Smucker Farms

First, apologies for the lack of posting lately. I am trying my best to get back on track, starting with this quick post looking in at Smucker Farms, recently opened at 14th and W.

It was great to stop in and see fresh, good quality produce, meat, milk, cheese, and even local coffee. There is also a good spread of jams, sauces, soup mixes, and some delicious looking ice cream and whoopie pies that I pulled myself away from. Not surprisingly, the prices are a little high – I definitely raised my eyebrow a bit at $8 loaves of bread – which come from Lyon Bakery.

I think, given that it’s winter and they just recently opened, the stock was a little sparse. I assume they plan on having more stuff as the seasons allow. I will reach out to the owner to ask what else they plan to stock, and update the post when I hear back.

Starting this weekend, DC Marketplace will open in the parking lot at 14th and W, across the street from Fast Gourmet. For four consecutive weekends, the market place will sell goods from artisan vendors from 10 am to 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Not a ton of info about the vendors on their website, but I understand the food will include onsite prepared foods, and baked goods and various packaged sauces and foods. There will also be some arts and crafts vendors. The vendors will change day to day, so it won’t be the same thing every weekend.

Stop by in the coming weekends and check it out. Nice to have some variety in the local markets in our neighborhood.

Mercadito Ramos closed

Well this is a bummer. Mercadito Ramos, a Latin grocery store on 14th between Florida and W, was a great place to stop in for cheap produce and Latin ingredients. It appears to have completely closed about a week ago. The take out place next door closed and reopened a few blocks away a few months ago – which makes me wonder if there is development slated for the building they both resided in.

However, I haven’t heard any word on developing that address, though there are condos slated to go in the lot at 14th and Florida and of course there is the YMCA development next door at 14th and W.

Liquor License application up at 14/W

It appears that Mova, that used to be at 14th/P, and said they would try to reopen along the U Street corridor, is indeed opening along the U Street corridor. Formerly Bicycle Stations, there is now a liquor license application for a martini lounge and tapas style restaurant at 2204 14th Street.

They are looking to have a capacity of 199, with a summer garden and live music. When Mova was on 14th/P it was an upscale gay bar. Not clear if it will continue in that vein up the block at 14/W yet.

Smucker Farms coming here

Guys, this is huge news. Smucker Farms, a farm to market store, will be opening at 2118 14th Street. And no, this is no April Fools Day joke (at least on my part, I guess it could be on theirs). I am so beyond excited. They hope to open by the end of April. Read this mouthwatering description on their website:

We focus on small farmers and producers, stocking our shelves with the best that Southeast Pennsylvania has to offer…grass fed beef, free range poultry and eggs, heirloom pork, European style cheeses, butters, and yogurts, and, of course, an abundance of organic leafy greens, root vegetables, and fruit. Smucker Farms also carries a wide variety of unique baked goods, canned products, dry goods, and handmade soaps. To best serve busy urbanites, we have prepared modern American take-away meals…

I really can’t stop gushing about this business. It sounds amazing, perfect for the neighborhood, and I will definitely be a regular.

Bicycle Stations closed

This doesn’t really come as a surprise to me, but still sad to see a local business close. Bicycle Stations, formerly at 14/W, closed on December 31st. They will be opening a new location in Alexandria next week. Bicycle Stations opened in the location on 14th street September 2009. We’ll have to keep an eye on what might open there next.

YMCA demolition starting

Walked by this morning and saw that construction crews are demolishing the old YMCA building at 14th and W. Apologies for the crappy picture, just had my cellphone on me. Glad to see redevelopment finally happening at this location, I look forward to it being vacant no longer.

Amazing Cuban sandwich from Fast Gourmet

Did you ever think you’d get good food at a gas station? Me neither. When Fast Gourmet opened at the gas station at 14th and W this summer, I assumed that it was a pre-made sandwich place that was at best mediocre. It’s in a gas station after all!

Well, I was wrong. A reader wrote me singing their praises, I saw this SILF piece in BYT – and it was decided, time to check out the gas station sandwiches. The owners are Uruguayan, and while there menu is quite extensive – we decided to go with the Cuban sandwich ($8.50) based on BYT’s recommendation and the Chivito ($14) the Uruguayan national dish.

My boyfriend’s father is from Cuba, and boyfriend’s spent a good amount of time in Miami and loves Cuban sandwiches. His standards were set high – but Fast Gourmet didn’t disappoint. They make their own bread and you can tell, it’s what makes the sandwich. They also slow roast the pork for 7 hours (amazing). Boyfriend pronounced it the best he’d had outside of Miami.

But the real star? The Chivito. I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised given the owners are Uruguayan, but MAN is this a sandwich. It features steak, ham, bacon, mozzarella cheese, olives, slices of hard boiled egg, lettuce, tomato, and peppers. I couldn’t finish my half, but it was amazing. It is $14 but it is worth it.

The portions were huge, and the sandwiches came with fries. Honestly, the fries weren’t good and weren’t necessary, the sandwiches were plenty filling and spoke for themselves.

Fast Gourmet is open till 5:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays – let me tell you this is some great drunk food. Seriously, go there now – the food is great, the people are friendly, and since the location is so out of the way it hasn’t gotten crowded yet. I can’t imagine that will last much longer.

YMCA, courtesy of rockcreek (Flickr)

Back in 2008, the Anthony Bowen YMCA at 14th and W, along with the storefronts on 14th street, closed for a new development, 14W. Then the recession happened and the project stalled. Apparently it will start back up again, but I haven’t noticed any work on the site since this announcement was made late last month.

The plan is still for a new YMCA facility along with 231 housing units and 12,000 square feet of retail. We’ll see when this work gets started, but I at least give props to Perseus, the developer, for keeping the site in decent  condition while their construction stalled.

So we’re still not sure what this space will become, but it is for lease. Prince of Petworth noted that the permit listed a restaurant as a possible use for the space, but I don’t think that’s enough information to say for sure that it will become one.