Shouk, the modern Israeli street food restaurant that has been named D.C.’s best fast-casual by both Eater and Washington Post Express, is introducing a plant-based shawarma today at a new pop-up inside Union Market called Basta — a word for market stall in Hebrew.
Founder Ran Nussbacher tells Eater that the vegan restaurant picked oyster mushrooms to substitute for meat because their cooks can pull the fibers apart for a “meat-like mouthfeel.” The mushrooms are seared on a flat top to lock in their juices and then added to either salads or pitas that get dressed with tahina, pickled green cabbage, arugula, and a lightly pickled cucumber and onion salad.
As opposed to Shouk, Basta will have a limited menu that consists of shawarma, mint lemonade, and falafel — which the company introduced in November after many requests from its customers. The shawarma will be sold only at Bast for now.
Days after José Andrés promised his non-profit, World Central Kitchen, would feed furloughed government workers in D.C., the #ChefsForFeds kitchen opened yesterday at his ThinkFoodLab events space on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Andres, who was still in Puerto Rico, told the Washington Post that about 5,000 meals were served by the end of the day. Washingtonian was also on the scene, talking to one woman who said having a reason to put on makeup and get out of the house mad her “feel like a damn person again.”
Incredible to see so many people coming out to our @WCKitchen #ChefsForFeds kitchen today and supporting each other during this difficult time... This should be a wake up call to our leaders! This is a national crisis and our fellow citizens deserve better! pic.twitter.com/Cu4xQbO5Lw— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) January 17, 2019
ATTENTION Federal Employees & Families! Our #ChefsForFeds café is ready to welcome you tomorrow from 11-6 @ 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW! Stop by & sit in for a fresh meal (or one to go) from our options below. We're here for you the best way we know how — with a hot plate of food! pic.twitter.com/0ZqJ6co1VZ— WorldCentralKitchen (@WCKitchen) January 15, 2019
We opened our kitchen today in order to serve federal families in need. We served 4,400 meals, double what we were expecting. We’ll be back here tomorrow, & every day after that, as long as there is need. Thank you to all the volunteers who made our work possible #ChefsForFeds pic.twitter.com/ZdpAgQnpDo— WorldCentralKitchen (@WCKitchen) January 16, 2019
Crystal City come-up
Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn is eyeing two new spots in Crystal City, Northern Virginia Magazine reports. The celebrity chef who just opened his health food-focused but still calorie-packed Vim and Victor restaurant at the St. James complex in Springfield is reportedly looking to capitalize on the hype surrounding Amazon’s impending arrival to the area with a Santa Rosa taqueria and a new brand for fried chicken. [NVM]
Get in line
Shortly after Washingtonian reported that Bad Saint is accepting reservations for the first time, DCist noted that the nationally recognized Filipino restaurant in Columbia Heights was quickly fully booked for a month. Walk-ins will be accepted, so it looks like it’s back to waiting in line for anyone who wants to see what chef Tom Cunanan does with crab fat any time soon. [Washingtonian; DCist]
Wine bar gender reveal
Barrel owners Matt Weiss and Mike Schuster are opening a wine bar near Eastern Market this spring, Washington City Paper reports. The Eastern will be considered a sister spot to Barrel, because it will curate wines in the same way that Barrel collects Bourbons. Barrel had a little fun with that idea on Twitter. [WCP]