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Arlington Celebrity Chef David Guas Set to Appear on ‘Chopped’ Tomorrow

David Guas, Arlington’s resident celebrity chef and TV personality, will return as a judge on “Chopped” tomorrow (Tuesday).

The owner of Courthouse’s Bayou Bakery is set to appear on the Food Network show once more Tuesday at 9 p.m., per a spokeswoman.

The New Orleans native will be judging an episode with competitions centered around Cuban food, dubbed “Under The Cuban Sun.” Guas’ father was born and raised in the country.

After opening the Courthouse eatery in 2010, Guas has gone on to appear on “Chopped” several times over the years — his son has even competed on the program.

Guas has also hosted the Travel Channel show “American Grilled,” written two cookbooks and is a frequent guest on NBC’s “Today Show.”

File photo 

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Volunteer Program Looking for Help to Close the ‘Meal Gap’

There are 17,000 Arlingtonians living without access to affordable, nutritious food, but the planners behind the “Master Food Volunteer” program are hoping you can help change that.

The Master Food Volunteer (MFV) program is run through the Virginia Cooperative Extension. The program offers 30 hours in training on nutrition, meal planning, cooking techniques, food safety and working with a diverse audience. In turn, the volunteers are expected to perform 30 hours of community service using their training to help underserved populations become more familiar with affordable healthy eating practices.

The training takes place on four Fridays throughout October. There is a $120 fee for the program that covers the cost of lunches, training materials, an apron, tote bag, and supplies. Applications are available at the Master Food Volunteer website. Applications are due by Aug. 27.

“We do a lot of work with organizations like the Arlington Food Assistance Center to provide food demonstrations at their food distribution site using ingredients many people are not familiar with,” said Jennifer Abel, senior extension agent for Arlington and Alexandria. “That way people can take the recipes and learn how to use vegetables they might not be familiar with, like summer squash and eggplant.”

Many MFV activities are aimed at helping Arlington’s senior citizens who may have limited access to grocery stores. The MFV program is also active in Arlington’s farmers’ markets, like the Aug. 25 market at Courthouse and the Sept. 8 farmers’ market at Arlington Mill.

“In general, vegetable consumption among Americans is lower than it should be, while sugar consumption is much higher,” said Abel. “We’re doing pretty well on fruits, because they’re nice and sweet, but it’s tougher a lot of times to get people to eat a zucchini.”

Photo via Virginia Cooperative Extension

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Morning Notes

Georgetown Condo Development Could Further Stymie Gondola Push — Work seems to be moving ahead on an effort to redevelop a former Exxon station in Georgetown into 21 condos, which planners have long eyed as a key property in the development of a Rosslyn-Georgetown gondola. The development could further imperil a project already broadly viewed as a non-starter among Arlington’s leaders. [Urban Turf]

Rosslyn “Pop Up” Store Opens for Business — “The Alcove,” backed by the Rosslyn BID and a variety of other community partners, held a grand opening yesterday (Wednesday). Located at the corner of 19th Street N. and N. Moore Street in Rosslyn’s Central Place Plaza, the store will be open through end of September. [Twitter]

Arlington Food Assistance Center Looking for Fresh Produce Donations — The center is asking local gardeners and farmers for some help this summer, and will accept donations at three locations around the county. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo via Tom Mockler

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Lead Your Healthiest Life with Complete Nutrition in Clarendon

Regardless of your fitness goals (slimming down, bulking up or maintaining your best health), Complete Nutrition offers great solutions for everyone, no matter where you are in your fitness journey.

Offering free services, Complete Nutrition isn’t your traditional nutritional supplement company. Based on the ideals of hydration, recovery, balanced nutrition and exercise, their success coaches can provide you with advice on these areas in addition to a supplementation plan that will help boost your results.

To begin, customers receive a free body composition analysis (BodyComp) to measure not only your weight, but muscle mass, body fat and water. It can even calculate the number of calories your body burns at rest in one day. Using this technology can tell you exactly what you need to do to achieve your desired goal.

After this baseline measurement, customers can continue with free BodyComps to see exactly how diet, exercise and supplementation plans are working. The accountability helps beginners stick to a new routine and helps seasoned athletes fine-tune their existing routines.

Come and enjoy a delicious smoothie while you take a look at what Complete Nutrition has to offer. All of their products are cGMP certified in a FDA registered facility and tested for quality and purity to meet the industry standard Certificate of Analysis (COA). The company even goes a step further to verify the COA against an independent 3rd party lab.

Complete Nutrition is located along Washington Boulevard and 10th Street. Check out the company’s website for details on a wide assortment of sports nutrition, weight management and general health supplements.

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Rooftop Spot Now Open at Le Meridien Hotel in Rosslyn

Located on the fourth floor of Le Meridien Arlington (1121 19th Street N.) is a new rooftop restaurant aiming to be a “food truck on steroids,” in the words of general manager Calvin Ware.

The Yard celebrated its grand opening Friday (July 13) with a DJ and Washington Redskins cornerback Greg Stroman. The venue is open to both hotel guests and members of the public.

Weekly specials include Margarita Mondays ($6 margaritas) and Taco Tuesdays (buy one, get one tacos). This Tuesday (July 24), they’ll celebrate National Tequila Day with $5 “Yardaritas” from 4-6 p.m. Menu offerings include sliders, tacos and frosé (frozen rosé), and games like cornhole are set up for patrons.

Ware envisions eventually adding artificial grass to make the venue feel more like a backyard.

For now, they “definitely want to be the place to be in Rosslyn,” Ware said. The Yard is open Monday through Friday from 4-1o p.m.

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Rustico Ballston to Host Crawfish Boil, Open New Beer Garden Saturday

Louisiana flavor is coming to Arlington tomorrow (June 16) with Rustico Ballston‘s (4075 Wilson Boulevard) second annual Bluegrass & Crawfish Boil.

The event will run from 12-7 p.m. and feature craft beers from four Virginia breweries, live music, games like table tennis and corn hole and plenty of fresh Louisiana crawfish for $15 per pound.

Saturday’s festivities will also include the launch of Rustico’s new beer garden, General Manager Ryan Cline wrote in an email to ARLnow. The lounge area will include 124 additional seats and provide a venue for live music on Fridays and Saturdays in the future, Cline added.

Rustico isn’t the only local restaurant commemorating crawfish season — Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road) has held two crawfish boils this spring and plans to host another on Saturday, June 30.

Jaleo Crystal City (2250 Crystal Drive) will join the cohort of restaurants organizing summer food festivals on Monday (June 18) from 5-8:30 p.m. with a kickoff party for its 16th annual Paella Festival.

Spanish chef Quim Márquez will join Jaleo’s team to prepare five rice dishes for all patrons who purchase a $35 ticket. Márquez will remain with Jaleo for the duration of Paella Festival, which runs through July 1.

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Raise a Glass to Arlington Nonprofits at Taste of Arlington

The 31st Annual Taste of Arlington presented by Courthaus Social, the signature event of BallstonGives, returns to Ballston on Sunday May 20. Come eat, drink and support local charities and nonprofits from 12-6 p.m.

This year’s festival features 60 local restaurants and food trucks, beer and wine gardens, live music on two stages, a dedicated KidZone and a pop-up dog park. For the first time in Taste of Arlington history, the festival will feature spirits from award-winning regional and internationally renowned distilleries in the main beer and wine garden and in the VIP lounge.

Sip and sample refreshing libations such as handcrafted cocktails mixed with spirits including Hennessy Black, Captain Morgan and Ketel One Vodka.

For those who prefer to pair their tastes with beer, Arlington’s New District Brewing will be pouring their beloved brews, as will Devils Backbone, SweetWater and Troegs.

Taste of Arlington will also feature a robust lineup of wines and ciders, featuring selections from Ruffino, Robert Mondavi, The Dreaming Tree, Bold Rock and many others.

Beverage tickets will be sold at both festival entrances off Wilson Boulevard at N. Monroe Street and N. Randolph Street, as well as in the main concert stage beer and wine garden. One beverage ticket gets you an 8 ounce pour of beer, wine or cocktail.

Each year BallstonGives donates a portion of event proceeds to local non-profits. This year’s donations will benefit the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Center for Excellence, Volunteer Arlington and Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.

Thirsty yet? Head over to www.tasteofarlington.com to get your tickets today.

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New Korean-Vietnamese Restaurant Coming to Arlington Ridge

An organic Korean-Vietnamese food truck is opening up a brick-and-mortar location in Arlington Ridge.

Kovi Kitchen will be opening a location at 2921 S. Glebe Road, near the Arlington-Alexandria border. The restaurant teased the news on Twitter and Facebook over the weekend, but did not announce an estimated grand opening weekend.

The food truck, which has parked in Rosslyn for the lunch rush, serves $3 tacos, rice bowls and bahn mi.

The restaurant will be run by Vi Nguyen, who, according to the truck’s website, has at least 29 years of hospitality industry experience.

A voice mail left at the food truck’s listed number was not immediately returned.

Photo via Kovi Kitchen

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A Southern Cuisine Food Truck Is Rolling into Arlington

Bootheel Catering started cooking Southern-style cuisine nine years ago in Arlington, and now it’s expanding to a food truck.

The truck will begin selling food to locals in late May or early June, said Bootheel Catering owner David Newton.

Newton is from Southeast Missouri, a location described as the “boot heel” of the state, which inspired the catering company’s name.

Newton said he wanted to open a food truck to make catering more convenient by having a mobile kitchen on hand for events.

“It makes our lives easier. It makes the food fresher,” he said. “I just want to get more of our stuff out to people, because people really like it.”

The food truck’s menu will include barbecue, brisket, pulled chicken, jambalaya, gumbo, grits, fried chicken and more. Prices will from $8 to $12, Newton said.

The truck will be traveling throughout Clarendon, Rosslyn, Crystal City and possibly Ballston. Newton said the truck may even go out to the Tyson’s Corner area.

Photo via Facebook/Bootheel Catering 

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Bayou Bakery to Hold Annual Crawfish Boil this Weekend

Courthouse’s Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road) will host its annual crawfish boil on Saturday (April 28) from 4-6 p.m.

The crawfish boil coincides with the beginning of New Orleans’ Jazz Fest and will feature live music along with traditional Louisiana nibbles. New Orleans native and Bayou Bakery owner and chef David Guas will host the event.

Customers will be able to buy a bundle of food that includes Louisiana crawfish with sweet corn on the cob, new potatoes, coleslaw, “muff-a-lottas,” and cornbread.

Bayou Bakery will offer drink specials, and second plates may be filled if there is additional food available.

The restaurant will hold two more crawfish boils later this spring and summer, on May 26 and June 30.

Photo courtesy of Bayou Bakery

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Barley Mac to Host Second Annual Oyster Festival

Barley Mac will be holding its second annual oyster festival on Saturday (April 21) from 1-5 p.m. on its patio, weather permitting.

Festival attendees can dig into unlimited oysters alongside a cigar rolling station, an oyster shucking instructional station, an oyster eating contest, and a live musical performance.

Tickets, ranging in price from $49 online to $59 at the door, will also include two drink tickets and a stemless wine glass.

Barley Mac will be serving raw oysters, oysters Rockefeller, grilled oysters, fried po-boys, oyster stew, fried buffalo batter oysters and oyster ceviche.

The oyster and wine festival will be open for all ages, though those 21 and older will receive a wristband to drink.

Photo courtesy Barley Mac

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Istanbul Grill Expected To Replace Ballston Area’s El Ranchero

A new Turkish restaurant is coming to the Ballston area, replacing long-time restaurant El Ranchero.

Istanbul Grill will offer up traditional Turkish food, with kebabs served with rice and vegetables, and “traditional special appetizers,” according to its owner.

The restaurant, which has applied for a license to sell wine and beer, is aiming to seat between 101-150 people at a time, according to the license application.

Istanbul Grill’s owner, Turgut Yiğit, wrote to ARLnow that he “is aiming and hoping to open” May 1 at 4617 Wilson Boulevard, which is just west of Ballston in the Bluemont neighborhood.

The Istanbul Grill in Arlington, Va., does not appear to have a website at this time, and is not the same as the Istanbul Grill in Arlington, Texas.

Photo via Google Maps

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Two Farmers Markets Kick Off Season This Week

At least two Arlington farmers markets — in Crystal City and Ballston — are kicking off for the season this week.

In Crystal City, the farmers market at 1900 Crystal Drive will kick off tomorrow (April 3). The market, open from 3-7 p.m. every Tuesday, will have over 20 regional farmers, producers, and vendors.

Mexican street food vendor Manos de Maiz and the grass-fed beef hot dog and hamburger food truck Swizzler will be among this year’s new offerings.

Shoppers can also pick up “conventional and certified organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and pastured poultry and eggs, sweet and savory baked goods, handmade pastas, honey, jams, and jellies, hot sauces and pickles, and delicious prepared foods,” according to FRESHFARM, the nonprofit market organizer behind both Crystal City and Ballston markets.

The farmers market at Ballston’s Welburn Square is set to open on Thursday (April 5). Among other goods, shoppers can find “ice cream, sweet and savory baked goods, Virginia-made wines, cold-pressed juices, handmade soaps and lotions, wood-fired pizza, [and] hot pressed sandwiches” between 3-7 p.m. every Thursday.

New Ballston vendors this year include strudel stand Little Austria, and Number 1 Sons with their fermented pickles, krauts, and kimchis.

On the first Thursday of each month, the Ballston market will host a beer and wine garden, music, and giveaways.

Both the Crystal City and Ballston farmers markets accept SNAP and WIC program benefits and offer matching dollars for what is spent through those programs.

The farmers market outside Clarendon’s Metro station is opening April 11, with listed hours of 3-7 p.m., according to Clarendon Alliance director Matt Hussman.

Other farmers markets in the county, with listed hours, include:

In addition, a new farmers market has been proposed for Barrett Elementary School.

Photos via Arlington County

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Taste of Arlington to Feature Largest Restaurant Row in its History

On Sunday, May 20, from 12-6 p.m. the 31st Annual Taste of Arlington presented by Courthaus Social returns to Ballston.

Hosted by BallstonGives, the charitable arm of the Ballston Business Improvement District (BID), this family-friendly street festival will benefit several Arlington non-profits including the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington Arts Center, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Center for Excellence and Volunteer Arlington.

The event features a craft beer and wine garden, live music on two stages, a dedicated KidZone and a pop-up dog park but the real focus of Taste of Arlington is the food. With over 60 restaurants and food trucks, this year’s restaurant row will be the biggest in Taste of Arlington history and will continue to showcase the best of Arlington’s rapidly growing food scene.

Buzzworthy newcomers like The G.O.A.T., Ambar and Bartaco will be in attendance, along with delicious Arlington favorites such as Epic Smokehouse, SER Restaurant and Rocklands Barbeque.

For those interested in trying something with an international flair, Taste of Arlington boasts a diverse lineup of vendors offering tastes from across the globe. From Venezuela (Arepa Crew) and the Philippines (Bistro 1521) to Australia (Oz) and Anatolia (Ozfeka Catering), there’s something to satisfy even the most adventurous of palates.

What can we expect to eat at this year’s festival? Here’s some of the dishes that already have our mouths watering:

  • Cheesetique’s gooey Melted Raclette, served with an assortment of dippable accompaniments.
  • Wood-fired pizzas from Timber Pizza, specifically the Green Monster, loaded with pesto, zucchini and kale.
  • Tacos Al Pastor, stuffed with roasted pork and pineapple, from TTT & Buena Vida.

Hungry yet? Tickets are on sale now, with discounted prices available until May 1. Head over to www.tasteofarlington.com to purchase your tickets today!

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Medium Rare Sets Expected Virginia Square Opening Date

Looks like Virginia Square residents won’t have to wait long for the opening of prix-fixe steakhouse Medium Rare.

The restaurant had signs up as early as November 2017, but co-founder Mark Bucher confirmed via email that the restaurant is targeting to open the first week of April.

Currently, the popular chain has three open locations — two in D.C. and one in Bethesda, Md.

Medium Rare is known for its relatively inexpensive pre-fixe dinner menu of bread, salad, and culotte steak with fries and a “secret sauce” for about $20.

Photo courtesy of Leslie Koch

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