by Will Fowler
Muchas Gracias launches
Contactless pop-up Muchas Gracias (5209 Connecticut Avenue) opened – officially – Tuesday, April 14th. The mercadito take-out offers grocery items, prepared foods, and a daily menu “inspired by the flavors of Latin America.” Executive Chef Christian Irabién (an Oyamel alum) said the pop-up was launched in response to the restaurant community’s needs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Part of our mission is to support immigrant workers who often go unseen, especially in these difficult times,” Irabién said in a release. “With the support of our diners, we’ll be supplying free, delivered meals and farm-direct pantry boxes to families in need.”
A portion of the proceeds are donated to Tables Without Borders and Friends and Family Meal, which support immigrant workers. The pop-up was created in partnership with Buck’s Fishing and Camping and Comet Ping Pong. This week it’s open Tuesday through Sunday but generally, Muchas Gracias plans to be taking orders Wednesday through Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Muchas Gracias is now open in Forest Hills!! Check out the menu and place your order 👉https://t.co/zzqY6pQ0G5
— Van Ness Main Street (@VanNessMainSt) April 7, 2020
Crab season in a pandemic
Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab season has begun, and the COVID-19 pandemic can’t stop the DMV’s hunger for crabs. Chevy Chase’s Capital Crab is still fulfilling takeout and catering orders. Eater DC reports owner Tim Walsh is operating the catering side of the business as the sole cook and cleaner, keeping to a set of strict sanitation standards. He’s heavily booked, with multiple catering appointments per day.
Broad Branch Market uses robots for grocery delivery
Broad Branch Market in Chevy Chase DC is experimenting with no-contact grocery delivery using four cooler-sized robots. The robots can’t travel far due to limited battery life (and a lack of permitting in Maryland), but have been providing free delivery service in the neighborhood since March 25th. Broad Branch Market tells Washingtonian that it has been planning on using the six-wheeled delivery robots for more than a year, but wasn’t able to get them on the ground until now.
The detailed ordering instructions include links to the robots’ app. Download to find out if you’re eligible for robot delivery.
Watch: Since the end of March, the Broad Branch Market in the outskirts of Washington, D.C. has been using robots to deliver supplies to customers, helping them to comply with social distancing measures pic.twitter.com/A45kFucl6x
— TIME (@TIME) April 9, 2020
DC government releases food services map
The DC government has created an interactive map of food services available during the COVID-19 pandemic. The map is planned to be updated every evening. The map displays places where seniors, children, or all people can get free meals or free groceries. It also includes an incomplete list of small and large grocery stores that are still selling groceries. The District’s government is also maintaining a list of stores with dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable populations and a broader list of seniors’ resources.
Grocery stores add social distancing markers
With tape and stickers, the Cleveland Park Target and Streets Market are reminding shoppers to stand six feet apart. The Van Ness Giant has taped giant arrows in the aisles – which are now one-way only. In addition, several stores are getting face masks and gloves for workers, and installed sneeze guards at checkout to protect their employees and customers.
Stay tuned for a Van Ness farmers market update
UDC is working with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and other District agencies to determine how the UDC Van Ness Farmers Market might operate this season. Additional details will be provided as they become available. #UDC1851 pic.twitter.com/YKmhUeqUYL
— UDC_CAUSES (@UDC_CAUSES) April 12, 2020
For more on Van Ness and Forest Hills businesses, check out our continually updated A-Z directory to find out how they are adapting. New this week: Muchas Gracias and a first at Uptown Market: shop online for groceries, prepared foods and… toilet paper.