Monday, July 27, 2009

Schlotzky's becomes Acacia

I stuck by Schlotzky's side when lots of sandwich shop competition arrived in the neighborhood, but, alas, it was not to be and Schlotzky's departed. Now, Acacia Bistro has opened in the Schlotzky spot and it is good. A well-stocked bar (and this area could use another bar to belly up to) combines with a menu loaded with a variety of Mediterranean-based small plates plus a few big plates. Outdoor tables are also available.

Lots of small plates to choose from. There were four of us and we had meatballs, fingerling potatoes, a prosciutto, melon, mozzarella combination, and one of us had a big plate of steak and french fries. All good, all tasty, but we barely scratched the surface of the menu so we plan on returning to try other dishes. Those of you who have lived in the neighborhood for a while may remember Liliana's Trattoria in the place now occupied by the Italian Pizza Kitchen. Well, our waitress told us the owner of Acacia is Liliana's son and Liliana now makes the desserts for Acacia.

I think Acacia is a welcome addition to the area, plus they make paninis and other sandwiches which softens the blow of losing Schlotzkys. Now the Van Ness area has a good Indian restaurant (Indian Ocean) and a good Mediterranean restaurant. Let's hope they last a long time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ConnAve in the News

A little traffic-stopping drama in Cleveland Park this morning was all started, I believe, by a badly parked SUV blocking a lane of traffic. Who woulda thought? But something about this vehicle made the police bring the bomb sniffing dogs to give the vehicle the once over. The dogs, however, decided there was more interesting smells in a van parked nearby. That was enough to bring the bomb squad and to close down Connecticut Avenue between Porter Street and Cathedral Avenue.

I was getting ready for work this morning and the guy on the radio said, "The Cleveland Park Metro is closed!" I took that to mean no trains were passing through which is not good for me as I get on the train at Van Ness and get off at Metro Center. The voice also said shuttle buses were standing by waiting to whisk me off to Dupont Circle (via the back streets I assume).

I thought I would check the train first -- mainly because there was, of course, no sight of a shuttle bus -- and it turned out the train was the best choice. When the guy on the radio said Cleveland Park was closed, he meant closed to pedestrians because they couldn't get anywhere near the station. Trains were actually whizzing through the station.

Not only was there less drama than usual on the train -- there's usually some drama on public transportation -- but the train didn't stop at Cleveland Park or Woodley Park, thereby getting me to Metro Center even faster than usual. So what started out with me cursing public transportation at home turned out to be a decent ride on a nearly empty train.

The interesting smells from the van turned out to be some kind of cleaning solution -- it seems this can confuse bomb-sniffing dogs. Everything was back to normal a couple of hours later.