Bangkok Joe’s Out, Mama Rouge In

IMG_0521You have just two more nights to enjoy the delicious dumplings and noodles from Bangkok Joe’s. That’s right, the owners announced Wednesday that the Thai restaurant, which is located in the Washington Harbour complex, will close June 1.

Don’t worry, though, a new restaurant, Mama Rouge, will soon replace our dear departed. The new eatery will fuse Southeast Asian and French flavors in a redesigned and modernized space and will be run by the same people. Mama Rouge is set to open in September — just in time for Hoyas returning to the Hilltop.

In the meantime, you can get your Thai fix at a few other spots in the Georgetown neighborhood. Student-favorite Mai Thai serves up great Pad Thai and Pad See Eew; Basil Thai, a lesser-known spot on Wisconsin Ave., has more of your Thai favorites if you ever tire of Mai Thai; and I-Thai, which was recently opened on M Street, has a highly-recommended Drunken Noodle.

While we at 4E are excited for Mama Rouge to open in the fall, we’ll miss Bangkok Joe’s immensely. With just two days left to chow down, you can be sure to find us stuffing our faces with dumplings at Bangkok Joe’s this weekend.

Thrifty DC: Going Big on a Small Budget

Thrifty DCOn top of taking 5 classes, partaking in student activities, keeping our houses relatively clean (ha) and making sure we don’t catch the flu that half of campus is currently suffering from, we Georgetown students have to manage our expenses.

For many of us, the mere thought of paying back loans is troublesome enough to keep us tossing and turning at night. I may not have a solution to all these issues, but I can offer you some thrifty deals in the Georgetown area that can keep a little extra dough in your wallet – and some delicious grub in your tummy.

1. Sea Catch Happy Hour (Canal Square 1054 31st St NW, Ste 1000)

Monday-Saturday; 5-7pm. $1 oysters
 and 1/2 off drinks make Sea Catch put the “happy” in happy hour. Who doesn’t love a delicious raw bar after a long day of classes?

2. Bandolero (3241 M St. NW)  Friday Happy Hour Specials – 4 Tecate Cans; $4 Shot of Espolon with Sangrita; $4 Apps; $5 Breckenridge Agave Wheat Bottles; $5 Antonietti Extra Brut; $5 Apps; $6 El Bandolero Margaritas, Ferrari Carano Pinot Grigio and Graffiato Nebbiolo; $5 Shrimp Cocktail – I get it.

Bandolero sometimes gets a bad rap, just like Modern does. But reputation aside, who can say no to all these amazing deals? The $4 Apps alone are reason enough for you 21+ Hoyas to take a trip down to M Street. (Also, rumor has it that Kate Hudson and Muse were hanging out there the other night, so essentially what I’m saying is if you go to happy hour, you’ll become best friends with a celebrity).

3. Chadwicks Saturday Specials (3205 K St. NW) $2 Domestic Bottles & House Wine; $2.50 Rail Drinks & Margaritas; 50 Cent Buffalo Wings; 1/2 Price Potato Skins; $2.50 Miller Lite & Bud Bottles – There’s something so Georgetown-y about heading down to Chadwicks for a nice drink by the waterfront. And with these deals, you get all the classiness of a Chadwicks meal on a college student budget. I’ll drink to that!

4. Garrett’s (3003 M St NW) Happy Hour 5-7 every day. 25-cent wings. Could it get any better? That wasn’t a rhetorical question. The answer is: no, it can’t. It’s like Chicken Finger Thursday taken to a whole other level… Oh, and did we mention this happens every day?

5. Mr. Smith’s (3104 M St NW) Weekdays 5-7 pm. Half-priced appetizers. My, oh my! Though poor Mr. Smith’s didn’t hold up too well against The Tombs in our previous Georgetown March Madness bracket, it doesn’t mean that they can’t hold up in terms of happy hour specials. What’s nicer than sitting out in Mr. Smith’s nice garden bar and munching on some grub, all while remembering that it’s half-priced?

So, Hoyas, go out and eat some wings and drink some cocktails, but rest assured you’re spending wisely and saving up! Keep saving that money and get out there!

The Delicious Culinary Creations of Leo O’Donovan’s

 
leos combos

I’m not kidding about the title. Believe it or not, there are numerous ways to spice up your food at Leo’s to create a fun, delicious and enjoyable meal. But like all great endeavors, it takes some effort and training. So let me be your guide, mentor, guru, Leo’s spirit animal, if you will, and let me show you the ins and outs of making a yummy combination at Leo’s. Have your pens and notepads ready, and in the meantime, pull up a seat at the finest dining establishment on the waterfront, sit back and relax. You’re about to be amazed:

A new approach to Leo’s chili Let’s face it. Leo’s usually has some form of chili at least once a week.

Option 1 For a delicious twist, add a fair amount of rice (upstairs, Home section). Then, add a heaping scoop of chili (upstairs, Soups) onto the bed of rice. Now let’s take things to the next level. Head over to the taco station (upstairs) to crumble up some nachos on top of your creation. Finally, head to the downstairs sandwich and salad area and place a slice or two of cheese onto the nacho, chili, rice mixture. Pop the creation in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds and melt the cheese over your meal. Voila! You’ve just made chili for big kids.

Option 2 Fries + chili = chili fries.

Option 3 Get some spaghetti and put chili on top for an interesting and delicious meat sauce!

Chicken a la 4E This is my all-time favorite creation to make at Leo’s. (Disclaimer: This works best with chicken fingers on Chicken Finger Thursday, but if you want this bad boy on a weekday, head over to the sandwich and salad area downstairs and grab some grilled chicken instead.) First, take a visit over to the Diner (downstairs) on Thursday and grab a basket of those oh-so-glorious strips. Break the chicken fingers apart into bite-sized pieces and gander over to the sandwich and salad area nearby. Grab two slices of your favorite bread — rolls and whole wheat work well for this one — and add two slices of provolone cheese to one slice. After that, add lots of delicious (and nutritious) leafy spinach onto the provolone. Next, add your chicken finger chunks onto the bed of spinach, and top them off with sprouts. Drizzle a bit of parmesan-peppercorn (or any of your favorite) dressing on top, and add the final slice of bread. Take the entire sandwich to the panini press and let it toast for 1-2 minutes. When it comes out, your life will be changed. It’s my favorite thing to make at Leo’s and it will be yours, too.

Cheesy garlic bread This one is a game changer, not to mention a fresh addition to any pasta dish. Begin upstairs at the made-to-order pasta station and ask the station worker for a spoonful or two of garlic. (Disclaimer: Whoever is working may give you a strange look as you ask for raw garlic. It’s okay. Just keep calm, carry on and keep reading 4E for more delicious food tips.) Then, head downstairs to the sandwich and salad area and grab some of your favorite bread — this works really well with rolls. Spread a copious amount of butter (downstairs, sandwich and salad area, opposite side) onto the roll and then spread on the bits of garlic that you received from upstairs. Later, add on one or two pieces of your favorite cheese — I’m a provolone fan, if you couldn’t tell — to the garlic-butter bread. Finally, head over to the panini press and toast the bread for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese melts. Be sure to toast the bread with the butter sides facing inward for a softer, tastier center!

A better Leo’s pizza This can be done with both made-to-order pizzas (which are preferable) or the large slices that are available for taking. If you ever want to personalize your pizza, grab some of your favorite ingredients — i.e., spinach, feta cheese, extra tomatoes — from their respective areas. If getting a made-to-order pizza, take your special ingredients over on a plate to the workers at the pizza station (downstairs) and ask them to add it into your pizza pie. If you’re stretched for time, grab a pre-made slice and add the ingredients yourself. Microwave the slice for 20-30 seconds (but not too much more, to prevent the pizza from losing its crispness). It’s a fresh and easy way to jazz up a simple slice.

Wok Chicken Finger Thursday In all honesty, I can’t believe I’m sharing this gift with you because it is one of the most precious and closely guarded things I hold in my heart. But here it is, readers, you’re welcome. Grab some chicken fingers on Chicken Finger Thursday and rip them into chunks. Meander over to the Wok station and hand the workers your Chicken. Then … THEY WILL MAKE YOU GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN. OR ORANGE CHICKEN. OR CHICKEN #5, AS MY FAVORITE WOK WORKER CALLS IT. (Sorry, not sorry for the aggressive capitalization.) It is glorious, and the fun doesn’t stop there. The wok workers will essentially saute anything your heart desires, as long as you bring it to them. Have a plate of pasta that you want to toss with chicken? They will do it. Want to have some beef with a medley of vegetables? They will pan sear it. They are hardworking, they are heavenly and they are the greatest-kept secret in Leo’s.

Now what are you waiting for, Hoyas? It’s a Thursday and endless opportunities await! Run over to “O’Donovan’s on the Waterfront” and enjoy one of these fun creations before the year is over! (Or before the vegan section is moved again.)

Bon appetit!

Photo: Leonel De Velez/The Hoya

Hot Spots to Cool Off: Fountains

On a day like today, where the thermometer will top out at 101 degrees, one starts to understand why D.C. has so many interactive fountains.

Rather than trek up to Volta Pool, why not take a short dip in one of D.C.’s many interactive fountains to cool off today? The best part of these fountains is that you can splash around in them for a couple of minutes without taking off your clothes, then put your shoes back on and return to your day.

Spray fountains have the added bonus of having constantly moving water, so the water isn’t stagnant and never gets uncomfortably soupy on hot days like today. Our friends over at DCist have compiled a list of the best splash fountains in the District, so whether you’re stuck in Georgetown or wandering up to Columbia Heights, you have the opportunity to quickly cool off.

Beware though: not all fountains are for fun. Most fountains in D.C. (including the one in Dupont Circle) aren’t for swimming, so don’t go splashing around in them.

If you’re not near one of the splash fountains (Georgetown, Columbia Heights or Navy Yard), be sure to check out our other Hot Spots today.

Georgetown Waterfront – After the Flood

It has been a year since the unfortunate day that the Potomac River flooded the Georgetown waterfront after one of the floodwalls was not raised despite numerous flood warnings. It was a disaster  for many of the restaurants in the area, and while many have recovered and reopened, some businesses are still struggling.

One restaurant, Farmers and Fishers, will remain closed for up to eight more months due to the damage caused by the flooding. Farmers and Fishers may have suffered the most, since an entirely new restaurant is in the process of being built. The restaurant has had to endure property losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and has lost about $6-7 million in sales.

However, many of the other restaurants, including Tony and Joe’ Seafood Place and Nick’s Riverside Grille, reopened within only a few weeks of the flooding and plan to reopen again this June in remodeled dining spaces. The Mexican restaurant Cabanas will merge with Nick’s. Sequoia, a restaurant that was forced to close for a month after the flooding to repair damages, will reopen again this summer as well.

MRP Realty, owners of the plaza, has been planning a $20 million reconstruction of the space since September 2010. A 12,000 square foot ice rink is slated to be built for use in the winter months in place of the fountain. The plaza’s lower level will hopefully be completed by the end of 2012, and ice rink may open as soon as winter 2013.

File Photo: Meagan Kelly/The Hoya