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Posted at 1:41 PM ET, 12/ 5/2007

News to Digest

By Erin

The ground may be covered in white, but green is what is great at a few local eating establishments. Local restaurants are emphasizing earth-friendly practices by using biodegradable takeout containers, wind-powered energy and humanely-raised meats. Also, a barbecue restaurant opens its newest location today in Arlington.

In today's Food section, Walter Nicholls profiles On the Fly, an eco-friendly food cart. The food, packaging and zero-emissions cart itself are all environmentally conscious. Back in August when Food and Wine magazine published its list of "Eco-Epicureans," there was no mention of D.C. Thankfully, the trend has changed in the meantime.

The three-week-old Chix is setting a new standard for environmental consciousness. Much of the restaurant is built with sustainable materials, including bamboo countertops and cork flooring. The cups and dressing containers look like plastic, but they are actually containers made from corn that compost in under two months. (Plastic cups, on the other hand, do not degrade in landfills.) Chix's plates and takeout boxes are made from a compostable and biodegradable sugar-cane fiber called bagasse, and the napkins, takeout bags, menus and even business cards are made from recycled paper.

As you might have guessed from the name, Chix serves a chicken-centric menu. There are three types of slow-roasted chicken and three wraps, along with rice bowls, salads and two soups. It uses free-range, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken and makes healthful choices in ingredients across the menu. Vermicelli noodles and cheese are baked with nonfat milk and cheddar, and dishes like roasted sweet potatoes receive only a reserved amount of sugar.

Several other notable restaurants are taking initiatives to tread more lightly on Mother Earth. Poste has has eliminated commercial bottles of water in the restaurant, instead using filtered water that is served from reusable glass bottles. The water is available either sparkling or still for $5. The Willard InterContinental Hotel relies solely on wind energy to power the hotel. Dupont Circle's Urbana serves wines that were grown and harvested without chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Capitol Hill's Locanda opened over the summer with a strong environmental commitment. The restaurant uses wind-powered energy, recycled paper menus, sustainable wood for the banquettes, organic and humanely-raised meat and poultry and a restaurant-wide recycling program. Managers also chose BetterWorld Telecom to provide the restaurant's wired needs because it donates a portion of sales to rain-forest preservation.

New Around Town
After moving from its old spot at Ballston's Carpool, Rocklands finally opens today for lunch at 11 a.m. on Washington Boulevard. That means no more driving across the bridge to Georgetown for barbecued pork and chicken, brisket, sausages and plentiful sides with as much hot sauce as you can stand.

--Erin

By Erin  | December 5, 2007; 1:41 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Comments

I've been going to Chix religiously now for a couple of weeks, and the food is simply amazing! The portions are well-sized, and every time I go I feel better knowing that I'm putting good food in my body that does away with preservatives and trades them in for great flavor. The people there are very eager to earn your business and it definitely shows in the product. You have to check it out.

Posted by: Danny | December 6, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I've been going to Chix atleast twice a week since it has opened. The food is amazing and I never get tired of it. Also I know I am eating healthy and not creating a lot of waste. Try it out you will not be disappointed.

Posted by: Jony | December 7, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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