DC’s Top Food and Drink Trends 2013

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A food blogger’s log of top trends in our nation’s capital, based on too many meals to count. As Heidi would say, you’re either in or you’re out!

Chez Billy Saucisse Merguez

Chez Billy

1. Small plates: You either love them or you hate them, especially if you live and eat on 14th Street. But one thing’s for sure, small plate hate and continued complaining about them is in vogue. Good places to get full-size meals? Chez Billy, West End Bistro, Poste and Table.

Spraga's Brisket

Sbraga

2. Brisket is back. Done right, this cut of meat can steal the show. Where to get it in DC? Roses Luxury, DCity Smokehouse and Garden District. It is also the Best Thing on the Menu at Philly’s Sbraga.

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Del Campo

3. Fernet is having a renaissance. Try it and you’ll taste hints of eucalyptus, saffron, cardamom and chamomile. Most popular in Italy and Argentina, fernet is typically mixed with soda water or it can be used in cocktails as a form of bitters. In DC, you can try it at Del Campo and Urbana.

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4. New restaurants are forgoing traditional websites and are opting instead for robust Facebook pages. Or, restaurants are choosing to create a simple single page, meant solely to point you to their social media accounts. This is such a smart money saver. There’s no need to pay an IT company to build and maintain a website when Facebook has built-in infrastructure for diners to interact with their favorite restaurants. Our new favorite spot, Mockingbird Hill, is one example: Their simple web page vs. their Facebook page.

Shaw DC

5. Shaw has become THE neighborhood for new restaurants, including Eat the Rich, Dacha Beer Garden, Mockingbird Hill, Thally, Table and more.

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Casa Luca

6. More than a handful of restaurants are jumping on the charcuterie bandwagon. A trend many enjoy, but others skip due to the availability of fine meat and cheese selections at gourmet grocery stores. If you’re pro-charcuterie visit: Casa Luca, The Pig, Churchkey/Birch and Barley, Proof, Urbana, Vinoteca and Etto.

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Revive Catering

7. Waffles are crushing it, sorry cronuts. DC has some of the best waffles to offer the world including Revive Catering’s red velvet chicken and waffles, B TOO’s blood sausage stuffed waffle and Brasserie Beck’s gingerbread waffle.

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Petworth Citizen

8. Cosmos and appletinis are out. Prohibition era cocktails are in. Big name Founding Farmers has 11 different prohibition era inspired cocktails like a Sazerac and a New York Sour. Then there are places like The Gibson, PX, The Passenger/Columbia Room, Bar Charley and Petworth Citizen.

Oyamel Fried Egg

Oyamel

9. Remember being twelve years old and requesting breakfast for dinner for your birthday? Fortunately, you can relive this small joy by visiting several DC restaurants. Ted’s Bulletin serves breakfast all day long, Oyamel has a killer egg dish and DGS serves “Benedictberg” well into the night.

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Taylor Gourmet

10. Whether you’re curing a hangover, fueling your marathon (or 5K!) training, or just gearing up for a Sunday on the couch watching football, monster sandwiches are the answer. The arrival of spots like Duke’s Grocery and food trucks like SUNdeVICH plus the continued awesomeness of Taylor Gourmet and Stachowski Market & Deli means you’ll never be without a good sando in hando.

Got a trend you’d like to share? Let us hear it in the comments section! Plus, see where we ate in 2013.

Stachowski Market: Pastrami Sandwich

Stachowski's Pastrami Sandwich

Just finished a marathon? Just woke up after a bachelor party? Training to challenge Takeru Kobayashi in a hot dog eating contest? We have the perfect meal for you: The Best Thing on the Menu at Stachowski Market in Georgetown. Roll up your sleeves, bring some friends and try the Pastrami Sandwich: Thick slices of pastrami on pumpernickel w/mustard on rye. Taken to go, and all wrapped up, this sandwich has the girth of a regulation NFL football. They even  slip in some extra bread, knowing full well that you’ll be making sandwiches for days. Check out our leftovers?!

Leftovers!

The pastrami is smoky and salty and definitely needs to be paired with mustard. We heard it had been boiled over night and it’s served hotter than well, the Redskins season. Other tasty sandwishes (sandwiches you wish you were eating while you read this) include the 4 Meat Grinder, Turkey Club and Kielbasa.

This charming shop has some of the warmest service we’ve experienced in a while, and you can tell that they take pride in serving their products.  In addition to their 11 sandwiches they also have a charcuterie collection worth ogling, as well as meat ready to take home and cook including some exotics like venison T-bones. It’s an understatement to say that Jamie Stachowski is a master of meat.

Stachowski's Menu

Busy downtowners that don’t have time to cook dinner after a long day lobbying or setting things straight in Congress, can swing by Stachowski’s on their way home from work to pick up prepared meals to take home and enjoy. Recent meals have included Spaghetti Bolognaise: Smoky beef simmered with a merlot red wine sauce served with Caesar salad and Mojo Kabobs: Grilled, marinated chicken served over a bed of seasoned rice. Georgetown too far to schlep to Stachowski’s? You can pick up their products at area farmer’s markets.

Pastrami Sandwich not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.