Attention, local entrepreneurs: These pros are full of tips on the District’s greatest hits — and on what the city is missing. Here’s their wish list for what they’d love to see in Washington one day. Maybe you can make it a reality.
Sommer Mathis, Editor, Atlantic Cities
“I would love it if you could get real soft pretzels as opposed to the gross SuperPretzels at regular vendors. If there was someone selling them — even if they were just going to the Philly Pretzel Factory (www.phillysoftpretzelfactory.com) a couple of days a week and picking up boxes of real pretzels and driving them down here — I would go out of my way to buy half a dozen.”
Also, “more art museum parties. Hirshhorn After Hours is a good start, but it’s so popular it always sells out now. We have lots of other museums that could be doing actually fun, non-stuffy nighttime parties. Los Angeles has really figured this out. The Hammer Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art do amazing nighttime events all the time. We need more of these.”
Joi-Marie McKenzie, Editor and founder, the Fab Empire
“An ice lounge! I’ve heard about these spaces in Vegas and even Baltimore — like Minus5 that was like a pop-up shop ice bar — where you go in and it’s freezing cold, but they serve delicious winter cocktails. Minus5 (www.minus5experience.com) in Baltimore even gave you a winter coat and gloves to wear while there, but you could only stay for two drinks, probably because it’s, like, freezing in there. I know D.C. has had its pop-up ice bars like the one at the Dupont Hotel during the blizzard or the one atop Donovan House, but an ice lounge, where you walk in and it’s absolutely freezing, would be very cool — pun intended.”
Kojo Nnamdi, Host, “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” on WAMU (88.5 FM)
“A great Caribbean food truck . . . that includes East Indian Caribbean. There’s a thing in Trinidad called doubles that’s made from chickpeas — these little round squares of flour. I’m thinking of a goat roti or a chicken roti.”
Also, “second-line marching bands like they have in New Orleans. . . . You just walk outside and hear the band. Maybe it’s a funeral coming down the street. You get to join for a couple blocks, dance a little bit and then go back and finish your lunch. I’d love to see that come to D.C. It doesn’t have to be a big band. [It could be] four or five people just coming down the street with a group of people behind them.”
Marissa Payne, Editor, Scoutmob D.C.
“Georgian food, like the country Georgia. There are no good options here. I used to live in Russia. I spent my early 20s out there, and I got used to this cuisine. You can get it all over parts of Brooklyn, but I have searched up and down D.C., and I cannot find it anywhere. . . . They have this awesome pastry called a khachapuri. It’s like this salty cheese, butter and flaky pastry. Sometimes they crack an egg in it. It’s an instant heart attack, but it’s delicious. Once you have one, you will have cravings the rest of your life.”
Leo Schmid, Editor of Thrillist: D.C.
The Denver Pedal Bar (www.facebook.com/DenverPedalBar). “It’s this beer truck where you’re pedaling. It’s a 15-feet pedal-powered vehicle with a sober driver. I want that, but I think it might be illegal.”
Also, the Pancakes and Booze Art Show (www.pancakesandbooze.com). “This is an event with lots of pancakes, lots of booze and art. It hasn’t come to D.C., but I’m thinking in the future that they’re going to figure out a time and place to do it.”
Dan Silverman, Editor and founder of Prince of Petworth
“A bagel and lox food truck. So easy. I hate waiting 30 minutes in line — it drives me nuts. [At] a bagel and lox truck — boom, ‘You want it with or without capers?’ — boom, you’re done.”