Where To Spend National Food Days in DC: January 2017

When it comes to “National [fill in food here] Day,” I’m always the last to know.

I usually find out about them right as I’m leaving work and scrolling through Twitter. Suddenly I’ll notice that National Whatever Day is trending. By that time, it’s too late to plan a happy hour or go to the grocery store to buy festive ingredients to celebrate.

Well, NOT this year.

In 2017, I will be so prepared it will be annoying – and I’ll make sure you’re prepared, too. Now, I may not include EVERY SINGLE one on this list (National Buttercrunch Day? What?), but rest assured these are the most crucial ones you need to know about.

Join me on this gratuitous food holiday roller coaster and find out where I’ll be celebrating all national food holidays in the District!

January 1 – National Bloody Mary Day

Where you can celebrate:

  1. On your couch with my personal cocktail creation: the Bloody Widow (a bacon-bourbon Bloody Mary). Get my recipe here.
  2. La Jambe. Their sparkling, feather-light take on the Bloody Mary is honestly an honor and a privilege to taste and you can easily sip down 3 or 4 without feeling full. Try one of their red OR green Bloody’s and let the magic happen.
  3. The Heights. Their “High Noon” has a special place in my heart after serving me my first-ever bourbon-based Bloody topped with crunchy potato straws.
  4. The Pig. Bleu-cheese-stuffed olives for garnish. Enough said.
  5. Old Engine 12. Choose from three vodka infusions: bacon, three pepper or smoked.

Make sure to call ahead and confirm these dynamite locations are open on January 1!

My most sacred personal recipe: The Bloody Widow.

January 4 – National Spaghetti Day

Where you can celebrate:

  1. Fiola Mare. A high price point to be sure, but not without good reason. Spaghetti with little neck clams has your name on it.
  2. Sette Osteria. Not only do they offer gluten free spaghetti for all the wheat-free foodies out there, but they also offer no less than four unique Spaghetti dishes. I have my eye on the Carbonara with pancetta and black pepper.
  3. Lavagna. A consistently outstanding eatery, Lavagna also boasts two tasty spaghetti dishes: Spaghetti Bolognese and Spaghetti Shrimp (with beurre blanc).

Frustrated Author’s Note: I had A HELL of a time finding actual spaghetti dishes in this city. All my usual favorites – Floriana, Filomena, Centrolina, Acqua Al 2 – came up short. Apparently you can find all the bucatini, pappardelle, fettuccine, and risotto your carbo-heart desires, but you’d be hard pressed to find a solid spaghetti and meatball dish.

January 5 – National Whipped Cream Day

Where you can celebrate:

  1. Martin’s Tavern. If you follow me on Instagram, you know how I feel about Martin’s. The bartenders top their Irish Coffees with freshly made whipped cream and it makes my taste buds melt with happiness.
  2. Un Je Ne Sais Quoi. This hot ticket patisserie replaced Hello Cupcake some months ago, and they have apparently proven their worth. Customers cannot stop raving about their signature French pastry, the “Marveilleux” – a meringue filled with violent ganache and topped with (you guessed it) whipped cream.


January 12 – National Glazed Doughnut Day

Where you can celebrate:

  1. District Doughnut. Take it up a notch with their Vanilla Bean Glazed Doughtnut with Madagascar bourbon vanilla.
  2. Astro Doughnuts. While you’re getting your glazed doughnut, you might as well sneak in a honey butter fried chicken breakfast sammie. Yeah. You heard me right.
  3. Sugar Shack Donuts. If you find yourself over the state line on January 12, pop into Alexandria’s Sugar Shack for a donut and a honey lavender latte.

January 20 – National Cheese Lover’s Day

Where you can celebrate:

  1. Let’s be real – where CAN’T you celebrate this glorious day? This is going to be a long list.
  2. McClellan’s Retreat. They serve a mean cheese plate and they don’t short you on portions. The charcuterie isn’t half bad either.
  3. Glen’s Garden Market. Talk about LOCAL CHEESE HEAVEN. Enjoy the in-house Farmhouse Cheese Board with a glass of wine, or get a couple blocks to go and host your own cheese party. Even if you only invite yourself.
  4. La Jambe. I know, already mentioned above, but I can’t NOT include it on this list. There are two “Plateaux Fromage” options and let’s face it, French cheese plates are just better than other cheese plates.
  5. Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market. My local farmer’s market has several amazing dairy stands. Keswick Creamery is my favorite vendor and they package their cheeses in reasonable sizes so you can sample a bunch for $5-$7 per block.
  6. Stoney’s. Because they have my favorite grilled cheese in DC: the Super Grilled Cheese with tomatoes, bacon and onions.
  7. Righteous Cheese. Union Market’s own cheese market, a.k.a. heaven. Peruse their Instagram at your own risk.
  8. GCDC. There is literally a place called Grilled Cheese Bar on Pennsylvania Avenue. Reuben grilled cheese, carbonara grilled cheese, Maine lobster grilled cheese, BACON JALAPENO POPPER GRILLED CHEESE? I can’t make this shit up.

January 22 – National Southern Food Day

Where you can celebrate:

  1. Due South. Top-of-the-line southern cuisine in DC’s burgeoning Navy Yard neighborhood. Think baby back ribs, smoked duck jambalaya, and cornbread with rosemary-molasses butter. Worth the splurge.
  2. Southern Hospitality. Blackened fish tacos, shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles. All the good eats in the lively Adams Morgan corridor. I’m a big fan of their Eggs Chesapeake crab benedict on the brunch menu.
  3. Mulebone. This 2016 DC newcomer has made a strong impression. You can get your traditional fix with buttermilk biscuits and a pimento cheeseburger, or more creative Southern-style bites, like catfish tenders and pan-seared snapper with fresno chilies.

January 26 – National Green Juice Day

Where you can celebrate:

  1. JRINK Juicery. Order for delivery or pop into the shop for a quick nutrient blast. Stateside Superfood has pear, lemon, broccoleaf, cucumber, wheatgrass and coconut water. Hashtag cleeeeaaannnnssee.
  2. Press Juice Bar. Conveniently located on 14th Street, Press Juice Bar offers a classic green juice (Celery, Cucumber, Green Apple, Spinach, Kale) as well as power smoothies and ginger shots. Getcha detox on.
  3. Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar. Khepra’s is yet ANOTHER reason to spend some time in the Atlas District. Green juices, avocado wraps and chia seed puddings abound.

Take notes, mark your calendars and prepare your appetites: we’re taking January 2017 by storm! Check back next month for the February Food Calendar!

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