#MadeinDC: 5 Must-Try DC Treats
1. Get a Real Chicago Dog at Ivy and Coney That Would Make Mom Proud
As the daughter of two Chicagoans, I learned from a young age that ketchup is not a condiment used with hot dogs. This was not what the other kids at school in Minnesota taught me so I didn't know who to believe. I have since come to appreciate that a good hot dog has real tomatoes and therefore does not need ketchup. The Chicago dog at Ivy and Coney is perhaps the truest to the Chicago dog that can be found in Washington, DC (though I'm up for a taste test challenge if you know of something better). They get every element perfect from the celery salt down to the poppy seed bun. This Detroit and Chicago themed dive bar has friendly Midwestern vibe with an outdoor roof and a pool table to boot.
Ivy and Coney
1537 7th St NW
It's easy to miss with its unpretentious and unassuming facade.
2. Melt in Your Mouth: Johnny Cakes at Kangaroo Boxing Club
Pancakes are in my top ten favorite foods so I consider myself somewhat of an expert. That said, if you like pancakes, then you will love this buttery cornbread jubilation. After Louis CK’s surprise show at the Lincoln Theatre (so good!), I needed to refuel and thankfully Kangaroo Boxing Club accomplished that and more. I discovered an incredible new delight called “Johnny Cakes” here in DC's Columbia Heights. I didn’t even get a pic because I demolished them. Here's what they are described as: mini corn bread cakes served with maple-honey butter. Seriously, I cannot wait to go back for more. Also, since they are “mini”, I advise one order per person because you won’t want to share. I just can’t believe I lived so long without these in my life. Brunch anyone?
Behind the Dish via Wikipedia
Johnnycake—also called jonnycake, johnny cake, journey cake, shawnee cake, or johnny bread—is a cornmeal flatbread. An early American staple food, it is prepared on the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to Jamaica. The food originates from the native inhabitants of North America. The modern johnnycake is found in the cuisine of New England, and often claimed as originating in Rhode Island.
- GFF’s (Gluten Free Friends) you need to try these corn cakes because they are GF AF!
- Go before 11pm because Johnny Cakes are not on the late-night menu. I would not have shared had I known there was no more to be had.
Kangaroo Boxing Club
3410 11th St NW
3. Sweet Treat: Cookies and Cookie Dough Ice Cream at Ice Cream Jubilee
With flavors like Chocolate Matzo Crack and others coming and going all the time, there's always something good to try at Ice Cream Jubilee. My personal favorite is the Cookies and Cookie Dough (made with egg-less cookie dough). With an adorable story, I never feel guilty indulging in this local treasure's treats.
- The best time to go to Ice Cream Jubilee in Navy Yard is on a cool night when the Nats are playing. When everyone is at the game, you can try the 2015 Washington City Paper’s Best Ice Shop.
- A block away from the The Yards Park Dog Park, #georgethecoonhound can go with his pals too! In fact, on most nice days you’ll find a hopeful dog intently waiting for a lick from his ice cream eating owner on the patio. Definitely worth the trip!
- GFF (Gluten Free Friends) will be happy to know they list which flavors contain gluten on their website and this is not one of them!
Ice Cream Jubilee
301 Water Street SE
4. Big Stick's Creative Twist on a Margarita with Sour Beer
For Post-Nationals fun, the Big Stick does not disappoint. Their reasonable prices make it possible to have the stadium foods you love without spending all the time in line or spending more than you paid for your ticket. The cheese curds remind me of Minnesota (even though the menu does call them "Wisconsin cheese curds". With DC drafts on tap, the Big Stick has a good beer list without being a "beer bar" because they also have cocktails and hoptails (beer cocktails). Recently, I tried the Goserita, which is sour beer, tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. The only thing I would add is a salt rim, but overall, this drink is a refreshing take on a margarita. In a city where all the cocktails seem to be a variation on an Old Fashioned, it was exciting to try something more original.
With a dog-friendly patio and the TV's in viewing distance from the outdoor benches, Big Stick has mass-appeal.
5. Try a Classic Blood and Sand at Lost and Found
Speaking of classic cocktails, Lost and Found's does a mighty fine delivery with its Blood and Sand. According to the The Mixellany Guide to Vermouth & Other Aperitifs, UK-born Harry Craddock was a mixologist before mixology was a thing. After spending time in Cleveland and then at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York, he went back home when prohibition started. In 1930, he published the Savoy Cocktail Book, which is where the "Blood and Sand" made its print debut. To this day, cocktails with scotch are fairly uncommon, but the basic ingredients are: scotch, vermouth, cherry heering and (blood) orange juice. I've seen it listed as blood orange and regular orange. Cherry Heering was new to me:
"Created by Peter Heering and produced in Denmark since 1818, Cherry Heering is a ruby-red liqueur made by soaking lightly crushed Danish cherries and a blend of spices in neutral grain spirits, then cask-maturing the mixture for up to five years, adding sugar during the aging process." - Imbibe Magazine
- Lost and Found doesn't list the cocktail prices on their menu but this craft libation will set you back $12.
- Take it off. With the disclaimer that I am almost always more likely to be hot than cold, I am always feeling a little moist when I go here.
- They don't have food so plan accordingly. Maybe start your night with a hot dog at Ivy & Coney and walk some of it off on your way to Lost and Found.
For more mouth watering fun in real time, follow along: