Thursday, September 22, 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 or read transcripts of past Got Plans? discussions .
The transcript follows.
washingtonpost.com: We'll have to wrap up our " Lost" analysis quickly, for this is one busy (and literary ) weekend. I've heard from lots of people gearing up the march and Operation Ceasefire concert, which will be, as many of you have noted, next door on the Mall to the National Book Festival. And that's just downtown. What are you up to? I'm Anne, and we have a full house: Fritz, Jen, Janet, Rhome, Erin, David and Julia are here, munching on LebTav, as we type.
Washington, D.C.: I hate to be one of those people that asks about non-going out things but since everyone else does...I am desperately trying to find a place in the D.C. area that does eyelash extensions and have had no luck! Any ideas?
Janet: Hi, there,
I've been asking around and have not come up with any place around town that does that. Even the usual suspects are saying "no." Anyone else know? You'd be doing a great service.
Washington, D.C. - white cheese: Do you guys know any place to get tacos or enchiladas that are made with only (or mostly) the white cheese (Queso blanco) and not the yellow stuff? Preferably in Arlington or D.C., but I'll take it anywhere. All the Mexican restaurants I went to in Indiana and Ohio always used just the white cheese and it's so much better, and I've yet to be able to find any of that in any restaurants here or even grocery stores. Thanks!
Erin: Wow, that's an interesting question. What level of authenticity are you going for? I know that most chile rellenos I've had are only queso blanco, but the tacos and enchiladas tend to use yellow. I would check in with Taqueria Poblano and El Tamarindo to see what they use. Chatters have any suggestions?
Washington, D.C.: Hi fabulous gurus! I'm looking for places where two lovely ladies getting married to each other can buy unusual or vintage engagement rings. I submitted this question fairly late in the session last week but since we didn't have any luck looking last weekend at Eastern Market I thought I'd try again this weekend. Thank you!
Janet: Other than the Tiny Jewel Box in downtown D.C., which is pretty pricey, I'd recommend looking for estate sales. This is prime time for these, and you just may luck out with some unusual jewelry. Check the classifieds for when and where and by all means get there as early as you can.
Help!: Just went to have my legs waxed for the first time at Elizabeth Arden Spa in Fairfax and got burned! Literally! Are there any good places to go for waxing? I live in Fairfax but am willing to travel.
Janet: We've had good luck with Skin Beauty Lounge . But afraid you will have to travel.
Arlington, Va.: Janet: Recommendations for salons that do good highlights in the midrange price ($100-125)?
Janet: How about PRat Partners in Mazza Gallerie?
Washington, D.C.: Are there any bars/places that have ping pong tables? I need to find one so I can destroy a work colleague who thinks she can hang with me.
Fritz: Well, now that Dremo's can't use its tables for beer pong anymore (according the the most recent e-mail from the bar), you may want to head over and see if they can dig up some paddles.
Island Jim's: Just checked out your blog and the link to Island Jim's crab shack. The hours are listed as 11 am - 1 pm daily. That's a two-hour, high noon window of opportunity to drink on the sand!
Jen: I'm thinking that's a mistake. On weekends at least, I'm pretty sure they're open in the evenings. We -- or rather, Fritz -- will double check that. Thanks for the catch.
Del Ray, Va,: Oh, GOGs, where can I go for electrolysis (hair removal), preferably in NoVa? Thanks.
Janet: Try Sugar House in Old Town Alexandria.
Falls Church, Va.: Arlington, VA re: highlights - try Ramone at Urban Style Lab in DuPont. He's fantastic!
Janet: Thanks, Falls Church for suggesting Ramone at Urban Style Lab in Dupont Circle.
Arlington, Va.: Every week, I post questions, and you guys never respond. Please take my question this week!!! Where are the best pumpkin patches in the area (especially for "older" kids, not children)? Also, are there any fun places to take dogs? - other than the National Mall/parks? Thanks so much and I'll love you guys forever if you take my questions!
Julia: We got you this week, Arlington. My absolute favorite pumpkin patch -- for kids of any ages -- is Cox's Farm . It's definitely worth the trip.
To answer your other question, you might want to check out the "Doggie Happy Hour" in Alexandria. It's happening today from 5-8 p.m.
Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus, Are any wine festivals going on this weekend in Virginia or Maryland?
Erin: Hi Washington. There aren't any major festivals going on this weekend, but 10 Virginia wineries will be celebrating the start of their harvest with the Great Grape Weekend in Virginia at their respective vineyards. Farfelu, Tarara and Oasis are among the participants. Check out the Blue Ridge Wine Way Web site for details.
Washington, D.C.: OK, so I am singing in my sister's wedding in the spring and would like to have a few voice lessons before I do so. Do you have any suggestions about where I can find voice lessons that would suit my needs but not be too expensive?
Jen: This is going to sound strange, but if you have Comcast digital cable with OnDemand, I've noticed that there are voice lessons you can watch. I have never watched them so I can't speak for their quality, but that's an easy and cheap option. (Cable is hardly cheap, but if you're paying for it anyway, may as well take advantage.)
Obviously, it would be more fun to take these with a real, live instructor. You may want to call the Levine School of Music. They have locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and offer classes for adults as well as children. It's possible you missed the window to sign-up for the fall session, but maybe you can get on board early for winter. Or they might be able to refer you to instructors who offer private lessons. Best of luck.
Washington, D.C.:: Any other local beer gardens besides Blob's Park?
Fritz: Not in the classic German sense, no. Pity that it's such a drive. I like to sit in the garden at Cafe Berlin on a sunny weekend afternoon with a liter of beer and pretend.
Wheaton, Md.: Hello guys! I appreciate you taking this question. My husband and I just moved to Wheaton from Northern Virginia and are having a difficult time locating any semblance of nightlife. Are there any bars (other than Royal Mile) where we could go for a drink after 10 p.m.? I know we moved to suburbia, but I was hoping to find at least more than one option for an evening out nearby.
Anne: El Boqueron in Wheaton is a restaurant, but if you go late on a Saturday night, it livens up and you can watch the dancers in the ballroom. A very kicky way to spend an evening in suburbia, I'd say.
Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus- thanks for the Pirate advice from you and other readers- very helpful! Today's question- my mom is coming in from Wisconsin and is craving dim sum- either as dinner or as brunch. First off- where's the best dim sum in the city (only have been to Chinatown Express, which is good but hoping to find somewhere with more variation) and second- do you know if anyone does a traditional type dim sum brunch. Thanks!
Erin: I think that Fortune Restaurant in Falls Church, Va. has the best local dim sum and you can definitely have it for brunch. In D.C., Tony Cheng's Seafood Restaurant does a good job and Lei Garden is also respectable.
Arlington, Va.: Can you provide any info on the concert/protest on the Mall on Saturday? I heard there's supposed to be some good bands.
David: Operation Ceasefire is a free music festival/protest on The Mall to stop the war in Iraq. There will indeed be some good bands, but no real household names. There will be your standard protest singers (Joan Baez, Steve Earle), some punk rock (Bouncing Souls, Living Things), some hip-hop (The Coup, Head-Roc), local do-gooders (Ted Leo, The Evens), a little girl power (Sweet Honey in the Rock, Le Tigre) and smooth beats from organizers Thievery Corporation. There will also be speakers in between musical acts, including Cindy Sheehan and host Jello Biafra. Although personally, the speaker I'd be most interested to hear is Washington Wizards center Etan Thomas .
Arlington, Va.: Since seeing Napolean Dynamite earlier this year and discovering that my fiance has never played tetherball, I've had my eyes open for a pole. Know of any, or have they completely gone out since I left elementary school? Thanks.
Julia: It's true, Arlington. Tetherball may be an endangered game. I called around to a few community centers in your area and no one even knew what I was talking about.
Aside from breaking into your local elementary school to check out its playground, I think your best bet is probably going to Toys R Us and picking up a $20 set. Just think, you and your tetherball-challenged fiance could have it for years to come.
But it case you're not quite so committed to the game, let's throw it out to the readers. Chatters, seen any tetherball poles around?
Alexandria, Va.: Not really a going out question, but a fashion question. I have this great vintage coat with a fur trim, but the fur sheds pretty bad every time I wear it. Is there anywhere I can take it to get it to not shed anymore or something I can do?? Thanks you guys are great.
Janet: It's probably shedding because the fur has dried out over the years. Take it to a store like Gartenhaus in Bethesda, Md., and ask if they can do anything to restore its life.
Arlington, Va.: All-knowing Gurus: I was out of town last year during Blocktober Fest and never had anyone tell me that I missed out. Is it worth the dough for a ticket? If so, any particular bands you can recommend? Many thanks.
Fritz: Honestly, I'm of two minds about it. There's a lot of music (20 bands that skew towards the Big-In-Dewey scene, including Soldier of Jah Army, college faves Fighting Gravity, the Lloyd Dobbler Effect and JunkFood), midway games, beer trucks, etc. It's easy to make a day of the festival, and lots of twenty/thirtysomethings are there to hang out and check out potential hotties.
But it's really crowded, even though the festival takes over six blocks, and you'll wait in line forever for a $6 plastic cup of Miller Lite. I dunno - $20 seems like a lot, even if it's for a good cause. (Proceeds are donated to Stop Child Abuse Now.)
Anyone else have thoughts?
Columbia Heights, Md.: Hey y'all... I love to dance to "old school" R&B and funk of the 70s and early 80s.. but as I've been out of the loop for a good while I'm not sure where to go or on what night to go, to hear like P-Funk, EW&F, The Isley Brothers, Rick James, Cameo, etc.. That "Saturday Night Flashback" dance party hosted by majic 102.sleep is LAME - they play too much "recent" stuff, and I dig the monthly prince music parties but they are nomadic & the date is different every month now.. So where can I go and when can I go in D.C. to hear some REAL classic funk/R&B/dance music?? Thanks for your help and KEEP it FUNKY!
Rhome: I figured that Bud's would Bud's would have something because I've seen advertisements before but their Web site wasn't that forthcoming with the info. Classics also came to mind, although their Wednesday night old-school party skews older than Majic 102.3's 30 And Over Club Card crowd. Who out there in chatter land can help this funkateer find somewhere to get down? You might also want to try listening to Cap'n Sky and Jas Funk on WPFW as they often do cabaret type events that are outside of the usual nightlife circuit.
Washington, D.C.: Hey GoGs! Okay, so I've tried to get my question answered for the past two weeks, but third time's a charm, so here goes. I want to take my boyfriend to Les Mis for his birthday, and am wondering what you recommend for seating at National Theatre. I'm willing to buy the more expensive seats if they are significantly better than the lower priced ones; however, if you can see pretty well from anywhere in the theater, I'd rather not spend the extra money. Thoughts, oh-great-Gurus?
Jen: The third time is a charm. Can't you tell already how charming this answer will be?
Seriously, sorry we haven't helped you sooner. But better late than never. My advice: If you sit toward the very front of the upper balcony at the National, you should be okay. Sitting in the back of the balcony is not so hot -- I've done it and we had a hard time seeing and hearing as well as we would have liked. Since it's a special occasion, you may want to spring for orchestra seats. I've had those, too, and I felt much closer to the action on stage. Unfortunately, that stage action was a production of "Mamma Mia!," but at least the seats were good.
Hope that helps.
Washington, D.C.: Any inside info about the bar that will be replacing Bricks in Cleveland Park?
Fritz: I think we've covered this in the chat before -- it's called C.P.'s Bar and Grill (for Cleveland Park) and is owned by the guys who run Vida. From the looks of things, they're keeping the whole TVs-and-brick-oven theme, but cleaning it up a bit. Work is ongoing, though they'd said earlier they were trying to be open for football season.
Washington, D.C.: Regarding Jen's suggestion for voice lessons on OnDemand. I have also noticed them along with Dating On Demand and dance lessons. They seem to have a plethora of choices for filling one's social life. Who would have thought Comcast would provide so much?
Jen: Wait a second, do you work for Comcast? If so, how come your customer service is so horrible?
Bethesda, Md.: Hi Gurus, My parents are coming into town for Thanksgiving and we have decided to go out for dinner rather than cook. Is there a list on your site with restaurants that have special menus for Thanksgiving? I am guessing that we need to make reservations soon, but have no idea what is available. Thanks!
Erin: Oh, I'm still in denial about the end of summer, but have no fear. I will be putting together a list of places a little later on. In the meantime, 1789, Vidalia, Georgia Brown's, the Oval Room, Chef Geoff's, Coeur de Lion and 15Ria should be serving up some turkey goodness.
Washington, D.C.: What up Gurus?! My birthday is coming up October 3 and I'm celebrating the weekend before, so that would be next weekend. Know of any good concerts coming up or should I wait til next Thursday to hit you guys up? Ill be 28 and I like hip-hop, reggae and world music...let a sista know!
David: Next Friday you might want to try Zap Mama at the Black Cat. They do a good job of combining those genres you listed. And I know you didn't say anything about jazz, but there's a great free show on the Mall next Saturday . It's part of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival and there will be jazz acts but also New Orleans jazz/funk from Dirty Dozen Brass Band and go-go from Chuck Brown.
Washington, D.C. Girl: fyi, I heard someone calling Adams Morgan AdMo this weekend. Drove me crazy... thought about you guys! Gotta do something so that doesn't catch on.
Jen: This AdMo thing must be stopped in all its forms. It's a rampant, abbreviation-related disease and it appears to be spreading. If we let this continue unabated, pretty soon people will be calling Foggy Bottom FogBot. I can not -- nay, I will not -- let that happen.
Re: queso blanco: I don't know about restaurants that use it, but I've seen queso blanco and other assorted good stuff at the Giant(!) in Wheaton. Maybe just try heading there or any other tienda/ grocery in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood?
Erin: Good eye, queso. Thanks.
Washington, D.C.: So really what is the deal with Dremos and games? No more games at all? Can you still play regular ping pong, not beer pong? So flip cup is out? What about darts while drinking beer? I didn't get the email you mentioned so I don't understand the parameters.
Fritz: According to the Virginia ABC, the rule, which I'm trying to get someone to spell out for me, is that you can't have "drinking games" like beer pong or flip cup. You can drink while playing games in a bar (darts, poker, pool) but you can't play games where drinking is the object. Make sense?
Washington, D.C.: Hi there! Any idea where I can get nice jeans hemmed with the original hem intact? I don't want the "hemmed" look you get with a lot of tailors. Thanks!
Janet: You could try the Denim Bar in Pentagon Row. Otherwise, maybe Nordstrom.
Fairfax, Va.: A friend of mine is six months pregnant and has recently been diagnosed with a blood disorder. Her doctor recommends that she no longer walk much, at least until after the baby. She's always been athletic and outdoorsy, and is now going crazy, feeling stuck in her house. The question is: what are some fun activities that don't involve much walking (ex: her doctor told her even to avoid trips to the mall as that would mean too much walking)? She'd prefer for them to be outdoors, but anything to relieve the boredom of only being in the office or her house. She and her husband are willing to drive some distance too, if that helps. Thanks for any tips!!
Julia: Wish your friend the best from all of us! I can certainly see how she would be frustrated.
I would try going to parks/picnic areas that have nearby parking. The parking on the Tidal Basin, near the FDR Memorial is usually pretty open (especially if you go in late afternoon). Some of the smaller gardens in the area, likeBishop's Garden might work for your friend and her husband because there are places to sit and the area is pretty small.
Arlington, Va.: For the chatter looking for Les Mis tickets... I saw Les Mis at the National Theater and sat in one of the first few rows in the upper balcony. Though you can see pretty well, your view is (unfortunately) mostly of Jean Valjean's bald spot. If you want to really enjoy the show I would suggest springing for seats a little bit lower to get a better feel for the action.
Jen: Another reader advocating for a ticket splurge. Thanks for this helpful information.
Washington, D.C.: Regarding Comcast: Hey Jen I actually don't work for them. I pay an arm and a leg for the cable and think they have the worst customer service (right up there with going to the DMV). But I try to enjoy the movies and shows on On Demand. Check out the cooking lessons and pilates classes they offer!
Jen: That's good to know. And I agree with you, I love OnDemand. Just wish they didn't have a monopoly in so much of our area. That might force them to improve the customer service issues.
Last night, I went into a panic because the entire "Lost" pre-game show was having audio and picture troubles. Fortunately, it came through when the premiere started. Otherwise I would have been forced to stage a protest at Comcast.
Skip Blocktoberfest! Come to Dremos!: Dremos is having their Octoberfest this weekend see www.drdremo.com for details. Probably going to be as crowded as Blocktoberfest, but the beer will be better, and the food will be at least as good. And the developer's proposal was shot down! Viva la Doctor!
Fritz: True, I'd rather do that. See the Nightlife Agenda for our take on the party.
And yes, Dr. Dremo's will be open for at least another year after the developer's proposal for a 10-story condo/retail building was rejected on Saturday.
Chickville: The girls in this city (and some men) obviously want a shopping/beauty Live Online. Why not give Janet or someone a forum like that?
Janet: Hey, there,
Did you tune into the discussion this Monday on skincare? Our intention is to keep the chatter up on skin and beauty. Glad you'll be interested.
Anonymous: Just sitting in FogBot wondering if there is anything going on in AdMo this weekend?
Jen: Really? That's such a coincidence. I'm here in CoHo (near the Courthouse Metro) wondering if I might ActVom. (That's short for actually vomit -- all the cool kids say it that way.)
Washington, D.C.: I'm the Les Mis questioner, and just wanted to thank everyone for the input! I want to see the musical, not baldspots, so I'll definitely get closer tickets!
Jen: Glad it helped. When you decide you do want to see bald spots, let us know. We've got you covered.
Washington, D.C.: I know this has been asked every week, but is Vegetate open yet?
Fritz: Okay, just called DJ Dredd, and the final inspection is tomorrow. Assuming all goes well, you'll be able to check out Shaw's new vegetarian restaurant and DJ bar next weekend.
Rhome just said, "I'll believe it when I can have a portabello mushroom sandwich."
Comcast is horrible, Virginia: Thanks to the outrageous prices I'm about to end my digital service, but before I do I want to know if there are places I can go to watch HBO shows. Did any bars have "Entourage" showings for last season? I don't want to be completely out of the loop since you can't have regular (read:cheap) cable and HBO anymore without buying into the ripoff known as digital cable.
Jen: I don't know if any bars did "Entourage" screenings. Visions used to be great about stuff like that, but alas, they are no more.
You can always wait for the DVDs, but that may mean you accidentally pick up a spoiler or two before they're released.
Washington, D.C.: Gurus, seems like Tabaq has been a toss up lately in this blog. But, the other night I ate there and the food was excellent. Post dinner, drinks on the deck ... nice. Just moved to U Street. Also other great finds on the 1200 block of U: Carbon, great NYCish men's and women's shoe boutique, and the Saloon, great beers, laid back. Where should I go for good Italian in the area?
Erin: General consensus is that Tabaq is fixing its kinks and is a good place for a rooftop drink and a view. What Italian are you looking for? I am a fan of Al Crostino down the street, but I recommend La Tomate and San Marco if you can broaden your comfort zone.
Bethesda, Md.: I just read your blog about Love's "weekend message with an attitude" and burst out laughing. Haha, do these guys really think they'll be having the "hottest party?" Like I always say, D.C. suffers from a syndrome of trying too hard to be like the best (NYC, Chicago, LA). These guys need to get off their derrieres and move away from this provincial town to get an idea of what the words "hot party" mean. About the attitude, I agree with you completely, too many clubs in this town think too highly of themselves, when in fact they're worthless and pretentious! Me, I would never even step foot in Dream/Love on any weekend. The owners and this whole "see-and-be-seen crowd" is such a load of bull.
Fritz: I still don't think they top K Street Lounge for attitude, though.
The whole announcement was so self-inflated and self-important. "Ha ha! We're having a party with Diddy and Wyclef and you can't come!"
Uh, thanks. I wouldn't have gone anyway.
But if they just would have said, "We're closed for private parties this weekend," that would have been sufficient. People apparently like being talked down to.
Rhome: Y'all just watch... people will be breaking their necks and stiletto heels to get up in that joint. The psychology is astounding because these clubs and promoters have mastered the art of breaking down self-esteem in order to get you to line up and spend your money. But hey, they've learned it all from the "big boys" (you think it's bad here? try getting into a club in Miami)
What would happen if someday folks just got tired of waiting in a long line, getting arbitrarily scrutinized for their appearance and hit up with "inflation" at the door?
Oh... folks'll never get tired of that.
Washington, D.C.: What's the Mall going to be like on Saturday with the Book Festival and Peace March- how are the two going to coexist? Thanks
David: Personally, I'm predicting all-out mayhem. It's a good thing the times don't overlap too much, with the Book Festival going from 10 to 5 and Operation Ceasefire starting at 2. But Joan Baez goes on around 3:15 and I can see her getting the protest crowd fired up and leading a charge across Constitution Avenue to bring destruction upon the Book Festival.
No, I think they'll co-exist just fine. I mean, it's a concert for peace and a book festival. It'll be very crowded, and perhaps a bit smelly, but that's about all.
Adams Morgan: I'm afraid, if we start calling it AdMo, what do call Madam's Organ? Maddo?
Jen: No, MadOrg. Obviously. Excuse me, I mean Obv. I don't have time to speak or write long words like obviously because I'm too busy being awesomely cool.
Geez, I'm being a snarky so-and-so today, aren't I?
Washington, D.C.: If you're going to splurge for orchrestra seats to see Les Mis, try for rows I-J-K-L. They're the ones that are eye-level with the actors on stage and always the best choice at just about any theatre. But hurry, they always go fast..........
Jen: More sage theater advice. Thanks.
Reston, Va.: Hey guys, Do you know when the new Ned Devine's Irish Village in Sterling is opening?
Fritz: October, last I heard. Of everything on my radar this fall, this is the place I'm most ... curious about.
For those who haven't heard, it's a huge bar ahd club that's taking over the old Sterling Cinema Draft, complete with a "streetscape" that's allegedly going to make you feel like you're in Temple Bar, Dublin. I'm guessing it won't be 100 percent accurate (stag parties from London puking in the gutters, smoke-free bars, etc.), but it should be interesting.
FaChu, VA: It's not FogBot, it's FoBo! NOT. Alas there is not emoticon to express what I am feeling...
Jen: How about this? >:0????????
Where's Happy Hour, D.C.: Does Andale around Seventh Street NW still offer happy hour prices on their margaritas on weekday nights? They used to be something like $3 from 5-7. Any other suggestions for good and cheap happy hours in that area (downtown/Chinatown)?
Fritz: I wanted to put them in the recent Happy Hour Guide, but they now only offer their "house" margarita, which is nice but fairly basic. In that neighborhood, I'd rather go to Ella's (free pizza, $3 beers and sangria, $4 drink-of-the-day), Matchbox ($5 house martinis) or District Chophouse ($2.50 pints until 6).
Alexandria, Va.: Hi! Love your chats. I will be celebrating my birthday next week and am looking for restaurant suggestions in the Clarendon area. There will be 8-12 of us (late 20s-early 30s) for dinner on Friday night. I'm not too picky about type of food, just looking for somewhere nice, but not too pricey. I was thinking maybe SoBe Seafood (?), but haven't been there before. Thanks for your help.
Erin: SoBe would be fine for your group. If you're looking for other options, Aegean Taverna is fun and I like Tallula for the upscale neighborhood vibe. If the weather is nice, you should consider the patio at Cafe Asia .
Manassas, Va.: Hello - My brother's wedding is around the corner in October. As the influx of family comes in, I need some cool things to do for several types of family:
1.Married with kids
2. Cowgirl, with kids
4. Older, hip, social
Julia: 1) National Zoo, National Air & Space Museum and Port Discovery in Baltimore if you have time -- I love that place!
2)Area Pumpkin Patches, Bull Run National Park.
3) D.C. bars: U Street area, perhaps? Saint Ex, Bar Pillar or Local 16.
and for #4, The Gurus would like to remind your family members that you're only as old as you think you are. Any of the more loungy spots mentioned on this chat -- Helix, Chi Cha, etc., could work for your crew.
Good luck with all of the family time. Sounds like it'll be a busy, busy week.
Pentagon City, Va.: I have some midwestern folk (aged 15, 19 and 22) coming out for a long visit over Columbus Day weekend. Any suggestions on exhibits (the more interactive the better and we've done the Spy Museum), restaurants (I don't necessarily need high-quality...think random experience, ethnic food they wouldn't get in a small town, and local hole-in-the-walls, etc.), hidden gems, obscure statues or historical buildings or cemeteries, etc. that can't be missed? (via Metro or bus only) I'm already planning on taking them to a museum to learn about polio, a samurai film in Silver Spring, the zoo to see some pandas, and Hotel Washington for the view and some $7 smoothies (my 15-year-old cousin's favorite thing from his last visit was Smoothie King). They need a little culture in their lives and yet I don't want to be stuck doing the usual. Any place I can take the 15-year-old at night? A jazz club might be fun...or any thoughts? Have you heard if those ghost walking tours are any good? And what about a boat trip? I'm trying to keep things local with just a little tourism thrown in for good measure.
Anne: Seems like you have a ton of good ideas already. Alexandria has ghost tours , and you could visit HR-57 for all-ages jazz shows. Note that the baby panda won't be on display until November, but you can still see Tian Tian at the zoo anytime. For ethnic dining, you could go for dim sum or give them an eat-with-your-hands experience at an Ethiopian restaurant.
Fairfax, Va.: To the poster seeking tetherball information, and to the person posting last week about pogo'ing - J.J.'s America Cafe in Arlington has a "Big Kid's Night" every Thursday on their patio! There's tetherball, pogoing, and even hopscotch - all with the appropriate drinking games included in the fun.
Julia: To the tetherballer -- this sounds awesome.
Re: Queso Blanco: A bit of a haul from DC, but the venerable Tortilla Factory in Herndon uses only "white cheese" on their tacos - not to mention serving some of the very best mexican around...and mini-chimis to die for!
Erin: That's the support I'm talking about. Thanks, buddy.
Anonymous: For the pregnant lady who can't walk, get her a hammock. I was lying on mine last night for a long time staring at the sky...
Julia: This is a nice idea for how to get outside without too much walking. Totally relaxing and lots of fresh air.
Arlington, Va.: Two questions, one extremely off topic: First, any tips on attending the Operation Ceasefire concert? As in, could we show up mid show and camp out on a blanket? There's not much info beyond the cause, the acts and the schedule at opceasefire.org. Second, extremely off topic, if I buy a drink on a flight, is it customary to tip the flight attendant? I wouldn't tip for a soda or water, but they don't charge for it either. Thanks, and keep up the good work!
David: Well you can certainly show up whenever you want, but it's hard to gauge how big a group of folks will be there, which in turn makes it tough to say if you'll be able to snag a good spot to relax and enjoy the music. There will certainly be thousands, perhaps in the tens of thousands, but it will probably have ups and downs as the day goes on. But in general, I'd think of this as less of a regular concert where you go and just relax, and more of a concert where you will have people with clipboards trying to get you to sign a piece of paper on their clipboard while you are trying to relax.
The last time I bought a drink on a flight, I tried to tip the flight attendant but she wouldn't take it, for whatever that's worth.
Baltimore, Md.: Anyone know anything about the new Dogfishhead in Gaithersburg? When is it slated to open?
Fritz: Yep. The Dogfish Head Alehouse was supposed to open this week, with a grand opening party next month. (It's near Clopper Rd. and 270 in Gaithersburg.) I haven't been yet, as I was waiting for all the Dogfish beers to go on before heading up there, but I'll make the trip soon.
If you make it before I do, have a glass of 90 min for me.
Washington, D.C.: Quick! Is there a way to get free/discounted tix to the Dwele show at Mirrors tomorrow?
Rhome: Just show up before 8 p.m. and you won't have to pay a thing.
Alexandria, Va.: Hi, Gurus! I need some help for two upcoming outings - this Friday a group of four couples want to do dinner/drinks in Old Town Alexandria- something very tasty and not too expensive. It seems to me that a lot of the places at the bottom of King Street look fun but have miserable food. The second outing: A friend has been living abroad for several years and is finally returning! We want to do dinner and drinks somewhere very central, as we will have people coming from all directions from Columbia/College Park/Alexandria. I would like to try somewhere new and loungey, but not too $$. Any suggestions for either outing would be much appreciated. Thanks!!!
Re: Ned Devines in Sterling: From what I've heard, it is going to be called the Temple Bar. And, the new Ned's in Centreville may even open before Sterling does.
Fritz: re:Centreville -- interesting.
re:Temple Bar -- I'm waiting for someone to open a bar called Clerkenwell.
Lost: I missed the Lost season premiere. Does anyone know if this will be shown again this week or weekend?
Jen: I just did a quick search and I don't think it will reair before the second episode. I suggest you find a friend who TiVo'd it. Or visit Television Without Pity to get the basics.
AdMo: I hate AdMo, but having lived in Foggy Bottom for four years going to GW, EVERYONE I knew called it "FoBo." The Foggy Bottom Grocery Store (nasty place at 21st and F) was called "The Fobo GroSto." But let's try to keep the o-o's in FoBo, yo.
Fritz: Fo Sho.
Ping Pong: Georgetown billiards has a ping pong table.
Fritz: They do indeed. And darts. And pool. And foosball. And a young Georgetown crowd.
Thinking about Petworth, D.C.: Have any of you been back to Domku lately? Would two people need reservations for Friday night, if they even take them? I've read lots of reviews and internet discussion of it but can never tell whether it's crowded or half-empty or what. Need to go get my aquavit on!
Anne: It seems empty in the early evening, it and it got full but not crowded. I was there last Saturday, and the thicker traffic was starting to come in around 8. But no one ever had to wait for a seat.
Washington, D.C.: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. So good. I was told tickets are going fast. And that's all I really have to say 'bout that.
David: Yes, this isn't surprising. If you like a hyped "indie" band that is coming to town, buy tickets as soon as you can. Sufjan Stevens, New Pornographers, Death Cab for Cutie, Bloc Party ... all of these shows sold out well in advance.
Washington, D.C.: Rhome- Was that you spinning at the 9:30 for ?uestlove's party Saturday nite? If so, any reason why he was so incredibly late? (Not that that you weren't a great DJ, but still!) And if that was you, you're pretty cute!
Rhome: That was me indeed, but I was wearing my Fritz mask that night to drum up excitement during my set. I'm kinda like Blowfly in that way.
The Roots were playing at AU before ?uest's 9:30 gig. It's common for Roots shows to run late because they like to stretch out when they can. ?uest is also good for a lot of autograph signing. He told me this particular night they just got stuck in traffic.
Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus - thanks for taking my question - many of my students at CU are asking where they can watch the Jacksonville Jaguars and Florida Gators' games in DC... Any specific fan-friendly places for these games the way Pourhouse on Penn favors Pitt and Philly or the way Crystal City Sports Pub favors OU? These freshman college students thank you profusely!
Fritz: The Gators are at Joe Theismann's in Old Town Alexandria.
No idea about Jacksonville.
Reston, Va.: To Fairfax: Bless you for being a good, thoughtful caring friend. One option for your friend and husband to explore are good outdoor water activities. A good canoe or gentle motorboat ride gives him a workout and her some outdoor time. Any C&O canal pullboat rides are good too. Just one small idea, I'm sure there can be other modifications to activities to help her maintain a healthy level of activity. Good luck to the family to be...
Anne: A very sweet idea.
21P: I know this is more of a Tom question but I missed his chat yesterday and since it is about going out...I was wondering if any of you guys have eaten at 21P recently. I went a few months ago and thought it was great but havent heard great things about it recently. Thanks.
Erin: I was there a while back and wasn't inspired. I like the dessert menu there, but would opt to eat at Pesce, Sala Thai or Pizzeria Paradiso before going back to 21 P.
U Street?: Earlier comment mentioned Carbon and Saloon.. tried to look em up.. can't find them, but love beer and shoes.. can you direct me Gurus?? Thanks
Julia: Fritz wrote a big piece on the Saloon that you can check out here .
Carbon is pretty much across the street, at 1203 U Street.
Bars in Wheaton: My favorite place to grab a drink after hours? Barnaby's on University just east of Georgia Ave. If I remember correctly you can even get appetizers at the bar after 10.
Anne: Yes, thanks for the suggestion.
Open Mic Nights: Submitting early, y'all. What are the most prestigious (or well-attended, most respected, most talented, etc.) open mic nights around town?
Rhome: Comedy? Singing? Poetry? Musicians? Have you picked through this list ? Would anyone out there like to add to this list ?
Washington, D.C.: Joe Englert's new bar on Pennsylvania Ave SE, 18th Amendment, opens today. Any advance word? Also, what do you think of Englert's vigorous push into NE? He is opening something like six bars on H Street NE, and already has one or two. (Including the highly oddly located Argonaut at the intersection of H Street NE, Maryland Avenue and Benning Road.) Thanks!
Fritz: I did a piece about Englert and his plans in Weekend a few weeks ago, which you can read here . The Argie is the only one of the eight H Street bars open so far. I was talking to one of 18th's owners at Trusty's and he seemed pretty jazzed about the project, but I've not seen it yet. (I may try tonight in between the beer tappings and the Q and Not U show.)
It's going to take something truly special to make me forget how much I miss Zack's, though.
Georgetown: Hey, I'm headed to Baltimore for a weekend of fun. Any suggestions of moderately priced restaurants (other than Pazo!) and stuff happening around town?
Erin: We haven't missed your question, Georgetown. How about Patrick's of Pratt St for crab cakes and Black Olive for Greek food while you're up there?
Washington, D.C.: My best friend recently got a new job (yay for her!) and, to celebrate, I'm in charge of finding a fun happy hour to go to this Friday. Any ideas of a good happy hour with decent bar food? Anywhere in D.C. would be great, but preferably in Northwest. Thanks so much.. you guys are great!!!
Fritz: Scan our happy hour guide for suggestions. For bar food, the best places aren't necessarily the liveliest; I like pizza at Ella's, the Indian street food at the Heritage India Lounge in Dupont, Helix for half-price burgers and Uni: A Sushi Place for sushi.
Washington, D.C.: Going Out Gurus - help! I just heard a rumor that my favorite dive bar might be closing. Can you find out anything about The Malt Shop (above the Dancing Crab) closing/moving? Thanks!
Julia: Nothing to fear -- turns out that the Malt Shop is just moving next door.
Washington, D.C.: My friends and I were playing trivia at Stetson's on Tuesday night, and they said after sometime in October, they weren't sure if trivia night would continue. Do you guys have a good suggestion of places in D.C. that have trivia nights? Ideally, we're looking for something close to U Street, and we can't play on Monday nights. Thanks!
Fritz: Monday night is the biggest trivia night in town -- if you can't make it then, you can try Quizzo at the Pour House (not exactly close, but well worth the trip) or maybe Smart Ass on Wednesdays at Titan Bar. I enjoyed that one, and it's not as gay-centric as you might expect, given the location. Cheap beer, fun questions and a music video round!
Washington, D.C.: Hey GOGs! What's the skinny on the Hilton rooftop parties? Still on or done for the summer?
Fritz: They'll be going until sometime in October.
Redskin Country: Hello Gurus! I'm kicking my man's tush in fantasy football! Woo-hoo! The downer is that I hate going to sports bars like Rhino's that smell of Saturday night's hunt. Are there any non-corporate sports bars with plenty of TVs, great wings or burgers, and nice cold beer that don't have the leftover meatmarket smell attached to them? Bonus if their are hot bartenders for both of us to look at! Oh, and please, anywhere in Virginia/D.C. is cool but we are river snobs and Maryland is just too far (gotta play it safe and take cabs, right?). Muchas Gracias!
Fritz: Porters, Tonic, Ventor Sports Cafe (the new spot in AdMo), the Ugly Mug ...
Rockville, Md.: So GoGs-- what's the verdict on this new location for Juste Lounge in Bethesda-- I only went once to the old location, and still not sure whether I dug it or not (though the drinks were cool). It seemed a little too much like a "Players Club" reject last go around...
Fritz: Haven't been to the new one yet, though I'm interested to see what kind of crowd it draws in Bethesda -- which, for all its varied cuisine, has never been a "neo-soul and cognac" kind of town.
Arlington, Va.: Submitting early as I'll be out during a meeting. I know the Ballston Bloktoberfest is this weekend, but do you when the Shirlington Oktoberfest is? That is always a great time and I haven't seen anything about it yet.
Fritz: Oct. 8.
AdMo: Its Ventner's in Admo, yo.
Fritz: Wow, they spell it wrong on their own Web site?
Washington, D.C.: To the Gurus and last weeks Alexandria, Va., 30-something who was freaked out to discover that they might be too old at 30 for the mega-club scene: imagine what we active, interesting 40-somethings feel like! Gurus, where are the interesting places in the Virginia/D.C./Maryland area for good company, international music/ food with a diverse crowd that has some character and isn't under 20?? This is the first city I've ever lived in where it seems impossible to find such. Lots of political or family oriented places; doesn't seem to be much for the smart, widowed, divorced 30-40 somethings looking for friendship and fun. Thanks, New to DC
Let's go deeper though. Just from observation, my guess is that beyond a certain age, nightlife and companionship seeking start to diverge. Meaning, you might meet a new friend through other means and then take them to a show or dancing or to dinner, etc. That being said (and open to rebuttal), I find that folks of all ages do best just by doing what they like to do. I have friends in their forties and even older who I run into at the same concerts and nightclub nights because they just happen to be interested in the same type of music.
Alternative to the Sports Bar: For football fans looking for a change from the smoke-filled sports bars, Tallula might be the ticket! The bar & lounge have the College Game Ticket and NFL Game Day for the season... and for people who like to stay close to their computers to track fantasy football, the restaurant is hooked up for wi-fi!
Anne: Nice idea. This advice reminds me of something I forgot to mention early on in the chat. We're seeking a current student to be an Entertainment Guide intern for the spring semester or next summer. Pass it on to any honorary gurus you know. Thanks for joining us this hour, and we'll see you next week.
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