Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hill’s Kitchen: the cutest little kitchen store in DC

So I’ve been in the market for an olive oil pourer for several months now (this is the first of several statements in this post that may make you question my manhood). My old olive oil pourer moved up to the arctic circle with my old roommate and I have been searching for a new one ever since. I have been looking for something specific but not unreasonable, a clear glass bottle with a pourer that has a little flap that closes automatically so dirt and bugs can’t get in. Despite my simple list of requirements, I found every combination of pourer imaginable except for what I was looking for. I had all but given up on my search when I stumbled upon a perfect solution at Hills Kitchen, TWSF’s favorite kitchenware store.

Hill’s Kitchen is an independent kitchenware store offering “everything for the cook in a lively, homelike store atmosphere with knowledgeable staff and extraordinary service.”  Hill’s Kitchen takes all of the high quality and unique kitchen tools, small appliances and gadgets available on the market and cooks them down into a savory kitchenware reduction. Hill’s Kitchen is about quality not quantity. If they have only two types of ravioli cutters, it’s because they are the best two ravioli cutters available. It is refreshing to not have to wade through aisle upon aisle of the low quality thoughtless products that are typically found at the larger stores and it’s comforting to know that the owner handpicked every item instead of simply receiving an anonymous shipment from a corporate warehouse.

Walking into the quaint shop (located across the street from the eastern market metro stop) is like stepping onto the set of a chick flick. Everything in the store screams Lifetime matinee from the extensive collection of cute aprons to well thought out displays to the table of adorable kid friendly cookware to the super bubbly and knowledgeable staff. When we were there, a little girl was trying on all of the kids sized aprons inducing 'awws' from all the women in the store. Hill’s Kitchen has that female operated independent store fighting the good fight against corporate Goliath vibe. Think Meg Ryan’s bookstore ‘The Shop Around The Corner’ from You’ve Got Mail. (Guys don’t worry, the store is only one floor of an old row house, if you keep things moving you can be in and out in less than 15 minutes, unless of course you want to try on a few aprons)

Hill’s Kitchen even offers cooking classes upstairs, everything from bread baking to fish filleting. TWSF has taken a knife skills class and it was very good, but needless to say I was the only guy in the class. We were able to get a bit of a late breaking scoop on the classes over the weekend. The guy who teaches the classes is moving to Thailand with his partner to be a stay at home husband. That would be pretty sweet way of life, it kind of makes me want to find a sugardaddy. All classes will be on an indefinite hold after he leaves sometime next month. The owner said that she wasn’t sure when/if she would be able to find a replacement, stating that she was a store first and an educator second (I may have paraphrased a bit).

Anyways, as we were wandering around the store listening to the owner give a demonstration on how to make homemade seltzer, we stumbled upon a basket of pourer tops with flaps. They are basically a cork with a metal tube through it. This got the hamster wheels in my head turning. We eventually got the idea to use a large beer bottle as the new olive oil glass. On the way home we stopped by the beer section of a Harris Teeter, which features a pretty good selection of oversized bottles.  A 24oz Corona won out as the bottle of choice because it is a) clear and b) has writing on the glass rather than on a label and c) as much as I wanted to it would have been a little too ghetto to use a Mickey’s or Olde English 40. So for $7.50 (5 for the pourer 2.50 for the beer) I was able to make my own unique olive oil pourer and save at least 15 bucks in the process.

So, if you are tired of the 20 foot tall shelves of Bed Bath and Beyond or  having stuff you buy at Walmart break give this little independent store a try. Hill's Kitchen is worth the trip.

1 comment:

  1. ...and he tops it all off with a You've Got Mail reference. hmmm you are too gay to function. (do Mean Girls references make me gay like you?)