To say Capital Teas? founders, Manelle and Peter Martino, know tea might be a bit of an understatement. Fifth-generation tea merchant Manelle?s great-great-grandfather, Francis Van Reyk, was a Dutch tea planter who immigrated in the 1870s to present-day Sri Lanka, where he planted and managed the Diyagama Tea Estate, from which the Martinos now source their Great Grandfather?s tea. Manelle?s family has been in the tea trade ever since, a tradition she has carried to her own specialty tea business, which has boutique locations throughout the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland area. Additionally, Peter has become a popular speaker at World Tea Expos, where he frequently educates and inspires the tea world.
In addition to tea from Sri Lanka, Capital Teas carries more than 200 loose teas and herbal infusions from 18 countries including India, China, Japan, Malawi, and Kenya. A sniffing wall dispenses wafts of black, oolong, and green teas, and knowledgeable employees drift around the store?s tasting stations to explain each flavor?s nuances.
Capital Teas also pairs customers with accompaniments such as teapots, infusers, treats, and artisanal honey. In-store patrons may sample free tea samples?which are brewed fresh daily?while online purchasers receive a free sample with every order.
The charm and simplicity of the Maine lobster shack is heaved ashore at Georgetown's Tackle Box, which popped onto Bon Appétit's radar as one of the Best Seafood Restaurants of 2008. Just inside the door on a pocked brick wall, a weathered Old Glory greets diners as they stand before the counter's chalkboard menu to check on the day's fresh catch and wonder if sailors wear their ties in a figure-eight knot. Since Tackle Box shoulders a steadfast commitment to sustainability, each meal can vary, as cooks fry or grill the bounty of fishermen's nets that may swell with haddock or catfish.
Diners can choose smoked trout to pair with hand-cut fries or mac 'n' cheese, all of which they can enjoy at a fire-red picnic table. For an extra kick, fingers may dip fare or put out a burning dynamite fuse in a classic tartar or spicy marinara sauce.
Wisey’s offers a delicious mélange of panini, wraps, subs and sandwiches for quick eaters in Washington DC. Among the most popular are the Chicken Madness sub, with grilled chicken breast, sweet peppers, bacon, provolone cheese and cayenne pepper for a bit of a kick. Others opt for the toned-down California Panini, a croissant stuffed with chicken, avocado, Havarti cheese and sprouts. There are vegetarian options inside the diminutive storefront shop as well, and an array of fresh pastries from the case. Order off of the hanging menu boards and try to grab one of the few available tables, or opt for quick carryout to take back to your desk or home for a night on the couch. Better yet, live close enough to Wisey’s and they’ll even deliver to you.
It’s the little touches that count when dining at Odeon Cafe, an Italian bistro. The dark-wood accents, upstairs loft seating, and wood-burning oven lend the restaurant a European vibe. The Washington Post says you’ll note the “savory aromas” right away, which “confirm the decision to stay and sample the Italian cookery.” Some of those scents come from Odeon’s famed lobster dishes—part of several entrees made with seafood fresh from the docks. While you’re waiting for your main course, you can munch on complimentary Italian rolls, marinated olives, and pepperoncini. The restaurant also has a fine selection of Italian and American wines available by the glass or bottle.
Jamba Juice, the sunny West Coast import, has finally spread their brand of the California lifestyle to the nation’s capital, thanks to its menu blend of smoothies, wraps, flatbreads and sandwiches. The relatively new Dupont Circle location is a great option for on-the-go business types or anyone traipsing through this bustling slice of metro DC. Of course, the fast casual chain is known for their whole fruit smoothies, which come blended in any number of ways, including with a “boost” pack that helps to boost your immune system or give you a jolt of energy. Health-conscious folks have plenty of options themselves, with low-calorie smoothies available from the menuboard, each with their own vitamin-rich, antioxidant-heavy powers, plus a few vegetable juice options. Anyone feeling indulgent can stick with the sweet stuff, like peanut butter, chocolate and available sherbet flavors.
Organic. Fair trade. Sustainable. Microroasted. Plenty of adjectives describe the coffee at Pound The Hill, but the staff is most concerned about one in particular: delicious. They partner their carefully curated brews with breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Breakfast sandwiches—such as the Italian Elvis, smothered with Nutella, bananas, and honey—segue into lunchtime ones piled with veggies, feta cheese, pesto chicken salad, and pulled-pork barbecue. At dinnertime, chefs switch sandwich bread for small plates and entrees, such as organic chicken breast stuffed with blue crab. The restaurant also hosts daily happy hours, which happens to be what clowns call each credit they need to graduate from clown college. During this time, guests sip wine and beer while noshing on discounted appetizers.