Nando’s Peri-Peri, the Afro-Portuguese restaurant group showcasing zesty flame-grilled chicken, has hatched its latest chick at the Yards near Nationals Stadium. You’ll find the succulent birds—which are marinated 24 hours before grilling and basting--tucked inside the renovated Boilermaker Building, a WWI-era naval factory. The name peri-peri comes from incendiary peppers which Africans introduced to the Portuguese centuries ago.
Offering patio seating along Tingey St. SE, the Yards Nando’s was designed by the award-winning Georgetown firm, Hapstak Demetriou +. Like other Nando’s, the newest offshoot features original South African artwork including a giant mural painted by South African artist Xolile Mtakatya (a former anti-apartheid activist who taught himself how to draw and paint on the gray walls of his prison cell). The décor also incorporates industrial design elements honoring the Boilermaker Building’s history.
The first Nando’s debuted in 1987 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since then, Nando’s has spread to 27 countries with 14 in the Washington area. In 2008, the first U.S. Nando’s arrived in Washington’s Chinatown. For more information visit www.Nandosperiperi.com or follow @NandosUSA on Twitter and Like Nando’s Peri-Peri USA on Facebook.
Ted’s Bulletin, a Barracks Row mainstay since 2010, welcomes a culinary sibling in Logan Circle, 1818 14th Street NW (14th and Swann). At the new spinoff and like its parent restaurant, Executive Chef Jacob Hunter dishes out comfort foods like grilled cheese on Wonder Bread served with tomato soup-- and meatloaf. Hunter will also concoct peanut butter bacon burgers (yep, you read that right), named for partner Drew Kim, and a slightly healthier eggplant parmesan burger. The new Ted’s will continue the tradition of Monday pasta night and Tuesday burger basket night, plus seasonal specials. For more information call 202-265-8337 or www.tedsbulletin.com. Part of Matchbox Food Group, Ted’s BULLETIN is open Sunday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Breakfast is available all day.
Inside Eastern Market at Canales Deli, we spotted pre-seasoned packets of carne (beef) and pollo (chicken) asado, priced at $7.99 per pound. The beef looks and tastes like skirt steak, often used for fajitas. We slapped the marinated meat on our Weber grill for a few minutes (do NOT overcook!), then snuggled it in tortilla shells with beans, guacamole, salsa and grated cheese.
As usual, the Silver Spork (formerly Marvelous Market), 303 Seventh St. SE, has come up with tasty new victuals. Latest to arrive is Nana’s gazpacho, made on site from cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, onions, bell peppers with a splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil. Verdict? Nice and chunky and well-seasoned. Easier than making it yourself. Nana’s 14-ounce container—enough for two--sells for $5.99. Silver Spork is open daily; call 202-544-7127.
If you are fans of the Baltimore-based Neopol Savory Smoker, which used to hold court outdoors at Eastern Market on weekends, head over to Union Market, 1309 Fifth St. NE. That’s where Neopol has set up shop Wednesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday from 8 to 8. They also go to various local farmers markets. We’re especially partial to Neopol’s smoked whitefish salad. It’s not cheap—selling for $16 per pound. But it’s as tasty as the version we find at Zabar’s in New York, and it’s smoked and shipped daily from Charm City. Also highly touted is the smoked crabcake sandwich, stacked with avocado, greens, red onions with a dab of Dijon mustard. We also like the smoked garlic bulbs ($3 each), which add zing to salads and pasta dishes. For more information go to www.neopolsmokery.com.
Congrats to Lavagna, 539 Eighth St. SE, which marked its second anniversary last month. The Italian/American Barracks Row favorite celebrated the milestone with complimentary food and drinks August 14. A lively crowd nibbled on executive chef Alex Ripley’s bruschetta, house-made pastas, porchetta and roast beef while sipping Italian wines.
When it got too crowded downstairs, we repaired to the upper level bar where we met “craft” bartender Travis Chambers. There he wowed us with his original cocktails, including an amazing “spring rose,” made with gin, rosewater, lemon juice and other ingredients. You have to try it.
Meanwhile, Chef Alex has introduced a menu addition: Cape Cod rockfish with crispy potatoes, olive tapenade, baby squash and Romesco sauce, a mélange of roasted nuts, garlic, olive oil and spices. Lavagna is open daily, including weekend brunch. Call 202-546-5006 or visit www.LavagnaDC.com.
you have until Oct. 29 to check out the Farmers Market at Canal Park, located at Second and M streets SE. Every Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m., choose from goods grown or produced by local farmers. For more information visitwww.capitolriverfront.org.
Coming to Penn Quarter
New York chef Daniel Boulard, renowned for his DBGB Bar & Kitchen in Manhattan’s East Village, is planning a similar brasserie-style restaurant in our own Penn Quarter, on the site formerly occupied by the old convention center. Stay tuned.
La Plaza, Henry Mendoza’s sensibly priced Mexican/Salvadoran restaurant at 629 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, has introduced live mariachi music Wednesday and Thursdays from 7 to 10 p.m. Call 202-546-9512.
We’d been hearing good things about the weekend brunch at Beuchert’s Saloon, the reincarnated speakeasyat 623 Pennsylvania Ave SE. So we gave it a try on a recent Sunday. Our hostess, who bears the name Caress, ushered us past the two bison heads (which lived and died in Montana), to the marble-topped “Chef’s Bar” overlooking the display kitchen.
We found chef Andrew Markert’s brunch/lunch menu rather limited, but what he offers, he and his staff do well. As we sipped our “bottomless” mimosas made with prosecco ($9), I opted for a chevre/mushroom/zucchini omelette—nice and fluffy, escorted with a lightly dressed green salad. Peter went for the eggs Benedict, composed of the usual poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce and rather salty Benton ham perched atop English muffins. Unfortunately, they were out of Peter’s original choice--house-made 5-spice chicken sausage with kimchee. The Breakfast Sammie, a sandwich stacked with pork, cheddar and a fried egg, served with latkes, sounded rather rich. Service was excellent and our tab came to a reasonable $48.80 before tip.
Beuchert’s is open for dinner Monday-Friday, with weekend brunch and dinner Saturdays and Sundays. Call 202-733-1384 or visitbeuchertssaloon.com.