Tag Archive for mac and cheese

Review: Cleveland Park’s El Pulpo

Serrano mac and cheese

Recently I checked out El Pulpo in Cleveland Park. El Pulpo opened this past summer in the space formerly known as Tackle Box and the pop-up locale for Bandolero (before moving to Georgetown).

El Pulpo is not your traditional Spanish tapas restaurant.  It puts its own spin on traditional Spanish tapas by infusing them with influences from modern American cuisine.  For example, mac and cheese is on the menu.  El Pulpo’s version is made with manchego cheese and topped with crispy fried Serrano ham.  It is one of the best mac and cheese dishes I’ve had.  Other standouts are the roasted bone marrow mixed in with caramelized Vidalia onions and the short rib sofrito.

I have mixed feelings about the brussels sprouts.  They come with those crispy brown edges I love, but the bacon vinaigrette, which is quite tasty, is relegated to the bottom of the bowl and doesn’t get a chance to sufficiently permeate the leafy sprouts.  I also have mixed feelings about the chorizo paella.  El Pulpo’s paella is very good but lacks the crunchy rice — scraped from the bottom of the paella pan — that is the hallmark of traditional paella.

Short rib sofrito (covered by onion rings!)

The whole prawns, cocoa crusted strip loin, and foie gras and roasted vegetables dishes are solid but overall non-events.  The roasted beet salad has a harshness to it from the raw beets that I don’t particularly like.

The baby octopus with pork belly confit falls short in my opinion.  It is fried, a fact that is not alone offensive but should be noted on the menu.  The pork belly confit is almost indiscernible in a sea of polenta.  I’m not sure how that even happens.  To top it all off, the dish was bland.

On the upside, El Pulpo’s staff is very friendly and the restaurant has a relaxed vibe that I really enjoy.  Even better, our waiter told us the restaurant has begun serving brunch.  All you can eat and bottomless adult beverages for something like $25.  Hello! I think I know where I’ll be November 11 (day before Veterans’ Day holiday).

El Pulpo
3407 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202.450.6875
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 5pm-10:30pm
       Friday and Saturday: 5pm-11:30pm
       Sunday: 11am-2:30pm (brunch), 5pm-10:30pm


Pulpo on Urbanspoon

Free Food for D.C. Feds on Thursday, 12/8!

Below is a guest post from GovLoop’s Lauren Modeen.  As a former federal employee and a friend to many Feds out there, I’m happy to help promote this event!  Plus, the free food at issue here includes two of my favorite food groups: mac and cheese and BBQ.  Now if only I could find that old Government ID . . .

There is such a thing as a free lunch. For government workers, that is, on December 8!

Being a government worker is a thankless job and in most instances that’s just not cool. GovLoop.com, the “Facebook for Feds” sees the good work govies do every day, and wants to say thanks.

That’s why GovLoop is planning to feed public servants, FOR FREE, on December 8 from 11:30am – 1:30pm (or until supplies run out) at the L’Enfant and Federal Triangle metro stops. It’s simple – government employees just need to show up with a government ID, business card or something else to prove their public service credentials. If indeed a government employee, they will get their choice of lunch from one of two food truck partners: BBQ Bus (L’Enfant Plaza) or Cap Mac (Federal Triangle). The lunch menu will include:

  1. Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich with chips and a drink
  2. Three Bean Vegetarian Chili with a drink
  3. Classic Macaroni and Cheese with a drink
  4. Goat Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with a drink

The exact locations of the food trucks will not be known until the day of the event. When arriving at the metro stops, follow @GovLoop on Twitter to find out exactly where the trucks are stationed. You can also call (202) 709-7472 on the day of the event for exact locations.

Want more details? Check it out here.

Image source, http://www.facebook.com/bbqbusdc

Review: The Getaway – More than just a movie


The Getaway, just a few blocks north of the Tivoli Theater in Columbia Heights, is a cool neighborhood spot.  I checked it out this past Thursday evening for the first time and plan to return.  It happened to be trivia night and the lower level bar was packed! Once trivia was over, people started filling up the second level just as a movie, The Illusionist, started playing on one wall.  By the time my friends and I left, the second level was buzzing with people seated at tables or sprawled out on comfortable-looking leather couches.  The walls are adorned with pictures of race cars, Paul Newman, and Steve McQueen of course.  The restaurant’s name is a reference to the 1970s classic movie by the same name starring Steve McQueen.  You with me?

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