"Going out in a supermarket during a weekend night" is not something you would expect to see in a city with a bustling bar and an eatery. Maybe in the suburbs, as the other nearby options are chain restaurants. But in Washington? And just a few minutes walk from Bluejacket, Chloe, All Purpose and Salt Line?
On a recent Saturday night, few seats were available at the South Capitol Hill Whole Foods, which opened on October 19 in a corner of Southeast Washington, but that is not quite the Navy Yard and not quite Capitol Hill. The truth is, there are plenty of reasons to go to this new supermarket than do your weekly shopping.
Do not you want to wait for a bartender to give you a glass of rosé? Do you not feel decisive and do you want to taste a variety of wines? Just do not like to talk to people? The Self-Serve Wine Bar automatically distributes 16 options into one, three or six ounces. Purchase a rechargeable card from the bartender, slide it into the beautiful Enomatic wine storage machine and press a button above your bottle of your choice. That is it.
On recent visits, the wines started at $ 2 for a one-ounce splash and went as high as $ 19 for six ounces of Ridge East Bench zinfandel. There are tasting notes on the menu without glass, if you want to know more before throwing that kind of coin on one glass of wine. (Disclosure: Whole Foods is owned by Amazon.com Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post, but we still have to pay $ 19 for our wine, just like anyone else.)
And yes, you can bring a glass in the store while you "sip and shop", but it is also great to grab a chair at a table and go out with friends, or open your laptop and work to get (free wifi, no less).
Cheap local craft beer
Hand-made beer can be expensive. The Whole Foods of South Capitol Hill has a dozen taps – including a cider – and almost everything costs $ 5 per pint. No $ 5 for a 12-ounce cup, but $ 5 for a 16-ounce glass. There are exceptions, such as Unique Double Duckpin Double IPA, which was $ 5 for eight ounces (in fine tuning), but last weekend 9 out of 12 offers were only $ 5. Also a plus: everything is made in Washington, Maryland or Virginia , with RAR (Cambridge) and Stone (Richmond) the breweries that are furthest away.
Yes, there is happy hour: $ 1 off beer and glasses of wine from 4 pm to 6 pm Monday to Thursday. Although it ends on the early side, it is one of the cheapest options in the neighborhood.
Wings, cheesesteaks and other delicious things
Whole Foods works together with local restaurateurs at other DC locations, including Erik Bruner-Yang, whose Paper Horse concept appears in Foggy Bottom and H Street, and Kazuhiro "Kaz" Okochi of Kaz Sushi Bistro, whose sushi appears at multiple locations, including South Capitol Hill. The headliner in the new store is Philly Wing Fry, made by the former "Top Chef" participant Kwame Onwuachi, now at the Kith and Kin of the Wharf.
Philly Wing Fry debuted as a pop-up at Union Market in 2016, before the famous Shaw Bijou of the chef opened, crashed and burned. While the three menu items – cheesesteaks, wings and wafelfriet – can be found at carry-outs in the city, these are the Bentley versions. The cheesesteak is made with 50-day-aged rib-eye and smoked provolone, topped with pickled and caramelized onions, and served on bread cooked in beef fat. The tamarind-glazed wings are smothered in a sweet and sultry mumbo sauce. Wafelfriet is thrown in Ethiopian berbere spices. Of course you pay for this: a pick list with a seven-inch sub-frame, four wings and a pile of fries is $ 20, although it is more filling and more likely to be friends than some comparable meals.
And if you prefer a salad, pasta, sushi or a piece of pizza, you can also pick it up and bring it to the bar. Creative types can adapt the dinner to the home-built Avocado sandwich bar before being combined with something from the pour-your-own wine station. Do not forget to pay at the checkout.
Whole Foods South Capitol Hill, 101 H St. SE.
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