When it comes to food and drink, Mariama Bramble, the District-dwelling blogger behind the site Brownbelle, likes simple things. That sentiment, however, doesn’t apply to her spunky sense of style, which is bold with vibrant patterns, mixed prints and the occasional pair of round sunglasses.
Bramble, a 31-year-old Boston native, moved to the District four years ago and started blogging regularly about style, home decor and food last year. Now she’s launching a series of workshops where she shares lifestyle tips — think guides to alcohol infusions and DIY gift ideas — that once lived only online. Here’s how the Capitol Hill resident likes to spend her spare time.
EAT AND DRINK
3601 Georgia Ave. NW. 202-545-6974.
It’s not always easy to find fresh, affordable fish in the District, but at Fish in the Hood, you can find both. Customers purchase seafood by the pound and have it cooked on the spot, either broiled or fried. Options include everything from croaker and black bass to trout and perch.
“It reminds me of having just a good old fish fry with really fresh fish. It’s no-fuss, and you get exactly what you want,” Bramble says. She typically goes for the catfish — “I can always eat catfish” — or the fried shrimp. Do like she does and devour your meal at one of the outdoor tables.
2007 14th St. NW. 202-797-7171.
On Monday nights, you might find Bramble at Marvin on 14th Street NW, where she pairs her moules frites ($17-$19) with a glass of Riesling that isn’t too sweet. Marvin “always has good vibes, and it’s always packed,” she says. “It’s a cool little after-work spot.”
623 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 202-733-1384.
Beuchert’s is Bramble’s neighborhood bar of choice, where, on warm days, she sips a cocktail on the back patio while munching on fries. “Usually what I do is just tell the bartender, ‘I’m in the mood for something citrusy, maybe a little tart,’ and I trust them to make me a beverage,” she says. If she’s not imbibing on something custom-made, she goes for the Southeast Side ($13), a cocktail made with bourbon, ginger, lemon, mint and grapefruit.
Well, that and a burger ($12-$15). There’s nothing quirky about Beuchert’s version, but that’s precisely what Bramble likes about it: “I just really like a burger that’s simple with high-quality ingredients.”
1231 Good Hope Rd. SE. 202-394-3386.
Those wondering where Bramble finds some of the funky pieces in her wardrobe should head to Nubian Hueman, a boutique inside the Anacostia Arts Center that stocks patterned jumpsuits for women and jogger pants in dizzying shades of teal, pink and orange for men. Bramble usually fills her closet with clothes purchased online, but this spot is the exception. “To find a place that has pieces that will stand out in your wardrobe is really awesome,” she says.
Union Market, 1309 Fifth St. NE, 202-556-1866. 1401 S St. NW, 202-621-6647.
It’s no secret that walking into Salt & Sundry can be an expensive proposition for anyone who’s a sucker for ceramic coasters and pretty dinnerware. But Bramble heads to the hip home goods store for two specific reasons: cards and candles. “I’m a candle freak,” she says. Her favorite one smells, as she puts it, “like a well-dressed man” — a mixture of cologne and the outdoors. (If that’s your sort of thing, it’s the Sydney Hale candle in Woods, $30.)
While she’s at Union Market, she might head to Rappahannock Oyster Bar (1309 Fifth St. NE, 202-544-4702) for a crab cake or grilled oysters with a glass of vinho verde — “which is, like, the perfect combination.”