Category Archives: Food

Good Food Markets Opens – Offers A New Local Grocery Option

Yesterday Good Food Markets in Woodridge opened for business. We stopped by to check it out and posted the photos below. The store is compact but offers a lot in the way of grocery staples, and offers a selection of prepared foods for those on the run. We liked that they had a balance of higher end products (organic, etc.) and main stream brands and products. The prices seemed on par with larger grocery chains and the owners are open to stocking items at the request of neighborhood patrons. Notably, we didn’t see any beer or wine, but we understand that will be coming soon. The store will have a grand opening on Saturday, January 24th. Good Food Market is located at 2006 Rhode Island Avenue NE and will be open from 9 am- 9 pm everyday.

New Italian Restaurant, Masseria, To Open Near Union Market This Spring

union market dc opening 090912 1We were excited to read in this City Paper article that Masseria, a new Italian restaurant at 1344 4th St. NE will be opening this spring.From the article:

Former Bibiana chef Nicholas Stefanelli is breaking out on his own to open an Italian restaurant with influences from southern regions like Puglia and Sicily, where his family comes from. But that doesn’t mean the place will be seafood-centric: “Burrata is from Puglia. There’s a lot of salumi that’s from down south that most people don’t usually see here because they’re not the big famous ones,” Stefanelli says. The menu will have three-, five-, and eight-course options where diners can mix and match which appetizers, pastas, or fish and meat they want to include in their prix-fixe meal. “If you want three courses of pasta, you can have three courses of pasta,” he says. The bar will offer dishes a la carte. Located in an old produce market near Union Market, Masseria will have a large garden, a covered atrium, and an indoor-outdoor bar serving Italian aperitifs and wine. Stefanelli is heading to Italy in January for a research trip that will help guide the menu. Stay tuned for pop-ups when he gets back.

Healthy Fast Food Restaurant, Hälsa, Opens Today At Monroe Street Market

In October we wrote about Hälsa, a healthy fast food dining concept coming to Monroe Street Market. We are happy to report that they are opening today. Check out this Tweet from the restaurant and this write up from the Washington Post.

From the Washington Post article:

The building block of the restaurant is the “market plate,” a dish that ranges from $12 to $16, and gives you your choice of protein (fish, chicken, pork or vegetarian), grain, seasonal side and greens.

Hälsa is located at 655 Michigan Ave., NE. Best of luck to this new business!

Brookland Pint Offers 4 Course Dinner With Craft Beer Toast For NYE

The list of local establishments offering New Years Eve Parties keeps on growing! Brookland Pint is the latest Brookland area restaurant to announce their NYE plans. Unlike other neighborhood parties, this celebration will have no DJ and instead, is going with a four course dinner for $45 that features items like Pear-Stuffed Quail with Balsamic Glaze and New England Lobster. Brookland Pint is located at 716 Monroe Street, NE (Ph: 202-758-2757).



Busboy’s And Poets To Open With A New Years Eve Party

We thought readers would like to know that the Busboy’s and Poets location at Monroe Street Market will be opening with a bang this New Year’s Eve. From their Twitter feed:

Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased here. From the event page:

Busboys and Poets is throwing the quirkiest new year’s bash in DC – all to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank and DC Youth Slam Team!
Fight hunger and help young poets thrive as you welcome the new year with the hottest DJs, live dancers and music, games, food, 2 drinks per person with additional drink specials all night, interactive art, burlesque in the nerd, midnight countdown and more.

Busboy’s and Poets is located at 625 Monroe Street NE.

Little Ricky’s Seeks To Re-Open As Gin Rummy Lounge – ANC Seeks Feedback

Lola Pol, Owner of Little Ricky's,  soon to be Gin Rummy
Lola Pol, Owner of Little Ricky’s, soon to be Gin Rummy

In July we wrote about how popular Brookland restaurant, Little Ricky’s, was taking a summer break. Since then, there has been little news about its re-opening. Observant neighbors began noticing activity recently, and what looks like a bit of a renovation. We spoke with Lola Pol, owner of Little Ricky’s last week and asked her what’s up. While she was short on details, she shared that she plans to transform the format from a restaurant to more of a chic lounge called Gin Rummy. Still, fans of Little Ricky’s Chef Miguel shouldn’t worry, as he is still on board and there will be a strong food component to the lounge concept.

As a matter of fact, most of the Little Ricky’s team never really went away. When the restaurant closed, Lola and her team already had a thriving catering business going. Lola describes it as “…so labor intensive. Sometimes we have six parties a day.” The success of the catering business has allowed her the freedom and time to “keep paying the bills” while developing the new Gin Rummy concept. Being tight lipped about the new lounge concept is part of her marketing strategy to build buzz ahead of the re-opening, tentatively scheduled for early December. Still, Lola understands that the liquor license changes required to make her vision a reality, which include extended hours, dancing and live music, require sharing some basic details with the community. As a Brookland resident and sophisticated working mother of two young boys, Lola said, “it’s going to be the type of place that I would want to go to.” And, knowing what she does about  her neighbors and the clientele she had at Little Ricky’s, she said “it will be really fun for the neighborhood, and for everybody”.

Unfortunately, we were unable to attend a recent “sneak peek” event at the restaurant, but we spoke with a neighbor who did attend and she said that the vibe was “upscale”, and that it reminded her of South Beach, Miami. Sounds great to us. However, there is the matter of the liquor license changes. I asked ANC Commissioner Ursula Higgins, the Commissioner for ANC 5B02 (where the restaurant is) her thoughts on the proposed changes.  Here is what she had to say:

The only thing that I can state is, If we want to make a difference and have transparency, we as a community need to speak out.  I can’t say personally whether or not this would be a good move, but the community can.  I respresent them, I depend on them for their insight on what is or isn’t in the best interest of the 5B02 SMD.  Thank you.

This is absolutely fair. If you would like to let Commissioner Higgins know what you think, she asks that you contact her directly. For more details on what exactly the liquor license change is, you can read the ABRA notification here, and here is info from a letter Commissioner Higgins sent to constituents recently:

As the 5B02 ANC commissioner wherein Gin Rummy, which is a located at 3522 12th Street, NE, Washington, DC 20018, seeks an Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (ABRA) approval of a Class Change from Retail Class “C” to Retail Class “CR” Tavern and Entertainment License endorsement to include dancing, License No.: ABRA-087727. I want to first hear directly from you any thoughts, concerns, support, objections, etc. you might have about this application. As commissioner, I wish to elicit your comments. Please review details:


Sunday through Saturday 10 am – 12 am


Sunday through Saturday 10 am – 12 am

Please, email or telephone me. My email is:, my ANC telephone number is 202-321-5289. Be sure to leave your full name, address, telephone number and comments.

I NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU! If I do not hear from you, I shall make my best judgment about the application for a license for Gin Rummy under the DC Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (ABRA). Thank you.

hälsa, A Healthy Fast Food Restarant, Is Coming To Monroe Street Market

We recently learned that hälsa, a healthy fast food dining concept is coming to Monroe Street Market this fall.  The two driving themes behind the hälsa concept is healthy eating (hälsa translates to “health” in Swedish) and locally sourced food. The restaurant has committed to sourcing  80% of their ingredients from D.C. based farms such as 3 Farmers, Tree and Leaf, Next Step Produce and Ecofriendly Foods. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For more in depth information about the restaurant and its owner, DC area entrepreneur Emily Gaines, check out this story over at the wework website. Check out this tweet from Monroe Street Market:

hälsa also posted this on Instagram:



Hey #Brookland! We are Halsa. We’re bringing nourishing food that’s good for the planet and good for you this Fall. We want you to #knowyourfood #satiatenotsaturate and #eatclean. #eatHalsa #dcfood #eatraw #dceats View on Instagram

Optimism, Brookland Bar And Lounge, Closes With Little Fanfare

The restaurant located at 3301 12th Street NE (at the corner of Kearney St) has gone through many incarnations over the years. When we moved here 6 years ago, it was a take-out barbecue joint called “Bobby’s Q”. Before that, it changed hands and names several times, including “Nate’s Comfort Zone.” From what we have gathered from talking to long-time Brookland residents, each establishment had varying degrees of positive relationships with the neighborhood. About 5 years ago, long-time Brookland resident Jesse Brown took it over and created a bar/lounge called ‘Optimism‘. Brown quickly made a slew of improvements like installing windows, removing metal grates, painting the exterior and overhauling the interior into a restaurant/lounge. Over the years the service improved and they began serving Sunday Brunch and  hosted the Ward 5 Happy Hour among many other events like birthday parties. While many of us appreciated the vast improvements Brown made to the establishment, there were persistent complaints of loud music and patrons being less than respectful of the surrounding residential neighborhood. Still, we liked it as a friendly place to watch the game and eat some wings.

Then, in February 2014 we started hearing a lot of rumors about a change in management and new restaurant concepts that were supposed to be on the way. Soon thereafter Optimism abruptly closed their doors and renovations started, for example, a wall was torn down to create a new area that could be used as a “VIP” area or a new entrance off of 12th Street. However, the renovations were quickly halted when the city posted a “stop work” order on the restaurant for lack of construction permits. They soon reopened again and we paid  a visit to see what was going on. There was a new management team, the couches had been removed and new white tables linens gave the place more of a restaurant feel and less of a bar/lounge feel. The menu was overhauled as well, to a “small plates” concept that was decidedly more expensive than before. We talked at length with the new GM, who had a lot of ideas for changes he wanted to make.

In the following months we noticed a sharp decline in patronage. Many nights the restaurant area would be empty with just a few people sitting around the bar. Then about a month ago, the restaurant went dark and signs that said “Under New Management. Taste ‘N See” showed up, which have recently been replaced with signs that say, simply “Closed”. Looking through the windows reveals that all the tables, chairs and liquor are gone, with only a few stools remaining by the bar. We have spoken to business owners in Brookland who say that there is quite a bit of interest in the location because it has a current liquor licence. We will keep our eyes on any activity and report back.

MGM Roast Beef Is Adding Outdoor Seating

    I am sure many of you appreciate the fantastic sandwiches at MGM Roast Beef as we do. Located at 1905 Brentwood Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018, they offer great service, an inviting clean space and fantastic food, which makes it always worth a trip beyond Brookland’s boundaries.

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Sometimes though their limited space and popularity makes you wish they had more seating. Well, wish no more. At our last visit we learned that the owners are planning to add an outdoor patio to the restaurant. Actually construction is already well on the way.

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Whether the patio will be ready in time to enjoy a yummy brisket or turkey sandwich, remains to be seen, so look out for updates right here.