The team behind Baltimore’s Gangster Vegan now boasts a presence in D.C. with the debut of Rawish, a smoothie-centric stall in Foggy Bottom’s new Western Market food hall.
Black-owned Rawish sells a completely vegan, soy-free, and mostly raw menu without any added sugars or artificial sweeteners. The walk-up vendor, one of the first to arrive inside the anticipated, 12,300-square-foot food hall (2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW), operates from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to start.
The simplicity of the ingredients can be seen in Rawish’s peanut butter cream pie, which only looks like a caloric dessert.
“Everything you see is just from the produce aisle,” says Rawish’s James Yarborough, explaining that the chocolate drizzle is made of just water, cocoa, cinnamon, and dates.
Yarborough, who owns Gangster Vegan and Rawish with his wife Taneea Yarborough, decided to focus more on smoothies and smoothie bowls at Rawish, like the Wake Me Up smoothie blended up with strawberry, mango, maca, dates, agave, and coconut water.
Toasts are popular too, including an avocado toast with a veggie-based taco sauce and taco walnut crumble. Some salads and rice bowls from Gangster Vegan appear on the menu, including savory options like a Caribbean Buddha Bowl with spicy sunflower date sauce.
Yarborough is hoping to capture the lunch rush when offices are back to full capacity, but right now GWU students are a big audience for Rawish. The location in Foggy Bottom is personal to the Yarboroughs: Taneea is a two-time cancer survivor, and when she was being treated at George Washington University Hospital, they often wished there was a restaurant nearby they could rely on for healthful options.
“If you’re vegan in a hospital, you can struggle,” Yarborough says. “If we were in that situation, I imagine there are other people too.”
The Yarboroughs have grown their business dramatically during the pandemic, opening an outpost of Gangster Vegan in Riverdale Park and signing a lease for a second location of Rawish in Northeast D.C. that’ll be announced soon.
Western Market is slowly working up to full capacity. So far, outposts of local favorites Capo Italian Deli and Roaming Rooster as well as Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls are open in the food hall in addition to Rawish, with more vendors like sushi spot Onkei set to open soon.
- Foggy Bottom Food Hall Western Market Announces a Late Summer Opening Date [EDC]
- Rawish [Official Site]