Union Social (100 Florida Avenue, NE) will be hosting a Thanksgiving Day feast for anyone in DC looking to eat out at a restaurant. Starting at 6 pm, there will be an hour long complimentary cocktail hour, followed by a buffet style Thanksgiving dinner at 7 pm until 9 pm. Union Social will have a communal table set up for solo diners to eat together, and dinner will be $25 per person.
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.
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.
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
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.
Good news for NoMa today–Wunder Garten, the beer garden planned for 150 M Street, NE in NoMa, is planning on opening in the month of May. You can see our preview here. Wunder Garten received building permits this month and over the past several days we have noticed light construction activity taking place inside.
Complete press release from NoMa BID:
NoMa Beer Garden Opens in May
WASHINGTON, DC, April 30, 2015 — In May, Wunder Garten beer garden is opening at 150 M Street, NE, just steps from the NoMa/Gallaudet U Metro station. The beer garden will occupy the last parcel in the 2.5 million SF Constitution Square development. The 300-seat venue is styled as a Bavarian beer garden and is a place neighbors and friends can meet, socialize,or take an outdoor education class with REI. The drink menu will feature Bavarian, Austrian, and German beers, as well as regional microbrews. Food will be provided by a rotating selection of the region’s most popular food trucks.
“I’m looking forward to sitting down and having a Hefeweizen with my friends,” said Robin-Eve Jasper, President of the NoMa Business Improvement District. “We’re tickled to combine great outdoor education, craft beers and good food in a fun neighborhood space.”
Wunder Garten is operated by Proust Partners, which is owned by Christopher Lynch (co-owner of L’Enfant Cafe in Adams Morgan) and Biva Ranjeet. Munich native Allon Pultuskier advised on the beer garden’s design and ambiance. The owners have been working with property owner StonebridgeCarras and the NoMa BID over the last year on this initiative.
REI, which is opening a 52,000 SF flagship store in the Uline Arena just a few feet away, will hold free classes at the beer garden on a wide range of topics on how to live a life outside. Whether locals want to learn a new activity or advance their skills, REI will offer its expertise on bike repairs, camping, the best local outdoor destinations and more. REI will also host fun events like presentations from outdoor personalities and celebrations of the local nonprofits that take care of DC’s trails, bike lanes and rivers.
Wunder Garten will use umbrellas and tents to shade benches and tables on the rear of the lot. Decorative landscaping will create a causal and inviting atmosphere and transform a currently unused lot into an urban oasis.
“We are excited to provide an inviting space for the neighborhood and the city to gather, enjoy themselves outdoors, and have a beer,” said Christopher Lynch. “With all the rapid growth in NoMa, bars and recreational spaces were two things we have consistently heard that residents want.”
Operating hours are as follows:
Monday — Thursday: 4 PM to 10 PM
Friday: 12 PM to 12 AM
Saturday: 12 PM to 12 AM
Sunday: 12 PM to 10 PM
For more information, visit wundergartendc.com.