More tacos for Ballston
Shaw’s El Rey is coming to the new Ballston Exchange project, ARLnow reports. D.C. restaurateurs Ian and Eric Hilton will import the 5-year-old brand’s tacos, tequila cocktails, and weekend brunch to the growing project across from the Ballston Quarter mall. The team tells the outlet they’re shooting for a winter opening. The brothers are also expanding across state lines with a previously-announced French bistro called Cafe Colline along Lee Highway. [ARLnow]
A new butchery for Takoma Park
The chef at recently closed Aussie-themed restaurant Oz in Arlington has a new job, reports Washington City Paper. Brad Feickert is teaming up with Takoma Beverage Co. owner Chris Brown on a new boutique butchery coming to Takoma Park early next year. The 1,000-square-foot venture will be called Soko (which means “market” in Swahili) and will pair meats with cheese, preserves, pickled vegetables, and deli sandwiches. The Streetsense-designed eatery, replacing a former consignment shop space, will sport light wood counters, tile walls, and a white tin ceiling. [WCP]
Feeding a Shark
Shark Tank star Mark Cuban ate at Capitol Hill’s Charlie Palmer Steak yesterday. Eater learned the owner of the Dallas Mavericks fueled up on local corn and Pipe Dreams goat cheese agnolotti with cherry tomato fondue, black garlic, pecorino, and petite basil for lunch.
Blue territory for McDonald’s
The D.C. area is currently a taste bud testing zone for a brand new Blueberry McGriddle being served at over 100 locations. For a limited time, the sweet-and-savory prototype houses sausage, egg, and cheese; bacon, egg, and cheese; and sausage breakfast sandwiches.
Soup’s on at Cava
Homegrown brand Soupergirl will start selling its gluten-free liquid offerings at all D.C. area Cava locations starting Monday, July 22. The featured garden gazpacho, designed to pair with the fellow D.C.-based brand’s healthy Mediterranean bowls, is filled with carrot and bell peppers and red wine vinegar. Available through Labor Day (Monday, September 2). The active soup stand is also operating a Union Market pop-up through the same day.
The Fairmont guests can double as bartenders by plucking herbs from its lush courtyard patio and dropping them into drinks to make their own gin and tonics. Patrons can first grab a lobby caddie holding six types of Fever Tree tonic water and take garden shears to the hotel’s rosemary, thyme, lavender, basil, and mint. From there they can add a slice of fresh lemon, grapefruit, or lime to top-shelf gin ($14-$20).
Northeast’s Italian mainstay Masseria just rolled out a crabs and champagne chef’s tasting menu inspired by chef and owner Nicholas Stefanelli’s childhood memories eating the summertime crustacean. Themed dishes, available now through September, include crab-stuffed tortellini in brodo and crab gelato with corn soufflé. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Chesapeake Bar Environmental Center to support its efforts to restore local estuaries.