DC Area Food Favorites: September 2020

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

I regularly share my favorite experiences, food-related and otherwise, on social media. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are great for pushing out a steady stream of updates, photos, questions, and commentary. However, as one reader reminded me via email recently, inherent in social media are some serious drawbacks. There's limited search functionality and social feeds are designed for scrolling, for constant movement and quick views. For those who want more detailed information, clickable links, or just don't use social, those platforms offer a very constrained or even unavailable view of my work through Feed The Malik.

As a solo content creation shop, I can't repurpose every piece of social media content for this site. Maybe one day when I have a proper team and can pay them what they deserve. For now, I recognize that I can do a better job of making some content more accessible by sharing it here, on the blog. So for this month and months to come, I'll be sharing a roundup of my favorite meals, restaurants, and bites from the last month of dining. Think of these roundups as a regular "best of" focusing primarily on the DC region. Maybe one day when travel feels safe again I'll be able to expand these vignettes beyond the District, Maryland, and Virginia. I'm dreaming about the day I can serve up a "best of" Maui blog post.

For now, check out my favorites from September, a month with dramatically varying weather where I went from sweating at picnics to snuggling up at home with a fuzzy blanket and takeout.

DC Area Food Favorites: September 2020

Anju, 1805 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009, https://www.anjurestaurant.com/

metal chopsticks holding up a mini hash brown covered in 30-day aged kimchi, gouda sauce, and Bulgogi beef
Loaded Mini Hash Browns from Anju's Brunch menu

It shouldn't have taken me this long into the pandemic to remember just how much I enjoy Anju. I was distracted but that's no excuse. Thankfully, I came to my senses and managed to have one of the best brunches I've had in DC (ever, of all time) on their quaint patio. The food is fab, the atmosphere nice but unpretentious, the staff super welcoming, and even the drinks on point. Executive Chef Angel Barreto also just won a RAMMY for Rising Culinary Star of the Year. We likely have a few weeks left of this comfortable weather. I know I'll be making another reservation soon to enjoy some more time on their patio. *The food in this photo was free for me, though I have and will continue to visit Anju on my own dime for all of the reasons listed above.

Urban Charcuterie, DMV, https://theurbantea.com/urbancharcuterie

A hexagonal high walled wooden grazing board covered in cheese, meats, fruit, jams, and a spray of flowers
Grazing board from Urban Charcuterie

I've shared about Urban Charcuterie a lot in the last month on social media and for good reason. I ordered a grazing board for a picnic and was just in awe of the beauty and tastiness that was delivered to me. There's something about food that's so gorgeous you almost don't want to disturb the scene to eat it... almost. In a time where the world can feel very ugly, I appreciate spreads like this even more. Plus, Urban Charcuterie is Black woman-owned and delivers. Yes, please.

La Famosa, 1300 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20003, https://eatlafamosa.com/

a close up of a seafood salad in a white cup set on a blue plate with tostones on the side
Ensalada de mariscos with tostones from La Famosa

Chef/owner Joancarlo Parkhurst just opened La Famosa in Navy Yard, drawing on memories and lessons in the kitchen with his grandmother for inspiration to bring "soulful Puerto Rican cooking" to DC. There's ample outdoor seating, great food, a coffee bar with excellent coffee, and baked goods that are perfect for grab and go. But the real showstopper is the passionfruit mousse dessert. It's intensely flavored, very rich, and each bite made me close my eyes and imagine being on an island, being home with my family in Hawaii. To me, that dessert tastes like a getaway, an escape, as if a warm breeze might strike at any moment. *I first tried La Famosa during a preview event so the pictured food was free for me though don't worry, it tastes as good as it looks.

Peruvian Brothers, multiple locations and food trucks, https://www.peruvianbrothers.com/

1/4 chicken with roasted vegetables and dipping sauces arranged in a takeout container
1/4 chicken from Peruvian Brothers

I'm late to the party with Peruvian Brothers, I know. I missed this gem in my prior adventures but am now making up for it full force. I recently tried their food while exploring La Cosecha, the Latin market in Union Market District, and am now a superfan. I ate half a chicken by myself that day and then returned the next day to order a whole chicken to eat at the lovely outdoor tables available at the market. Given that the La Cosecha location is about ten minutes from my house, I plan to pick up from Peruvian Brothers often this winter.

Foodhini, delivery in DC, MD, and VA, https://foodhini.com/

Ingera bread in a container, Ethiopian lentils in a bowl with a flowery blue rim, vegetables in a bowl with a flowery blue rim, and a red and pink cloth napkin arranged on a white table
Some of this week's meals from Foodhini

One of my Instagram followers suggested Foodhini and I'm hooked! Foodhini partners with immigrant chefs to create sustainable jobs and economic mobility for immigrant & refugee communities with great results. Their chefs, which currently include folks whipping up Lao, Eritrean, Afghan, Ivorian, and Iranian dishes, create meals for delivery in DC, MD, and VA. You can order a la carte or they have a weekly meal plan subscription. Their pre-packaged meals are also available at the GW University Whole Foods in the refrigerated aisle. Somehow, even though hubby and I are both working from home currently, we're busier than ever. We subscribe to Foodhini for weekly meal delivery and it's a lifesaver. Every single meal we've received has been fabulous, so full of flavor and something we always look forward to.

Motown Square, Popping up at Mess Hall in Edgewood, https://www.motownsquaredc.com/

A square Detroit-style pizza with Wisconsin cheese and red sauce on a white marble background
The OG from Motown Square

Motown Square is a new concept popping up most Fridays and Saturdays out of Mess Hall, the culinary incubator in Edgewood that happens to house some of my favorite food concepts of the moment. Available for takeout and delivery, Motown Square serves Detroit-style pizzas, a chewy square pie with a thicker crust, crispy edges, Wisconsin brick cheese, and incredible house-made sauces. As someone who enjoys the crust as much as the toppings, I'm a big fan of Motown Square and its take on Detroit-style pizza. Plus, chef/owner Paulos Belay adds a hint of Ethiopian spices to his signature sauce, a nod to his heritage that really amps up the flavor. *I have a prior relationship with chef Paulos Belay as I connected him with some resources for Black-owned food businesses. After Motown Square's launch, I ordered and photographed the pizza above without any discount and without the chef's knowledge. It was FAB.

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