Archive for the ‘DC Events’ Category
NoVA Mac and Cheese Festival – Gettin’ Cheesey in Ballston, VA!
Here we go – Gettin’ Cheesey in Northern Virginia – we’re organizing th NoVA Mac and Cheese Festival on October 5th, 2019 on N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 – https://www.facebook.com/events/375202693206246/
Taco, Beer, Tequila Festival is Back – 2nd Year with More Tacos, Tequila, Margaritas & Beer
Taco ‘Bout Fun – Taco, Beer, Tequila Festival is Back for our 2nd Year!
We’re Back – Taco, Beer, Tequila Festival is back for our 2nd year at the Yards Park, 136 N St., SE, Washington, D.C. on May 12th, 2018!
We’re Super Excited to have more Great Taco Vendors – many are returning from last year, but we’re also adding some interesting new taco makers who want to showcase that the taco is more than just a Tuesday thing! You can purchase your tickets at Taco, Beer, Tequila Festival Tickets – this is a 2 Session Event on Saturday. $45/person is General Admission which includes 3 hour access to the Festival, 4 Taco Tickets (good for all tacos), 1 Margarita and 8 – 5 oz. beer samples. Tequila Ticket is also 3 hour access, 5 Taco Tickets, 1 Margarita and 10 – 5 oz. beer samples and also includes 10 – 1 oz. Tequila/Mezcal samples within the Tequila Pavilion. VIP is 4 hour access (1 hour early), 5 Taco Tickets, 1 Margarita and 10 – 5 oz. beer samples, 10 – 1 oz. Tequila/Mezcal samples within the Tequila Pavilion, Private tent with private bathrooms and a special rare Tequila Tasting.
Get Your Tickets before this is Sold Out – last year we have over 4,500 people and this year we have a much better date in May. As Always…
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Whisky or Whiskey – It’s Still Hot in the U.S.!
American Whiskey is Hot right now..but Whisky (the spelling in the UK .. ) is also on the comeback run – especially Scotch!
Whisky Live is coming back to New York and Washington, D.C. -the Whisky Live DC Event has special $99 priced Tickets Here and it’s on Saturday, March 5th, 2016. If it’s close to last year’s quality, it’s a steal..On the other hand, if money is no object, or you really want to step up your game, if you’re in Washington, D.C. the same week, you could also attend the 1st Year for Washington, D.C. WhiskyFest on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 put on by the Wine Spectator/Malt Advocate people. This event Sells Out every year in other markets (in Chicago it sells out in less than 1 day!), because it’s frankly worth it! Yes, the ticket is $245 (which says Early Bird – but I think that price will remain until it’s Sold Out..), but you truly get what you pay for!
Some more interesting whisk(e)y events coming up in March 2016 include a Distillery University 5 Day Hands-On Workshop in Spokane, Washington. It’s priced at $1,999 (the price goes up to $2,499 on February 22nd) which is actually very reasonable – I’ve seen some of these workshops sell for $5K and above..and if you figure in that they have alot of great experts teaching the class – Plus you get hands-on at an actual Distillery – Tinbender Craft Distillery – what a great way to become part of the Craft Spirit Revolution!
On Saturday, March 12, 2016, the Washington Distillers Guild presents the South Sound Spirits Gathering at the Olympic Flight Museum in Tumwater, WA.
Looking around the rest of the U.S. for craft spirit events and festivals: NYC will have both the Whiskies and Spirits Conference and Whisky Live – New York the same week – February 23rd and 24th, respectively at Chelsea Piers. The Week after on March 3rd is the 7th Annual Good Spirits which is also chefs and cocktails.
The Illinois Craft Distiller’s Guild is holding Distillinois at the Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago on March 1, 2016 – it will feature almost exclusively craft distillers from Illinois. WhiskeyFest Chicago sold out in a matter of minutes, but it’s being held March 18th at the Hyatt Regency.
Friday, March 4, 2016 hop in your private jet and head over to Las Vegas for the Nth Ultimate Whiskey Experience at the Encore at the Wynn – truly a high-roller event with tickets starting at $525 – but you can spend way more if you add on some more unique experiences offered!
Heading to California, San Jose has the Whiskies of the World on Thursday, March 24th at the San Pedro Square Market and Whiskies of the World San Francisco on Saturday, March 26th at Pier 3 on the Embarcardero.
April has a few more Spirits events – but that will be a future posting – Cheers to the recognition of a major shift in America’s drinking habits!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Yum, Yum, EmporiYum!
Yummy in Your Tummy at Emporiyum at Union Market’s, Dock 5 – one of the last events at this foodie destination!
I attended my first Emporiyum on Saturday, November 14, 2015 in Washington, D.C. and found a boatload of new artisans and stories of small local food artisans. My first impression of this event designed to be a “Meet Eat Shop” by the organizer’s pen was one of slight fear – I don’t mind crowds, but I am fearful of children running loose and amok around Foodie adults. No worries – for whatever reason, the kiddies were pretty well-behaved – this is likely because the adults were in their own fantasy land, and the children knew better than to ruin Foodie Mommy’s chance to feast on chocokombuchanola and other treats!
Emporiyum comprised the major food categories, those categories being chocolate, booze and pork and some other delicious fillers like candy (had some awesome caramels from Mouth Party Caramels – I think these should be a food category as well!) and of course Kombucha – I think Craft Kombucha and other makers of this fermented/pro-biotic spritzed up to reduce the actual vinegary taste product are on to something – another relatively new drink category – tonics. I of course needed a cocktail (it was after noon of course!) and the wonderful True Tonics gentleman took goo care of me! Some other noteworthy beverages:
Thunderbeast – no booze in this, but this is root beer with character!
Charm City Meadworks – I said tonic, right? Well this is honey-based and alcoholic – honey+alcohol=deliciousness – and you don’t have to mix it! Use this with a little water or lemonade spritzer after a hot yoga workout to revive you – yes!
One Eight Distilling – Max said Hi and remembered me – that and the fact they make great white whiskey and gin .. I stopped by at their facility nearby after the show, and I can barely remember the rest of the day!
Rujero Singani – Singani..the next Pisco..
Element Shrub – yes, it’s vinegar based..but for us vinegar lovers, I’ve always wondered how lemonade vs vinegarade would taste – hey, acid is acid, lemons are not local, use local made vinegar in your ade’s first.
And of course, I have to talk about Route 11’s potato chips – here’s a great recent article in the Washington Post about Sarah Cohen and how her family started this Regional chiphouse. And this was a twofer..right around the corner was Jeremiah “Bullfrog” Cohen, Sarah’s brother with his food business – Bullfrog Bagels and this tagline “Great people, making great food, for great people. #CARPEBAGEL” – just plain weird, but hey the Bagels are really Great!
So many great foods and drinks – I was most impressed by the visual presentation of Buredo – I kept wondering why a Sushi bar was in the middle of Emporiyum and then it struck me – this is the new sushi/burrito mashup that will probably storm America just like donut bacon cheeseburgers and cronuts – Americans just love mashups – I mean, we invented peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
My conclusion on Emporiyum? It was a fun romp among about 100 food vendors which covered more than just snacky snacks but both real food and real drink. I’d prefer the event if it were 21 and over, but the kids seemed to be in designated areas (event organizers take note – parents and kids seem to need to sit – those alarming outbursts that seem to happen at the most opportune times don’t last long – give this stressed out demographic side seating!). If you paid $15 or whatever (hey, LivingSocial had a deal, so don’t bitch if you didn’t get one!) you shouldn’t expect a free meal – another peave of mine – the “I bought a ticket and it’s a free-for-all-stuff-your-face-get-my-money’s-worth” crowd should get over it, and expect to dish out an additional $15-$25 for lunch and snacks. This is also essentially a bazaar/emporium so a great time to stock up on snacks and other gourmet foods. There were easily 1,000+ people at the event, but crowd control was good – I think the fact that the event was 4 to 5 hours long made people realize that nothing would run out – I also went on Day 1 a Saturday which is often a madhouse, but again, people seemed pretty well behaved. The demographic was solid female 20 and 30 something and my impression is they loved it – a great day out, shopping, munching, and hanging with friends. Cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Taste Ambassador, TasteUSA
DC Beer Festivals Kick In – 2015 Fall Issue
DC Beer Festival season kicks in again – an amazing number of craft beer festivals – from 1-price all you can drink to the Mega Snallygaster “money is no obect” – there are festivals for the craft beer lover this Fall, 2015
As the head of TasteUSA, it’s my job to attend and cover as many food and drink festivals in the U.S. as possible – and since DC is my home base, here’s some upcoming events and maybe a recap or 2 to help you plan your Festival Season.
Beer, Bourbon & BBQ (September 19th, 2015 – Tyson’s Corner – but this festival visits many different cities during the season)- Trigger Agency’s series of over the top porkiness (?porkyness?) events that combine too much of what every hearty foodie wants: pigliciousness, Bourbon and of course craft brews! Expect more bacon too – it seems this is the current foodie draw to over-the-top events. Medium on the Beer Geek/Bourbon Geek scale, Trigger really specializes in a more laid-back vibe for the city slickers who want to just throw on some jeans and kick back a bit!
Arlington Backyard Beer Festival (September 19th, 2015 – Arlington Gateway, Rosslyn, VA) – although a first year event, the Organizers have put together multiple other local beer festivals including Drink the World Beer Festival and All-American Beer Festival . Expect a nice selection of craft beers and really great food trucks for food – the price is also right – you can save 30% off the ticket price at our site with promo code “tasteusa” and the VIP Tickets are only $45 before discount!
Das Best Oktoberfest (September 26th, 2015 – National Harbor, MD) – Hey, again you can get discounted tickets – only $29 for VIP all-you-can-drink – another Trigger Agency event that is very popular. You can do the German Oktoberfest thing, or simply enjoy lot’s of great beer – and since our discounted price is $29/per person (VIP) – you get a very affordable event to enjoy craft beers at!
Past Events (hey, they’ll be back next year!)
Snallygaster 2015 – Holy Smokes, this is one Great and expensive craft beer festival – Very High on the Beer Geek scale, maybe an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10! 300+ beers this year and many rare, cask, unique examples of hops, grain and yeast combined in an amazing array of choices. I actually tried a beer that
Annapolis Craft Beer & Music Festival – September 12th, 2015 – Outside the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, this event is always fun and has a nice selection of local beers including Jail Break, Oliver Breweries, and Heavy Seas.
Have fun at upcoming craft beer festivals – I’ll include an article soon on new food and drink events at TasteUSA – Cheer!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Beer, Bacon, Booze..Festivals That Is!
We’ve hit the big Foodie Festival Season in Washington, D.C. now that it’s the first week in May..more Bacon Festivals, more Beer Festivals, more Booze Festivals..ohh, and a few wine festivals, food crawls, Big Charity high-ticket dinners..ohhand of course DC Lamb Jam .. here it goes, a fun rollick through the Washington, D.C. Foodie Festival Season..
Saturday, May 9th, 2015 – DC Craft Beer and Cider Festival – Hey, they added Ciders and more Speciality craft beers impossibly hard to find.. Did I mention that Mess Hall (the Food Incubator) is Catering the event?
VinoFest, May 9th, 2015 – More Music than Foodie, but with over 20 wines included and some awesome food, I can see getting my boogie on and sipping away at this one
Beer, Bacon & Music Festival , May 16th, 2015, Frederick Fairgrounds – C’mon you got all the good stuff – plenty of craft beers, bacon both in 2 Tons to eat right away, and a bevy of food trucks and Bacon purveyors..and frankly a bit away from the city..
DC Lamb Jam , May 17th, 2015 – This is a Serious Chefstravaganza – 17 chefs, tons of food, wine, craft beer and Foodie Heaven – Chefs competing to win your tastebuds over .. and only $60.. c’mon, I’ve spent more than that at a Food Truck Festivals (well, I promote them!)
St. Michael’s BrewFest, May 30th, 2015 – hey sometimes you gotta get away and visit the Eastern Shore..I mean this could be a whole weekend, especially if you visit Lyon Distillery and other distilleries and breweries around the corner..I mean, that’s travelling for food and drink!
DCIST List Here – Hey, check out this short list from DCist..there are actually more Bacon Festivals coming, more beer, wine, cocktail festivals..and well..this just forces me to drink on the Job – Cheers!
Eater DC Added some events like Edible DC’s Cocktail Derby ..
And of course Fritz Hahn’s Going Out Guide Washington Post Article for 2015 Beer Festivals
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Getting’ Piggy – Cochon 555 DC 2015
Cochon 555 Is the Pigging Party That Never Stops Giving!
Making Old Fashioneds Whistlepig Cocktail
Mr. Piggy Says “Hello”
Mike Isabella Being Piggie!Mandu – the Piggie Winners! Yona Piggie! Piggie Pieces (Heritage!) Piggy Heart (Actually, Beef Heart – but REALLY Good!) Piggy Jowl with Spike Mendelsohn of Bearnaise Ummmm…Bacon!
DC Drinks Invitational Gets Some Buzz
Edible DC has Arrived in Washington, D.C. with a fantastic Bang of an Event – Drinks Invitational held on Thursday, February 19, 2015. I truly had a great time at the Drinks Invitational which both introduced and celebrated the craft spirits/craft drinks revival that’s occurring throughout the Washington, D.C. area and also around the U.S. More than just a tasting, this event was well-laid out, had decent food (which could actually be eaten as a full-meal – what a rarity at these events!) and a pleasant vibe.
I entered the event on a really cold evening – maybe it was 15 degrees Fahrenheit, but the wind was swirling and the area seemed bleak – it was so refreshing once I arrived that I decided just to take in the event and not to take too many notes or worry about the meaning of the event.
I didn’t get a chance to taste everything (I’ve had Catoctin Creek, Greenhat Gin, Lyon Distilling (which I tasted their really molasseseey Dark Rum back at the DC Rum-B-Que!) and Bloomery Sweetshine’s spirits in the past and they’re quite good!), so I focused more on newer products and things I hadn’t heard of like Charm City Meadworks. Everyone knows that Cider is hot right now, but Mead is probably the next up-and-comer. The problem with Mead may be it’s image and history – it was known as the drink of the Middle Ages..or maybe it was the Vikings – who knows, but it seems almost pre-historic. I sampled both their Wildflower Draft Mead at 6.9% ABV and their Rosemary Still Mead at 12% ABV – the latter was truly funky and delicious and very memorable – It wasn’t particularly sweet and the rosemary and other flavors from the fermented honey gave it a knotch up in flavor to say a hoppy craft beer. Keep an eye out for them – Mead is the next cider/craft beer!
Other drinks I tasted that caught my attention included the Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur that really tasted great in a Ginger Beer style cocktail, a really interesting Honeydew Jalapeño Shrub by Element Shrub , some great Root Beers by Thunder Beast , and a cool Cocktail with One Eight Distillings Ivy City Gin !
All In all, a really fantastic evening with cool cats company – I didn’t even mention that it was a people mix of hipster, foodie, and DC Intelligentsia..well, maybe not so much the latter, but being a Foodie, I can be pretty judgmental! Let’s just say that DC is really coming into it’s own on the culinary and drinks scene – we’re not really copying anyone anymore – we’ve created our own intense, cerebral, juxtaposed Cocktail scene which is putting us on the a distinctive map of Taste!
Charlie Adler, “I Drink on the Job”
Capital Food Fight Always Knocks Me Out – Round 2
Foodie Celebrity Alert..
Yes, I went to my 2nd round at Capital Food Fight in Washington, D.C. at the Ron Reagan Building on Monday, November 11th, 2013. Getting to taste 60+ chefs, hobnobbing with Celebrity Chefs like Carla Hall, and Jose Andres and just soaking in the restaurant/hospitality way of life is such a treat!
This annual extraganza raises $100,000s of dollars for DC Central Kitchen and also has the added benefit of raising the profile of Washington, D.C. as a True Foodie City – we always appreciate the added push! What really fascinates me about these mega-restaurant promotional events is there really isn’t one kind of crowd that attends – there are the diverse interests of DC from Lobbiests with clients, to Foodies/Restaurant people who either produce/make the dishes or are somehow connected with the industry. It’s definitely a schmoozerama, but it’s also a chance to meet some of the Big Name out of town chefs/celebrities like Tom Colicchio from Top Chef, Rick Bayless, Todd English, Art Smith and Battling Chefs Erik Bruner-Yang, Bertrand Chemel, Spike Gjerde and Anthony Lombardo.
Dishes I Loved:
-Smoked Oyster Dish with Lamb Bacon by Beuchert’s Saloon – 3 reasons: smoke, oysters and bacon (in this case from the lamb neck!) – gets points for originality, interesting blend of sea/land and of course tastyness!
-Pulpo’s creative Shrimp Ceviche – I actually thought it was lobster and it had Aquavit in it – so booze and seafood combined!
-Farmer’s Fishers Crab Bisque – I’m not sure if that’s the name of the dish, but it had tons of crab in it – sweet!
-Slider from PJ Clarke’s – so lowbrow – Love It!
And many more..
Kudo’s to the Bloomery Plantation folks who allowed me (Illegally – Press was denigrated to the regular $250 Riff-Raff fold..) into the Chairman’s Double-Secret VIP area upstairs where I had their great cocktails, a wonderful 25 year old XO Cognac and got to hang with Carla Hall and Jose Andres before I decided that I actually wanted to taste the dishes downstairs!
And the Winner of the Battling Chef Competition: Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen!
Ohh, and purely for SEO, here’s the list of Restaurants that participated: 1789
Art & Soul
Belga Café / Btoo
Blue Duck Tavern
Charlie Palmer Steak
Eat the Rich
Equinox / Salamander Resort
Good Stuff Eatery
Hank’s Oyster Bar
Hill Country BBQ
Ici Urban Bistro
Jackson 20 / The Grille at Morrison House
Kaz Sushi Bistro
Mint Gastropub by Malcolm Mitchell
Nick’s River Side Grill
Ping Pong Dim Sum
Rappahannock River Oysters
Santa Lucia Coffee
Taberna del Alabardero Restaurant
Teddy and the Bully Bar
Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place
Trummer’s on Main
More DC, VA and MD Wine Dinners in Fall of 2013
I’ve loved attending wine dinners in the Washington, D.C. area (Northern Virginia and Maryland too!) for the past 15 years over at TasteDC . I’m sort of a wine dinner specialist – so what exactly does that mean? It basically means that I understand and consume plenty of wine, and the whole concept of creating a dinner around wine and food pairing just seems natural to me – and quite enjoyable!
My baby TasteDC just got hired to promote a series of wine dinners for a very reputable local Spanish restaurant chain – La Tasca Restaurants. I like both their concept and their willingness to use wine dinners and cooking classes as a smart way to extend their brand. Today’s restaurant goer has so many choices, but what will get her attention in the crowded restaurant scene. How about treating going out to eat as an experience for all the senses and not just an excuse to fill the belly? Just from experience, people who attend wine dinners are generally not only Foodies, but they’re also more intelligent, better paid, travel more and appreciate the nuances of pairing food and wine in a multi-course dinner. Sound snooty? Actually, wine dinners can be really fun, and often the banter and conversations are very interesting and entertaining!
Here’s a series of Washington, DC wine dinners, Virginia wine dinners and Maryland wine dinners that TasteDC is promoting/marketing for La Tasca:
4-Course Torres Spanish Wine Dinners,$75 inclusive of food, wine, tax & tip
Various Dates and La Tasca Locations – See Below
Fall Torres Wine Festival Dinners
8 Wines * 4 Course Dinner * Prize Trip to Spain * Flamenco Show
La Tasca — Washington, DC 722 7th Street NW, November 13th, Wednesday (6-9 pm)
La Tasca – Arlington, VA 2900 Wilson Blvd, November 14th, Thursday (6-9 pm)
La Tasca-Baltimore, 201 E Pratt St, November 16th, Saturday (6-9 pm)
La Tasca – Rockville 141 Gibbs St, November 19th, Tuesday (6-9 pm)
La Tasca – Alexandria 607 King St, November 24th, Sunday (6-9 pm)
Fall Torres Wine Festival Dinners
8 Wines | 4 Course Dinner | Prize Trip to Spain | Flamenco Show
An Exciting Evening!
We are thrilled to invite you to join us for an incredible evening, complete with tastings of eight notable wines led by the passionate and amazing folks at Torres Wines. In addition, enjoy a four-course dinner prepared by executive chef Josu Zubikarai, an open bar, an exclusive flamenco performance, and a small gift to take with you. And let’s not forget that, as part of the Torres Wine Festival, all guests will be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Barcelona, Spain!
Have you ever thought of wine as art? Now is your chance. This is definitely one you don’t want to miss!
When and Where?
We are hosting Torres Wine Dinners at all of our La Tasca locations. Every event will be held from 6-9pm. If events reach capacity, we will add additional dates.
It’s Cocktail (Half) Hour
For the first half hour, from 6–6:30, a choice of sangrias and signature appetizers will be served. During this time we will also introduce our Torres host, who will lead the wine tasting for the evening.
Wine, Anyone? Oh, and Dinner Too
Paella Square Prepared by Chef Josu, dinner will be served over three courses. At moments during dinner, guests will be led through a tasting (and a fascinating history) of some of Spain’s most interesting wines, stretching across various regions and including popular varietals like verdejo and tempranillo. Not a wine connoisseur? No worries, this is a perfect way to learn and get excited about wine.
Dessert will be served following dinner, along with coffee and teas and a featured dessert wine.
During dessert, watch the passion and the heritage of Spain come to life with a spirited flamenco performance from the most well-known dancers and musicians in the area.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
The cost of the event is $75 per guest and is all-inclusive — the wine tasting, dinner, all beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), dessert, flamenco performance and all taxes and gratuities are covered in the ticket price. Dress is casual and accommodations will be made for guests with any dietary restrictions.
To register for the event, please select one of the event dates shown on the calendar to the right. After selecting a date, scroll down the event details and click on “Book Now”. All guests will be entered for the chance to win a trip for two to Barcelona in 2014. Details on this contest and prize are being finalized, but information will be updated at the link on the right.