November 2018


Who says Washington is stodgy? Locals and friends have a blast at Nellie’s Sports Bar’s drag brunch. Offered Saturday and Sunday, the festive buffet and show is especially popular for birthday and wedding parties. Guests sip mimosas and Bloody Marys and fortify themselves with simple, hearty fare: bacon, scrambled eggs, vegetables, ribs, cheese grits, potatoes, Caesar salad, fruit and homemade desserts. Clad in lavish, ever-changing costumes, Nellie’s “girls” cavort and dance with customers, often channeling Lady Gaga, PINK and Beyonce.

Seatings are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. (The latter sells out fast.) Tickets (purchased through Eventbrite) provide reservations. Groups must all arrive on time if they wish to sit together.

When you arrive, personable host Chanel Deveraux will scan your tickets and take good care of you. The $41.91 tab includes the show, buffet, one mimosa or Zing Zang Bloody Mary, taxes and 17-percent gratuity and ticketing fees. It does not include Eventbrite fees and added taxes. Management advises arriving 15 minutes early (you might still have a wait).

Hint: Brings lots of single bills; Nellie’s gals dance for tips.

No worries, the kitchen provides plenty of chow the rest of the week: arepas (Venezuelan corn muffins stuffed with goodies), quesadillas, nachos, wings, burgers (including turkey Florentine with spinach and Swiss cheese, fried pickles) and more. On Mondays, burgers are half-price.

At Nellie’s drag brunch, the “girls” dance and dazzle customers in lavish, ever-changing costumes.

Open daily, Nellie’s Sports Bar is located at 900 U St. NW. For more information call 202-332-6355. To purchase drag brunch tickets, visit, which will direct you to Eventbrite.

Mason Dixie Biscuits
More news from Shaw: Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. CEO Ayesha Abuelhiga has unveiled a fast-casual/full-service outpost at 1819 Seventh St. NW. (A drive-through spinoff on Bladensburg Rd. NE has closed.) The former home of Drift on Seventh, the newcomer has walls plastered with murals created by local artists No Kings Collective. Pink and teal drawings illustrate the history of Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.

Abuelhiga and her team worked with HapstakDemetriou architects, incorporating elements they could not include in their now-defunct drive-through. An example is counter seating for single diners. Mason Dixie also has a test kitchen.

Besides biscuits, the menu showcases hearty sandwiches stuffed with fried chicken, pulled pork, avocado and more. A host guides diners to tables, staff pick up trash and signs flip around to indicate whether the restaurant is on dine-in or to-go status. Open daily; visit                                                                                      

Marriott Moxy
Coming later this month to Shaw/Mount Vernon Triangle: Moxy Hotel. Located at 1011 K St. NW, the ultra-chic, 14-story Marriott Hotel will showcase a half-dozen naan flatbreads, all-day cocktails and late-night ping pong. The lobby bar will double as a check-in stand, dispensing Vegas-style poker chips redeemable for a free drink. At the entrance, an enormous light fixture is shaped like Washington’s Metro system. A nearby food station – accented by trophies and globes – features complimentary victuals for guests. Heading the main menu are six flatbreads (try the red-hot chicken with pickles) as well as assorted sandwiches and salads.

Arriving next spring: a glass-enclosed rooftop bar under Baltimore-based hospitality titans Atlas Restaurant Group.

Still in Shaw: homegrown sweets shop Nicecream recently unveiled its fourth Washington-area outpost, specializing in cold-brew coffee ice cream. You’ll find the newcomer at 1924 Eighth St. NW. Based in northern Virginia, Nicecream taps liquid nitrogen to flash freeze various flavors and changes its menu weekly (honey lavender, brown sugar baked pear, caramel apple, key lime pie).

The 900-square-foot Nicecream is tucked into Shaw’s luxury apartment building, The Shay. A Korean barbecue restaurant, created by Duke’s Counter owner Daniel Kramer, is slated to move into the same complex sometime next year. 

Wedding Destination
Having withdrawal after those royal weddings? Get your nuptial fix at Lukas B. Smith’s Destination Wedding. The funky bar replaces 2 Birds 1 Stone. You’ll find it in the space under Doi Moi at 1800 14th St. NW. The main bar is decked out in “something white and something blue.” Other rooms are inspired by wedding destinations like Las Vegas, Jackson Hole, Paris and Morocco.

Cocktails from Smith (who created the potables at Cotton & Reed) and bar manager Robin Miller (formerly of Espita Mezcaleria) are equally lighthearted. “We have one primary goal: make delicious things approachably fun,” Smith told Eater DC. 

More Laotian Fare
The owners of Thip Khao in Columbia Heights and Padaek (Falls Church) are introducing their third Laotian restaurant, 40-seat Hanumanh, at 1604 Seventh St. NW. Mother-son duo Seng Luangrath and Bobby Pradachith will showcase a lineup of rustic, country-style dishes inspired by their childhood. Salads are pounded with a mortar and pestle – a traditional technique in that Southeast Asian nation. The menu will also encompass steamed and raw fish, plus meat dishes. Some items, scented with ginger and lemongrass, will be cooked over a charcoal grill.

Matching the cuisine, Hanumanh design elements honor the country’s culture. A huge mural of a Hindu monkey god – the meaning behind the restaurant’s name – will be splashed across the space. 

DC Wine Is Fine
Last month, Ivy City’s sprawling City Winery Washington DC announced its first grape crush. The winery’s pinot noir, cabernet franc and grenache will eventually be served from its signature kegs and taps, a unique system designed to reduce waste by limiting the amount of wine bottled. City Winery is located at 1350 Okie St. NE; visit

Spirited Week
Coming up on Nov. 12-18: The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s DC Cocktail Week, showcasing the area’s talented mixologists. More than 60 restaurants and watering holes will offer innovative cocktails paired with equally interesting noshes. Many participants are located in our Mid-City ‘hood. For more information and a complete list, visit 

Farewell Hoagies
As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, the popular hoagie chain Taylor Gourmet abruptly closed all its shops in late September, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The closures, including some in our neighborhood, reportedly happened after private-equity firm KarpReilly (the brand’s majority owner) pulled out of the company.