Archive for the DC: Dining & Cocktails Category

Cause Its Good

Posted in DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by substanceandstyledc

175545_372083282869238_510260500_oIn a city where new becomes old very fast there is a U Street area bar and restaurant that opened several months ago that is only gaining in popularity. Why? Perhaps it is because it has a friendly staff, or because it has great food, maybe because it has cool cocktails and beer selections.  One might also think it is because all the profits from this philanthropub go to charitable organizations.  Located at 1926 9th Street NW, just two blocks from the U Street Metro station, Cause bills itself as a bar where having a good time helps a worthy cause.  Try it. Cause we know you’ll love it too.


Perfection on Penn

Posted in DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , on July 13, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

The most exciting arrival on Pennsylvania Avenue NW since President Obama was welcomed to his new home in January 2009 took place last night July 12 with the opening party for Del Frisco’s Grille. Obama brought an excitement and fresh vibe to the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue and following his lead Del Frisco’s is doing the same for the 1200 block. With a tasty menu of what owners are calling “a modern twist on the classic bar and grill” they have brought some excitement to the dining and bar options in an area that had been longing for something fresh. Del Frisco’s is certain to become a favorite for the lawyers, lobbyists and public servants that work in the surrounding blocks and now have a new place to play. It is a perfect addition to the neighborhood.

Sweet Caroline’s

Posted in DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

There was a lot of talk about the actresses of the film The Help. Viola Davis won several awards for her portrayal of Aibileen Clark and her cast mate Octavia Spencer walked away with an Oscar for her role as Minny Jackson. These stars truly shined on screen. But they weren’t the only ones who made a lasting impression.

The visuals of the delicious cakes and pies in the film could make anyone not just hungry, but salivate. In particular there is a seven layer caramel cake in the movie that everyone raves about. A nine inch round cake, with multiple layers held together by frosting that looks so good and sweet that it may be a sin.

Well, the makers of the on screen beauties, the seven layer caramel cakes used in the film, are just up the road in Annapolis, Maryland. For more than a decade Caroline’s Cakes, known mostly for their seven layer caramel cakes has been serving up a variety of cakes and cupcakes to happy customers. Several years ago the bakery opened up a small café two doors down that offers a delicious breakfast and lunch menu.

Over the weekend, Substance & Style took a road trip to Annapolis to experience Caroline’s firsthand. The first stop was to the bakery where we were greeted by a friendly staff person who was very knowledgeable and helpful in guiding us to which cake may best suit our palette. After deliberation and temptation we decided to stick with what originally brought us there on this sojourn – caramel. Next we went to Caroline’s Gourmet to see what was on the menu.

The café is intimate and warm and just when you thought you’d met the friendliest staffer in the world at the bakery – you realize in fact that she has competition from the two young men at café. They made you feel like you were in your family members kitchen and whatever you wanted they were going to make with care and serve it with a smile.

While everything on the menu sounds delicious our party indulged in the curried chicken salad on lettuce, a chicken foccacia sandwich and slices of the seven layer lemon and caramel cakes respectively.  The taste of the food was absolutely worth the gas mileage from the District to Annapolis. We washed down our lunch with ice cold bottles of Cheerwine soda. Bottled since 1917, it has been called the “Nectar of North Carolina.” You’ll have to buy a bottle. We bought several to take home with us.

The cake is what we went for, the lunch is what made us linger and the overall experience is what will bring us back for more.

Front entrance of Caroline's Cakes.


Inside Caroline's Cakes.

Inside Caroline's Cakes.

Caroline's Gourmet

Expand Your Local

Posted in Commentary, Culture, DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , , , on December 26, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

One of the most wonderful things about Washington, DC is that there is always something new to discover and someplace to go that you have never been. Whether you have lived in Washington for just a few months, a few years, or even your entire life, there are an abundance of opportunities, experiences and adventures that are to be had. So often, however, those of us that dwell in the DC metro area find ourselves bound by habits and routines of going to the same familiar places. We’ll eat at the same restaurants out of complacency. Likewise, we’ll patronize the same theaters, museums, parks and galleries. We will attend the same festivals in the summer year after year, if for no other reason than it’s what we’ve always done. It is convenient and less scary not to venture beyond our normal paths and neighborhoods that we know so much about. We behave this way because it’s easy and comfortable. It is effortless and doesn’t take much thought to do what we have always done or go where we have always gone. It also means, though, that we continue to see the city through the same lens which we have always seen it. But 2012 we can all challenge ourselves to do something different!

The Substance & Style 2012 challenge to each Washingtonian is to spend an entire day in a ward of the District of Columbia where you do not reside, work or frequently play. Take the time to get to know and enjoy the city in a new way. From Dupont Circle to Fort Dupont, there are numerous parks to picnic, play or relax in. Art galleries like Honfleur and Morton Fine Art are great examples of the numerous galleries on either side of the Anacostia River that offer visitors visual treasurers. The DC Public Library also offers an array of programs and activities in libraries across the city. Cultural Tourism DC’s Neighborhood Heritage Trails provides self-guided walking tours of neighborhoods including Deanwood, Mount Pleasant, Tenleytown and Barracks Row. The walking tours are directed by signs that provide a great deal of history, stories and photos while you walk and create your own memories In every Ward of Washington, there lies something to enjoy and new people to meet. We simply must seek the opportunities to do so.

Visiting the cultural and civic sites in other neighborhoods can be entertaining, educational and empowering as it also is a chance to support many of the small and locally owned businesses that are the heart of the local economy. Building community and sustaining it requires us to make conscious efforts to shop and support local entrepreneurs. Substance and Style’s charge to you is to expand your “local” in 2012. Don’t just cross the street, cross the river. Spend a day on Barracks Row and an evening on U Street NW.  Reach beyond your ward. Celebrate the diversity of the city. Expand your local!

Sweet Thanks Giving

Posted in DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , on November 10, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

The Thanksgiving holiday is always a delicious time for gathering with family and friends to acknowledge your many blessings. It is also a time of year when we are encouraged to share our bounty. For several years two local charitable organizations have held Thanksgiving fundraisers that are great for your heart and your stomach. This year is no different.

Through November 17, Food & Friends, dedicated to providing meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to people living with life-challenging illnesses such as AIDS and cancer will be taking orders for their annual Slice of Life pie sale. The purchase of a pumpkin, apple crumb, sweet potato, pecan or creamy chocolate covered cheesecake pie priced from $25 to $40 will provide one full day of meals for someone in the DC area in need. After purchasing your pie online it is available for pick up November 22 from 11am to 8pm at one of 26 CVS stores in the metro area.  The pies are a delicious addition to your dessert spread and simultaneously can spread joy to another family by providing nourishment.

If buying a pie doesn’t tempt your taste buds for giving, try the cookies prepared and sold by DC youth ages 7 – 18 through the Cookie Time!! program of Kid Power. Kid Power is a civics-based organization that provides academic, nutritional, and service learning opportunities in under-served neighborhoods in Wards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8. For the Cookie Time!! project, young people are assisted by Cake Love Bakery, in operating a small baking business and use their profits to fund local community projects and service trips outside the District of Columbia. Cookie Time!! holds several cookie sales each year. The next one is Sunday, November 20 from 2pm – 5pm at Calvary Baptist Church, 755 8th Street NW.

Seoul in the City

Posted in Culture, DC: Dining & Cocktails, Politics with tags , , , , on October 12, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

The evening of October 13 the Obama administration will open the doors of the White House to host a state dinner honoring the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. This is the fifth state dinner hosted by the administration. If you didn’t get an invitation don’t be disappointed. Washingtonians have several other ways to learn more and to get a taste of the beautifully rich South Korean culture. For those with a literal appetite Mandu has been offering delicious traditional Korean food in DC since 2006. Both their original location on 18th Street NW and their newest addition on K Street NW continue to get rave reviews.

If something more appealing to the eye than the stomach is what you seek, stop by the Freer Gallery of Art for a visit to the Korean ceramics exhibition. The collection includes ceramics made from 200 to 1900. Throughout November the Freer will hold a series of events including movies and live performances in celebration of the reopening of their Korea gallery. It kicks off Friday, November 4 at 7pm with a free performance by Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky.

The Embassy of South Korea is always a wealth of information on activities and programs that bring better understanding of culture and commerce between the US and South Korea all year round. Seoul meets soul in the District.

Cool Down with a Cold One

Posted in DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags on August 11, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

After weeks of blistering hot summer weather you deserve a cold one – or two. August 12 through 21 grab yourself a few ice cold beers during DC Beer Week. Fifty venues across the District will feature be serving some of the best craft beers from the region and offering food & drinks specials for all to enjoy. Beer Week kicks off August 14 with a Beer Cruise along the Potomac. Learn more here. Drink up and cool down.

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