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The Going Out Gurus
of the washingtonpost.com City Guide
Thursday, November 9, 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 .

The transcript follows.

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washingtonpost.com: Afternoon. There's a three-day weekend on the horizon for some lucky people -- how are you going to spend tomorrow's day off? And did anyone hit any good election parties on Tuesday? The Hill bars were hopping, but Smith Point was by far the most interesting.

We were this close to having a full house today, and while Rhome can't make it, Anne, David, Erin, Janet, Jen, Julia and I (Fritz) are here to answer all your going-out questions. Let's get started ...

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MoCo, Md.: My boyfriend and I are in town for Turkey Day, and after volunteering our time for a good cause we were thinking it would be nice to head out to a moderately nice not overly pricey restaurant for Thanksgiving Day feast as both of us have to work the next day and neither of us is particularly keen on cooking that day. Do you have a list of restaurants (on the non-Chinese take-out/delivery variety) that will be open on Thanksgiving? MD/DC/VA are all fine.

Erin: Good for you. I've put together a nice list of places, but have yet to get it online so that it will actually help anybody. The best deal I've seen so far for a great dinner is the Oval Room . The three-course menu costs $40 and has a mix of the typical menu offerings (like an amazing beet salad appetizer and a slow-cooked salmon) and traditional Thanksgiving turkey with stuffing. Considering the normal prices and quality of the food, it's a swell deal. I just called and they have availability.

Elsewhere, you'll find lots of high prices at the places that are serving, but Chef Geoff's does standard Thanksgiving dishes that won't cost too much.

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Hey Fritz: Don't you think PX should serve the apple martini at Eve? I could drink 7 of those. which would be a lot of revenue for PX! Also, wish they would serve just a TAD of grub up there. or something more interesting than the cracker mix. Maybe a trail mix... but LOVED it on Saturday

Fritz: I think PX should keep its cocktail list separate from Eve's, actually, though I understand why they brought over that killer Yin and Tonic. And I'm with you on the food; After I've had two or three of those cocktails, it's probably a good idea to have something to eat. Maybe they can arrange for a dumbwaiter to bring deep-fried Mars bars up from Eamonn's? There's no way I'm giving up my spot on those beautiful blue velvet loveseats.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi! Would the National Arboretum be a neat place to go while the leaves change? I know it's not the sweeping expanse of Skyline Drive but I thought it may conveniently give me a fall fix.

Julia: I haven't been through the Arboretum this season, but what I can see from New York Avenue looks okay. In a Weekend section story two years ago, curator Joan Feely said the best views are in the Asian, native plant and azalea collections.

Whatever you do -- go fast! All of my favorite beautiful trees in Rock Creek are losing their leaves. This weekend might be it! (If you don't have your heart set on the Arboretum, might I suggest you check out Rock Creek? It has a lot of yellows vs. the browny-reds I saw passing by the Arboretum.)

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus! I'm going to see Andre Leon Talley speak tonight at the Corcoran - any ideas of where to grab dinner around there beforehand? Thanks!

Erin: If you're going for a theme, eat at Lima and surround yourself with aspiring fashionistas. Eating early, you can take advantage of the pre-theater menu at Butterfield 9 . That would be my first pick, but sushi at Wasabi wouldn't be a bad choice, either.

That sounds like it should be a good event. Write in next week and tell us how it is.

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Arlington, Va.:

Janet, please help! A friend and I are looking for cute new suits for an upcoming trip to Mexico. I know about the mall stores (Nordstrom, Bloomies), but are there any swim wear stores that carry a wide selection of sizes (we're both 14s, although very differently shaped 14s).

Janet: Malia Mills doesn't have a store in the area, but they have an awesome selection online from size 2 to 16. Give them a try.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi Gurus, have you all heard about this new Boomerang Party bus. My friend took it last weekend from Arlington and it made a few cool stops at DC bars and clubs. My friend said the last stop was the new place place that used to be Coyote Ugly now called RNR and she said that place was a blast. Have you all had a chance to check out this RNR place? I have a group going out for a girls night out and heard that place was fun.

Fritz: We were probably on the same bus, Arlington -- a friend and I rode the Ballston-to-D.C. route last Friday for a piece that's in tomorrow's Washington Post Weekend section. RNR was fun, though I wonder how much of that was because we were getting free drinks and happy-hour shots at places like Steve's Bar Room and the Front Page...

Anyway, I've been to RNR a few times now, and it's still really Coyote Ugly with flatscreen TVs instead of Coyote signs and old bras on the walls. I think that our three-dozen-strong group made up more than half the crowd on the second floor around 1 a.m., so it wasn't incredibly busy. Maybe you should just take your group on the party bus and find out for yourself...

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Washington, D.C.:

Janet, Could you try to give some facts/description supporting your reasons for suggesting a place? It seems that you often pass the buck and turn to the chatters for advice. Those times that you do provide your own suggestions you usually do so with no statement of why you think a particular store or what not is a good match.

Janet: Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give reasons when possible.

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Alexandria, Va.: I'm going to 18th Street Lounge on Saturday for the first time in many years. How strict are they really on the dress code? I think as a girl, I'll be fine, but what about guys? I know no khakis, sneakers - but beyond that? Thanks gurus!

Fritz: Whether you get in or not is really at the discretion of the doorman (hold tight Mustafa), but I'd avoid anything that looks too Capitol Hill (blue shirts), hats or any athletic wear, unless it's a really cool vintage tracktop, and not one you picked up at Urban Outfitters, either.

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Bethesda, Md.: What's a good place for a large-ish group to go for drinks and some food after a movie at AFI in Silver Spring on a Friday night? The only place I can come up with is Austin Grill. Is there anything else within two blocks of the theatre? Thanks!

Jen: I would opt for Ceviche, which is behind the theater. Definitely has a nice vibe. Or you could cross Colesville Road and go to Cubano's, which pours tasty mojitos. It's a slightly longer walk, but still perfectly doable from AFI.

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Takoma Park, Md.:

Leather help! A friend needs to re-dye new boots and I need someone to attach leather handles to a handknit bag. Location not a problem, we're off tomorrow for Veteran's Day.

Janet: I always take my shoes and bags to Fortuna in Bethesda, and they do a good job on both. They do have some caveats about dying shoes/boots, so if you're planning to take them there, I would call first and tell them the brand of the boots, etc., and see if they think the dye job will work.

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Columbia Heights, D.C.: GOGS,

What restaurant would you suggest given the following considerations?:

Diners: one herbivore, 2 omnivores (1 from Boston - all 30ish), fairly adventurous eaters (open to all kinds of international foods), not big fans of tapas, fairly limited budget (like $15/entree)

Establishment: In DC (even something unique to DC), close to a good bar is a plus, fairly easy on the budget, delicious food, not Viridian.

Thoughts? Thanks!!

Erin: Unique to D.C. and veg-friendly could possibly be Ethiopian food. You'd have to have to clearly communicate that no animal parts could be plopped into the middle of the injera, but it's fun and delicious and close to Solly's and an array of other U Street establishments.

Thai food (like Simply Home) is another solid bet for the budget-minded.

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K Street, D.C.: All knowing Gurus: What is the appropriate attire for a celebratory dinner at Filomena?

Erin: If this was early last week, the best attire would've been something outlandish enough to match the annual Halloween decorations. As things stand, dress in your upscale casual/business casual/comfy chic/H&M Viktor & Rolf cool or whatever the new term is. People hit Filomena wearing tourist garb, so don't wear your party dress or wing tips, but dress for your occasion.

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Vienna, Va.: Hi Gurus,

Am dying to see the Dixie Chicks documentary "Shut Up and Sing" but it doesn't seem to be opening here Friday anywhere. Do I have to go to NYC to catch it or what? Thanks!

Jen: Not to worry, Vienna. The movie opens here next Friday, Nov. 17.

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Washington, D.C.: I know this is a Hax question, but I think she's off this week w/ the holiday.

Why do people give out their phone numbers, but then don't answer or call back?

I'd especially like to hear from da playa Fritz or Rhome!

Fritz: If a girl gives me her number, I'm usually so grateful that I don't duck calls. And if I give a girl mine, there's usually a reason.

If they don't respond within two days -- some guys still believe in this whole Swingers-inspired "industry standard" waiting period -- then sorry, He's Just Not That Into You.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus - my pregnant sister and her husband are coming into town for New Years. We wanted to take them to Blues Alley for the Ahmad Jamal show but have never been there - will it be really smoky? Prego sister might not be able to handle. Any other non-smoky alternatives welcome. Thanks!

Fritz: Blues Alley was one of the first live music clubs in the area to go smoke-free -- this was several years ago -- so your sis will be fine.

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Baltimore, Md.:

Have you all heard of digital perms? I would love to get one, but don't know of a good place. I've heard of some places, but the results I've seen have been hit or miss.

Janet: Huh? Care to enlighten about what a digital perm is???

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Arlington, Va.: Gurus-

I think I'm reaching that point in my life where posters and prints (at least the Smithsonian gift shop variety) just won't suffice anymore. Is there any place where original art/photos (or possibly limited edition prints by artists you won't find in museums, maybe a nice lithograph or woodblock print) can be found for reasonably cheap. Thanks

Julia: I like the local galleries for stuff like this, but reasonably cheap is hard to come by there. I've fallen in love with many a photograph just to realize that I really can't spend $300-$700 for it. If you're willing to splurge on an upscale piece, give the local galleries a try. Places I love but can't afford? Adamson Editions , Irvine , Kathleen Ewing , Washington Printmakers (for the prints) and Torpedo Factory (I've found more affordable stuff at this last one, but it always varies by artist...)

If you're more interested in the $50-$100 range, check out I'd advise looking at Eastern Market. A lot of the stuff on the flea market side is junk, but you may find a cool vintage advertisement that would be great with a new matte/frame. There are also some nice photographs for sale of local places and I think that's pretty cool. There's also a guy who does brilliant photographs from his travels in third world countries. Totally blanking on his name, but they're very cool.

You may want to check out the Washington Craft Show next weekend as well. Lots of good original stuff there too.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Guys,

My folks are coming down from Philadelphia on Saturday to have lunch with me on my birthday. They are hoping to stop in at the National Portrait Gallery post meal. The problem is I can't find any place decent downtown that is open for lunch on Saturday. My father is a real meat and potatoes type of guy so anything a bit non-traditional is out of the question. Thoughts??

Erin: Guess that means no Latino Dim Sum at Cafe Atlantico, eh? Poste is just across the street from the gallery with a Saturday brunch. He can get a burger or steak and eggs.

Up a few blocks, you can have pizza, mini-burgers and salad at Matchbox starting at noon. I doubt you'd have much of a wait at that time of day. Another solid bet for that area is Clyde's.

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Local Musician, DC: I'd like to thank David, Fritz and Rhome for all the attention they give to local musicians in the Podcasts and in the Nightlife Agenda column. You steer a lot more people to local music than the paper. Thank you.

If each of you had to pick one local band or musician who you think could be big outside of the DC area, who would it be?

David: We always do our best to highlight noteworthy local acts, especially since there are so many of them. As for who can break it big nationally ... it's really hard to say. A year or two ago Raheem DeVaughn seemed like an obvious choice, but "The Love Experience" didn't make too much noise. Army of Me recently signed a major label deal, but after seeing how long (and how much of a gimmick was needed) for a similar band (also with some local ties) like OK Go to make it where they are now, I'm not sure there's a gold record in their immediate future.

Listening to an advance of the Georgie James full length, it's easy to think they might be the ones. All the indie kids will love it and it has definite crossover potential. Depending who releases it, they could be in for some big things.

Fritz: I'm going to co-sign with David on the Georgie James record, because it's really, really great, with an actual bottom end. They have a great pedigree, toured with Camera Obscura, and will draw a huge blogger/indie fanbase. (We had them on our podcast earlier this year, too.)

Benjy Ferree is another guy I think will do well. He's been picked up by Domino Records (the English label behind Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys), did well at CMJ last week and is heading off to Europe next month for shows there. He won't be on MTV, but Benjy will probably find some Devendra Banhart-sized success.

I have big hopes for hip-hop/go-go crossover artist Wale, too -- we've played "Dig Dug Shake It" on the podcast -- but I want to hear more than a mixtape before I make up my mind.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus,

For the person asking about the Arboretum, I would also suggest heading over to Brookside Gardens in the Wheaton Regional Park. I live nearby and I have already gone over there to see the beautiful fall foliage.

For the swimsuit seeker, I would also check out J. Crew's sale and even Target. I actually found some inexpensive bathing suits there.

I have a quick question. There is a new movie coming out with Christian Bale and Eva Longoria. I have not seen any ads or previews for this. Can any of you shed some light on this movie?

Thanks.

Jen: First, thanks for your suggestions.

Now, re: the movie you mention: it's called "Harsh Times," and is about a guy (Bale) who gets sucked back into his criminal ways after serving in the Army. The guy who wrote "Training Day" is directing, hence the Bale connection. Freddy Rodriguez of "Six Feet Under" fame also is in it.

I didn't get a chance to catch this one. But I haven't heard much good buzz. If I were you, I would see "Stranger Than Fiction" this weekend instead.

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Washington, D.C.: Gurus! I'm looking for something fall-like to do this weekend, either tomorrow (yay days off) or Saturday. I'm not a big hiker, so trekking through the mountains wouldn't be my choice. Any suggestions?

Anne: Lucky you with a day off. This particular part of fall always says craft show season to me, and this weekend there's an arts festival (10-5) at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, so you can browse art, see lots of fall foliage and enjoy water views along the South River (near the Chesapeake Bay. Lately I've been admiring the trees around Iwo Jima and Arlington Cemetery. Even though those memorials will be busier than usual this weekend with Veterans Day activities, the grounds are broad and you can wander and contemplate at your own pace.

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Alexandria, Va.: Gurus - do you know if Washington DC has a Dueling Piano Bar, or something similar for a good sing-along? I recently visited San Diego and had a blast at one there. I'd love to adopt it as a new weekday/weekend tradition.

Fritz: Nope. You'd need to go to Howl at the Moon in Baltimore, but Power Plant Live is one of my visions of hell -- minus Rams Head, of course. (Picture Adams Morgan on a Saturday Night, packed with Polly Esther's and Lulu's-style chain venues crowded around a giant courtyard, and you get the drift.)

In D.C., there's always a piano sing-along going on at Mr. Smith's in Georgetown. Make sure you tip your pianist...

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Washington, D.C.: I'm looking for a cigarette holder, specifically the Cruella DeVille kind, I've checked out a lot of stores and can't find it, could you guys suggest any places?

Julia: Backstage has some, but only the plastic kind are left after the Halloween rush. Georgetown Tobacco also has the plastic kind.

Fritz, Janet and I were just discussing the merits of like a fancy ivory one vs. a plastic one. If you've got your heart set on a nice one, maybe check out a vintage store like Remix. They often have great accessories.

Meeps sometimes sells them, but they do not have any right now.

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Ted, Bethesda, Md.: Hey GoGs - love your chat. My kids are going nuts over this Turkey Bowl thing happening at Strike Bethesda on Black Friday. Have you guys heard about this? What's the deal? thanks!

Fritz: This is an annual event at Strike: You bowl with a frozen turkey, and yes, it's as much fun as it sounds.

Even better: The event is a fundraiser for a local food bank, so if you bring two cans of food, you get a free appetizer.

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Reston, Va.: Are there any good wine bars in the area?

Erin: You should definitely check out Bistrot Lepic, Bardeo, Corner Bistro and Al Crostino. You should find a nice variety of wines at each.

If you're looking to sample this weekend, Planet Wine's holiday festival takes place at Tallula on Saturday.

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Cheaper Original Art: Students at the Corcoran College of Art have exhibitions and sales ... .

Julia: That is a good call. Some of my fave local artists are Corcoran grads. It might also be worth checking out this exhibition of artwork at the Phillips Collection , made up entirely of work by Phillips staffers.

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Washington, D.C.: Gurus, Thursday nights seem to be very quiet in the usual hangout spots around Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan - with the exception of FrontPage, which has a happy hour. What are some good, always lively club/bar choices for Thurs. night?

Also, the situation is similar on a Friday/Saturday night around 9-10pm (before the nightlife rush). Lucky Bar, Citron, 1223 are kinda empty... Where are all the crowds around this time?

Fritz: Early weekends: Dinner and pre-gaming at home, I guess. Then again, I like eating dinner late.

Thursdays: Lucky Bar, Tom Tom, Cafe Citron (after, say, 8 or 9), Habana Village, Fox and Hounds...

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Colorful leaves: Hi there-

For the person wondering about where to catch the colorful trees/leaves.... I was at the Jefferson Memorial a few days ago (hope the trees still have their leaves) and an unexpected but beautiful surprise was to see all the wonderful autumn colors around the Tidal Basin; the trees looked as if they were on fire (excuse me, not literally, of course) - reds, oranges, browns, and some yellows to round the color spectrum out.

Julia: Another suggestion for the leaf watcher.

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Washington, D.C.: To the person inquiring about why people give out their phone numbers and don't answer... Being a woman myself, I know a lot of girls just feel bad saying no when someone asks for a number, so they give it out and don't answer. Or one might wake up the next day and regret giving out their number after a few tequila shots. Maybe it doesn't make sense, but thought it might provide some insight.

Fritz: Thanks.

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Arlington, Va.: Fritz, have some Canadian pals coming in for the Leafs-Caps game in a couple of weeks and they need a bar that serves Labatts near the Verizon Center...any ideas? Thanks!

Fritz: About the only place I can think of is R.F.D. ... Labatt's on draft just isn't that common in this area. Last place I KNOW I saw it was Bugsy's in Old Town, but then again, the owner's a hockey-playing Canadian.

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Leather:

Duke's Shoe Repair 202-667-3161 ¿ 2000 14th St NW, Washington,DC Duke is a WWII vet with old-style craftsmanship. I'd ripped my leather coat so that three pointy bits of leather hung off the coat looking sad. He fixed it really well. The coat is happy. He's a whiz with leather.

Janet: Great suggestion. Thanks for sending it in.

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Arlington, Va.: Do the H Street bars still offer the free cab rides back to the Metro at the end of the night? I just wanted to check since the area has gotten more popular & there may be enough cabs around. Thanks so much!!!

David: On Fridays and Saturdays, from 10pm to 230 am, yes. Not during the week. You're on your own then.

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Bethesda, Md.: HI GOG's! love the chat and I always try the suggestions you come up with, many of them are great! I have a dinner group three couples that head out once a month or so to dinner. Last time we went to Teatro Goldoni at 19th and K. We Did lobster at Clyde's, and Citronelle the time before so as you can tell our range is very wide and no one is afraid to eat anything. My list of places to eat has grown to 17 and I need help. Would you hit the Blue Duck or or make the ride to B-more and try this place Charleston I hear a lot about. Any help would be appreciated.

Erin: I'd have to ask chatters to weigh in on Charleston because I've never been. I think Blue Duck is very suitable for a group in that dishes are served so that you can share everything. The food is exceptional and has some very scrumptious fall foods on the menu right now, but the dining room can be noisy.

From everything I've heard and read about Charleston, it seems pretty worth the trip, but if this happens each month, make sure that both are on your list.

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Washington, D.C.:

What is the scoop on the Bloomingdales slated to open in Friendship Heights? I would love to check it out in time for some holiday shopping.

Janet: From the looks of things, I don't think it will be open in time for Christmas shopping (that would bee too good to be true). I have called their pr folks and am waiting for a definite answer, so stay tuned.

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Downtown Washington, D.C.: What do you guys think of Love as a live music venue? I definitely love me some common, but am not really trying to go to Love.

Thanks!!!

Fritz: We actually just (plug, plug) talked about this on last week's Nightlife Agenda podcast (which you can download here ). Rhome and I were in agreement that it's not the 9:30 Club or the Black Cat, but it's not a bad place to see a show, and we've each been to a few there. The sound is good, the main floor is roomy, and there's always something to do while you're waiting for the show to start.

Of course, it's odd to have to get dressed up to go see Common....

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Arlington, Va.: Hello,

I'm looking for a nice restaurant in the Dupont area to take a visiting international guest. Prefer a nice bistro atmosphere, not too large or overcrowded, friendly staff, in the moderate price range.

Thanks!

Erin: Hank's Oyster Bar is friendly with classic Americana fare. Adams Morgan's Cashion's Eat Place would also suit those requirements.

Closer to Dupont, Montsouris on P Street is charming.

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Arlington, Va.: If you were going to design a bar crawl in Adams Morgan for a small group of friends in their late twenties/early thirties on Saturday night, which bars would you choose to go to?

Fritz: Depends what they wanted to do, but I'm pretty sure my itinerary would include a couple of the following:

Dancing at Chief Ike's, High Life countdown at Asylum, beers at the Reef or Toledo Lounge, mojitos at Habana Village, the patio at Soussi (or upstairs if the weather was bad).Interchangeable options could include Bossa, Pharmacy Bar, Tom Tom or Dan's Cafe, and, if they were curious, Chloe.

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Washington, D.C.: I'm thinking of going to Mousetrap this weekend with some friends. Should we buy tickets ahead of time or is at the door OK? How has it been recently? I haven't been in a while. Thanks.

Fritz: Mousetrap's as big and crowded as ever, and you're going to have to wait in line whether you buy tickets in advance or not. If you plan on getting there before midnight, I'd save yourself those ticketmaster fees and buy them at the door.

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Fairfax, Va.: This may not be a good question for you all, but I know you get around town. Do you know of any bakeries or restaurants that have fabulous pumpkin pies? I'm looking for one for Thanksgiving. Preferably somewhere in VA. Thanks so much!

Erin: It's usually comforting to hone in on a place that has what you're looking for in its name, thus Pie Gourmet in Vienna would be a good bet for a pie with a buttery, flaky crust. Firehook's pies are quite tasty and you can order now. Also, you should look into the hotels near you. Around D.C., the Willard, Fairmont and a few others sell pies (and the other Thanksgiving staples).

Whatever you do, avoid supermarket pies. Keep your eyes out for an upcoming Food section article on the results of an extensive local taste test.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi GOGS-

Are there any new bars on the horizon in the Arlington area? I also heard that Mama Quans was only going to be around for the summer and that a upscale restaurant was going to take its place, is this true?

Fritz: True indeed. Once the weather turned cold, Mama Quan's -- brought to you by the owners of Whitlow's -- closed up shop for the season. We hear there's a restaurant coming to that space sometime next year.

As for new bars, there's a new tavern going into the building next door to the Clarendon Ballroom, but that supposedly won't be opening until next spring.

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Washington, D.C.:

Where's a good place to get a haircut (for a man) in the Woodley Park / Adams Morgan area? No fancy salon. A good, economically priced hair cut.

Janet: I don't have a recommendation in that particular area, other than your basic Hair Cuttery option. How about going a little out of your way for an old-fashioned experience at a price you'll love:

Barber Shop

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Arlington, Va.: Hey can you display a link to the "Do DC In 3 Days" Story...can't seem to find it searching on my own. Or I'm lazy.

Fritz: Ask and you'll receive: D.C. in Three Days

You can navigate between days with the links on the right side of the page.

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Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus! I hope you can help me! My boyfriend of almost two years and I have been so busy recently with work and other commitments. We are stealing some time for ourselves tomorrow night - and want to do something fun and random. We're open to anything, except we need to keep costs low. We love to eat, drink, be outside, watch movies. Any ideas for us? Thanks!

Anne: If you're game for the random part, I think you could have a very inexpensive evening in Gallery Place/Shaw. Start early and you can tour at least part of the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum until 7. For food -- stop in Rasika's lounge for fancy bites or get reliable Thai at Kanlaya, both good bargains. Unless you're off to the cinema next, the food is the only part of this night out that will cost you. I say take a walk north (here's the outdoors part) to BeBar's Two-Month Anniversary Party , where, if you're in line early enough, you'll get free beer from 8-10. Have fun.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus...

I'm a proud Rutgers College alum and our football team is picking up this year and playing well...I don't know what kind of alumni base is around here but have you heard of any bars/places in DC to watch the game??? THANKS!!

Fritz: Even I'd watch this one as a neutral, but the official Rutgers alumni group will be at the Grand Slam Sports Bar at the Grand Hyatt downtown, right by Metro Center. While you're there, you might want to look into joining.

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Washington, D.C.: RE: Phone Number

In this case, the number was given to me, and they still didn't answer.

Fritz: Then He/She Is Just Not That Into You. Sorry.

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Holiday season already?!?: I was at a wedding this weekend and missed Georgetown Visitation's annual Esprit de Noel, where I always find fun, funky, trendy gifts for the holidays. Do the vendors there have any plans to set-up anywhere else soon, or where might I find a similar event (I don't want to say craft show because Esprit is more clothing, jewelry, bags, etc.) Or else is there a way to find a list of vendors who are there to see if they sell their goods online?

Erin: How about the Holiday Craft Show ? It's not the same as Esprit, but you will definitely find some cool little gifts. I'm not sure of location the list of vendors, but try calling Visitation.

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Bethesda, Md.:

Is St. Michael's a nice day trip with the mother-in-law? Any other ideas -- possibly something closer (other than Annapolis)? Thanks!

Janet: I think St. Michael's is a perfect day trip. The town is made for strolling around, browsing the shops (good opportunity for holiday gifts, even clothes) and eating lunch or dinner. 209 is super for dinner as is the Bistro.

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Washington, D.C.: For the person looking for vintage cigarette lighters, there is a vintage store across the street from the Woodley Park Metro (not the second-hand store with the dishes) whose name slips my mind. However, they usually have a great (not necessarily cheap) selection of cigarette holders and cigarette cases from the 20's and 30's.

Fritz: I can't believe I never noticed them. Thanks!

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Reston, Va.: I just wanted to say that I went and saw Corteo last night and it was just so much fun. I would definitely recommend if anyone can skip out early form work and go see the 4pm show today (lots od tickets available last time I checked). Who doesn't love a creepy clown's funeral?

Erin: I hope that you're not a staff member who's plugging the show because if so, then ticket sales must be sagging and this show is definitely worth a look. I was very stoked to see it despite skepticism that a clown's funeral would actually be Soleil material. I was happily proven wrong, though.

Any show that features a little person being propelled over audience members' heads by giant balloons earns my stamp o' approval.

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Alexandria, Va.: Hi, Gurus--

I'm going wine tasting in Virginia with some friends this Saturday to celebrate my birthday. I have done a little research into some wineries, but I'm not really sure where to start. Can you recommend some wineries that are closer together, so that we could hit a few in one day? I know Tarara winery came up in a previous chat - are there other wineries nearby so that we could make a day of it?

Thanks!!

Julia: Yeah -- a bunch. This map of several Loudoun County wineries should help you out. Regular chat readers know that even though I love the whole winery thing, I'm not wild about Virginia wine's taste. I'd give Tarara and Breaux the biggest thumbs up out of all of these.

Happy Birthday!

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RE: Charleston: is frickin' fantastic.....Make sure to have a DD or a hotel room though, lots of good wine and they are so friendly and knowledgeable......My family does a once a year 10 of us out somewhere nice with a show at Arena or Kennedy Center, and we hit Teatro Goldoni a few years ago and Charleston the next, so you'll be good to go there for sure!!!

Erin: Thanks for the testimonial. As I said, people rave about this place.

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Washington, D.C.: What are some other places that have ridiculous college-esque happy hours/specials on the weekends?

Fritz: Like what? The $15 all-you-can-drink special at My Brother's Place? The $25 all-you-can-drink top-shelf open bar happy hours at Tapatini's or MCCXXIII? (Okay, that's pricey for college.) Go to Dan's Cafe and get a bottle of gin and mixers for like $10 or whatever. Asylum has beers that start at a quarter at 5 p.m. McFadden's offers $1 beers from 8 to 10, $2 beers 10 to midnight, etc.

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re: haircut in Adams Morgan:

I'm a guy, and I get my hair cut at Trim on Columbia Rd. Cool atmosphere, good music. Ask for Hannah or Stephanie.

Janet: Here's a nod for Trim in Adams Morgan, a suggestion for the guy in search of a haircut in the nabe.

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Alexandria, VA: Hi Gurus,

The last single girlfriend in our group is getting married and we want to take her out after work on a Friday for a fun night with the girls. We are all too old (mid-30's) for the "bachelorette" thing with bar-hopping and shots and matching tiaras, but wanted to plan something more interesting than just sitting at a bar for happy hour. We are thinking of going to Lucky Strike -- what do you think of that as an option?

Thanks!

Fritz: I think that's a fine idea *if there's no basketball/hockey game at Verizon Center that night.* In my experience, it's slammed and not as much fun for groups when you've got a lot of fans rolling in after the game.

But why not combine the bar-hopping with bowling? Before Lucky Strike, stop in for a glass of wine at the bar at Zaytinya, a cocktail at Zola or Zengo, something to nibble on and exceptional drinks (wine or cocktails) at Rasika?

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Washington, D.C.:

I wrote in a few weeks ago about finding some new eyeglass frames and wanted to know where to go. I stopped in Carr & Busch Opticians because it's on the lobby level of my office (1220 19th) and I was more than pleased. Erich Busch, one of the owners, helped me pick out frames and it was quite apparent that his only concern was that I was happy with my purchase. I just wanted to pass the word along that if you're looking for knowledgable and helpful optician, you should stop by.

Janet: I remember that someone wrote in and asked about eyeglass frames. Did you ever try See in Georgetown? That said, if you can find a place that's convenient and you like it, good on you.

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Manassas, Va.: What will be the schedule of events at Arlington National Cemetery Saturday? Thank you.

Julia: The wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns will be at 11 a.m. Remarks will follow in the amphitheater shortly after. Please note that you cannot do both. Visitors must choose between standing at the Tomb of the Unknown and watching the ceremony in the amphitheater. Whatever you do, get there early. Visitors must be seated in the amphitheater by 10:30 and the shuttle busses between the parking lot and the sites begin as early as 8 a.m. The Marine Band will perform in the amphitheater at 10:10 a.m.

The service at the Womens Memorial takes place at 3:30.

For other events at local memorials, check out this list.

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Alexandria, Va.: Heading out to Leesburg tomorrow for fun -- thinking about going to one of the wineries out there, maybe walking around "downtown", but anything else we should not miss?

Julia: Downtown is cute. Wineries are amazing. I'm also a fan of the Luckett's Antique Store if you get out that way. It's sort of in between the wineries and downtown and totally worth it. A little pricey, but fun to browse. I bought this totally rad beehive-shaped green vase there that is probably one of my favorite things in my apartment.

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The Hill: Hi Gurus,

One brother is visiting myself and our youngest sibling this weekend here in DC. Youngest sibling is under 21. We'd love to all be able to go out on Saturday, to a location that serves alcohol but would be amenable to an underage person, not a club, but a bar, or pool hall. The best I could come up with is the establishment formally known as 4ps in Cleveland Park if we go for an early dinner. Don't want to do something illegal, just want trying to find a way to appease all. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Fritz: You could probably do this at MOST restaurant/bars, but be warned that there's a risk that they'll kick you out after, say, 9 or so. (It happened to an underage friend at the 4Ps a few years ago.) Almost every pool hall in D.C. these days is 21-and-over only, with the exception of a few hours on a weekend.

You know what, though? I might try Finn Mac Cool's on the Hill, especially if you eat there.

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Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: Hi. My ex-fiance just brutally informed me this week that "It is over. Stop trying to contact me." Cheery, I know. Any thoughts on any places where I can go or things I can do by myself to avoid falling even farther into the dumps. It makes me feel so empty when I see all of the couples. Thanks. "Sad Girl"

Julia: My heart totally goes out to you. Break-ups are never easy, but this one sounds particularly rough.

I have two sort-of competing suggestions. First, I'd go out with some girlfriends and just dish over some nice desserts. May be hit up a place like Cashions and grab a gooey piece of cake at the bar. It sounds kind of cliche, I know, but I think just sitting around talking with your girls could totally make you feel better.

This one's super cheesy too, but I'd definitely try some exercise. Maybe a walk through Rock Creek Park or just a couple of hours at the gym. Only a little bit can make you feel a lot better.

Good luck, AM.

Erin: This weekend, check out the Mid-City Artists tour . It's a fantastic way to meander on your own. Some of the artists offer food and some colorful conversations, so if you're up for that, you can make some interesting friends.

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Too Early for Thanksgiving?: Hey GOG's,

This will be the first time my husband and I hosting Thanksgiving. My parents and little brother are coming over and I'm in charge of the menu. Any places you suggest (Grocery store?) where I can get a small turkey and some tips for a novice cook. Thanks so much!

Erin: I guess it's never too early for Thanksgiving. The Organic Butcher in McLean has -- you guessed it -- organic turkeys. You can also check in with some of your local farmers markets to see about reserving a turkey. Nobody could give more personalized suggestions than the farmers.

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Dupont Circle, D.C.: I have a sort of unusual situation that I really hope you and the readers will help me out with. My health has not been good for the past nine months (it's not life threatening but it is chronic and debilitating), and my social life has been reduced to the occasional cup of coffee or movie with my dearest friends. I am doing better and really want to try to get my social life back-at least take baby steps to doing so, but the life I used to have is not possible any more. I cannot go to bars, loud restaurants, play sports or exercise, drink alcohol or commit to anything with standing time obligations (I can't know that every Tuesday from 6-8pm I will be ok enough to do something). "Before illness" I was very active and very social and would have told someone looking expand their social options and meet people (platonic or romantic) to join activities, go to happy hours, join a sports team-all of the things you usually recommend and I used to do. I can no longer do any of those things. So what are some alternatives? What can I do that does not involve sports, bars, standing time commitments (so unfortunately classes are out). I really am looking for some concrete suggestions. I want to try to do more things socially, as my health allows, and I would really like to start dating again but all of the ways I used to meet people (see list above) are not possible for me and may not be for quite a while. I realize this is a strange request but I thought it couldn't hurt to see what an objective group of people thought. (If it matters, I'm late 20s and female) Thanks!!

Erin: That must be so tough. My heart goes out to you. I'm afraid that I can't offer any amazing suggestions, but here are a few thoughts.

One thing that has really caught my eye of late is the list of events at Candida's World of Books. That's close to you. The book events are only one night, but they're well-attended by people interested in travel and literature. Join the email list and you'll get the updates. A three-class seminar on travel writing sounded pretty sweet, though three classes might be too large a commitment.

Up the street, Busboys and Poets has nightly events that range from film festivals to art exhibitions. You can attend discussions, social hours and a whole range of things that attract very dynamic people.

I'm not sure if you're interested in knitting, but knitting circles are a therapeutic way to meet people. Unlike book clubs, you don't need to attend every one. You can drop in whenever and work at your own pace, but chat with people. There are a few different groups that meet at book stores and coffee shops.

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College Park, Md: Heading to Baltimore in a limo Friday night for a going away party. Better place to be held: Canton or Federal Hill. With your choice please recommend a bar. 8-10 people attending.

Fritz: Here's the difference: Federal Hill has more small bars spread out, so it's cool for barhopping and exploring. Canton has a number of places around the square, so it's more convenient if you have a limo. If you go to Federal Hill, your group can hit the upstairs areas at Ropewalk Tavern (a sprawling three-rowhouse hangout with multiple bars) or Mother's. After that, head for Ryleigh's or Mum's, where the shot of choice is called "Evil."

In Canton, I like Kisling's, an older bar with character, more than, say, Looney's. Claddagh isn't bad if you want something livelier.

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getting over the ex: I think it's good to get out with friends and do something you enjoy - museums, squash etc so that there's time to talk and time also to get outside your head.

Can you get out of town and visit and old friend for a weekend/long weekend. I find this very therapeutic too.

Fritz: More ideas.

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Arlington, Va.: I have my family coming into the area this upcoming weekend. Mom, Dad and 15-year-old brother. We are very active people -- love the outdoors and have always enjoyed all of the monuments and museums, but we've been there done that. Looking for something different and fun for Saturday afternoon.

Julia: Eastern Market , baby. Very local. Very cool.

You could also check out the stars with a scientist if you wanted something outdoorsy or learn about swordplay, if that's your sort of thing.

If your fam is still around on Sunday, consider checking out the free simulcast of Madama Butterfly on the Mall. I'm torn between my love of the (now 3-5) Redskins and my desire to see the opera for free, but I think it should be a really neat experience.

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Fairfax, Va.: Hi

I am looking for a cool, casual bar with great beers on tap and live music in Northern Virginia, preferably the Fairfax region. Any suggestions? Thanks

Fritz: The beers are more "solid" than great at the Broad Street Grill in Falls Church, but I'm a fan. There's plenty of live music, including a weekly open mike, mostly blues and rock.

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Beer Fan: Wanted to share my happy discovery of the week - Bill Madden (local brewing deity, in my opinion) is the brewmaster at Vintage 54, which has just opened in Leesburg, at the site of the old Thoroughbreds. I swear, I'm not a publicist, just a huge craft beer fan!

Fritz: I know you're not a publicist, because the new venture is actually called Vintage 50. The soft opening was this week, but I'm waiting until Madden's beers -- which I've raved about when he was at Cap City and then Founder's -- are available before I make the trip out.

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washingtonpost.com: Okay, we've run well over our allotted hour, so we have to wrap up the chat. We're sorry if we couldn't get to your question, but please join us here next week at 1 p.m.

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