It’s another year and we are back again at one of our favorite foodie events of the year –the Emporiyum in Union Market. This is one of those events where you will leave a few pounds heavier, but also happier because it’s all worth it. Everything a hungry nomster might want is all under one roof, everything from savory to sweet with new flavors thrown in. It was great to see some familiar vendors from last year and even better to see several new ones. You must come hungry and eager to try new and amazing food from Union Market, local restaurants, and out-of-state vendors. Also, make sure to check read our other Emporiyum reviews.
Emporiyum sells different kinds of tickets for different time slots. We highly recommend going with VIP 10:00 am because it’s early enough that you can go on an empty stomach. Plus, you get to skip the long line to eat much earlier with shorter lines. Most people tend to go at 11:00 am or even later which, trust us, just means longer lines. Emporiyum is a popular event and it can get crazy packed.
We went all buns for some Buns from BundUp during the Emporiyum. We saw people walk around with plates of these beautiful buns and knew we must have them. We were super excited to try this place for the very first time and now we are in love. We almost ate the entire box in one bite! There’s no reason to settle for just one bun, as three come with one order. The Pork Belly Bun was our favorite, but we also enjoyed the Miso Chicken Bun and Korean Sweet Potato Bun.
We like our Chicken and Waffles like we like our men – iron made! We have to admit that the hunky, big-armed men at the stand during Emporiyum first caught our eye.
What makes these waffles iconic? We don’t know, but maybe it has something to do with the special ingredients, including bacon and Nutella. Those flavors worked to capture our hungry taste buds. The waffle was soft with a crunchy exterior and it complemented well-prepared chicken.
Dead Pool Whoopie @ Little Miss Whoopie (4/5 NOMs)
We can’t pass up a superhero-themed Little Miss Whoopie. It’s all about the nerd pride here, and what a great way to celebrate it if not with Deadpool Whoopie ice cream sandwich. What makes this a Deadpool-themed dessert? It’s probably the banana and spiced buttercream — tasty delicious with a kick and not too sweet, just like Deadpool. The preparation alone was fun to watch as everything was made right in front of your eyes.
Fried chicken, you say? Well, don’t mind if we do order some. Maketto brings us their take on Taiwanese fried chicken. It might be just us, but the Taiwanese version is way better than most American fried chicken. It’s just so much softer and juicier! It has something to do with the little bit of fat left on the chicken and the combination of crunchy breading with sauce. We loved the addition of some fried crispy onions, coleslaw and smoked salmon flakes. Maketto left a good impression on us with this dish. Now we know this Cambodian and Taiwanese restaurant is a must-try for our future nomnom adventures.
Brisket Chili Frito Pie @ Republic Cantina (3/5 NOMs)
Our next Emporiyum stop was an interesting and unknown-to-us dish from the Republic Cantina – Brisket Chili Frito Pie. Apparently we should have known about this dish before, time to nomnom learn. It’s an entire bag of Fritos opened and covered with chili, cheese, guac and more. Let’s just say that our taste buds were very interested in trying this. If you are into chips, chili and messy food, then this is a dish for you. Unfortunately, while we enjoyed the nice crunch and kick, this didn’t quite capture our taste buds.
OMG, we are so excited to finally try a Ramen Burger, especially from the original Ramen Burger by Keizo Shimamoto. We’re not surprised that these are at Emporiyum, as it’s the place where all the cool food places come. The Ramen Burger is exactly what you see: ramen noodles and a burger, combined into one great dish. Do we love the concepts? Yes, it combines two of our favorite things. Did we love this? We enjoyed this dish but felt it was not as great as our taste buds were expecting. Overall, the ramen noodles overpowered and dominated the flavor. We realize that the ramen burger was more of a tasting size so a full thing might come with a larger piece of meat. You know us – we are all into a thick and juicy piece of meat in our mouths.
Bubble tea is taking over the D.C. area and Spot of Tea is representing at Emporiyum with its tasty Blue Jasmine Bubble Tea. We were very happy that they offered tasting samples of each one and we decided to go with something very new for us. Blue Jasmine was great and we fell in love with the first sip. Very light and not too sweet.
Are you looking for a healthy snack but still want to enjoy sweets? Then Undercover Quinoa is just for you with their low sugar and gluten-free quinoa chocolate snacks. These are perfect for those moments when you are craving a snack. We ended up getting two packs for a test, the Milk Chocolate Currants and Dark Chocolate with Seeds. Both were great and we couldn’t pick a favorite. Regardless of your choice, it will be nomnom.
We are so excited to see Uzu back for another Emporiyum with their super nomnom Okonomiyaki. Just in case you didn’t read last year’s review, Okonomiyaki is a savory veggie pancake from Japan. So far we only know of Uzu that serves this great dish in the D.C. area. We just love the thick yet soft pancake covered with a sauce and smoked salmon flakes. Plus, they remembered us from last year! We always make a memorable impression.
OMG, that Bourbon Pecan Pie from Whisked looks amazing! I just wish they had some samples for tasting because pecan pie is our favorite kind of pie. It looks absolutely beautiful so we had to feature it on our Emporiyum nomnom list.
Cookies @ Whisked (5/5 NOMs)
COOOKIIES!!! We can’t pass up cookies and Whisked fed us some very tasty ones. There are so many choices, you might as well taste them all! We especially loved the Raisin Cookies and Macadamia White Chocolate Cookies.
After eating so much food, we had to end it with some alcohol. We tried the Moscow Mule with Civic Vodka from Republic Restoratives. Ah, it hit the spot and made us happy. It was even more fun when the person pouring our drinks recognized us from another event.We just had to grab a selfie together. We can’t wait to attend one of their tasting rooms and distillery tours at Republic Restoratives.