Now that there are so many Five Guys around, it could be fun to seek out something a little different for your burger fix. I hear Social Burger in Vienna has it going on with juicy burgers and fun toppings like house made pickles, special sauces, and buttery buns. Yelpers love the hand cut french fries and waffle sweet potato fries and I’m sure they’re good, but honestly I decided to drive to Vienna at the first mention of bacon jam. It’s bacon jam, people! Start the car.
Remember how the Mexican Army won an unlikely victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862? Shouldn’t we go big with celebrating that win, especially since May 5th falls on a Saturday this year? Among the countless events you’ll find around town, one option is the Mad Fox Brewpub in Falls Church. They plan to open their patio and offer Senor Franco’s Especial Mexican Lager, Tequila flights, and live music. If you plan to go, definitely RSVP here and call for a reservation.
The Annual Flower Mart at the Washington National Cathedral is so much more than just a place to buy gorgeous flowers. It’s a full-on two-day festival featuring a Tower Climb, international floral displays, over 80 boutique booths with plants and merchandise, plus an entire Children’s Area with a huge array of games, a puppet show, and carnival rides. For food, you can choose from a variety that includes Barbecue, funnel cake, and lobster rolls. It’s a DC tradition for 79 years! Friday and Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm both days.
Do you plan to do any celebrating with family or friends over the next month or so? You and just about everyone else, too! You may want to delight your family with lunch or dinner reservations at a good restaurant. Carlyle (which we used to call the Carlyle Grand Cafe but I guess it’s just Carlyle now) in Shirlington is one of the few Great American Restaurants that offers easy online reservations. The decor is swanky, it has a lively atmosphere, and the food is the consistently high quality you expect from that restaurant group. Go ahead; try it! Get your reservations here.
Who’s doing the Raider Run? This timed run is a super fun way for the whole family to participate in the community, support student athletes, and get a little workout before you head out for *less healthy* fun endeavors (see below). The race will be held Saturday, May 12th at 9am. It kicks off at 9:00 am at Stuart HS, winds through shady neighborhood streets, and finishes on the track at the football field. There are exciting events planned after the race this year – including a one mile fun run for the little guys after the race (registration will be onsite for this portion!) It’s not too late to register…. Go to www..raider5k.com for all of the registration information.
So you know about the Red Apron Butcher in Merrifield right? It’s a regular stop for us because they sell the highly necessary Cocchi Vermouth the we use in our Manhattans over here in Lake Barcroft, but it’s also a favorite of our boys’, for the counter-service hamburgers and beef fat fries. They have cold beer you can get while you wait, too. I’m actually a big fan of the B-Side, the sister sit-down restaurant next door, because of their craft cocktails and Charcuterie, and the fact that you can hear Velvet Underground or David Bowie on vinyl while you’re there. It does get busy and a little loud, so either plan ahead or be prepared to wait and converse at the top of your voice.
We are so missing the authentic Venezuelan fare we used to enjoy at La Carraquena (why did they have to go?)… If you’re jonesing for arepas, take a little trip down to the Union Market near Thomas Circle for Venezuelan-style arepas with very generous and delicious fillings. The stall in Union Market always has a line of repeat customers who don’t mind waiting for their delicious treats. Union Market is extremely cool and worth a visit by itself!
Taste of Arlington claims to be the largest food+craft beer+wine+live music+dog and kid friendly outdoor festival in Northern Virginia.
The event features “a craft beer and wine garden, live music on two stages, a dedicated KidZone and a pop-up dog park”. Of course the true focus of the event will be on the 60 restaurants and food trucks that will offer tastes of their signature dishes. General admission is free but you’ll need tickets for beer, wine and tastes. Insiders say 10 tickets are enough to get fed and not have to stand in too many lines. Buy tickets here. If the festival crowd is a little more than you’re up for, you could head to the naturally hip and happening Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria.
Don’t you just love that there are awesome musicians everywhere you look around here? For example if you’re in Del Ray, you could pop into St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub for some Stumptown Coffee (ask me about Stumptown!) and fall into a full-on old-school dixieland jazz quartet situation… I haven’t been personally but have been told that these guys play every Thursday at 7:00 and they are killing it!
If you’re in the neighborhood, visit the eclectic Del Ray Artisans Gallery to to see their latest exhibit, “Atomic Dog”, an exhibit inspired by man’s best friend. Del Ray loves their dogs, as evidenced by the charming portrayals via photography, painting, sculpture, and inventive mixed media by Del Ray Artisans. The gallery is free and open to the public, Fridays 12-9pm, Saturdays 12-9pm, and Sundays 12-6pm.
It’s a busy time of year for celebrating all sorts of things, but don’t forget to plan something special for yourself (or a deserving loved one who has a birthday in June!) The inspired and always energetic Jon Krinn of Clarity is joining efforts with Victor Mendez, owner of Vienna Vintner, to “rock it out cooking and wine drinking together for a great dinner.” I like the way these guys think! Friday June 8th @630p/$190 all inclusive. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
At Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters in Pentagon City, you can make a big switch to iced coffee with nitro cold brew! The hipster insiders call it “NCB”, and it’s basically a strong cold coffee infused with nitrogen to give it a creamy head like a Guinness beer. They even have a variety of different coffee blends from which to choose. If you’re into bold coffee in bold surroundings, definitely put this place on your list!
You may remember from last summer that Dogwood Tavern has a very happening outdoor sort-of-rooftop dining area that is pretty much the place to be on a summer evening in Falls Church. This weekend you can catch Midnight Essential on Saturday night: Five super-cuties from Arlington mixing up live blues, hard rock and funk. It could be the perfect setting for the first G and T of the season, too!
Two words: Baby. Gorilla. What else do you need to know? Oh, I guess I could remind you to go early. I think they open at 6 am!
Are you ready to get wet? Get some fresh air and take in the gorgeous water views of the city on a stand-up paddle board or a kayak. A free workout comes with your rental (whether you want it or not!). Space is still available for this weekend, and you can sign up for a lesson if you need one. Reservations and waivers online.