Break Out Dishes 2016

Breakout Dishes 2016

Posted by Stefanie Gans, Dining Editor / Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Northern Virginia Magazine’s picks for the breakout dishes of 2016 from the Best New Restaurants issue:

NoVa Mag - Senor Ramon Taqueria

Beef empanada at Senor Ramon Taqueria
Beef empanada at Senor Ramon Taqueria / Photo by Rey Lopez
New restaurants aren’t only places where we eat; they dominate dinner conversation, too. Talking about chefs, food, farms, farmers and the newest, weirdest edible trends is our national pastime. Today, what and where you’ve eaten shapes your identity. You are judged by the ramen you slurp and the latte you sip.

Inside this story—the best new dishes from the past year—is a small snapshot of what’s out there.

NoVa Mag - Senor Ramon_beef empenada

Beef empanada at Senor Ramon Taqueria
Beef empanada at Senor Ramon Taqueria / Photo by Rey Lopez

It was the alfajores lining the walls.

“Are you from South America?”

“Argentina,” says Damian Dajcz, owner of Leesburg’s Senor Ramon Taqueria and the man working the register.

Though it usually wouldn’t be recommended to order an empanada at a taco shop, heritage trumps menu sense.

Pastry packaged around salty, pungent beef mixed with sauteed onions, red peppers and roasted garlic is a juicy little pocket of joy. And the alfajores, in both dulce de leche and chocolate, are made down the road in Sterling by Lovin’ Sweet. // 15 Loudoun St. SE, Leesburg

Burrata and Arugula at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap
Now that the reign of beet and goat cheese salad ended, burrata (plus any assorted mix of vegetables) slid into its place on the menu. This indulgent mix of cream and mozzarella tucked inside stretched-out mozzarella oozes onto the plate with a scattering of celery leaves, fried sage, crispy candied hazelnuts and a slick of squash puree. // 401 E. Braddock Road, Alexandria

NoVa Mag - Roll Play

Banh mi at Roll Play
Banh mi at Roll Play / Photo by Rey Lopez
The second concept from the pair of former poker players who seem to love word games too (their first restaurant is Chasin’ Tails, and their forthcoming tea shop will be called Teas Me), Roll Play offers rolls and bowls with a customer-led touchscreen ordering system allowing for endless customization.

Choose from among a variety of meats (lemongrass beef, five-spiced chicken, garlic shrimp), toppings (pickled vegetables, mango, crushed peanuts) and sauces (the spicy peanut sauce is pretty magical) or from the set menu, like the fried egg-topped bahn mi. Is the fried egg add-on authentic? Who cares? Fried eggs grace burgers and pizzas, so why not this French-Vietnamese fusion sandwich filled with pork belly balanced with crunch and just enough heat. // 8150 Leesburg Pike, Vienna

SHL HouseMade Shiner Bock Brat at Smokehouse Live
The owner of Leesburg Village’s Smokehouse Live comes to barbecue not as a boy from Texas Hill Country but as someone with an appreciation for the way meat is made. Jim Foss grew up in Philadelphia, the grandson of a professional butcher. He remembers his grandfather’s walk-in garage: a giant chunk of ice to keep meat cool. Seriously old school.

“I want to stay true to what a brat should be,” says Foss of his Shiner Bock-spiked sausage. A hand-cranked mix of pork butt and brisket, seasoned with garlic and smoked paprika, wears a layer of smoke well for a crisp, flavorful sausage. No mustard required. // 1602 Village Market Blvd. SE, Leesburg

Kushari at Alsaray
This little storefront changes owners and cuisines quite frequently, but for now it sells a mix of Middle Eastern food. Built with rice, elbow macaroni, lentils and chickpeas, kushari, a conglomerate of carbs, is then topped with fried onions. Break up the heft with the provided vinegary tomato sauce and a garlicky-gingery vinaigrette. It’s a shovel-in-your-mouth type of feast. // 6304 Springfield Blvd., Springfield; 703-644-0819

Chorizo Taco at ABC Canteen
Wesley Chen met Violeta Vergara when they worked at Potbelly back in 2003, and together they now own ABC Canteen in the former Arthur Treacher’s space. But that’s not why there’s fish and chips on the menu.

It’s “out of anger,” Chen says. “I know what cod costs, so why am I paying $12 for fish and chips?”

What you shouldn’t be angry about? This eclectic menu that also serves tacos.

Vergara, a native of Oaxaca, presses the corn tortillas at order. Ask for the spicier Mexican/Salvadoran-style chorizo inside. // 9528 Lee Highway, Fairfax

NoVa Mag - Hula Girl_poke

Poke at Hula Girl
Poke at Hula Girl / Photo by Cristin Boggs Peyper
Google poke. A year ago I’m not sure you’d find anything but links to restaurants in Hawaii. But this year, the seafood salad is popping up on menus up and down the East Coast and at the truck-turned-Shirlington Village restaurant Hula Girl.

It’s a simple dish: cubes of bright pink ahi tuna left raw and gently dressed in sesame oil and shoyu decorated in green onions and sesame seeds. It’s light, fresh and fully flavored. By the way, poke rhymes with OK. // 4044 Campbell Ave., Arlington

Article posted from Northern Virginia Magazine >>

7 perfect spots for outdoor drinking in Loudoun County

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest,” Ernest Hemingway wrote in “A Moveable Feast.”

Spring, indeed, is here. And as we all know, Papa fancied a drink now and again. To Hem, the outdoors paired majestically with a frosty Cuba Libre or a bottle of Champagne.

Us Loudouners, we enjoy a drink, too. And with the turn of the season, and our county’s nightlife steadily coming on line, we take a look at the best spots to savor a beverage in the fresh air.

(Note: This list excludes wineries and breweries. We don’t have all week.)

Bungalow Lakehouse

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Facebook/Bungalow Lakehouse

A sprawling and casual American eatery off Route 7 in Sterling, Bungalow offers a spacious patio and open “cigar bar.” Snag a shandy and daydream as you gaze off into the lake.

Salamander Resort

LTM - Patio Article - Salamander

Photo Courtesy/Salamander Resort

Whether it’s on the back patio couches or by the circular firepits on the grand lawn, a glass of Virginia wine at Middleburg’s Salamander is where you go to escape the daily grind.

Vino 9 Market

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Truly a western Loudoun gem, located on Route 9, just north of Route 7 in Paeonian Springs, Vino 9 Market offers impressive wines by the bottle, craft beers and delicious meats, cheese and sandwiches. The outdoor courtyard is the perfect touch of country living in Loudoun.

Smokehouse Live

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Photo Courtesy/Under A Bushel Photography

Country music aside, some barbecue washed down with the scary-good Redneck Grape Juice (sangria) on Smokehouse’s patio or wide open bar is one of the best ways to happy hour in Leesburg.

MacDowell Brew Kitchen

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Macdowell’s is downtown Leesburg’s go-to spot for a cold beer on a sun-splashed spring day. “The beach” or “Beermuda,” as it’s often referenced, is the closest thing Loudoun has to the Florida Keys. Belly up to the outdoor bar and savor small-town living. http://www.

Travinia Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar

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Facebook/Travinia Italian Kitchen Leesburg VA

The opened-up half of the bar and cushioned seating at Travinia provides for a comfortable, lounge setting at the Village at Leesburg. Make it a one-two stop at the Village with drinks at both Travinia and Smokehouse.

Parallel Wine and Whiskey Bar

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Photo Courtesy/

With heaps of outdoor seating, the revamped Parallel Wine and Whiskey Bar in Ashburn offers a seemingly endless list of wine and whiskey to go along with frequent live music and special events.

Article posted from Loudoun Times-Mirror >>

6 Businesses to Open at Village of Leesburg

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LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA: Are you wondering which new businesses will be opening this Spring 2016 at Village of Leesburg? Here are the 6 new businesses will be opening soon, according to a Village of Leesburg announcement:

Atomic Trampoline: a trampoline park and family entertainment center.
Ten Spot Kitchen and Tap: an American pub for food and sports enthusiasts.
Shanghai Station: a restaurant specializing in French-inspired Asian cuisine by a nationally acclaimed chef.
Luv2Play: a parent supervised interactive indoor playground and café.
BodyBrite: an aesthetic luxury services center for hair removal, facials and more.
Montessori Kids Universe: a daycare and preschool.
Check back on for updates on the Grand Openings for these new Loudoun County businesses.

Article posted from Loudoun Now >>

Village at Leesburg announces inaugural beer festival

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Leesburg is getting another beer festival this year.

The Village at Leesburg recently announced its inaugural Leesburg Beer Festival, set to take place April 30. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy more than 75 beers, food and live music. The event will start at noon and continue until 6 p.m.

While sipping favorite suds, guests can enjoy live music on the main stage, or participate in a workshop in the “Tasting Theatre.” There will be beer games for the adults and a kids activity area.

Beer lovers can indulge in tasty offerings from food booths, food trucks and the many dining options in the Village at Leesburg.

Guests are encouraged to bring along lawn chairs or picnic blankets to relax enjoy the music and activities.

Tickets including VIP beer tasting admission are $49 in advance. The VIP session offers exclusive tasting experience with two extra hours of tastes, a souvenir tasting glass, lanyard, unlimited beer sampling and live entertainment. The regular session tickets are $35 in advance and $45 on site 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

To purchase tickets and view schedule, visit

Article posted from Loudoun Times-Mirror >>

Knoxville’s Phoenix theater firm also developing trampoline parks

Trampoline Park

By Ed Marcum of the Knoxville News Sentinel
March 24, 2016

Knoxville-based Phoenix Theatres Entertainment has been making its mark as a manager of movie theaters across the country, but a turn of events has prompted it to expand into the trampoline park market.

The company has formed the privately held Phoenix Trampoline Fun Centers LLC and announced it will build an indoor trampoline park in Leesburg, Va. The 16,000-square-foot Atomic Trampoline Fun Center is slated to open in June at the Village at Leesburg regional outdoor center.

Phil Zacheretti, Phoenix president and CEO, said this enterprise evolved from the company’s experiences managing movie theaters. Phoenix manages 97 screens at 10 locations in eight states.

“In the past, we have managed theaters with arcades, and that just goes along with the family related experience of a movie theater,” he said.

In 2015, Phoenix Theatres was managing a 22-screen theater in North Versailles, Pa.,near Pittsburgh, when the owners decided to reduce the venue to 18 screens.

“They had four empty screens and didn’t know what to do with them, so the owner decided to clear them out and build a trampoline park,” Zacheretti said. “We convinced them that we were the ones to manage it.”

However, Phoenix had never managed a trampoline park.
“We convinced them that we could learn,” Zacheretti said.

The empty space was developed into the Altimate Air Trampoline Center, which opened in June.

“As we saw how we were capable of managing it and saw the revenues coming in, we started looking for other opportunities,” Zacheretti said.

Trampoline parks are one of the hottest trends across the country, he said. In February, Franchise Update Media, which analyzes the franchise industry, identified trampoline parks as a booming opportunity, with around 300 parks now, compared with about 40 just three years ago. The appeal ranges from 2-year-olds just having fun jumping to 60-year-olds taking trampoline aerobics classes.

Phoenix is developing its own freestanding trampoline facility at the Village at Leesburg. Zacheretti described the locale as similar to Knoxville’s Turkey Creek development.

“We didn’t seek out involvement in trampoline parks, but when you manage an entertainment business, it can be all sorts of entertainment,” he said.

Phoenix does not have any trampoline park prospects in the Knoxville area, but Zacheretti said it is always looking for opportunities.


Article posted from >>

More Life Coming to Village at Leesburg

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Leesburg’s historic district is not the only part of town bubbling with new business activity.

The Village at Leesburg will celebrating several new openings in the coming months.

Banfield Animal Hospital celebrated its grand opening March 5. The animal hospital provides preventative pet health care and has nationwide locations. It joins six other shops and restaurants expected to open by this summer.

On the culinary side, Shanghai Station and Ten Spot Kitchen & Tap will complement existing food and dining offerings, both expecting to open this spring. Shanghai Station debuts its concept of French-inspired Asian cuisine, developed by a nationally acclaimed chef. Ten Spot Kitchen & Tap expects to be a draw for foodies and sports enthusiasts and will feature a large, outdoor, full-service patio. The eatery hopes to provide a showcase for viewing Big Ten college games and will source some of its food from Big Ten regions.

On the entertainment side, there is something brewing for fun lovers of all shapes and sizes. Atomic Trampoline Fun Center brings its indoor trampoline park to the Village this summer. Atomic Trampoline Fun Center features more than 16,000 square feet of indoor family entertainment including more than 40 interconnecting trampolines, a dodge ball court, foam pits and “Slam Ball” courts. It will also host birthday parties for all ages, aerobic classes, team building outings and field trips.

For the littler ones, indoor playground and café Luv2Play is a new and exciting, parent supervised, interactive playground powered by creativity and imagination. They offer a safe, clean and educational play space for children, from newborns to age 12, while also providing a relaxing environment for parents, drop- and-shops and date nights. It is an indoor entertainment and recreation family center, with specially designed, custom-made baby area, toddler area, build area with an indoor jungle gym, motion magic and ball blaster zone. They will also host birthday parties for all ages.

Also for the young ones, child care center Montessori Kids Universe will begin accepting applications this spring. Through its year-round program and Montessori curriculum that is integrated with a Reggio-inspired art and science enrichment program, Montessori Kids Universe’s goal is to develop engaged and independent thinkers who embrace community, responsibility, and leadership.

Village at LeesburgThe Village will also be the first Northern Virginia location for beauty center BodyBrite. The shop offers a full range of services including IPL hair removal, skin rejuvenation, microdermabrasion, oxygen facials, chemical peel treatments, face, neck and body contouring as well as teeth whitening for affordable and competitive prices.

All these openings add to the substantial growth the Village has seen over the last two years, a press release notes. In the last 24 months, the Village has leased more than 100,000 square feet of space across all categories including entertainment, dining, apparel, and services. The new shopping and dining options are in addition to the multi-million-dollar ‘place-making’ renovations completed in 2015, which added a new pop-up fountain, dual fire-and-water fountain feature, plaza expansion, large-scale kinetic wind sculptures, ambient tree lighting, enhanced seating options, and free WiFi and music throughout. Additionally, the extension of Russell Branch Parkway, along the project’s southern border, to Battlefield Parkway will coincide with the opening of the adjacent new Lowes Home Improvement.


UNITED STATES - March 21, 2016: The Village at Leesburg shopping center offers a variety of shops restaurants, markets and movie theaters. (Photo by Douglas Graham/Loudoun Now)
UNITED STATES – March 21, 2016: The Village at Leesburg shopping center offers a variety of shops restaurants, markets and movie theaters. (Photo by Douglas Graham/Loudoun Now)

Article posted from Loudoun Now >>

11 D.C. -area coffeehouses every coffee lover should visit

Bean Bar - DC Area Coffeehouses-all in one

WASHINGTON — While the D.C. area may not be known for its coffee joints, it does have some notable coffeehouses worth visiting.

Depending on what you’re looking for, these local coffeehouses have it all, from coziness and comfort to history and character.

Culture in a cup

Sidamo Coffee and Tea is a coffeehouse with a cultural flair.

“We come from the birthplace of Arabica and Ethiopian coffee,” says Kenfe Bellay, the owner of Sidamo Coffee and Tea, which opened in 2006.

To Bellay, coffee is not only a drink. “It’s our tradition,” he says. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Bellay grew up with coffee and roasted beans every day.

Coffee is involved in every aspect of Ethiopian society, he says. Villages take part in coffee ceremonies where families gather to discuss and resolve issues.

Since Ethiopia is the only country known for coffee ceremonies, Bellay wants to keep the tradition alive.

At 2 p.m. every Sunday, Sidamo visitors can experience the coffee ceremony and see how the coffee is roasted, grinded and boiled.

Sidamo offers single-origin coffees and over 24 kinds of loose teas. It is located at 417 H St., NE Washington, D.C. 20002. Its second location is in Fulton, Maryland.

Coffee with a cause

Ebenezers is a casual coffeehouse with a socially conscious mission.

“We’re here to serve the community and we love giving back,” says Andrew Jefferies, the assistant manager at Ebenezers Coffeehouse.

The coffeehouse is owned and operated by the National Community Church and all the proceeds go toward its community outreach projects.

Jefferies describes the atmosphere as lively and positive. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the coffeehouse hosts live music and other public events.

Ebenezers serves fair trade coffee from Pennsylvania-based roaster One Village Coffee.

The most popular items, according to Jefferies, are the Honey Lavender Latte, Caramel Whip and Salted Caramel Custard Latte.

Ebenezers is located at 201 F St. NE Washington, D.C. 20002.

Bean Bar - DC Area Coffeehouses

Sweet escape

Since there is no Wi-Fi, the industrial-chic environment of La Colombe encourages undistracted friendly chats and an overall relaxing time.

“It’s laid back,” says Mark Sundermeyer, a barista at La Colombe. Sundermeyer says most people come to enjoy the coffee and hang out.

The coffeehouse, which has been open for two years now, is known for its cold brew coffee, Sundermeyer says.

In addition to the cold brew coffee, La Colombe offers single-origin coffees, draft lattes and pastries.

La Colombe is located in Blagden Alley. “It’s probably the coolest part about it,” Sundermeyer says, since new restaurants and bars are opening up nearby.

The coffee shop opened up its second D.C. location, in November, in Chinatown.

You can visit La Colombe at 924 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 or at 900 6th St. NW.

Rustic romance

The Coffee Bar is a cozy, quaint specialty coffee shop in D.C.

“We see a lot of first dates here. It’s kind of cute,” says Dane Suarez, a manager at The Coffee Bar.

The communal area is a good place to sit and “just chill out,” Suarez says.

For those flying solo, the relaxed atmosphere is ideal for a quiet study session or to get some work done.

The Coffee Bar focuses on single origin coffees and sources its beans from multiple roasters — from California and Colorado to Maryland.

“We like to bring the best coffees to D.C.,” Suarez says.

The Dirty Chai and Cardamom Latte are the most popular items in the winter, Suarez says.

If you’re hungry, TCB serves food from local suppliers: Hawthorne Fine Breakfast Pastry, The Sweet Lobby, Bethesda Bagels and Paisely Fig.

The Coffee Bar is located in the Historic U Street and Logan Circle area at 1201 S St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009. Its second location is in the Golden Triangle District at 1200 17th St. NW, Suite 150, which is more of a grab-and-go coffee shop.

Heavenly hybrid

Both a bike shop and a coffee shop, Gravel & Grind is the first of its kind in the D.C. area.

“The best part of being a small-business owner is you get to indulge in your own passions,” says co-owner of Gravel & Grind Tracy Hathaway, who shares her love of bicycles and espresso with co-owner James Johnson.

Gravel & Grind builds bikes from scratch, refurbishes old ones and sells Rivendell gear. The hybrid shop specializes in bicycles for everything from touring, camping, town riding, to commuting and old school mountain biking.

As for the coffee, Gravel & Grind sources beans from ChocoSombra, a direct trade coffee roaster in Frederick, Maryland.

“It’s a really balanced and low-acid coffee,” Hathaway says. The Peruvian coffee beans are used in espresso, pour overs and the iced coffee. The coffeehouse also offers single origin coffees from ReAnimator in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland and Blanchard’s in Richmond, Virginia.

Apart from the coffee, Gravel & Grind serves food from baked goods and sandwiches to Oversized Belgian Waffles (Saturday and Sunday only).

Gravel & Grind is located at 124 S. Carroll St. in historic downtown Frederick, Maryland.

Putting the C in community

Kaldi’s Coffee Bar is more than a coffee shop, Emily Wertz says.

Wertz, a barista at Kaldi’s Coffee Bar, says the sense of community felt at the coffeehouse makes it unique from other coffee shops.

Its open, modern layout encourages a social atmosphere. “It’s a cool place,” Wertz says.

Kaldi’s offers pastries freshly baked in-house. Coffee-wise, most people order a Caramel Macchiato or Espresso Macchiato, Wertz says.

You can find Kaldi’s Coffee Bar at 918 Silver Spring Ave. in Silver Spring, Maryland 20910.

A hipster’s haven

Vigilante Coffee Company is both a roastery and cafe that specializes in direct trade coffee.

“People get to see the beans before they are roasted and while they are roasted,” says Austin Redington, the director of retail and marketing for Vigilante Coffee Company. “It’s a very different and elevated experience.”

The space looks and feels like a garage because it used to be an old Model T Ford showroom.

The welcoming atmosphere makes it a community space, Redington says. “A lot of the neighborhood is here everyday.”

You’ll notice the open and airy space is decorated with skateboards and surfboards. Redington says it’s part of the brand. “A lot of us are into edgy sports like skateboarding and surfing and there are a lot of skaters around here.”

Music is also a hit at Vigilante Coffee. Every second Saturday of the month, Vigilante Coffee hosts a live music showcase.

Vigilante Coffee is located at 4327 Gallatin St., Hyattsville, Maryland 20781.

Coffee with a side of art

Killer E.S.P. is a hip and artsy coffeehouse in Old Town Alexandria.

A lot of people come to hang out and meet friends, says Cole Simko, a barista at Killer E.S.P. “It’s a pretty laid back coffeehouse. We’re pretty chill.”

Simko describes the coffeehouse as eclectic. “We like to do a lot of art in here,” he says. Some of the artwork plastered on the walls and in other places of the shop is for sale.

Killer E.S.P. uses Stumptown Coffee beans from Portland, Oregon. It also offers sorbet made in-house, and pies from Dangerously Delicious Pies in D.C.

The pies and the Nutella Latte are the most popular items, according to Simko.

Killer E.S.P. is located at 1012 King St. in Alexandria, Virginia.

Small town wonder

Clifton Café is a quaint coffeehouse and creperie in the small town of Clifton, Virginia.

The town, which has a population of 200, was declared a National Historic District by the U.S. Department of Interior in 1985, and some of the historic homes date back to 1871.

The cafe itself is located in a century-old home called the Weaver House, which was originally built in 1898 for the Weaver family who owned the general store next door.

“You come to town and you get the whole experience,” says Dorian Pyzdrowski, a manager at the Clifton Café.

The café’s menu includes items named after townspeople. One creation: the Bittner’s Bliss, is a crepe made with goat cheese, spinach, artichokes and grilled chicken, and is named after a resident who lives close to the cafe, Pyzdrowski says.

The cafe serves breakfast all day and offers PT’s fair trade coffee, alcohol, dessert and lunch crepes.

The most popular food item, according to Pyzdrowski, is Silva’s Savory, a crepe with grilled chicken, cheddar, guacamole and mango salsa. Another customer favorite is the Spicy Chicken Guacamole crepe.

As for drinks, the Hazelnut Turtle Mocha tops the list.

And if you’re into latte art, you’re in luck. Pyzdrowski says they add a design to all espresso creations.

Clifton Café is located at 7144 Main St., Clifton, Virginia 20124.

All in one

Whether you need a place to meet for business or want a place to relax, Bean Bar’s European environment is all-encompassing.

The atmosphere transitions from day to night, says Arian Pinedo, the director of coffee and head barista at Bean Bar. “It pleases all different types of crowds.”

Customers can sit in a private booth, at a community table, on a couch or on a comfy chair at the bar.

The coffeehouse’s design includes rustic and industrial elements from the tables to the wine barrels. The artwork on the wall is hand-picked from a pool of local artists and photographers, and is rotated throughout the year.

Bean bar specializes in single origin coffees and sources beans from Madcap Coffee.

“Everyone really likes our lattes because of the latte art and the flavor,” Pinedo says. The caramel lattes and vanilla lattes are the most popular, he says.

Although coffee is the focal point, Bean Bar also offers international teas and Virginia wines and beers.

You can visit Bean Bar at 1601 Village Market Blvd SE, Suite 122 Leesburg, Virginia 20175.

A place like home

Similar to Clifton Café, King Street Coffee is in the heart of a historic town: Leesburg.

The coffee shop is in an old house from the early 1900s. “It’s the hub of the town,” says Benjamin Knighton, who has been working as a barista at King Street Coffee for almost two years.

Some people come to the coffeehouse and work on their laptops longer than Knighton’s shift, he says. “The atmosphere is very homey. It’s always a warm environment.”

King Street Coffee offers LOAN OAK coffee roast from Winchester, Va. and baked goods from local bakers in nearby Lucketts.

The most popular items customers order are the scones, gluten-free muffins, lattes and regular coffee.

You can visit King Street Coffee at 110 S King St., Leesburg, Virginia 20175.

Article posted from WTOP >>

World Class Ice Carvers Return to Village at Leesburg as Part of 3rd Annual Winter Ice Fest


Leesburg, Virginia – World-class ice carvers from all over the country will go head to head in Northern Virginia on January 16 as Village at Leesburg hosts its 3rd Annual Winter Ice Fest and 2nd Annual Mega Block Ice Carving Competition. Last year’s event attracted hundreds of spectators who braved temperatures in the teens to marvel at the artistry and skill exhibited by the competitors. The competition will be stiffer this year as two more competitors join, bringing the total number of ice carvers to ten.

The competition, sanctioned by the National Ice Carving Association, will begin at 9 am and continue until dark, when the entries are illuminated and the winner is announced. Four competitors are returning, including last year’s winner Todd Dawson, who will look to retain his title; also returning are Angelito Baban, Don Harrison, and Jess Parrish. Six newcomers will take part in the competition: Robert LoFurno, Rich Daly, David Smith, Matt Hass, Walter Ross, and Sean Leahy. The event is free and open to the public.

“We were thrilled at the community response to this event last year, and we’re so glad to be able to bring it back,” said Staci Harris, marketing director for Village at Leesburg. The Ice Fest will also see the return of the Capital’s Red Rockers Cheerleaders and the Washington mascot Slapshot. Other highlights include S’mores by area Girl Scouts, Cider from Smokehouse Live, and Hot Chocolate from Travinia.

Baltimore-based Ice Lab Ice Sculptures is organizing the competition and has revealed their design for the festival’s signature piece. All sculptures will remain on display until they melt. “We’re excited that this is something people have already started looking forward to each year,” said owner Casey Lee Conner.

Article Posted from the Leesburg Patch >>