November 16th, 2015 • No Comments
Yummy in Your Tummy at Emporiyum at Union Market’s, Dock 5 – one of the last events at this foodie destination!
DC’s own True Tonics
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!
More Kombucha from Hex Elements!
District Donuts Creme Brulee on Fire!
Craft Kombucha at Emporiyum
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
July 28th, 2013 • No Comments
Union Market had a Memorable Craft Beer Shindig on Saturday, July 27th, 2013..
I attended the Eat Local First Farm to Street Party on a sunny day with a late outpour that brought true Foodies together..Capital Kombucha, Route 11 Potato Chips, Uncle Brutha’s Hot Sauce, Vigilante Coffee and a whole slew of local foodies, artisans, restaurants and craft beers all came together to create a true Foodie Gathering!
Craft Beer is really Hot in DC right now, and here’s the list of craft beers that Meridian Pint sponsored and poured at the event:
Recent List of Local beers served at the Union Market “Eat Local First” Block Party –
3 Stars Citra & Lemon Peel Saison
Blue Mountain Full Nelson Pale Ale
Brewer’s Art Parking Lot Beer
DC Brau The Tradition
Devils Backbone Vienna Lager
Dogfish Head Festina Peche
Evolution Lot 3 IPA
Flying Dog UnderDog
Franklin’s Mandarin Summer
Heavy Seas Loose Cannon
Lost Rhino Meridian Kolsch
Mad Fox Post Meridian Schwarzbier
Monocacy Riot Rye
Oliver Modern Life Is Rubbish
Port City Optimal Wit
Stillwater Cellar Door
Troegs Perpetual IPA
Union Balt Altbier
I enjoyed quite a few of the beers – 6 to be exact, but I had recently tried the Stillwater Cellar Door at Birreria in Georgeotwn, and I’ve had the Port City Optimal Wit many times at local bars. Since it’s Summer, most of the offerings were lighter, lower in alcohol beers to refresh – it was about 90 degrees until the rains came!
Overall, the crowd was pretty young – I would say even younger than the average Union Market crowd, and I would assume that’s because of the nature of the event: an outdoor affair with great craft beers. To really tell you what it was like is impossible – the new DC Foodie and craft beer scene has to be experienced..so many people with exciting ideas, lofty goals and unique perspectives on what the future will hold. Looking at a crystal ball, my first assumption is that coffee is really happening – quite a few companies are opening roasting facilities soon and I’ll keep readers up to date on that. Kombucha is here and with over 3 vendors at the event, I think you’ll start seeing more in markets. The one question spot is food delivery – will people engage in websites that deliver specific ingredients with recipe instructions (I’m extremely skeptical) or more general delivery of food..it’s hard to say, but it’s also hard to know – personally, I still shop for all my ingredients at local stores, but honestly the strange behavior of shoppers (weird outbursts, unfriendly staff, and frankly limited selections) may change that for me soon – who knows..
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
March 4th, 2013 • No Comments
I wanted to learn how to make the juiciest fried chicken and fluffiest biscuits in DC..
Chicken in the Fryer..
I had the really great luck to attend a cooking class on Thursday, February 28th, 2013 at a totally new facility in DC – the Union Kitchen. So you may ask what exactly IS Union Kitchen? That actually might be hard to explain, but let me give it a try – it’s a place for Start-Up food businesses to go the next level in production and ultimately business success. But not always..it’s also a commercial kitchen for Food Trucks and other food producers who can schedule a time and then produce their product for commercial purposes..but it’s also one more thing – a potentially excellent venue for hands-on cooking classes and events. In a nutshell, it’s an exciting opportunity for food ventures in DC to go to the next level – I was PSYCHED to go to this event! (Note: Here’s a really good explanation by City Paper )
Union Kitchen – DC’s Newest Food Business Incubator!
The Chef: I stole this from the Chef’s bio on her website, but I also would like to add that the chef was excellent at organizing and teaching a cooking class – she had wonderful rapport with the 10 attendees and she was very organized and straight to the point of the class – let’s get cookin’! Jessica also mentioned to me that she’s working on a commercial recipe for her Southern pimento cheese ..but I didn’t get much detail, I’m sure there will be more to tell..From her page: Jessica O’Neal started JLOkitchens to share her love of Southern cuisine with the District. She teaches cooking classes at CulinAerie, is a personal chef for a very tall man and is currently developing a line of Southern food products at Union Kitchen. She will gladly trade you her tasty pimento cheese for honest feedback and/or champagne.
The Class: This class was held in a commercial kitchen, so we used the same industrial equipment that all of the commercial businesses use, but our recipe was for producing similar amounts to what we would make at home. We got right down to cracking eggs, adding them to the flour with hunks of butter and making biscuits. The basic format was that we were shown how to make each dish with basic recipes and then broken down into groups to cook for the group.
The Secret to Great Biscuits: 1) cut in half..
Step 2: Layer and Press!
–Sweet Potato Herb Biscuits with Honey Butter – I finally learned the secret of making great biscuits – hunks of butter and folding the flour and compressing to create layers for steam and flakiness..
–Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken – I actually missed the recipe for this part and basically all I did was flip some fried chicken (my fault – I was off on a tour of the facility!)-a much longer than expected slow fry in the oil made this chicken both crispy and cooked through..but the meat was really juicy – I ate it down to the bone!
-Creamy Cheddar Grits with Smoky Greens – this is actually 2 dishes, but they were combined. The secret is in both the type of corn grits and in the way they are ground – stone ground is best. And cheese was added at the very end only as a topping, rather than in the cooking process. We used curly Kale, but any green works for this dish.
–Cornbread Custard with Berry Coulis – this was a very simple dessert essentially using store bought corn bread, breaking it up and adding eggs and milk into a custard and heating at a relatively low temperature – simple, but classic comfort food!
-Bourbon Whipped Cream – real Bourbon..I should know, I was sipping some of that Jim Beam during the class..
Charlie Adler..cooking on the Job!
Conclusion: This was a really fun event in a great location..I was warned about this neighborhood, but when I found the space (it was a little hidden – but it’s an old warehouse building, c’mon!) and parking in front, I began to think – people are just living in the past..this facility IS the future of DC and the entrepreneurs who run it are the next wave for DC. Jessica gave a great cooking class and the facility is perfect for a multitude of events – there’s even additional spaces for Pop-Up Dinners, wine tastings and more culinary endeavors. OK, so it’s a bit edgy, but you know the expression – you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette – Cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
The class is just getting started..
February 22nd, 2013 • No Comments
Guest Post by Christina Portz – “Just the Bottle”
Note: This Event was listed on TasteDC’s site as “South African Wine Tasting”
South African Wine Tasting
Last night I joined the Young Winos of DC including the amazing Girl Meets Glass for a South African wine tasting at Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits in Union Market.
We paid a small fee of $10 and sampled –
Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc Constantia WO 2011 ($15.29 special bottle price)
De Morgenzon Chardonnay DMZ Stellenbosch WO 2012 ($16.19 special bottle price)
A.A. Badenhorst Secateurs Red Blend Swartland Coastal Region 2011
($14.39 special bottle price)
Kanonkop Kadette Red Blend Stellenbosch WO South Africa 2010
($14.39 special bottle price)
The wines we tasted were offered for 10% off. My favorite was the
Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc Constantia WO 2011. It had wonderful acidity, light citrus notes and spice on the finish. The De Morgenzon Chardonnay DMZ Stellenbosch WO 2012 was also incredibly well done. It had creamy notes without being overly buttery or vanilla. There was some nice fruit midpalate.
Girl Meets Glass really enjoyed the reds especially the A.A. Badenhorst Secateurs Red Blend Swartland Coastal Region 2011. It was reminiscent of a GSM blend. The Kanonkop Kadette Red Blend Stellenbosch WO South Africa 2010 is one of the most well known and extremely well done wines from South Africa. It’s a bigger red with tobacco notes with a smooth finish.
We were lucky enough to have Eric Rohleder, Founder and Owner, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, leading our tasting. He is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, but extremely down to Earth. I can’t wait to go back to the shop as the selection is well-curated and still affordable. They also had Hop Slam!!
After the wine, I continued the fun to Penn Social for my game show league. We played Pyramid and I was robbed. I did very well at Groundhog Day category. I ended up giving clues to my teammate for synonyms for friends and we didn’t get one. Sigh. Therefore, I stole a competitor’s beer. Next week, he’s going down.