TD Burger’s BBQ: The Taste Doesn’t Match the Smell

1 Sep
Patio at TD Burger

Patio at TD Burger

We really want to like TD Burger (250 K Street, NE).  It has a great location right across the street from the always popular Indigo and who doesn’t like a good burger place with an awesome patio?  Sadly our previous experiences at TD had taught us to avoid the place.  However, recently the restaurant has set up a smoker on its patio that wafts delicious hickory BBQ smells for multiple blocks.  After attempting to avoid the temptation multiple times, we finally gave in and gave TD Burger another shot.

Brisket at TD Burger

Brisket at TD Burger

Unfortunately, we should not have.  Let’s start with the logistics of takeout: an unnecessary nightmare.  You order the BBQ inside and then pick it up from the guy at the smoker outside.  Makes sense but wait: there are only certain BBQ items that you pick up from the guy outside–for other random ones, you pick them up inside.  For example, we ordered a half BBQ chicken and an order of brisket.  The chicken comes from outside, the brisket from inside.  It didn’t make any sense, but we went with it.  We placed our order and then went outside to pick up the chicken.

BBQ Chicken at TD Burger

BBQ Chicken at TD Burger

TD Burger was not busy at this time.  There was one guy in front of me also waiting for chicken.  It took about ten minutes for him to get his chicken (even though it was already done in the smoker), and then it was our turn.  The chef manning the smoker told us to wait a minute and then he would be right with us.  He disappeared inside for five minutes or so and reemerged with a tray of raw pork ribs.  He proceeded to marinate the various racks of ribs and threw them in the smoker while we waited.  He then washed his hands in a bucket full of dirty water (no soap) and then proceeded to grab our chicken out of the smoker.  Using his bare hands (which he had 30 seconds ago been marinating the raw pork ribs with) and tongs that he had also “washed” in the dirty water he divided my (measly) half chicken into thirds and cut it up.  When we asked about having BBQ sauce on the side, it was interpreted as an odd request.

The whole process took at least 20 minutes, despite the fact that the chicken was done and ready to go the second we walked outside.  We walked back inside to pick up the brisket that was surely done by this point.  Wrong.  Took another 5-10 minutes for that to come out as well. Continue reading

Signage Up for Dunkin Donuts in Union Station

31 Aug

union station dunkin

Signage is up for the Dunkin Donuts that will be coming to the Union Station food court in the near future.  This location will be located along with a new Walgreens that will be opening as well in the basement level food court.

Rum Distillery and Tasting Room Coming to Union Market

26 Aug

We received word yesterday (h/t ANC Commissioner Tony Goodman) that a rum distillery and tasting room has applied for a construction permit near Union Market.  It will be going in at 1330 5th Street, NE–directly east and a little north of the existing Union Market building.  As noted by Commissioner Goodman, Edens, the firm that owns Union Market and that has purchased many of the surrounding buildings, owns this building.

More details as we get them.  In the meantime, check out our series on the future of Union Market here and our map of future development here.

Seoul Spice Coming to NoMa

6 Aug

seoul spice

A restaurant called Seoul Spice is slated to move into 145 N Street, NE in NoMa’s Constitution Square development.  This space had previously been leased to Kraze Burger, prior to that chain running into financial difficulties.  The restaurant’s owners aren’t ready to divulge details yet, but we will share them as we get them.

IMM Thai Launches Lunch, Applies for Liquor License, and More

31 Jul
Signage for IMM Thai on H Street

Signage for IMM Thai on H Street

IMM Thai (1360 H Street, NE) has applied for a liquor license (they currently cannot serve alcohol, see our review here).  Of note on their liquor license, they have applied to allow live music on Fridays and Saturdays.  Additionally, IMM now serves lunch during the week.  We spoke with representatives at the restaurant, and they told us that they plan on offering delivery in the near future.  Additionally, they are working on renovating the upstairs area.  While the final plans are still up in the air, the second floor may have a bar and/or a sushi bar.

Masseria Impresses with Soft Launch

30 Jul
Fresh Fruit and Sorbet at Masseria

Fresh Fruit and Sorbet at Masseria

You will need to suspend your disbelief when you approach the front entrance at Masseria (1340 4th Street, NE) in the Union Market district.  While the restaurant will one day be a neighbor to upscale apartments and retail, it is currently across the street from a wholesaler, next to an empty parking lot, and a half block down from a Motel 6.

Open Faced Ravioli with Rock Shrimp at Masseria

Open Faced Ravioli with Rock Shrimp at Masseria

But don’t let that scare you away!  Once you enter Masseria’s front gate, you will completely forget the outside surroundings.  Immediately upon walking in, you walk through a beautiful outdoor patio and lounge with couches and a floor that is covered in tile.  Via a large bar, the patio gives way to the indoor dining space that features an open kitchen where you can watch your dinner being made.  There are several seats at the kitchen bar that give you the best view.

Summer Soft Shell Crabs at Masseria

Summer Soft Shell Crabs at Masseria

Dinner starts with an amuse-bouche followed by a presentation of bread featuring fresh focaccia, miniature breadsticks formed into small rings, and a sundried tomato sauce.  Masseria has a robust wine program as well as a large craft cocktail list (we tried a type of mojito that included beer in it…sounds strange but it worked).

Sample Menu at Masseria

Sample Menu at Masseria

The menu is a tasting menu (either three or six courses) where you can choose what you want from the menu.  The menu is broken up by antipasti, pastas, fish/seafood, and meat (see sample menu above).  On the pasta front, we tried the linguine with salami and a spicy XO sauce as well as the open faced ravioli with rock shrimp.  Both were wonderful with the spicy XO sauce packing a real punch.  From the seafood category, we tried the summer softshell crab dish featuring two halved crabs in a bed of summer corn.  The soft shells were delicately sauteed and topped with basil blossoms, which added a strong basil flavor.  The combination of the corn and the basil blossoms made it taste like pure summer. Continue reading

Maketto Launches Rewards Program

29 Jul

Maketto (1351 H Street, NE) has launched a loyalty/rewards program for its coffee service.  After you buy 10 coffees, you will get one free.  They are handing out punch-cards to everyone who purchases a coffee.  As frequent patrons of Maketto, we plan on fully taking advantage.

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