January-February 2015 | Food & Drink

Table Talk: OMG!, Down on the (Winter) Farm, Comings & Goings

A new way to get good local produce in winter...Fresh granola from a Potomac Kitchen

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Yasaman Vojdani was living in a sorority house at George Washington University in 2010 when her mom stopped by with homemade granola. Potomac resident Shohreh Vojdani, who loves to cook, had always thought that commercially made granolas tasted like just oats and sugar.

“We all tried it,” Yasaman recalls about her mom’s granola. “And everyone was like, ‘Oh my god, this is really good.’ ”

Fast-forward four years and OMG now stands for Oat My Goodness, the mother-daughter team’s line of granolas full of unexpected flavors and packed with high-quality dried fruits and nuts.

It was Yasaman, a business major, who saw the market potential for the first snack, which tastes like oatmeal cookies. Called Vintage, it contains vanilla, cinnamon, dark brown sugar, cashews, peanuts, almonds, raisins and coconut. Yasaman’s older brother, Arian, a passionate foodie, helped create two other flavors (Sunrise, made with orange, mango, coffee and macadamia nuts; and Bad Monkey, a mix with peanut butter, banana and chocolate chips).

Though the siblings had to work hard to convince their mom that the family should get into the granola business, Oat My Goodness has flourished since it was launched in January 2014. At press time, its granola was available in about 20 stores across the country.  

The granola is sold locally at Wagshal’s in Northwest Washington, D.C.; Bradley Food & Beverage and Mo’s Mocha in Bethesda; Potomac Grocer in Potomac; and Dawson’s Market and Yekta Market in Rockville. The 8-ounce bags range in price from $7.99 to $10.

The three flavors are also available for $10 a bag online at www.omgcraftgranola.com.

 


Down on the (Winter) Farm

Just because it’s the dead of winter doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy produce, meats and dairy products from local farms.

Friends & Farms, a weekly grocery delivery service that aggregates offerings from more than 40 regional farmers and producers, recently created a Bethesda pickup location, and at press time, was finalizing one in Gaithersburg.

Emela Silva, a federal government worker who lives in Bethesda and has been using Friends & Farms since October, says the service offers “very good quality, and the price is super.”

Unlike Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, in which subscribers contract directly with a farmer, Friends & Farms gathers a wide range of goods from its network of producers, most of whom are located in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. At the company’s Columbia, Md., warehouse, the items are packed in reusable bags that would provide three or four meals per week for either one, two or four people, and then distributed to more than 700 customers at 16 locations in Maryland.

There are several basket options, but basically members receive two protein selections, five to seven fresh-produce items, a half-gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, plus revolving deliveries of breakfast meats, eggs and cheese. Each week’s groceries are often planned around recipes or themes, which are emailed in advance. Substitutions and vegetarian baskets are also available.

During winter months, customers typically receive locally grown apples, pears, cabbage, mustard greens and root vegetables, plus greenhouse items such as lettuce and tomatoes. Shelf-stable sauerkraut, pickles, fruit and nut butters or jams round out the cold-weather offerings.

“Historically, January and February have been busy months for us,” says Collin Morstein, director of business development for Friends & Farms. “Most CSAs and farmers markets are not operating during the winter, so we are a great option for locally minded eaters.”

The Bethesda pickup is between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesdays at the Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center at 7801 Democracy Blvd. Prices vary depending on the size of the order basket and the duration of the subscription. Friends & Farms also allows customers to try out a sample basket before committing to a subscription. For more information, go to www.friendsandfarms.com.

Carole Sugarman is the magazine’s food editor. To comment, email comments@bethesdamagazine.com.

 


COMINGS & GOINGS

The biggest news for Bethesda is the highly probable opening of a restaurant from Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella in the former Vapiano space on Bethesda Row. At press time, a deal was being sealed for Isabella—who owns Graffiato, G by Mike Isabella and Kapnos in the District—to open another Kapnos concept there sometime in 2015…Lots of newcomers in Silver Spring; adding to the suburb’s cutting-edge sensibility will be The Urban Winery, a working winery with a wine bar, wine tasting and winemaking classes, plus light, local food offerings. The owners were shooting for a late-December opening at 949 Bonifant St. …Also in Silver Spring, Alex Garcia, a New York chef who oversees several Manhattan restaurants, will open his first restaurant outside the Big Apple. His Latin-themed AG Kitchen is slated to arrive in 2015 on Ellsworth Drive in downtown Silver Spring…The popular Kaldi’s Coffee Bar on Silver Spring Avenue is adding a rooftop lounge and expanded café space, expected before spring…And finally, All Set Restaurant + Bar, a contemporary gathering spot serving New England-inspired coastal cuisine, is shooting for an early-spring opening at 8630 Fenton St.

Freddy’s Lobster + Clams in Bethesda may have closed in late October, but two staffers from Grapeseed, the restaurant next door, have bought the space and plan to renovate it as a new place serving regional comfort food. A December opening was an optimistic forecast…Meanwhile, Newton’s Table chef/owner Dennis Friedman is turning the upscale Elm Street eatery into the Bethesda Barbecue Company, set to open in early January…Sometime in 2016, a location of the True Food Kitchen chain will open on the ground floor of the future Solaire Bethesda luxury apartments at the corner of Wisconsin and Woodmont avenues in Bethesda. The restaurant’s health-conscious menu features kale and quinoa.

The November closure of Saint Michel Bakery means the loss of the best croissants in town. The business operated a longtime stall at the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market as well as a Rockville bakery…Also shuttered in November, the Chevy Chase location of Mi Cocina, the Dallas-based Tex-Mex chain, and Roof Bethesda…Meanwhile in Potomac, River Falls Market, the 16-year-old seafood and prepared foods shop, closed its doors in October. New owners plan to reopen the space as the Market at River Falls.