Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life


Liz Provencher
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017 3:36 p.m.

CapMac pasta, wings to be sold at FoBoGro

A favorite campus food truck will be moving from the streets to the shelves when CapMac begins selling their products at FoBoGro tonight.

CapMac, a food truck that regularly parks on H Street during lunch time, launched a catering company called Crafted by CapMac last month and is now partnering with FoBoGro to sell their macaroni and cheese and new chicken wings.

The company will offer Classic Mac n’ Cheese, Buffalo Mac n’ Cheese and a seasonal flavor in store as well as chicken wings from the Crafted by CapMac menu. The dishes will be on shelves in the grocery store section of FoBoGro and will be served in microwavable containers for students to prepare in residence halls, Josh Warner, the owner and chef of CapMac and Crafted by CapMac, said.

Warner said chicken wings “pair perfectly” with CapMac’s macaroni and cheese flavors and beer already sold at FoBoGro.

“It’s perfect for students because if they miss the truck because they have class or other activities they can head over to FoBo and get something that’s still our quality product but just a little more convenient,” he said.

The chicken wings come in packages of five to seven and will be available in two flavors – a traditional buffalo topped with gorgonzola cheese and a signature roasted spice rub, Warner said. The wings will also be in microwavable containers but can be prepared on a stovetop or in the oven, he said.

Warner added that the price of the products will be determined by FoBoGro but will likely be “comparable” to the prices charged for dishes from CapMac’s truck.

Crafted by CapMac offers sandwiches, salads, shareable appetizers, desserts and their signature pastas on their lunch menu for events. The company will also roll out an event tent this summer to serve high-quality fair food, like fried food and desserts.

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Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 4:11 p.m.

Roti update features renovation, new flavors

Roti on I Street got a facelift and added menu items while students were away for winter break. Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor

Roti on I Street got a facelift and added menu items while students were away for winter break. Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor

As students migrate back to campus, they’ll notice an old favorite restaurant got a fresh look and new menu items.

Roti, a fast casual restaurant chain that serves up Mediterranean plates, pita pockets and salads, is starting off the semester with renovations and added menu options at the I Street location.

The restaurant renovated both the indoor and outdoor dining areas in the last week of December. Outside on the patio is a combination of new cozy couches to lounge on and tables with bright green chairs. Overhead, the restaurant added dreamy string lights for a calming atmosphere. Inside the restaurant, the formerly crowded dining tables have been replaced with modern, cozy, seating.

The restaurant now allows diners to choose as many toppings and sauces as they want for no extra charge – a perk that makes it easier to explore all of the delicious new flavors they have to offer.

Some of the best new menu items are comprised of surprising flavor combinations that, sometimes surprisingly, work together. The versatile lemon-oregano pickles went just as well with my mediterranean rice plate as they would on top of a pulled pork sandwich. The mix of citrusy lemon and spicy, warm oregano was a unique combination.

The pickled onions were also a pleasant surprise. With an almost neon magenta color, I was immediately drawn to the aesthetic aspects of this topping, and the candy-sweet taste of the onions was the perfect compliment to a spicy dish.

New sauces to top your pita sandwich, salad or rice plate include a red and green s’hug sauce, which is a traditionally Middle Eastern hot sauce. The red s’hug sauce was an equal mix of sweet and spicy, and the green s’hug was made of basil, cilantro, red pepper and jalapenos, which left my lips tingling.

Roti’s quinoa cauliflower tabbouleh had a new flavor in each bite. In one bite, I tasted a bit of dried figs and in the next was surprised by a crunchy slivered almond. The tabbouleh also had chopped up bits of rich kalamata olives and was tossed with a light red wine vinegar that didn’t overpower the other flavors.

In addition to the new menu items, Roti revamped old dishes by switching to chargrills to cook all of the restaurant’s protein, leaving my steak more flavorful and tender than usual.

Roti will now serve seasonal homemade beverages, too. The spiced carrot apple green tea seemed like a confusing concoction at first but actually had a mellow, even watery flavor. The pomegranate lemonade black tea was a tart blend of lemonade and calming black tea with a sour aftertaste.

The restaurant is also now serving four beer and wine options. The beer will come from two local brewers, D.C. Brau Brewing Company and Maryland-based craft brewery, the Flying Dog. All alcohol options are moderately priced for the area at around $8 a glass.

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Updated: Jan. 5, 2016 at 3:21 p.m.

A local couple will show the country one episode at a time that D.C. is more than just monuments and Brutalist-era federal buildings.

The pilot episode of D.C. Flippers premieres on HGTV Sunday at 2 p.m. and will show off the District’s Victorian homes’ architecture in up-and-coming neighborhoods.

The show’s stars, Ati Williams and her husband Rob Williams, are both long-time District residents who own real estate brokerage D.C. Home Buzz and development company Honeycomb. On the show, the couple will flip houses in D.C.’s most charming neighborhoods.

Ati Williams said that the District is the perfect location for a show about home renovation because the city houses many centuries-old properties with “quirks and surprises.”

“There’s a pulse to this city that most people don’t know about,” Williams said. “It’s great because we can showcase D.C. in different ways other than politics.”

D.C. houses are different than houses in other cities that are often featured on HGTV shows because the District’s properties are smaller and more expensive, Williams added.

The pilot episode was filmed last summer and follows the couple as they renovate a rowhouse in the Petworth neighborhood that was formerly Rob Williams’ “bachelor pad.”

As they patch up the outdated space, Rob Williams works on the “guts” of the house – construction, HVAC and electric – while Ati Williams “puts on the lipstick” by designing the interior, she said.

Camera crews visited the house a few times each week for three months over the summer as the couple continued to revamp the space. Williams said she estimates that the crews had over 100 hours of film to boil down into a 30-minute episode.

Although the Williamses always noticed the camera crew’s presence, they were “never intrusive” and made sure the couple could continue their work authentically, Williams said.

Williams said she and her husband have been approached in the past by representatives from production companies who wanted to film the couple as they worked with their brokerage firm’s clients. But that work wouldn’t make for entertaining TV, she said.

“We weren’t interested in doing anything like that,” Williams said. “We kept telling them that we live a pretty boring life.”

When Half Yard Productions, a Bethesda-based production company, approached the couple last year about a renovation show, they were interested because representatives from the production company “asked the right questions” and wanted to feature their unique style, Williams said.

“I think my aesthetic is whatever feels like home,” she said. “I’m big on spaces that feel livable, especially because we have a dog and a kid, so I always want a space that is both beautiful and practical.”


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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Callan Tansill-Suddath.

A new year means a new calendar full of must-see music performances. Lucky for us, this new year promises to bring some great acts to the District. Check out these concerts to ring in first few months of 2017:

Run The Jewels
Echostage, Jan. 12

Before Run The Jewels’ third album dropped on Christmas Eve, much of the group’s attention last year came from rapper Killer Mike’s vocal support and work for Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vt, presidential campaign.

In the two weeks since the album’s release, it has been met with praise, including a rare B+ rating from the popular Chicago music blog Consequence of Sound. The two musicians promise to put on a solid set when they visit the District on the second night of their world tour later this month. The show is one of the first opportunities to hear songs from the new album performed live, so it’s sure to be a raw and exciting performance.

Tokyo Police Club
Black Cat, Jan. 22

The band Tokyo Police Club may not seem familiar, but you’ve likely heard the group’s work before. Their work has been incorporated into popular artists’ tracks: Mac Miller included their music in last year’s “Cinderella.” But Tokyo Police Club’s sound is worthy of more than a sample.

The Canadian indie rockers have consistently released some of the most fun, bright and dance-worthy music over the past decade. The past year brought their new album, “Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness,” an EP released in two parts, which will likely provide most of the content for their tour. The show is guaranteed to be a good time, particularly at a venue as intimate as the Black Cat.

Maren Morris
9:30 Club, Feb. 16

Maren Morris ended 2016 as one of the most influential new voices in country music. On Dec. 10, the Texas native performed as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live – a rare feat for an artist in the genre. It has been years since a female country artist’s work has achieved mainstream success without crossing over into the pop genre, like Taylor Swift’s did.

Morris’ voice is refreshingly alternative and her sound has enough of a rock influence to appeal to country skeptics. It’s not often a country act comes to the 9:30 Club, and her show is sure to have you dreaming of warmer weather and summer barbecues.

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Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016 7:07 p.m.

Sweetgreen goes cashless in new year

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Leah Potter.

Sweetgreen, the D.C. salad chain with a location in Foggy Bottom, will no longer accepting “green” for payment when the company goes cashless next year.

Some of the franchise’s locations have tested the cashless model for about a year and all 64 retail locations will implement the system in 2017, Fast Company reported last week.

When the new model is implemented, Sweetgreen locations will only accept credit cards, debit cards and the mobile app for payment.

Sweetgreen’s D.C. locations will accept cash until March, while locations in Boston, New York and Chicago will go cashless Jan. 18, according to Business Insider.

Cofounders Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet told Fast Company that going cashless will lower the chances of robbery, eliminate hygiene concerns for employees who handle both food and money and allow managers to spend more time training and mentoring employees.

Sweetgreen will also introduce a redesigned app in the new year, which will include group ordering and notification alerts. Neman and Jammet expect an increase in the number of people using the app, which already accounts for about a third of the chain’s business, according to Fast Company.

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Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016 6:43 p.m.

Binge watch your break away with HBO Go

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

The holidays came early for students who are hoping to binge watch winter break away.

HBO Go became available to students last month and can be accessed off campus by logging in with a GW NetID and password. Check out our guide to the best TV shows and movies to watch on HBO Go for every situation you may encounter over break.

Mind- altering thriller: “Westworld”
Fans of dystopian science fiction shows will love HBO’s newest thriller, “Westworld.” “Westworld” mixes the past and the future in a way that is sure to mess with your mind. The combination of robots and the old west might seem confusing or cheesy, but “”Westworld” is a highly intricate show that will keep your mind occupied as you constantly try to figure out what is real and what is part of the park. In addition to the riveting science fiction aspect of the show, it is also full of action and romance.

A good cry: “The Danish Girl”
Inspired by a true story, “The Danish Girl” follows Einar Wegener who discovers that he identifies with a fictional persona, Lili, who he dresses up as to model for his wife’s painting. The film showcases the complicated relationship between Einar and his wife Gerda as they adjust to Einar’s transition to womanhood with delicate grace. The film is a true tearjerker, and the moving performances by Eddie Redmayne, as Einar, and Alicia Vikander, who won an Academy Award for her role as Gerda, will give you high standards as you size up the past year’s films for your Academy Award predictions.

Holiday movie to watch with family: “Miracle on 34th Street”
“Miracle on 34th Street,” which was added to HBO Go last month, is a classic Christmas movie that is perfect to watch with family. Based on a true story, “Miracle on 34th Street” tells the story of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa. This movie is perfect to turn on as every generation of your family gathers in the living room because the old-fashioned department store setting will send your grandparents on a trip down memory lane and the heartwarming holiday plot will please every age. Though it has many dramatic twists and turns, a happy ending ensures you’ll walk away with some extra holiday spirit.

Binge-worthy television: “Insecure”
Check out Yvonne Orji in the hit show, “Insecure,” to see a GW alumna who has made it to the big screen. “Insecure” is a comedic and relatable story of a woman trying to find her place in the world. With only one season out on HBO, now is the perfect time to binge before another season comes out next year. While this show follows a creative and funny plot, it also has been praised because it pushes back on stereotypes of black women. The 30-minute episodes fly by, making this the perfect show to binge on during winter break.

A trip back to the District: “Veep”
If you are spending winter break wishing you were back in D.C., “Veep” will make you feel right at your second home. The satirical show follows a female politician, who serves first as vice president then president of the U.S., as she attempts to make a lasting mark on the world while avoiding the political games and drama that the District is known for. Season six comes out this spring, so winter break is the perfect time to catch up while getting some comedic relief to forget about real-life political drama.

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Updated: Dec. 16, 2016 at 10:51 p.m.

Despite living in the District, residents rock out to Childish Gambino’s “California” on Spotify more, compared to how often the song is played in other cities, Curbed DC reported Tuesday.

The updated version of Spotify’s “Musical Map of the World,” which was released last week, allows users to explore the most popular songs by city or country at any given time. The map is updated every week and now has a pop-up player so users can listen to a region’s playlist without clicking away from the map, according to Spotify’s blog.

Childish Gambino holds the top three spots for the most popular songs in the District. Other artists, like Justin Bieber, DJ Snake and the District-native rapper Shy Glizzy, also top the list.

Glenn McDonald, a data alchemist for Spotify, studied billions of listener-track interactions to compile the playlists, and all of the songs on each playlist are played “disproportionately” in comparison to how often the song is played in other places, according to Spotify’s blog.

To listen to D.C.’s playlist, or explore what’s playing in other cities around the world, check out the map.

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