Document 86426

Best Of Alexandria
July 17, 2013
Best Of Washington Party
July 17, 2013
Dressed to Impress: Hot Dogs Wear More Than Mustard This Season
June 21, 2013
They come in all shapes, sizes and blends of pulverized protein. Here’s a sampling of hot
buns and wieners.
BUN The base upon which you build your temple to the hot dog deities.
Windy City Red Hots uses buns shipped from Chicago. The bun, a soft, white bread, is slightly sweet
like other hot dog buns, but studded with poppy seeds, a signature Chicago move. The buns arrive
steamed, slightly warm and a little damp, in a good way.
DOG Salty, smokey or meaty: hot dogs need protein, usually in the form of a frankfurter or sausage.
Instead of a frankfurter, try a half-smoke from Weenie Beenie. Unlike a hot dog, half-smokes are
plumper, more sausage-like and traditionally doused in piping hot chili.
TOPPINGS Like a U.S. senator, a hot dog should not appear naked in public. Toppings define the
To construct the Kaiser, Red Apron’s butchers slap a house-made brat between a fried slice of bread and
top it with sweet pickled cabbage, mustard and onions. Nevermind the intimidating name; this dog
rules taste buds subjects with subtle sweetness.
The Bombshell, Haute Dogs & Fries‘all beef frank, is buried under caramelized onions, mango,
pineapple and jalapenos. Like a Latin romance film, this dog exudes the right amount of savory, sweet
and spicy.
The Wieners Circle churns out Baltimore dogs, an amalgamation of a Vienna beef frank, melted cheese
and a slab of fried bologna that might remind your of our Northern neighbor: a little salty, a little cheesy
but strangely alluring.
Vienna Inn opened in 1960, slathers its ultra-cheap chilidogs (the dogs simmered in beer) with heaps of
chili (using dog/beer broth), mustard and diced onions. At $1.95 a pop, these messy dogs cost less than
a trip to the dry cleaner.
Haute Dog & Fries 610 Montgomery St., Alexandria & 609 E. Main St., Purcellville;
June 4, 2013
Alexandria sits on the scenic Mount Vernon Bike Trail, which runs along the Potomac River and the
George Washington Memorial Parkway. Cyclists can enjoy a picnic and bike to George
Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens or follow the trails along the George
Washington Parkway to see the Washington monuments. The Holmes Run Trail and Four Mile
Run Trail, which links with the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, are two other popular trails.
Alexandria’s bike shops include Bike and Roll Alexandria and Wheel Nuts, while members of
Capital Bikeshare can choose a bike from one of more than 175 stations in D.C., Arlington and
Alexandria and return it to another station near their destination. The city has bike lanes on Braddock
and Commonwealth streets as well as Prince and Cameron streets in Old Town Alexandria.
Some popular restaurants include T.J. Stone’s Grill House & Tap Room, Haute Dogs & Fries
with its designer hot dogs and milkshakes, and Bittersweet Café, which serves breakfast, lunch and
dinner. The Dairy Godmother in the city’s Del Ray neighborhood offers up Wisconsin-style frozen
custard, sorbet and an assortment of bakery treats. Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco, just a few blocks from
the waterfront, the Crowne Plaza Old Town Alexandria on the Mount Vernon Trail and
Holiday Inn & Suites Alexandria–Historic District offer bikes for guests.
Best of Virginia 2013
June 2013
Opening Day Hot Dogs:
Celebrate Washington Nationals' Season Started With A Summer Snack
April 1, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Play ball!
The Washington Nationals' season starts today with a home game against the Miami Marlins. After a
nail-biting 2012 season, during which the Nats clinched the National League East division title before
being knocked out in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, fans are sure to fill 41,546-seat
Nationals Park to capacity.
Whether you got tickets to the game or not, nothing goes better with baseball than a hot dog. The
association of hot dogs and baseball goes back to the early 20th century, although no one knows who
first brought the two iconic American items together.
With 8 hot dog vendors at Nationals Park, there are plenty of places to get a frank at the ballpark. But
outside of the stadium, here are 6 spots to find one of Americans' favorite summer snacks.
Inauguration Celebration: 10 Ways to Eat and Drink Like Obama in Washington
January 3, 2013
Recently, Washingtonian critic Todd Kliman briefed the President on strategies for tackling the local
dining scene in term two. But we can also take advice from the President on how to eat well around
town. So if you’re not inclined to cough up the cash for an inaugural ball, here are ten much cheaper
ways to celebrate Obama’s second term—all inspired by POTUS himself.
10) Brew your own beer (not really). Then share the recipe . . . reluctantly.
Here’s how to home brew, POTUS-style: 1) Get someone else to do it. 2) Talk up how good it is. 3) When
your people demand a recipe, say nothing for a while. 4) Finally, when demand reaches a fever pitch,
release the recipe.
If you’re sincerely interested in amateur beermaking, visit the homebrewing shop at 3 Stars Brewing
Company (6400 Chillum Pl., NW). It’s stocked with all the equipment you need and manned by some
serious enthusiasts. Or you could get this White House Honey Ale kit from Northern Brewer.
9) Go to Ray’s Hell-Burger. Twice.
As Kliman pointed out in his aforementioned memo, Ray’s is the only local restaurant that got two
presidential visits in the first term. And as devoted minions of the Mack, we totally get it.
8) Savor dessert.
Obama was way ahead of the curve on the salted caramel trend, having long ago discovered Seattlebased Fran’s Chocolates, which specializes in the savory-sweet treats. You can order those online, or go
local by trying excellent Washington versions at Fleurir (in Alexandria and Georgetown) or Co Co. Sala
in Penn Quarter.
7) Make pizza your favorite.
When Oprah asked the other big O what his favorite food was, he told her that he loved pizza night at
the White House. As it so happens, pizzerias have exploded in Washington since Obama took office.
Coincidence? Most likely. Happy coincidence? Most definitely. 2 Amys, Comet Ping Pong, Mia’s, and
Pete’s have been joined by great new options that include Menomale, H &Pizza (coming soon to the U
Street Corridor!), Mellow Mushroom, Graffiato, Sugo Cicchetti, and more.
6) Do deli.
While the Romney campaign filled up at Chick-fil-A on the campaign trail, the Prez’s crew went for
bagels, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, and deli food. Lucky for you, Washington just welcomed an excellent
deli concept to Dupont Circle.
5) Get plenty of exposure.
This shouldn’t be hard. In this town you can’t swing a cat without hitting—ouch, poor cat—a wall of
industrial brick, the backdrop to just about every restaurant that opened in 2012. The brickhouse
eateries Obama has tried include Boundary Road, Scion, Mintwood Place, Taylor Gourmet, and Smith
Commons, to name just a few.
4) Eat ice cream
. . . and lots of it. In addition to many scoops along the campaign trail, Obama has taken his daughters
to local sweet treats spots, including Thomas Sweet in Georgetown and Dairy Godmother. Ice cream has
become quite a thing here in town—you could spend the next four years trying sundaes, cookie
sandwiches, and so many other frozen desserts.
3) West Wing it.
Fans of The West Wing will recall the early-season-one staff party in which Jed and Zoey Bartlet cook
up some chili for the crew. Remember? It’s that very pre-9/11 episode in which Josh has a nervous
breakdown after he’s given the card telling him where to go in case of nuclear fallout? Anyway, our reallife President reportedly loves making chili, and you will, too, after whipping up a batch of
Washington’s favorite meat-and-bean stew, courtesy of Clyde’s.
2) Dog the haters.
Earlier this year, a group of doctors joined forces to ask POTUS to please stop eating hot dogs and
burgers in public. Come on, doctors. The guy is from Chicago, home of the greatest dogs known to man
(sorry, New York). You can’t expect him to give up the wieners entirely.
Next time you’re looking for some Midwest-style street eats, head to Haute Dog & Fries in Alexandria
and Purcellville for a steaming sausage topped with onions, tomato, hot peppers, pickle relish, dill
pickles, mustard, and celery salt.
1) Go Hawaiian.
Obama was born in Honolulu, of course, and he and the fam often return to dine out at favorite venues
celebrating regional cuisine, such as Alan Wong’s, where he dined on January 3. While Washington isn’t
exactly overflowing with plate lunch and tuna poke, now is the moment to try some island specialties.
Passenger chef Javier Duran has set himself up in the pop-up space behind Hogo, the new bar at 1017
Seventh Street, Northwest, where he is turning out macaroni salad, Spam musubi, and other treats.
An Early Look at Haute Dogs & Fries in Alexandria (Pictures)
October 16, 2012
You know a hot dog is great when you’re willing to drive more than an hour outside Washington to get
it. We’ve been commuting to Purcellville, Virginia for our dog cravings at co-owners Lionel Holmes
and Pamela Swanson’s Haute Dog & Fries, but the trip just got much shorter with the launch of a
replica Haute Dogs in Old Town, Alexandria.
Unlike at many designer burger joints, the tastiness of the hot dogs doesn’t rely on extra-fancy
ingredients like foie gras and short ribs. You’ll find all-beef Kayem hot dogs—the same brand hawked at
FedEx Field during Redskins games—and a bun commissioned from a local bakery. The key is that both
meat and bread are griddled on a hot flattop, with the bun getting the same swipe of butter and
resulting crust you’ll find on a New England lobster roll (which the menu also features, along with
sliders, fish and chips, and nachos.)
Toppings range from classic combinations—chili and cheese, the Chicago-style mix of hot peppers,
relish, and celery salt—to less conventional creations such as the Monroe: caramelized onions, mango,
pineapple, and jalapeños. Make sure to try two other unusual items: the simple, meaty lamb sausage
from Loudoun-based Fields of Athenry, and the dessert Eskimo dog—vanilla ice cream scooped into a
cinnamon-sugar bun and drizzled with caramel and fudge. Vegetarians can also find meat-free savory
items, such as a tofu dog and a veggie-stuffed bun with slaw, cheddar, and chipotle mayo.
Holmes and Swanson aim for a neighborhood vibe with a cozy interior, free wi-fi, and a kids’ meal with
a smaller dog or slider, fries, and a drink. Takeout is always available, but you’ll be able to linger over a
meal with beer and wine as soon as this week. Hit up the slideshow for tantalizing shots of the wieners
on offer.
Haute Dogs & Fries. 610 Montgomery St., Alexandria; 703-548-3891. Open Monday through
Saturday 11 to 9 and Sunday 11 to 7.
The Chicago dog gets the classic topping of onions, tomato, hot peppers, pickle relish, dill pickles,
mustard, and celery salt. Photograph by Andrew Propp.
Sausage eschewers can opt for a lobster roll: Maine lobster dressed in mayo, chopped celery, and black
pepper in a toasted bun. Photograph by Andrew Propp.
Haute Dog’s Bombshell (a.k.a. the Monroe): a dog topped with caramelized onions, mango, pineapple,
and jalapeños. Photograph by Andrew Propp
The Italian Job: Loudoun-sourced sausages include this mild, Italian-spiced forcemeat, which Haute
Dog serves with sautéed red and green peppers and melted provolone cheese. Photograph by A. Propp.
Deep-fried pickles are served with a side of
ranch dressing for dipping. Photograph by
Andrew Propp.
Co-owner Lionel Holmes is the inventor of the Eskimo
dog, featuring three scoops of Gifford’s ice cream,
hot fudge, and caramel stuffed in a hot dog bun
seasoned with cinnamon and brown sugar.
Photograph by Andrew Propp.
Haute Dog should start serving beer and wine this week. Photograph by Andrew Propp.
Haute Dogs & Fries Opens in Old Town
October 5, 2012
New restaurant bills itself as a "creative play on an all American favorite, hot dogs and fries."
Restaurant Haute Dogs and Fries opened Friday in North Old Town, bringing all kinds of downtown
and uptown dogs to Alexandria.
It serves all-beef franks as well as sausages and brats from Loudoun County's Fields of Athenry and
Lothar's Gourmet Sausages.
The restaurant, at 610 Montgomery St., serves more typical dogs with relish, mayo and mustard but
also menu items such as The Bombshell, which comes covered in carmelized onions, mango, pineapple
and jalapenos.
Customers are also welcome to select from 18 toppings to create their own dog.
The restaurant also serves lobster rolls, fish and chips, nachos and more.
Staff hopes to begin beer sales in the next two weeks or so.
If you happen to have room for dessert, try the Eskimo Dog, which is a brown sugar cinnamon toasted
bun with ice cream, chocolate and caramel.
The store also has a location in Purcellville.
Cheap Eats 2012
June 2012
Washington is full of culinary riches, and you don’t have to book a table at Citronelle or Komi to
experience them. In fact, you don’t have to spend more than $25 a person, tax and tip included, to eat
fabulously well. On our annual list of the area’s best bargain restaurants, you’ll find everything from
top-notch pizza and haute bar snacks to Bosnian burgers and Laotian lemongrass pork. More than 30
countries are represented, and our very first Cheap Eats Hall of Fame recognizes the best restaurants in
five cuisine categories as well as some stellar dishes. They might not come on bone-china plates, but
they’re delicious just the same.
Cheap Eats 2012: Haute Dogs & Fries
June 1, 2012
Haute Dogs & Fries
May 29, 2012
Bringing bargain dogs from Purcellville to Old Town Alexandria.
Opening in June
WITH Lionel Holmes, a restaurant industry veteran and the owner of the original Haute Dogs & Fries
in Purcellville.
ON MENU Budget-friendly hot dogs ($3.75), of course, and new items including a foot-long dog and
(in the experimental phase) lamb sliders.
ON TAP “We’ll do trendy craft beers,” says Holmes, with a few light standbys. With the family on
focus, though, beers remain in the backdrop.
NEVER ON Standard burgers. “We serve sliders,” says Holmes.
FUTURE PLANS “We’re looking forward to creating Alexandria’s first hot dog eating contest,” says
Holmes, excited to bring a little friendly competition to the neighborhood. Also look for a third location
by spring of 2013 and Mid-Atlantic franchises in the next five years, if Holmes makes his wishes come
610 Montgomery St., Alexandria; Open for lunch and dinner daily.
Dog, Gone
September 7, 2011
So, Labor Day has come and gone, which to most people means the regrettable end of summer: pools
closing, ice cream trucks retiring, schools reopening. But Labor Day also marks the end of another
American season—hot dog season. The official hot dog season is marked from Memorial Day to Labor
Day. During this time, Americans consume approximately 7 billion hot dogs! Yikes. So, are you feeling a
little hot dog heavy? Are you disappointed in your lack of hot dog consumption this season? Either way,
it shall return again next year. In the mean time, here’s a short list of a sampling of places you can still
find a good ol’ hot dog in NoVA, even outside of hot dog season. But until next year, good riddance, ye
hot dogs, it’s been another grand season.
Here’s the list, moving in order through NoVA from west to east and ending in DC:
Haute Dogs & Fries (609 East Main St., Purcellville; 540-338-2439)
Haute Dogs & Fries owner Pamela Swanson was inspired to open to this hot dog haven by her father’s
words of advice, “Keep it simple. Everybody loves a hot dog.” True or not, Haute Dogs serves nine
different kinds of specialty dogs. Bonus dog toppings are a nice change in addition to the classics,
including caramelized onions, fresh cilantro and pineapple.
Cheap Eats 2011: Haute Dogs & Fries
August 18, 2011
Outtakes: Washington's Hot Dogs
May 3, 2011
Burgers and pizzas have all gone boutique in the past decade as junk food has gone gourmet, but the hot
dog lagged way behind its iconic counterparts—a distant third on the local scene. The dog is now getting
its day, though, and I spent the past couple of months wolfing down franks of every size and flavor for a
story in the April issue.
The results? Haute Dogs & Fries in Purcellville is the by far best of the new-breed dog houses, while a
number of talented chefs are cranking out one-offs at unlikely venues, including Lyon Hall in Arlington
and Sidebar in Silver Spring.
Out of the Ballpark: Haute Dogs & Fries
April 1, 2011
The dog house I find myself thinking about most is from Haute Dogs & Fries. Owners Pamela
Swanson and Lionel Holmes don’t steam their dogs; they griddle them, which makes a big difference—
the heat intensifies the taste of the meat and makes the pop of the casing more pronounced. Another big
difference: They swab their split buns with butter, then lay them on the griddle to toast.
I’ve tried eight of the dogs there, and there isn’t one I didn’t like; most I loved. The simple ones, such as
the Coney dog with house-made, long-simmered wiener sauce (a sort of soupy chili), are perfect, and
the more complicated constructions never come off as contrived. There are even locally made sausages
that double as dogs, including an excellent version made with Loudoun County’s Fields of Athenry
Bun Shakers: Dogs With Serious Bite
October 25, 2010
As per usual, the Nats will be hanging up their cleats the first week in October.
And who, other than possibly The Danny, can afford to eat at FedEx Field?
What’s a hot dog lover to do?
Gather ‘round and we’ll tell you a tale about folks who revere the humble frank almost as much as you
Haute Dogs & Fries
609 E. Main St., Purcellville; 540-338-2439;
Average entree: under $12 ($). Open for lunch and
dinner daily.
Haute Dogs & Fries co-founder Lionel Holmes says
he and partner Pamela Swanson originally
envisioned opening up a white tablecloth-clad
restaurant like the ones they’d cut their professional
teeth on (he at various Morton’s locations,
she at the since-shuttered Germaine’s in Georgetown).
That’s when the sputtering economy—and Swanson’s
freewheeling father, Joseph Kimrey—stepped in and
drastically altered their budding business model.
“He always told her, ‘You should open a hot dog
place,’” Holmes says of Kimrey’s push for a no-frills
eatery everyone could enjoy.
It would appear that Kimrey got his posthumous wish.
And a place of honor, to boot (that’s him hoisting a
Bud Light in perpetual salute in the framed pic at the
end of Haute’s gourmet fixin’ bar).
Haute does a terrific job of weaving together
simple pleasures (all-beef, Kayem franks) with sophisticated and sassy accoutrements.
All dogs are grilled to order and served on toasted Wegmans New England-style rolls.
The real fun begins once you break into Haute’s amenities, a rainbow of textures and flavors that
includes: multiple chilies (beef and vegetarian), melted cheese sauce, homemade mac ‘n’ cheese, wasabi
peas, potato sticks, crushed potato chips, sauerkraut, crumbled bacon, Goldfish crackers, onions (raw
and grilled), sliced olives, coleslaws (habanero-laced, Southern style), mini pickles, rotating relishes
(sweet pickle, black bean and white corn) and myriad hot peppers.
Ready for more?
The hand-cut fries—“It goes from whole potato to the fryer,” Holmes stresses of the spot-prepared
spuds—are serviced by a totally separate roster of custom dipping sauces featuring the likes of curry
ketchup (simple plan, flawless execution), taco mayo (cumin-spiked, extra zesty) and cranberryhorseradish (all I got was sweet).
Not that this backyard hero needs much cover.
The expertly grilled bun, lean-but-mean dog and melted cheese are terrific foundations, anyway you cut
it. The flavorful link doles out beefiness by the bite, regardless of whether you dress it down (ketchup,
mustard) or seek to bury it beneath a tower of too-good-to-pass-up toppings (black bean-corn relish
lends an air of southwestern flare to every bite; sliced jalapenos inflame the senses; crispy bacon—
And that’s just the hot stuff.
Their signature ice cream sandwich layers Shenandoah’s Pride soft-serve (vanilla, chocolate or swirl)
into a spot-grilled bun bolstered by caramelized cinnamon and brown sugar, all topped with another
dusting of cinnamon and brown sugar, and drizzled in chocolate and caramel sauce.
“It’s the couture ice cream sandwich,” Holmes says of the word-of-mouth treat I’m convinced would
soar through the roof in terms of sales if they renamed it the “Eskimo dog” (or something to that effect).
Town, Mayor Relish Opening of Haute Dogs
July 7, 2010
In Purcellville, the dog days of summer officially began July 3.
Buns sat in the shade. Dogs cooled off. Everything was toasty.
Oh, and the hot dogs were fantastic, too.
Purcellville on Saturday celebrated the grand opening of Haute Dogs & Fries on East Main Street, the
newest eatery in the town and Purcellville’s latest small business franchise. It was just in time, as July is
National Hot Dog Month.
Amid red, white and blue balloons, festive bunting and the lulling sounds of banjos, Pamela Swanson,
Haute Dogs & Fries’ co-owner, stirred boiling pots of beef dogs and welcomed customers.
A seven-year Loudoun resident, Swanson said she jumped into the restaurant business after deciding
that Purcellville needed “something different” in eatery choices and was encouraged by her father to get
something going.
“My dad just said, why doesn’t someone just open a hot dog stand?’” Swanson said. “I thought it would
be cool – it’s a great American food and everyone loves them.”
Why hot dogs, rather than more – well, haute cuisine? Swanson’s plan had a tangible value component
to it from the start – a sign of what have been some challenging economic times in the past couple of
“Especially in today’s economic recession, this is a great value for the dollar,” she said. “People can
actually go out and enjoy a meal with the family, without breaking the budget.”
Creating a differentiated and unique product for discerning consumers also played a part in the Haute
Dogs & Fries launch. Swanson claims that the quality of the franks she serves up will also make her
franchise stand out, as well as using a sliced New England-style bread roll to cradle your dog. Her chef
will keep customers guessing, with exotic menu items such as the “Black & Blue” special: corn and black
bean relish, topped with blue cheese and diced onions.
“The chef surprises me everyday,” Swanson laughs.
Lenie McCarron made a special trip from Waterford for the opening. Joined by two of her young
children – Andrew, age 4, and 4-week-old Ryder – McCarron said she wanted to see a hot dog eating
contest, but was also “happy to travel for a good dog.” She said she’s thrilled that the choices of places to
eat in Purcellville is expanding, calling out Tropical Smoothie and Anthony’s Pizza as examples.
McCarron’s comments might explain the happy look on Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro’s face, too.
“It’s great for our residents,” Lazaro said. “It’s about supporting locals with good food at reasonable
family prices. That’s what people are looking for. They want to support people who put it on the line and
open a new business, and who are trying to create new jobs and bring choice to folks out this way.”
Of course, no opening of a hot dog place would be complete without a hot dog eating contest. To the
strains of music from a band called Jake and the Burtones, and Ian Fuze, an all-male posse lined up to
down some dogs.
After five minutes, a star of sorts was born – two actually, as the contest ended in a tie between Wayne
Pampaloni, 44, of Round Hill, and Felice Falzarano, 45, of Purcellville. Each ate nine hot dogs and buns.
Wearing faux gold medals around their necks, they smiled and hot-dogged it for the assembled
cameras, winners over wieners.