Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of D.C. food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
South Florida-born franchise I Heart Mac & Cheese is unleashing nostalgic, cheesy comfort food in Tysons Corner this October. Alongside a grilled cheese sandwich menu (build-your-own, classic, Cuban, and more), mac and cheese comes stuffed into crunchy tacos shells or in bowls. All the mac and cheese is customizable — with pasta, bread, quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower, or tater tot bases topped with a choice of ten different proteins, eleven vegetables, nine cheeses, and various sauce options like sesame ginger, mango habanero, and barbecue. The dessert menu includes cheesecake bites. Franchisee Md Billal Hossain is currently working on securing a lease, so news yet on where it’ll land.
I Heart Mac & Cheese has more than 20 locations sprinkles throughout the U.S. with 75 set to open in 2022. Headquartered in Boca Raton, the brand debuted in 2016.
Call Your Mother is at it again, this time in Logan Circle
Call Your Mother is on a roll with its seventh bagel cafe spinning into Logan Circle (1471 P Street NW) last week. The fast-expanding, mini carb empire has added six new locations since the dawn of the pandemic in 2020. Logan Circle’s Call Your Mother is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Michele’s debuts its chefs counter with a 14-course tasting menu
Michele’s, Michelin-starred chef Matt Baker’s tribute to his Gulf Coast roots, is debuting a chef’s counter with 14-courses of primarily seafood dishes. Dinner is $185 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, and wine pairings come at an extra $115 per person. Reservations for the chef’s table, on offer Thursday through Saturday, are available for through Resy. (1201 K Street NW)
More taquerias open in the D.C. area
Baltimore-based Banditos taqueria is plotting an April opening at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row), in Thaiphoon’s recently shuttered Pentagon City space (1301 South Joyce Street), with over 20 different kinds of tacos and more than 40 different tequilas in store for the location, according to ARLnow.com. It’s the first of two outposts coming to Virginia. Fairfax will get a Banditos later this year.
Meanwhile Taco Rock (1116 West Broad Street) threw open its doors in the Birch and Broad shopping center in Falls Church with a 100-seat patio and a 25-foot tequila bar. Also, large garage-style doors open the interior up to al fresco dining. It’s the third (and largest) Taco Rock, which is known for birria tacos, Micheladas, and daily happy hours — and there are more on the way. The rock-themed taqueria is open daily for lunch and dinner and offers takeout, delivery, and to-go cocktails.
Two die after a Subaru crashes into a cafe’s outdoor dining area in Chevy Chase
Two died and nine were injured when a 2008 Subaru Forester driven by an elderly man traveling at a high speed rammed into diners sitting on the patio at Parthenon restaurant in the Chevy Chase neighborhood, during lunch, WTOP reports.
The 33-year old Connecticut Avenue Greek cafe, which has reopened since last Friday’s crash, sustained minimal damage. Owner Pete Gouskos says that he and many regular customers know the man who was driving the Subaru as a frequent customer over the last 20 years who usually enjoyed a burger and soft drink when he came in, he told WUSA9.