Restaurant news: Soul food in Shaw, pokē bowls in Gaithersburg, local pizza at Reagan National

Doro Soul Food, a take-out and delivery restaurant focused on soul food, will open Nov. 17 in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood at 1819 7th St. NW.

Doro Soul Food comes from chef Elias Taddessee, the Ethiopian-born owner of burger and milkshake bar Mélange in D.C.’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood. The menu will mix American soul food with Ethiopian flavors, with bone-in fried and char-grilled chicken and chicken sandwiches with spice levels from mild to very hot. Cornbread, collard greens and doro wat spiced mac n’ cheese are among the sides.

Taddessee opened Mélange two years ago. He was a finalist for the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s Rising Culinary Star award this year, and named Eater DC’s Chef of the Year in 2021.

Another award-winning D.C. restaurant is also expanding: Timber Pizza Co., which has earned the Michelin Bib Gourmand award from 2018 through 2022 and was named Pizzeria of the Year by Bon Appetit in 2017, has opened an outpost at Reagan National Airport.

The Timber Pizza is in the newly opened commuter flight Concourse E near Gate E51, and is open daily for lunch, dinner and late evenings, and for breakfast with breakfast sandwiches.

The Timber Pizza is in the newly-opened commuter flight Concourse E near gate E51, and is open daily for lunch, dinner and late evenings, and for breakfast with breakfast sandwiches.

The first Timber Pizza opened in Petworth in 2016. There is a second Timber Pizza in Ballston. Owners Andrew Dana and Daniela Moreira also own the fast-growing Call Your Mother bagel shop and deli.

Chicago-based Aloha Pokē Co. will open its first location in Maryland, with a franchise in Gaithersburg. The only other Aloha Pokē here is in Dupont Circle.

Chicago-based Aloha Pokē Co. will open a Gaithersburg location. (Courtesy Aloha Pokē)

“Washington, D.C. has embraced Aloha Poke Co. since 2018, and I’m thrilled to be expanding to its Maryland suburbs,” said Aloha Pokē Co. CEO Chris Birkinshaw. “Given Mary Grace’s passion and business experience, along with growing consumer trends toward clean eating and an excellent market opportunity, this really checks all the boxes. We can’t wait for the people of Gaithersburg to try our signature Crunch Bowl.”

The Gaithersburg location has not been selected yet. The franchise operator is considering several locations. It is expected to open in early 2023.

Its menu includes sustainably sourced ingredients, pole-and-line-caught ahi tuna and Patagonian salmon.

The chain was founded in 2016 in Chicago, and has grown to 20 locations. Its Dupont Circle location opened in 2018.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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