Thursday, May 31, 1 p.m. ET

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The Going Out Gurus
of the washingtonpost.com City Guide
Thursday, May 31, 2007; 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: Hot enough for you out there? We are spending a lot of time on patios, at public pools and anywhere else you can soak up this gorgeous sunshine. I'm Erin and I've got a steamy crew of David, Fritz, Rhome, Jen, Janet and Julia ready to take your questions.

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Dupont Circle worker bee: My parents are coming to town Friday for my (gasp) 30th birthday. We're going out to lunch, and I have no idea where to take them.

Any ideas for restaurants in the Dupont area? On past b-day visits they loved Mie N Yu and Indebleu but didn't like Nora's. I'm more of a Amsterdam Falafel person so I'm at a loss.

Thanks!

Erin: Sette Osteria, Pizzeria Paradiso and Teaism are all popular and tasty spots. If you're willing to travel a bit toward Foggy Bottom, Vidalia and Blue Duck Tavern are two of my favorite destinations.

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Washington, D.C.: I heard there's another Tonic opening up in the Foggy Bottom area. Any intel on that? I work in the neighborhood and crave a watering hole that's not filled with (only) a bunch of college kids and has some decent eats. Tell me I'll be happy soon.

Fritz: Tonic is indeed opening a new restaurant in the old Quigley's Pharmacy, but the intel is that Tonic's request for a liquor license was denied after protests by local residents, and without being able to serve beer, wine and/or cocktails, the place is kind of dead in the water. (I understand the Tonic's owners signed a promise that they'd open regardless of the outcome of the liquor license application, which was pretty risky.) They're having a hearing later this month, and we'll see where it goes from there.

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Arlington, Va.: Hey guys, love the chat!I've got a tough question for you -- my 21-year old brother is in town, visiting from Maine. He'll be alone tomorrow while I'm at work, but he'd like to head into D.C. to check out the sights. He's seen the monuments and museums already - Got any fresh ideas for fun things he can do alone? The cheaper, the better, and must be metro accessible. Thanks!

Julia: The Wolfgang Tillmans photography exhibit at the Hirshhorn is the best one I've seen in a long time. For real. I know you said he's seen all of the museums, but if he wants to check out a new, free, metro-accessible, amazing show, he should check it out.

Is he active? He could rent a canoe or a kayak at Thompson Boat Center (not too far from Foggy Bottom). Go hiking in Rock Creek Park. Trek around the Tidal Basin. Play mini golf at East Potomac Park. Follow one of the Neighborhood Walking Trails around D.C. hoods like U Street or Adams Morgan. (You can find maps of the self-guided tours here.)

But no matter what, your bro should definitely stake out a couple of seats at your favorite bar so he can meet you for happy hour.

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Arlington, Va.: PLEASE HELP!My dad is returning overseas on Saturday, so I would like to take him to lunch on Friday for an early Father's Day meal. Who has good soft shell crabs or oysters on the half shell these days? Thanks!

Erin: You might luck out with both at Oceanaire Seafood Room. Oysters are also tops at Hank's, but unfortunately Hank's doesn't serve lunch.
Recently, I had huge soft shells at DC Coast. They also grace the menu occasionally at Restaurant Eve and Corduroy, but it's best to call ahead to be certain.

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Bethesda, Md.: Would you recommend Cashion's for a birthday dinner with my boyfriend this weekend? Do we need to make reservations?

Erin: Yes on both counts. I'm a big fan of Cashion's for the food and the ambiance. When you call to reserve, definitely request seats on the patio.

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Metro Centro: GoGs - What's that champagne bar that you (or Tom?) wrote about a few weeks ago? How much does a glass of decent bubbly run?

Fritz: It was me, in the Weekend section, talking about Metropolitain, the champagne bar in the basement of Napoleon. The champagne is about $8-12 by the glass (cheaper if you want, say, the Sophia blanc de blancs), a good selection of champagne cocktails is in the same range. I've been back since, and the dance floor is really taking off on weekends. Get there early if you need to grab a seat, or hit happy hour, when glasses of champagne and bubbly-based cocktails are half-price.

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Arlington, Va.: Do you guys have recommendations for a good camera shop that does affordable repairs on digital cameras? A stranger promptly dropped my camera on the floor after taking my picture last week and the lens has been stuck at an odd angle ever since. I want to at least price a repair before I lose hope and look for a replacement.

Janet: You could try Penn Camera. I know they have a location in Tysons.

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Glover Park, D.C.: My birthday is tomorrow and my fiance offered to take me out for a special dinner. I'd like to go somewhere fun and romantic where we could possibly sit outside and where we can dress casually. Any suggestions

Erin: Happy birthday. I'm a gemini, too. As I just mentioned to a previous chatter, I enjoy the patio at Cashion's Eat Place. Tabard Inn, Sea Catch and Taberna del Alabardero are all blessed with nice outdoor seating.

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Washington, D.C.: Gurus.....Hope you will answer this question. Myself and couple coworkers are planning to head to the U St. area after work next Wednesday for dinner and drinks and we were looking for something semi-adventorous but moderately priced. Outdoor seating would be a plus but not mandatory Suggestions?

Fritz: Semi-adventurous, huh? Try Madjet, which is a real sleeper among the neighborhood's many Ethiopian joints, for the beef special or the tibs. Or you could hit the Islander for rum drinks and some amazing curried goat or the sweet-and-spicy brown-stew chicken. They also have a busy patio, so you could get outdoor seating.

For just drinks, I like Axis Bar and Grill, Solly's and the Saloon.

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Hours for Metropolitain/Napoleon happy hour?: What time does their happy hour start/end?

Fritz: As mentioned in this story what I wrote, 7-10.

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Alexandria, VA: Hi Gurus, Mom is coming to town and we are having a belated Mother's Day celebration--morning at the spa, lunch after. Any suggestions for a great Saturday lunch spot in the Alexandria/Old Town area? Thanks--really love the chats!

Erin: That sounds like a very good way to celebrate. Vermilion has a delicious lunch/brunch menu on Saturdays. Taverna Cretekou and Le Gaulois are other thoughts and both have patio seating.

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Long hair question: Hi GoGs, Sorry for the odd title line. I'd like to know if there are any hair cutters in Washington DC that participate in Locks of Love - meaning that they will donate your snipped long locks to this organization to create hair wear for those who may be in need - due to chemotherapy, for example. It's snip time but I'd really love to donate my locks.

Janet: Just called the organization. They no longer maintain a list of participating salons. The woman I spoke with said you can go anywhere, take your clippings and send them it. So, there you have it. Nice gesture on your part.

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Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.: Hi GoGs. Where can I sell back a ton of used (industrial, electronic, some indie rock) cd's?

Thanks so much for the chats. They've been a lifesaver to new-to-the-area me!

David: As usual when a question of this type comes up, I'll recommend Soundgarden in Baltimore (Fells Point). They don't take everything but give very good store credit for what they do want. I've had good results with CDepot in College Park. CD Cellar in Arlington or Falls Church will take stuff from you, but they don't always give top dollar.

Altnernatively, you can check out the online service LaLa (lala.com). It's pretty neat, you list all the CDs you have/want to get rid of, you make a list of CDs you want and for every one you send out, you get one on your want list. So in exchange for lots of old stuff left over from high school, stuff that no used CD store would have much use for, I get a CD I actually want. Plus it means you get lots of mail, which is always fun.

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Camera: Penn Camera is always at Springfield Mall outside next to Old Navy and Borders.

Janet: Another location for Penn Camera. Thanks!

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Arlington, Va.: I'm interested in going out dancing this weekend, either Friday or Saturday, but not sure where to go. I used to love going to Red. Can you think of anything with similar music and a similar vibe?

Thanks!

Fritz: First, speaking of Red, I'm really, really interested to see how Sam "The Man" Burns' new Sunday night residency at Eighteenth Street Lounge is going to go. (He moves there this week, after closing down Dragonfly last Sunday.)

If you like Red, there's really only one destination this weekend: The return of the Sanctuary, with Pope, Oji and Louis Pickney, on Saturday night. That spot has always had a very similar hassle-free vibe and plenty of house-heads, so I expect it'll be a great night. All the details are in the Nightlife Agenda column.

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Washington, D.C.: My mother is coming to town this weekend. We will be in the Chinatown area Saturday night for dinner. She is a picky eater (nothing spicy or too ethnic). Any suggestions for a moderately-priced restaurant in that area? We will be dining around 7:30, so probably a place that will take reservations or will not have too long of a wait is best. Thanks very much!

Erin: In order of my preference, Poste, Ella's Woodfired Pizza, Clyde's and Legal Seafoods probably best fit those needs in Chinatown.

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Alexandria, Va.: Where's a good place to get good sweet potato fries?

Erin: Saint-Ex, Bourbon and Luna are my top three sweet potato fry destinations. (And MAN do I love sweet potato fries.) Who wants to throw in other favorites?

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Arlington, Va.: Any idea where there is a large Hawkeyes contingent amongst DC/Arlington sports bars? I have a friend coming into town during college football season who needs the guarantee of a good bar to plan the trip in advance. Thanks for helping me cater to this blackmail.

Fritz: Tell him/her that the Iowa fans are always at the Crystal City Sports Pub, which is one of the best places in the country to watch college sports, and will have a brand-new floor for watching games this fall.

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Washington, D.C.: Any news on when the new wine bar by the Verizon Center will open?

Fritz: I've been told that it will be open to the public by the end of the month, but it seems to me that I've heard that song before ...

Actually, I think there's a good chance it really will happen this time.

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Washington, D.C.: Submitting early...

I have a friend coming in to town this weekend who has higher-class tastes than my usual boozing and brunching (She's getting her PhD in literature, I'm a Hill grunt). Any suggestions for entertaining her on the cheap? I'm thinking about trying out the Kreeger Museum or Dumbarton Oaks during the day. What about night?

Julia: Kreeger is definitely worth your time. The Gene Davis show is full of fun, bright canvasses. Forgive the plug, but if you wanted, you could also take along the podcast tour that Fritz and I recorded with one of the curators, Andrea Pollan. She dishes out a bunch of insider info on all things Davis.

Okay, so I think I have a compromise for you on Saturday night. The Logan Circle galleries in 1515 14th Street are staying open until 8:30 for a coordinated opening. The three exhibits I mentioned in my Comings and Goings blog post today -- Hemphill's "Mingering Mike," Adamson's "Pulp Fiction" and G Fine Art's display of Lisa Marie Thalhammer's truck stop drawings are worth checking out. Plus, you get free (terrible) wine to sip while you stroll. Irvine Contemporary, a gallery just across the street, will also be open until 8:30 p.m.

Even lit-gals like to drink, so I say hit the town afterwards. Since you'll be in Logan Circle, trek up to U Street. A PhD candidate's gotta love the vibe at a place like Busboys and Poets and Axis has a really yummy sparkling rose on its wine list. You've also got Polly's, Stetson's, Local 16, Cue Bar and whole bunch of other low-key bars if you feel like just chilling with your friend.

But once you feed her a few bad white wines and cocktails, she might just tear loose on Adams Morgan with ya.

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Alexandria, Va.: Gurus, I'm having an outdoor party on Saturday and wanted to know if there's anyplace in the area that sells Pimms? Nothing beats hot and muggy like a nice pitcher of Pimms!!

Fritz: I usually buy my Pimms at my neighborhood liquor store (Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits), and then pick up some cucumbers and lemonade on the way home. There's really nothing better for warm weather than a Pimms Cup.

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Re. 21 year old brother in need of plans: I have been on a lot of the walking tours, and if that idea appeals to him I want to suggest the Marine Barracks walking tour near the Eastern Market. There is a lot of interesting history, it's a great neighborhood, and the tour is very well done (sometimes they are abysmal).

Julia: Good tip. I haven't done that one, but I really like the area. U Street's definitely one of my faves.

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Sweet Potato Fries: The Argonaut!

Fritz: I love those sweet potato fries. With rum drinks and foosball, there's no reason NOT to go to the H Street tavern these days.

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sell CDs: secondspin.com will buy your CDs; send you a check or give you credit for their online store.

David: Here's another online idea. That said, if you like digging around for cheap CDs in the used stores, there's probably some sort of good karma associated with actually bringing stuff in to help stock the used sections. Or not.

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Chill clubbing: I'm in a conundrum: I love dancing (everything from trance to reggaeton, not so much the sugary pop Top 40s, but I'll suffer through a song or two) but hate how us girls have to get all dolled up for the occassion. Who can even move their body in 3 inch heels and corset-tight tank tops?

I went to one excellent dance party at the Black Cat where the crowd was chill and didn't get glowered at for wearing whatever the hell they were comfortable in--it was their Prince vs. Michael Jackson dance-off. Are there other places that do such things? Not so much the 80s music, but the "wear a hippie dress or cut off jeans, as long as you shake you booty and don't be snooty" attitude? I'm a mid-twenties female. Please help me get my groove on!

Rhome: I hate wearing slacks and hard shoes to the club too. I don't understand how you can ban sneakers from a hip-hop party, but I once saw Crazy Legs of the Rock Steady Crew get turned away from a "hip-hop club" because he wasn't dressed up... ANYWAY, let me stop kvetching. Selam, Wonderland are right up your alley. Rock and Roll Hotel books some good dance parties on their second floor like Disco City. Then you've got your standard Adams Morgan options like Chief Ike's, Heaven and Hell and Tom Tom. And to throw a wildcard into the mix, I just found out that Oji and Pope (who we wrote about in this week's Nightlife Agenda) are playing Fuzion Lounge tomorrow night.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi guys,

My parents will be visiting soon from the midwest, and I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas of places to take them to eat. I am a vegetarian and prefer spicy and ethnic food--Thai, Indian, etc.--while they are non-vegetarians and prefer pretty (in my view) bland, American-style food. Can you think of any places I could take them where all of us would be happy? I think they'd be happy with Italian spots, so I was thinking of taking them to Paradiso, etc., but I can only eat so much pasta/pizza in a week.

Erin: I agree that your situation is somewhat tough. Viridian does a nice job of balancing homestyle American fare with interesting vegetarian and vegan options. Sonoma, Clyde's, Zaytinya and Oyamel also balance vegetarian food with carnivore fare and have enough range to suit squeamish eaters. I usually look to the outskirts for good Tex-Mex restaurants, but a compromise on something like Cactus Cantina or La Plaza might be a good other option if you need a change.

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Not the Old-Town brunch-seeker...: ...but had submitted another belated-Mother's Day Saturday-brunch question for the District. However, does Vermilion offer their brunch on Saturdays? Their website lists only a specific "Sunday Brunch"

Erin: Yeah, seems like they didn't do a great job of labeling that one. If you check out "Info and Hours" on their site, they should mention that brunch is Sat and Sun.

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Washington, D.C.: Heading to the Swamp Romp at Wolf Trap on Sunday. Will there be Louisiana food being served? Something more than the normal Wolf Trap fare?

Erin: If you have a specific food in mind, you'd best pack that yourself. You can check out my post on picnics if you need some inspiration, though Louisiana Express might be your best bet. If standard Southern food will do, you're in luck at Wolf Trap. The picnic boxes you can order are assembled by the company behind Georgia Brown's, so options include a fried chicken salad, Caesar salad with creole salmon and a peach cobbler.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey GoGs,

I initially wanted to hire the Curious Grape for my bachelorette party but they're on the pricey side. Any recommendations for other companies that do personalized wine tastings?

Julia: The Post wrote a profile of the woman behind this site. Her prices don't appear to be on the Web site -- and the Post article says she makes a ton of money!-- but she could be worth looking into.

I'd also check with area wine shops to see if they do in home tastings or could recommend somebody. Franco from Grape Legs is one of the most friendly people I've ever spoken to -- and he really knows his wine. He'd probably be able to point you in the right direction. Also, De Vinos has a good selection so they might be worth asking as well.

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Adams Morgan: GoGs, I am broke. Where can I get exceptionally cheap beers in D.C. for happy hour Mondays or Tuesdays that is also fun?

Fritz: Mondays and Tuesdays don't have as many $1 happy hours as you'd think.

McFadden's has cheap beer (High Life and Natty Light) for $1 on Tuesdays from 11 to close (it's $2 from 9 to 11).

If you're a woman, My Brother's Place has $1 drinks on Mondays as party of their Ladies Night -- choose dollar Miller Lite drafts or dollar rail drinks from 9 to 11.

Fritz:

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Alexandria, Va.: Penn Camera has at least three stores in DC. They are fantastic there--all the professional and art photogs go there.

Janet: Another recommendation for Penn Camera.

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Washington, DC: Okay, so I realize that I went to GW 10 years ago now, but the Old Quigley's Pharmacy (at G and 21st I think) housed the Geography Dept. I must be thinking of the wrong building? I just cannot imagine that GW sold that building!

Fritz: GW didn't sell the building -- they're partnering with the owners of Tonic to open a new restaurant on campus.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus, I just wanted to respond to the person who wants to donate their hair. I donated earlier this year to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program. If you go to their Website, they will send a donation kit that you take with you to the salon. My stylist at the Aveda salon was more than happy to properly cut my hair for the donation and I can only assume other salons would accommodate.

Janet: Thanks for the info on Pantene and its program.

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Arlington, Va.: I'm looking to satisfy a craving - where can I find the area's best apple strudel?

Thanks gurus!

Erin: Heidelberg Bakery is definitely a good bet, but you should also be good with the offerings from Hellers.

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Reston, Va.: We need help finding a good place dinner next Saturday night at 6:30. We'll have 9 people ranging from our two children to our grandparents. If it's not too much to ask, we'd like a place with a view (either waterfront or some other DC sites). Doesn't have to be fancy but it's fine if it is (as long as they don't mind well behaved children). Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

Erin: Sounds like Indigo Landing would be perfect for you. The restaurant has a fabulous view and a kids' menu. Otherwise, Chart House is on the water with fairly casual, touristy dining that can certainly accommodate children and grandparents.

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Bye Bye DC: Hey guys,

So this will be the last question I post here, I'm leaving DC. Which is why I need your advice. I want to have a going away happy hour. Criteria are being out doors and good specials. Do you have any recc's outside of the usual suspects -Local 16, Stetsons, Reef, etc.? I remember last year yall posted something about hotel roof decks, do any of those have an affordable happy hour? Anything you could pass along would be great

Fritz: Sadly, the best hotel roof deck in the area (Embassy Row Hilton) isn't open to the general public this year, and the runners up (the Beacon, Hotel Washington) are expensive and lame: HW gets packed with tourists and the tables are jammed together far too tightly; the Beacon's view is weak.

I'd say you should head for the Deck or the waterfront happy hour at Cantina Marina (specials Tue-Thu, live music Fri-Sat). Another good idea, depending on the night, might be Union Pub. Large patio, good for groups (ask the softball teams) and dead-cheap specials, like $1.50 drinks on Wednesdays.

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Washington, D.C.: How is the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe? I work at the Smithsonian and always hear it from my office but never get a chance to go down to it. I'm thinking of taking my date after dinner at 2 Amys'. Is it crowded? Can I get in there anytime after it starts?

Gracias!

Julia: It is not crowded -- and that fact almost led to its demise a few weeks ago -- so you can definitely get in anytime after it starts. I might suggest going to the Cafe first and 2 Amy's after. There can be a hefty wait at 2 Amy's, so, depending on what time you do dinner, you might not get down to the Cafe until much later.

I should mention that there's food at the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, but 2 Amy's is a much better dining option.

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20011: For sweet potato fries - The Argonaut! They have great fries...and dark and stormies; quite a winning combo!

Erin: Yes. That is a nearly unbeatable combination. The only thing that tops it is fries, dark and stormies AND fresh rhubarb pie. Anyone know where we can get all three?

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Washington, D.C.: Apple streudel seeker should go to Leopold's in Georgetown. The streudel was tasty and not too sweet.

Erin: Yes, thank you. I totally meant to mention the Kafe's scrumptious strudel. It comes with a warm vanilla sauce.

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Washington, DC: Gurus, could you give a brief run down of the record stores in DC? For my money, there's nothing quite like a Saturday afternoon spent digging through crates, but I'm having a hard time finding quality record stores.

So where's all the vinyl?

Rhome: It's all over the place.

My favorites are DJ Hut, Som and Joe's. You can also make come-ups occasionally at CD/Game Exchange.

R.I.P. to Yoshitoshi, Rhythm & Culture and Capital City and many more beloved spots.

Even though neophyte diggers and hipsters have ravaged the thrift stores you can still cop some gems if you're diligent. And there's always the local flea markets too.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Yall,

Great column. I remember last year you posted an article on hotel roof decks. Is it still availble? Do you have any suggestions for an affordable outdoor happy hour?

Fritz: My list of favorite outdoor spots is here. I'll add the reopened Hotel Helix to that list, too: Tomorrow night, free food and half-price drinks from 6 to 8. (Again, more details in the Nightlife Agenda column and/or on our blog.) I checked it out last night and it's a nice, central patio for meeting friends around Logan.

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Washington, D.C.: I saw an ad on the Metro for an exhibit at National Geographic for kids--an interactive explorer thing. Have you or the chatters been to this exhibit. Is it good for kids 8-14? thanks.

Julia: I have not been, but the Weekend Section just ran an article about it. The writer -- and the kids she interviewed -- seemed to think it was an excellent option for kids in that age-range.

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Pimms: no pimms is complete without raspberries and mint as well. and you MUST use the sparkling lemonade mixture like they really do in england. make them proud across the pond!

Fritz: When I bartended in London, we used to make them with Schweppes fizzy lemonade, but not raspberries.

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Dupont Circle, D.C.: Hi GOGs,

Having dinner with a friend in Dupont Circle. What are your best suggestions for something fun and not too expensive? Oh, and one of us is a vegetarian. Thanks for the help!

Erin: Mandu has a tiny patio and some very delicious Korean food. If you like Indian, Heritage is my go-to Indian restaurant, though it's not a wildly fun time. Pizzeria Paradiso and Mark's at Mark and Orlando's are good P Street spots.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi GOGs - I'm hoping you can help me out. I'm spending my birthday in the area for the first time and am trying to plan a night out for it next week. We'll be going out in Clarendon, so I'm trying to find a place in the area where 6-8 of us can grab a bite to eat beforehand. I've got a couple of picky eaters in the group, so I think most ethnic foods are out. I don't care if it's a chain or a dive or whatever as long as the food is good and there's a reasonable drink selection. Any ideas? Thanks so much for helping make my night (30! Yikes!) a good one.

Fritz: Boulevard Woodgrill is reliable. I hear mixed things about the food at Liberty Tavern, though my pizza was great last time through. And while I like the cooking at Eleventh, I'm afraid it might be a little small for eight people on a weekend.

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Arlington, Va.: I didn't see the Hains Point pool mentioned in your public pools post...any word on when that pool is opening??? Thanks!

Fritz: Saturday.

BTW, did anyone go to Volta last weekend? Was it as swamped as everyone predicted?

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Washington, D.C.: Some fellow interns and I are looking for places near Capitol Hill where the over-21-ers in our group can get drinks and the under-21-ers can still get in. Preferably something low-key, maybe some dancing, later than happy hour. Any suggestions?

Fritz: The upstairs dance club at Hawk and Dove is 18-and-over and absolutely SLAMMED during intern season. You can hang out downstairs -- though it's rarely low-key there -- before getting down. Another idea: The Rock and Roll Hotel is generally 18-and-over for its dance nights.

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Washington, DC: Rhome - big ups to the Soul Controllers. We need more/better college radio these days. Who's got it going on downtown (since I doubt I can pick up 88.1 from College Park)?

-CBA

Rhome: Decipher every night on WPFW at 11pm.

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Fairfax, Va.: Have any of you been to Tosca? What's the dress code like there? I'm heading to see Steven Wright at the Warner so I don't want to go in suit and tie -- jeans and polo acceptable, or would I be out of place?

Erin: I've never really seen people in jeans at Tosca, but then again I haven't really found many reasons to go since chef Cesare Lanfranconi was replaced, so it could have changed. You might be more comfortable at Zola, Ceiba or even Cafe Atlantico in jeans and a polo.

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Woodley Park, D.C.: Dear all knowing Gurus, Is there anywhere in Chinatown that serves good dim sum? Should I broaden my horizons to Maryland in order to relieve my cravings?

Erin: Of the spots in Chinatown, Tony Cheng's might be the best option, but Hollywood East is a compelling reason to visit Maryland.

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Adams Morgan: Hey GOGs -- you all have served as a great resource for numerous nights in the past, and I'm hoping you might be able to help me once more. I want to go out with my boyfriend for a fancy night out (meaning I get to wear the cocktail dress that normally hangs, unused in my closet). The only catch is that we are in our early 20s, and don't want to be the only people under the age of 50 where we end up. Do you know of any events (music, theatre, art, whatever) coming up that might fit this bill?

Fritz: Glad you asked, just in time: The Corcoran's 1869 Society is having a black-tie dinner and dance on Saturday night: $85 a piece for non-members, but that includes food, dessert and and open bar. Lots of people in their 20s and 30s. More info at corcoran.org.

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Annandale, Va.: Hi Gurus -- love the chats!I'm looking for a good non-chain, or non-super-chain hair salon in the Northern Virginia area. I am willing to pay $45-$65 for the haircut and then extra for highlights. Do you or the chatters have any recommendations? I can't seem to find a good haircut and good highlights from the same person. Thanks so much!

Janet: It's not easy to find a place that gives a good haircut and also manages the color thing. A friend of mine with highlights, though, raves about Salon Bleu.

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Arlington, Va.: Re: U St Coworkers

Myself thinks that "myself" is not a subject noun. It is "My coworkers and I," or "I asked myself." At least try...

Fritz: Yes, one often thinks that the incorrect use of "myself" should be punished by a trip to the stocks.

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For Old Town Luncher: Overwood is a relatively new restaurant on S. Lee Street, I think. A little of the beaten path, but really great food.

Erin: Yes, Overwood is brought to you by the Blvd. Woodgrill folks. You'll find basic American fare, including huge salads, on the lunch menu.

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Arlington, Va.: The Crystal City Sports Pub's new 3rd floor you mentioned is open NOW - don't wait 'til the fall...

Fritz: Yeah, I know it's open (and has been for a few weeks), but the question was about places to watch college football... just trying to give people something to looking forward to.

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Upper Marlboro, Md.: I am constantly reading the Thursday columns, but some weeks I am too busy to get to them. I was wondering where I could go on, say, a Friday morning and find past weeks' blogs? I also wanted to know where I could take a date this weekend in Georgetown? Thanks a million

Julia: Hey there, Upper Marlboro. If you're looking for our Going Out Gurus Blog (short articles on local happenings), it's always located here. If you're looking for our live chats -- like this one -- on a Friday morning, go to the main City Guide page. Below the calendar you'll see a headline that says "From the Gurus." On the right there's a list of items labeled "Other Guru Features." Our most recent discussion is always listed in there.

If you're looking for a dinner spot, the new sustainable seafood restaurant Hook isn't cheap, but it's pretty yummy.

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Record shops: Don't forget Red Onion Records on 18th near T street.

Fritz: Co-signed. It's worth rooting around in there, but Neal Becton at Som records is my go-to guy for vinyl. He tracked me down a great copy of Dexter Gordon's "Our Man in Paris" for a very reasonable fee.

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Washington DC: I've heard that some clubs, particularly Ultrabar, but also Fur, host "college nights" on Thursdays. I often get flyers in the mail about Ultrabar's Thursday parties. Are these worth going to? Do they attract a crowd? thanks

Fritz: Of the area's college nights (that I've attended, and I'm out of college), I'd rank them thusly, in terms of quality of music and crowd:

1. Love
2. Fur
3. Ultrabar / Platinum (tie)


All are on Thursday nights.

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washingtonpost.com: Confidential to Lexington, KY: We like Sonoma, on Capitol Hill -- ask for the upstairs area with couches. Great wines by the glass, delicious desserts.

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395 and Seminary: My coworkers and I are looking for somewhere in the area (395 and Seminary Road) to go out for a happy hour next week. Half of us are in the District, half of us are in VA. Where is a good place to go for happy hour that is close or convenient for both groups?

Thanks for all the great help already today!

Fritz: Mango Mike's
Mango Mike's
Mango Mike's

It's in Alexandria, near you. Make the D.C. folk drive out for tropical drinks under the palm trees. They'll grumble about traffic, but once they sample rum drinks, they'll thank you.

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Washington, D.C.: For the poster asking about wearing a polo and jeans to Tosca -- my family went there last week, and my husband and brother-in-law were the only men in the restaurant not wearing a coat and tie. Much dressier than I thought it would be.

Erin: First-hand reports are always appreciated. Thanks.

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Washington, D.C.: Where is the post on pools that you referred to? If it exists, it's very well hidden on WaPo site.

Julia: It's linked up in the introduction to this chat that you're reading, but here it is again. Happy swimming!

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Arlington, Va.: Do you have any suggestions where to get a good gyro in the D.C. area? I use to go to Fetoosh in Georgetown. But Fetoosh is now closed. Anyone know when Fetoosh closed ?

Julia: I don't know about Fetoosh's closing, but I do know about the gyros at Astor's. They're amazing.

Erin: Have you tried Quick Pita on Potomac? They're open quite late and were my go-to place before I discovered (and had my heart broken by) Fetoosh. Fetoosh closed in late March. There's a new spot in its place, but I can't vouch for it yet.

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Mt Pleasant: Gurus, please help me out. My fabulous mama is coming to DC this weekend (June 1-3) and I am looking for fun things to do together.

She's in her early 50s and loves live music (especially salsa, blues and flamenco), dancing, yoga, and cute afternoon tea shops.

She just got back from a ultra-cool visit to my sis and I want to convince her that DC is just as fantastic as Santa Fe. I'm hoping you all can be my secret weapon. Thanks!

Rhome: I'm only a dilettante yogi but out of the many options in D.C. alone I've had good experiences with Tranquil Space and Bikram in Dupont and Flow Yoga Center in Logan Circle.

Julia: I also like Inspired Yoga. They have an amazing studio on U Street.

If you have access to a car, this might be a great weekend to take your mama out to Bull Run for the Vintage Virginia Wine Festival. They have some blues, jazz and roots-rock bands playing -- plus plenty of wine to taste.

Oh, and for Tea, definitely hit up any of the Teaisms (though Dupont's still my fave).

Fritz: For flamenco, there are a couple of options: I like the dancers and guitarist at Cabanas on the Georgetown Waterfront -- maybe take Mom for an outdoor drink at Sequoia before seeing one of the 8:30 or 10 p.m. shows on Friday. Or there's some great Gypsy Kings-style guitar (and dancing) at Las Tapas in Old Town Alexandria.

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washingtonpost.com: That does it for us. Have a great weekend and be ready report back on your favorite summer scenes right here next Thursday.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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