The MidCity Dog Days sale is the weekend!! If I’m not working, I go early, scoop up a few deals and enjoy the people watching. This year, over 23 businesses are participating. I’m looking forward to checking out Salt & Sundry, to grabbing a lemonade from Cork Market and seeing if there’s a fancy home gadget I need from Home Rule. These are my go-to local shops. Don’t miss it!
El Rey Taqueria opened in 2014 but it hasn’t been one of my go to spots. When it first opened, a good friend visited and said it smelled faintly of trash. The downside to being built from shipping containers? Whatever it was, it didn’t sound appealing to me.
A couple of months ago, I went for a drink and fell in love with the patio. Then last week, the weather was beautiful and I was in the mood for tacos. It seemed like the perfect time to visit El Rey.
I’m impressed and it definitely didn’t smell like trash. My husband and I had dinner and cocktails and it was yummy. I had a few tacos: the el pastor (pork + pineapple=delicious) and a fish taco. My husband had a few tacos (carne asada and ceviche) then an enormous plate of nachos. He was not successful in eating it all but he loved every bite. My only complaint is it’s loud. While concrete floors and corrugated steel look cool, it bounces noise everywhere. We were sitting at a 2 top outside and I had to yell to have a conversation. While it’s not a deal breaker (it was Friday night happy hour..come on! Yell a little), after an 2 hours I was ready to roll.
Nonetheless, I’ll be back. The service was wonderful, the food was good and the drinks were strong. Everything you want in a local taco place!
El Rey Taqueria + Mexican Beer Bar 919 U St NW Washington, DC 2001
One of the most exciting parts of summer is the abundance of fresh ingredients at the farmer’s market. You know I have a love affair with the farmer’s market at 14th and U St. Meals like this one are why..everything tastes better. It was one of the best Sunday meals I’ve had in a while. (thanks chef bobby!)
Habanero Marinated Pork Chops
2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed
1 habanero chile, seeded, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
4 (1/2″-thick) bone-in pork chops
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Using the back of a chef’s knife, lightly smash lemongrass, then thinly slice. Combine lemongrass, chile, garlic, orange juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and 4 tablespoons vinegar in a small bowl. Pour half of marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; reserve remaining marinade.
Prick pork chops all over with a fork and add to bag; seal and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature, turning occasionally, at least 30 minutes. We marinated the chops overnight and it added a ton of flavor.
Prepare grill for medium-high heat; oil grate. Remove pork chops from marinade and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until charred and cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest 5 minutes.
Carrot and Apple Slaw
12 ounces carrots and *apples (preferably assorted colors), peeled, julienned (about 4 cups) *we used granny smith apples
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, stemmed
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss carrots, oil, lime juice, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Let marinate for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes then serve.
All week I’ve had a hankering for chocolate. Today, I walked into Cocova and went nuts. I told myself I was buying client gifts. I was actually satisfying my chocolate craving and my curiosity about the shop. Dinner guests occasionally bring their truffles for dessert so I knew it was delicious. The shop itself is amazing. It stocks artisanal chocolate from all the over the world plus the aforementioned truffles. Stop by for your chocolate fix!
4 pack of truffles for my husband. From left to right, clockwise: burnt sugar carmel, a coffee truffle, a rosemary flavored chocolate and a whiskey flavored truffle.
Most days, I’m swamped with the minutia that’s a necessary part of real estate transactions. When I need a break and I want to engage in some eye candy, I head straight to my favorite design blogs. I’m a visual creature, what can I say? Looking at well designed rooms inspires me. Especially “before and after” shots. Seeing a dismal room transformed into something amazing makes my day. Below are my three faves.
I adore Amber Interiors. She has style for days and I’m constantly gawking at her latest creations. Look at this place! You should see the before..it’s crazy how much she changed the space.
Lauren Leiss’s aesthetic couldn’t be further from mine. However, her mix of neutrals and natural materials is stunning. She lives in Northern Virginia and she transformed a 70’s “modern” home into a showcase. Keep your eyes open people..she might be selling in the near future.
I know I’m broken record about Emily Henderson but she has mad skills. Also, her blog makes me laugh on a regular basis. Anyone obsessed with small, brass figurines and admits it is OK by me.
What have you been up to lately? As you can see via my instagram photos, I’ve been having fun. The beach was amazing and I did not want to return to DC. We had fantastic weather and no shark attacks. (whew!)
When I returned, I dove right back into work. I viewed a cool house in Ledroit Park and stumbled upon this amazing mural.
While I was picking up a bottle of small batch gin from Gallagher & Graham, I noticed this hilarious sign in the window. I love a cheeky sign.
Finally, I was able to visit the 14th & U St. Farmers Market on Saturday. It was fruits and vegetables galore. My husband and I had BLT’s for lunch and they were delicious! Nothing like summer tomatoes and fresh bacon. #nomnom
Etsy is one of my favorite resources for unique items. I’ve bought photo booth props, a bar cart for my brother and art. This week, I found beautiful decorative pillows for my living room at reasonable prices. Do you use Etsy? What’s your favorite shop?
916 G St, NW #802
Washington, DC 20001
1 bedroom + den | 885 sf | $508.60 monthly condo fee list price | $525,000
Back on the market! Buyer financing fell through. Stunning 1 bed + den in Mather Studios. Sunny industrial loft with 10′ ft ceilings, original exposed brick walls, polished concrete floors, exposed duct work, a custom built media cabinet and tv that convey, custom sliding barn doors and gage~ steel floors in the bedroom. Open floor plan, granite countertops and stainless appliances in kitchen. Nest thermostat, walk in closet, w/d in unit, and pets allowed. Steps to restaurants, retails and Metro in vibrant Penn Quarter. 98 walk score. Open Sunday 7/12 from 1-4pm.
I don’t know about you but I’m ready for a vacation. I’m heading out of town for the 4th and I CAN’T WAIT. The last couple of months have been crazy. I’m worn out from work and I need a break from the city. There’s nothing like a trip to the beach to hit refresh. I’m looking forward to reading a million books, hangin’ with my family, riding bikes and sitting on the beach. Maybe I’ll even play a game of horseshoes. Have a happy 4th of July!
Jen Angotti is the creator of Concrete Jungle DC, a blog about real estate in DC, ideas on how to decorate and design your abode plus a variety of topics she loves: new restaurants and bars, DC happenings, food, and travel. Jen is a licensed realtor in DC and VA.
Rise Bakery, located at 2409 18th St, NW in Adams Morgan, is a gluten-free bakery. This is monumental news in my gluten free world. A couple of months ago, my husband popped by there and grabbed a few things: a bag of bagels, a loaf of bread, a banana nut muffin and a cinnamon roll. They were delicious and I was so exited. Good gluten free bread and pastries are hard to find. I had an appointment today in Adams […]