Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 2:37 p.m.

Dish of the week: Oyamel’s guacamole

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Max McCrory.

Everyone on campus is familiar with Beefsteak and its creator, alumnus and 2014 Commencement speaker José Andrés. Students may have taken their parents out for a fancy dinner at Andrés’ more upscale restaurants, Jaleo and Zaytinya.

Although all of Andrés’ restaurants are delicious, Oyamel, a Mexican tapas restaurant, stands apart. Mexican food often doesn’t get the treatment it deserves in the District, but Oyamel puts a gourmet twist on the cuisine. This tapas joint serves up an array of perfectly cooked small dishes like chile en nogada ($12) – poblano pepper stuffed with pork, pine nuts and apples topped with fresh goat cheese – and pollo a la parrilla con aguacate ($4) – a taco filled with tender chicken and green onion. But the real star of Oyamel is the dish that starts any delicious Mexican meal: guacamole.

Oyamel’s guacamole ($14) is simply beautiful. And Oyamel knows it too, as they put it right at the top of their menu and prepare it table-side. The waiters bring out the ingredients: fresh avocados, a juicy green tomatillo, a spicy serrano chile and creamy, crumbled queso fresco, along with the traditional mortar and pestle to mix it all together. The speed at which the waiters assemble the guacamole is astonishing: One minute you’re watching them cut the avocado and the next they’re asking you if you want fresh queso fresco on top. And trust me, you do.

The first bite of the guacamole is nothing short of heavenly – you’re going to want to devote your entire life to learning how to make it like the Oyamel staff. The guacamole is deliciously smooth, with bites of the spicy green tomatillos and crunchy serrano chiles mixed in. The spice is not overwhelming and is easily quelled by Oyamel’s fresh limonada ($3.50). The queso fresco sprinkled on top adds a rich, creamy flavor, too. If you don’t want to just eat it with a spoon, the warm house-made corn tortillas add the perfect salty crunch.

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Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 2:28 p.m.

Hidden Gems: Pansaari

Pansaari, located in DuPont Circle, serves up authentic Indian food.

Unique for its chai bar, Pansaari uses natural ingredients to make chai – something you won’t find at your everyday coffee shop.

Owner, Rano Singh, said Pansaari “began with an effort to support sustainable agriculture [in D.C.]”

Video by Iliana Hagenah

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Bao Bao will leave the Smithsonian National Zoo for China at the beginning of 2017. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons user Andrew NZP using CC BY SA-4.0.

Bao Bao will leave the Smithsonian National Zoo for China at the beginning of 2017. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons user Andrew NZP using CC BY SA-4.0.

The Smithsonian National Zoo’s star giant panda Bao Bao will leave D.C. at the start of next calendar year, the zoo announced Thursday.

As one of the four pandas whose frolicking is broadcast 24/7 to a national audience, Bao Bao has become a National Zoo staple.

The move is part of the zoo’s cooperative breeding agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association. Once a panda cub turns four-years-old, the zoo is obligated to return the pandas to China where they take part in a breeding program.

“We are sad to see her go, but excited for the contributions she is going to continue to make to the global giant panda population,” Brandie Smith, the associate director of animal care sciences, said in the release.

Bao Bao will join her brother Tian Shen. Cub Bei Bei will be at the zoo until 2019.

The zoo is currently planning special goodbye events for Bao Bao’s fans, according to the release.

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Local artists gathered at the White House to participate in a “I Want a President” reading – a public art project to challenge the expectations society holds for politicians.

The text participants read was developed in writing workshops in New York and D.C.

“I Want a President” is the culminating event of the Creative Time Summit D.C. held in partnership with the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design this weekend.

“All of us have a right to be respected and our representatives should represent the full breadth of we the people,” Saisha Grayson, I Want a President Co-Organizer, said. “That’s what this project is about.”

Video by Kellie Bancalari

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Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 1:52 p.m.

Nap, meditation studio opens in D.C.

Recharj is D.C.’s first nap and meditation studio. The business offers its customers meditation and 20-minute power naps.

“Our mission is to bring some mindfulness and some reprieve from the day-to-day grind,” Christine Marcella, the operations and studio manager, said.

Video by Raquel Nassor.

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Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 10:43 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Giuliana Centofanti.

If your parents are in town this weekend, we have a whole guide for that. But if you’re on your own for the weekend, get ready to enjoy some poetry and food.


Dante’s Inferno

Head over to the Synetic Theater for a performance of the well-known epic, “Dante’s Inferno.” This isn’t just any performance: It hinges on visual effects because it has no dialogue. It’s a departure from the original poem but enticing in its own right.

1800 S Bell Street, Arlington, VA. 8 p.m. $15 to $55.


Curbside Cookoff

Visit the Northeast neighborhood this weekend for a chance to sample some of the best-known food trucks of the District. With a general admission ticket, you can try four trucks and a beverage. The festival also includes games, music and dancing.

NoMa Junction at Storey Park, 1005 First St. NE. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $39.


Sunday Kind of Love with Heather Derr-Smith and Jee Leong Koh

Join the poetic urbanites at Busboys and Poets for a night of poetry and an open mic segment. Poets Heather Derr-Smith and Jee Leong Koh are featured this weekend, and both bring different beautiful elements to their performances. It’s sure to be the perfect way to unwind on a Sunday night.

Busboys and Poets, 14th and V St., 5 to 7 p.m., $5.

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Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 10:41 p.m.

This week in music: October concerts

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Bridie O’Connell.

Celebrate the end of midterms with the some of the District’s best concerts of the year. Rock, pop and electronic dance music superstars grace the 9:30 Club and Echostage stages throughout this week and weekend.

Oct. 12: Flight Facilities
Flight Facilities started when duo Hugo Gruzman and James Lyell began remixing an assortment of popular songs like “Heart Attack ft. Owl Eyes (Snakehips Remix)” in Sydney, Australia in 2009. Their first original song, “Crave You,” helped the duo rise on the charts.

In October 2014, Australian band Flight Facilities released their first album “Down to Earth.”
To hear some of their work, check out “Crave You,” “Clair De Lune” and “Stand Still ft. Micky Green.”

Flight Facilities is on an extensive tour of the U.S. and Canada, so check them out when they fly into the District.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. 7 p.m. $25.

Oct. 14: Teenage Fanclub
Teenage Fanclub, a Scottish alternative band, alternates between three writers who each sing their own pieces. The five-member band has released 10 studio albums and two compilation albums.

With a similar sound to the Beach Boys and the Byrds, their acoustics range from guitar thrashes to laid back tunes.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. 8p.m. $25.

Oct. 15: Tritonal
When you combine DJs and Austin-natives Chad Cisneros and David Reed, you get an electric sensation in the form of the album “Piercing the Quiet Remixed,” which made its way to the iTunes’s dance music chart.

Tritonal has recently played at music festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra Music Festival and Electric Zoo Festival. This year alone they have released two albums, two singles and two remixes, including a remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Army.”

Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Rd. 9 p.m. $30.

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Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 9:29 p.m.

GW Bhangra introduces new team members

GW Bhangra introduced its  2016-2017 competitive dance team last week.

The celebration included Indian food and performances by other multicultural dance groups.

“We get to show the GW community who we are in a really fun way,” Victoria Lewis, the president of GW Bhangra, said.

Video by Jeffrey Peterson and Hana Kim

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Passion Pit preforms at the All Things Go Music festival Saturday. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Passion Pit preforms at the All Things Go Music festival Saturday. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Isabel Pellegrino.

In most cases, pouring rain is the worst nightmare for any festival-goer. But Saturday’s downpour did not stop All Thing’s Go Fall Classic from being a hit.

Anything went at this festival – from multicolored ponchos to rain boots to a mud-covered white van. People danced and sang with wet hair in Yards Park from noon to night at the third annual event planned by alumnus Zack Friendly.

The acts of the day included Maryland’s Ace Cosgrove, Sofi Tukker, Bishop Briggs, Pop Etc., Sylvan Esso, Passion Pit and Empire of the Sun.

Local D.C. restaurants Takorean, Beefsteak, Compass, Milk Cult, Shake Shack, Timber Pizza and DGS offered food throughout the day.

In the spirit of celebrating DMV natives, Ace Cosgrove was the first act to go on at noon when few people had arrived at the venue. The smaller audience increased interaction between the artist and the audience, who were really interested in his music.

The Sofi Tukker duo took the stage next. Sofi, dressed in white, and Tukker, dressed in black, had immediate stage presence and offered strong visuals.

“I thought there was going to be no one here because of the rain. This is tight. I love you all,” Tukker said to the audience before they started their artful performance.

With their synchronized dancing and instrument book tree, the duo’s creativity was obvious. Their natural, raw talent came through with their dancing in the rain to songs like “Drinkee” and “Matadora.”

Pop Etc., an indie pop group, followed Sofi Tukker. The instruments and graphics on the banner behind them elevated their act and engaged the audience.

At one point, Chris Chu, the lead singer, played “I Wanted to Change the World But the World Changed Me” and pointed out that it is an especially relevant song in D.C.

Bishop Briggs was next to the stage, creeping onto the platform with a giant, yet timid, smile on her face. Before she began singing songs like “River,” “Be Your Love” and “Wild Horses” she looked down, squinted her eyes and then exploded with sound and passion. The astrological sign for female waved on the banner behind her, a testament to woman empowerment.

As Bishop Briggs exited the stage, the crowd was informed that Christine and the Queens had cancelled, due to the inclement weather. To fill the hour, Sofi Tukker returned to DJ, dance and invite members of the crowd on stage. Both Sophie and Tukker went for a crowd surf, and the audience went wild.

As the rain finally faded, Sylvan Esso took the stage with their pop indie electronic sound. The audience danced away to hits like “Hey Mami,” “Coffee,” “Radio” and “Dress” alongside lead singer Amelia Meath.

The crowd grew as the time approached for headline performers Passion Pit and Empire of the Sun to take the stage.

Empire of the Sun preforms at All Things Go. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Empire of the Sun preforms at All Things Go. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

When Passion Pit came on, lead singer Michael Angelakos sang out, “Rain or shine mother f——,” and jumped into playing “Take a Walk.”

With the bright lights, electropop sound and high energy, the mud beneath the crowd’s feet was nearly forgotten as they danced to Passion Pit’s hits.

Finally, Empire of the Sun brought the last round of light to the fall classic in their futuristic costumes. The flashing lights and enthralling performance to songs like “Walking on a Dream” and “We are the People” were the perfect end to a dream-like day centered on D.C.’s music scene.

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Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 12:13 p.m.

Hidden Gems: Smoked and Stacked

“Top Chef” finalist Marjorie Meek-Bradley opened Smoked and Stacked – a gourmet pastrami sandwich restaurant – in the Shaw neighborhood last month.

Bradley serves as executive chef for other D.C. restaurants, including Ripple and Roofers Union.

Video by Sara Bugaighis

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