Alexandria and Springfield, Virginia
If you are in the mood for affordable, authentic, Austin-style Tex-Mex from the granpappy of Tex-Mex, and you dig a cantina with a kitschy vibe, then this Thursday, January 8, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., all the stars are aligned. Why? Chuy’s is celebrating Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday. “Chuy’s has always had a special place in its heart for Elvis. We have a shrine for him at every restaurant,” said Frank Biller, V.P. of Operations for Chuy’s. Anyone who shows up at either location dressed as Elvis or Priscilla eats free, Blue Hawaiians will be served all day, and two Elvis signature dishes are $1 off: The Elvis Presley Memorial Combo”, which includes a beef enchilada, cheese ranchero enchilada, chicken tomatillo enchilada, a ground sirloin crispy taco with homemade tostada chips dipped in chile con queso; and the “Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken” breaded with Lay’s® potato chips are both worth the visit, because at Chuy’s, Elvis never left the building.
January 6 is Epiphany, and New Orleans native David Guas, chef and owner of Bayou Bakery, is celebrating by baking his famous “BB King Cakes,” which have been recognized as some of the best in the country by Southern Living and The Washington Post. This brioche-like cake is filled with a Creole cream cheese filling and decorated with the traditional tri-colored frosting of purple, green, and gold beads, and comes with the requisite tiny figure of the baby Jesus.
City Tap House serves casual American fare in a pub environment that features housemade craft beer. Sounds inviting, right? What if we told you they were also hosting their own version of a classic bake-off called a Wake-n-Bake? Well, they are, and it’s a public competition to celebrate their new brewing partnership with Terrapin Beer Company and the Sunday, January 25 launch of Liquid Bliss, a chocolate and peanut butter porter. Contestants must create a sweet or savory baked good that incorporates Terrapin's Oak Aged Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout, an American double/imperial stout style beer. Judging will take place at noon on January 25 and guests can vote for their favorite recipe between noon and 2:00 p.m.
Here’s an interesting recipe for a dining experience: take one ornate, architectural landmark museum, the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Shake with a popup deli, cum food truck concept moved to a semi-permanent residence (namely Dirty South Deli), and add one part wise guy humor by naming salads and sandwiches after male characters from Hollywood films. Cool, and the names? There is the Captain Corelli, made with salt roasted beets, arugula, goat cheese, pistachios, French breakfast radish, and sherry vinaigrette. The Birdman comprises roasted turkey, Muenster, arugula, bacon, and lemon aïoli on a toasted baguette, and there is also the Sean Archer sandwich made with eye round of beef, BBQ sauce, pimento cheese, romaine, and house cured pickles served on a toasted brioche bun. As they say in movies, “That’s a wrap,” but you can sample this silver screen fare Mondays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through April.
If you want to shake, rattle, and roll your way into 2015, may we suggest you sample a burger and shake at Burger, Shake & Tap? Every month, their regular menu also features a new burger and shake, and January’s burger is The Tijuana Hangover. It’s made with Mexican-style pork chorizo topped with Pepperjack cheese, roasted chilies, a fried egg, and XXX hot sauce. Now, if that doesn’t tame the hair of the dog that bit you, then cool down with a creamy shake. This month’s special milkshake is a creamy dreamy vanilla shake infused with chai.
January is National Soup Month, so Legal Sea Foods has declared a ‘Legal’ holiday, Chowda Day for next Thursday, January 15. It’s the only day you can enjoy a warming cup of creamy, aromatic New England clam chowder for only $1 dollar with your order an entrée. Each cup comes crammed with clams, potatoes, and milk with plenty of saltine crackers on the side. Reel yourself in a cup and pull ashore for some bounty from the sea.