Crab cakes and chicken wings with mambo sauce can now be found at the Verizon Center Acela Club restaurant.
Since joining the kitchen at the Verizon Center about a year ago, chef Kevin Holler has been attempting to make the food in the venue's suites, restaurant and club level tastier and more DC-inspired. That means regionally influenced dishes such as those aforementioned crab cakes, and the DC-centric mambo sauce (often called "mumbo sauce" depending on the carryout location) have been added.
"When I took over, I wanted to add food that represented my personality: items that are simple and seasoned well," said Holler. "This is a great venue right in downtown DC, and I want the food to be known and to be able to compete with some of the best restaurants down here."
Holler's been with Levy, the company that does concessions for Verizon Center, for about 23 years, and has done food for such events as the Kentucky Derby. Other additions to the menu include a short rib sandwich, an all-vegetable salad with champagne dressing, and a "Sloppy Jane" made with tempeh. He's been doing a chef's table at the Acela Club, and often themes the food to coincide with a team playing at the Verizon Center.
Verizon Center has been revamping its general concessions on the 200 level this year, with additions such as lobster rolls, ancho chicken tacos and red, white and bleu burgers. The venue's also trying to strengthen its partnerships with local and regional vendors. They now source from Clements Bakery, Lyon's Bakery, Devil's Backbone Brewing Company, Old Dominion Brewing Company and Star Hill Brewery.
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