Got Plans?

The Going Out Gurus
of the City Guide
Thursday, September 28, 2006; 1:00 PM

Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET,'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 .

The transcript follows.

____________________ What's up, D.C.? Time for your weekly installment of Got Plans? David, Rhome, Fritz, Erin, Anne, Jen and me (Julia) are all here to take your questions. Away we go....


Arlington, Va.: I am an avid reader and I have a serious question. Why does Fritz had Virginia so much? As a native Virginian, born and raised in Richmond, it kinda hurts -tear- to hear so much animosity towards my state.

Granted Nova does not have the most character and most of Virginia is unfortunately conservative, its still your lovely DC neighbor!

ps..North Arlington isn't just a bunch of superficial 20 somethings, its just cheaper to live there!

Fritz: When did I say I hate Virginia? (I was drinking/barhopping in Arlington last night, as it happens.) Is this because I made a joke about retrocession last week?

One week I hate Bethesda. The next week I hate Virginia. Man, I'm waiting for someone to tell me that I hate Cleveland Park because I think Four Green Fields is overrated and there are no game-day specials at Cleveland Park Bar and Grill.


Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus, I love you columns. I have opera tickets at the Kennedy Center at 7 p.m. on Friday night. Do you have any ideas of a place to eat closeby before (do you think we even have time) or after?

Erin: You could eat beforehand at Notti Bianche or Dish . Other ideas fall in the bistro realm (as in Circle or Kaz Sushi ).


Washington, D.C.: Are there any cool places to grab a beer or two and something good to eat before a show at the 9:30 club? Is there anything in that area?

Fritz: Well, there's Duffy's across the street on Vermont, which is owned by the former GM of Ireland's Four Provinces. It's nothing special, but has Guinness, decent fish and chips, darts and drink specials when you show a ticket for that night's 9:30 club show.

Otherwise, I love the Saloon (about two blocks down U) for beers and sandwiches, or Polly's for beer and burgers.


Del Ray, Alexandria, Va.: Hi guys -- does anyone know whether you can bring along dogs to any of the area wineries? We have a new pup and want to bring him along on our day trip. Thanks!

Julia: I've definitely seen dogs at wineries before. I'd call the places you plan on attending in advance to be sure, but I don't think it'll be a problem.


Arlington, Va.: HELP! I just learned that I'm going to be sent away on business for the next 3 a location with few interesting dining options within 50 miles...

What would you recommend for my "last meals"? I'm going to dinner with my husband tonight (Arlington/Alexandria), friends on Friday (Arlington), and hopefully my husband again on Sunday (anywhere).

Thank you so much for your input!

Erin: Ouch. That's a toughie. It totally depends on your vibe and taste buds.

If I were being shipped to a culinary Siberia, I would assume that burgers and Americana will be ample, so I'd want to get my fill of good ethnic food. Dinner with the husband could be at Layalina or outside at Taverna Cretekou.

Restaurant Vero is another thought.

Bangkok 54 could go either night, but might be fun for the time with your friends. For your final night, make it a wild card. I'd go for Zaytinya, Blue Duck Tavern, Indique or Bistro Lepic.


Crystal City, Va.: Hey there Gurus!

I have some friends coming into town this weekend, and we plan on going kayaking on the Potomac on Saturday. Any suggestions for a good (maybe somewhat cheaper) place for brunch before-hand? The closest thing would be something in Georgetown, but I'm not against going somewhere else.


Erin: You could brunch at the Tombs (free coffee cake) or, if you think you'll need to load up on carbs, Filomena . Clyde's is a bit stale for my taste, but it's a crowd-pleaser. Peacock Cafe is a scene, but the tomato bisque is delicious. Also, you could do crepes at Cafe Bonaparte . If you feel like going much more casual, the cafe adjacent to Dean and Deluca is a good bet and Booeymonger's does a mean dish of scrambled eggs.


Alexandria, Va.: Top of the day to y'all, GOGs. And thanks for the information.

Married 7 years and it's time to take proactive measures to prevent the onslaught of stagnation, so we're looking for something to do this weekend that's a bit on the wilder side. We're thinking of going to Play Lounge, but don't know much about it other than it has a strippers pole. What can we expect? Is it anything like Bar Nun on Saturday nights?

Many thanks.

Rhome: Julia says I'm resident advisor to all those seeking that good freaky-deak. I wasn't aware that I was certified. Anyway...

Play is young and playful but not even close to the same scene as Bar Nun on Saturdays. Might not be what you're looking for or you can make it what you're looking for. Can't hurt to check it out but don't expect a bacchanalia up in there.

If you're trying to be proactive you should focus more on your imagination. I think I'll end my response now.


Munich, Va.: Fritz, your blog about huge German pints has got me in the mood. Where can I go tonight or this weekend to have some fun with the boys slogging huge pints and eating sausages? Obviously we'd prefer something a little more fun than some stuffy old German restaurant, maybe somewhere with live music or girls in lederhosen?.

Fritz: First up, girls don't wear lederhosen. Those traditional southern German dresses are called dirndls. Lederhosen are leather shorts, worn with suspenders. (If you're looking for women wearing leather shorts, good luck.)

This weekend, there's a beer garden at the Frederick Oktoberfest, which will feature live music and plenty of sausages, though I don't recall them using mass krugs in years past. Maybe this time will be different.


Tarnished K Street Triangle: This Saturday Sharon Jones is at the Kennedy Center (for free!) and Charlie Mars is in Vienna (not for free). I have never seen either. Which one do I take my partner-in-crime to? Gracias, amigos!

David: For myself, at least, the answer is quite obviously Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings as part of the Dancing on the River Terrace series at the Kennedy Center. Jones is a funk/soul throwback and a truly dynamic performer; check out this review of her February show at the Black Cat . To be able to catch her and her excellent band for free is an opportunity not to be missed. Charlie Mars will be around again, I'm sure.


London: Gurus, have you visited Tabaq restaurant in the U Street district? Is the food any good? What's the vibe like?

Erin: I am pretty mixed on Tabaq. The view is gorgeous from the roof bar, but it can get pretty crowded and hot. The allure is more for the view than the lackluster food.

Also, last time I went, they were quite stingy with drink servings and fairly defensive about it.


Arlington, Va.: Kind of random, but thought I'd give it a shot since you know the city well. Now that the weather is so nice, I'd like to walk home from work in D.C. back to Arlington. Do you know which bridges are pedestrian-friendly?

Anne: Cool idea, Arlington. You'll find gorgeous views and wide sidewalks on both Key Bridge and Memorial Bridge , although Memorial Bridge gets tricky when you're trying to cross the traffic circle full of accelerating, cranky drivers on the Virginia side, so be safe over there. Key Bridge is better lit, I think. There is a teeny tiny walkway on the Roosevelt Bridge, and in fact I saw a jogger crossing it just last night -- in the dark -- and I thought, that guy is nuts. I'd prefer a wider berth from cars at highway speeds.


Washington, D.C.: Are there any other busing options still available for the Virginia Wine Festival this weekend? The $25 metro bus is sold out.... Do you know of any other ways to get to the Festival without driving?

Julia: On Tap's bus sold out, as did Washington Wine Academy's, but I'd check in with Success in the City. They still had spots available last week and it doesn't appear to be sold out from their Web site . Of course, their bus leaves from Tysons, so that's a whole other headache.

If anyone knows of another bus service, I'd love to hear about it. I'm kind of bummed about how the transportation to this thing seems to have been mangled.


New in town, Friendship Heights: Hi Gurus -

I haven't been in town long, but I know that kickball is a great way to meet new people. However, it looks like I've missed the fall season. I'd love to get involved with a sports team similar to kickball (I train for marathons, but have no other athletic ability). Any other places I can meet new people in a fun, social, no pressure atmosphere? The thought of joining a team is appealing because it's not as weird to show up alone...

Thanks for your help.

Fritz: Well, if you're into running, there's always hashing -- you'll meet plenty of new people, they don't care if you turn up alone, and you get drinks while getting into shape. What could be better than that? Check out


Washington, D.C.: There are four of us girls (26-28 yrs old) getting together for gabbing, drinks and maybe dinner on Friday nite at about 6pm. We were thinking about either Poste or Firefly. Which place is better? Or any other suggestions? Thanks!!!

Fritz: For drinks: If the weather is nice, I'd go to Poste and try to grab one of the couches or tables in the courtyard. Very pleasant place to relax with a glass of wine or one of the house-infused cocktails. (If you can't sit outside, though, there's little room to sit in the bar.) Firefly is also tiny, though you may be able to grab a table in the lounge, and the wine specials are usually on point.

Erin: I agree with Fritz. I think that Poste is a good spot for gabbing and enjoying the lingering warm evenings. Another place you might consider trying is the brand new PS 7's. I'll post a blog on it later this afternoon, but I thought the bar was interesting and it remains pretty undiscovered. Wines by the glass are well-chosen and there are some tempting bites from the new bar menu.


Washington, D.C.: I'm going to the Massive Attack show tonight at the 9:30 Club. What time should I arrive?

David: This is one of those questions that there's no right answer to, but I'll say on the earlier side. It's been a while since Massive Attack came stateside and they have very devoted fans, so I'd expect a good number of folks to be there when doors open at 7:30, jockeying for the best spots. Plus, you'll want to catch the opening set by Christine Moritz, fellow former DJ at WMUC ("If you can't hear us, you're too far away"), who will spin some stuff that MA fans will most certainly dig. Between 7:30 and 8 sounds about right to me, but Massive Attack shouldn't hit the stage until around 9:30.


Bethesda, Md.: Does anyone know of a bar in the metro area that draws a Cleveland Browns football-watching crowd? My boyfriend is a huge fan and wants to watch the games with fellow fans. Thanks!

Fritz: I don't, but maybe someone out there does?


Arlington, Va.: Hi gurus! I just got offered a new job - yay! My husband and I want to go out to dinner tomorrow night to celebrate. Some of our favorites for dates are Carlyle, Little Fountain Cafe and Indique. Not TOO expensive, but a nice atmosphere and good food. Any suggestions? Downtown or NoVa. preferred. Thanks!

Erin: Congratulations. I firmly believe in making every night a celebration-worthy dinner, so here are some thoughts.

You should check out Blue Duck Tavern for its fresh flavors and stellar desserts (nothing says congrats better, you know?). I don't know if they still have the pickled tomato starter, but it's delicious. Cashion's Eat Place would be fun and lively on Friday and I really like what I've had recently at Ardeo.


Dancing Queens: Hello! I am writing on behalf of 8 lovely ladies. We are in our mid to late 30s and are looking for a bars in DC/Arlington/Alexandria where we can go dancing and not feel out of our element (like old ladies). Late night places like Five, Love, etc. are not our style. Just somewhere casual where we are not surrounded by college kids. Did I say kids?? Oh dear. Thanks!

Rhome: Zanzibar has some more grown folk oriented nights as does eCitie . Try Blue Gin if you want to swank it up a touch.


Please say it is so...: My boyfriend is coming to visit next weekend, and back in the days when he lived here, we loved going to First Fridays. Will it still be going on in October? Thanks Gurus!

Julia: First Fridays is the most reliable of the neighborhood art openings and several of the galleries will be open on Oct. 6. I'd definitely check out the Erik Sandberg exhibit and Pulse .


Baltimore, Md.: Hi GoGs! Submitting early, because my day is nothing but meetings, but since fall is here, I'm in the orchard kind of mood to decompress from my stressful weekdays. I hear its going to be a nice weekend. Are there any nice big orchards (near Baltimore, Annapolis preferably)? We went to one last year in N. Balto and it was tiny and on the verge of being moved out by a townhouse subdivision creeping in. How sad. I'm an amateur baker in need of a pie fix (as well as my neighbors)! Can you help? Thank you!

Anne: I don't know of any orchards near Annapolis, but Weber's Farm is probably closest to you, although it doesn't have as many varieties. If you take a pleasing country drive to Larriland Farms in Howard County, you'll find a homey establishment with fields that seem to spread on forever, and it offers over a dozen types of apples over the growing season -- the better to flavor your pie.


Dremo's Oktoberfest?: Dr. Dremo's is advertising an Oktoberfest on Saturday. Ever been? Any good?

Also - hashing as a way to get in shape?! Whatever. Just don't wear NEW SHOES.

Fritz: Dremo's: No, but I'm guessing it's just going to be a lot of drinking and sausage.

Hashing: I recommended it as a way to meet people (especially if you're into running). Any benefits through exercise are entirely coincidental.


Re: Dogs at Wineries: There's a winery out in Delaplane -- called the Three Foxes -- that let us bring our dog into the tasting room with us. Granted, he's a very calm Golden Retriever who sat patiently at our feet, but they were great about it. Even gave him a doggie biscuit at the end.

Julia: That's really cool of them. I'd definitely call first, but most wineries have dogs on the premises, so I can't imagine they'd mind.


Washington, D.C.: Hey do you know if that argentine ice cream place in Georgetown is any good? If not, any other recs? I sorely miss my argentine helado that I gorged myself on while living there last year. Unfortunately I am sure the price (about a dollar a large serving) won't hold here, but I am hoping I can at least find similar quality.

Erin: I have become more fond of Dolcezza in recent months. I love the seasonal flavors (try to nab peach, melon or blackberry), but lemon basil is awesome. Give it a try and please leave a review to let us know how it rates.


Alexandria, Va.: Submitting early because I will be at lunch and I'm a hungry girl....

Yay or nay on the Virginia Wine Festival? I went last year and had a miserable time. It was also in August and in the middle of some field out past Berryville. I've never been so hot (and thus disgusted with wine)in my life. The food was not very good, typical festival type of fare. Will it be different this year since it's in Leesburg and it won't be 99 degrees in the shade?

Julia: If you were miserable last year, I don't know why you'd want to go again. There are plenty of things not to love about festivals: crowds, bad food, feeling like you're in a wine-tasting cafeteria line, etc.... If that didn't work for you, no change of scenery is going to make a difference.

That being said, I'm definitely a yay on this year's fest. I can't resist the opportunity to try out all of those wines. If temperature and location were your main gripes from last year -- and I totally understand how an August festival can do that to a girl -- give it another shot! If you didn't like the overall atmosphere of the festival, try taking a day trip to an area vineyard. You'll get a more intimate and relaxed tasting experience that way.


Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus!

Trying to get ahead of the game with some Halloween costume shopping this weekend. I remember there was a store in Bethesda that was like a warehouse open only for the season -- any idea on the name of that place or if it's open now? And any recommendations on places to hit in the D.C./Bethesda area? Thanks!!!

Jen: The store you're thinking of was where the old Giant used to be on Arlington Road. It had a generic name, like The Halloween Store. I don't think it will be operating there this year because there is a lot of construction going on and the building is pretty much gone.

Here's a

short list of costume shops

to explore; if you're in Montgomery County, you also might check out Repeat Performance on Nicholson Lane (Rockville/N. Bethesda area, down the street from White Flint). They sell dance and theatrical apparel, but, if memory serves, they also have tons of Halloween stuff and costume rentals. In a similar vein, Gene's Costumes in Kensington is another option worth checking out. It's a stand-alone shop, just before the Connecticut Ave./University Blvd. split. Small, but a fun place that might give you ideas. It's nice to support these little shops, as opposed to the generic Halloween stores in the malls.


Burritoville, USA: I was talking to a friend about the little taquerias and burrito places between Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights/Adams Morgan. My goal is to find the best little joints and make a route to all of em. Does anybody have suggestions on the best taco/burrito joints in the area? All entries appreciated.

Erin: I'm more of a taco-lover, so here are my picks: Tacos Pepitos Bakery II is my first pick. Stop there before you ruin your appetite elsewhere. Taqueria Distrito Federal would be number two for me. Who wants to chime in with three?


Washington, D.C.: What's the best happy hour deal that isn't beer? Wine and cocktails are my preference (mock away).

Fritz: I blogged about wine happy hours a while back. Most places that make really nice cocktails don't offer sharp discounts at happy hour, though you make find drinks to your liking at Topaz Bar or Bar Rouge.


U Street Shopping: Without fail it seems that you get a question every week about what boutiques to hit on U St. And I have yet to see you mention my favorite: Lettie Gooch on 9th between T and U. I've done Nana, tried Pink November, and Muleh is just out of reach for most of us. Love L.G. And the owner and all of the staff are so patient. Swear I'm not related. Just love the place.

Julia: Our friends over at Express gave the place an equally glowing review. I'm actually going tonight for my first time -- totally going to spend some more cash I know I shouldn't.... Anyone else out there been to L.G. yet?


Washington, D.C.: Where can I find the best bloody marys? I've been craving a good morning drink.

Erin: There's a deliciously spicy rendition at Bourbon , but bacon fanatics will be thrilled to know that the Bacon Bloody is back on the menu at Bar Pilar . I feel like I should shout that out in all caps for those who might miss it: BACON BLOODIES ARE BACK, PEOPLE.


Washington, D.C. Bistro Fan: After reading last week's discussion and the mention of the new Bistro on P St called Montsouris (is in the old Johnny's Half Shell) location, I rushed on down to check it out on its first full-day in business with a friend. Verdict is: Worthwhile and a welcome addition to the 'hood ! The owner Veronique is a wonderful resource to match small vineyard wines with a scrumptious menu. Try the Tuna. Bravo to this forum for giving leads on new places ...

Erin: Oh, we're glad that you liked it. Fritz and I also enjoyed it. Can't say that we tried the tuna, but the meat was pleasant. I think it's going to get very popular, so enjoy it while you can.

Fritz: I was telling Erin that I think I could make a dinner out of the plate of marrow, a side of gratin and a couple glasses of wine. It's got potential. I'm just worried it's going to get too crowded.


Washington, D.C.: I've just moved to the Hill and am looking for good places to get a lovely-type drink (aka: something posh & swanky, not smoky and beer-y). Have done Sonoma to death - are there any other options i might be overlooking?

Fritz: Well, there's always Lounge 201 (cocktails with Hill staffers) or Charlie Palmer (wine with lobbyists). I do like my occasional visits to Tapatinis on Barracks Row, which has funky decor, sweetish martinis and more happy hour specials than you can shake a cocktail pick at.


Re: Cleveland Browns: The official DC Browns Backers Bar is Lucky Bar.

Fritz: I suppose the Browns need all the Luck they can get.


Browns Bar: I'm pretty sure Hawk and Dove has a bunch of rowdy, very friendly Cleveland fans. Always willing to buy a girl a shot...

Fritz: Now that's what we like to hear.


Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus,

I just wanted to point out that I don't think Play has that stripper pole anymore. I went about a month ago for the first time and it was (unfortunately? Nah probably fortunately) sans stripper pole.

Just giving some friendly advice to the randy couple!

Fritz: Really? Man. Jamie Foxx must have been so disappointed.


Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: My grandfather is coming to visit for dinner. What is a good restaurant in Adams Morgan/Dupont area? The food can but anything but sushi and about 15 to 20 a plate. Thanks for your help

Erin: I noticed lots of grandparent types enjoying their meals at Bistrot du Coin the other night, but it can be a bit noisy and crowded. How about Tabard Inn ?


Washington, D.C.: Hi GOGs,

My birthday is next week and I would like to plan something different with a group of my girlfriends the weekend of Oct 7. We tried to book a spa weekend at Berkley Springs but the lodging required a 2-3 night minimum. Any ideas for something different for a group of thirty-something women? It doesn't necessarily have to include an overnight stay or spa services. We're open to all ideas for something fun and different. Thanks a mil,


Jen: If you just went to get away for a day or two, there are plenty of options. Staying overnight might be a little tricky since that's Columbus Day weekend and a somewhat popular time to get away.

I'll just rattle off a few ideas and you can do with them what you will: Wine-tasting and/or hiking in the Shenandoah Valley (could try to book a B&B for one night); a trip to the Eastern Shore or, if you're feeling more ambitious, Rehoboth (rates should be lower and weather this time of year at the beach can be surprisingly nice); book a spa package at the Hotel Hershey (mmm...chocolate). You should also click around in our Travel section, particularly the


columns. Those should spark lots of other ideas.


Halloween store: The Bethesda store was in the the old Scan furniture on Wisconsin last year.

Jen: Oh, really? I didn't realize that. Very good to know. I'll keep my eyes open next time I drive by there to see if it's reopened for this season. Thanks for the tip.


Silver Spring, Md.: Hi, GOGs, I enjoy reading your chats, though much of your advice is for hipper folks than I. I'm looking for a place where my husband and his friends can go next Friday night, have a few beers and be able to hear each other. They're all in their 40s or 50s, not looking for a scene, just want to catch up. I looked at your favorite neighborhood bars, and The Saloon looks perfect, but not so well-located for them. Most of the guys are in Crystal City or Ballston; one is in Penn Quarter. Anything similar, and also Metro-accessible, in those areas or nearby?

Rhome: You can go the chain route with Rock Bottom and be assured that the brew choices will satisfy. Mackey's also might work. I'll toss in Jay's for a three-fer.


Play/Proactive/Imagination?: Hey Rhomey, I appreciate the advice using more imagination to stave off marital stagnation as well as the implied moral judgment. I was merely gathering options and was asking your opinion on whether or not it would be more like Rumours or Bar Nun. We don't have any desire to get "Freaky deak" (how old are you anyway to be using child talk?), we're just looking to go dancing once in a while where it's a tad more exciting than a sock hop.

Loosen up, Rhomey baby.

Rhome: I'm officially out of the marital advice business. Holla at Hax next time.


Logan Circle, Washington, D.C.: It looks like Stoney's is getting ready to open- is there an official date?

Erin: It does look that way, doesn't it? Word is that they're hoping for sometime on/around Oct. 10. I'll keep you posted.


Washington, D.C.: Just wanted to update you, Jen. I saw "Jackass" at a noon showing last weekend. I laughed. A lot. I'm not ashamed. I found out that if you go to a movie before noon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday it's only $5.

Jen: I'm glad you enjoyed it and discovered the pleasures of discounted movie tickets. Really, what's better early in the morning than watching snakes nearly bite off people's private parts? Nothing, that's what I say.


Rockville, Md.: I am a young professional who got a little too lax on health when I started working. I am now trying to lose some weight, and while I go to the gym during the week, I can't stand the thought of it on weekends. I want to find some active, relatively cheap, fun ideas for things to do on weekends. I love the water, and my partner and I go hiking/kayaking, but its going to start getting too cold for that. Any suggestions?

Anne: There are lots of parks and trails in Rockville, and you could make a plan to explore one a weekend. For example, you could visit places from large areas like Lake Needwood, Lake Frank (and the Rock Creek trail between), to sites like the Civic Center park, to little green corridors like Rose Hall park, and that one is a secret way to walk through neighborhoods to the downtown area. As for water in the winter, the Montgomery Aquatic Center has a pretty extensive indoor pool set up, and you could check into special activities or classes there.


McLean, Va.: Hi! As a member of the team putting on the Virginia Wine Festival this year, I wanted to let folks know that the entire design of the festival is very different this year. There will be several large tents covering the booths - for shade & cover from rain, if necessary. And the food is being catered by one company and will, thus, be more upscale - no corn dog vendors, kettle corn, etc. Envision European market vs. outdoor carnival. Thanks!

Julia: Straight from the source.... Got any tips for us last-minute planners regarding transportation? Seems like every place that was offering -- you guys included -- is all sold out!


Microbrew Fan, Washington, D.C.: I haven't been before, but am planning on going this year to the Capital City Brewing Co.'s Oktoberfest in Shirlington. Should I get my ticket at the door or is there somewhere else to buy tickets beforehand? Also, what exactly goes on? Unlimited beer from Cap City's brews or lots of other differing beers? Thanks

Fritz: You just buy your tickets at the door. This year, $20 gets you unlimited samples from more than 30 different breweries, each of whom usually brings 2-3 beers. There's food and German music and dancing, too, but most of the focus is on wandering the closed-off streets of Shirlington and trying beers you've never heard of.


Washington, D.C.: I'm attending the opening night show and gala for Roll On! at Lincoln Theater on U street. I've never been to the Lincoln before. What's the parking situation like? Since it's black tie and I'll be in a gown and freakishly high stylish heels, I'd hate to be wandering the streets.

Jen: When I've gone to the Lincoln Theater I've usually been able to find street parking. It helps if you can get there early and maybe grab dinner beforehand. Tough to do on a Thursday evening, I know, but worth considering.

Otherwise, I'm hoping you have a friend who's willing to drop you at the door, then park, so you don't have to walk for miles in those shoes.


Big Pints?: Gee, I wasn't aware that there were different sized pints. It reminds me of the waitress who, in response to an order for a pint, said, "No pints. Just 16 oz. or 20 oz." We settled for 16 oz.

Fritz: For liquids, there's 16 ounce (U.S. measure) and 20 ounce (U.K. imperial pint).

I just wrote a piece on where to find liters of Oktoberfest beer -- served in a glass that holds almost 34 ounces -- so I knew what the questioner meant.


Networking Drinks: I'm having drinks with a family friend next Tuesday to help with networking opportunities and the resume, and also just to chat and catch up. She's about 35 and very down to earth. She asked me to pick the place but said she likes hole in the wall type places, local joints. Any ideas in or around Dupont? Thanks Gurus!

Erin: I would guess Lucky Bar or Big Hunt would be quiet enough to let you chat on a Tuesday. Otherwise, my not-a-dive pick would be Science Club.


Arlington, Va.: The Halloween store is open in the Montgomery Mall just off the food court

Jen: Good to know. I generally find the mall stores to be a little disappointing, but it's still an option to add to our H'ween shopper's list.



re: best tacos in the area: It isn't in the city, but Taqueria Poblano in Del Ray in Alexandria has awesome fish tacos. The margaritas and atmosphere are great as well!

Erin: This is true. Their crispy tacos are my favorite in the area. There are also prime burrito spots in Va., but that wouldn't be a very easy taco/burrito crawl, I think.


Washington, D.C.: Any live music recommendations for the wknd?

David: That free Sharon Jones show at the Kennedy Center on Saturday night is probably your best bet for this or any other weekend, honestly. Solid local bands the Aquarium and French Toast will be playing at Crafty Bastards on Sunday afternoon. Whatever you do, don't go see the Aerosmith/Motley Crue show out at Nissan, you'll just encourage them.


Washington, D.C.: Hello Gurus!

Know of a good place to grab lunch around U Street? Something where you could grab a beer or two to pass the afternoon? Thanks!

Erin: How about Busboys and Poets? That's a great place to lounge and hang out.


Washington D.C.: Hey Gurus! I'm more or less forcing one of my roommates to go to the Nats/Mets game with me on Friday. Do you have any suggestions for a place i can take her for dinner/drinks before the game? Also... do you know of any bars that will be showing the playoffs where a female mets fan won't be hassled

Fritz: 1. Dinner and drinks pre-RFK: Head to Eastern Market for Tunnicliff's or maybe Finn Mac Cool's. If she's not fancy, I like Trusty's, which is within walking distance to RFK (and next to Potomac Ave. Metro), where they specialize in hot dogs and Yuengling.

2. I've seen people wearing Mets caps at 51st State Tavern in Foggy Bottom, which always gives its TVs over to New York sports teams.


Dan (Arlington, Va.): About the Shirlington beerfest -- be ready to wait in (long) lines to get beers. Worth it? To me, yes, but just barely...

Fritz: It depends on when you get there, I think. Lines are longer in the afternoon as everyone tries to squeeze in "one" last beer before close. Also, if there's a long line, I usually just pick a stand that's not as busy. After all, if you don't like the beer, no harm, no foul.


Washington, D.C.: I remember a previous chat mentioning a walking tour of houses of the famous and infamous or something like that, but I can't find it. Any idea/info on what I'm referring to?

Julia: You're thinking of the Walkingtown D.C. events going on this Saturday. That tour kicks off at 10 a.m.


Washington, D.C.: Where's a romantic restaurant that even a guy would like?

Erin: I feel like the question is based on an underlying assumption that guys don't like romantic places. I can see not liking stuffiness or high prices, but if you choose a place with good food (not frilly entrees in small portions) and a solid wine/cocktail list (again, no cosmos and apple martinis), the dinner will be a romantic one.

Ray's the Classics could spark romance over an awesome bottle of wine and juicy steaks.

Cafe Atlantico is another good one with spicy food and amazing mojitos.


Bethesda, Md.: I have to ask before next week! I heard Tapatini's has a ladies drink free special on Wednesday nights? Is this true? I've also never been there, would a group of young 20 year old girls have fun there?

Fritz: Sadly, the free-wine-for-women special proved TOO popular, and they've now changed it to $1 glasses of wine from 5 to 9. (Still a good deal, right?) The owner just can't afford to lose money like that, when people come in, take a table and don't pay for hours ...

But yes, a group of twentysomething girls would have a blast. There are $4 Cosmos, too, if you're so inclined.


Falls Church, Va.: Do you have any ideas for a party for 15-year-old girls? We've done the comedy club, Japanese steak house, bowling, etc.

Anne: Are they big fans of live music? Jammin' Java books mostly folk/country and rock acts, always talented musicians, and the coffeehouse/stage welcomes all ages. Another idea I had was to rent a noreabang room, and since several of the places in Annandale, like Cafe Muse , are also restaurants and start karaoke as early as 7, maybe age wouldn't be an issue? But I think you'll have better luck sussing this out in person. And to continue on a trend from elsewhere in the chat, if the birthday girl and her pals are as into "Project Runway" as we are here, check this recent story on sewing classes and special events for young'uns.


McLean, Va.: Regarding bus transportation to the Virginia Wine Festival, I unfortunately don't have any suggestions outside of the ones you've already offered. I'm glad to see people are opting not to drink & drive but can also understand the frustration for those who still would like to use the service. For what it's worth, I will pass this issue on to the powers that be for future planning.

Julia: Thanks again, McLean. We appreciate your inside info. If the powers that be really are listening, I know some of us (okay, me) would appreciate cheaper transportation next year, too! I don't need a "luxury coach" -- I need a safe ride, ya know?


Just a Thought...: Since 51st State seems to cater to NYC sports, do you think that their name implies that NYC should be the 51st State?

Something to think about!

Fritz: The reason they cater to NY sports is for business reasons only. I asked them about it when I wrote the profile of the bar for the Post, and while neither of the owners are from the Empire State, they thought an NY-centric sports bar was a niche that needed to be filled. Smart guys.


Dupont Circle: For dives in Dupont, there is nothing better than Fox and Hounds. Nothing. Best jukebox and strongest drinks, best regulars.

Fritz: Yep. One of my favorites as well, and one that got me through plenty of happy hours in my just-out-of-school days. I'm still partial to Townhouse Tavern, though.


Re: romantic restaurants: I think the most romantic restaurant that even a guy would like is Pesce. Of course, I might be a bit biased since that is where I went on my first date with my boyfriend (he picked it and really likes it) and we have been happily in loooove ever since!

Erin: I love Pesce and pine for its soft shells, but the lights are so bright and the desserts leave something to be desired. That said, for a first date when you're not sure if romance is on the horizon, it's tops.


Anonymous: Capitol City Brew fest, better or worse then Old Dominion Brew fest?

Fritz: Better.

Also, you can get there by public transportation: There are buses from the Crystal City and Ballston Metro stations, so don't none of you drink and drive.


For the new-to-D.C. runner...: Looking to meet people. Also check out DC Road Runners ( They meet at all levels for Saturday long runs, track and hill workouts, and many other group runs.

Anne: Thanks for chiming in -- I think you'll find a much different crowd here than with the hashers. More D.C. running club options: D.C. Front Runners welcome everyone to weekly runs, and Fleet Feet in Adams Morgan (run by the mom and dad of D.C.'s presumed next mayor) hosts Sunday runs. Keep in mind that most groups are having longer runs now as the Marine Corps and other fall marathons are approaching.


Washington, D.C.: What is hashing?

Julia: Hashing is a running-boozing club -- check out the link Fritz listed above. I had a friend that did it several years ago. She totally loved it. Seemed a little on the cult side to me, but she really loved it, made great friends, etc. etc.


Smarmy Readers: Why does it seem that about 90 percent of your readers are condescending jerks? I have to admit for people seeking out things to do on the weekend, most of the readers on this chat could stand to loosen up and enjoy the suggestions.

Erin: I think that most of our readers are pretty cool, but I hope that those occasional haters (you know who you are out there) are plagued with serious indigestion.

Fritz: This chat thrives on haters. We love all of y'all. Seriously.

Rhome: Can't have the Internet without haters, that would be like cornflake (sic) without the milk - (c) Oran Juice Jones. If you ask about a swingers' night where there's mild nudity and mate swapping, don't be surprised at being called freaky though. I'm sayin'.


Washington, D.C.: Ladies get free rail drinks on Ladies' Night at the Union Pub. I think its Tuesdays.

Fritz: Another option for women looking for free booze, but watch out for those rail-drink hangovers.


Ottobar, Baltimore: Going to see the Hold Steady on Monday at the Ottobar? Any recommendations to eat/chill nearby beforehand?

David: I really want to go to this show, but Arlington to B'more on a Monday night, man, that's rough. They'll certainly hit DC at some point in the not-too-distant future. Anyway, the Helmand is about a mile and a half away, but probably worth it. Paper Moon Diner is within walking distance. Those should both work. Also, the Ottobar has pretty ridiculous drink specials upstairs so you can get nice and plastered without breaking the bank before THS comes on, which is the way to do it, as long as you're not driving, obvs. Also, the new album, "Boys and Girls in America," is pretty damn good. I can't yet say it's as good as the first two, but there's no shame in that at all.


15-year-old party: My daughter's favorite was a party were we went to one of those ceramic places and everyone got a plate, mug, etc., they painted themselves. Another popular option is the dinner out without Mom and Dad (but with their credit card).

Anne: More ideas -- that dinner one sounds yummy.


Gurus: Do you all sit in the same room when answering questions? Or is it who gets to the posting first? How does it work with y'all? Just curious!

Jen: Yes, we are in the same room. As far as who answers what, there's usually a series of physical challenges involved in deciding who gets to take coveted questions. In order to respond to this, for example, I had to beat Fritz, Rhome and Erin at a heated game of four-square. I'm still a little out of breath.

What, you think I'm lyin'?


re: Hashing: Why ruin boozing with running? Seems odd to me...

Julia: That was always my feeling about it, but yeah, to each his own.


Re: Live music: Tool at Verizon Center on Saturday. But good luck getting tickets. I myself will be chilling in a suite. Can't wait.....

David: Are you the person who harasses J. Freedom du Lac every week about everyone's favorite neo-prog hard rockers?


Washington, D.C.: Gurus,

I live in the middle of Adams Morgan, Dupont, U-street district (18th&florida). What I can't find in the area are the following: a good semolina bread, Jewish deli/bakery, and chocolate bubka. Please advise. Thanks.

Erin: Hmm, I'm afraid that you'll be hard-pressed to dig any of that up in close range. Morty's has some deli fare, but you're best off going to the 'burbs for Brooklyn's or Chutzpah . For the chocolate bread, I am partial to the loaves cooked up at Dean and Deluca. A friend who moved out to L.A. (with Jewish delis a-plenty) still craves the one back here.


Taquerias: I really don't think you can go wrong in Mt. Pleasant for food. I myself prefer the authenticity of Don Juan's Carryout on 17th and Lamont or a sit down meal at Haydee's on Mt. Peasant Street. It helps if you speak a little spanish....

Fritz: Don Juan's is my JONT after a night at Marx Cafe or the Raven. The taquitos are to die for, and the pupusas are usually stellar.


Arlington, Va.: Please help! Five of us are going to see Kathy Griffin tomorrow night at the Warner Theater. We'd like to meet for cocktails and a light dinner somewhere beforehand. What are your suggestions for places nearby, not overly crowded, and moderately priced?

Also, where one can score tickets to the Washington DC taping of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher on October 6th?

Erin: I would suggest Ceiba for the cocktails. Butterfield 9 has a tempting pre-theater menu as well.


Buses?: There are buses to the Cap City beerfest? How much do they cost?

Fritz: $1.35, like all other Metrobuses.


Fightin to anwser:: seems like Fritz wins most of the time though, huh?

David: We let him. He throws hissy fits when we don't.


Reston, Va.: A co-worker of mine is looking for a night club where they play top 40 music and some dance music as well. He is not into techno, or hip hop. Any suggestions?

Rhome: There is no such thing as top 40 without hip-hop these days. Looking at the current Billboard charts I'm seeing Chingy, Ludicris, Lupe Fiasco, Fergie (yes, she's rapping), Yung Joc and a Christina Aguilera album produced by DJ Premier all in the top spots. Hip-hop = popular music for the most part when it comes to anyone under 30.

As for your friend, he might like might like Ultrabar on Sundays.


Bethesda, Md.: The old Scan store on Wisconsin is undergoing major renovation right now, no Halloween store. Sorry.

Jen: Wow, this is like musical Halloween stores. Maybe it's moved somewhere else then. As God as my witness, if that store is setting up shop in an abandoned building somewhere in Bethesda, I will find it.


Washington, D.C. (by way of philly): Gurus,

After having lived in Philadelphia for a while I miss a few things besides Rita's and cheesesteaks. Namely, I miss the BYOB restaurants that make that city special. Do you know of any places in DC that allow one to bring wine/beer?

many thanks!

Erin: A lot of restaurants will allow you to bring in your own for a small fee. You should call to confirm with them, but my list includes:

Blue Duck Tavern, Butterfield 9, Cafe Atlantico, Charlie Palmer Steak, Circle Bistro, Corduroy, DC Coast, Dino, Firefly, Komi, Lavandou, Notti Bianche, Palena, Taberna del Alabardero and Zaytinya.


Fritz: Hey. I just cut myself off... If you're taking public transport to the Cap City Oktoberfest, the buses you want are the 23 from Crystal City or the 25 from Ballston.


Washington, D.C.: RE: romantic restaurants for guys

Chart House in Alexandria, sit outside by the water. My boyfriend picked it and loves it.

Erin: Yes, a view usually sweetens the deal. Indigo Landing and Ruth's Chris in Crystal City would be good and along those lines as well.


Leaf watching: Hi

Is it too early to head to Skyline for the leaves?


Jen: I think it's a little too early. The leaves there start to peak around the second week of October, I think the 8th or 9th. So wait a couple of weekends and then you should have plenty of pretty leaves to see.


Anonymous: Joint 30th birthday for two guys in early November. Should be a good turnout (50+ish). Looking for a private or semi private space with good atmosphere and music (any genre should do). So...should we be talking to restaurants about private rooms (the concern there is music and how late the restaurant stays open)? Alternatively, the rooms at Buffalo Billiards are a step in the right direction. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated...

Fritz: I think a real concern is what night you want to do it -- some restaurants that will be happy to give you the run of the place early in the week, like Saint-Ex or Science Club, might balk at saving room for 50 people on a Saturday evening.

I've been to parties at Buffalo and enjoyed them. Another option: R.F.D., which will let you choose which 10 beers go on tap in its back room.


Washington, D.C. Bride: Hello! I have a bunch of girls coming into town this weekend for my bridal shower and I would LOVE to take them all out Saturday night for some pre-wedding partying. Any ideas on where a few 26-30 year olds can hang out, have a few drinks and maybe dance a little bit. Most of us are not too into the club scene.

Julia: Chi-Cha Lounge might be a good swanky place for you all to start. If you'd rather do a bar thing instead of a lounge thing, try Local 16, Front Page or Rumors. Check out my bachelorette post from this summer -- there are plenty of Girls Night Out suggestions there.


Washington, DC: A few friends and I would like to go to a bar in the District to watch the Project Runway finale. Any places that we can rely on? Thanks!

Fritz: Tonic, which hosted a large party last night, is still the place to be.

_______________________ Well that's it for us, team. Hope you all have a lovely fall weekend and we'll catch up with ya next week!


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