To Eat Gluten or Not to Eat Gluten – Not a Choice for Everyone

By Vickey Casey

cupcake

Wheat-free Chocolate Mocha cupcake from Sticky Fingers Bakery

The shop isn’t very big but the sweet showcase is well stocked and inviting. For you, this dizzying array of cookies, cupcakes and brownies would be nothing more than a temptation, a danger.

You look away, sad that you can no longer just grab your favorite treat the way you used to, cavity be damned. But as you turn back, you see it. There in black and white is a little rectangular sign that could make or break your day.

The questions swirl. “Should I do it?”

“Is it worth it?”

“It won’t taste the same.”

“But what’s the harm?”

“One won’t hurt.”

And in truth, as far as your stomach is concerned, it won’t. No one’s around to scoff as you order a wheat-free chocolate mocha cupcake. No one will roll their eyes and ask why when you decided to be gluten-free with that indulgent smirk.

Why? Because you are in a place, Sticky Fingers Bakery in Colombia Heights to be exact, that caters to your needs, your lifestyle, your allergy.

Continue reading

Busboys And Poets Delivers Healthier Dining Option To Anacostia

By Christen Hill

img_9243-2

When you think of DC restaurant staples, Busboys and Poets is probably up there in your list of trendy, intellectually pleasing places to visit. Beyond the tasty vegan nachos and the southern catfish dinner – complete with collard greens, there is a social activism undertone the restaurant adds to every neighborhood in which it enters.

The popular chain recently broke ground on the 2100 block of Martin Luther King Avenue in Southeast, Washington in October. This enterprise has been welcomed with open arms by the residents of Anacostia in search of healthy food options.

The truth of the matter is that Anacostia is a food desert. It has been canvased by innumerable carry-out and wing spots. A Busboys and Poets would afford residents another quality dining option right in their backyard.

There are only four full-service grocery stores for more than 150,000 people in Wards 7 and 8.  14th street NW has more grocers. Continue reading

Potluxurious: Community Dining Made Easy

By Christen Hill

One thing I can definitely say about saving money on food is that potlucks are probably the best way to go.  Each year, a friend of mine hosts a pie party a few days before Thanksgiving and it’s always a hit. This family-friendly event was cost effective because party-goers could control costs by choosing a dish they wanted to bring.  (I brought the coffee)

At this particular party, there were loads of savory and sweet pies. There were lots of gluten-free pie options as well. No pie was left behind. Here’s a quick rundown of what we had:   Continue reading

Van Ness Opens Alternative Grocery Store

By Sophia Wu

Soapstone Market, a boutique grocery store, opened in the Van Ness neighborhood of Washington, D.C. on November 7. Sleek with silvers and blacks, the modern-looking Soapstone offers a niche of local products and independent brands, which differs from the Giant chain supermarket a few blocks away.

Located beneath the Park Van Ness apartments, Soapstone is a relatively residential option for the people of Van Ness; its tagline is “your neighborhood one-stop-for-everything-shop.” Indeed, Soapstone is more than simply a grocery store. There is a coffee counter, drinks bar, deli, fresh seafood mart, wine section, and café seating area. It may be a stop for everything, but that doesn’t mean Soapstone doesn’t welcome their customers to sit and stay for a while.

“Students come here. They probably will come tonight. They stay here drinking, or get a couple of snacks and go back,” says Dayshawn S., a cashier at Soapstone. University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and Howard University School of Law are located in Van Ness, which is often populated with their students. In addition to food, Soapstone sells composition notebooks — placed on the produce table, conveniently located in front of the main entrance.

Hugh D. and Hugh T. are both young working professionals from Vietnam who are lounging in the café; their finished, crumbed plates sit idly on the table. Van Ness, one of the relatively quieter areas of D.C., does not have many areas for individuals to spend time and congregate in, other than chains such as Starbucks, Potbelly’s, and Subway. “Looks like a cool place, looks hippie, and it’s also close to our apartment,” says Hugh D., who points to the apartment complex next door. “I think it’s like a great mix of grocery store and bar. Everything all in one,” Hugh T. adds.

On this lazy Sunday afternoon, Soapstone is packed with a relatively young crowd who are drinking coffee or gazing at pasta sauces. There are no laptops in sight; people are mainly engrossed in conversations with one another. “People are still checking the place out,” says Justin P., a music student at UDC, who also works at Soapstone. “But so far, I think they like it.” He mentions the popularity of the prepped foods section, in which he and fellow students often will grab a meal from if they are on the go to class.

“It’s in between a grocery store and a health foods store,” Justin mentions. He gestures to the produce, which he says is mostly from Maryland. The set up of Soapstone could arguably encourage healthy-eating. The snacks and dessert aisle is minimized compared to the rest of the store. It is located behind the cashier stand and adjacent to the employees-only back room. The produce table is isolated from the rest of the aisles, front-and-center, and the prepped foods section is filled with mostly greens and grains.

Soapstone’s emphasis on health is one of many reasons it appeals to the people of Van Ness. But mostly, it is a versatile environment that caters to anyone who wants to relax for hours over a drink or have the grab-and-go food experience. Combining healthiness, affordability, convenience, and style, it is no surprise many young D.C. residents are flocking to Soapstone.

Soapstone Market, 4465 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, Saturday-Sunday, 7am-10pm, (202) 750-4100, info@soapstonemarket.com, https://www.soapstonemarket.com/