Metro Weekly

Savor: CocuSocial Cooking and Bob & Edith’s Anniversary

Take safe cooking classes or enjoy a $19.69 Bob & Edith's special with this week's dining picks

CocuSocial cooking classes

CocuSocial – Rolling sushi

CocuSocial Safe Cooking Classes

Even if you’re proud of your prowess in the kitchen and the skills you may have acquired in the wake of COVID-19, it’s quite possible you’ve grown tired of doing it all alone — or taken to wondering whether you could learn more from experts, or while in the company of others. Perhaps you could corral a few friends, your significant other, or a prospective partner to do it with you? You could make it a date through CocuSocial, a platform for a wide variety of “social cooking and tasting classes,” often offered in nontraditional settings — whether socially distanced in person or virtually in your home. And all at prices comparable to a meal at your favorite restaurant — for two, in the case of in-person classes. Among the options for upcoming online classes (most of them priced between $19 and $36 each), are lessons in “Bun Cha: Vietanmese Meat Balls with Vermicelli Noodles,” “Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Classic Sides,” “Make Your Own Ramen,” “Bar Food Favorites,” “The Art of Bread Baking: No Yeast Rustic Loaves,” and “Intro to French Pastry.”

Among the upcoming in-person classes (priced at $59 to $99 each, with the average going for under $69), you can learn how to make cream puffs and eclairs, hand-roll sushi, and the basics of Indian cuisine, mostly in suburban locations of Virginia and Maryland. At such in-person offerings during the pandemic, chefs must wear PPE at all times, and guests must wear masks when not seated at their tables, food is served using disposable plates, cups, and utensils, and not shared among groups.

Cocu Social: Beef Bourguignon

CocuSocial has also introduced Master Series, a live virtual experience allowing you to cook along, and ask questions in real time, with world-renowned chefs for under $40. This Sunday, Oct. 25, at 5 p.m., comes a session on making fresh cavatelli pasta from scratch with Neal Fraser, known from Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and as the Cat Cora-defeating victor on Iron Chef America. In December, Anita Lo, a Michelin-starred chef and another Iron Chef winner, will teach how to master authentic, scratch-made Asian dumplings. Visit www.cocusocial.com.

Bob & Edith’s — Photo: Under a Bushel Photography

Bob & Edith’s Diner 50th Anniversary Special

Now until the end of 2020, Bob & Edith’s Diner, the famous Northern Virginia chain, is offering a special to end its yearlong 50th anniversary with a bang of a deal for burger lovers. An order of two signature B&E double cheeseburgers topped with bacon and egg, a side of French fries, and two slices of pie would normally run between $32 and $35 depending on the type of pie. Right now it’s $19.69, marking the year when Robert and Edith Bolton started the business with the purchase of Gray’s Donut Dinette in Arlington, a boutique counter spot they would later retrofit to operate as a family-run diner that employed their four children.

More than two decades later, Greg Bolton and his wife Victoria took over the original diner, running it with the assistance of their children Tammy and Chris. In recent years, the family has focused on expanding the business locally, with five Northern Virginia locations as of August and the opening of an outpost on Lee Highway in North Arlington. Known for their signature blue retro formica diner tables and metal bar stools, the tiled diners appeal to all manner of locals at all hours of the day — although during the pandemic, only two remain open 24/7, the original at 2310 Columbia Pike, and the Crystal City/National Landing spot at 539 23rd St. (Meanwhile, for proper social distancing, tables at all locations have been moved and spaced out, no seating is allowed at the counter, and takeout and delivery options have been expanded.)

As improbable as it sounds, a current priority of the business is to continue that expansion far and wide. “Even a Pandemic Can’t Slow Down Expansion for Iconic Bob & Edith’s Diner,” read the headline to a September article in RestaurantNews.com, noting that Bob & Edith’s has recently teamed up with the same national franchise development firm that turned Five Guys into a major national chain. The 50th anniversary burger-fries-and-pie special (“No substitutions please!”) is available during operating hours at all locations now through Dec. 31. Visit www.bobandedithsdiner.com.

Read more:

Food and Friends annual “Slice of Life” pie sale is now on!

8 Things to Do This Week in DC (and Beyond)

The Witches review: A fast, furious take on the Roald Dahl classic

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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