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A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.

The Tale of Two Bistros: One member of the Takoma Park email list was “THRILLED” by the fact that Bread and Chocolate had made its way to the area, but was disturbed by the establishments new name. “I don’t understand why a new establishment would use the word ‘bistro’ in its name, when there is one other restaurant in the area with the same one— My Little Bistro. There are several other names they could have chosen—what about cafe, or eatery, for example? The definition of ‘bistro’ is ‘small, informal restaurant’. Cafe is a synonym, as are many, many other words. Having two eateries with virtually the same one—esp when customers call ‘My Little Bistro’ ‘the bistro’— is just plain odd to me.” Other members agree, “The name Bistro has already caused confusion for someone I was meeting at My Little Bistro. The person wanted to know which bistro.” Another says, “They don’t know the neighborhood very well and didn’t consult anyone who does to realize that they are not far apart—6 blocks at most. Hard to count blocks in D.C. The illusion of the state line must have thrown them off.” Others, however, are not worried about the establishments’ similarity in name. “ Similar to when one has two Chinese restaurants in the same neighborhood that both have the word ‘China’ in their name, I have no doubt that the people of Takoma (both D.C. and MD) will be smart enough to quickly differentiate between My Little Bistro and Takoma Bistro.” Another says, “While we’re telling places what they should call themselves, can we get churches to stop using the word church in their names? I keep showing up at the wrong place every Sunday because they all insist on being called a church and it gets so confusing.”

Drugs, Dragons, and Pretzels: What began as an exchange of praise of the new Pretzel Bakery at 15th and D streets SE quickly turned sour as wound left behind by a former, nearby establishment were reopened. A Philadelphia-born member of the New Hill East email list began by saying that although they look different from the pretzels in her hometown, the taste is just the same. “I wasn’t sure until I tried them because the ones sold in Philadelphia are rectangular in shape, and the ones from the Pretzel Bakery are traditional pretzel shaped. But despite the difference in appearance, the pretzels sold at the Pretzel Bakery taste exactly like the ones sold in Philly. And they have the wonderful bonus of being able to buy them warm from the oven.” Another says, “I just got pretzels from the bakery for the first time, and they are excellent- though I am not a native philly and cannot compare. They were fresh and warm. Delicious!” But a member of the email list posed the following question, “One thing that I am curious about related to this pretzel bakery: I recall several years ago when the “Dragon” ( I can’t recall the exact name) at 15th & C finally closed down, there was a lot of discussion on [the email list] about how neighbors did not want any kind of carry out or fast food restaurant to replace it or to be opened anywhere in the immediate neighborhood. That discussion coincided with ANC 6A’s epic battle to keep any new fast food restaurants from opening on H St., and shutting down a few that had already opened at that time.So I am just wondering why there is no outrage about this pretzel place given that it is a carry out? I have nothing against the pretzel place and do plan to support it, but I am just wondering about the rationale of supporting this ‘type’ of establishment given the desires of the community?”

Can of Calamari: Two members of the Petworth email list were so excited about their experience at the restaurant Top Spanish at 3541 Georgia Ave. they took to the list to encourage others to try it out and unknowingly “opened a can of calamari,” as one member says. The original posters comment, “The food was great, the portions were huge, and the prices were reasonable. What we loved the most was the ambiance. I loved that there was background music but that we could still chat comfortably. Let’s support this new business. Pay them a visit!” One curious member asks, “Is the food served at ‘Top Spanish’ like food eaten in Spain, or ‘Spanish’ as in Hispanic (Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua etc.)?” Another wonders, Did they have flamenco dancing? Was it Spanish? Catalan? Andalusian? Castilian? Galician? Influences of Canarian and Basque cuisine? Aragonese? Valencian? Memories of Alhambra?” Can of calamari opened indeed.

Gone Are the Fish: A member of the Shepherd Park email list writes, “Yesterday, we discovered that our fish had been stolen from our pond. There were no signs of an attack by an animal. I thought this information might be helpful to other residents with ponds.” Another offers a possible reason why, “I have seen hawks swoop in to steal fish from my friend’s pond in Silver Spring, not far from here. Perhaps that is what happened.”