Dining in, Chilling Out

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Capitol Hill landmark Mr. Henry’s serves up hearty three-bean chili, which can be piled atop burgers, half price on Mondays.

As you probably know, since January 15, anyone 12 and older entering a Washington DC restaurant, bar or nightclub must show proof that they have at least one shot of an approved coronavirus vaccine. As of February 15, everyone visiting those same venues will have to demonstrate they’ve had “a full initial course of vaccination,” two shots, which does not include boosters.

Breaking Out

After hunkering down for the required quarantine after catching the omicron COVID variant in late December, Peter and I were more than ready to dine out. Since the streets were still blanketed with ice, snow and slush, driving anywhere was out of the question. So, we trudged up the street to Young Chow (312 Pennsylvania Ave. SE). This Chinese/Asian fusion eatery has been around for almost 38 years. Walls are lined with photos of customers including some A-listers and ordinary folks like us.

During much of our two-year pandemic restaurant shutdown, Young Chow’s service was limited to takeout and delivery. Now, customers can enjoy sit-down dining, masked and vaxed. Young Chow also sports a new colorful and extensive menu that features a seafood boil, in which shrimp, crawfish, different kinds of crab, scallops and lobster tails are offered by the pound at market prices.

I sipped my warm sake. From the luncheon “platters” (offered Monday through Friday), I went for the sushi and sashimi combo (California rolls, salmon, tuna and what tasted like red snapper). The combo arrived with choice of salad or miso soup. I chose the latter, a warming potage laced with velvety tofu and seaweed. Likewise, Peter’s heartier, spicier hot and sour soup was replete with tofu, seaweed and bean sprouts.

Peter also ordered his favorite: stir-fried chicken full of big white meat chunks with garlic sauce. Served with brown rice and broccoli, the filling dish delivered a pleasant kick. You can also order old-fashioned chow mein, egg foo young, crispy General Tso’s or orange chicken, grilled meats and assorted seafood, and an extensive listing of vegetarian options.

Young Chow is open daily for dine-in, takeout and delivery, plus catering. For more information visit www.orderyoungchow.com.

At the popular Asian restaurant Young Chow, warming miso soup arrives with the popular sushi and sashimi combos.

Chilling Out

With the Super Bowl coming up February 13, our thoughts turn to comforting yet festive party fare. High on our list of celebration victuals is tummy-warming chili. We are listing only three, but many more favorites are out there. Most offer dine-in, takeout and delivery.

Ben’s Chili Bowl has multiple locations including 1001 H St. NE in the Atlas district. Ben’s chili (beef, turkey or vegetarian) comes in large or small bowls, or piled atop the famous half smokes, plus on burgers, subs and fries.

Mr. Henry’s, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, whips up cups and bowls of three-bean Angus beef chili, with optional cheddar or jalapeno toppings. Folks often stop by Monday evening for a half-priced burger topped with choice of goodies: the chili burger comes with cheddar, lettuce, tomato and pickle slices, with sides of coleslaw and house-made potato chips. Visit www.mrhenrysdc.com.

Ted’s Bulletin has multiple locations including the Barracks Row original, at 505 Eighth St. SE. There, a cup or bowl of “stovetop” chili is enhanced with sour cream, cheddar and chives, escorted by buttered cornbread. Visit www.tedsbulletin.com.

Coming Soon

At 1432 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, look for a new watering hole sometime soon. Owners of local barbecue stand Sloppy Mama’s and Tex-Mex Republic Cantina are teaming up to open a bar—yet un-named—where gin joint Wisdom used to be.

Sloppy Mama pitmaster Joe Neuman and Republic Cantina owner Chris Svetlik are partnering with bartender Ben Alt. Neuman and his wife and business partner, Mandy Neuman, have operated Sloppy Mama’s out of a truck, a pop-up at U Street bar Solly’s, and food stalls at Union Market and Ballston Quarter in Arlington. They have closed those businesses, and have consolidated their operations at a restaurant in a converted Pizza Hut, also in Arlington. Known for chopped pork, homemade sausage and pickles, Sloppy Mama’s has appeared in The Washington Post’s annual barbecue rankings. Stay tuned.

Buon Anniversario

And congrats to Trattoria Alberto, 506 Eighth St. SE. The popular Barracks Row Italian standby recently celebrated its 42nd anniversary. Other nearby restaurants have come and gone, but Trattoria, beloved for its chicken cacciatore, shrimp fra diavolo and linguine alla vongole (clams), has survived the pandemic and remains a neighborhood favorite. For hours and more information, visit www.trattoriaalbertodc.com.

Part of the Wharf’s Phase 2, Jessie Taylor Seafood is expanding into the slot vacated by Captain White’s at the Maine Avenue Fish Market.

DC Wharf’s Phase 2

In spite of snowstorms, the pandemic and other issues, District Wharf’s Phase 2 is coming along. An October opening is projected. The expansion will include more than a dozen new restaurants plus the luxury Pendry Hotel. New York’s famed Philippe Chow will unveil a waterfront spinoff. Also coming are Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, burger eatery Lucky Buns, Kilwins Chocolate & Ice Cream and Scissors & Scotch, which has an outlet near Nationals Park. There, guys can sip a drink while getting snipped. In the adjacent Maine Avenue Fish Market, expect Jessie Taylor Seafood to expand, spreading into the slot vacated last year by Captain White Seafood City. For updates please visit www.phase2.wharfdc.com.

Gone

Tortilla Coast, 400 First St. SE, has finally poured its last margarita after almost 34 years in business. The Tex-Mex watering hole had been a long time favorite for neighbors and Congressional staffers.

Ciao for Now

As we do every February, Peter and I are headed for the warm and sunny (we hope!) climes of Florida. Therefore, I won’t be contributing a March column. See you in April!