20 Jul

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Margarita Bar Tour and Summer Festivals: Things to Do in DC This Weekend (July 20-22)

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There are so many fun events going on this weekend, however we decided to highlight three major events happening on Saturday. We advise that you use Sunday to rest and recuperate. After all, there needs to be some down time during the weekend, right? Choose one event from our suggestions for Saturday, and choose wisely. Regardless of which event you attend, you will have a great time.

Here are our weekend recommendations:

Margarita Bar Tour

This is not your average bar crawl, friends. Join the fun by signing up for the tour and making your way from bar to bar, tasting delicious margaritas. Each bar has a different special and participants have a specific amount of time at each venue. The proceeds from the DC tour will go to benefit Livestrong – The Lance Armstrong Foundation. If you plan on participating in this event, don’t forget to sign up for Womply to save money throughout the day! Sign of the Whale, The Mighty Pint, and The Bottom Line are all Womply merchants (and all competing in Battle of the Bars this month too!). The Margarita Bar Tour is from 12-5:30pm tomorrow. To get more information or to register for the tour, click here.

Belgian Restaurant Week Mussel Throwdown

Check out the the Taste of Belgium festival tomorrow in celebration of Belgian Restaurant Week. Hosted by Stella Artois, this event will feature a great variety of Belgian beers, food, and other fun Belgian traditions. Also, the annual Mussel Throwdown, an event when talented chefs compete against one another to create the best mussel dish, takes place at the festival. Taste of Belgium will be held at the East Lawn at The Yards Park from 12-7pm tomorrow. For more information, click here.

Summer Picnic Spectacular at Union Market

Summer Picnic Spectacular, hosted by Brightest Young Things, is a family-friendly indoor and outdoor festival that spotlights Union Market’s efforts to organize a year-round, indoor food market, which features local vendors. The marketplace officially opens on September 8, but consider this the kick off to the opening. The festival runs tomorrow from 12-6pm, and it will have local food vendors, music, and games. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.


18 Jul

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Womply Merchant Spotlight: Velocity 5

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This week’s Womply Merchant Spotlight is on Velocity Five. We are so excited to feature Velocity Five this week because not only is Velocity Five one of the greatest upscale sports bars in the area, but it also has five locations! Pick a location, sit down, and stay a while. We know you’ll thoroughly enjoy yourself. Velocity Five also hosts live events and appearances by professional athletes so be sure to check its calendar for upcoming events.

Equipped with multiple screens throughout the restaurant broadcasting pay-per-view sporting events, the sports bar is a fantastic place to grab a delicious meal while watching the game  (especially if you’re a Redskins fan). We can’t stop drooling over the extensive menu.

Let’s start with the gourmet wings, shall we? Take your pick from jerk marinated wings topped with mango relish, Kentucky Derby Blue Cheese Wings covered in bleu cheese crumbles and a special white sauce, or Spicy Thai Wings tossed in a sweet and spicy glaze. For the die-hard wing fans out there, you can order the All-Pro Sampler Platter, which includes 16 wings with your choice of 4 different flavors.

We’d also like to share some of the tasty appetizers served at Velocity Five with you. One of our favorite appetizers is the calamari. Velocity Five batters and fries the calamari until it’s perfectly golden, then adds fried onion straws, and serves the dish with a lobster ginger sauce and marinara.

In addition, Velocity Five’s appetizer selection includes pretzel bites, coconut shrimp, loaded Velocity Skins, and tuna bites (blackened in special seasoning and then quickly seared), and more.

Oh, and did we mention the burgers? It’s no secret that Velocity Five takes initiative to only serve the best dishes to its customers, and these burgers raise the bar even higher. Every burger is made with Certified Angus Beef, which is only used by 8% of top restaurants. Come hungry because these burgers are exceptional! A few of the fabulous burger choices Velocity Five has to offer are the Hickory Cheese Burger topped with crispy bacon, mixed cheese, and hickory sauce; the Sunrise Burger that comes with a fried egg; and the Prime Rib Burger. And if you’re really hungry, we suggest The Velocinator. The Velocinator consists of three Certified Angus Beef patties, totalling 24 ounces, topped with American, cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella, caramelized onions, and applewood smoked bacon. Can you say pure perfection? Delicious.

Here is the point where you’re about to assume that we’ve covered Velocity Five’s entire menu. Well, you’re wrong. There’s even more! All-Star Sandwiches, main entrees, and a variety of fresh salads are abundant on the menu. Not a burger or wings fan? No problem. You will be able to find more than one tasty dish here to feed your appetite.

To complement its fantastic food menu, Velocity Five serves over 50 beers from all over the world. We were excited to see many of our favorite craft beers on the list. Harpoon IPA, 21st Amendment’s Back in Black, and Hoegaarden are a few we recommend.

Womply got the utmost pleasure in chatting with Jim, the Chairman and CEO of Velocity Five. Using his experience in the restaurant business, he has grown Velocity Five from 1 to 5 locations throughout Virginia. We hope you enjoy reading our interview with Jim and learn more about the history of the restaurant. Then, head over to Velocity Five and see how impressive it is for yourself. Cheers!

Womply’s Interview with Velocity Five

What is your name and title?
James L. Speros, Chairman & CEO

When did you know that this was your dream and passion?
In the early 1990′s I was involved with my first restaurant venture, which was very rewarding. I was the President of Champions Sports, which developed the Champions Sports Bar chain. We took the company public and sold the entire portfolio to the Marriott Corporation.

What inspired you to start a restaurant?
I grew up in the restaurant business. My family owned and operated “Normandy Farms” in Potomac, Maryland, for over thirty years. I learned from my parents, and though I have pursued several career options, I knew that I would always have the restaurant business in my blood.

What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten?
I’m a burger man at heart, and I love the wide selection of prime burgers at Velocity 5.

What characteristics of the dish make it your favorite?
Certified Angus Beef grilled to perfection!

What is your favorite night of the week here and why?
Sunday afternoons during the NFL season. We show every game on dozens of screens and the wide variety of fans make Velocity 5 THE place to be during football season.

Care to share a tip on how to run a successful restaurant with us?
Customer Service. This is the most important aspect of our business. You have to pay close attention to this or you will not succeed. The customer comes first. Period.

What was one of the most enjoyable experiences you’ve had with a customer?
Celebrating March Madness with our customers. It’s a great atmosphere during March Madness at Velocity 5.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Velocity 5 is the home of the Washington Redskins on the radio. We host a live broadcast on ESPN 980 every Monday night from Velocity 5 with the Redskins Player of the Game. We also broadcast “The Sports Reporters” on ESPN 980 on Thursdays from 4-7 PM. Every Monday night during football season, fans come out to see the Redskins players at Velocity 5.

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Choose a location to view Velocity Five’s Loyalty Cloud:

Arlington

Centreville

Falls Church

Lansdowne

Sterling

A special thanks to Jim from Velocity Five for taking the time to speak with us!


16 Jul

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Belgian Restaurant Week in Washington, DC

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For those of you who don’t know, it’s Belgian Restaurant Week in DC! This week is filled with events to celebrate Belgian food, drinks, and entertainment going on at numerous restaurants throughout the DC area. There will be specials at all participating restaurants this week and the entire celebration will end with a “Mussel Throw-Down” of six local chefs near the Navy Yard.

We highly encourage you to take part in these great festivities. After all, what’s not to love about tasty mussels, frites, and thirst quenching Belgian beers?

Here is the schedule of this week’s events:

Monday, July 16: Monday is the “Chefs Go Fresh” Ride and the launch of “Tour of Belgium” Global Beer Dinners. Chefs from across Washington DC are hopping on their bikes and heading to local farms and the evening will end with Belgian beer.

Tuesday, July 17: If you love mussels, “Mussels from Brussels” will be a fantastic day for you. Stop into Belga Cafe and Granville Moore’s to enjoy half-priced mussels and beer specials all day long.

Wednesday, July 18: Wednesday’s events will consist of celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Chimay. The event is called “Drink Your Beer; Steal Your Glass!”. At the event, you will toast to Chimay and then take home your collector glass as a party favor. Chimay is a beer brewed by Trappist Monks, and in celebration of the anniversary, all proceeds from the beer sold will be given to help fund the Monastery.

Thursday, July 19: Thursday night’s festivities include a Belgian Artist Exhibit. The exhibit will take place at the Morton Fine Art Building located in downtown Washington, DC. It’s also Hoegaarden Float Day (all day) at Belga Cafe. The cost is $8.50 per float.

Friday, July 20: Come dressed in your best white attire to attend The White Party. Step into any participating restaurant and enjoy some White Belgian beers. Belga Cafe will also have a lobster special.

Saturday, July 21: The final day of Belgian Restaurant Week will conclude with the “Taste of Belgium” event. This event will consist of live music, beer, food, and a Mussel Throw-Down presented by Stella Artois. Taste of Belgium will take place on the East Lawn at Yards Park from 12-7pm. Admission is free.

We hope everyone gets to check out the great events going on this week!

For the full list of participating restaurants and more details about the event, click here.
Monday is the first night of the Tour of Belgium dinner featuring Bavik at Et Voila.  Chef Claudio Pirollo is featuring a four course menu including beer pairings for $59 per person.


13 Jul

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Drink Specials, Comedy, and a Ukulele Festival: Things to Do This Weekend in DC (July 13-15)

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Today is Friday the 13th as well as National French Fry Day, and tomorrow is Bastille Day. What a week. We figure that this is enough cause for celebration (bucket of French fries, anyone?) but if you’re still not convinced, we have some fun events going on this weekend as a great alternative.

Drinks, comedy night, and an outdoor festival. Maybe all three? In any case, we hope these recommendations help you plan a fun and exciting weekend.

Here are our weekend recommendations:

Endless Summer Fridays at Policy

Policy will have food and drink specials from 6-10pm every Friday throughout the summer. We can’t think of a better way to start your summer weekends! Join our friends at Policy tonight for $14 pitchers of beer, signature cocktails, sangria, and $3 Stoli cocktails. For more info, click here.

Improv Comedy at The Big Board

After you enjoy some delicious drinks from Policy, the night isn’t over. Head over to The Big Board for live improv comedy. The event begins at 9:30pm and will feature 4 different improv artists. The Big Board will also be serving burgers and beer, which you can enjoy during the show. Additionally, there is no cover for this event. For more details, click here.

Ukulele Festival at Lake Anne Plaza in Virginia

What’s not to love about a free festival with music and small instruments? Nothing. Head to the Ukulele Festival this weekend to enjoy some tunes performed by local ukulele players, hang out in the beer garden, and check out the craft booths. You can look at and purchase your own ukulele right at the festival. The festival runs from 11am-5:30pm tomorrow. For more information, click here.

Have a nice weekend!


11 Jul

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Womply Merchant Spotlight: 3 Pizanos

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This week’s Womply Merchants Spotlight is on 3 Pizanos. This restaurant is located in the heart of Dupont Circle, and it serves New York Style pizza as well as tasty gyros and subs. What separates this pizza joint from the rest is that 3 Pizanos only uses 100% New York Spring Water in its pizza sauce and crust. This little addition makes the pizzas taste just like the ones you’d find in a small pie shop in New York.

3 Pizanos also carefully selects the other ingredients that go into the rest of the menu. When possible, the restaurant strives to use seasonal ingredients from local farmers in favor of more prevalent ingredients that contain preservatives. So whether you decide to dip in for a slice of pepperoni, order a specialty 20 inch Greek pie topped with gyro meat, feta, mozzarella, and provolone cheese, or grab a 10 inch chicken parmesan sub, you’re in for a great meal at 3 Pizanos.

Womply got the chance to speak with Nick, one of the owners at 3 Pizanos. Nick gave us some insight on how to run a successful business, and he even shared the most memorable experience with one of his favorite customers. We hope you enjoy the interview!

Womply’s Interview with 3 Pizanos

What is your name and title?
Nick Acevedo, Managing Partner (Owner)

When did you know that this was your dream and passion?
The first time someone had eaten my food and told me ” You should be a chef”.

What inspired you to start a restaurant?
My love and experience for food. Good food.

What characteristics of the dish make it your favorite?
All of the different flavors that the dish contain.

What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten?
Macadamia crusted shrimp at 1789 in Georgetown.

What is your favorite night of the week here and why?
Friday, because the work never stops. There are people coming and going all night.

Care to share a tip on how to run a successful restaurant with us?
Develop a game plan and stick to it.

What was one of the most enjoyable experiences you’ve had with a customer?
A customer came in and had a pie with his friends. Then he came back 20 minutes later and said that the pizza was so good he had to try a sandwich. He is one of our best customers.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
We are looking forward to working with Womply! [Thanks, Nick!]

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3 Pizanos is located at 1815 M St. NW in Washington, DC

A special thanks to Nick from 3 Pizanos for taking the time and chatting with us!


10 Jul

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Womply’s Battle of the Bars in DC

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[Photo Credit]

Do you have a favorite bar in the DC area? Well now’s your chance to let them know! Womply is hosting a Battle of the Bars. Bars throughout DC will be fighting all month long to win the title of the Best Bar in DC. If you’d like to support your favorite bar(s), we encourage you to grab a group of friends and show your support. It’s also a great excuse to grab a few drinks because after all, you’re helping out your favorite local spot!

We also hope that you get the chance to visit some of the bars on this list that you haven’t visited before. All of these bars are so wonderful and unique. We are very proud to have them as Womply merchants.

Here is the list of bars participating in Battle of the Bars:

Battle of the Bar Details

We are giving points for every “Womply swipe” a bar gets. A Womply swipe is simply a purchase made with any credit card that is linked to your Womply account. Don’t forget to tell your bartenders that you know about the contest and that you’re rooting for them! The bartenders and staff will really appreciate your support.

The winning bar will receive a prize, trophy and bragging rights. The competition runs until the end of July.

So come on, DC, let’s grab a drink or two, cool off, and help your favorite bar out!


06 Jul

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Crabs, Burgers, and Cold Drinks: Things to Do This Weekend in DC (July 6-8)

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[Photo Credit]

We hope everyone had a nice, relaxing 4th of July holiday on Wednesday. In honor of our country’s birthday, we urge you to carry on the holiday celebrations into the weekend! By celebrate, we mean grilling, spending time with friends and family, and drinking a nice, cold beverage. Also, now that most of the power has been restored to the DC area, we hope you get to visit some of your favorite restaurants and bars this weekend as well.

Here are our weekend recommendations:

Crab Fest at The Front Page in DC

Chow down on some delicious crab (12 to be exact) and indulge in unlimited coleslaw and corn on the cob this Sunday. This is the place to be on Sunday if you want to dunk some fresh crab meat into some deliciously melted butter while enjoying tasty side dishes. The Crab Fest is only $19.50 per person and it starts at 4:30pm. For more information, click here.

Try the Bison Burger at Granville Moore’s

Still on a grilling kick? We’ve got a burger for you to try. Not only is Granville Moore’s well known for its tasty mussels and frites (Belgian fries), but CityEats also deems the restaurant’s Sunrise Bison Burger as one of the top 5 burgers to try in DC. This burger is is also served with a side of frites so you can get the best of both worlds. To view Granville Moore’s entire menu, click here.

Grab a some refreshing, summer drinks around town

Brightest Young Things just shared a great list of places around DC where you can get drinks that were specially created to beat the summer heat. Fresh juices, tasty fruit, and Hoegaarden Beer ice cream are among some of the ingredients used to create these fun drinks. For the full list of BYT’s recommendations, click here.

Have a great weekend!


05 Jul

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Womply Merchant Spotlight: Famous Luigi’s Restaurant

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This week’s Womply Merchant Spotlight is on Famous Luigi’s Restaurant. Famous Luigi’s is one of the oldest Italian restaurant in the DC area. Famous Luigi’s has been serving traditional dishes and pizzas for so long that when you dine there, you just might think that Italy is only a stone’s throw away.

The interior is decorated with checkered tablecloths for a traditional Italian atmosphere, and the menu is filled with delicious Italian dishes. With dishes ranging from Insalata Caprese to Gnocchi Alla Bava to Cannelloni, you are sure to find your favorite Italian dish at this restaurant. Famous Luigi’s menu also includes a list of special pasta dishes such as Spaghetti Cacciatore; pasta sauteed with chicken, green peppers, and onions in tomato sauce; and Linguine Cozze, a dish made with mussels. In addition, you can order calzones, pizzas, and paninis at Famous Luigi’s.

Womply got the pleasure of interviewing Famous Luigi’s Executive Chef, Carmine. Carmine gave us the inside scoop of what it’s like to run a fully staffed kitchen and where the inspiration for some of the dishes comes from. We hope you enjoy reading the interview and get a chance to visit Famous Luigi’s Restaurant soon!

Womply’s Interview with Famous Luigi’s Restaurant

What is your name and title?
Carmine Marzano, Executive Chef.

How long have you been a chef?
I have been a chef for 25 years.

Where did you learn to cook, and who taught you?
My father first, then Culinary school in Italy. I also worked all over Italy, England
and Washington.

Describe a typical day in the restaurant for you.
It’s amazing everyday. I love to cook and I love to teach new recipes to my chefs. I arrive at the restaurant at 8 o’clock, make the Special of the Day, make sure that everyone is doing their job to be prepared for lunch and any deliveries, and I taste the food. I also meet with the servers to talk about the special. The night shift consists of same things, but I also do some wine tasting, work the line during dinner, and constantly check the consistency of the dishes. I love it!

How many people work in the kitchen with you? Do you enjoy a larger kitchen staff or a more intimate staff? Why?
For a restaurant that’s our size, I have 7 people with me every shift. Intimacy is nice but to take care of the diners you need to have the right amount of staff.

If you could only use one kitchen tool for the rest of your life, what would it be?
THE knife.

What is the best dish you’ve ever eaten?
My mother’s pasta with tomato sauce.

What is your favorite dish to cook up at this restaurant? Why?
I like to cook all the pasta with seafood because it is also so fresh, and it reminds me of my youth when a friend of my father used to bring over a lot of seafood that he just caught with spear gun.

Do you change the menu or have specials often?
I change the special daily, and I like to incorporate seasonal ingredients.

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Famous Luigi’s Restaurant is located at 1132 19th St NW in Washington, D.C.

A special thanks to Carmine for taking the time and chatting with us!


29 Jun

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Poutine, a Special Happy Hour, and More: Things to Do This Weekend (June 30-July 1)

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[Photo Credit]

Happy Friday! We can’t believe that it’s already the end of June but we’re excited about all of the summer events happening in the next couple of months. Although there are triple digit temperatures looming in the weather forecast for the weekend, we still have some fun recommendations for you.

We must admit that this is great weather for a festive BBQ and some swimming, especially with the 4th of July just around the corner, so we hope you get to spend some time outdoors this weekend!

Here are our weekend recommendations:

Trusty’s Extended Happy Hour for Womply Users

Join the Womply crew tonight at Trusty’s for an Extended Happy Hour just for our wonderful users! Simply show us the home screen of your Womply account (via our mobile app) and receive happy hour prices from 8-10pm. If you don’t have a smart phone, our team will have a couple of iPads you can use to sign in as well. Don’t forget to use your linked credit card to save even more at this event. We hope to see you tonight!

All-You-Can-Eat Poutine at Rhino Bar

Not only will the event have all-you-can-eat poutine, but there will also be an open bar. For those who are unfamiliar with poutine, you are missing out. Poutine is a traditional Canadian dish where french fries are smothered in gravy and cheese. On top of the poutine and open bar, there will also be great music. The event will take place at Rhino Bar, and it costs $25. For more information, click here.

Check out the Washington Post’s Farmers Market Roundup

Fresh summer produce will be gone before we know it, so let’s make it a point to hit up the spectacular farmers market in the area. Perfectly ripe fruit, crisp vegetables, and other local produce are calling your name. The Washington Post put together a great farmers market roundup map that is a great start to finding all of the farmers markets near you.

We hope everyone has a great weekend!


27 Jun

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Womply Merchant Spotlight: Levante’s

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This week’s Womply Merchant Spotlight is on Levante’s. Levante’s is one of DC’s finest  Mediterranean restaurants. It is located in Dupont Circle and has an extensive menu featuring traditional dishes from Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, and Israel. With its spacious interior and relaxed environment, Levante’s is a great place to dine. Items such as Moussaka,  Lamb Guvec, and a Kofte sandwich are some of the many dishes that leave our mouths watering.

Levante’s also serves Turkish pides, which are sort of like Turkish pizzas, with your choice of filling. If you order one at Levante’s, you can choose fillings such as chicken, lamb, sucuk (spicy Turkish sausage), and many others. We think is a great traditional dish that everyone should go in and try.

In addition to Levante’s wonderful dinner menu, the restaurant also has an Open Buffet Brunch every Sunday from 11am-3:30pm. If that doesn’t convince you to visit, we don’t know what will. Oh, wait, maybe Levante’s comprehensive wine list will do the trick. Regardless of what part of Levante’s you are intrigued by, we think the restaurant has an amazing atmosphere and menu, and we encourage you to visit and see for yourself.

Womply got to sit down with the Makhmad Aliev, the Owner and General Manager of Levante’s. It was really exciting learning about the history of the restaurant and the origin of some of its most popular dishes. We hope you enjoy the interview as much as we did!

Womply’s Interview with Levante’s

What is your name and title?
Makhmad Aliev, Owner and General Manager

Why did you decide to start Levante’s?
Levante’s [is a chain that originally] started in Europe. There are about 8 or 9 of them in Vienna, Austria, and since they were so successful the original owner opened up two more locations in the United States. I joined Levante’s in 2002 and I’ve enjoyed working here ever since.

Can you tell us a little more about your menu and new changes about the restaurant?
The dishes we serve here aren’t limited to Mediterranean cuisine. We specialize in Turkish, Greek, Lebanese, and Israeli cuisine as well. Levante’s is also introducing some new items for our summer menu including appetizers. Also, for the first time in many years, we have pizzas in this restaurant. They are called pides which it a Turkish version of pizza without the tomato sauce. It’s the best pizza I’ve tasted.

Our latest project is getting a retractable awning on our new patio. It is exciting so next time you stop by make sure to ask for our special summer menu and take a seat on the patio. We’ll also have seasonal specials, so in the fall the menu will change again. We are also changing our happy hours from 4-7pm to 4-8pm.

What is your favorite night of the week here and why?
Fridays. Fridays are busier, we see more people, and it also makes you feel like the weekend has finally arrived!

What was the best experience you’ve had with a customer?
The best experience I’ve had with a customer is when this woman came into the restaurant. She was sitting alone and stated that she only wanted to speak with the manager. I went over and she handed an envelope to me. She told me to open it, so I opened the envelope and it was from our European chain! She loves our food here but once she had made a trip to Vienna, and she noticed that one of the restaurants there said Levante’s as well. She thought she was seeing things. Then she went in and saw that the menu was the same as ours. After her trip is when she came back here [to Levante’s in DC]. The restaurant in Europe had written us a letter saying to take care of her. She was so nice, and it was such a fun experience.

Personally, what is your favorite Mediterranean dish to eat?
There is a dish in armenia that i often eat called adana. Adana is a name taken from a city in located in the south eastern part of Turkey. The dish is made up of a skewer of ground lamb that’s been seasoned with spices and then served on pita bread.

Care to share a tip on how to run a successful restaurant with us?
It’s not just about making money, it’s also about wanting to make sure your customers gets the best service and serving them the best food. If I see that a customer is not truly happy with her meal, I will make sure I change that and serve her something that she will enjoy so she leaves happy. I also like to personally go to the tables and talk to customers sometimes to see how everything is going. Impeccable customer service is very important, and I look forward to the next time they come in and shake my hand. Customer service is one of the priorities in the restaurant business, but food is number one. You may have good or bad customer service but if they like the food, there’s a good chance they will come back.

I’m here 7 days a week. Sometimes people ask me how I handle it, and I tell them that it just doesn’t feel like work. This is something that I’ve adapted to and now it’s a part of my life. It’s something that I really enjoy doing. It’s also something that keeps me really positive about running a business. In 1998, the first time Levante’s was opened in the United States, and it was one of the most popular international food restaurants in the DC area. Of course, things have changed since then but we have never deviated from our basic ideology of maintaining repeat customers and great food.

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Levante’s is located at 1320 19th St. NW in Washington, DC

A special thanks to Makhmad for taking the time to chat with us!