Photo via Camera Slayer (Flickr)

Happy fourth of July, all! I hope you enjoy barbecue, beer, fireworks, friends and family. Stay cool out in the heat today and be safe.

Standard's menu, courtesy of @DCBrit

Standard, which at one point was going to be a burger place modeled on New York’s shake shack, is now open in the old (old) Garden District space at 14th and S. The restaurant now is barbecue based, with very odd pricing. Check out the menu – what is wrong with having rounded off numbers?

I walked by this weekend and it was packed with people enjoying the weather and beer. I’ll be sure to stop by soon – but have you been?  What did you think?

Photo by Lynda Giddens (Flickr)

After applying for a liquor license, I’m happy to say Pica Taco (14th and Florida) is now serving beer. They have bottles of Corona, Dos Equis, Miller Light, and Negra Modelo available. So next time you stop in for a taco, sit down and enjoy a beer as well.

Pork sandwich at American Ice Company

Last week, in the midst of the glorious warm weather (sigh, are you missing that?),  a few friends and I went to American Ice Company (10th and V Street) for the first time. The place was understandably crowded given their large outdoor space: they also have a garage like window that they opened up, so that even if you were sitting inside you felt like you were outside as well.

We snatched a table and ordered some beers: they have a nice selection of pretty affordable choices (but Guinness is $8 there – what?). I’m pretty sure our waitress used to bartend at the Gibson, I’ve had her a few times and she was excellent, so the bar for service was set high. Unfortunately, it wasn’t met – she had trouble hearing our orders because it was so loud, and for some reason didn’t write anything down. I ended up getting charged for a beer I didn’t order and we had to correct that. Certainly, at a more down-home place like American Ice Company the service shouldn’t be on par with the Gibson, but I was a bit disappointed.

We also ordered some food: pork sandwiches, the turkey plate, chili con queso, and of course the pickle platter (if you know me well you know I love pickles). The barbeque style food was good, but didn’t blow any of us away. I might be from Massachusetts, but I think I know barbeque pretty well and while the ‘que was good I imagine it’s not going to draw barbeque enthusiasts in.

Overall, American Ice Company is a fun place to meet for a few beers and food, but it gets crowded pretty fast and I’ve heard is intolerable during weekends, unfortunately like most of our bars in the U Street area.

American Ice Company, old Google Maps photo

Their name and the day they are opening are very appropriate: it’s so freaking cold outside. American Ice Company (Vermont/V), the bar/BBQ joint from the Hilton brothers of Marvin, etc. will be opening Thursday Wednesday. Thanks for commenter Katie for pointing me in the direction of this TBD article that quotes the owner as changing the date to Thursday. If you stop by, let me know how it is in the comments.

American Ice Company, old Google Maps photo

I haven’t covered this soon-to-open business as well as I’d have liked, so here is an update. American Ice Company, coming from the Hilton brothers of Marvin, Patty Boom Boom etc. fame, will be a barbeque and beer joint at V and Vermont.

American Ice Company will have a fairly large outdoor seating area, which lead some area residents to complain about potential noise issues.

Prince of Petworth has photos of the interior. It looks pretty nice, with a warehouse, eclectic vibe.

This Saturday is Columbia Heights Day and the inaugural first DC State Fair (yes I realize that’s a bit of a misnomer). From 10 am to 6 pm, throughout Columbia Heights, there will be events at Bloombar (yoga, live music), contests at Tubman Park at 11th and Irving (dog show, cupcake eating contest), and specials at a lot of local restaurants (Wonderland Ballroom, CommonWealth, Meridian Pint).

Local food bloggers Gradually Greener, Modern Domestic, and the Indoor Garden(er) are putting together the DC State Fair – events will take place at Tubman Elementary Field and will include a pie, jam, home brewer, pickle, biggest vegetable, and best tomato contest.  

Amelia of Gradually Greener says, “there are so many organizations in the District with a focus on agriculture, so many community gardens, and so much focus right now on agriculture and home gardening in general, that it would be a disservice to the community NOT to have a gathering to celebrate urban agriculture! And D.C. is full of people who love cooking, baking, home canning, and so forth. Anywhere else in the country, you’d be able to enter your prize tomato or secret-recipe pie in the county fair. We thought D.C. residents should have the same opportunity.”

Amen Amelia! I’m excited to check everything out, it sounds like the weather will be perfect Saturday – so see you there!

Dodge City

On Friday, I finally made it to Dodge City, which opened about 2 months ago. We walked in around 9:30 or 10, to a half full bar – really appreciated that we could easily get a seat. I was surprised, honestly, how empty it was and how empty it continued to be for a Friday night. There was always open seats and no one was ever standing. It made me wonder if they have a similar policy as the Gibson, allowing no standing – but I didn’t ask (my bad). A bar on U street, that isn’t ridiculously crowded, which I can get a seat late at night? I’m there.

The atmosphere was really nice, low lighting, relaxed and comfortable. Definitely not pretentious. Apparently there is an upstairs with dancing, but I um, couldn’t find it and didn’t ask. I had heard from Going out Guru’s Fritz Hahn that the beer selection was the one of the best in the city. Not only was the beer selection good, but it was cheap. The most expensive was $8. Also, the Yelp page notes that they don’t accept credit cards, but they accepted mine – so that’s inaccurate.

Now, they also seem to have a no flip flop policy, just for guys. We had friends meeting us, and they couldn’t get in because one of the guys was wearing flip flops. Even when we pleaded (especially because the place was half empty, at now 11:30), the bouncer did not relent. So we went next door to the Velvet Lounge and had a fun time.

Go to Dodge City for a relaxed setting, good beer, and apparently dancing upstairs (but don’t wear flip flops).

Chidogo coming this summer

Well with this logo sign I think my hope that Chidogo’s was just a temporary name is lost. There’s a sign up now saying that it will open this summer, so it looks like they’re hoping for a quick turnaround with the licenses etc. We’ll see. I did some googling on the name and it doesn’t seem to be a chain (so I’m not sure why they’re sticking with this name…) but also means I can’t find much more info about the restaurant than what’s on the license.

Cork & Fork

Last night I was invited to a media preview of Cork & Fork, opening Saturday at 14th and Church. I have to say, I wasn’t really expecting much (so close to and similar to Cork Market), but I left really impressed. The store will have wines from the old world and new, as well as a pretty impressive selection of craft beers (they will be the only DC store to carry a beer crafted by Ferrian Adria of El Bulli). They will offer some cheeses, breads, snacks (and soon organic, local eggs). Ani told me that the “fork” really comes in the classes and events they do.

What really impressed me is the Landragin’s passion for food and wine. The store is owned by a mother, father, and daughter who all really care about the quality and integrity of food and wine. I listened as the mother, Anna, told me how she learned to cook and how her philosophy on food evolved. We talked about the importance of seasonal, high quality ingredients. We talked about peasant cooking. She was a pleasure. The Landragin’s were open, warm, and highly knowledgeable. I can tell they bring that level of attention to their wine and food selections.

The store will open on Saturday and they already have a pretty full calendar of events for May. Check back in on their website for more details. And thanks so much to the Landragins for having me!