The fragrance of sizzling spiced meats waft through the brightly hued dining room of Azteca Restaurant and Cantina, enticing diners as they sit at cozy tables and pull cornflower-blue napkins into their laps. Helmed by owners James Burick and Mario Orellana, Azteca Restaurant and Cantina titillates taste buds with generous portions of unusual yet authentic Tex-Mex eats. Diners can rev up their eating engines with the tamales de elote filled with creamy sweet corn before moving on to a beef chimichanga, a roundup of beef, beans, guacamole, and cheese in a tortilla big enough to blanket a replica of the Aztec pyramids. A sizzling plate of lobster-tail fajitas comes with chicken and beef, whereas the enchiladas monterrey provide a meat-free option resplendent with cheese and ranchero sauce.
The Jerk Pit’s white wood siding and covered porch might lead folks to think they’re stepping into owner Lisa Waddell Rose’s own house—and that’s likely what she intended. The chefs apply spicy blends of seasonings to transform morsels of chicken, pork, fish, and tofu into traditional Jamaican jerk dishes, served alongside other staples such as curried goat and ackee with saltfish. While sipping on Jamaican soda or sweet iced tea, patrons can utilize the Pit’s free WiFi to download sounds of crashing waves or pictures of the Caribbean's blueberry-flavored waters.
From towering tiered cakes to bite-sized miniature desserts, the bakers at Cotton's Gourmet Gifts & Creations handcraft an eclectic portfolio of sweets for every occasion. Each dessert is handmade at the behest of each and every client, and a wide range of options is available for weddings, showers, birthdays, and sweet-tooth conventions. Beautiful wedding cakes are among the bakery's specialties, helping see each bride and groom's vision becomes a sweet-tasting reality.
A native Washingtonian and graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Oliver Friendly founded the company three years ago by offering in-home cooking lessons. If you opt for the personal cooking lessons, the knowledgeable Friendly will show up at your kitchen bearing all the essentials (tools, local produce, and meat) and know-how necessary to whip up a wonderful meal.
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.
The chefs at Calbra Classics place heavy emphasis on Nigerian and West African cuisine that is hearty as well as healthy. Whether the food is housed in chafing dishes during a catered meal, whipped up by a personal chef, or delivered to busy families, customers can rest assured that they'll be eating square meals as comforting as if they came from their own stove. In addition to a menu that features savory and rich coconut rice and flavorful stewed goat meat, among other dishes, the chefs also lead hands-on cooking classes. During a single session or multiple-week course, a small group of students learns how to create authentic meals, sampling their results along the way. Afterward, students will be given the recipes they used in class so they can replicate them at home.