Restaurant dishes

Mouth-watering restaurant dishes to warm you up in December

A Turkish coffee maker is part of the Turkish coffee tradition. Photo courtesy of Turkish Coffee Lady

Alexandria, VA – Hope you are all doing well and enjoying the season. It was the first time for many of us to get together with friends and relatives and HUG! As we head into the last vacation of the year, there are some interesting events happening around town. Many restaurants will be open on site, take away or delivery. And, as always, please spend your food dollars locally and help our friends and neighbors. There is always someone who has less than you who might need your help. Buy canned goods and donate. Donate money to a charity that provides food to the needy. Make Christmas a teaching time and volunteer with your kids in a pantry or help serve a meal at a shelter. The zebra loved to help the Meals on Wheels and some of us helped pack, serve or deliver food. It will make you feel so good!

On the matter at hand (or mouth)

BunPapa Makes a Chicago Dog With Everything You Need

If you haven’t noticed it yet, BunPapa, opened a pop-up in Bradlee, 3648 King St., at the former Atlantis site. You can get absolutely phenomenal sandwiches – burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and more, as well as desserts. Vegetarians are treated with great finesse with the Cauliflower Fried Chicken Sandwich. Sandwiches are served on brioche buns with the freshest toppings. Waffle fries, poutine and chili cheese fries are also available. Indochen, 4906 Brenman Park Dr., received another accolade as one of the best Indian restaurants in the DC area from Thrillist. Formerly London Curry House, the property set out to celebrate Chef Ram Thapa’s roots. According to Thrillist, many dishes feature Indian dishes suited to the influx of Chinese immigrants in the 1700s. The dishes are combinations of Chinese flavors like soy sauce, garlic, and ginger with Indian spices like cilantro. , cumin and peppers.

Beef tenderloin with saffron rice and Noosh tahdig Photo by Debby Critchley

Although not Alexandria, Noosh, 1721 Wisconsin Av. NW, brought Persian cuisine back to the area. A short trip across the deck brings you to a pleasant dining room featuring Persian and Mediterranean flavors and cuisines. Noosh is Persion for “nourishing your soul”. Persian dishes include a variety of kebabs, stews, and rice, many of which are generously flavored with saffron. There are also dishes that are not regularly found on local menus, such as lamb tagine, falafel, and shawarma. It is especially wonderful to find a source for “tahdig”. Tahdig is the crispy, crisp rice at the bottom of a stew. When the pot is turned over onto a serving platter, the crispy rice is the prized finishing touch. Several entrees of beef, lamb or chicken include a piece of tahdig. Try the desserts which include Persian ice cream, date delicacies and a rollet, a rolled cake filled with a creamy, not too sweet cream.

Soon in a neighborhood near you

The site of the new Hank’s Oyster Bar in Old Town North. Photo courtesy of Lee Moody

If you hadn’t heard, Hank’s Oyster Bar at 1026 King Street closes and reopens on the former Hank & Mitzi’s site at 600 Montgomery Street. Same great food and much more accessible than the original. Brauhaus Village submitted a SUP requesting approval for a 930 square foot rooftop bar to serve up to 47 customers. The only visible change from the street will be a railing around the roof. Lady Camellia Pastry and Tea Room arrives in Alexandria in late spring / early summer 2022. According to their Facebook page: “We are suspending our service in order to focus on the reopening of our @Waterfront Oldtown Alexandria tea room scheduled for Spring / Summer 2022. That being said, we do plan to put our delivery, shipping and pickup service on hold at the end of this month in order to put all of our efforts into opening the tea room. The former home of a chocolate maker and café at 1001 King St. becomes Turkish coffee lady. In addition to coffee, pastries and desserts, you can buy traditional Turkish coffee and prepackaged Turkish sweets. New owner Gizem Salcigil White plans to share cultural artifacts, gifts, coffee and tea sets, artwork and more in the 10-seat cafe.

Lady Camellia’s tearoom arrives at the water’s edge Photo courtesy of Lady Camellia’s tearoom
Gregg Linzey in front of his store at 807 Pendleton. Photo by Grace Billups Arnold

Chew meats opens a second location in the old town. In documents filed with the city, Chewish Deli owner Gregg Linzey is applying for a permit to open a store at 1640 King Street, the former site of a Dunkin Donuts. Linzey started out at a food truck and then opened his first brick and mortar store at 807 Pendleton St. The store will have some seating and serve the same amazing assortment of bagels and sandwiches as his other location. Also comes to the old town Fresh Baguette at 1101 King St. They currently have locations in Bethesda, Georgetown and Rockville. According to their website, “As our name suggests, we take bread seriously. In addition to our traditional baguette, we offer a wide variety of breads, prepared with all 100% organic ingredients, and baked with the same care. We also offer a full range of pastries made with the same classic French baking techniques. Made with love by skilled pastry chefs, our pastries are as beautiful as they are delicious. They will also offer savory sandwiches for lunch served on a baguette or on their latest creation, a Cro’gel, with a bagel-shaped croissant dough. Look for an opening in January / February.

Discover the croissants of Fresh Baguette Photo courtesy of Fresh Baguette

Make your shopping list and double check

There are more gifts during the holidays. Many of our local grocery stores often offer a wide variety of products to tantalize your taste buds.

I love the French toast sticks in the photo of Aldi by Debby Critchley

from Aldi offers a variety of delicious products for the holidays and beyond, such as their specially selected 100% pure maple syrup, perfect for a large plate of pancakes or waffles. Vegetarians recommend Friendly Farms Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk. Serve up a fancy appetizer plate of their Fremont Fish Market Medium EZ Raw Peelable Shrimp. Vegans and vegetarians love Earth Grown Vegetarian Burgers. If you love breakfast like me, you should look out for these two deals. Best Savory Breakfast: Breakfast The Best Meat Lovers Breakfast Bowl is an all-in-one bowl of potatoes with the skin on, scrambled eggs, cheese, sausage and bacon. That’s all we can ask for. If you’d rather load up on carbs, check out the best sweet French toast sticks for breakfast or the best cinnamon French toast sticks. They’re both so good that you can eat them like appetizers without any syrup. Dipped in a creamy combination of eggs and milk, they’re even better with specially selected butter and 100% pure maple syrup.

Check out the new Red Velvet Cookie Dough and other new Nestlé Toll House flavors Photo courtesy of Best Foods

Trader Joe’s will delight your taste buds with their platinum-aged balsamic vinegar of Modena. It is superb in salad dressings and in icing for vegetables and proteins. Vegans and vegetarians alike will enjoy a vegan caramelized onion dip appetizer made with dairy-free cream cheese and onions pre-simmered in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Accompanied by fries or raw vegetables, meat eaters at the table will be jealous. Drink the Chocolate Babka Pastry Stout is rich in cocoa nib and cocoa flavor. According to the label, it is “dessert in a bottle”.

Other groceries for your festive and everyday table include Green Giant Parmesan and Garlic Vegetable and Rice Blends made with Green Pea Pasta, Broccoli and Cauliflower in Rice, grilled zucchini and tomatoes. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top. It’s easy to eat a bag on your own. Nestlé Toll House Cookie Dough Rolls are available in four new flavors including Red Velvet, Peppermint Cocoa, Gingerbread, and Snow Day Sugar Cookie. Get them when you see them as they are only available for a limited time. If you like mulled wine, try the bottled Mulling Spice from Williams Sonoma. Made with cinnamon nuggets, orange zest, whole allspice, whole cloves, cinnamon oil and orange oil, any bottle of good red wine market will taste expensive.

Last but not the least

Don’t feel like cooking for the holidays? Need ideas for places to have a delicious meal? Discover Visit Alexandria, https://www.visitalexandriava.com/major-holiday-meals/ for a list of some of the deals around town.

Until next time, eat well and enjoy!

Do you have a little gourmet news to share? Please let me know at [email protected]

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