Growing up, Chakra Café’s owner Monisha lived two different lives. At school, she was known by her given name and spent lunch hours twirling spaghetti on a fork. But at home, Monisha’s Bengali parents only referred to her by her nickname, Hashi–or laughter–and mealtimes meant scooping up lamb curry with a piece of luchi. The duality of Monisha’s two worlds–and the food she was exposed to–left a lasting impression and is the driving force behind the Café’s menu.
Inside Chakra Café’s kitchen, chefs marry Indian flavors with culinary traditions from around the world, using recipes adapted from Monisha’s mother, according to a Patch.com article. Traditional Bengali dishes such as begun bhartha–roasted eggplant flavored with green mango–are served solo or stuffed inside quesadillas with smoked fontina cheese, roasted pine nuts, and raitha yogurt sauce. Other Indian staples are also Americanized, from the tandoori chicken that tops flatbread pizzas to spaghetti paired with lamb meatballs and a whisper of ghee. Each item on the menu is clearly marked as halal, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, making it easy to decipher the dishes without meat and the ones that require each bite to be chewed 32 times.
BGR The Burger Joint?s burgers start with high-quality ingredients?most importantly, all-natural beef from grain-fed cattle, free to run in the fields and given zero hormones, fillers, or antibiotics. The prime beef is dry-aged, blended, and ground fresh to form patties that are grilled over an open flame, and then placed atop buttery, locally made brioche buns delivered fresh each day. The menu focuses on the Triple D burger topped with an over easy egg, apple wood smoked bacon, grilled jalapeno and cheddar cheese. For nonbeef eaters, the menu's selection of burgers also includes turkey and veggie varieties, as well as The Greek, a seasoned lamb patty topped with tzatziki and feta. Burgers are also available in a lettuce wrap or on a salad in a healthy salad bowl.
Diners can request all of BGR The Burger Joint's freshly made fries?from thick-cut yukon gold potatoes to asparagus fries?be topped with parmesan, rosemary, roasted garlic, or a tiny tiara. The staff hand-spins shakes with Gifford's or Breyers ice cream to create extra-thick treats for finishing off meals, and some shops curate their own selection of bottled vintage sodas and offer beer and wine.
Situated in a Federal-style mansion, The Grille at Morrison House's historical exterior belies its distinctly modern cuisine. Drawing on produce and meats sourced from Virginia farms, executive chef Brian McPherson and his staff translate classic French dishes into distinct, American iterations. Lavish appetizers feature foie gras pastrami torchon, scottish salmon tartare with american caviar, escargot, and selections of cheeses and charcuterie. Entrees include red-wine-braised short rib beef bourguignon, crispy duck breast in a port reduction, and Pineland Farms ribeye with cashel blue cheese butter. Conscious of diners' varying dietary needs, cooks tailor the menu to vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free specifications on request. Two distinct dining areas give guests a choice of atmosphere. The Dining Room boasts airy windows and summer tones, contrasted with The Grille's rich woods, red leathers, and piano brunches on Sundays. The venue earned accolades from the Washingtonian for its meticulously plotted wedding dinners, which invite brides to toss escargot to the next lucky lady.
Since opening their first location in 1996, Robeks sends their customers well on their way to consuming their recommended daily intake for fruits and vegetables, all through a portable smoothie. Customers can step up to the counter and order from a menu of berry, tropical, and ?power? smoothies, the latter of which are named for extra boosts of vitamins A and C, fiber, and protein infused in the drink. Nearly a dozen different supplements lend their revitalizing nutrients to the menu, helping create power smoothies like the metabolism-boosting Venice Burner and the protein-packed MuscleMax. Robeks also offers gourmet stuffed pretzels and oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip ?power? cookies. Each Robeks location makes a concerted effort to support the neighborhood it resides in, through local organizations, such as Save the Children. Robeks also offers free medium favorite or classic smoothie with $30 gift card purchase.
After visiting several sushi and hibachi restaurants, Jian Yi Pan noticed a trend of degrading portion sizes and quality. In an effort to reverse this trend, with the aid of his sushi-loving 5-year-old daughter, Jian opened Sumo. Celebrating its two-year anniversary, the chefs of Sumo prepare hibachi-style meals for their guests by frying rice and grilling fresh proteins on giant skillets built into the middle of the restaurant's tables. Although the delicious aroma of their food certainly commands attention, they capture the full admiration of their guests with stunning knife and fire tricks, such as summoning flames or juggling blades as they cook. Behind the sushi bar, they practice a less flashy form of knife work as they carefully slice rice, meat, fish flown in from Japan, and seaweed into bite-size colorful rolls and morsels. As sushi and hibachi dishes fight for dinner supremacy, Sumo?s decor celebrates the celebrity of sumo wrestlers in feudal Japan by showing their contests of strength beneath the rising sun and the adoration of kimono-clad fans as they walk the streets of cities and villages.
The flaming, hollering wing-eater painted across the front window at Wings To Go serves as a fair warning to guests: some of the sauces are spicy. Such sauces are listed on the menu under fitting monikers like "suicide", "homicide", and "bar-b-cide" with cheeky captions such as "only on a dare" or "seriously guys, this is not to be used as a substitute for contact lens solution?not even in an emergency." There is, however, an array of milder varieties?including a buttery golden garlic, a sweet honey mustard, and a tangy teriyaki?in the eatery's lineup of 18 signature sauces. Cooks shower these flavorful concoctions onto boneless and traditional buffalo wings, or serve them as dipping sauces alongside crispy tenders and shrimp. They can also whip up seven varieties of chicken sandwiches, as well as philly cheesesteaks with onions and peppers.
Diners can enjoy meals perched on stools in the bright, cozy eatery, or opt for takeout to enjoy wings in the comfort of their home or office via online ordering.