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We’re halfway through the calendar, so it’s time to check in to see how accurately Young & Hungry has predicted the 2011 food scene so far.
OUT → IN
Burgers → Hot Dogs
Verdict: No. No new specialty dog shops have opened yet—just a cart called Frank—but Shake Shack is now in Dupont. It sells both. In terms of notoriety, though, the Shack Burger probably trumps the Shack-ago Dog.
Mansion-Sized Bars → Apartment-Sized Bars
Verdict: No. El Centro D.F. is huge.Standard is small. Smith Commons is huge. Toki is small. Jack Rose, however, is ginormous.
Anthony Bourdain → Ruth Bourdain
Verdict: Yes. Ruth Bourdain wins James Beard Foundation Award for humor writing.
Vegetarian → Vegivore
Verdict: Undecided. Fine dining restaurants offer vegetarian tasting menus. But are any non-vegetarian eaters ordering?
Where the Obamas Eat → Where Sam Kass Eats
Verdict: No. With Obama’s slaying of Enemy Number One, and just a day after his killer White House Corespondent’s Dinner speech, all eyes still follow the first couple. Or is that old news? Whatever, Mrs. O still looks amazing.
Bacon → Offal
Verdict: No. We’re tattooing pig now?!
4 Loko → Spiked Hot Chocolate
Verdict: No. It seems that as long as you have a million of one kind of booze, your place is set.
Gulf Seafood → Gulf Sweets
Verdict: Tie. Po’boys may win at Bayou, but that sno ball from Bayou Bakery will cure the District’s unrelenting heat.
Traditional Tacos → Korean Tacos
Verdict: Undecided. But it’s certainly NOT cactus tacos.
Jose Andrés in D.C. → Jose Andrés Everywhere
Verdict: Tie. Jose is back again in the national spotlight by winning the outstanding chef award at last month’s James Beard Awards. In fact, he’s so magical that he helped 60 Minutes win an award for its show about him. According to Twitter, Miami is next on his radar. But not before he opens America Eats Tavern in the space currently occupied by Café Atlántico (R.I.P.).
Brickskeller → American Tap Rooms
Verdict: No. It doesn’t matter the bar, it just matters if they serve D.C. Brau.
H Street’s Food Identity → Wheaton’s Food Identity
Verdict: Undecided. Anyone know what’s up with Wheaton?
Small Plates → No Small Plates (at least here!)
Verdict: No. Even divey Toledo Lounge is now taking the tapas route.
Michael Landrum Doing Meat → Michael Landrum Doing Salads
Verdict: Undecided. When is this finally opening?
Food Trucks → Food Trucks Buy Store Fronts
Verdict: Yes. Mobile munchie moguls District Taco and Sauca have both established brick-and-mortar locations in the burbs.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery