It’s no secret I’m partial to the District when it comes to living, dining, and spending time. While I do my best to schlep to the Metro and get out of the city for brunch, I keep most of my socializing and general existence within the confines of D.C.
Recently I was forced out to Arlington as I was a judge at the Carpenter’s Shelter Cookoff at the Birchmere, which Becca attended and loved last year. Truthfully, I was more than happy to eat my face off after running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon that morning on behalf of Bare Minerals #GoBare campaign.
It also gave me a chance to catch up with my fellow foodie judge, Kate of K Street Magazine, in the car ride out of town, as she was kind of enough to give a sore-and-tired me a ride out of the city. Will Artley of Pizzeria Orso and Jeff Goldberg of ABC7 were the male counterparts on the judging panel and joined us as we went from table to table.
The Cookoff is a great event, with live music, a live auction, and bites from 30 participating restaurants in the Northern Virginia area. Our job was to sample everything and pick our favorite appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Notable dishes were the sausage penne from a laLucia, the red pepper jelly with cream cheese dip from Bigg Riggs Catering, the mac n’cheese from Cheesetique, and the rhubarb peanut butter fluffer nutters from Jackson 20.
However, the winners of the day were the Majestic’s She Crab Soup, which was life changing; the ribs from Pork Barrell BBQ, which I did not eat; and Brabo‘s remarkable strawberry rhubarb tart, which was surprisingly delicious, for dessert. The Majestic’s ever-popular she crab soup also won the People’s Choice Award.
The cookoff benefits the Carpenter’s Shelter, the largest homeless shelter in Northern Virginia, which serves more than 300 men, women, and children each year. It also provides a medical clinic and a day shelter, which gives services such as laundry, showers, lockers, and a permanent mailing address for those in need.
For more information, visit the Carpenter’s Shelter website, and check out the Birchmere website while you’re surfin’ the web. And, be sure to mark your calendar for the cookoff next April.