Sampling the Washington region’s food blogs

Jake’s American Grille opening this week, new franchises on the way

February 22, 2011 - 06:00 AM
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Good Morning. It’s National Margarita Day. I know the tequila-based cocktail doesn’t quite match today’s weather, but perhaps having one will remind you of the warmer days ahead.

New gelato franchise coming this summer

Limoncello, chocolate virgin olive oil, and strawberry balsamic vinegar are just a few of the hundreds of flavors that are offered at a gelato shop set to debut in the Washington, D.C. area this summer. Franchise owner Kerry Bolognese plans to open the area first Paciugo Gelato & Caffe in either Alexandria or Clarendon, reports Washington Business Journal.

The Dallas-based gelato cafe offers over 400 different flavors. Patrons can select from a little over 30 flavors that are freshly made in small batches each morning. The shop also serves coffee, espresso-based drinks and specialty coffee and gelato drinks. The company is planning to open several other locations in the area.

Opening this week: Jake’s American Grille

Jake’s American Grille is opening its doors this Friday in Chevy Chase. The new restaurant, created by the same team behind the Ugly Mug, Maddy’s Bar & Grille and District 2 Bar & Grille, features upscale American cuisine and craft cocktails. The restaurant is named after owner Gaynor Jablonski’s grandfather, Edwin “Jake” Jablonski. Jake was a retired Navy chief petty officer whose career is highlighted on the restaurant’s walls through photographs, awards, and old newspaper clippings. Chef Michael Degginger will be heading the kitchen. His experience includes working for local neighborhood restaurants and cafes, as well as national chains, including McCormick and Schmick's. Gina Chersevani will be taking charge of Jake’s bar program. Her résumé includes running the beverage program at PS7’s, crafting cocktails at EatBar, and serving as Ashok Bajaj’s head mixologist at Rasika. The restaurant is located at 5018 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Taqueria Poblano eyeing Siena Park

A new dining option may be coming soon to Siena Park residencies. Taqueria Poblano owner Dan Michel says he’s 90 percent sure that a contract will be signed, reports Pike Wire. Construction for the Cal-Mex eatery is expected to begin shortly after all the papers have been inked. The plans call for an outdoor seating area and a similar décor to the restaurant’s two other locations in Alexandria and Arlington. Michel says he hopes to open by late August.

Zoup coming to coming D.C.

The District’s first soup-focused franchise is set to debut this April at 1101 Vermont Ave. NW, reports WBJ. Zoup, the Michigan-based fast-casual eatery, not only features a variety of soup offerings, but a selection of salads and sandwiches as well. For health-conscious individuals, the menu also includes options that are dairy-free, gluten-free, low-fat, low-points, and vegetarian.

Ashok Bajaj heading to West 22

It’s true. Ashok Bajaj has signed a lease to open a new restaurant at West 22 Residencies. According to the WBJ, the restaurateur behind the Oval Room, Rasika, and Bibiana will take over a 5,600 square foot space at 1190 New Hampshire Ave. NW. The construction for the new split-level restaurant and cafe is expected to begin late summer.

Now open: Healthy Bites Cafe

Healthy Bites Cafe
held its grand opening last Saturday, Feb. 19. The carryout and cafe operation, located at 5329 Georgia Ave. NW, features breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, and quesadillas. The cafe is a new addition to the company, whose primary focus is delivering healthy meals. The service offers six different meal programs to chose from. Customers can also select how many days a week they want their meals delivered. (h/t PoP)

In other food and restaurant news...

Granville Moore’s chef Teddy Folkman will be online today at 11 a.m.

Townhouse Tavern targeted in federal cocaine raid (TBD)

• Why Uniontown Bar & Grill could transform Anacostia. (WCP)

• Firefighters fight off pounds, finish vegan diet. (Bethesda Patch)

• Job alert: The soon-to-open dumplings and ramen eatery Toki Underground is hiring for several different positions. Knowledge of multiple languages, such as Japanese and Mandarin, is a bonus. (h/t Frozen Tropics)

From TBD’s Community Network

Pike Wire: Behind the bar at Twisted Vines
We Love DC: Meet Chef Adam Sobel
DC Loves Food: dining with children with Ellen Kassoff Gray

Gut Check: Mad Rose Taven has finally opened
U Street Girl: Brunching with the Bitches: Creme Cafe
DC-Wrapped Dates: The search for banh mi: Pret A Manger

Mango & Tomato: Recipe: Moroccan chicken
Plum Pie: Recipe: Huevos Rancheros
Mango & Tomato: Recipe: Sweet potato vegetarian chili

Plan Ahead -- Upcoming food and drink events

• Feb. 15-27 -- National Harbor Restaurant Week
• Feb. 22 -- Victory Beer Night at Ventnor Sports Cafe

Sweet Deals

• Feb. 1-28 -- Free drink at Buddha Bar
• Feb. 7-27 -- Free Coffee Days
• March 1 -- Free IHOP pancakes for National Pancake Day (h/t DCist)

Looking for a food truck?

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  1. Dynomyte1 Dynomyte1

    Chuck Garcia

    Feb 22, 2011 - 02:46:42 PM

    As far as I heard from the people opening Jake's he hasn't been with Maddy's for a while now. I also heard the food at D2 is not up to par as per some District 2 police officers and 2 Amy's employees. Like opening a can of Spaghetti-O's were the specific words. If someone is not affiliated with a bar they shouldn't be using their name even if they used to work there.

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    • nathashalim

      Nathasha Lim

      Feb 23, 2011 - 11:10:11 AM

      Hi Chuck,
      Yes, you’re correct. The owner separated from Maddy’s last summer. I should have made that more clear.

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