The first weekend in August is promising gorgeous weather and, from the looks of these tasty dishes, lots of great food to enjoy alfresco.
Texas cheesesteak at Hill Country's Backyard Barbecue
Juicy brisket. Creamy queso with hunks of tomato and peppers. Caramelized onions. Chopped serrano peppers — all on a Martin’s hoagie roll. What more could you want? Well, besides a bourbon slush. You’ll find all this along with live music and plenty of beer at Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue pop-up at the National Building Museum, open Thursday through Sunday, through the end of summer.
$15. National Building Museum, Fifth and F streets NW. Thursday and Friday beginning at 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon.
Jocelyn salad at Timber Pizza
Hot off a Bon Appétit magazine nod for being one of the 50 best new restaurants in America, Timber Pizza is bound to see an increase in crowds. (Same goes for Himitsu, just across the street, and Pineapple and Pearls, which are also nominees.) Before it reaches peak congestion, get yourself to the Petworth pizza parlor and order one of their masterfully blistered pies. But don’t leave without trying a sleeper on the menu: the Jocelyn salad. It’s a bitter, spicy mix of tangled seasonal greens (currently pea shoots), cucumbers, purple basil, cilantro, jalapeño, peaches, pickled onions and cilantro vinaigrette.
$7. 809 Upshur St. NW. 202-853-9746.
Crispy chicken thigh sandwich at Bird’s Eye Sandwiches
Since January, Doi Moi has been hosting a bahn mi-esque lunch counter called Bird's Eye Sandwiches on Friday and Saturday afternoons. They recently tossed Sunday into the mix, as well. Swing by for the crispy chicken thigh option, made with twice-fried chicken drizzled with chili honey, which adds a sweet glaze to the crunchy meat. The baguette is slathered with mushroom soy Kewpie mayonnaise and flavored with a fistful of herbs including Thai basil, dill, cilantro and mint. A slaw of pickled daikon and carrots tops it off.
$12. Available 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday at Doi Moi, 1800 14th St. NW. 202-733-5131.
“I don't care what's in it. I want one” from Hank’s on the Hill
Think of this as your favorite childhood treat, but better. With the help of a machine, Hank’s on the Hill (which is known for its over-the-top cocktail names) shaves ice and combines it with house-made currant syrup, cardamom, peppercorn, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and two kinds of rum. Naturally, it’s served in a pointy paper snow cone cup. Originally available at a one-off tiki event, the treat will be available at the Capitol Hill location through the end of August.
$10. 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 202-733-1971.
Nikkia at Buredo
The Nikkia, a new menu item from this oversize-sushi roll spot, which just opened a third location in Bethesda, is worth a try. It’s made with charred salmon, salmon roe, kimchi slaw, red onion and tempura crunch. Blistered shishito peppers add depth and smoke, which complements the blackened fish. A creamy sesame sauce helps bond everything together. Also new: the option to convert any sushi roll into a salad at no extra cost.
$12.85. 825 14th St. NW, 202-289-0033; 1213 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-838-6602; 10219 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda, 202-289-0033.