Few careers follow a path from politics to Mexican food, but that was the case for Pati Jinich. Her show, "Pati's Mexican Table," which is shot in the District, launches its second season Saturday.

Jinich was born and raised in Mexico and always loved to cook. Even as she finished a master's degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown and started working at Inter American Dialogue, her passion was food. Following that passion, she launched "Mexican Table" in 2007, teaching foodies about Mexican food through cooking demonstrations, tasting dinners and workshops.

Her show will kick off its second season with Mexican food battles as Jinich contrasts foods that have provoked debates, such as red vs. green enchilada sauce or polvorones vs. Mexican wedding cookies. Locally it will be broadcast on WETA at 11:30 a.m.


For something a little different this Labor Day weekend, skip the barbecues and picnics and head south. Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek-Catholic Church (8501 Lewinsville Road, McLean) will host its 19th Annual Middle Eastern Food Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

Among the meal options are a $12 roasted lamb as well as kibbeh, chicken kebabs, falafel, fattoush, hummus and stuffed grape leaves. Finish your meal with American and Middle Eastern pastries, such as baklava, maamoul, namoura or ghraybeh.

The whole family can join in on activities ranging from the Debke dance to games of backgammon or chess, and kids will enjoy pony rides, a moon bounce and face painting.

Admission and parking are free from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Find more details at middleeasternfoodfestival.com.


Fall has come early in D.C. -- both with the rainy weather and all the fine pumpkin beer launches. Another great beer tradition is being celebrated as local Virginia brewery Port City Brewing Co. releases its Oktoberfest Marzen lager this weekend.

This malty, amber-colored lager brewed in Alexandria has the gentle sweet flavors of crusty bread leading to a clean dry finish with a touch of noble hops. Port City Oktoberfest is a traditional Marzen-style lager, brewed with all German malts and hops and served unfiltered in the "keller" or "Zwickel" style.

Last year's batch was ranked as one of the top 100 new beers of 2011 by Beer Advocate, so this year Port City is tripling the production run. Oktoberfest will be sold at select retail, restaurants and bars in Washington, Virginia and Maryland starting Saturday.