Thursday, August 18, 2005; 1:00 PM
Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, washingtonpost.com's Entertainment Guide experts share their best bets for local flavor, great dates and family fun. Got plans? Great. Need plans? Just ask. We have the skinny on the bars and clubs, concerts, kitchens, theaters and special events that keep life interesting. We're going out gurus, and we're at your service.
Of course, we're happy to answer questions about local entertainment, but we need to hear from you, too. Introduce us to the coolest DJ or the fastest bartender you've encountered. Sound off on the week's best concert or the city's best burger. Tell us about the best place to amuse little kids or a big art fan. Together we can plan fun ways to spend weekdays, weekends, dates and holidays. The pleasure is ours, and yours.
Each week a different guru will act as host or hostess, but the entire staff is at your service. If you're looking for more ideas, see the Entertainment Guide .
A transcript follows.
The Going Out Gurus: Why hello, chatters. The usual suspects (Anne, David, Fritz, Janet, Jen and Rhome) are here. I, Erin, am fresh off a flight from London and a tad jet-lagged. We're ready to get to going out...so to speak.
Washington, D.C.: Love the chats GoGs! Have "friends" staying at the Hay Adams in a couple of months and are trying to entertain foreign nationals in D.C. Need the BEST Italian and the BEST sushi around. Hint: Money is not an issue this time. I'm most certainly always concerned about cash, so not sure where to take these folks. This is their one and only chance to experience D.C. -- I want to do it right. Any suggestions?
Erin: What a miserable position to be in! The best sushi would be at Sushi-Ko and Kaz Sushi . For Italian, can you go out to the 'burbs? Maestro is the best Italian. In D.C., Teatro Goldoni is my favorite. Obelisk is fantastic, but a looser interpretation of Italian and not good for a large group.
Washington, D.C.: So this is a little outside of your area, but I didn't know who else to ask. I just moved here from Boston, and there they had a program where you could sign up on a Web site to be notified of hair appointments by people in training at high end salons. Basically you got the great hair cut/color, for a far lower price. Does anything like that exist in D.C.?
Janet: Yes, it does. I just spoke with someone at Vidal Sassoon in Tysons Corner, which has an educational program in the area, which trains students to be stylists and colorists. Hair cuts and color is available on select days for cut-rate prices ($10-$15). For more information, here's the number to call: 703-761-9666.
Anonymous: I know you get a lot of questions about jeans, but I am desperate! I'm 5 feet tall and a size four... for some reason most jean designers seem to think this means I have no butt or thighs. Where does a short girl with some curves find some inexpensive jeans? Particularly non-stretchy ones? Finding one decent pair of jeans is usually a 6-8 month process for me so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!
Janet: Do you know that the Gap is selling a new line of jeans called Curvy? They may be just the thing you're looking for.
Washington, D.C.: This might a little out of your range of knowledge, but, I am going down to Bethany Beach for a wedding in a few hours. But before the actual wedding, a few of us wanted to go out. Is there a bus or something that runs from Bethany to Dewy and back late at night?
Jen: There are regular buses that run from Rehoboth to Ocean City, with stops in Dewey and Bethany. Check out this Web site for schedules. I'm jealous that you're heading to Bethany on such a beautiful day; sounds like a fun weekend.
Keifer Sighting: Kiefer Sutherland was at McFadden's two Tuesdays ago.
Erin: Marwan must've been looking for draft beer.
Washington, D.C.: What's the scene at the Blue Room on Thursday night? I used to love Dredd at Aroma. Does he play the same type stuff at Blue? Can I wear jeans and sneakers there?
Rhome: Young (but older than the post-college type young), energetic and lots of dancing. Dredd wears a different face every week. Sometimes it's golden era hip-hop, sometimes it's old-school funk and electro, sometimes it's r&b dance classics... or all of that in one night. Jeans and sneakers are the prevailing attire.
Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: Hey GOGs!
I have a number of pairs of heels that need mending. I am looking for a really good place to take them. While I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money to get them fixed, I don't want to be getting them fixed again in a few weeks. Any ideas?
Janet: I usually take mine to Fortuna Shoe Repair in Bethesda. They are not cheap, but they're professional and they stand by their work. Anyone know of a good place in D.C.?
Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus! I have a bachelorette party emergency. Our friend the bride is in town for one day only. We had planned to take her somewhere a little crazy, like Drag Queen Bingo, but the timing didn't work out. Is there anything hilarious and fun going on Sunday night? We'd like to put her in a veil, have a little adventure, and have ridiculous fancy drinks. Thank you, and smooches!
Anne: What's more giddy than free late-night belly dancing lessons ? And right in your own 'hood. You might want to call to warn the folks at Meze that a lot of you will be arriving...
Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.: Fritz--
My friends and I are happy hour happy!
We also like to support a good cause when we get the chance but don't know how to find out about these kind of events.
Any suggestions? Know of anything going on? We'd much prefer our hard-earned $ go to a charity than a bar (as long as we still get alcohol)!
Thanks! And we loved your happy hour rundown!! Very helpful.
Fritz: Glad you enjoyed the happy hour feature.
We try to put as many in the Nightlife Agenda as we can -- tonight, for example, there's a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at Topaz with $6 cocktails from 6 to 8 (down from the usual $10). $1 from the sale of each drink (and the special oyster appetizer) goes to charity. Saturday, a reggae show at the Clarendon Ballroom is raising money for children affected by civil war in Uganda.
Washington, D.C.: With my friends working and/or back in school, I would like to pack up my 15 lb Shih Tzu and go to the beach next week. In terms of dog-friendly areas, is it better to go to Ocean City, Delaware, or Virginia Beach? Thanks.
Jen: I don't know what the rules are in Virginia Beach, but the Delaware beaches and Ocean City prohibit dogs on the beach during the resort season. One exception: In Dewey, you can walk a leashed dog on the beach before 9:30 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m. I see plenty of people walking their dogs in Rehoboth and Bethany, they just don't bring them down by the ocean. So any of the Delaware resorts should be fine.
Downtown, Washington, D.C.: My friends on the West coast told me about some salons that do "Manicures & Martini" nights. It sounds like a fun thing to do with girlfriends for some quality time... is there anywhere in D.C. that does something similar?
Janet: I have heard about this, but don't know for sure if there's anything of that sort in D.C. Anyone know?
Washington, D.C.: Thanks!
What have you guys heard about the new K Street lounge on saturday night? I know that you guys have answered questions about the old K Street venue in G'town, but I am about asking about the new one on 13th and K? good crowd? music?
Fritz: It's opened by the guys who run Club Daedalus. They're pushing amenities like bottle service, valet parking, plasma screens with your name on them ... it's going to be a high-priced spot. I haven't been yet, though I plan to go soon.
Still, though, the invites I get to the place tend to grate on me: "Gentlemen we kindly ask that you bring ladies with you and please come early because we are a small venue."
Washington, D.C.: I'm thinking of trying Ethiopian food for the first time on Saturday night, probably to one of the spots on U St. Any suggestions of places to go or dishes to order?
Erin: There's no shortage of good places in the area. Dukem is reliably scrumptious. I had a fabulous dinner last week at Etete . I ordered a veggie combination platter with a funny name...fastener's or something like that.
16th & U, Washington, D.C.: I'm thinking about going to see Gogol Bordello at Black Cat or Outer Body Llama at Wonderland tonight. Do you know if either or both should be good/fun shows?
David: Outer Body Llama, there's a blast from the past. My friend wrote about them in the lone issue of our never-distributed zine we did sophomore year of high school. Good to see they're still doing the catchy power pop thing. I've never seen Gogol Bordello , but it sounds like a pretty entertaining show; you can read a review of their 2004 Black Cat gig in that link. "Gypsy-punk" is their gimmick, so if that sounds like something you'd enjoy, go for it.
Washington, D.C.: I have been out of town a lot recently and want to plan a romantic evening for Saturday night. The theater/dinner thing doesn't appeal. Any suggestions?
Janet: It depends upon what you think of as romantic. For me, it means anything on the water. How about renting a small sailboat in Annapolis??
Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: Hi gurus, I was unable to find the 2005 Beach Guide, could you provide me with the link? Or do you have any recommendations of a beach for a quick day trip? Thanks!
Jen: First, here is the link to the beach guide . In theory, any of the semi-local beaches could be a day trip, depending on how much driving you can tolerate in 24 hours. To make things easier on yourself, you might consider visiting one of the closer Chesapeake Bay beaches, maybe North Beach ?
Takoma Park, Md.: I'm looking to take my boyfriend out to a steakhouse for his birthday. I'd love to find a place in Annapolis, with a water view, and also, hopefully, a price tag (for 2) under $100. Any suggestions? If Annapolis isn't an option, are there any good steakhouses with a nice view in D.C.?
Erin: Is it more important to have the view or the steak? Lewnes' Steak House is the best in the immediate area, but there isn't much of a view. Chart House has pretty water views and the usual surf/turf, but I think that you should try Annie's Steak and Seafood on the Kent Narrows (about 30 minutes from Annapolis). If you trek all the way to Arlington, Ruth's Chris is up on the 11th floor with a gorgeous view.
Washington, D.C.: Hi, can you tell me where in the city I can find a good shopping mall, with a lot of clothing stores such as Macys, J C Pennys, Hechts, etc?
Janet: Take your pick: Tysons Corner, Montgomery Mall, Reston, Dulles Town Center.
Arlington, Va.: Hi Gurus! Any ideas for good, inexpensive weekend lunch places (but not chains) that are within walking distance of Cityplace/downtown Silver Spring? Thanks!
Anne: There's a treasure trove of long-time independent eateries in Silver Spring, and many are best discovered on foot on strolls along Georgia. Some off on side streets are Negril , Cubano's and Roger Miller . There's plenty more nearby City Place .
Arlington, Va.: Hey GOGs and chatters - I'm craving crepes reminiscent of the crepes made by the Parisian vendors. I'm talking about the simple crepes with a smattering of chocolate shavings that melt from the heat of the crepes...or even better, crepes with sugar that becomes all liquidy and yummy...Anyone know some places?
Washington, D.C.: This weekend is my first time out to the beach. I'll be staying in Lewes but would like to spend a day at Rehoboth. Are there public parking lots or will I have to get a permit that day? I hear it is crazy. How early do I need to get there to get a place semi-close to the boardwalk?
Jen: You guys have all kinds of good beach questions today.
You don't need a permit to park in Rehoboth. Near the boardwalk and surrounding area, there are many metered spaces. So what you'll need are LOTS of quarters. In August, spaces also can fill up quickly, so be prepared to park a little farther away. Or try to arrive early in the morning so you can get a good spot and feed the same meter for the rest of the day. Enjoy.
Arlington, Va.: Hi Gurus,
I've got naturally curly hair and am in need of a good stylist to help me chop some of it off. Does anyone out there have any recommendations? I'd be willing to pay up to $100 for a cut if I can find someone really good! Thanks.
Janet: There's Elie.Elie in Tysons Corner and Garrett Johnson, who used to be at Fiddleheads. Not sure where he has landed.
Washington, D.C.: Hey, what's the most interesting attraction this year at the Montgomery County Fair?
The pig races? The cheese competition?
David: I was at the Montgomery County Fair on Saturday afternoon. Besides the heatstroke, it was a pretty fun time. The pig races are not to be missed, for sure. Say hi to Pig Diddy and Nicole Pigman for me. I didn't make it to the cheese carving contest, but c'mon, how can that not be cool? Of the evening attractions that cost extra money, I'd say go with the Demolition Derby. It's really entertaining to see regular folks get into decorated, beat up cars and crash into each other. And, of course, there are the animals. There were some especially cool looking llamas wandering around the grounds. There's a truly disgusting fat pig. But to balance that out, there are some really adorable piglets.
Washington, D.C.: Where can I take my 20 year-old friends for an enjoyable night out on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evening? Are there any options besides crowded dance clubs? A lounge environment, possibly, minus carding at the door?
Rhome: To avoid carding at a lounge, I've often found it sufficient to show up early for a meal. Carding doesn't usually happen for a dinner crowd. Fritz reminds me that it can be a lot more complex though. Day of the week, entertainment (dj? band?) and proximity to universities can all factor in. A suggestion that should be able to cover your needs and all that I've just mentioned is Bossa on Thursdays.
Fantastic shoe repair near Adams Morgan: Duke's Shoe Repair
2000 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
The man who owns it and repairs the shoes is a WWII vet and does 'old fashioned' workmanship. He's fantastic for fixing suitcases etc too. Not outrageously expensive either!
Erin: We've gotten a couple shout out recommendations for Duke's.
DC shoe repair: Go to Duke's Shoe Repair shop in the Reeves Building (14th between U and V). It's $10 a pair, which is pretty standard, but they do an amazing job.
Janet: Another vote for Duke's Shoe Repair.
Largo, Md.: I am new to the dating scene and have found going on a lot of these dates expensive. Any ideas of some inexpensive first dates in the area. Bonus points if you can give me some romantic ideas as well.
Washington, D.C.: All, I'm looking for a hair stylist that does great cuts based on the shape of a girl's face and lifestyle. Can y'all recommend some places (with the name of the hair stylist)?
Cap Hill, Washington, D.C.: Hey GOGs!
First, do you know if there is a listing of ultimate frisbee teams/leagues in the area?
Also, can you give me some information on the young professional organizations in the area?
Anne: Are you implying frisbee players aren't also professionals? I kid. You're looking for the Washington Area Frisbee Club , pronounced Wahf-see. I bet you'll find lots of people happy to make new friends through WAFC, and there are many special-interest clubs that provide the same networking, friend-making opportunities, everything from Friends of the National Zoo to the Noodle Club .
Bethesda, Md.: Hey,
My boyfriend just got back from a 4 month stay in the army. We're going to the Brickskellar this weekend and are looking for the perfect dinner place beforehand. Any suggestions? Looking to get out of there for under $100 for two.
The Going Out Gurus: Fritz here with a quick request: We appreciate the folks who are sending us notes about upcoming charity happy hours, but I get a little itchy about posting details on the chat without verifying the information with someone at the host bar or benefiting charity. While we'd like to be able to trust everyone ... well, you know. If you're organizing a happy hour, concert or other event for charity, please send the info with the name of a contact person to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll try to get it into our database. Thanks.
Washington, D.C.: My boyfriend and I are looking to get away for a weekend (stay over Saturday night). Somewhere in driving distance (up to 2 hours). Not overly expensive. And not Dewey or other similar beach town. Thoughts?
Jen: There are tons of fun getaways nearby. You could visit the Shenandoah Valley, Charlottesville, Williamsburg, Harper's Ferry ... the options are pretty endless. You should explore the Escapes columns in our Travel section, which have lots of good ideas and suggestions about where to stay, how to get there, etc. The beaches are fun, but there are lots of other places that make for nice summer getaways, too.
Washington, D.C.: I recently turned 21 and am looking for good dive bars in the city.
Rhome: We've got a few .
Washington, D.C.: Hi GOG's! I have a light-colored leather handbag that I love and carry everywhere. As a result it's gotten kind of dirty. Can you recommend a good leather cleaner or place where I can get it cleaned? Thanks!
Janet: I get asked this question a lot. Anyone have some suggestions?
Rockville, Md.: I heard there's some sort of music festival starting tonight in Rockville? Is it true and do you have any other details?
Re. Curly Hair & Haircuts for Face Shape: I'd recommend PR - Partners, but locations and stylists definitely differ. I have wavy, as opposed to super curly, hair and got a good long-layered cut recently from Philip at the Tenleytown branch. He's superfriendly, and I think the cut was only around $60 or $65. PR - Partners also says on their website that they specialize in cuts and colors designed to enhance your facial features, which was why I chose them. They also describe what their different stylists specialize in, which was how I chose Philip.
Janet: Here's a ringing endorsement for Philip at PR@ Partners in Tenleytown.
19th & Columbia: For the girl with the naturally curly hair, Garrett from Fiddleheads is now just a few doors down at Spalon on 17th in Dupont. Just went and the cut was $49 though he said it's going up next time to $69 I believe. He's worth it.
Janet: Thanks for letting us know the whereabouts of Garrett, who seems to be very popular for curly-heads.
Woodley Park, Washington, D.C.: Why don't you guys ever mention events at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center? There is some sort of FREE performance there every single night at 6:00. I went to bluegrass show last Saturday that was outside on the plaza that was awesome. A great way to see a D.C. landmark for free! And they run a free shuttle from the Foggy Bottom metro. I'm about to move out of D.C. and this is something I wish I had starting doing much sooner.
Jen: We totally agree, Millennium Stage is very cool. We do recommend it in the chat pretty frequently; it may not have come up in the past couple of weeks, but I know I've suggested it on numerous occasions to those looking for an inexpensive and fun evening. As a matter of fact, at this very moment, I'm suggesting it again.
Washington D.C.: Hi GOG's -- I'm a big fan of gelato and have been trying to find a place that sells it 'round here (not in restaurants). Do you know of any places?
Erin: Do you mean an ice cream store or a grocery store that sells it by the carton? I would recommend the Gelateria at the National Gallery or Dean and Deluca.
Ballston, Va.: Hi Gogs,
I'm craving margaritas but after partying and spending away this summer, I'm pretty broke. Are there any places in D.C. or Va. that have half price margaritas during happy hour or just good, cheap margaritas in general?
Fritz: When I was researching my happy hour story, I came across a pretty good one in your backyard: Caribbean Breeze has a nice margarita and a large outdoor patio. Austin Grill has daily margarita specials, and the well-made drinks are usually $3.50 from 4 to 7 and then 10 to close, though a few locations (Silver Spring and Glover Park) start earlier.
I like Andale's, too, though I'm sad that only the basic house margarita is discounted, and not some of the more interesting recipes. Same with Cafe Citron.
Bar Rouge has a designer version at happy hour, though $5 might be a little steep.
Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: If I were a fine looking British woman - where would I be?
Erin: On the cover of the British edition of Vogue?
Shoe repair, Washington D.C.: I've walked through more heels than I'd care to think about...but there is one place that has done a fantastic job no matter how beat up my heels look when I bring them in: It's actually in L'Enfant Plaza and its the L'Enfant Plaza Cleaners. They do dry cleaning, alterations, and shoe and hand bag repair. They're fantastic, and not super expensive. I recommend them highly. (plus they're easy to get to via metro...)
Janet: A shoe repair place that's convenient, not too expensive and does a good job. How can you go wrong? Thanks for the recommendation.
Curly Hair Survival: I too have naturally curly hair and have tried it all. I like Garrett, but I forget where he landed. Elie.Elie is way overpriced and prentious and rather not that good. Yes, Elie cut my hair. Although I do buy my Ouidad product there (which the best thing ever for us curly types). I use Mindy at Andre Chreky. She's great and has been fabulous at figuring out what to do as I grow out a REALLY ill advised cut.
Janet: A differing opinion on the curly-headed hair problem.
NW Washington, D.C.: Gurus.. I think it is obvious that Washington, D.C. is getting cooler things to do.. evidenced by this forum every week.. However, when it comes to Guys shoes selection.. I'm a little over Gtown, what's a guy to do when I don't want a look that is too flashy, but do want something with some personality? Please save me a trip to NYC.
Rhome: You didn't say what kind of shoes but I'm personally a sneaker fiend. I don't indulge the way I could if say I was the subject of an episode of MTV's "Cribs" but the lust burns steadily. My best finds come from traveling and trolling the Internet but locally, I've made my biggest come ups at discount stores. Value City, Marshall's, Burlington, etc. Don't turn up your nose. Often times shoe companies will put out a certain line in a limited quantity and they won't sell. By the time they're out of season the retail price has plummeted and they're languishing on shelves where no one (except for me) is checking for them. I might have to kick myself for putting this out there.
Outside of the sneaker realm, I don't know of any specialty shops that serve up unique men's footwear. I just watch the chains for their major sales. That's when they clear out all kinds of stuff that was piling up in the storeroom.
I think we need help from the audience to round this out.
Reston, Va.: Boyfriend's out of town this weekend, most friends are busy. What's something fun to do alone or maybe with a girlfriend, that is in Tysons or Arlington and not super expensive? Something unique, maybe outdoors?
Anne: Definitely the Arlington County Fair . There's free admission, free parking and free shuttles from the Ballston Metro station. One huge building displays the Arlingtonian talents, from biggest zucchini to best-in-show photography. Outside in the gravel, there are rides and carnival goodies. Keep an eye out for the "ugly pig" races.
Washington, D.C.: What is the deal with the Winslow Homer exhibit at the National Gallery? Any good? How long is it in town?
Fritz: The deal, Washington, is that the National Gallery's curators have assembled a "best of" Homer show from the NGA's extensive collection. A number of these watercolors and oils were already on display elsewhere in the museum, but they're being grouped in one place, so viewers can try to track the progression from, say, "Breezing Up" to "The Coming Storm," a span of about three decades.
You have plenty of time to visit -- the exhibit runs through February 2006.
Mt Pleasant, Washington, D.C.: Brilliant gurus, I need your help. I'm looking for a relaxed, not-too-expensive place to play pool in D.C. Someplace where a non-girly girl would feel comfortable going all by herself. I was on a woman's pool league in my old hometown, and any hints on where to plug into a league here would also be appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!
David: Here's a list of pool halls in the city to get you started. As for league info ... anyone out there who can help?
Washington, D.C.: We're having a little birthday celebration for one of our co-workers today. And, we need a cake! Any suggestions of a bakery (or even a grocery store) close to a metro stop (hopefully in D.C.) where we can pick something delicious up this afternoon?
Erin: Depending on where you are, I used to like the little cakes at Furin's on M Street (across from Four Seasons). Whole Foods does good ones, but you might consider picking up an ice cream cake from Ben and Jerry's or someplace in this heat. Any other ideas, cake-eaters?
Fashion City, Washington, D.C.: Hey Janet:
I'm a twenty-five year old male with a little problem (literally); I have no backside. Most recently I've been having a jean crisis (True Religions, 7 for all Mankind, Paper Denim - all sag!). Short of showing up at the Denim Bar and pleading for mercy. Any suggestions on what brands/places (including relevant alterations - is this even possible) to look?
Janet: I think a good tailor may be the way to get around this problem. When you've bought designer jeans like True Religion, have you asked for alteration assistance? Did you read the story in yesterday's Post, mostly about Denim Bar? You may be able to get them altered there, although I would call first to see if that's possible.
NW Washington, D.C.: I heard a rumor that the Birchmere is opening up a new venue in Silver Spring. That true?
Fritz: Well, I've heard the Birchmere is interested in opening a venue in the old J.C. Penney's near the AFI. I don't think any papers have been signed or a date has been agreed upon -- this has been under discussion for years -- but anything that brings live music to MoCo would be welcome.
Arlington, Va.: Where can one go for cheap beers during the week? I've heard of some places that have $1 and $2 beers.
Fritz: Arlington, I wrote this story about dozens of local happy hours, including many where you can get a beer for a buck or two. Tonight, for example, there's $2 beers at the Front Page, Lucky Bar and Porter's, $1 beers at the Pour House (if you get there by 8) and free drinks at Tapatinis.
Charlotte, N.C.: Hey! I'm coming up to Washington the last weekend in October to run the Marine Corps Marathon. We were warned to make dinner reservations soon as things get booked as the marathon approaches. Could be more of a Sietsema question, but I was looking for a great Italian place (carbs!) in the neighborhood of the race (sis lives in Alexandria, where I'll be staying), and I would prefer something other than the chains -
Erin: Nice work, Charlotte. Are you looking for a formal spot? La Piazza , right off Braddock metro, is super-casual, but has great Americanized pasta dishes. You could scarf pizza at Faccia Luna or eat at Ecco Cafe .
Washington, D.C.: Dear Gurus,
Is Tapatinis a gay bar? I'm planning a happy hour there for today and some of my more narrow-minded friends refuse to go because they've heard it is.
Fritz: Like many bars in Washington, Tapatinis attracts gay patrons. I wouldn't say that it's exclusively gay or exclusively straight; I've seen same-sex and opposite-sex couples holding hands and kissing there.
I think the Thursday specials ($5 top-shelf martinis from 5 to 8 and free drinks after 9) would lure people of any preference.
Eagles Fan: From one fellow Eagles fan to another: The Birds are an affiliate team of the Rhino Bar in Georgetown. Games are always guaranteed to be on the big screen, not to mention the 25 cent wings and beer specials. See you there!
Fritz: Yes indeed. Sorry I didn't get a chance to post this last week; Rhino's been an Eagles spot for years, and the wings are pretty good.
Washington, D.C.: Hi y'all... It's really hard to find a "kid-friendly" restaurant that the parents will also enjoy. I was at St.-Ex the other night and my 4 year old was told to stay in his chair the whole time. He also couldn't even step foot at the bar. What gives? Why such restrictions and any idea where I can enjoy the food and have fun?
Anne: I can understand that bar owners wouldn't be keen on having a preschooler in the mix and that proprietors and other diners expect parents to entertain children at the table. If you want to take your kid to a bar, bar/restaurant Franklin's in Hyattsville is accustomed to visitors of all ages. My experience is that nearly any restaurant can be kid-friendly when it's off-peak hours. Then the staff isn't rushed or harried and they see your little one as a cutie-pie, not a worry. For example, I was at Spices around 3 on a weekend with a friend's 1 year old, and the staff adored her.
Va Beach Dogs: I was there a couple of weeks ago... I saw a guy with a beagle pup get whistled by a lifeguard and told that dogs were not allowed down there.
Jen: Not surprised. Thanks for the tip.
Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: We CP residents enjoy the gelato at the Magruders at Connecticut and Porter. I think they have larger containers to take some home, too.
Erin: Hear that, gelato-craver?
Arlington, Va.: Would you recommend the Arlington County Fair this Friday?
David: Haven't been to the Arlington County Fair in the past, but it's free, so that's a big plus. If you're not enjoying yourself, you don't feel like you have to stay to justify the money you've spent. Another big plus is that there are plenty of indoor, air-conditioned activities. And pig races, of course. Also, Friday is Senior's Day, so you know what that means -- Bingo!
Washington, D.C.: Hey guys. Have you ever gone to a pub trivia event like those held at Fado and Wonderland? Are they any fun?
Fritz: I was just at one last night, actually -- the Smart-Ass Trivia night at Titan Bar.
My favorite trivia nights in town are those at Fado on Monday (lots of general knowledge, geography and history) and Quizzo at the Pour House on Tuesday (more pop culture than you can handle).
They're lots of fun, especially with a group. It's even better when you win.
Crepes: There's a new crepes/bubble tea place that just opened on Thomas Jefferson St. in Georgetown called snap...
Also, my birthday's coming up and I'm torn between a few places for my celebratory dinner. whaddya think of Ardeo, Zola, and Firefly? I've never been to any of them.
Erin: Nice. Bubble tea in G'town has been a long time coming. Now, for dinner, what's your scene? I vote for Zola -- I am a fan of the food/scene combo there.
RE: Arlington, Va.: I was at Molly Malones in Clarendon on Tuesday night and they had a $1 beer special.
Fritz: Cool. But then again, you'd have to go to Molly Malone's to get it.
Just say no to North Beach: I hate to break it to you, but North Beach is not a real beach, at least not in the sense of being even remotely like the ocean beaches. Yeah, yeah, there's a boardwalk, but it's really just for walking on, not an Ocean City style boardwalk. And the "beach"? It's about an inch wide and the sand it very full of clay. While it's not quite as scary and nasty as it used to be, I doubt it's really the kind of beach experience people are looking for.
Jen: I know it's not an ocean beach. But if someone just wants to be near some water without driving for three hours, North Beach and some of the other areas along the Bay (Solomons Island, maybe?) provide that option. Which, of course, readers can take or leave. Hey, maybe we should change our names to Take-It-Or-Leave-It Gurus.
Curly Hair: I searched many moons for a good stylist for curly hair. I go to Donald at Victoria Station in Vienna. He's awesome and has never cut me wrong!
Janet: Another option for the curly heads among you.
the hill, Washington, D.C.: Sup Gurus-
Have any info on the Oktoberfest bash at the German Embassy?
Fritz: Not yet -- that event's usually run by the Wine Tasting Association. I've gotten keine e-mails and they have nicht on their Web site. It's a fun time, though, with unlimited food, beer and wine. It usually draws an older crowd than, say, the beer-tasting Oktoberfest at the Capitol City Brewing Company's street party in Shirlington
I Wanna Take You To A...: I'm looking for a good bar that will be fun and comfortable to a group of both gay and straight guys. We're looking for something gayer than the regular bar, but no so gay that are no ladies to meet for our straight buddies. NoVa. and D.C. are our preferred locations, despite the obvious appeal of Mary-land. Thanks!
Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: What's Bubble Tea??
Erin: Ahh, it's flavored (and often milky) iced tea with big tapioca balls at the bottom. It's an acquired taste, but once you like it, it's totally addictive. Out in L.A. they call it Boba.
Washington D.C.: Hi Gurus!
I've heard that there is a new rooftop bar in Cleveland Park. Around Aroma or on that side of the street. Is this true? I hope so because this neighborhood needs one! Any you know of? Thanks and love the chats!
Fritz: Yes. You're thinking of the rooftop at Ardeo, though I heard you had to have dinner up there, not just drinks.
There WILL be a rooftop bar at the forthcoming CP's Bar and Grill (in the old Brick's space), but it's not open yet, nor have I heard when it will be ready.
Cakes in D.C. : Reeve's Restaurant and Bakery is really good at a fair price (better than the Whole Foods on P, IMHO). 1306 G St NW, (202) 628-6350. Have a great party!
Erin: Yeah, how could I forget Reeves? Shortcake, cheesecake, pie and donuts. YUM
Bethesda, Md.: HI! I read you guys all the time and this is my first question. I hope you can help! Is there anywhere to go in the Bethesda area to salsa dance? If not, where is the closest place to Bethesda that DOES have salsa dancing? Thanks!
Fritz: Bethesda -- you should try Divino Lounge, where the Friday night DJ party has been getting rave reviews from local salseros. (Tuesday's event has lessons and dancing; Friday just sticks to the music.)
If you really want to go dancing in a large, fun environment, I'd head over to Cococabana Grill in Hyattsville.
Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus,
I am a celebrating a birthday next Friday, and I have a mix of people (out of towners, DC savvy, homebodies, bar flies, go go enthusiast etc) joining me for drinks at the 18th St. Lounge. I was wondering if you have any ideas on what my next destination should be. I think I am looking for something fun, with good music, and the chance to sit for people who are not into dancing. What are your thoughts?
Fritz: Right around ESL, I'd try Five, where folks can chill under palm trees on the rooftop while DJs spin on two levels. Panache might work, too, depending on the size of your crowd. (I was in two weeks ago and it was fun, but crowded.)
Belly Dancing Bachelorette Party: Thanks SO much for the tip--we're really excited! Now. Since it starts at 10, we're going to need daiquiris or something pink to drink beforehand. What's the schmanciest nearby bar that's open on Sunday nights?
Anne: You could have mai tais, spring punch or cosmos at the former home of Sex & the City parties, Felix .
re: golden era hip-hop: Rhome, just interested in what era you're referring to here. In my humble opinion, golden era is pre-NWA (not that i don't like them, but they changed thangs). Its been my experience that what you consider the golden era is often linked to your age. I'm in my mid-thirties. My 20 yr old cousin thinks the golden era was the biggie-tupac era.
Rhome: Golden Era = '88 - '92
Wide variety of co-existing styles, rapid development of sample based production techniques, folks getting signed (KMD anyone?) that would never see the the inside of a major label office in today's world of super-consolidation. Most importantly, an incredible bounty of universally hailed classic albums packed into a short period of time:
Low End Theory
Mecca and the Soul Brother
Step in the Arena
Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
Road to the Riches
Long Live the Kane
...just to name a few.
Re: Kids in Bars: What gives?!? How about that other adults patronizing adult establishments would like to not be around kids. I hope to have children some day, but when I do, if I want to visit a place that is not intended for children, I'll get a babysitter. Current parents should do the same.
Fritz: Well, I think there's a difference when some bar owners actively encourage parents to bring kids -- I've seen Saint-Ex's owners bring their young daughter into the bar (it's smoke-free until 11, after all) and I've seen other service-industry workers there with kids as well. Heck, Wonderland has a special happy hour on Wednesdays for moms and dads who want to socialize with other parents while their kids play.
Now, it's different after, say, 9 p.m. ...
U street, Washington, D.C.: Fritz, what's the deal w/ the Saloon? I walked by on Saturday night at about 10 and it looked closed down. That would be a shame...
Fritz: I'm trying to find out, actually, and can't get a hold of Commy (the owner). I know they had some problems with repeated break-ins, but I'd hope that wouldn't drive one of the coolest bars around off of U Street.
Washington, D.C.: So you're fresh off a plane from London, Erin? Notice any change in the social scene there? I ask because I'm flying over in a couple weeks for a ten-day visit and haven't heard much about whether recent events have deterred party-goers. Also, can you suggest a place in between a pub and a club that would be fun for energetic twenty-somethings, maybe around Covent Garden or Leicester Square? Thanks!
Erin: Things were a little less vibrant, but it was still a great time. I didn't go clubbing, but I would point you to Trailer Happiness or Pacha.
Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: Please help!! I have friends that are coming into town tomorrow and I'm trying to find a non-super club place on Sat. night that plays hip hop. I remember once going to Anzu on a Sat. night and they were playing hip hop. Can I expect that this weekend?
Thanks a million!!!
Rhome: An eternal source of angst... something progressive and "urban" (read: black music) on a Saturday night. It just doesn't exist!!
Anzu started out fresh, doing interesting one-off events with Stevie G. and other cool DJs. Now they just can't make up their minds. Don't play yourself and fall for the okie doke.
is a super-club in size but doesn't have the attitude (yet). That's pretty much all you have to work with on a Saturday.
Dontuwannaknow, Washington, D.C:: Hey GOGS love the chat and blog keep it coming! Fritz: I'm a 6 year vet of the DC bar scene. As such, I've started to get stuck in a rut. I know a few new places are opening up in NW in the next year (Drinx, Town Hall, Zengo, Satellite Lounge). What's the top 3 bars/clubs on the horizon to open in the NW in the next year that I just shouldn't miss? What should I look forward to?
Fritz: Drinx is opening Monday. When I last heard from Town Hall, they were shooting to be open by this weekend.
Looking forward to the next year is a complicated process -- I'd be willing to bet the latest hotspot six months from now is something that's not quite on anyone's radar.
Right now, I have high hopes for Argonaut, the new H Street NE pub, and a few of Joe Englert's other H Street spots, and the brand-new Juste Lounge; the neo-soul hotspot is moving from 7th Street NW (across from the convention center) to Bethesda, of all places.
And, if Tabaq can get its act together, that rooftop bar is going to have longer lines than any other spot on U Street. Fact.
re: Saloon: It's closed for a couple weeks while the owner is away working with Habitat for Humanity. Don't worry, he'll be back and the bar will be open again soon.
Fritz: Ah, good to know. I remember a few years back when he closed it for a month or so to go build houses in Vietnam, and again last winter when some high schools were being constructed in Nigeria. (Check out this profile for more info on Commy's good works.)
Alexandria, Va.: Do you have any good suggestions on places to eat for a first date around the Smithsonian on Saturday?
Erin: Are you meaning lunch? I would say Zaytinya, 701, Ginger Cove and Rosa Mexicano are within a reasonable proximity.
Happy and Gay - same thing?: Gurus - I'm here for the weekend. I'm a happy gay man. Where to go Friday or Saturday night to dance with some pretty gay boys?
Fritz: Cobalt would be #1, Velvet Nation if you're into the whole mega-club scene.
(Good) Girls Just Want to Have Fun: Two twenty-something young women who are responsible and centered and mature are visiting us this weekend and want to go out to a club for music and dancing and lounging. They do not want to be heavily hit on, or be in a too raucous environment. Where would you recommend I send them? Thanks,
- Big Sister
Rhome: Indebleu or Aroma (can get packed with some high energy but is just on the near side of "raucous")
Glover Park, Washington, D.C.: Fritz: Thanks for your awesome happy hour guide in today's (I'm writing this on Friday 8/12) Weekend Edition. However, the other day my boyfriend and I were trying to find one of those Mon/Tue/Wed deals a lot of restaurants have--such as 1/2 priced wine, 1/2 prices burgers, etc--not just at the bar but throughout the whole place all night. For example, Clyde's in Georgetown has 1/2 price wine on Sundays and Kavanaugh's Pizza in Glover has 1/2 price burgers on Monday's. I couldn't find a good list of those types of deals anywhere, just a thought for next time.
Fritz: Don't know if you saw the print edition of Weekend, Glover Park, but I literally couldn't shoehorn any more events in. Sorry. Other places you can add: IOTA has half-price wine on Mondays, Andale has half-price bottles of wine when you order an entree on Monday, Clarendon Grill has half-price wine on Tuesday and Wednesday, Tonic has a free bottle of wine on Tuesday when you buy two entrees, Sign of the Whale has half-price burgers all night on Sunday and Monday ... I could go on, but this is a start.
The Going Out Gurus: Well, that time has finally come. In closing, I ask you this: Has anybody else gotten that catchy jingle for Dole's packaged salads stuck in his/her head? See you next week.
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