Sampling the Washington region’s food blogs

Life after Top Chef for Bryan Voltaggio and Carla Hall, DC Empanadas rolls out this week, Wegmans opens in P.G. County

October 25, 2010 - 12:53 AM
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Wegmans opened the doors to its newest location in Prince George’s County yesterday. The New York-based gourmet grocery store, located at 9001 McHugh Dr. in the newly developed Woodmore Towne Centre, is the county’s first high-end grocery store.

The opening was highly anticipated by county residents. An estimated 1,500 people waited in line before the doors opened at 7 a.m, said Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale. The new 130,000 square-foot store includes an imported cheese station, a full fresh produce section, and the Food Bar, a 32-seat full service restaurant. But local officials say it’s not just an upscale grocery store, it’s the beginning of a new era for the county. This is the first Wegmans the company has opened in a mostly minority market, reports ABC7’s Ben Eisler. "This is really a big, big, big deal for our county,” says Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson to Eisler. Local officials say the store is representative of the county’s rise toward economic equality. This is the company’s seventh location in the Washington region.

Life after Top Chef...

Share Our Strength has named Bryan Voltaggio of Volt in Frederick as Chef/Restaurateur of the Year. The award recognizes a chef who has made extraordinary contributions to Share Our Strength’s mission in fighting to end hunger in the community. Voltaggio, who was the runner-up during Top Chef Season 6, has also been recognized as one of the area’s rising stars for 2010  by StarChefs.com. The presentation takes place Tuesday, Oct. 26, at Charlie Palmer Steak. More about the Rising Stars here.
• Bryan Voltaggio on Being Called Michael and Turning Down Top Chef All-Stars (Eater)

Former Top Chef Season 5 finalist Carla Hall has decided to change the focus of her company from catering to producing a line of sweet and savory cookies. According to her website, Alchemy Caterers will now become Alchemy by Carla Hall. In addition to revamping her company, Bravo recently announced Hall as one of the returning chefs for Top Chef All-Stars, scheduled to air Dec. 1.  She spent some time in the community this past weekend. Hall held a cooking demonstration at Brookside Gardens last Friday as part of a fall lecture series. Fans and food enthusiasts learned cooking tips and listened to Hall’s stories at the cooking demo and lecture, says Wheaton Patch’s Melissa B. Robinson. Hall also made an appearance at the Black Market Bistro’s Pig Roast Competition, a fundraising event to benefit the Children’s National Medical Center. And because that’s not enough to keep her busy, she’ll also be participating in this year’s Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show on Nov. 13-14.

Coming soon: DC Empanadas and Buffalo Wild Wings

DC Empanadas
is planning on rolling out this week, according to a tweet from owner Anna Bran-Leis. The newest food truck will serve gourmet empanadas with creative names such as the Jersey Shore, the Badass, and June Cleaver. Bran-Leis and her husband and co-founder Shawn will begin serving in D.C. She says they’re looking into serving in Maryland as well.

Buffalo Wild Wings’ Crystal City location may be opening in December, reports ARLnow. The restaurant, specializing in wings and beer, will occupy the corner of 23rd Street and Crystal Drive. In addition to wings and beer, the eatery is also a sports bar and grill that features traditional American dishes, including burgers, ribs, and wraps. This will be the company’s sixth location in the area.

In other food and restaurant news...

• Chef Amy Brandwein of the recently opened Casa Nonna in Dupont may be offering her assistance to the company’s New York location, scheduled to open in spring 2011. (Y&H)
• The mainstream restaurant world acknowledges food blogs. Food bloggers are now eligible for the prestigious James Beard award. (WSJ)
• Liquid calories: The war on soda and high fructose corn syrup (Kojo Nnamdi Show)
• Local brewery tours: DC Brau (Y&H)
• 50 Most fattening beers (The Daily Beast)
• 50 Least fattening beers (The Daily Beast)

From TBD’s Community Network

Metrocurean: Five Bites with Chef Peter Smith of PS 7’s
• Metrocurean: Five Bites with Mercedes Marx
• Capitol Bites: Yamas: It’s all Greek to me
• Bitches Who Brunch: Brunch at Firefly
• Bethesda Foodie: Filomena Ristorante in Georgetown
Lunching in the DMV: Matuba
Borderstan: Restaurant Profile: La Villa on 14th Street
• Fabulous Food Finds: Creamy Pumpkin Curry Soup

Plan Ahead - This week’s food and drink events

• Oct. 25 - Nov. 2 -- Day of the Dead at Oyamel
• Oct. 26 -- Star Chef’s 2010 Washington Rising Stars Gala
• Oct. 27 -- Pumpkin Carving Contest at Helix Lounge
• Oct. 28 -- Veuve Cliquot 26th Annual 'Yelloween' Party
• Oct. 28 -- The Scene Bisnow Halloween Party
• Oct. 29 -- Doggie Happy Hour Costume Competition
• Oct. 30 -- Halloween Party at Masa 14
• Oct. 30 -- Villains and Vixens Halloween Party at Buddha Bar

Sweet Deals

• Buy one sub, get one free at Quiznos (through 11/1)
$5 off at Boston Market (through 11/9)

Get your food truck fix...

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