Since the 2010 FIFA World started I’ve been a little obsessed with football (to say the least.) So far, I’ve managed to watch 10 out 11 matches (sorry Cameroon-Japan… I do have a day job!) and other than attending a friend’s baby shower, I’ve done little else but watch, talk and breathe football. Which is a shame. There are a lot of great non-soccer related events happening all over the district.
Chile doesn’t play its first game (against Honduras) until Wednesday June 16 but you can already celebrate the narrow Latin American country at Cafe Atlantico‘s “Chilean Gastronomic Week.” From June 15th through 20th, enjoy a tasting menu developed by Cafe Atlantico‘s Chef Richard Brandenburg and Chilean Chef Matias Palomo. The $70 menu featuring the best of Chilean cuisine can also be paired with Chilean wines for an addition $30.
On Wednesday, 2010 FIFA World Cup host South Africa takes on Uruguay for the second round of group A matches (which is also France’s group). After watching the game, perhaps you could head to South African eatery Nando’s Peri Peri and (if you haven’t yet) introduce your palates to their tasty grilled chicken and spicy sauces. Wednesday night is also the much-anticipated premiere of the 7th season of Bravo’s Top Chef. To mark the occasion, Top Chef alumni Spike Mendelsohn and Washingtonian.com invite you to a watch party at Good Stuff Eatery. Several local Top Chef will be attending and Chef Spike will have copies of his cookbook at hand as well.
Thursday France plays Mexico. I don’t care what else happens that day 😉 Let’s hope the match is a little more eventful than last week’s draw. Allez les Bleus!!
Unlike the French, Germany has been off to a very strong start. Ze Germans will play their second game, against Serbia, early in the morning Friday, which is as good an excuse as any to have breakfast at the Goethe Institut before heading into the office. Last Sunday, the Goethe Institut hosted a very successful watch party which drew in over 400 Mannschaft fans. I don’t forsee quite as many showing up at 7:30am on Friday, but you never know… Immediately following the Germany-Serbia game, is USA-Slovenia, which the Goethe Institut will also be screning but oh … I digress… this post isn’t supposed to be all about soccer. Friday is a big football day, yes, but it is also the day of the grand opening of the Georgetown Apple Store. Located at 1229 Wisconsin Ave. NW, it will open at 5pm and give out free t-shirt to the first 1000 customers.
Saturday, the French Embassy celebrates La Fête de Musique at la Maison Française and its gardens. The 4pm start time is pretty much perfect.
You can catch Netherlands-Japan at 7:30am at home while drinking your morning coffee. By 10am, you can head to Ghana Cafe on 14th street for an early lunch and watch the Black Stars take on Australia. Ghana Cafe is extending its happy hour drink specials (including $15 pitchers of Yuengling) all day Saturday and offering its vegetarian rices for $8.95 and non-vegetarian rices (goat, fish or beef) for $10.95. The last game of the day is Denmark-Cameroon starts at 2:30pm. If you’re cheering for Les Lions Indomptables (which I am, since their coach is French!) then you might as well stay at Ghana Cafe. Otherwise, any soccer-friendly bar (lucky, citron, public etc.) will do before heading over to the French Embassy for some music, wine and merguez.
Sunday, Italy hits the field for its second game of the tournament, against the Kiwis. The game is at 10am and once it’s over, you can keep your Italian jersey on and head to Festa Italia at the corner of 3rd and F streets NW. Get a taste of Italy without leaving DC, gorge on porchetta, cima alla Genovese, torta verde and, of course, pizza and cannolis then return to the bar (Fado is not too far) for the last game of the day at 2:30pm: Brazil-Côte d’Ivoire.
OK, so perhaps this post had a little more soccer in it than I anticipated. But c’mon, the 2010 FIFA World is only once every four years and it is a big deal. Besides, I think this post goes to prove that you can tie in soccer, food and other cultural events pretty nicely together if you try!