Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Dessert Tacos In DC Should Make Your Next Taco Tuesday Sweeter

There are many dates and moments in our lives that prove to be monumental: birthdays, anniversaries, and Taco Tuesdays. Yes, bless the marriage of meat and tortilla, a tried and true duo that’s as dynamic as the various kinds of fillings that make it up. But what if we add the sweet variety on to that list of taco style?

I can see you nodding in approval now. And since we’re all in agreement over here, let me divulge further. Roy Boys in Washington D.C., which is an establishment that touts itself as a fried chicken & oysters joint, also serves ice cream tacos. Between those three items, the level of indulgence here is through the roof.

Diners can choose from various mouth-watering choices like Birthday Cake with yellow cake and Fruity Pebbles cereal or Mango Pina Colada with fresh mango and toasted coconut. This sweet reality just made Taco Tuesdays a whole lot more versatile. Also, be on the look out for their special monthly flavors, which is already a lot to like.

Categories
News

Starbucks Opening First Ever Sign Language-Friendly Store

 

Starbucks has made coffee easily accessible to millions around the U.S., and while we’ve probably gotten used to the seamless Starbucks experience, it is not that easy for the deaf community.

With that in mind, Starbucks is opening its first U.S. Signing Store in Washington D.C., where all employees will be fluent in American Sign Language.

“This is a historic moment in Starbucks’ ongoing journey to connect with the Deaf and hard of hearing community,” Rossann Williams, Starbucks executive vice president of U.S. Retail said.

 

The store itself is a pre-existing Starbucks that will be re-opened as the Signing Store, offering employment opportunities to the deaf, hard of hearing, and individuals familiar with ASL.

The inspiration for the store actually came from Malaysia, which opened the first sign language-friendly store in 2016. Around 75 percent of the Malaysian store is actually deaf, and orders are handled DMV-style, where order numbers appear on a TV screen when ready to be picked up.

There have been moments where Baristas have taken things into their own hands, learning sign for their customers. For example, in Leesburg, Virginia, there was a Starbucks employee who learned to sign specifically to help deaf patron who frequented the store.

In a Florida Starbucks, they actually had a system in place that allowed the hearing impaired to order at the drive-thru. When pulling up to order, the menu board turned into a live screen, where barista Katie Wyble, who was fluent in ASL, appeared and took the order for deaf customers.

The baristas at the Washington D.C. store will be wearing “I Sign” pins on their aprons, and there will merch inspired by deaf artists available in the store, as well.

The Signing Store is expected to open in October 2018, and is bound to offer a quieter, less hectic experience than one might get at any other Starbucks.

Categories
Alcohol Design Drinks Nightlife Toasty

Meet An Actual Architect Who Designs How Your Favorite Bars Should Look

A guy walks into a bar… and notices its beautiful design? Well, not always but if you’ve ever watched an episode of “Bar Rescue,” then you know that, in addition to Jon Taffer’s pleasant demeanor, the key to any successful bar is the way its designed. It has to be beautiful yet functional. But who makes them so?

Griz Dwight of the Washington, D.C.-based GrizForm Design Architects does. A dual major in Studio Art and Physics at Williams College, Dwight actually became an architect when he had a beer in hand. “I was sitting around drinking a beer, thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up,” says Dwight. “A woman passed by and asked what I was doing. When I told her, she said, ‘Oh, I thought you were an architect!”

So, who better than Dwight to ask about how backbars — the area behind a bar with shelves for holding bottles and other supplies — are designed, what he drinks when he ponies up to a bar, and how you can give your home bar that professional look.

How did you get into focusing on backbars?

I moved to D.C. in ‘99 with two goals: to get the girl and get out of DC. Half of it worked [laughs]. I’ve been married 17 years but I also fell in love with D.C. My first job out of grad school was with a restaurant design firm. One day, I got a call about starting my own firm and that day I quit. Our first was Oya [an Asian fusion restaurant]. It was terrifying and great because I knew I only had one shot.

What’s the first rule of designing a backbar?

There is no “first rule.” It has to be eye-catching. People need to get excited and think it’s a cool place. It also has to be functional. You can’t have things that bartenders can’t reach or they can’t make a drink. Some bars have every liquor displayed — they’re all about the booze. Maxwell [a wine bar] is all about the wine glasses. So, you have to show you what you’ve got.

Walk me through the process you take clients through.

You have to spend time talking about the kind of bar it is and what you’re serving. We just did a space in State College, Pennsylvania that has 100 beers on tap. It was a bit overwhelming. How do you make it easy to pick a beer? So, we put up giant flat screens with beer menu highlights. At Proof [a new American cuisine restaurant], they wanted to have proverbial “10 lbs in a 5 lbs bag.” They wanted to have TVs that weren’t a focal point unless they were on, a wine keeping system, beer, cocktails and to relate to the neighborhood. We worked with portrait gallery across the street to find photos that could be displayed on the recessed televisions when they’re not on — that also tied in the neighborhood.

What do you notice when you walk into a bar as a customer?

When we walk into a space that we didn’t design, my wife knows not to talk to me for the first 10 minutes [laughs]. I am looking at the details and function. I am watching servers and bartenders with a learning eye. I want to know what’s working and what’s not and how are people using the space.

What recommendations would you give home bartenders to make their bars stand out?

Lighting is essential for hospitality bars. Home bars are usually in a cabinet or tucked away, so I would suggest that they start with the lighting.

What is your go-to drink when you’re in a bar?

It depends on the season. In warmer weather, its usually a Hendrick’s & Tonic with a cucumber. The rest of the year, its a big glass of Barolo or a Manhattan, depending on the kind of day I have had [laughs].

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss Humor

How I Scored Edibles In The Nation’s Capital

In November 2014, the people of the District of Columbia made their voices heard in a historic vote in favor of the “Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Initiative.” This was met with celebration amongst stoners and non-stoners alike, but we didn’t know at the time that this “Initiative 71,” as they fondly nicknamed it, would prove to be literally the dumbest law that has ever existed.

Let me break this down for you, since it’s pretty obvious the government decided it would be super fun to give something that should be so simple a ridiculously long name in hopes of confusing people about what are and aren’t their rights. Under Initiative 71, any persons over the age of 21 are able to have up to two ounces of weed on their person at any time, “gift” up to one ounce of weed to another person, grow up to six marijuana plants in their own home as long as only two are mature at the same time, possess marijuana-related paraphernalia, and indulge in the privacy of their own home.

Notice I didn’t mention anything about buying or selling weed. That’s because under Initiative 71, it’s still illegal to do so.

Here’s where Kush Gods comes in.

Kush Gods is essentially a mobile weed distributor who is known around the streets of DC for their garish, nug-covered “Kushmobiles.” Their work is technically legal, since the company “accepts donations” for goods, rather than charging for them. Founder Nicholas Cunningham had previously been making a living on the West Coast, but moved East after the passing of Initiative 71 to tap into a market that was just forming.

Cunningham has been dragged to court more times than anyone would like to count (sometimes all you can do is lol about how our tax dollars are spent), and most of the cases resulted in his favor, except for the most recent, which required Cunningham to get his signature “Kushmobiles” off the streets of DC. This, of course, didn’t stop him. After following the Gods for a while now, I decided to see what the hype is about.

12:09pm: It’s that time on Friday where I’m like ‘shit, I need to figure out what I’m doing this weekend so I don’t stay in and cuddle with my roommate’s cat like the loser that I am.’ I’m in the middle of brushing said cat off my lap when it hits me — this is the perfect moment to contact the Kush Gods. I went to their Twitter page, texted the listed number with what I felt to be a direct, yet low-key text, and awaited their word.

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12:27pm: I half-expected there to be no response, but sure enough, they followed through. They even sent a link to some original Kush Gods music, as the company likes to showcase their involvement in other industries besides weed, namely music production and, not evidenced by this photo but still prominent, philanthropic work. I’m pumped.

5:00pm: I order an Uber to the location provided to me in the text message, excited but nervous for what is about to go down.

5:35pm: My Uber dumps me at the address listed, but to my surprise, the location is actually a very popular coffee place *winky smile* if ya know what I’m sayin’.

5:36pm: Palms sweaty, heart palpitating, I hesitantly look around the patio area for the “girl with the clipboard.” Even though my activity is technically legal, it feels like I am doing something bad. I push the thoughts of what my mother would have to say about this endeavor aside, approach the woman, and sit across from her at a table outside.

5:37pm: For the first few seconds I don’t make any sound, which makes it very apparent this is my first time. Getting the hint, the woman utters, with a knowing and kind smile on her face, “Would you like to make a donation?” I ask her, “What donation amount corresponds with an edible you have in stock,” trying to be all sly, and she responds a $10 donation will get me one weed cookie. “Is one enough to get you stoned?” I ask, like an imbecile. She literally laughs in my face.

5:38pm: Okay, so this is awesome. An edible for only $10! Side note: I think it’s pretty obvious I live in a highly overpriced city when I’m pumped about paying “only $10” for an edible.

5:39pm: Next, I am instructed to walk to an alternate location of the “popular coffee place” that is only a few blocks away. This whole thing feels surreal, and I’m such a square normally that this trek to legally acquire drugs makes me feel like the badass that I certainly am not. I walk in the door, approach the girl I am advised to meet, tell her my name, and then she just hands me a small baggie with the weed cookie inside. In broad daylight. In front of literally everyone at this coffee place. Casually. Like it wasn’t drugs. Kind of anticlimactic, but whatever.

kush gods weed edible

6:15pm: Now that the deed is done, it is time for the all-important taste test. I take an initial nibble of the cookie to feel it out. It is delicious. Like a legit bakery-quality cookie that is moist yet chewy. It’s almost more of a chocolate chip blondie than anything. The weed taste is still recognizable, but not to the the point where it’s disruptive. I inhale the remainder of the cookie, and then prepare my belly for dinner.

Pro-tip: eat your edible on a fairly empty stomach, so it’ll digest faster.

7:00pm: Sure enough, 45 minutes have passed and I start losing my train of thought mid-sentence, a true sign that I am indeed stoned.

7:15pm: My friend decides we should go get coffee because she lives in a bougie apartment building that has a Seattle’s Best machine in the lobby. I tell her Seattle’s Best Coffee sucks and is bitter at best. Okay, so good to know that any filter I came into the evening with has officially been eliminated.

7:17pm: We’re in the lobby. I’m feeling weird. I unintentionally make eye contact with every person in the room and I feel like they immediately know my secret.

7:19pm: I’m staring at the coffee as it brews. I am enamored with this thing. In my mind, it’s basically a just-as-cool-but-smaller version of the fountain show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. I’m definitely high.

7:20pm: I remember that my friend lives right above a Harris Teeter. She catches on to my thought process and suggests we make an ice cream run. I’m down, obviously.

7:25pm: We are in the freezer aisle. The brand and flavor of ice cream my friend wants is not on the shelf. She said she knows the truck is making its delivery as we speak, and asks an employee to go check in the back for it. I think it is very strange that my friend knows exactly when the ice cream delivery takes place.

7:26pm: My high is really coming on, and I’m pretty sure it’s been an hour since we last saw the Harris Teeter guy. People are walking through the frozen aisle, doing their normal shopping, but I feel like my lack of sobriety is obvious to everyone. I avoid eye contact.

7:27pm: Holy shit, I see someone I know. ABORT!!! Shit, he sees me, too. I hesitantly say hi, then somehow string together a slew of sentences that actually make sense. Our conversation ends naturally, and he resumes his shopping. Whewh. I survived a completely normal human interaction. My friend turns to me, asks if I just shat my pants, and I slowly nod without saying a word.

7:30pm: The Harris Teeter guy returns. I realize it’s only been five minutes, not ten years. They don’t have the ice cream. We settle for chocolate peanut butter, which is hardly settling.

7:31pm: We walk (at a glacial pace) to the self-checkout. I’m really confused because I’m holding the pint of ice cream in my left hand, but the hot cup of coffee in my right. The whole hot/cold combo is really tripping me out. It is kind of surreal, though. Like an icy hot patch is spanning over my entire body.

7:35pm: We’re safe and back in the apartment. I made it. I survived. I conquered. We break out the ice cream, and my friend hands me what I feel at the time is the largest spoon I’ve ever seen. I talk about the spoon for an entire minute, and how large it is, perplexed by my friend’s choice in flatware. I then proceed to eat the ice cream straight from the carton.

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7:45pm: I finally put the spoon down after a solid 10-minute chow. I feel something sticky and realize I managed to get chocolate on my phone/hair/entire upper body. I have to go to the bathroom and essentially give myself a sponge bath. It’s fine.

8:20pm: Whoops, just spent an entire 45 minutes watching “Wine About It” on YouTube.

8:21pm: I just Googled “is djKHALED married,” so there’s that.

8:23pm: Still reading about DJ Khaled…why?

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9:09pm: Deep thoughts.

9:30pm: I’m at the point where I’m playing with my hair and just can’t stop. Just like stroking my own head. I’m back home, and my roommate is giving me a weird look but I must continue. My hair is so soft. I. Just. Have. To. Touch. It.

10:00pm: After some serious vegging, I muster the strength to make the short trek up to my warm, comfy bed.

All in all I would say the Kush Gods came through for probably one of the best highs I’ve ever had from an edible. It wasn’t so strong that I passed out immediately or was paralyzed from being so blown. Just a good, solid buzz for the perfect amount of time. Not to mention I slept like a baby that night. 10/10, would do again, and I highly suggest you do, too.

Categories
Features Hit-Or-Miss Humor

Kissing And Eating Frogs: A Female Foodie’s Dating Adventures

It’s no secret the food world is overwhelmingly dominated by men. That doesn’t mean great female culinarians don’t exist, because they totally do. Some of my personal idols include Alex Guarnaschelli, a total sweetheart yet hardass known for her scrutiny as a judge on the show Chopped, Amanda Freitag, an almost docile woman who can turn on the heat literally and figuratively in the kitchen, and Chrissy Teigen, because she eats whatever she wants and doesn’t give a fuck.

I’m not saying I’m even close to these professionals on the totem pole – I’m not an officially trained chef – but I do know a lot about food. My entire life basically consists of developing recipes for my blog The Bacon Princess, eating food, photographing food, writing about food, reviewing restaurants, maybe sleeping, and then repeating the whole cycle every day.

When I meet new people my age, I feel almost like a circus attraction. Living in Washington, D.C. it’s rare to find a millennial employed by someone other than the Federal Government, and when they find out I “do” food as a living, the fact usually leaves them agape. In this case, I’m just talking about meeting new friends. Dating is a completely different story. When a guy first hears that a) I love bacon (hence my blog name) and b) I eat a lot of food, it’s almost like their brain short circuits for about 30 seconds straight until they know how to process it.

Here are some of the guys I have encountered in the dating world after they find out I’m a girl who is passionate about food:

1. The Showoff

I went on a date with a seemingly pleasant gentleman to a restaurant in Washington, D.C. called Thip Khao. The joint serves traditional Laotian cuisine, and it is fantastic. I actually think the guy picked this place, which was refreshing. But when the meal started, I could tell why.

This fucker had apparently traveled through Laos on some janky boat, and because of this, considered himself an expert in everything Laotian. It took nearly 45 minutes to place our damn order, because he kept engaging the server in detailed conversations about the most obscure things on the menu, proving that he knew what they were, in an attempt to dazzle me with his vast knowledge of Laotian cuisine. On the walk back to the metro, I finally thought we had landed on a normal conversation about childhood pets, but after I mentioned my family had a dog he replied, “I’ve never had a dog as a pet, but I’ve eaten one before.”

2. The Boozehound

Just because I appreciate great food doesn’t mean I need to eat like a princess all the time. But when a guy suggests we have our first date at a grungy bar known for buckets of unidentifiable liquors and blacking out on Saturday nights, I just can’t. So instead, I suggested one of my favorite restaurants in the city I knew had great happy hour deals, and an impressive assortment of local beers on tap. Guys like beer, right?

Turns out the dude was already two vodka cranberry’s deep by the time I arrived fashionably late by a whopping two minutes. The vodka cranberries continued throughout the duration of the date, which by some miracle lasted ninety minutes instead of thirty. Turns out we should have just gone to the dingy bar…or maybe he could have just gone and imbibed without me.

3. The Plain John

Washington, D.C. has some pretty awesome food places. One of my personal favorites is a local chain called &pizza, where you can customize your pie and wait while it’s made right in front of you. However, the best thing about &pizza is that there is only a base price for customizable pizzas, rather than charging you extra per topping, for which many pizza places are notorious.

I don’t know about you, but I go wild with that shit. I’m going to get everything that will physically fit put on that pizza. If you’re a little more modest, I can understand opting for maybe two or three toppings. But I went here with a dude and he legit ordered a straight cheese pizza. Not even three-cheese or four-cheese. Literally just crust with sauce and cheese on it. Do you know what this tells me about your moves in the bedroom? Bye.

4. The Tinder (Douchebag)

Admittedly, I hopped on the Tinder bandwagon in its early days. It was good clean fun to me. I swiped at work when things were slow, on the metro when I could get service, whenever I was on the toilet – you get the picture. My profile definitely mentions my affinity for bacon, and this has turned out to be a great conversation starter.

One day, I opened a message from a pretty attractive guy. He was impressed I liked bacon. Most guys are. He checked out my Instagram, did his homework, and asked an incredibly reasonable question: “Do you get paid to promote bacon?” I replied that I didn’t but have been given ample supply of the fine meat in the past by certain purveyors. He then says, “Cool. You eat a lot of bacon, but I like that you’re still trim.” Glad my body is good enough for you, bro.

5. The Carnivore

A few weeks ago I was speaking with another guy from Tinder about food. He worked in the restaurant industry and also sold fine wines, so I felt at home. We had a good amount to talk about. For some reason he was really shocked when I said one of my favorite foods was chicken wings, so we set a date to get our wings on. I would assume many girls are overly conscious about what they look like while eating wings, or if they have sauce on their face, but I don’t really give a shit.

I met with the guy in-person, ready to get some wings in my belly, but he decided to go for the gold and order ostrich. I’m not really sure why this barbecue place decided to have ostrich on the menu, but they did and the dude ate every bite. I have to admit, I was a little turned on. I love a man who can eat adventurously.

6. The Guy That Makes It Weird

When I was living in Chicago, I got a lot more messages about the bacon aspect of my Tinder profile. I am correlating this to the fact that Chicago is a meat-eater’s dream, with hot dogs, cheese steaks, and deep-dish pizzas loaded with pepperoni around every corner. One day, I received a first message from a guy that literally said, “How about you come over, I cover you in bacon, and let’s get busy.” I briefly decided to entertain his fantasy by asking “Cooked or raw?” to which he replied “raw.” Strange. Am I Lady Gaga, or something? Even I’m not into that. The same guy actually happened to walk into the restaurant I worked at one night and we exchanged a very awkward glance of recognition for a painful amount of time.

7. The One Who Just Really Doesn’t Get It

I have a weakness for cocktails. Not rum and cokes or bourbon gingers, but carefully crafted cocktails. Obviously I drink the shitty ones too because I’m not rich and I am indeed a human, but I can appreciate the time and skill it takes to make a good drink. In a surprising twist of events for me, I actually “dated” a guy for nearly three months. He was alright. Except, he did not share my affinity for skillfully composed food or drink. This turned out to be an issue.

Knowing that he liked whiskey, I took him to Jack Rose Dining Saloon, a well-known whiskey bar in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of DC. This place is legendary. They have so many different types of whiskey, they literally have one of those library ladder things to move around just so they can navigate the whole collection. I thought he would love it. But then he saw the price of one cocktail was $13. Sure, that’s steep, but for the quality, is it really? Good whiskey can be pretty expensive.

He explicitly said, “I’m not going to buy a cocktail at that price when I can buy a whole unit of whiskey for less.” Bruh, what kind of piss whiskey you drinkin’? I’m out.

8. The Wine and Dine-r

Every once in awhile, I am impressed by the culinary aptitude of a man my age. I don’t mean to sound degrading at all, but there are a lot of people in the “eat to live” camp versus the “live to eat camp.” One time, a dashing gentleman invited me over to his apartment for a home-cooked meal. I obliged mostly because I thought this would be pretty entertaining for me, watching a guy struggle in the kitchen.

But this man did not struggle. When I arrived, there was already a bottle of red wine in the decanter. A DECANTER! I didn’t know people actually owned those things. When I asked him what was for dinner, he said sushi-grade Ahi tuna with freshly sliced (not pre-packaged!) kiwi as a garnish. This was impressive. Needless to say, that date went well.

9. The Exhibitionist

There are always those guys on Tinder, whatever dating app, or even in-person that are trying to see you naked from the get go. You may call these people “males,” but I prefer to refer them to exhibitionists. I was approached by a scantily clad muscle man on Tinder who was trying to get the conversation started, but instead of asking for a nude, he decided to mix it up. He said, “Hi. How’s it going? Care to exchange Snapchat? Send me your best food baby photo and I’ll send back a photo of my abs. Fair deal?” Whether this guy is turned on by food or baby bumps, the world will never know.

While I’m not certain whether other females who chose food as a livelihood have encountered the same near-freak incidents as I have, I do know that food is and will always be my most loyal love. As long as I remain the type of girl who values humor and a great story, I shall toil forward through the dating game, ready for whatever characters I meet next.

Categories
Fast Food

7-Eleven Testing Deep-Fried Doritos Stuffed with Melted Nacho Cheese

doritoslead

Anyone who’s ever enjoyed a decent (or hell, even half-decent) crispy, melty mozzarella stick has seen the face of God. Keep your fancy bries and panko breading; no amount of frou-frou ingredients could possibly improve on mozzarella sticks’ pure and utter perfection.

Except, okay, maybe Doritos.

 

The internet woke today to news of a new test product spotted at 7-Elevens in Washington D.C. called “Doritos Loaded.” ‘Net-designated vanguard Kevin Cobb, who tweeted a photo of the snacks as early as January 28th, described them as “nacho cheese Doritos dipped in queso.” A subsequent taste test by Junk Food Guy found the deep-fried triangles to be “almost too crispy. Like, sitting-under-a-heart-lamp-for-too-long crispy.” We ourselves will wait patiently for Dude Foods to teach us how to make our own.

Spokespersons for 7-Eleven have told news sources the product is currently just in its test phases, and it’s too early to discuss it publicly.

It’s not, however, too early for the rest of us to gawk. Spotted some at your local 7-Eleven? Send us your pics @foodbeast or info@foodbeast.com!