestro
- Most Creative Recipes:Green Chef
- Most Tried and True:Purple Carrot
- Best for Ingredients From Small Farms:Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
- Fastest to Put on the Table:Hungryroot
Best Overall : HelloFresh
We chose HelloFresh as best overall because of the variety of options and because it’s the largest meal kit delivery service in the U.S.
Recipes change frequently
Flexibility to skip a week
Coined “America’s most popular meal kit," HelloFresh remains the largest meal kit delivery service in the United States, and for many good reasons—one being the variety of delicious dishes, vegetarian included. Everything is completely customizable, with recipes changing frequently to ensure dinnertime doesn’t become stagnant.
Calorie smart meals, at around 650 calories per meal, and crowd-pleasing hall of fame staples that never go away are available, too. It makes for an easy way to ensure someone else does all the legwork and calorie counting while you sit back and enjoy delightful meals. And don’t think just because it’s all veggies that meals are lackluster. Think everything from zucchini and tomato flatbreads to crispy chickpea tabbouleh bowls, and even mushroom Gemelli, to satisfy even the pickiest vegetarian.
Shake it up and add in side dishes such as mouth-watering garlic bread, to enhance and complete meals. Plus, HelloFresh has a wine club, cookbook recipes so you can recreate favorite recipes, and much more.
Availability: HelloFresh ships nationwide (excluding Hawaii and Alaska).
Pricing: Meals start at $7.49. A no-commitment plan allows customers to skip, swap recipes and cancel at any time.
Most Extensive Menu Options : Veestro
Veestro’s abundance of choices that include high protein, gluten free, low calorie, nut free, soy free, kosher, and seasonal favorites led us to choose it for the most extensive menu options.
Extensive selection of meals
Founded by Mark Fachler and Monica Klausner, who grew up in Costa Rica, Veestro was born on the idea that a simple grab-and-go meal doesn’t have to be calorific junk food. And its lengthy a la carte menu is perfect for singles or couples seeking healthy, sustainable meals crafted from trustworthy sources (aka plants).
Mealtime will be a breeze as everything arrives ready to heat up and eat—no sorting, chopping, or cooking involved. Choose a subscription in increments of 10, 20, or 30 meals and pick from an array of standout dinner items (and a few easy, breezy breakfast items too, if you wish).
Going beyond just vegetarian, filter by dietary preferences and restrictions such as nut-free, soy-free, kosher, low-calorie, gluten-free, and even high-protein. South Indian coconut stew, country fried chick'n (with vegan chicken that will knock your socks off as a vegetarian), and portobello steak dinner are a few delights to look forward to. For those counting calories, a weight loss plan allows a subscription of three meals a day for five days at approximately 1,200 calories. The menu is extensive and meal reviews from other customers act as a helpful tool when narrowing down items.
Availability: Veestro ships nationwide (excluding Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii), and meals are shipped in insulated boxes.
Price: Their cheapest option, which gets you 10 standout meals for around $12 per meal, is a great deal for singles.
Want a discount on healthy, plant-based meal kits? Use code “SPRUCE” at checkout for 25% off of your next purchase from Veestro.
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School Cafeteria Recipes
1952 City School Ranger Cookies
1959 City School Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Alhambra High School Moore Room BBQ Ribs
Apple Valley Schools' Wacky Cake or 3-Hole Cake
Baked Peanut Butter Pie
Best School Cafeteria Brownies
Bloomfield School Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Brown Bean Chowder
Cafeteria Apple Crisp
Cafeteria Cole Slaw
Cafeteria Lady Rolls />
Chicago Public School Peanut Butter Cookies
Chicago Public School Cafeteria Butter Cookies
City School Pizza />
City School Sweet Rolls
Common School Blueberry Muffins
Glazed Peanut Butter Bars
High School Meat Loaf
Memphis City Schools Carrot Cake
Old Los Angeles High School Coffee Cake 1959
Old School Cafeteria Cherry Delight
Old School Cafeteria Peanut Butter Candy
Peanut Butter Bars
Peanut Butter Fingers
Peanut Butter Fudge
Petoskey High School Oatmeal Cookies
Prattsburg School's Apple Crisp
Quick Pan Rolls
School Cafeteria Fudge
School Cafeteria No Bake Oatmeal Cookies
School Chocolate Cake
School Lunch Rolls
School Lunch Rolls 2
School Style Sloppy Joes
Schoolhouse Eggs and Cheese
Sunman-Dearborn School Chili
Tamale Pie — A school cafeteria favorite from the 1950s.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), called Basic Food in Washington, helps people with low incomes make ends meet by providing monthly benefits to buy food.
NEWS: Congress approved supplemental funding for recipients of food assistance due to the impacts of COVID-19. Food supplements have been issued since April 2020 and continue on a month-to-month basis with federal approval. You can learn more about these supplemental benefits here (Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese).