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Posted at 12:04 PM ET, 06/21/2007

News to Digest

By Erin

Summer food lovin' is here. Barbecue is the center of a philanthropic battle and a brunch spot heats up this Sunday with a scorching one-day drink special. All of the farmers markets are open with berries, cherries and plenty of treats, while July promises several new restaurants.

'Cue for You
Summer is officially upon us, which means the heat is on at this weekend's 15th annual National Capital Barbecue Battle. Not well-suited for the vegan crowd, the battle will be sizzling with smoked, rubbed, spiced and pulled meats representing Memphis, Texas, North Carolina and just about every style in between. Thousands of teams will compete in the cook-off for a $25,000 prize, but revelers can take in cooking demonstrations and eat away in the sampling pavilion. When you've had your fill, work it off on a rock-climbing wall or, if you're like me, digest with some of the jazz, rock, reggae and blues performances happening on three stages.

Market Watch
Another sign that summer is officially upon us is the reopening of local farmers markets. With a line of people snaked around the lot waiting for Rainbows Italian Ice, the USDA market at the Department of Agriculture is up and running on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gaithersburg, Ward 8 and the rest of the seasonal markets are up and running as well.

There are also a few new markets to report on. As Food reported last week, Takoma Park is home to a new ethnic market every Wednesday with vegetables, berries, juices, epanadas and coffee.

Saturday mornings, the corner of 14th and U streets is buzzing with a new farmers market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Managed by Markets & More, the same group as the Mount Pleasant market, visitors will find breads from Breadline, berries and greens from the laid-back Tree and Leaf farmers and pork from Truck Patch.

Scorching Special
If no Bloody Mary is spicy enough for you, Firefly dashes to the rescue with a scorching one-day drink special. This Sunday, June 24, the restaurant will heat up brunch with "Maria Caliente," a limited edition, revved-up take on the Bloody Mary. Using the Chipotle Vodka from Hangar-One's extremely limited alchemist series, the cocktail is mixed with roasted red and yellow peppers, jalapeños, celery and lime juice with hot sauce-infused V-8 juice. The drink will sell for $12 or can be paired with the Oyster Po'Boy or Fried Oysters for $25.

Laughter Can Be Good
If you're the sullen type who needs a reason to laugh, Hotel Palomar proposes a solution. This Monday, the hotel hosts Tickled Red, a comedy show and silent auction to benefit Food & Friends, an organization that delivers meals and groceries to people living with life-threatening diseases. The event features stand-up comedy from local talents and free hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. Tickets are $65.

Coming Soon
For those who loved Aegean Tavern, lingered outside with drinks at Mama Quan's and now long for something desirable to occupy that space, hope is on the way. Restaurant 3 plans an opening as soon as the middle of July. From the owners of nearby Whitlow's on Wilson, the restaurant will feature American fare with Southern accents -- think grits, hash and fried bits -- from Brian Robinson of Whitlow's. Expect to see the American flavors reflected on both the food and drink menus. As for the property's glorious outdoor seating, have no fear: The restaurant will offer patio seating.

Brick oven pizzas will soon be gracing tables in Columbia Heights. RedRocks, from the owner of Staccato, will open at the corner of 11th and Park sometime early next month.


By Erin  | June 21, 2007; 12:04 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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It would be a lot nicer to hear that farmer's markets are up and running if you gave us a list of locations, other than the very few you provide. What about PG County?

Posted by: DMS | June 23, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Dear DMS,

I understand residents of PG County are of a lower intellect so I'll help you out. There's a fantastic free (that means you don't have to steal it) service out there called Google. Typing "prince george's county" "farmers markets" gave me some very interesting results. Good luck on this big step!

Posted by: Orange Line | June 23, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'll try to be a little more helpful than the last poster - the Post actually published a guide to DC area farmers markets, though it's not easy to find on the site. Here's a link to the section on MD, I think PG County was on the last page.

Posted by: Ballston | June 24, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Chiclet | June 24, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Very clever, Orange Line!

Nice use of racism, too!

Posted by: Ha! | June 26, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Red Rocks is now having final inspections and is scheduled to open the first week in July. The residents of Columbia Heights will be eating wood-fired pizza and drinking Chimay on the RedRocks patio VERY SOON! Yay. Congrats to owner James O'Brien.

Posted by: EBG | June 28, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

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