Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Pink carpet around tree (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Community Garden Fundraiser Fizzles — Arlington County’s attempt to crowdfund a community garden accessible to those with disabilities has not gone so well. As of Sunday the county has only raised $465 out of the $10,000 it sought, with only five days to go in the fundraiser. The failure raises questions about local government use of crowdfunding, the Post suggests. [Washington Post]

Meeting on Career Center Changes — Some major changes could be coming to the Arlington Career Center. Arlington Public Schools will be discussing that and other South Arlington school projects at a meeting Tuesday. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Career Center, at 816 S. Walter Reed Drive. [Taylor PTA]

More on Notable Tree Planted at Fire House — A Southern Magnolia tree planted outside Fire Station No. 4 in Clarendon was recognized as a “Notable Tree” last week. The tree was planted in 1965 in memory of ACFD Capt. Archie Hughes, who died while responding to a house fire at the age of 33. [NBC Washington]

New Movie’s Arlington Connection — A new indie flick, “Green Room,” follows the travails of a fictional Arlington-based punk band. The film was written and directed by Alexandria-born filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier. [DCist]

Spotluck Launches in Crystal City — Restaurant discovery and discount app Spotluck has launched in Crystal City. Participating restaurants include Crystal City Sports Pub, Kora and Kabob Palace. [Spotluck]

Arlington’s Diversity Highlighted — The world is learning about Arlington’s diversity. The Voice of America notes that Arlington is home to more than 130 ethnic groups, particularly around Columbia Pike. [VOA]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Spotluck appRestaurant discovery app Spotluck will be donating $5 to the Arlington Food Assistance Center for every download and signup made with the promo code “AFAC” through tomorrow.

Spotluck is running the promotion in honor of AFAC’s Chiefs vs. Chefs fundraising event Wednesday night, which pits local chefs against Arlington County firefighters to see who can create the most mouth-watering dishes using only ingredients that would be found in AFAC’s pantry.

The “three-course throw-down” kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd). Tickets, which start at $100, are still available online. ARLnow.com’s Scott Brodbeck is a judge for the event, along with the Washington Post’s Becky Krystal and former Top Chef competitor George Pagonis, who’s executive chef at Kapnos Taverna.

Chiefs v. Chefs logo (via AFAC)Spotluck, which is a D.C. area-based startup and an ARLnow.com advertiser, says it’s proud to be “supporting a great cause with our good friends at AFAC.” In order to ensure the donation is made, users need to download the app, launch it and enter “AFAC” as the promo code on the signup screen.

Spotluck has 23 Arlington restaurants in the app and says it collectively sends those restaurants thousands of diners per month. In addition to helping users to find new restaurants, Spotluck also offers “preferred pricing” to restaurants that the user lands on via a virtual spin of a wheel in the app.

“Spotluck is a mobile app that allows you to discover local restaurants and save money in a fun new way,” says the company’s website. “With a simple spin, Spotluckers earn preferred pricing and forgo the hassle of figuring out where to eat next!”

AFAC serves some 86,000 pounds of food to more than 2,000 Arlington families in need each week.

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Bistro 360 is a wine bar, market, and restaurant tucked away on the main Courthouse drag. Enjoy delicious standbys along with some fresh dishes from the brand new menu! In addition to dining, stop by for a wide selection of wine, specialty beers, and homemade treats in the market section.

Southern Special: You can’t go wrong with the Shrimp and Nora Mills Grits. Sautéed shrimp sits on a bed of silky smooth grits. It’s topped off with some bell peppers, spicy Tasso ham, and a creamy white wine sauce. We’ll eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (or maybe just brunch, lunch, and dinner.)

Release The Quacken: This Asian-inspired Duck Breast features tender, thick slabs that comprise the meat of the dish. Carrot sesame slaw with a hoisin scallion sauce gives it a hearty southeastern twang.

Good Food You Can’t Pronounce: Look no further for lunch today than a delicious Grilled Tuna Nicoise Salad. Fresh tuna seared rare sits atop mesclun greens in a salad fit for Gourmet Magazine. Haricots verts, salty Kalamata olives, tomatoes, and a Tarragon vinaigrette all add complementing flavors.

Georgian Cheesebread: Khachapuri presents an incredible solution to pizza cravings. The homemade crust is light and crunchy, and is sprinkled with feta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses. A sunny side up egg in the middle does more than look pretty; it’s for dipping! Go ahead — tell your kids it’s for adults only and get one more bite in. We won’t judge.

This concludes our Arlington Spotluck Spotlight mini-series. Hungry yet?? Download the Spotluck app!!

About Spotluck: If you’ve ever had trouble figuring out where to eat in Arlington, we hear ya. We’re a small (but mighty) D.C. area startup that created an awesome free restaurant discovery app that lets you “spin” for discounts at great local spots every day. Don’t be hangry, download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a local restaurant today.

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Bracket Room is a standout sports bar, with TVs on almost every surface (including inside the U-shaped bar itself!). Come here for the sports, but we promise you’ll keep coming back for the delicious food. 

World ‘s Best Tater Tots Far from the microwavable tater tots that are a staple in the college diet, these giant tots are handmade from an old school potato croquette recipe. That means they’re deliciously moist and cheesy on the inside, but crispy on the outside. Served alongside any of the complimentary 15 dipping sauces.

Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls – Forget about cheez whiz; this slow braised ribeye is smothered in mozzarella and provolone cheese. The crunchy egg rolls are served with a honey mustard and sweet Thai chili sauce to add some Southeastern spice to an East Coast classic.

Watermelon Caprese Salad – Summer may be fading, but this savory and refreshing salad is vibrant and savory. Marinated watermelon, baby heirloom tomatoes, and mozzarella ovalinis are served with arugula for a little bite, and a sweet balsamic and basil oil drizzle.

Fresh Ahi Tuna Sashimi – This light dish is a great refresher to balance out that beer bucket you ordered when your team started losing. Citrusy arugula and salty cucumber complement fresh Ahi tuna that’s seasoned with a touch of olive oil.

Hand-Cut Filet Mignon – There’s nothing better than sports and beer, besides sports, beer and perfectly seared beef. The hand-cut steak is served alongside creamy garlic mashed potatoes, and asparagus wrapped in thick-cut prosciutto.

Slow Cooked BBQ Baby Back Ribs – Cooked for 12 hours, these are the most tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs you’ll ever try. The succulent rack of ribs is slathered in a sweet and tangy sauce made in-house. The best part? It’s based on one of our favorite men: Jack Daniels.

9 Rock Shrimp – These huge crustaceans get their crunch from a light and peppery batter. The spicy fried dragon preparation is served with a sambal sauce, a blend of Asian chiles that will make your taste buds rock n’ roll.

About Spotluck: If you’ve ever had trouble figuring out where to eat in Arlington, we hear ya. We’re a small (but mighty) D.C. area startup that created an awesome free restaurant discovery app that lets you “spin” for discounts at great local spots every day. Don’t be hangry, download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a local restaurant today.

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The Boulevard Woodgrill, at 2901 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon, offers flavors from around the world, so everyone in your entourage will leave with a happy belly.

Balsamic Beef Bruschetta: This classic appetizer is beefed up with seasoned, grilled tenderloin atop a crunchy garlic-toasted crostini. It’s complemented by creamy mozzarella and fresh tomato chunks, then drizzled with balsamic glaze.

Thai Beef Satay: If you’re seeking heat, side with the skewers. Thai-marinated top blade steak is smothered in a Thai basil chimichurri sauce to awaken any sleepy taste buds.

Boulevard Quesadilla: Delicious, melted queso blanco fuses grilled chicken, black bean puree, onions, and peppers inside a toasted sun-dried tomato basil tortilla. Green onions and grilled corn salsa keep this south-of-the-border starter fresh and crunchy.

Fennel & Coriander Crusted Ahi Tuna Salad: Fresh coriander and fennel-crusted tuna is seared rare over fresh mixed greens. Dressed in a light citrus miso dressing and a bit of Wasabi aioli, it might inspire you to start that long-procrastinated salad diet. Just don’t tell your trainer about those crispy noodles.

Molasses & Rum Baby-Back Ribs: These tender baby-back ribs are the stars of the menu; they’re dry-rubbed and slathered in a rum and molasses BBQ sauce, and slow-cooked over a wood grill. Of course, they’re served with fresh cut fries! If you leave without trying these, a cloud of culinary sorrow will loom over you for weeks.

Seared Diver Scallops: Ever had a shrimp risotto cake? It may be the seafood world’s greatest wingman. This crunchy cake sits in a creamy seafood broth to bolster the main attraction: seared scallops. The same chef has been making this recipe for the last 11 years, and it’s safe to say it’s been perfected.

About Spotluck: If you’ve ever had trouble figuring out where to eat in Arlington, we hear ya. We’re a small (but mighty) D.C. area startup that created an awesome free restaurant discovery app that lets you “spin” for discounts at great local spots every day. Don’t be hangry, download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a local restaurant today.

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Everyone knows Clarendon’s new kid on the block, Don Tito, for its energy and rooftop views.

We’re here to share their must-try bites (because it never hurts to pair a taco with those drinks).

  1. Surf and Turf Tacos: Once these tacos hit your taste buds, you’ll demand them every time you walk in the door. A crisp and lightly battered shrimp is perched atop, and contrasts nicely with the heavier steak chunks inside. The taco is rounded with an airy cole slaw, crispy bacon, and a Sriracha aioli sauce.
  2. Mini Bean & Carnitas Burrito: This giant burrito, smothered in cheese and red enchiladas sauce, will keep you full ’til breakfast. The thick shell is packed with yellow rice, black beans, Monterrey jack and cheddar cheeses, and perfectly seasoned beef. Scallions are scattered on top to meld the bouquet of spicy sauces and powerful flavors.
  3. Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Tacos: Ever had a sushi taco? Tender sesame seed-crusted Ahi tuna rests on a bed of seaweed salad. Roasted corn adds a bit of that Latin flair we all crave. Two dipping sauces accompany: a cilantro sauce with a nice kick, and a tomato-based sauce with a tangy zing!
  4. Lomo Saltado: A fresh take on the classic beef tenderloin dish features shoestring fries on top of the dish. Sautéed red onions, tomatoes, and soy complement the succulent meat. Drown the shoestring fries in the tasty broth for extra flavor!
  5. Deep Fried Churros: Cap off your feast with a delicious basket of warm fried churros. Coated in cinnamon sugar and served with dipping sauces, these are the perfect way to end your meal. Sweet Tooth Tip: dip the churros in the chocolate sauce and THEN the caramel sauce for a sugary explosion.

About Spotluck: If you’ve ever had trouble figuring out where to eat in Arlington, we hear ya. We’re a small (but mighty) D.C. area startup that created an awesome free restaurant discovery app that lets you “spin” for discounts at great local spots every day. Don’t be hangry, download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a local restaurant today.

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Earlier this week, Spotluck was featured on NBC4’s evening newscast.

Angie Goff and her crew picked up on the local tech start-up, and showed the app in action at Mussel Bar & Grille.

Excited users, savvy restaurateurs, and Spotluck’s CEO all weighed in on the dining phenomenon sweeping over the DMV.

About Spotluck: If you’ve ever had trouble figuring out where to eat in Arlington, we hear ya. We’re a small (but mighty) D.C. area startup that created an awesome free restaurant discovery app that lets you “spin” for discounts at great local spots every day. Don’t be hangry, download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a local restaurant today.

The preceding article was sponsored by Spotluck.

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Spotluck music lineup(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) Mark your calendars for September 13th — because Adams Morgan Day is back on!

Adams Morgan Day has been a D.C. area staple for almost four decades, but after last year’s logistical disputes, it seemed the festival would be postponed for a year.

A grass-roots community initiative then banded together to bring back the “East Coast’s Biggest Block Party.”

Spotluck works with eleven local restaurants in the heart of Adams Morgan, and joined in to liven up the day. The local dining app, along with Songbyrd Music Hall, will be sponsoring the Spotluck Stage, bringing a variety of local music acts to the festival from noon-6 p.m.

Enjoy delicious food, cultural demonstrations, an eclectic list of vendors and plenty of specials at local restaurants up and down the block. Check out the full Spotluck Stage lineup above!

Just a quick 15 minute metro or car ride away from Arlington, Adams Morgan is another neighborhood Spotluck is proud to support. So after a Spotluck lunch in Arlington on Sunday, head over to Adams Morgan Day to see what this grassroots festival is all about.

Click here for more information about Adams Morgan Day.

Location: Adams Morgan, D.C.; 18th Street and Columbia Road
Date: Sunday, September 13th
Time: 12-6 p.m.
Admission: Free

About Spotluck: If you’ve ever had trouble figuring out where to eat in Arlington, we hear ya. We’re a small (but mighty) D.C. area startup that created an awesome free restaurant discovery app that lets you “spin” for discounts at great local spots every day. Don’t be hangry, download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a local restaurant today.

This post was written and sponsored by Spotluck.

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Located a block and a half from the Ballston Metro, this Arlington seafood staple offers delicious fresh mussels, a huge beer selection, and much more!

Surfy & Turfy Appetizer: Resting on a bed of smoked tomato aioli and spicy mayo, this tender Char Grilled Calamari is complemented with crispy pork belly that melts in your mouth.

Our New Favorite Broth: Of course you can’t leave Mussel Bar without trying some mussels! The Spicy Thai Green Curry Mussels are simmered in a broth with a kick that will keep you coming back for more. Surf for peanuts, cilantro, and basil in the light yet creamy sauce. Don’t laugh at the big spoon on the side either, chances are you’ll end up drinking this broth like soup.

Fries, Oh My: These Pommes Frites are deliciously crispy. They come with an aioli trio that will keep your taste buds on their toes. Between the trio of sauces and the spicy Thai green curry broth, don’t be surprised when these fries fly … off the table.

Under the Sea: The Chile Salt Grilled Salmon is smothered in a dry rub and char-grilled to perfection. The salmon is paired with fresh chunks of avocado and a sweet mango salsa to cut the saltiness. A tasty arugula salad with cilantro, red onion, radishes, and a light dressing also balances the dish.

Steak Salad: Deliciously juicy grilled steak on the Thai Steak Salad adds a heavier element to an otherwise refreshing green salad to keep you full ’til bedtime! The mint peanut soy vinaigrette features a secret weapon, cilantro, to stand out against the Fresno Chiles and red onions. The perfect summer snack!

 About Mussel Bar and Grille:
800 North Glebe Road, Arlington VA 22203
(703) 841-2337
http://musselbar.com/ 

About Spotluck: If you’ve ever had trouble figuring out where to eat in Arlington, we hear ya. We’re a small (but mighty) D.C. area startup that created an awesome free restaurant discovery app that lets you “spin” for discounts at great local spots every day. Don’t be hangry, download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a local restaurant today.

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A-Town Bar and Grill
Specialty sushi, classic American food, and a lively atmosphere
Ballston neighborhood, one block from metro

Loco for Coco – The Coconut Chicken Tenders are the perfect mix of savory and sweet. Breaded chicken in crispy coconut, fried to perfection, and dipped in spicy mayo sauce to put a zing on the sweetness. Yum!

Comfort Food CravingsMac N’ Cheese Bites are an A-Town classic – deep-fried macaroni and cheese with marinara dipping sauce. Let’s just say your childhood self would be pretty jealous.

Sushi Eruption – We like to call the Mix! Volcano Roll the lasagna of sushi. These delicious shrimp tempura rolls are filled with huge avocado chunks, topped off with crunchy Tobiko and crabmeat, and adorned with eel sauce for a tad of sweetness.

Little Lobsters & Cute Crabs – The Mini Lobster & Crab Cakes with Papaya Chutney are crazy good. The cakes are perched on top of papaya chutney with corn, carrots, peas, and peppers dressed in a light vinaigrette. Dip ’em in the mayo sauce if you want, but they’re juicy and moist without it too!

I’ll Have an Old Fashioned – There’s nothing wrong with ordering some classic Fish & Chips. The fish is covered in a light and crispy batter that doesn’t overpower the tender, fresh meat inside (a rare balance!). It’s served up with an order of A-Town’s signature Old Bay seasoned fries, of course.

A Huge ‘Giant Burger’ – The A-Town Giant Burger is no joke. With two beef patties, cheddar cheese, fried egg, bacon, and a beer battered onion ring, this burger makes you think you might need to wait until next week to get your cholesterol checked. Cooked to perfection and dripping with delicious juices, this burger is a must-try item on the A-Town menu.

Adult Candy – That’s what we call A-Town’s signature deep fried desserts. Choose from deep fried Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or Oreos. Melt in your mouth candy is deep fried and topped with ice cream. We don’t think anything gets better than that!

About A-Town:
4100 Fairfax Drive, Arlington VA 22203
(703) 991-4687
http://a-townballston.com/

 About Spotluck: If you’ve ever had trouble figuring out where to eat in Arlington, we hear ya. We’re a small (but mighty) D.C. area startup that created an awesome free restaurant discovery app that lets you “spin” for discounts at great local spots every day. Don’t be hangry, download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a local restaurant today.

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Restaurant discovery app Spotluck is spotlighting its Arlington restaurant partners. Download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a nearby spot today. 

Fuego
Traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist
2800 Clarendon Blvd (two blocks from Clarendon Metro)

Mini But Mighty: These Taquitos de Atún sit atop a homemade salsa de arból, and guacamole to hold the shells upright. Cute mini shells are stuffed with delicious and tender ahi tuna. Queso fresco, guacamole, and a slice of red onion top it all off.

Duck Duck Goose: The Flautas de Pato features tender, shredded confit of barbequed duck leg wrapped inside a masa corn cake shell and flash fried. It’s topped with pickled red onion and queso fresco, served with a mole negro dipping sauce. Holy mole!

Mexican Mussels: These tender Pacífico Beer Steamed Mussels are bathed in a chipotle broth of heavy cream and beer. Chunks of fresh chorizo for a little zing, caramelized onions, tomatoes, and a dusting cilantro complement these mussels perfectly. You won’t even have to ask for a straw to slurp up the broth; the mussels come with a big piece of bolillo bread to soak it all up.

Fresh Catch: This locally-sourced Yellowfin ahi tuna melts in your mouth. Seared on the outside and tender on the inside, it blends perfectly with its bed of yellow heirloom tomato puree. Fresh charred local watermelon salad balances nicely and adds a bite of sweetness.

Even though the Pesca Del Día rotates, it will always be locally caught, and will always be the same price no matter what catch it is.

Know Your Flags: Fuego’s Enchiladas Mexicanas de Pollo might be the most delicious enchiladas you’ve ever had. Tender pulled chicken tinga is rolled up in a corn flour tortilla with a fresh cheese blend and diced onions, and is topped with salsas rojo, verde, and queso in the shape of the Mexican flag. Served with thick-cut yucca fries and a delicious habanero aioli dipping sauce, you’ll leave full and happy after this meal.

Corn Flakes Comeback: If you’re missing the good ol’ days you started every morning with a bowl of corn flakes, look no further than Torrejas. This thick slice of brioche is dipped in French toast batter and pressed in a Panini press. Its smeared with Mexican goat milk caramel and topped with caramelized and candied corn flakes to give it a delectable crunch.

Warm Sugar Canela-Dusted Churros: These classic Mexican staples are a must-try dessert. These fresh hand-made sticks are rolled in a sweet sugar mixture, and come to the table accompanied with a caramel sauce that will make you regret offering to share a dessert.

 

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