Get caught up with the food scene in Montgomery County and Washington, D.C., neighborhoods with "1 Meat, 3 Sides." This week, bivalves take center plate:
Later this year, we'll have two new choices of bivalve protein: the Black Pearl and the Old Black Salts, which will be available at Bethesda's Black's Bar and Kitchen (7750 Woodmont Ave.), as well as at BlackSalt, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black Jack in DC.
Jeff Black, the restaurateur behind the four restaurants, hails from the Gulf Coast, whose oysters are known for their saltiness. The Black Pearl oysters will be grown by the Toby Island Bay Oysters, located in a fairly salty part of Chincoteague Bay on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The Old Black Salts will be grown in an even saltier part of Chincoteague Bay—the Black Narrows straits, The Washington Post reported.
The oysters will take 6 to 18 months to mature, and when they're ready, Black doesn't plan to keep the oysters exclusive to his restaurants, The Post added.
For the do-it-yourself-ers who love beer, try the new 3 Stars Homebrew Shop (6400 Chillum Place NW, DC), just over the border from Takoma Park.
Co-founders Mike McGarvey and Dave Coleman say the business, which grew out of their own homebrewing experiments, is "a place to learn about the craft [of homebrewing] and gather with other enthusiasts," Bisnow reported.
A retail shop at 3 Stars sells fresh yeast, hops, malt and beer-making kits, as well as other supplies for home brewing. Eventually, McGarvey and Coleman hope to offer beer-making classes. For now, 3 Stars is open on Thursdays (4 to 8 p.m.), Fridays (3 to 8 p.m.) and Saturdays (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
"In about a month, after the brewery is up and running, 3 Stars will open a tasting room for people to try [3 Stars'] signature beers as well as some experimental ones. The brewery will also supply local bars and restaurants and eventually sell retail," Washington City Paper reported.
For a gourmet take on a childhood classic, check out the new grilled cheese bar at Ripple (3417 Connecticut Ave. NW), in DC's Cleveland Park neighborhood (by the Cleveland Park Metro station on the Red Line).
"With their do-it-yourself ethos, Ripple's Grilled Cheese Bar allows for fifteen varieties of cheese, six spreads, three breads, and twelve toppings to create a sandwich that's savory and (emotionally) satisfying. The potential for items stacked between your wedges of brioche/ciabatta/multigrain is enormous," Brightest Young Things reported.
Some of the delicious, cheesy compositions include: the BLT (with bacon, organic greens, sun-dried tomatoes, triple cream cheese and winnimere cheese) and the "Krusty Krab" (with imperial crab, arugula, béchamel sauce and taleggio cheese). Not convinced that this is really grown-up food? Check out the photos on the Brightest Young Things' website.
Note: The grilled cheese bar is only available Sunday through Thursday, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and from 10:30 p.m. to midnight.
If sipping soda saturated with high-fructose corn syrup is on your not-to-do list this summer, stop by Potomac's Founding Farmers for some in-house, made-from-scratch fizzy drinks, which outsell Coke and Diet Coke combined at the restaurant.
"Chief mixologist Jon Arroyo wants to drop commercial colas entirely, so he’s been working on his own version for more than a year," Expressnightout reported. Arroyo added that the Cola flavor is not an easy one to re-create, but—in the meantime—Expressnightout recommends the $5 pineapple pop, "which includes a squirt of lime juice and fresh mint."