Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

EXPLORING EATERIES: ‘Operation Deliver Happiness’: Helping Your Community and Taste Buds


Everyone is aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the restaurant industry in the Washington, D.C. area. Many of D.C.’s most famous and successful restaurants are struggling to maintain financial viability amid these unprecedented circumstances. Happy Endings Hospitality, a restaurant group consisting of six different locations in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area, is not immune to this struggle. 

Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced HEH to close all its locations and lay off 208 of its employees across its locations since the onset of the pandemic. In response to this dire situation, HEH has earnestly formed a new menu that artfully blends the flavors of its eight different culinary concepts. Now, for the first time, customers can order exciting fusion and traditional options ranging from Cajun seafood to Vietnamese fried rice, Hawaiian poke bowls to bubble tea. 

Before the pandemic, experiencing such an array of options would have demanded several trips across the D.C. area. Under these unprecedented conditions, HEH’s newly integrated menu makes such an unmatched culinary experience instantly accessible through takeout and delivery. For the first time, diners can order the best options from the group’s eight restaurant concepts. On top of offering new, stylized dishes such as their Cajun-style garlic parmesan fries, Thai popcorn chicken and mouthwatering sriracha honey jumbo shrimp, HEH has also greatly extended its delivery radius, effectively making the entire D.C. area and its suburbs eligible to order the exciting meals. This effort, however, also goes beyond simply making and delivering food.

This new arrangement has been titled “Operation Deliver Happiness,” and it has both delicious ramifications and charitable intentions. As part of this operation, HEH has pledged all profits toward a relief fund for its employees. Additionally, every entree sold during the crisis will result in the donation of a pho bowl to various D.C. charities. 

Through its “Pho for Frontliners” aid effort, HEH is actively giving back to the DMV community by providing hearty meals to health workers who risk their lives on the frontlines. By ordering from HEH, you are experiencing a distinctive and innovative culinary opportunity, helping local employees and feeding frontline workers. 

In a time when most restaurants have been forced to drastically reduce their diversity in culinary options, “Operation Deliver Happiness” provides customers with an array of dishes that rivals its variety of pre-pandemic dining and brings even more flavors to the table. For example, its fusion fries and Cajun chicken wings are dishes that mix cross-continental flavors and engage the taste buds in exciting ways. HEH also provides an array of shareable meals such as fried calamari, Thai basil chicken baskets, Creole jambalaya and Cajun garlic noodles. 

Entree options are equally diverse and novel. Favorites include shrimp poke nachos with sriracha aioli and the “Bayou in a Bag,” which consists of two pounds of shrimp and snow crab and is sure to satisfy the most hungry lovers of seafood. Customers who order online can choose from four different spice levels to customize their seafood spread. Vietnamese options include classics such as Banh Mi sandwiches, shaky beef and fried rice dishes. The pho bowls include a long list of ingredients that embrace variety like the popular spicy oxtail beef, tofu, chicken and jumbo shrimp. 

Finally, customers can complete their meal with a variety of milk tea and Vietnamese coffee options. As the weather in the District warms, nothing compliments the bold flavors of Cajun cuisine like a cold and creamy bubble tea or traditional coffee. Milk tea options include fun flavors such as honey green tea and pistachio. The Vietnamese coffee menu consists of classics like coconut cream and modern twists like Vietnamese cold brew. If these refreshing drinks aren’t sweet enough, HEH is also offering a selection of delicious mochi muffins to finish off your meal. 

When social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders are lifted, I also suggest visiting the stunning and newly revitalized Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, a 19-mile trail that extends along the Potomac River and begins just a quarter of a mile from HEH’s location in Rosslyn. 

The extensive trail also links with the Capital Crescent Trail that ends on K Street in Georgetown. Both these trails follow the Potomac and offer plenty of shade, making the D.C. summer heat slightly more tolerable. Finally, recently added historical markers and newly repaved sections make the trails an educational and comfortable option for walkers, joggers, hikers and bikers. 

Until D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) deems these activities safe, however, it is best to remain at home and order from HEH’s consolidated menu. If you are interested in ordering the best of six different dining options while simultaneously enriching your community, “Operation Deliver Happiness” presents a rare and exciting opportunity to do so.

Hal Rogers is a rising junior in the College. Exploring Eateries will appear online every other week.

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