D.C. Trend Trucks Into Georgetown

May 3, 2012

Strolling down the brick-laid sidewalks, weaving in and out of the usual crowds, one large gathering stops you in your path. Quickly planning a scheme to maze your way through the group, a savory smell of mouth-watering food triggers a growl in your stomach. Much to your surprise, the crowd that was once in your way is now the crowd you want to be part of: a gathering of hungry Georgetowners waiting for fresh-made food from one of D.C.’s renowned food trucks.

A classic scene at Farragut Square, Franklin Park, L’Enfant Plaza, and Metro Station, D.C. food trucks have made a name for themselves and now are beginning to adventure into Georgetown. D.C. Food Trucks Association, a group of more than 20 local food trucks banding together to improve and develop the food truck industry, is actively seeking out new and beneficial places for food trucks access a greater D.C. audience.

A member of D.C. Food Truck Association, Big Cheese Gourmet operated by Patrick Rathbone, traveled to Georgetown two weeks ago, and got a great reception from locals.

“People were very appreciative that we actually came down there because they don’t get very many food trucks,” commented Rathbone about his premier Georgetown experience. Discussing competition with fellow food trucks, he said “we talk about how good different spots are… [we] pass along if someone is looking for a food truck in particular.” Rathborn sees a great potential market for their business in Georgetown, and plans to use his connections with the Association to get more trucks to the area.

Not only does D.C. Food Truck Association help organize and promote the mobile business, it also legally fights for better and improved legislation to help the industry thrive. A common misconception is that, like street food vendors such as hot dog stands, food trucks need site permits. In reality, since they have stationary kitchen property where the food is prepped and stored, they do not need site permits. Mike Lenard, owner and operator of TaKorean, encountered this issue on May 22, according to Prince of Petworth, a local D.C. neighborhood blog site, and almost had his truck shut down because of this misunderstanding.

Following the trend filling the nation’s sidewalks and streets, D.C.’s food trucks offer a variety of foods and treats. From Scoops2U, a not-so-classic ice cream truck, to CapMac, the bearers of some incredible macaroni and cheese, these trucks are bringing the restaurant scene curbside to people who only have a 20 minute lunch break to enjoy the savory and sweet sides of life. Even celebrity chefs are partaking in the mobile business. According to Zagat.com, Bravo’s Top Chef contestant and Good Stuff Eatery co-founder and head chef Spike Mendelsohn partnered with Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. Together they will launch Sixth & Rye in late May, a kosher food truck specializing in the classic corned beef sandwich.

“It’s not really about competition… it’s about bringing everyone together, the more trucks the merrier,” says Bapu Fojol, a founding brother and operator of fojol bros. Food Trucks, serving Merlindian food – their take on Indian – from one truck and Benethopian food – their take on Ethiopian – from another. fojol embraces similar concepts that the Association and Rathborn represent, one that sees food trucks as “more of a togetherness than a competition feeling.”

This “togetherness” is best represented with food truck’s use of social media. Constantly Tweeting to their customers and fellow colleagues, food trucks have mastered the craft of building community through social media. Websites such as FoodTruckFiesta.com use truck’s Twitter feeds and geo-locating social media to track locations of trucks, supplying customers with updated information every 60 seconds on where to go for their favorite mobile meal. Also, this aggregator site compiles the tweets, locations, blog posts, and reviews of the food trucks in D.C. and the greater Metropolitan area.

Constantly updating tweets from trucks discussing deals and locations to announcing launchings of new trucks, FoodTruckFiesta.com (also available in App form) centers this portable industry by getting truck operators and customers to come together to keep the business going. This keeps the somewhat scattered and on-the-go companies connected to one another and their customers.

“It’s less expensive to get into the [food truck] business,” comments Rathborn, when comparing food trucks to regular restaurants. “Customers bundle up [in the winter months] and wait in line… in the summer months they can’t wait to get out of the office into the sun,” he continues.
This summer, the food trucks have Trukeroo to promote their business. Created by Georgetown Events, Truckeroo is a food truck extravaganza with over 20 trucks lining up in the Navy Yard serving thousands of people. The day-long munching spectacle hosts live music, free admission and access to the Das Bullpen. With Trukeroo I and II already completed with wild success; Truckeroo III, the final summer event, will be held on August 12.

“It’s not the same old stuff,” comments Jake Robertson, a business worker in the Farragut Square area who comes to food trucks daily for lunch. “When you work somewhere you can only go so many places for lunch and it’s nice that they come to you,” he says when asked about the best part of food trucks while sitting on the grass in the shade of a tree, nibbling away at his kabob from the Stix Truck.
“We’re not just about food,” says Fojol, “we’re about bringing people together… about entertainment, enjoying yourself, leaving here with a smile.” As customers enjoy their food on silk blankets laid out by the fojol bros. truck under trees in Franklin Park, the atmosphere of food trucks sinks in. John S., operator of Sauca Food Truck, says the best part of his job “is being with the people and playing my music.”

The trucks are not only famous for their food but also for their atmosphere, that comes from the people who run the trucks “[We] drive around, play music… We wave. We smile. We get smiles back. It’s the best part,” says Fojol.

So when is the next food truck rolling into Georgetown? Keep your eyes on the Twitter feeds. According to Rathborne, they’ll be coming back “soon.”
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The Latest Dish, April 7

November 3, 2011


-Chef Robert Wiedmaier will expand his restaurant empire into Maryland when he opens The Mussel Bar by RW sometime in May (if the construction gods allow). The Woodmont Avenue location in Bethesda used to house Levante’s. Besides Belgian beer, mussels, fries and rock ’n’ roll, Wiedmaier will offer a basic menu of limited choices of fish, steak, crepes salads, oysters and, okay, two desserts.

In a few weeks, the team behind Clarendon’s Liberty Tavern will open two new eateries in the same neighborhood: first they’ll debut Northside Social, a coffeehouse and wine bar, which will open in Clarendon near Liberty. Chef Liam LaCivita will oversee both. Owners will also open Lyon Hall, a European-style brasserie, on Washington Boulevard. UK native Andy Bennett will be the chef de cuisine. Bennett has impressive credentials, as he worked for Daniel Boulud in New York. Robert Valencia has been named pastry chef for all three establishments. He hails from Boulevard in San Francisco and Blue Fin in New York.

Chef Update: Mark Hellyar has been named executive chef of Hook and Tackle Box restaurants in Georgetown. He served as chef de cuisine at the Oak Door at the Grand Hyatt, but he was in D.C. before that, as chef de cuisine at D.C.’s Blue Duck Tavern. Barry Zoslow has been named executive chef at Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s Tallula and EatBar. Previously, he was exec chef at Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar in Georgetown. Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac, formerly of Allen & Delancey, are now at Birch & Barley/ChurchKey in D.C.

Pete’s Apizza, with one location in Columbia Heights, is slated to open a second on Wisconsin Avenue at Fessenden Street. It serves New Haven-style pizza (thin-crusted). New Haven-style pizza was introduced to D.C. by relocated brother and sister pizza lovers Michael and Alicia Wilkinson, from New Haven.

Owner Diton Pashaj says Rustik Neighborhood Tavern is slated to open in Bloomingdale at 1832 First St. this May. It will offer lunch, brunch, dinner, happy hour and outdoor seating. Now they just need their permit.

Tackle Box in Georgetown has plans to expand into Bethesda and Penn Quarter, according to its menu notes. A wine bar by the name of Dickson Wine is slated to open on U Street where Project 4 Art Gallery was, in the Dickson Building. Will PJ Clarke’s (another New York restaurant!) really open in the old Olives location? Bill Thomas of Bourbon and Breadsoda in Glover Park plans to transform an old gym into Jack Rose, a restaurant and bar at 2007 18th St.

Now slated to open in April: Ted’s BULLETIN on Barrack’s Row. American comfort food with Art Deco décor, and featuring a shaketender mixologist for milkshakes. Ted’s BULLETIN is from the folks who brought you Matchbox in Chinatown and Capitol Hill. Roberto Donna’s Galileo III, in the old Butterfield 9 space is also slated to open this month.

Theatering on the Fringe in D.C… Capital Fringe Festival

July 27, 2011

Experience something like nothing else before; a place of performance and theater that holds no judgment and standard. Capital Fringe Festival, running from July 7 through July 24, is a show spectacular with over 200 productions including comedy, dramas, puppetry, dance, music, and every other genre possible, even ones that don’t exist. Variety for families, new theater adventures, or old critics, Fringe is an all day adventure down the rabbit hole of performance and production.

Leave your traditionalism behind because once you enter The Fort (the ticket office and administration building) famously known from past Capital Fringes. Get ready to lose all concept of theater when you enter The Gypsy Tent, the main social area for viewers and performers with a bar and grill, dancing area, live music and performance space.

A few blocks from Chinatown and the Convention Center, Capital Fringe is an escape from D.C. daily adventures. Actors and viewers alike comment that the best part of Fringe is the people. “Everyone is so nice and energetic,” says Michael Bergman, the producer of “Moby Dick, An Adaption for Theater,” husband of one of the actresses in “Moby Dick” and father to technical manager of the play.

Fringe festivals started back in the mid-20th century in Scotland, where performance companies that were not allowed to perform on regal stages, banded together and created a place where they could perform. Here they were free from societal censorship, and were welcoming to all who wanted to participate. Somewhat castaways from society, they were on the fringe; hence the name.

With great Happy Hour specials, “sublime” food (according to Freelance Visual Art Critic and Curator David Tannous, an avid Capital Fringe viewer) the heart of the Fringe, The Gypsy Tent is where it’s at. Not only is it a social scene, but it also is the central location of performance, with three venues on location.

Having already seen more than 10 shows, Fringe has blown all of my expectations out of the water. What seems too many theater purists as just a hipster post-contemporary production, I think that Fringe has just as much credibility as Shakespeare or the American Ballet Theater.
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Van Metre Polo Cup [Video Recap]

July 26, 2011

The Van Metre Polo Cup benefiting Capital Caring and the Alder Center was a success! A sunny day lit up the green polo field as guests enjoyed food and beverages under the tent, and the entertainment of the polo match. The auction raised not only money for the cause, spectators out of their seats in excitement. This video recaps the day’s events which were featured as our cover story June 15. click here to see video

New Stats about Georgetown Crime Shock Many

July 19, 2011

Crime in Georgetown is reportedly changing for the worse. Compared to the same time last year, Georgetown’s total crime has decreased, yet there have been startling rises in violent crimes and burglaries.

Dating from May 23 to June 21 in 2011, violent crime increased in Georgetown by 233 percent and burglaries increased by 350 percent, compared to the same time in 2010. This dramatic increase has shocked local residents and has caused much concern.

Numbers are rising not just annually, but monthly as both burglaries and violent crimes increased from May to June: 100 percent for violent crimes, and 50 percent for burglaries. The spike was influenced by the seven robberies and three assaults with a dangerous weapon, even though Commander Michael Reese expected a dip in crime due to the arrests of four burglars.

The too-common property crimes in Georgetown decreased this path month compared to 2010 statistics but, unfortunately rose compared to May 2011. However, sexual assaults dropped compared to both last year by 100 percent and last month by 200 percent.

Last week at the Citizens Advisory Meeting, Reese did not comment about the new statistics because Chief Cathy Lanier was addressing the redistricting realignment issues.

Georgetown Connected Via Metro… in 2040

July 13, 2011

According to The Washington Examiner, and following blogs, the Brown Line proposal is getting more attention from Metro Officials. The Brown Line proposal would connect Georgetown to the rest of Washington via the Metro. The plan is to connect Friendship Heights to downtown, then to Silver Spring and White Oak.

While the plan has caught some officials’ eyes, nothing too serious has been planned: no funding, no engineering, no construction, yet. The goal is, by 2040, to have efficiently expanded the Metro to accommodate the vast growth of Washington and make travelling throughout the city much easier. Metro officials are not very interested in opening completely new lines; they would rather expand current ones in order to be more efficient and cost effective. Officials last Wednesday proposed the plane to regional officials, and are going to survey riders’ opinions during the month of July.

On estimation, the Brown Line would add about 20,000 more daily trips on the Metro, and increase Washington and Arlington residential travel from 70 percent to 74 percent, according to the Georgetown Metropolitan.

A different plan for adding Georgetown to the Metro map calls for splitting the Silver Line, another line that is in proposal status. Studies concluded that this proposal would have fewer riders than the Brown line, especially from Arlington residents because of the few stops that it would have in that area.

However, even with all this talk, there is no need to worry about up-coming delays; the goal deadline is 2040, so proposals are still in infancy. Metro officials are trying to consider every option possible first before beginning projects so that they will be cost efficient and least stressful for riders during construction.

Thunder Burger Gets Wild

Need something more exotic in your meat life? Tired of the same old, steak, ribs, hamburgers, and chicken breasts? How about half-pound ostrich burger with figs and elderflower jam or rattlesnake fritters? Have some kangaroo slider hop right in your mouth because every Wednesday at Georgetown’s rock-n-roll burger joint, Thunder Burger and Bar is offering some avante-guard options for the meat-adventurer.

“Wild Wednesdays at Thunder Burger and Bar” has officially started and taking burgers to new and exotic places by offering a new meat-opening items each Wednesday to try. Rumors of kangaroo, rattlesnake, and antelope will grace Wednesday menu each week, changing up the status-quo burgers and fries combo.

Don’t worry Georgetown, they are not letting the wild animals loose on M Street; chefs have found specialized exotic animal food farms to get their meat from. Excited about the variety, Thunder Burger and Bar keep pushing diners to try something new.

So no more 50’s roller-skating waitresses and double-straw milkshakes. Burgers are now about hardcore rock-n-roll: black leather, studs and exotic meats. No fear in Thunder Burger and Bar about but, still they have some of the best tasting burger in Georgetown… Just with a more wild side.

Georgetown tops many “Best of D.C. 2011”

July 7, 2011

Georgetown Business Improvement District announced that 11 “Best of” awards were given to Georgetown businesses from “Best of D.C. 2011” in Washington City Paper. Georgetown won the “Best Neighborhood for Shopping” a second year in a row. Six Reader Picks and four Staff Picks sums the total awards given to Georgetown businesses.

Best of D.C. Reader’s Poll 2011
Best Burger: Five Guys Burgers & Fries (http://www.fiveguys.com/)
Best Cupcake: Baked and Wired (http://bakedandwired.com/)
Best Hair Stylist: Luigi Parasmo at Toka Salon (http://www.tokasalon.com/)
Best Jazz/Blues Venue: Blues Alley (http://www.bluesalley.com/)
Best Local College of University: Georgetown University (www.georgetown.edu/)
Best Place to Buy Fur Handcuffs: Pleasure Place (www.pleasureplace.com/)
Best Salad: Sweetgarden (www.thesweetgarden.com/)
Best Vintage Clothing Store: Tari

Best of D.C. Staff Picks 2011
Best Burger: Bourbon Steak (www.bourbonsteakdc.com)
Best Eatery to Attract Lemmings: Georgetown Cupcake (www.georgetowncupcake.com/)
Best Place to Buy a Bridesmaid’s Dress: Hitched (http://www.hitchedsalon.com/findus.html)
Best Way-Far-Off-The-Beaten-Path Museum: National Pinball Museum (www.nationalpinballmuseum.org/😉

“Best of D.C. Readers’ Poll” awards were voted on by readers of the Washington City Paper from Feb. 16 to March 15 online. “Staff Picks” were selected by individual writers of the Washington City Paper, and include wackier categories such as “Best Local Take on Click and Clack” or “Best Use of a Whole Pig.”

Check out a full list of 2011 winners at Washington’s City Paper’s website:

Weekend Round Up June 30,2011

July 1, 2011

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums. There is no admission charge. At the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, you will find many exemplary practitioners of diverse, authentic, living traditions—both old and new. The goal of the Festival is to strengthen and preserve these traditions by presenting them on the National Mall. Tradition-bearers and the public can connect with and learn from one another and, in a respectful way, begin to understand cultural differences and similarities. Tel: 202.633.1000 http://www.festival.si.edu/


National Mall

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum 35th Anniversary Celebration

To see more on this event, Click Here

July 2, 2011

National Harbor Plaza Stage and Waterfront

Kick-off Independence Day Weekend by celebrating on the waterfront at National Harbor for America’s best birthday party!
Enjoy five bands including The Wailers, Blind Melon and Pat McGee, three DJs, multiple stages & party areas, and a spectacular fireworks show while overlooking the Potomac River!
More information and tickets are available now at: www.TheUncleSamJam.com

July 4, 2011

Fireworks cruise on the Odyssey

07:30 am | $179.90 per adult | tel: 866.404.8439

Step aboard the Odyssey this Independence Day for front-row seats to one of the country’s most spectacular firework displays. On Monday, July 4, the Odyssey offers guests a romantic evening under an illuminated night sky, with a dinner cruise featuring live entertainment and dancing. Dinner is priced at $179.90 per adult and includes a premium open bar; sailing from 7:30pm – 11:30pm. All passengers must be 21 or older with ID. To book, call 866.404.8439 or reserve online.


600 Water Street
Washington, DC 20024

Fireworks cruise on the Spirit of Washington

July 4th, 2011 at 07:30 am | $149.90 per adult | tel: 866.404.8439

Step aboard the Spirit of Washington this Independence Day for front-row seats to one of the country’s most spectacular firework displays on Monday, July 4. Guests can dance the night away with the Spirit’s playlist of top dance hits, enjoy a premium bar and the Spirit’s renowned Grande Buffet. Dinner is priced at $149.90 per adult; sailing from 7:30pm – 11:30pm. All passengers must be 21 or older with ID. To book, call 866.404.8439 or reserve online.


Pier 4
Washington, DC

Atlantic City Commemorates Independence Day with the largest Continuous Fireworks Celebration

July 4th, 2011 at 09:20 pm | free

This 4th of July, one of America’s largest fireworks displays gets even bigger. This year, the Atlantic City Fireworks Spectacular will be even greater when two different fireworks displays will be set off within moments of each other for the first time in history. The illuminating display, which will be synced to music playing on 95.1 WAYV FM and inside all the casinos, will be visible from Atlantic City’s Marina and the Boardwalk districts.


Atlantic City, NJ

Want to see more events? Click on The Georgetowner’s calendar

Orange County, Virginia

June 29, 2011

A short two-hour drive southwest of D.C. lays the hidden treasure of Orange County, Va., waiting for weekenders to enjoy the quietness of the hills and the warmth of the sun. Noted for quaint bed and breakfasts and scenic, historic sites, Orange County is a great local escape.

Where to Stay

The Inn at Willow Grove in Orange, Va. greets visitors with great white columns, a cream-yellow exterior decorated with black shutters and lush gardens. Each room is unique in design, but incomparable in comfort. Personal butler services and five star dinning give the feeling of pure luxury, yet the elegant comfort allows visitors to relax just like they were at home.

A charming house with luxurious details and an atmosphere for romance, Chestnut Hill Bed & Breakfast is a great escape into Virginia’s beautiful countryside. With evening wine and cheese events and a library stacks tall with books, this B&B has the lavish amenities to take your weekend getaway to the next level.

Other Great Places to Stay

Keswick Hall Hotel: a grand and lavish hotel right in the heart of Monticello.
Clifton Inn: a charming southern place to relax and enjoy the countryside.
Inn at Westwood Farm: a historic inn rich with Civil War history and southern comfort.

Where to Eat

The menu at Silk Mill Grille prides itself on its American cuisine “featuring fine sandwiches, poultry, seafood, steaks, and spirits.” Black leather booths line walls decorated with odds and ends from the Virginia countryside, combining the luxury of the old south with the elegance of contemporary dining.

Bringing the French countryside to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Restaurant Pomme with Chef Gerard Gasparini serves the finest traditional French brunch, lunch and dinner. The warmly decorated dining room with traditional French accents ensures that the experience is full of French style and atmosphere.

Other Great Places to Dine

Marshall Farms Corner: a family fun deli made with farm-fresh ingredients.
Double D’s Ice Cream Parlor: a fun place to drop in for a sweet treat.

What to Do

The home of Former President James Madison, Montpelier Estate is a must-see location in Orange County, Va.. From outdoor cooking demonstrations and historic sites, to Civil War restorations,and museum exhibits, visitors can spend a full day learning about the history of Montpelier and the area.

Dating back to the beginning of the 19th century, Barboursville Vineyards entertains with excellence, highlighting their award-winning wine Octagon. Come enjoy the grapes in the vineyard, the food at the Palladio restaurant, or the calmness of the 1804 Inn.

Other Attractions in the Area

Castle Hill Cidery: opening in July 2011, a great alternative to wineries.
Lake Orange: for the outdoorsman, the lake offers family fun all day in the sun.
Civil War Trails: another great outdoor adventure full of history and sunshine.
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