Food and Drink


Taken from a series of wonder paintings, @ www.newenglandpainter.com

Ahhh, New England Summers

New England is a mythical land of white clapboard houses, lazy streams and windblown beaches. It always smells like leaves dying in crisp fall air, except when it smells like salt breeze, or like homemade pumpkin or apple pie.

New England is synonymous with prep schools, L.L. Bean, and foliage. But there’s something else you should know about New England. Any true New Englander would walk across a mine field in the morning to get sweet, sweet Dunkin Donuts coffee. That orange and pink color scheme is as familiar to New Englanders as the sound of Adhan is to Muslims.

As such, I have to say the coffee in Virginia is mostly swill. Pete’s, Starbucks, even Caribou, can all go jump in the Potomac. If you need a caffeine rush, they’ll do, but appropriately considered, they’re all the liquid equivalent of defibrillator paddles. Chances are your unlucky enough to work in an office that stocks one of these wretched brands, or even worse.

What’s a poor drone to do? Gaze longingly across cube-land? Drive up to Lee Highway every morning? Sneak Dunks into the break room like Clint Eastwood sneaking Nazi gold out of Europe? There is always the ridiculous option of having coffee delivered. Dunks treats you right! But do you want to be ‘that guy‘?

Coffee Is Art

Instead, hark to this knowledge. Hark. Two words: French Press. Stop you’re francophobic cursing. It’s a simple little device that makes delicious coffee just for you, the way you like it. Strong or weak, with the blend or roast you want.

The apparent complexity can be daunting, to some mental weaklings. You have to … PUT the coffee in, THEN hot water? THEN push down on the … what is that? A plunger? I don’t know if I can work that, because I’m an idiot.

It’s not hard. Even the French do it, without surrendering. You can buy a press is a wild array of styles, colors, and prices. Thom and I both favor the simple glass and black combo, classy, subtle, refined. Like our coffee.

There’s just something dapper about using a press. When you have one of these in the office, it speaks loudly to your individuality. It says that we may be stuck in cubicles, far from the sunlight, in front of  an indistinguishable computer. But coffee is one of the finer things in life, and we believe in ourselves enough to do it right. A french press says that we know what’s good in life. That whatever our station or stature in the office, outside these four beige walls, away from these non-dairy creamers, we believe the finer things should be savored, that life should be lived!

We’re the best! Around! And nothing’s gonna keep us down! Ahem… sorry, too much caffeine.

I’d at least consider it.

Starting today, the District is allowing marriage applications for same-sex couples. As if love, happiness and family weren’t enough reasons to get hitched, now the deal is sweeter.

Hello Cupcake will be handing out free cupcakes to the first 200 couples to file their applications. Go get ’em boys and girls, but not together.

(h/t Dcist)

I must have died and gone to heaven, because next week is shaping up to be one fabulous time. Thanks to YELP DRINKS some of DC’s trendiest hot spots will be featuring 50% off 3 of their signature drinks.

This is no ordinary happy hour boys and girls – the deal is good everday all day during business hours from March 1 – March 7…BONUS!

The drinks include an array of mojitos, martinis, sangria, and more! So no matter what  cocktail you need to unwind after a long day at work, this list will be sure to let you pick your poison.

The event is city-wide so be sure to check out participating locations near you. Some of the big contenders include Urbana, Co Co. Sala, and a personal favorite Zengo!

The BonusDC crew will definitely be out to take advantage of this promotional jackpot, so stay-tuned to reviews and recommendations. And, as always, look forward to a little extra BONUS as the young and the awkward try to keep up with some of DC’s most exclusive clientele.

Yeah, you like-a sauce!

We all do indeed enjoy the sauce. We also enjoy-a saving da monies, and-a having-a da fun. That’s why we want to give y’all a heads up on next weeks “Restaurants Unleashed” events in the District.

The list of deals varies from the ‘meh’ to the ‘shit yeah’. Topping my list:

Belga Cafe‘s Mussel Power Unleashed. Mussels + Belgian ale + deal = Eff to the A alright.

Kaz Sushi Bistro‘s lunch and dinner specials.

MCCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants 3 course special.

You may notice a common theme in these selections, so for the non-seafood eaters I’ll throw out this beefy selection:

Morton’s the Steakhouse, in G’Town $100 three course steak and seafood for two. Not shabby.

Full list here. H/t Dcist.

The Jaleo all night happy hour we skipped is running all of this week too. Check it.

Last week all of Jose Andres’ restaurants had an epic happy hour deal, running all night at Cafe Atlantico, Jaleo, Oyamel and Zaytina. Half of the Bonus! crew embarked with friends on a frosty, delicious alcohol fueled romp around Chinatown.

Personally I liked Cafe Atlantico the most. The bar was relaxed, the mojitos were superb and the deep red and rich wooden decor was understated, tasteful and inviting.

I liked Zaytinya the least in terms of atmosphere. It was a little cold and sterile, too modern without being inviting. The special drink, a pom fillis, tasted like watered down vodka punch. I’ve had better jungle juice in college, made with cheap vodka, everclear and some kool-aide. The food was outstanding though. First we tried the lamb kabob, which was cooked to perfection, juicy and spicy with a pleasantly spicy pita base. We followed that up with the kibbeh nayeh, which is minced raw lamb with olive oil,  garlic and other herbs and spices. Think of a lamb tartar. Unbelievable. One of the best dishes I’ve ever had. Can’t recommend it enough. Also the Lebanese larger was delicious.

We began the night at Oyamel, which was pretty crowded with a number of Syracuse fans waiting for the big game against G’Town. The margaritas were excellent, and I didn’t sample any of the food, waiting for later in the night. Priorities, people. The aroma was very enticing though; I’ll definitely be back for dinner.

We skipped Jaleo altogether because it was super-crowded. Have to hit it some other time. Just a heads up, Jaleo is continuing the happy hour special all of this week as well, so you might spot the Bonus! bunch there, if you’re lucky.

The bonus of the night happened at Zaytina, when a guy worked up the balls to hit on one of our party goers. He was best described by an acquaintance as a ‘hipster-leprechaun’. He had perseverance, but not much else. Also he couldn’t take a hint if it was hand delivered in the form of a singing telegram. Whoever you were, tiny man, excelsior on your bravado. Better luck next time.

Warm up week was a massive success. Every restaurant was crowded, the drinks and food were outstanding, and the prices couldn’t be beat.

An added Bonus!: two of our female companions left their credit cards at two different restaurants and had to go retrieve them. Silliness is always a Bonus!