Inside the savory-scented digs of Honey Baked Ham & Cafe, spools of hardwood-smoked, spiral-sliced ham entice carnivorous palates. Here, chefs uphold the same traditions that Harry J. Hoenselaar created more than 40 years ago. Back then, he chose individual hams, cured them in his secret marinade, and smoked them over hardwood chips before offsetting the earthy flavor with a crisp, sweet glaze. To this day, the staff still makes the signature bone-in hams one at a time and glazes them in the shop.
The hammery's kitchens also whip up classic side dishes and desserts, such as the sweet-potato soufflé. For less formal feasting, party trays and packed lunch boxes fuel business meetings, backyard grad parties, and lengthy end-zone celebrations.
Proprietor Don Dey Ermand has been running Sly Horse Tavern for nearly 30 years, but the restaurant looks much, much older. That's because it was modeled after the 18th-Century elegance of the Raleigh Tavern in colonial Williamsburg. A fireplace spills warmth out into the room, where it is easy to imagine early American colonists warming their hands or whittling the extra corners off their hats. The flickering light wends across oriental rugs and merlot-red tablecloths. Atop them, waiters slide plates of cuisine that fuse modern American and European culinary traditions. Chefs stir steaming pots of cherry and bourbon sauce and craft lobster crème, destined to crown cuts of salmon, ostrich, and Chesapeake Bay crab cakes. Sparkling, white, and red wines pair with dishes such as stuffed trout, which the Washington Times said was “generous in size, exceptionally flaky and sweet, and was complemented with just the right portion of rich crab imperial.”
French-trained executive chef Jhon Smith presides over Main Street Brasserie's seasonal menu of sandwiches. Duos chatter happily over a time-tested Main Street Club sandwich or a hot italian sandwich, which plumps up a 9-inch sub with a protein trinity of ham, salami, and capocollo blanketed in buffalo mozzarella and imbued with the subtle flavors of a balsamic reduction. From the stage of a savory round roll, a black-bean veggie patty with mushrooms, onions, and hummus flaunts fistfuls of crisp veggies like a farmer on payday, and the half-pound all-beef burger lures in carnivores with a siren song of melodious grilled mushrooms and bacon strips. Reward jaw muscles with sips from a 16-ounce fountain drink or ward off food-induced dips in consciousness with an invigorating mug of coffee.
Signature service: Freshly Blended Fruit and Veggie Treats
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30 Minutes or Less
Brands Used: Fresh, Whole Food
Pro Tip: For the freshest possible ingredients, please order 48 hours in advance.
Three menus, one location. That might be a lot for some restaurants to handle, but not for Alonso's and Loco Hombre. Both welcome guests during lunch and dinner with their own menus—with some overlap—and a third that takes care of hungry dwellers in the bar area. With all those options, It can be hard to make just one dining choice here. Alonso's dinner menu is home to American classics and Tex-Mex flair, with an emphasis on the kitchen's famous burgers and pasta dishes. Then there's Loco Hombre, whose menu adds on a section for anything served in or on a tortilla. The jewels here include a broiled salmon burrito and tacos available with one of eight fillings. But the real action happens at the bar, where drinks are shaken, poured, or blended, be they margaritas or domestic craft beers served in fancy glasses.
The Velleggia family first laid their roots in Little Italy in 1970, establishing a specialty grocery store where they began to sell a combination of imported and housemade Italian foods. Relying on time-tested traditions and natural ingredients, they continue their culinary venture in much the same manner today. The highlight at Casa di Pasta is the store's homemade and hand-cut pastas, from gnocchi and tortellini to 26 kinds of ravioli stuffed with the likes of butternut squash, lobster, or smoked mozzarella and mushroom. Premade pans of lasagna and frozen italian sausages round out the selection of homemade goods that customers can pick up for nightly dinners or to feed groups at parties. Coolers and shelves also brim with olive oils, vinegars, breads, sweets, and cheeses imported directly from the Old World.