Counter Intelligence

What’s next in D.C.? A list of maybes.

Posted in District of Columbia, General Interest by melissamccart on June 8, 2007

Every so often, I still crave a Brooklyn wine bar: a tiny, hole in the wall with a horseshoe counter and tattooed sommeliers wearing Levi’s vintage western shirts playing the Pixies or Velvet Underground where the food is beside the point.  Or a cozy ground level room in a residential neighborhood with a back patio and wine guys working the pour in their Paul Smith duds. I still haven’t found equivalents yet, but I’ve grown to appreciate the differences in the food and wine offerings between the two cities.

While D.C. has its own home grown trends, some from other cities may be making their way here sometime soon, for better or for worse.  Some ideas?

Frozen yogurt.  Since everything else from the ’80s has come back, why not froyo?  Bring on Pinkberry.

Humblefish. Though many restaurants are into serving sustainable fish– sardines, cod, mackerel, and catfish, for example– less expensive, local, sustainable options aren’t necessarily the most popular crowd pleasers.

Noodle bars. We may not have our own Momofuku Noodle Bar, but hopefully we’ll have a Wagamama soon. 

Meat tastings for take away. We already have the cheese tastings at Cheesetique and Cowgirl Creamery.  Now we just need to add some serrano to the samplings.  Maybe when we get a few more butcher shops where customers can taste and learn in-house, buying cured meat for home will be more accessible in a less frenetic environment than Wegman’s and Whole Foods.

Greek wines. Greek wines are already available all over the city.  The next step is educating customers as to what they’re ordering.

The return of the automat.  The enomatic wine pour is already around town.  It’s the automat feature  that may show up next.  Any chance for the comeback of a Horn & Hardart ?

Attention to barbeque.  It seems like Americans are obsessed with barbeque and its regional variations.  Since we’re firmly in the era of piglove, when will we see a chef with fancy roots open a barbeque joint, a place that’s loyal to a style or state, or foodie veneration of a pit master?

More interesting street food.  Now that D.C.’s rules have eased, perhaps we’ll see a Kathi roll stand, a Korean food cart, or a lunchtime soup peddler.

More serious desserts.  Fewer cupcakes, kit kats, and banana splits, more baked alaska and bananas foster. 

On the wane?

Sushi.  Not yet, of course. But if people are serious about this farm fresh, sustainable, organic thing, then they’ll start to question their love of sushi.  In this week’s Time Out New York, Trevor Corson, author of The Zen of Fish:From Samurai to Supermarket, said:

For the planet “If I were making my eating choices for environmental reasons alone, I probably wouldn’t eat much fish at all,” says Corson. “So much of its production is unsustainable.” Your best bet is to order shellfish and mackerel, which Corson describes as “a far more sustainable choice than, say, tuna.” And what of the future of our unagi and toro? “By 2050,” says Corson, “we’re going to be eating squid sushi only.”

Besides, the Moonies are creepy.

Small plates.  With Jose Andres’ genius, they’re likely here to stay in D.C., though in other cities, the backlash has begun.  Maybe big eaters are fed up with stopping for a pizza on their way home from dinner.

I know I’m short some on the maybe list.  Any other ideas of what is — or should be– on the rise in D.C. food?

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4 Responses

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  1. Brett said, on June 11, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Pinkberry PLEASE! I need my fat free sugar free fro yo STAT! (Why can’t this city diet like NY or LA???)

  2. Doug said, on June 12, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Pinkberry is pretty good considering its caloric implications.

    When are you going to return to your NYC roots.

  3. mrp said, on June 14, 2007 at 6:53 am

    I been at that wine bar with with old peeps. And they did not play Jawbox or go-go :}

  4. […] we’d like to see more of in Washington.  And about this time last year, I wrote a post on what we were missing. The good news? Many things from the list have arrived: frozen yogurt, humble fish, dessert bars, […]


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