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The Going Out Gurus
of the washingtonpost.com City Guide
Thursday, August 3, 2006; 1:00 PM

Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, washingtonpost.com's City 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 City Guide or read transcripts of past Got Plans? discussions .

Submit your questions and comments before or during today's discussion.

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washingtonpost.com: Happy Thursday and welcome to Got Plans?, the chat that's hot enough to fry a dog's brain. I'm Fritz, your host for today, and I'm joined by Anne, David, Jen, Julia and Rhome. (Erin and Janet are on vacation. Hopefully Erin's already picked up that pet okapi I asked for.) We're on to your questions about staying cool, being cool and, uh, Jimmy Buffett. Let's go ...

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Washington D.C.: I know you all have answered this before, but I can't seem to find it - is there a good place to do a pub quiz tonight?

Fritz: There aren't any good pub quizzes on Thursday (in my experience). Most of the enjoyable ones -- Fado, Titan, Quizzo, Wonderland, Four Provinces -- are Mon-Wed. Since Thursday's such a busy night, most bars don't want to give over the space/loudspeakers.

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Washington, D.C.: Any suggestions for a decent, reasonably priced hotel near FedEx field? I'm going w/friends to a Redskins game for the first time, and we're thinking that it might be easier to find a hotel than make the long trek back on the Metro afterwards. Also--can you offer some heads-up on the area around the stadium? Is it safe/sketchy?

Julia: The Metro trek can be a bummer after a game, but it really isn't that big a deal -- certainly not a big enough deal to be worth spending the cash on a hotel room, in my opinion.

I've done it before. Is it a cattle-like line to get on the bus? Yeah. Are the fans sometimes drunk and annoying? Sure. But it's really only like a 1/2 hour out of your life. Besides, when the 'Skins win, it's a lot of fun to talk to the other fans about great plays, Coach Joe, the Hoggettes, etc. Don't know about you, but I'd way rather endure a half-hour of drunk people than spend the cash to crash at a Days' Inn.

But, if you must, here's a map with nearby hotels. There's nothing too closeby. The area around the stadium isn't sketchy. There's not much there. It's just sort of a stadium, developments of townhouses and strip malls.

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Washington, DC: Gotta say, Gurus, I went to Bourbon last night to watch Project Runway based on your suggestions last weekend and my friends and I had to cab home at 9.50 to catch the show. Whoever wrote in about it was dead wrong. It was extremely loud so that we'd have to watch with close captioning and they would only have put it on TV if nobody else was watching some random baseball game that was on.

Can any venue step up to the plate and host a PR night? I hear the Sex and the City nights at Felix were fun and brought in business, so who out there wants to cash in on the show's cult following??

(Bourbon was excellent despite the lack of TV watching ability and the fact that they only had about 25% of the bourbons on their menu.)

Fritz: I suppose it depends on the bartender, crowd and baseball, because I saw a show last season there with sound and everything.

Also, I've never been to Bourbon without seeing at least one whiskey I wanted to sample, though I never trust the menus. I order based on the bottles behind the bar.

As for PR -- I'm with you 100 percent. I don't watch the show myself, but someone needs to step up.

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Silver Spring, Md.: We have tickets to see Jimmy Buffett at the Nissan Pavillion this evening. Are they doing anything to help concert goers cope with this heat, such as easing the water bottle restrictions?

David: Yes they are. Usually Nissan lets you bring in one sealed 32 oz. (or less) bottle of water, but Buffett and Ozzfest were special exceptions. They are lifting the restriction for tonight, though, so each person can bring that one SEALED 32 oz. bottle of water. If it's not sealed, you won't be able to bring it in, remember that.

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Arlington, VA: Hi Gurus - what is the best place for authentic schnitzel in D.C.? Just got back from Germany, and missing it already. Thank you!

Fritz: My reliable schnitzel spot is Old Europe in Glover Park. Cafe Mozart is fine, too, as is Cafe Berlin (though it's beastly hot and I prefer the patio to the dining room at that Capitol Hill spot).

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Washington, D.C.: Where is the best and/or cheapest place to buy bushels of crabs in the DC area?

Julia: They're cheap (and convenient!) at the Wharf . Annapolis is a bit of a trek, but you get a more full bushel if you head out toward the Bay. Anyone picked up a good bushel lately?

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Lincoln Park: My brother is visiting town this weekend with his girlfriend, and I'm in need of some help. They like to go to flashy clubs, but I like Trusty's and Pharmacy Bar. I want them to have a good time, but I don't want to wear shiny black shoes. Can you think of a compromise?

Fritz: Five has no dress code and all the right DJs. Clearly our favorite of the dance clubs at the moment.

Rhome: Five is always a sureshot. Also try Gallery to avoid wearing business and/or church shoes to the club.

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Alexandria, VA: Any updates on the new Fish and Chips restuarant in Old Town and the new bar that Tony T. from Capitol Lounge is opening?

Fritz: Eamonn's, the Dublin chipper from Restaurant Eve owner Cathal Armstrong, told Erin last week that his Old Town fish-and-chips spot would be open "within a few weeks." Permits are a problem, apparently.

The Pug, Tony T's boxing-themed H Street sports bar, should open by the end of August. Then again, to quote the lovely Helen Forrest, it seems to me I've heard that song before...

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Re: Project Runway: I had the same experience last season with the finale...because we were at the wrong Bouron. Go to Adams Morgan, not Glover Park.

Fritz: Uh, yeah, that might explain it. Sorry, I should have been clearer in my answer above.

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Manassas, thanks for NOTHIN': I wrote you guys last week -- I was hoping you'd offer some advice for a date night outing my wife and I were finally able to do after finding a babysitter. You guys snubbed me! So we ended up taking a video from our library, went to McDonald's and watched it in the minivan's DVD player in the parking lot. Thanks for NOTHING!

Jen: Here's the nice part of my response: We never mean to snub anyone. We get a lot of questions every week and simply can't get to all of them. Of course, that provides little solace when you finally get a night out and don't get any advice from us, but that's how things roll sometimes in Guru-land.

Now, the slightly less-nice part of my response: So you're saying that, because we didn't answer your question, the best option you could come up with was watching a video in a McDonald's parking lot? I have to think this is a joke, in which case I'll just say thanks, Morgan Spurlock, for giving me a good laugh. If this is not a joke, then you might need more assistance than a mere response from the Gurus can provide. We're always happy to help but we can't run your life for you (at least not without charging a substantial fee). Check the

City Guide

for some ideas. Ask friends for good restaurant suggestions. Hell, get a DVD from Blockbuster and watch it in the parking lot of Ruby Tuesday's. Even that's a step-up from a library video at Mickey D's.

I sincerely hope you get another babysitter in the near future to make up for this debacle. When you do, write in again and we'll make sure to hook you up, if only for the greater good of the community at large.

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Washington, DC: With Sign of the Whale closing, will there be a final bash? I have not been there in years, but would like to go to a final bash.

Fritz: If we hear of something, we'll let you know.

I'm going to miss the burgers, personally, and the giant make-your-own, all-you-can-drink Bloody Mary bar.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you have any advice for the Jimmy Buffett concert tonight? I know the traffic will be bad and it will be hot as heck. How early should I leave? Any other pointers?

David: Here's my advice -- leave as early as you can and be SURE to have a designated driver. Seriously. You don't think the cops out there have this date circled on their calendars, waiting for parrotheads to leave the parking lot? We know our GP readers are smarter than that, but it's worth saying anyway.

Also, is it just me or does Jimmy Buffett look a lot like Larry David? I know, I know, you can say that about most bald guys that age, but I think it's more than that.

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Arlington VA: Does Mr Days in Clarendon have any happy hour specials? Im planning going there tonight with some friends and wanted to know what to expect. If theyre arent any I dont think we'll stick around long. Are there any nearby places that do have drink specials. We wont be eating. Thanks

Fritz: Funny you should ask, because I just got an e-mail promoting the new $5 top-shelf happy hour at Mister Days: 4 to 8 on Thursdays.

I like the happy hours at Clarendon Ballroom ($1.50 bottles of Miller Lite, $2 Coronas) and Whitlow's ($2.50 drafts until 8).

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Washington, D.C.: Are there any festivals or fairs going on this weekend in D.C./its environs? I have a hankering for some sort of outdoor event. Thanks!

Anne: You bet -- there are a lot of county fairs going on. I'm looking forward to the pie-eating and cow-milking contests at the Howard County Fair this weekend, especially since it has to cool off. The fair season is really kicking off, and you can check tomorrow's Weekend section for more details.

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schnitzel: If one is willing to drive, there's a German Biergarten up in Maryland, Max Blob's, I believe. Not only do they serve schnitzel, but they also have Dunkle Weissbier from Franziskaner

Fritz: Oh, man, I love Blob's Park. Polka, okay schnitzel, great German beers. I was in Philly last weekend with a friend at this fantastic German beer bar called Ludwig's (you need to check it out when you're up that way), and I reminded her that we hadn't been to Blob's in ages.

Once we find a designated driver, I'll take a field trip.

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Washington, D.C.: My boyfriend and I are planning on hitting up the National Portrait Gallery. A couple of questions: We will only have 3 hours tops, so what should we not miss? Also, is it true that you can get a drink on the patio there?

Julia: It is true that you can get a drink -- alcoholic or otherwise -- on the patio there. The view of bustling downtown is really lovely.

Three hours is a great bit of time for a good taste of the new space. The building houses both the

National Portrait Gallery

and the

Smithsonian American Art Museum

. If you really want to stay on the Portrait Gallery side, I would be sure to check out the

Americans Now

exhibit and the

Eye Contact

exhibit. If you'd like to check out the American Art museum, too, I totally reccommend the very cool Lincoln Gallery (for which made a

podcast tour

) and the

William Christenberry

exhibit in the Folk Art section.

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Washington, DC: Had a question about Uncle Q's Living Room at Liv. Do I need to sign up for today's happy hour? Does Liv have a website?

Thanks!

Rhome: No need to sign up, but there is a $5 cover after 9 p.m. The Caverns site hasn't yet been updated to include Liv.

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Bethesda, Md.: Hi there! A few months ago you gave me an excellent recommendation for Creme, which I really enjoyed. Now I have another such question: my wedding anniversary is coming up, and it happens to fall in the middle of DC's restaurant week--which I didn't realize until recently and explains why I can't get a reservation anywhere! I'm looking in the Bethesda area now instead of DC for a restaurant that is like Persimmon, which we enjoyed before. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks a lot!

Jen: Go to David Craig . I think it's the best restaurant in Bethesda. The food is excellent and if they know it's your anniversary, I'm sure they'll try to find you a quiet table. I ate there not too long ago and I've been looking forward to returning ever since.

If you go there, let us know what you thought.

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Washington, DC: When will they stop opening more of these fake Irish bars? When is enough enough?

Fritz: Never.

Dude, fake Irish bars make money. People like them. As long as the punters fill Scruffy Murphy's and Waxy O'Connor's and T.S. O'Muttley's, people will keep opening more. (okay, I made that last one up. Kinda.)

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Mister Days: Hi Guys!

It's Melissa at Mister Days -- wanted to let you know that we still have our $2.50 Domestic Draft & Domestic Bottle Specials on Thursdays in addition to the $5 Premium Happy Hour special. I'll be sure to include that in our next email. Thanks for the mention.

Fritz: More beer specials.

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Not Going Out, Annandale: Fritz, my adult beverage drinking hero!

I'm gonna have a lazy friday tommorow with some frinds over. We are going to grill some good chicken, corn, and whatever else is market fresh.

What beer do you suggest for me to put away while tending to a hot grill on a hot night?

I'll probably hit up total wine down the street.

thanks hero.

Fritz: If your Total Wine is like the one in McLean, you'd have a couple good options. Maybe the Stoudt's Gold Lager from Pennsylvania? Loving that at the moment, or their Weissen.

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Hyattstown, Md.: GOGs, thanks for taking our questions. I've acted on your suggests numerous times, and I've never been disappointed.

Last week you referenced a club on Connecticut Ave. near K that is...ahh...adult oriented. I'm turning 30 on Saturday and my wife has offered to take me there, calling it our last youthful indescretion before we become real adults. What is the name of the place? I checked the chat archives, but last weeks GOGs chat isn't posted.

And how does this place differ from Bar Nun on Saturdays?

Rhome: We have no recollection of a question like this from last week. Which one was yours?

On K St... hmmm... maybe the stripper pole at

Play Lounge

counts? It might be a bit young for what you're looking for, and definitely is not Bar Nun on Saturdays.

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Northern Virginia: Help! My boyfriend's sister, husband, and 2 young kids are moving out of the area and we are taking them out for one last HURAH! They live in Rockville and their kids are 5 and 1, any suggestions for places that are kid-friendly, not fast food, but not overly stuffy either in that area? Also, like most, not looking to spend a ton on this outing either. Thanks guys!

Jen: The first place that comes to mind is Clyde's Tower Oaks Lodge. Not too pricey, family-friendly and lots of options on the menu. You may be in for a wait, though, so be prepared.

Houston's on Rockville Pike might be an option, too.

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Vienna, Va.: Hi all, I recently won entry tickets to the Water Mine in Reston. I will take my 5-year-old daughter. Anybody have any advice? Thanks!

Anne: Congrats on the free entry. I love waterparks , and the Water Mine is next on my list. I like that you can bring your own snacks and that it's part of a larger park. Some friends say their 2-year-old loved it, and they only wished they could stay longer. They also advised going early in the day to minimize crowds. If you go, write back with a report .

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Washington, DC: How's that place Fly? Is is Fly? haha... seriously though.

Fritz: I like Fly when I go early, make it the night's first or second stop, and am out of there before 11, when the door pressure/ velvet-rope bidness gets too much to handle.

Then again, the vibe is better late, when it's crowded and people are dancing.

If you can call ahead and get your name on the list, it's a cool (if expensive) place to hang out.

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NW Washington, D.C.: Hi GOGs!

Other than Cinema Arts in Fairfax, where can we go in the area for art-type films?

Thanks!

Jen: Plenty of places -- the Landmarks (E Street and Bethesda) tend to show artier films. Also check out the Avalon, the AFI Silver and some of the special series that screen at the Freer, Goethe Institute and the National Gallery. Classic, foreign, artsy and otherwise unconventional choices can be found in all of these theaters, and probably more that have slipped my mind at the moment.

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Washington, D.C.: Heading out to Fort Reno for the first time to see Georgie James tonight - do bands play in the order they're listed on the site or is it a toss up?

David: Reverse order -- GJ goes on first.

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re: Fake Irish Bars: I used to agree with the last poster... until something weird happened to me.

I was at RiRa in Clarendon against my will with some friends for Trivia night. RiRa is THE quintisential fake irish bar... fake paintings on the walls, some weird gailic football on tv that no one watches, lots of faux wood paneling and irish food on the menu, not to mention the exterior, old world pub meets strip mall look.

But I like it. I don't want to like it, but I do! they have good beer on tap, the food is extremely good (for a bar), the bar is very large and comfortable, you can here yourself think, and it is always crowded.

So I guess it works, even if I gag a little when I first walk in. Does this make me a bad person?

Fritz: No. I have a confession: I feel the same way about the place. Love the balcony, the live music, and have never had a poorly poured pint there. It's great early in the week, though I think it can get too cramped on weekends -- and WHAT'S UP WITH THE SOUVENIR STAND BY THE FRONT DOOR?

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Arlington, VA: This might be a good one for Fritz...I am in serious need of some Star Hill beers. Is there anywhere in the greater metro area where I can find it on tap? or bottled?

Fritz: I know there's a story I'm forgetting about why it's impossible to get The Only Good Thing To Come Out Of Charlottesville In Recent Years in the D.C. Metro area, but I haven't seen Starr Hill on draft in a while.

Somebody, please, enlighten me. I'm going to make a phone call in the meantime.

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washington, dc: Any truth to the rumor that the old menu at Bar Pilar will be coming back? Or is the new one here to stay? Will I ever have Tacos Pilar and tater tots again? I love the staff and the atmosphere so I will go back for Burleigh's perfect mint juleps but nothing on the menu looked appealing when I was there last night.

Fritz: It is not coming back. The new food is actually pretty good, and the crowds/sales are much better with the new "upscale" chalkboard menu than with the old one.

Sorry.

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Washington, D.C.: I want to go to a museum this weekend. What exhibits are closing soon that I shouldn't miss? Must be metro-accessible and preferably in the District. Thanks!

Julia: None of the big museums have exhibits that are closing super soon. The Phillips Collection's Klee exhibit closes in September, as does the National Gallery's Venetian painting exhibit. Those biggies are both worth a look.

On the gallery side, "

Wall Mountables

" at DCAC, "

15 Minutes

" at Project 4 (opening tomorrow!) and the exhibitions at

Hemphill

all seem like good bets to me.

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Re: Nissan Pavillion water: David, I've either been in the heat too long, am losing my ability to recognize sarcasm or just plain old confused...so there's no change in the rule for Buffett tonight--bring one sealed 32 oz. bottle of water??

David: Bring one sealed 32 oz. bottle of water. Drink it. Stay hydrated. Sing along. Have a blast.

I was just saying that the original rule for the show was that you were NOT allowed to bring in water. But because of this bit of heat we are experiencing, that restriction has been lifted.

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re: Ri-Ra SOUVENIR STAND : To sell their fake Irish Souvenirs.

Fritz: I'd like a fake Irish t-shirt in a fake medium, please.

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Arlington, VA: Fritz - are you pretty much buzzed 24-7?

Fritz: Ha. No. I wouldn't be able to write witty responses to chat questions if it were so.

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Washington, D.C.: So I am dating a new boy and my roommate and her boyfriend want to check him out and see if he is up to par. We want to do a double date but not anything super cutesy. Do you all have any ideas? Drinks will of course have to be involved, and i would like it to be not too crazy so we can all chat but not so intense that it puts too much pressure on this budding relationship. Thanks!!!

Fritz: My test would be to take this person to, say, a pub quiz night, to see if they're smart (answering questions), funny (coming up with a good team name), and social (working together to brainstorm a correct answer, making small talk between rounds, etc.)

Try Fado on Monday nights -- maybe Wonderland if you want to (a) avoid fake Irish and (b) have something else to do afterwards.

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Washington, D.C.: I had a raspberry mint julep the other day in a bar in Philadelphia. One of the most delicious things I've ever had, perfect for the heat, and definitely my new favorite alcoholic drink. I managed to finish 2 in an hour! (Remarkable for me-I usually take an entire night to finish one drink). Do you of any bars/restaurants in D.C. that serve this wonderful thing?

Fritz: I bet Halo has something similar. I love their blueberry mojitos.

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Takoma Park, Md.: Hi guys,

I'm going to the Dixie Chicks concert tomorrow and I can't figure out who the opening band is. Any idea?!

Thanks!

David: That would be Austin singer-songwriter/roots-rocker Bob Schneider. He's verrrrrrrrrry popular with the ladies.

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Washington, D.C.: So it's my 29th birthday today (see, you HAVE to answer this one) and some good friends want to take me to dinner in a few weeks. We're all about the same age, aren't afraid to try new things, and would prefer to stay in Maryland (Silver Springish), but would venture to DC if necessary. We don't drink so aren't really looking for a club scene. Suggestions?

Jen: First of all, happy birthday! We're having some cake at the office in your honor.

If you want to stay in Silver Spring for dinner, I would try Jackie's, Ceviche or Cubano's. All three are solid options and have a fun-but-chill vibe that should make you happy. (If you go to Cubano's, you must have at least one mojito.)

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Pool Pass Please, DC: Do any gurus (or chatters) have recent experience going to DC hotel pools this summer? I found a GOG 2004 chat listing three hotels but wasn't sure if the info was still current.

Also, what's the word about The Red and The Black? Headed there Sunday for a friend's show and just curious.

Finally, hats off to the bartenders at Sonoma. Women always write in looking for bars where they feel comfortable going for a drink alone. Head there a bit later in the night during the week (9ish) and enjoy end of the day conversation and a free wine lesson if you are lucky!

Fritz: 1. Hotel pools are being bad about opening to the public. Wardman Park, One Washington Circle and the Washignton Hilton are not. Booooo.

2. I just wrote about Red and the Black in the Weekend Section last Friday. If you like DC9, you'll enjoy this smaller, more "intimate" H Street NE version. Sound can be a problem for smaller bands, though.

3. Agree with you on Sonoma.

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What's the name...: of that place on 17th street (I think near R St perhaps?) that has a red awning and outdoor seating? It looks sorta like a brownstone walk up, has outdoor seating? Is it the Californian or something like that? And, if you can figure this out, what's it like? Thanks GoGs!

Julia: Are you thinking of Le Pigalle ? If so, you're thinking of the place Post critic Tom Sietsema just gave the most unfavorable review I've ever seen ("at least the water was cold," etc.). I've been and I didn't think it was as bad as he made it out to be. He's got a VERY well-trained pallette, and I'm just a regular gal, but I thought it was pretty good. A little over-priced for what it was, but not that bad.....Check out the heated reader reviews at the link above for more input.

Komi's

in the same 'hood and it has a maroon awning (i think!) and looks like a brownstone, but I haven't eaten there.

Hope this helps!

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Arlington, Va.: My younger sister is leaving to go abroad for school and recently has been expressing her disappointment about not getting to "experience Georgetown" as a young single. I am planning on surpising her tomorrow by taking her to Georgetown before she leaves on Monday, but don't know of a trendy place to take her to that's affordable. She's only 18 and I'll be taking her out on a student's budget. Any suggestions for hip cool places to take my sister to for dinner and then hang out on Friday night? Thanks!

Anne: Aren't you a sweet sis! Well, she can't get into bars in Georgetown, so for that age group, I think the scene is not so much hanging out as it is parading and being seen. (It's times like this that I miss Cafe Northwest, but that was never trendy, anyway.) But you could have a semi-lingering dinner in a chic, bustling restaurant that will have the feel of being in a 21+ place. Pizzeria Paradiso or Peacock Cafe are both manageable on the wallet and easy on the eyes. Cilantro is another option. After dinner, stroll the strip and check out the entourages.

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washington, DC: Is there any bar or lounge that serves beer by the full yard (a la the old Tiber Creek Pub by Union Station)?

Fritz: Last place I went with yards of beer was Ego Alley in Annapolis.

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Go Tribe: I see from her bio that Jen Chaney is a W&M grad - the name is familiar, when were you there? I graduated early 90s.

Jen: Boy, I hope you don't remember my name from some stupid thing I may or may not have done back in college.

I graduated in 1994. I did radio there, so perhaps you remember my illustrious days as host of the show "Cheezin' Through the '80s." Or maybe not, since I think maybe eight people listened.

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Fritz's Liver: I gots ay fake Irish accent

Fritz: Nah. My liver usually sings "Deutschland Uber Alles" or "La Marseilles" in bad cockney accents.

It all started when I could no longer get Beamish...

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Stoudt's Gold Lager!: Excellent recommendation for grilling. Also, check out Victory Prima Pils, another good hot-weather beer from Pennsylvania.

Fritz: Ah, Victory. I wish we could get more Victory beers down here, though I know the Reef has the lager on right now.

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Fairfax, Va.: Hi GOGs,

I'm moving to the area in a few weeks from L.A. and hope that you will be able to help me. Frappacino?? BAH! Bubble tea is the only thing that seems to get me through a hot summer day. Where are some good places for me to get my fix near my home to be? Wide straws, fresh tropical flavors, and black tapioca pearls are a given... but a foil seal top instead of those plastic slurpee like domes would be a nice bonus. Thanks for the help!

Rhome: Snap is popular and there are also two boba spots that I hit near the Univ. of MD campus but that's probably too far for you. Some of the chinese restaurants in Chinatown have it too.

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Alexandria, VA: Does Dr. Dremo's ever open the outside section up? I have just moved back to the area and used to the bar that was in there before. The outside section was awesome.

Fritz: Only on weekends, if I remember correctly, but I was there a few Fridays ago and the outside was jumpin'.

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Arlington, Va.: I'm thinking about visiting the Botanic Gardens/Conservatory this weekend for the first time. Any tips on cool exhibits and/or wings that I should not miss?

Julia: Wandering around is my favorite way to attack the gardens, so you should be all set if you just want to explore. The " Lines on Paper " exhibit -- about the Longwood Children's Garden in Pennsylvania -- seems pretty cool, but I haven't checked it out yet.

_______________________

pub quiz nights?: please help a confused reader out! what the heck is a pub quiz night? how do they work? are there prizes involved? i'm so intrigued!

Fritz: Pub quiz nights: You have a team (usually 2-4 people, sometimes up to 6 or 8), host reads out questions about history, pop culture or random trivia, you write down your answers, they're graded by the staff, and the winner (after multiple rounds) gets prizes.

Start with Fado, Titan Bar, Quizzo (at the Pour House), Ireland's Four Provinces, Kitty O'Shea's or Wonderland.

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re: No Fake Irish Bars: Where can a man go and get a well poured pint of Guinness that is not a fake Irish bar? Sometimes I just want to teach the bartenders how to pour correctly.

Fritz: I'll open this one up to the crowd in the time we have left.

I don't drink Guinness much outside of fake Irish places, but I've had decent pints at Bedrock in the past.

Next?

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McPherson Square, Washington, D.C.: Don't y'all ever just want to stay home on the weekends, with hot cocoa and a good book? Do the GOGs ever get tired of going out?

David: You know that ankle bracelet thing Martha Stewart had to wear? We all have to wear ones that do the opposite. If it senses that we are at home for too long, we get a mild shock, one which increases exponentially every 10 minutes. So we really have no choice.

_______________________

Dog Days?: Gurus, Need some advice on the U Street Dog Days. Seems like a lot of stores are in on the sales, but my man and I would like to "share" the experience. What are good stores to hit for men's and women's savings. Clothes, shoes, etc would be the target. Thanks for keeping us focused!

Anne: Carbon and Pop can entertain both of you during the Dog Days , then. And remember that the D.C. tax holiday starts Saturday for items under $100, so that makes shopping even more fun.

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raspberry mint julep: tabaq has a wonderful strawberry mojito - not quite the same but delightful nonetheless. and the word in cuba is that Ernest Hemingway invited the mojito as a caribbean julep

Fritz: Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try to get there early next week.

Tabaq can be great under the right setting -- on the roof on a Tuesday or Wednesday maybe -- but I'd skip the place on a weekend.

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re:Northern Virginia: Help!: How about a nice home cook meal, rent a nice PG movie.

Fritz: Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

(That explains everything!)

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Re: bar with red awning: Thanks... but it's on the other side of the street from komi and pigalle, a bit further up... I think on the corner... any more ideas?

Julia: Oooooh. In that case, let me think.....

Are you thinking of

Floriana Mercury Grill

? I think you must be. Never eaten there, myself....Chatters??

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful on this one!

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Arlington, V.A.: Oh great Gurus...I just wanted to submit a big THANKS!! A few months ago I saw the Shenandoah Brewing Company (in Alexandria) mentioned in your chats as a place to brew your own beer and I knew it would be the perfect birthday present for my beer loving boyfriend. We went last weekend and it was so much fun, even for a girl that doesn't like beer. (Don't worry, I didn't let the other people know.) He was so surprised and said it was the best birthday present ever. So, I thought I'd send you guys a thanks, and put out a recommendation for it for others. It's not very fancy, but it was fun and relaxed, and the staff was super helpful - not too standoffish and not too much hovering.

Fritz: Not only is it fun to brew your own beer, don't forget that Shenandoah makes its own brews, which you can taste at the pub, along with some great chili.

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Props from Arlington for D.C.: Greetings GOGs.

I just wanted to give props to Duke's City on U St for an event I held there last week. I was looking for a place to host about 50 Frat brothers A Phi A convention was in town last week, and I hosted brothers and invited ladies. We used the upstairs and had a great time. The Wings and Quesadillas got raves (and were free because of the crowd I brought). The music got good after awhile. The space is great for mingling, flirting and being seen. We had about 75 people come thru and never felt crowded.

My main point is you can find deals and good spaces if you get out of the common areas. I spent about $125 buying drinks for the ladies but got way more out of the space and setting.

Rhome: A very important point can be distilled from this comment.

Don't look for ready made offers at venues for your big group event. Owners and managers don't have "party packs" all set up nicely for event planners Do some legwork, check out some spots in person and make a proposal to a manager. If you promise a certain amount of ring on the register for food and/or drinks you can effectively get your haggle on.

Glad your party went well. DC sure was painted black and gold last week.

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McLean, Va.: Re: WATERMINE -- I went last year with my 4-year-old and 2-year-old and they loved it! We went with another mom and her two kids which was very helpful. One mom could watch the older kids and one mom could go with the younger kids. It gets crowded, so go early to grab a shady spot under an umbrella. They also sell pizza there.

Anne: Good to hear. Thanks a bunch for the tips.

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Bob Schneider: AMAZING performer, writes hilarious songs, performs pretty much every night he's in Austin in a few different bars/clubs. I would highly recommend getting there early to hear him.

And it's true. Very popular with the ladies. Maybe too much. Not that I would know from experience, or anything.

David: One plug to show up to Verizon Center a bit early tomorrow night...

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Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: Hey Julia! What's your favorite dive bar?

Seriously, I think Fritz answers 80% of the Got Plans questions. haha..

Julia: He's a quick one!

But thanks for asking, Adams Morgan. I'm usually broke and as a result a huge dive bar fan. If I had to choose, I'd say that my heart belongs to the

Raven

.

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Shaw, DC: Hiya:

Any idea when BeBar will open? Do you know of any other plans for news businesses on 9th street? Do you think I'm being unrealistic to hope that 9th street can be a bit more like U Street and a lot less like 7th Steet in Chinablock?

Fritz: BeBar is not going to open until the churches get tired of protesting every single liquor license that pops up around 9th and O. BeBar has it twice as hard because of the anti-gay rhetoric coming out of the pulpits over there.

I want Vegetate, BeBar, Queen of Sheba and others to open and do well -- especially when Giant can sell beers to go but you can't get a glass of wine with dinner.

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Victory, Stoudt's, and beyond: All this beer talk has me salivating. Where are some good places to buy lesser known beers? I've already tapped Schneider's collection.

Fritz: Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits is my #1. Norm's in Vienna, too. Cleveland Park Liquors. And your local Whole Foods probably does a better job than you think.

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County fairs: Are any of those Metro-accessible?

Anne: Arlington 's will be. You can catch a free shuttle from the Ballston Metro.

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Washington, D.C.: My boyfriend's nieces are visiting from Minnesota this weekend. They are 21 and 22. We are in our late 30s. Since the weather will be clearing up tomorrow, we were thinking of exposing them to a typical DC happy hour. I normally head back to the roof at reef for my happy hours, but I'm trying to remember what 21 year olds like and I'm scared that's Front page. Can you suggest a happy medium where there's plenty of people watching- but not entirely crazy? Oh, and Dupont is preferable. Thanks!

Fritz: Gazuza's patio? Buffalo Billiards? Cafe Citron?

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Bobba Tea: Teaism branches have Bubble Tea on the menu also.

Rhome: "Aight!!" - ¿ Donnel Rawlings

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Downtown D.C. at Work: Hey I have to chime in on the Fedex Field and the Metro ride afterwards. I am not sure where Julia is going that it's only a half hour out of her life to get back but it usually takes me a lot longer than that to get home after a game by taking Metro--try more like an hour to an hour and half. I live on the D.C. side of the line near Takoma Park. As for hotels in the vicinity of FedEx you may try Comfort Inn FedEx. I think it was renovated recently.

Julia: Thanks for chiming in, Downtown. I've never had too much trouble, but I could be an anomaly. FedEx-goers, here's another point of view (and a super-helpful hotel recommendation).

A quick clarification: I was referring to the wait-in-line for the bus-trip to the Metro -- as opposed to the whole ride home -- which can take up to an hour for me too.

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WDC 20002: Just moved into the neighborhood and we want to go out to the new H Street bars. We live w/in walking distance. What would you suggest visiting?

Fritz: H Street Martini Lounge for cocktails, Palace of Wonders for the sheer oddness of the place, Phish Tea cafe for live jazz, the Argonaut for a local neighborhood pub with rum drinks.

And since you'll get hungry, Horace and Dickey's for my favorite fish sandwich in the city.

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Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: Good choice, Julia! Actually, I do have a semi serious question. What ever happened to the Red Derby? That place was great. I think it was only open for a month.

Fritz: Red Derby closed after a disagreement with the owners of Santa Rosa, who owned the upstairs space. I'm reliably informed that it will return in Columbia Heights later this year. Hopefully the all-beers-in-cans lineup will remain.

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re: What's the name: I actually think the poster was talking about Floriana on 17th St. which is quite good Italian!

Julia: A vote for Floriana.

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Adams Morgan: What is your favorite restauarant in Adams Morgan (or in walking distance of Adams Morgan)? Now, what is your favorite, cheap restaurant in Adams Morgan?

Thanks!

Fritz: 1. Right now, Cashion's

2. Astor (Med) or Amsterdam (Falafel)

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Arlington, Va.: Any fun and free/cheap events on Saturday? I'm considering Eastern Market in the morning and museums in the afternoon but wondered if there's anything special going on that I shouldn't miss.

Julia: I'd check out the Dog Days of August events on U Street this weekend. Doggie show in the early morning.

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The District: I recently started a job at an office just off Dupont Circle. Where's a hard working 30-something to go wind down with his co-workers over a good pint or an even better martini after a hard days work?

Fritz: Pints: Biddy Mulligan's in the Jury's Hotel, Big Hunt, Porter's, Buffalo Billiards

Martinis: Urbana in the new Hotel Palomar, Russia House, Gazuza

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Fairfax, VA: Re: Star Hill. What, the massive influx of transplanted UVA grads in Arlington, who can all be found at Rockbottom on Wednesdays, isn't the greatest thing ever to come out of Charlottesville?! Note the sarcasm.

Fritz: Duly noted.

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Alexandria, Va.: Do you know of any place with an indoor track open to the public? Thanks

Anne: The Lee District center has a 1/10-mile track. But you better run to use it before the end of August, when it's closing for about a month for renovations.

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RE: Red Derby: Goodness, do you know where in Columbia Heights? I love Wonderland, but it would be so nice to have another place to go.

Fritz: I think it's a few blocks up from 14th and Park.

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Re: Babysitter: If the Gurus don't answer your question, there's still a lot of other choices from the chat to look into, plus the newsletter, City Guide blog, and Weekend chat on Fridays. Just saying.

Jen: Yeah, what he or she said!

By the way, do you work in our marketing department? If not, perhaps you should. You know our material very well.

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Clinton, MD: Good Day

Have you ever heard/been to the Fish Market in Clinton MD, some friends would like to meet there friday night. They said the food was good and th band was nicw.

Fritz: Ah, the Fish Market. I haven't heard those words in a while. I remember good seafood, don't really remember the band, but it's probably worth a shot. Love P.G. County mom-and-pop places.

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Washington DC: What is there to do tonight for some young black college/grad students? We are tired of the regular Love or Platinum. Any suggestions? Sometimes our crowd isn't covered in the weekly chat! We love you guys still!!

Rhome: Do you read the Nightlife Agenda ? We regularly spotlight things that would interest you, and those types of things come up in the chat when folks ask.

Try

Avenue

or

Five

(if you like reggaeton, Thursdays are Latin Night)

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Silver Spring: My girlfriends and I have instituted a monthly happy hour where we can try HHs at nice places in the District that have good HH specials. We've been to Poste and Vidalia. Any recommendations for our next venue?

Fritz: Circle Bistro is a favorite for its $5 martinis. David Greggory has a good one, which runs until 8 with half-price food and drink.

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Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: For the person taking her sister out I would also recommend Dolcezza post dinner. It's this great Argentina gelato place. I was there after dinner at Sushi Ko last week and the place was packed and incredible. Also, for the Dixie Chicks poster -- Bob Schneider is a huge hit in Austin where's he's from. I lived there for a couple of year and saw him play a lot. Worth going to see.

Anne: Good call on Dolcezza. I've never seen it crowded, but the gelato, especially the lemon-basil, is divine. It always seems like more people are hanging out around Thomas Sweet on a summer evening, but you can see from one to another and compare yourself.

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Question for Rhome: I'd like to get a manicure in Adams Morgan. Where would a sassy lady like yourself go??

Rhome: ??!!?

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Herndon, VA: Help! My wife and I will be celebrating our anniversary Friday. Right now, I have reservations at the Tabard Inn for dinner. I need ideas for some lively clubs or bars to go to before and after dinner. I'd like to stay within walking distance of the restaurant; I don't want to have to find parking for a second time. Thanks.

Fritz: Right near the Tabard, you have Topaz, a cool little hotel lounge with interesting drinks. Also, don't underestimate Tabard's bar.

Afterwards, you may want to check out Fly, which has an interesting airplane motif -- the best decor in the city right now, I think -- or the all-while, futuristic Dragonfly lounge. Play is convenient if you want something rowdier, or Lucky Bar if you like young and rocking.

Also close: the Science Club

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washingtonpost.com: So, we ran 20 minutes over -- that's 80 minutes of Guruing today -- but we need to say farewell for this week. Please join us next Thursday at 1 for more Got Plans. Stay cool, have a good weekend, and keep those 32-ounce bottles "sealed" tight.

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