Archive for the ‘Clarendon’ Category

My First DC Brunch

Photo courtesy of Flickr user somewhatfrank

DC is certainly a brunch city, and while I didn’t really like Washington City Paper’s best brunch choices, I recently experienced the brunch phenomenon myself at a really classy place.

I stumbled out of bed two Sundays ago with a headache and a growling stomach. My cell phone rang, it was my roommate Maricha asking me if I wanted to get brunch over at Liberty Tavern (where my other roommate, the who shovels snow with a rake, works.) I decided to give it a try and walked down the street.

We were lucky to get a table outside on what was a nice and sunny afternoon. When I went upstairs to check out the buffet spread my hungry eyes couldn’t of been happier.

Just check out some of the selections from the brunch menu:

  • Frittata with peppers, tomatoes, green onion, mozzarella
  • Scrambled Eggs with bacon, cheese, and veggies
  • Brioche French Toast with warm maple syrup, strawberry sauce, apples
  • North Country Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • Dave’s Fluffy Biscuits, Honey Glazed Ham, Milk Gravy
  • Roasted chicken chimichangas with sour cream, cheddar
  • Smoked Salmon, capers, crème fraiche, egg
  • Stuffed Leg of Lamb, spinach, pecans and spiced prunes with lamb jus
  • Chocolate-Banana Trifle with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Just typing out the menu just made me hungry again- and I just finished lunch.

The only thing that would of made this brunch perfect would probably be mimosas, because what would brunch be without a little adult beverages? I don’t even think I’ve had mimosas yet but I wasn’t in the mood to be drinking in the middle of the afternoon- that will have to wait for my return visit to Liberty Tavern for brunch. The food is good and for what you pay it’s a great value. Plus I still need to figure out how to ask out the cute waitress with the short brown hair. Liberty Tavern you can expect me for future returns.

Liberty Tavern serves brunch every Sunday starting a 9:30 AM and lasting til 2:00 PM. They offer a buffet and a la carte options, I highly recommend the buffet.

Liberty Tavern
3195 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 465-9360

Northside Social Told In Three Visits

An early construction photo of Northside Social reveals many places for sitting as well as a countertop that I've grown to enjoy.

In my lifelong quest for finding places where I can blog, I gave Murky Coffee in Clarendon a try and found it to be the perfect stereotypical coffee spot: kind of divey, free WiFi, and always overcrowded due to it’s perfect environment for studying or looking like a hipster.

When Murky became defunct last year, I was not so interested about a bakery opening up in it’s place, but when the plan evolved into a new coffee shop run by the folks at Liberty Tavern- I was more than excited to find another place to write my blog posts.

The new coffee shop, Northside Social, opened up this week and I was more than excited to walk down the street and give it a try.

Visit One: Tuesday April 6th

I walked into the old Murky space and saw that it was anything but. Fresh coats of off-white paint; metal buckets used as lighting fixtures; and green and white accents give the place a country/farmhouse look. The handwritten menu completes the feel that I’ve walked out of Arlington and into a place hundreds of miles further.

The place was busy but not crowded; it was only the second day of business for the shop and it helped that I walked in well after most 9-5ers were in the office. I took a brief walk around the place and saw that the back room was still there, however the furniture looked less like it was acquired from Goodwill. Upstairs I found a bar and additional tables. I decided to pull up a stool at the long counter-top and pull out my netbook. I was excited about the fresh new look and was eager top write about it. However I was disappointed to see that neither of the store’s two WiFi networks were functioning. I overheard an employee say that the WiFi, “was still evolving.”

Still I grabbed an ice coffee and pulled out some papers on my reading list. While I was there I met Marianne Tolosa, Northside’s director of coffee, who gave me more insight on the new space. During the day Northside hopes to be a premiere coffee stop during the day, and at night open up the upstairs bar and serve wine at night.

Visit Two: April 10th

I decided to give Northside another go after my first experience, I walked over on Saturday morning and grabbed another spot on the counter. I was happy to see that one of the two WiFi networks were working and I was soon busy typing away on my keyboard.

The crowd has certainly grown- a quick look at their Facebook page reveals a lot of buzz from the media and locals.

I started to write this post but my phone rang and I had to suddenly leave. A return visit on Sunday was a possibility- perhaps a necessity to finish this write-up.

Visit Two: April 11th

Something I learned about Sundays: forget about hitting up a coffee shop- the DC brunch crowd makes it impossible to find an open seat.

I decided to take the risk and walk down to see what the crowd would be like on Northside’s first Sunday in business. Just as I expected a line spilled out the door and the outdoor patio was well stocked with Arlingtonians. I peeked inside and saw that the counter, my new home at Northside, was completely open. I guess people didn’t want to sit next to the long line of customers but I’m not picky. In fact I’d welcome anybody that wants to read this write-up over my shoulder.

Clearly Northside Social is enjoying a fantastic opening crowd, and for good reason. A great location, refreshing new look, and the people of the Liberty Tavern restaurant group all come together to form a new coffeehouse that will be a complete success.

Despite some growing pains, I will enjoy the place much more after they get their WiFi up and running at full strength and perhaps the music is a tad on the loud side, there’s nothing wrong with Northside Social and from the long line behind me as I type this- I’m not the only one that thinks so.

Northside Social
3211 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, Virginia 22201
http://northsidesocialarlington.com

Snow Apocalypse II: Snowball Fight!

With snowball fights erupting all over DC in the wake of the Snomageddon II, I partook in a snowball fight at the Clarendon Metro station:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IINVtj6vHlE[/youtube]

Screwtop Wine Bar & American Flatbread Headline New Face Of Clarendon

Screwtop Wine Bar one of many new additions to the Clarendon area

Screwtop Wine Bar one of many new additions to the Clarendon area

Watch out, Clarendon is about to get a whole lot hipper.

The Arlington neighborhood is already popularly known as the place to live if you are a young professional and the area is expanding with construction cranes filling the skyline, working to complete another apartment building. Along with additional residential projects, additional retail businesses are also sprouting up. On the corner of Washington & Fillmore, a few hundred feet from my door step, a new corridor of stores and restaurants are now open for business.

The Fillmore alleyway used to be a one-way street with nothing of note besides the local ABC store on one end and Harry’s Tap Room on the other, with a whole lot of nothing in between. Now a sleek new Gold’s Gym and a Le Pain Quotidien are in place and two new restaurants are ready to accommodate the locals.

Screwtop Wine Bar adds a new dimension to the already packed Clarendon food scene. Only six days old, the bar has actually been online for awhile, with a construction blog active since August. Screwtop offers a wide selection of small production wines and microbrews, which makes it the perfect place to find a try and taste something different. The restaurant also offers a Wine club where subscribers receive two bottles of a selected wine and cheese, charcuterie or chocolate for pairing.

Besides it’s angle for wine, what makes Screwtop a really interesting destination is the story behind its owner, Wendy Buckley. A former AOL executive, she left her six figure job at AOL to open the bar and has been since profiled in an AOL online reality series.

Another new face on Fillmore is American Flatbread, which offers an interesting variety of flatbread pizzas. Some of the specials include a Roasted Beet and Carrot Flatbread made with organic swiss chard, topped with all natural mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and pizza made with Virginia Ham, Apple, and Cheddar. American Flatbread is a part of Franchise that was founded in Vermont.

As more apartment complexes reach completion we can expect even more additions to the already bustling Clarendon scene.

Screwtop Wine Bar
1025 N. Fillmore St.
Arlington, VA 22201

American Flatbread
1025 N. Fillmore St.
Arlington, VA 22201
703-243-9465

Update: Bayou Bakery Not To Open In Clarendon, Liberty Tavern To Open New Coffee Shop

Photo courtesy of Flickr user geekstinkbreth

Photo courtesy of Flickr user geekstinkbreath

In an earlier post I wrote about the future of the empty space where Murky Coffee once stood. It looks like David Gaus will have to find another place for his idea- a southern haunt called Bayou Bakery.

According to The Going Out Gurus, Liberty Tavern (now the owners of the ex-Murky Coffee space) and Gaus have parted ways on the joint venture, with Gaus retaining his concept and idea. Gaus is currently working to find another space which to make his Bayou dream come true.

Meanwhile there will be something in place of Murky come this September. The owners are working with Liberty Tavern chef Liam LaCivita to instead open up a coffee shop (how original) where Murky once stood. Liberty Tavern co-owner Stephen Fedorchak hopes that the shop will also include sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and “a few surprises” on the menu for the yet un-named shop.

Why I Don’t Want You To Go To Jay’s Saloon

Photo courtesy of Flickr user lifeinthedistrict

Photo courtesy of Flickr user lifeinthedistrict

When I first moved into my current place in Clarendon my roommates and I noticed a quaint little house around the corner next to the car dealership.

It was actually a bar called Jay’s Saloon and Grille.

At first the appearance was somewhat run down and somewhere between divey and dicey. We joked about going there and drinking with all the middle aged townies that probably frequent the place. It wasn’t until I organized a roommate happy hour at Jay’s that I found out what I was missing. I’ve already written that this place maybe our McLaren’s.

The Washington Post opens their review with the exact same thoughts I had when I spent that summer night at Jay’s:

I love Jay’s Saloon & Grille so much that I don’t want to tell you about it. I don’t want you to discover it. I don’t want it to be crowded and popular. I really love this bar. I would not write in the first person otherwise.

Now I know exactly what Shayla was thinking. As much as I want to tell everyone what a great place this is, I don’t want too many people to know. What gives Jay’s its charm is the fact that in location and environment, it is truly my neighborhood bar. I love how it always has the right amount of people, so it’s sociable but not too crowded. It’s the perfect place to relax after a tough day at work or a place to start before you head out into Clarendon or DC.

After that initial happy hour, we kept coming back again and again. My roommates were already recognized by the wait staff a week or two since discovery.

The cover of the menu looks like it’s circa 1985: the pages are typewritten with handwritten notes and former items blacked out with marker. But with the retro menu comes the retro prices- which looks like they haven’t been changed since the 90′s. The fare is standard- not bad but not great either, however the cheese fries are a favorite with my house. Jay’s Happy Hour is where the place truly shines $2 domestic bottles and deals on Budweiser and Coors Light drafts: $1.50 for a frosty mug of beer or $7 for a full pitcher. House wines — from the “Wine List” — are $2.95 per glass. It’s one of the best deals around town short of heading over to Recessions.

We typically enjoy drinks in the covered patio section in front of the bar. Astroturf covers the space that is full of plastic lawn furniture, Christmas lights, and if you look carefully- hung oil paintings that gives the place a more southern feel.

Inside there’s a pool table that’s been covered and unused every time I’ve been and a ramp takes you up to a bar and table area where you can find the townies I stereotyped earlier. However the crowd is actually a jovial mix of young professionals, and other people that make up streets around Jay’s- it truly is a neighborhood bar where the mood is low-key and relaxed.

On the weekends the place will get a bit more crowded that usual but I hope that during the week I’ll still be able to walk 100 ft out of my house and into the patio without having to hunt for a table.

Jay’s Saloon has so far been Arlington’s best kept secret.

Jay’s Saloon and Grille
3114 N. 10th St.
Arlington, VA 22201
703-527-3093

DC Video: Clarendon Apple Store Shooting Video Released

The 4th of July holiday started on a disturbing note Friday when I heard from fellow Metblogs author Amy that there was a shooting at the Apple Store down the street from me. Luckily the victim will be ok but Arlington County Police needs your help.

Arlington County released video of the incident and is looking for anyone that recognizes the suspect.

Anyone who has information about this shooting or the identity of the suspect is asked to call the Arlington County Police Department Tip Line at 703 228-4242. Witnesses can also call Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IPbphLaHWI[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yprijsXmeUo[/youtube]

DC Video: Arlington: The Rap

I have a truth to tell: I really don’t live in Washington DC.

I actually live in Arlington, VA; but lots of DC locals call it their home, and now I’m proud of it thanks to this wonderful video that I found Thursday night (thanks to FamousDC.)

So I hope you learn a little bit about the ‘hood I come from.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T1RMuoQnKo[/youtube]

Will.I.Am To Rally With Terry McAuliffe Tonight At Clarendon Ballroom

william_8

Thanks to the phone banks with the Terry McAuliffe campaign, I heard that he and will.i.am will be down the street tonight at Clarendon Ballroom. The event is titled, “A Night with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas” and proceeds will go to McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign.

This is less of a political message and more of a, “if you want to see will.I.am and don’t mind throwing money at Terry McAuliffe to do it- here’s your chance!

Terry seems to know a few famous people, later this week he’s holding a rally at NOVA in Annandale with Bill Clinton. Well that makes sense since he ran Hillary’s Presenditial campaign and is a former DNC chairman.


A Night with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas

The Clarendon Ballroom
3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Virginia
Monday, May 11, 2009 at 8:00pm
$20 Admission
$500 Co-Host (includes admission to a special VIP reception with Will.I.Am at 8:00PM and recognition at the event)

Bayou Bakery To Provide Clarendon Bakery Fix

davidguasSo if you haven’t heard, Murky Coffee is closing.

As a nearby resident, I’m sad to hear the news- I’ve had it on my list of possible third places to spend my time, however it was always crowded much to the benefit of Murky.

So what’s going up in it’s place? The Going Out Gurus have the latest on that, it looks like the ownership of nearby Liberty Tavern is teaming up with pastry chef Davis Guas to turn the space into a bakery called Bayou Bakery. The shop will have a southern theme in decor and offerings.  So who’s this Guas person? Well Guas runs a culinary consulting group that’s played a role into the cuisines at local eateries such as  Ceiba and DC Coast. He also has a new cookbook coming out called, DamGoodSweet.

He also knows how to show Kathie Lee and Hoda how to cook a mean Zuchinni pound cake.

In an effort to keep Murky’s coffee crowd, Gaus plans to hire a Batista manager to work on a “coffee program.”

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