Armed with several hundred hours of yoga training and Yoga Alliance certifications, the instructors at Sage Yoga are well-versed in the traditional ways of yoga. They guide students of all ages and ability levels through the sequences of hot yoga, Vinyasa flow, and classical Hatha yoga. Whether in group classes or private training sessions, they give each student personal attention—and often incorporate essential oil compresses to ease tight muscles. All classes are held inside Sage Yoga's 1,500-square-foot studio space, where warm earth tones foster relaxation, and healthy drinks are available for purchase. Friday evenings showcase a Happy Hour Flow theme where students can sample healthy drink offerings after class.
At the Anne Arundel County fairgrounds, competing teams of pit masters keep their grills fueled through the night, tingeing the cool air with the smoky, sweet aroma of slow-cooked beef. The marathon cooking session is all for the sake of the Kansas City Barbeque Society judges, whose favor each chef will curry come lunchtime. The annual barbequing competition is just one facet of the festival’s mission to showcase the best barbecue chefs in the region. In addition to the competition, local food vendors sate visitors with hot ribs and empower budding chefs with gourmet sauces and cookware. All the while, 25 live bands keep heads bobbing while reminding diners to chew 30 times before swallowing.
In the dead of night in 1976, the Abi-Najm family boarded a cargo ship bringing only what they could carry; an escape from Civil War in Lebanon called for a quick getaway. They traveled across the ocean to safety in Arlington, Virginia, where they were able to open a small restaurant in 1979. To save money, they changed the eatery’s name from “Athenian Taverna” to “Lebanese Taverna” so that they only had to update one word on the eatery’s marquee.
From these modest beginnings grew a series of eateries that today comprises of six restaurants and four quick-service cafés, all still operated by the Abi-Najm clan. One look at the menu explains the success: chicken shawarma, spicy hummus, lamb tartare—all Lebanese staples that helped the restaurant earn a spot on Northern Virginia magazine's list of 25 Iconic Eats. There's even kibbeh, or stuffed meatballs, which blend ground beef, lamb, almonds, and pine nuts into fried spheres suitable for felling miniature bowling pins on top of the table before entrees arrive. The decor is as striking as the cuisine; inside the Bethesda location, light filters through the colored glass lanterns that decorate the dining room.
On the garden level of The Hotel at Turf Valley, Alexandra's offers up a well-rounded menu for the midmorning muncher. As you peruse the linen-laden tables, indulge in a sampling of thick hickory-smoked bacon, blintzes, waffles, a rotating seafood dish, and a multitude of fresh fruit and vegetables. The sight of hearty eggs benedict and slow-roasted prime rib coexisting in peace will draw a tear of joy from enchanted eye sockets, while the smoked salmon and diverse bakery selection is enough to make stomachs skip a beat. The omelette station equips adventurous eggs with provisions for the journey to the center of your stomach, and lunch edges in on the action with the build-your-own salad station. The brunch also includes unlimited champagne, Bloody Marys, and mimosas, unlike “linner,” which includes a Capri Sun and rush-hour traffic.
Banksy's Café chefs Will and Rob cultivate a cornucopia of light gourmet fare made from fresh ingredients. The menu's Higher Standards section plays host to hearty helpings such as the Bay Mac, a lump-crab cake buried beneath an avalanche of shrimp salad, lettuce, and tomato (a $13 value). Savvy chefs can also customize quarter-pound Angus beef burgers (a $7 value) with different types of cheese and dressing, enfranchising guests to vote for their favorite combo or accuse ambitious cheddar of gerrymandering. Alternatively, build your own sandwich from three varieties of meat and a choice of bread and cheese (a $7 value) or dunk a half-sandwich in a house-made soup (an $8 value). The chef plates each of the 13 options with a healthy side, such as mayo-free california coleslaw or cuban rice salad, depending on his whims and the current wind direction.