Going Out Gurus' tips for best grapefruit crushes, picklebacks

PUCKER UP: Most bars don't put the pickleback -- a shot of whiskey, a shot of pickle juice -- on the menu, so just ask.
PUCKER UP: Most bars don't put the pickleback -- a shot of whiskey, a shot of pickle juice -- on the menu, so just ask. (Linda Davidson/the Washington Post)
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

In this week's Going Out Guide chat, the Gurus took your questions about good spots for grapefruit crushes and picklebacks (no, they're actually good), live music Saturday and more. Check out the highlights below, and don't forget to join the Gurus for their Got Plans? chat every Thursday at 1 p.m. at http://washingtonpost.com.

Grapefruit crushes: I love the grapefruit crushes they serve at the Starboard in Dewey Beach, but I can't make it to the beach every weekend to enjoy one. Are there any places in D.C. where I can get them?

Fritz Hahn: Grapefruit crushes are perhaps my favorite beach drink. The only place I know of in D.C. proper that makes them the traditional way -- grapefruit vodka, fresh-squeezed grapefruit, lemon-lime soda -- is the cafe at Rugby. In Virginia, I'm fairly certain Mango Mike's does these as well (they make them at the sister restaurant in Bethany Beach), but I'm usually ordering tiki drinks when I'm there.

Birthday dinner: I've lived in Arlington for a few years but have never made it to Tallula/EatBar. I'm thinking of taking my fiancee to Tallula for her birthday next week; any advice on how to make the meal a little special or food/drinks they do particularly well?

Justin Rude: Two things I always do at Tallula: order a cheese plate (I love the Lavender Cushe) and ask for help exploring the wine list. They know what they are doing there and are sure to have a good suggestion to pair with your meal. If you are looking for something a little stronger than wine, I like the infused bourbons. They used to rotate them more frequently, but the past several times I have been there it has been a spiced pear infusion that is quite good.

Picklebacks: Do any bars in D.C. serve picklebacks (a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice)? I found them all over in NYC a few months ago and thought they would have made their way down here by now, but I haven't seen them outside of my apartment!

Fritz Hahn: I've had picklebacks at a good number of D.C. cocktail bars, including the Passenger, Tabard Inn and PS 7's. It's just that most places don't have them on the menu, so you have to ask, and have a bartender who's willing to get pickle brine for you. The most original variation I've seen is at the Star and Shamrock on H Street, where they'll give you a kosher pickleback to go with the Jewish deli theme.

Live music suggestion for Saturday night?: Any recommendations for a place in D.C. or Arlington for live music on Saturday night? Having a cover is fine if it's worth it.

David Malitz: Shortstack and Pinche Gringo at Iota is worth every bit of its $12 cover. Shortstack is still a bit twangy but catchier than ever, just good rock-and-roll. Pinche Gringo is dirty garage goodness. That's my easy pick for Saturday.

For more information, search for any of the boldfaced terms on http://www.goingoutguide.com.

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