DC is not what I’d call a boring or static town. Northeast DC is overnight-dynamic, and every September H Street celebrates that fact. This year’s H Street Festival was a showcase of the food, drink, events, and music that are here and a preview of what’s coming.
For a neighborhood full of bars that take pride in their cross-sections of American craft beer, organizers brought in PBR as their major beverage sponsor. The 14th St music stage was a collective effort between PBR and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel. Why does that make sense? It’s the backbone of H Street’s bohemian population. Frederick, Maryland powerhouse Flying Dog added the brews for many of the restaurants’ sidewalk patios.
Smith Commons bills itself as a “dining room and public house”, with “approachable cuisine” and an array of draft beers. “Approachable” must be a variation of “disturbingly amazing.” Their sample fare included burger sliders, fried prawns in a watermelon dressing, and tequenos of queso blanco with avocado dip. This isn’t pub food, this truly is cuisine. Flying Dog’s Dogtoberfest and Raging bitch, and Ommegang White and Abbey Ale were the draft selections. The FD Dogtoberfest Marzen was the perfect pairing to such a diverse sampling of food. Look for Smith Commons to open towards the end of October.
The Queen Vic, opening some time this year, prides itself on authentic English pub food. Ham and chicken pasties, steak and ale pie, and ridiculous homemade pork sausage with mustard and pickles. This is addictive food. Speculation is all that exists for the beer selection (as they are still under construction) but the hope is for proper bitters and lagers to go with this rich menu.
The biggest excitement was DC Brau making an appearance. The brewery will be starting production on their canned lineup of Public Ale (pale ale), Citizen (Belgian pale ale), and Corruption Ale (IPA). A true DC creation, the brewery is located just north of H St and will be partnering with H St bars for sale and distribution. Plans in are in motion for a November tasting debut.
The H Street Festival is an experience, and calling that doesn’t do it justice. Bringing together the best of Northeast DC into an eclectic pix of food, drink, dance, and neighborhood progress, this is what makes living near H St worthwhile.
Wait a sec….did we say music earlier? Here’s DC’s own New Orleans jazz band, Yamomanem…