Mad Momos (Columbia Heights)

I discovered Mad Momos  this football season. They were one of the team sponsors. The name and logo caught my attention. Was it a new gay bar? (Sort of, it’s very gay friendly) My curiosity was piqued enough to check out the menu. Once I did, I saw that it was different from everything else, and I knew I had to try it. I emailed the owners and co-owner Sam, e-mailed me back. He was very receptive to us coming in and trying it out so I could write a post. He made sure to let me know which nights he’d be there so that we could meet. It’s a lot of fun to be able to put a face to a concept. I think it makes the experience more enjoyable. It also makes me feel like a baller 🙂

So, as I learned from the website, it’s a pan-Asian restaurant that specializes in dumplings called momos. They are steamed and then fried. We didn’t end up trying them, but we will next time.

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My first impression of the place was that the space is great and I want to just move in there and have it be my house. It very much has a loft feel, eclectic furniture and all. We walked in and were greeted by a a very casual, friendly, fabulous host. He gave us our pick of tables, and I chose one close to the front of the restaurant. The weather was absolutely perfect and with those windows open, I was pretty blissed out.

I was excited to see that the cocktail menu was all drinks with sparkling wine. I settled on one called the She’s Out of my Life- sparkling wine, OJ, and papaya juice. It was light and just sweet enough. I think I need to start keeping papaya juice at home for this very purpose. The lady went with a beer.

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We decided against appetizers for calorie consumption reasons and went straight for main entrees. I was tempted to go vegan just to see if they do it well, but think I’ll save that for when I go there with an actual vegan. Instead I went with the Wasabi-cucumber fish and she went with the Curry Chicken Naan-Mi served with tater tots. (Which I forgot to get a picture of, ugh). They actually initially brought out the wrong entree for me, but it was very quickly remedied and another drink was delivered with my corrected entree. It gave me a chance to steal bites of  and enjoy the lady’s sandwich.

The rice was a touch dry, and the slaw didn’t stand out, but dear god, that fish was DELICIOUS. I ate it slowly and savored every bite. Her Naan-Mi was also really excellent.

We did decide on dessert, just because the Mojo Apples (granny smith apple fritters with a guava drizzle, served a la mode was way too good to pass up.

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It was as delicious as it sounded. The tartness of the apple cut the sweetness of the ice cream and batter. The drizzle was tropical, tart, and sweet. And ice cream is just awesome with anything fried.

When we finished up, the server brought our check in an old CD jewel case. Momos strives to be eco friendly, and this is just one of the ways they decided to recycle. A cute idea, and a bit of a conversation piece.

I knew that they had an upstairs beer deck, and so after we finished, we hiked the stairs to check it out. This space is even more fantastic than the downstairs. There’s a tiny front porch with a few tables and also a whole roof deck out back. There’s another bar up there, as well as more eclectic furniture, lots of wood, plants, and light. Just awesome.

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  • Favorite thing I had: The fried Tilapia on my main course. My drink was really tasty too.
  • Favorite thing she had:  The Curry Chicken Naan Mi. The sauce was flavorful but not too spicy.
  • Most interesting thing I want to try next time: We want to go back for brunch. Also, we really should try the momos. The mango and pineapple pulled pork naan mi is right down my alley.
  • What makes this place stand out: The space is absolutely incredible. I just wanted to move in and take it as my home. The upstairs is so airy and bright, but still warm. They also have a number of vegan options on their menu. The CD jewel cases they use to deliver checks to the table are cute. The art on the walls is all local artists. Right now, it’s actually the art of one of the co-owners.
  • How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): We’ll be back within a month for brunch. I also want to take my trainer there to try their vegan options.
  • Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): Red Derby is just up a block across the street. A perfect place to get a beer or two after dinner. The main drag of CoHi is also just about 5 blocks south. You could definitely do vegan dinner here, and vegan dessert at Sticky Fingers.
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The Coupe (Columbia Heights)

Coupe Menu

We finished up at Sticky Fingers and weren’t yet ready to go home, so we wandered over to the 11 St. area to check out one of the places on our list. A diner/cafe/bar owned by the same people who own Tryst in Adam’s Morgan. I was expecting it to be jam-packed crowded, because Tryst always is, but it was perfect. We walked right in and got a table near the bar. We had plenty of options in any of the sections we wanted to be in. We weren’t sure what we were really in the mood for: coffee, tea, cocktails, beer, wine, or more food, so making our way through the menu took a while, but we each found something to enjoy. And found plenty of other stuff we’d go back for.

  • Favorite thing I had: The only thing I had, The Arctic Mule. Basically a Moscow Mule. Served in a mason jar and probably the best one I’ve ever had.
  • Favorite thing she had: The Apple Cider donuts were AMAZING.
  • Most interesting thing I want to try next time: Any of the food. The chicken and waffles jumped out at me. More cocktails.
  • What makes this place stand out: It’s a very cozy space. There is a cafe/diner and a bar, with comfy chairs and lounge areas in between. The lighting was perfect. I just wanted to curl up with a book or my blog and spend an afternoon there.
  • How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): Next week. I want to get back really soon to try the food.
  • Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): There’s all sorts of awesome stuff within a couple of blocks. Room 11 or Maple.

Sticky Fingers Bakery (Columbia Heights)

We made impromptu Saturday evening plans to go out with my personal trainer and friend, who just happens to be vegan. She suggested that we go to Sticky Fingers Bakery. I had heard of it before, but had never really felt compelled to check it out on my own. My past experience with vegan baked goods was not terribly positive. We checked the menu to make sure we meat-eaters would have some acceptable options and agreed to make the trip. We’ve been meaning to start exploring Columbia Heights and this felt like a good starting point. I was a little skeptical of the menu when we got there,  nothing really jumped out at me but I settled on a salad. I was not disappointed.  And if I hadn’t known the cupcake I had was vegan, I may not have guessed. I was impressed and am glad that this vegan baked good experience was much better.

  • Favorite thing I had: The Power Salad. It was a HUGE plate of kale and other goodies and I ate every bite of it. The Peanut Butter Fudge cupcake was on point too.
  • Most interesting thing I want to try next time: Boozy milkshakes, any of the other baked goods!
  • What makes this place stand out: It’s entirely vegan, without question.
  • How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): Next time I’m in the neighborhood and want a treat. UPDATE: I woke up craving that salad, so I might have to make a special trip soon.
  • Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): One of the several bars in Columbia Heights. Meridian Pint, Kangaroo Boxing Club, The Coupe.