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Got Plans?

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The Going Out Gurus
of the washingtonpost.com City Guide
Thursday, May 8, 2008; 1:00 PM

Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, washingtonpost.com's City Guide experts share their best bets for local flavor, great dates and family fun. Got plans? Great. Need plans? Just ask. We have the skinny on the bars and clubs, concerts, kitchens, theaters and special events that keep life interesting. We're going out gurus, and we're at your service.

Of course, we're happy to answer questions about local entertainment, but we need to hear from you, too. Introduce us to the coolest DJ or the fastest bartender you've encountered. Sound off on the week's best concert or the city's best burger. Tell us about the best place to amuse little kids or a big art fan. Together we can plan fun ways to spend weekdays, weekends, dates and holidays. The pleasure is ours, and yours.

Each week a different guru will act as host or hostess, but the entire staff is at your service. If you're looking for more ideas, see the City Guide or read transcripts of past Got Plans? discussions.

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

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washingtonpost.com: Good afternoon on a sort of gloomy Thursday. But we're (Jen, Julia, Fritz, Janet, David and Rhome) here to cheer you up and help you get your plans going for the weekend, so there's reason to rejoice!

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Foggy Bottom, D.C.: Well I have now officially spent too much time looking for a digestif that I had in Puerto Rico recently. Here's what I know: it is called "Cilantro", it is made in Spain, I found a web reference that some guy had it while in Segovia...Please help me track down this wonderful after dinner drink. A local supplier would make my day.

Fritz: If anyone can find unusual liquor in the D.C. area, it's my man Joe Riley at Ace Beverages. He's in the Foxhall Square Mall on New Mexico Ave., or you can call 202-966-4444.

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Hole in our sole?: Gurus,

Looks like a founding member of U St is closing. WWRed is removing a unique footwear option. What now? Where do I go for a selection of shoes that isn't a shopping mall, mass produced, juvenile selection of shoes - in DC. Picky enough? Thanks!

Janet: Pink November in the same neighborhood offers an option; then there's Sassanova in Gtown and the Little Shoe Box in Bethesda for high-end style from Hollywould, Missoni and Lario. Betsy Fisher also carries some styles you won't find everywhere in town.

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Arlington, Va.: Hey Gurus! I need to have my engagement ring buffed and professionally cleaned before my wedding. Is there anyplace in DC or VA that will do this onsite while I wait? I don't want to have to send it away for two weeks, which is the only option I've come across so far. Thanks for your help!

Janet: I'd take it to a jeweler like Boone & Sons, which I know has a location in McLean. They might charge you to do it, but I can't imagine it would take two weeks!

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Girls Night Out, D.C.: Hi Gurus,

I love your chat, and hope you can help me today. My group of fun ladies from my neighborhood are planning "Lil' Black Dress" Night out on the town. We are renting a limo and would like to find a club/bar/lounge to have some girly drinks and dance. The women in our group range in age from 30-50s, so I'm not sure where our group would best fit in. Since we have the limo location anywhere in D.C. is fine.

Thanks for the help!

Julia: I'd try an more upscale lounge-y spot like Eighteenth Street Lounge or Lima. Indebleu might be the best fit for your attire and your cocktail quest, but dancing space is tight. Maybe you could make that your first stop?

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Chevy Chase, D.C.: Missed my chance last week, so writing in early. I was inspired by an episode of Gossip Girl to rent a scooter or Vespa as a birthday gift, possibly trekking to Mount Vernon or somewhere close and spring-y. Any local places I could rent one without needing a motorcycle license?

Fritz: Good question. I've looked around (for myself) and haven't found anywhere that rents Vespas. Readers, can you help? >Also, friendly reminder: In D.C., you need a motorcycle license for most scooters. In Maryland and Virginia, you need one if the engine is over 50cc.

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Capitol Hill: Someone please help me to understand why the 9:30 Club has been so dry lately? I feel like there is usually like 3 or 4 shows I'm dying to see but lately... not so much. I know it is outdoor concert season, but still!

David: Things at 9:30 do tend to slow down as we get into summer since a lot of bands that would play there are doing the ever-growing festival circuit. Bigger paydays, more exposure, fewer touring hassles. The only thing on the schedule right now that I'm really excited for is the Breeders, but I'm pretty %&#%&@ excited for that one.

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Washington, D.C.: I'll be in a meeting Thursday, so I'm submitting early. I've recently become a big fan of having a bloody mary over brunch. Which places in the District offer the best ones?

Julia: The spicy bloody marys at Saint Ex are some of my favorites in town. Logan at the Heights offers a great customizable menu, so you can choose the liquor and garnishes you want in your drink and on the rim of your glass.

Hook's got a bacon bloody that also fits the bill (though your brunch tab will be much higher).

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Washington, D.C.: I'm getting married in Bethesda and looking for a salon that my bridesmaids and I can go to the day of the wedding to get mani/pedis and our hair and makeup done. Can you or the readers recommend a place that isn't too expensive but would provide a fun atmosphere for us? Thanks so much!!

Janet: I know that Acquanails Boutique on Sangamore Road in Bethesda will do manis/pedis for a group, but I know you want hair and makeup, too. Another place to try would be Salon Jean Paul in the District. Chatters, any recommendations?

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Boone and Sons: I often get my engagement ring and wedding band cleaned and buffed at Boone and Sons. They have never charged me (I did get my wedding band there, but they have never asked). Takes about 5-10 minutes while you wait.

Janet: For the woman who wants her engagement ring cleaned and buffed, an endorsement for Boone & Sons.

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Washington, D.C.: I want to take my mom to the National Arboretum on Sunday. Is there a fee to get in and is there parking nearby? Thanks!

Fritz: Great idea. There's no admission fee and plenty of free parking, especially if you use the Bladensburg Road entrance.

It's lots of fun to just wander the grounds (400+ acres) and explore the koi ponds and the bonsai area. On Sunday, there's a special tour of the arboretum's azalea collection, led by the curator. That's $19 and you have to register in advance (see www.usna.usda.gov), but if Mom's into flowers, that could be a great day out.

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Washington, D.C.: I'm submitting early because I really need help! My favorite

Marc Jacobs handbag is coming apart on the inside. I know

this isn't a "going out" question but could you PLEASE

recommend a good repair shop...I'll go anywhere!

Janet: Try Fortuna on Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda.

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Silver Spring, Md. : Just a few weeks away from the "Sex and the City" release and some friends and I are wondering if there will be any theaters in the area doing a Thursday midnight show? Maybe with some cocktails?

Jen: That, my friend, is a great idea. Unfortunately, I have not heard of any midnight screenings on Thursday. But if you wait until Friday night and want an adult beverage during the movie, you could try to see it at a place like AMC Mazza or Fairfax Cinema De Lux, where alcohol is served to some patrons. At Mazza, you have to sit in one of the special, more expensive theaters for bar access and I *think* the same goes for De Lux -- you may have to sit in a Director's Hall seat.

Keep your eyes on the Web site for showtimes and see if it's showing in either of those spots or places like them.

Will the theaters serve cosmos or flirtinis? That I don't know. But they should, darn it.

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Drinks continued: So you found a sub guru for exotic alcohol... now help me find an exotic soda! My fiance and I went to one of the local churrascarias and he had this really yummy Brazilian soda called Guarana. In diet form, no less! But we can't seem to find it anywhere ourselves. Tried several neighborhood Latin markets and they were stumped too. Help!

Rhome: Look up a store called By Brazil in Wheaton, Maryland. I believe it's on Georgia Ave.

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Bethesda, Md.: Greetings!

I am taking my nephew and his new bride (24 years old) to the Nationals game on Saturday night and would appreciate some suggestions for a fun and tasty pre-game. Money is not an object but we will be in shorts and jeans.

Thanks!

Julia: Hey, Bethesda! We've got a whole map about places to eat and drink near the stadium. For food, I think your best bet is probably Belga Cafe on 8th Street or Cantina Marina.

If you wanted something a little nicer (albeit a little further away), consider Sonoma. Nice wine, good American food. Jeans are fine, but I'd try to wear nicer-looking clothes to that one.

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9:30 Club: Not excited for Dizzee Rascal tonight David?? I wish I could go, but United are at home.

David: Tough competition tonight -- Wanda Jackson at Jammin' Java, Matt Taibbi at Politics and Prose and my super-favorites Love as Laughter at the Rock and Roll Hotel. I'd rather see Dizzee when he's on his own and not with El-P, who I'm not a big fan of.

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Arlington, Va.: RE: the bride getting the bridesmaids together for nails, hair and makeup

As a recent bride and frequent bridesmaid, I'd recommend doing the mani/pedis the day before! Or at least yours. You don't want to be rushing around with wet polish!

Janet: Might be a good idea for the bride-to-be, who wants to do her hair, makeup and toes and nails in one fell swoop.

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Sick of $15 drinks: Here is one for you Gurus... How about a list of inexpensive bars for the "not in college" crowd? I love my city and love going out, but man my wallet is not loving me these days. Can we come up with that?

Fritz: You mean places where the average price of a beer is, say, $3 or less?

We've covered this in the chat, and I'll probably have a longer list in the Interns Guide when it launches in a few weeks, but for right now:

Jay's Saloon

Southside 815

Solly's (if you stick to PBR and High Life pounders)

Tune Inn

The Reef (The best beer deal in the city right now is $3 Bell's Two Hearted Ale for $3 Sun-Thu)

The plethora of deals at McFadden's

Readers? Remember, keep this around $3/beer, and let's try to avoid happy hours...

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M Street, Washington, D.C.: Hello!

My parents will be in town next week for graduation celebrations, and I am looking for a good place in NoVA for lunch on Friday. Probably about $20-25 a person, and because of issues my mom has with her stomach, I need a place that has some non-adventurous items on the menu. I was thinking about maybe going somewhere in Old Town since we could spend some time walking around afterwards, but I am not too familiar with lunch places there. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!!

Julia: Vermillion's my new favorite Old Town spot these days and the weekend brunch menu there is divine. You mom could stick to the burger or egg options on the menu.

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Washington, D.C.: Last weekend, on a Saturday night around midnight(!), I entered Club Five only to to find it completely empty (except for the bored bartenders). What's going on? Oh, and I paid $10 for the entrance fee, with nobody even bothering to hint that there was not a soul there, on a Sat. night.

Fritz: From what I've heard, the place is hurtin' since Tim and Hooman -- the managers/bookers who made Five the city's best house music club -- were let go. The owners seem to want to bring live music back, and we've got unconfirmed reports of some big names on their way this summer, but that's all we can say for now.

In any case, I've basically stopped recommending it for dancing on weekends.

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Alexandria, Va: Any jewerlry store worth going into will clean your diamond ring while you wait. They want you to look around and buy something now or later because "they were so nice." Now if it has softer stones in the ring, cleaning methods differ and you need to be careful.

Janet: More on diamond ring cleaning from this chatter.

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Washington, D.C. : So I went to the James Bond Film Festival in Rosslyn last friday and it was a blast. And free! Thursday nights the same group is showing Bond in NoMa. They sat rain or shine....but where is a fun place for food/drinks after?

Fritz: When they were doing the Clint Eastwood Film Fest in Rosslyn last year, I'd mosey over to Continental for a beer afterwards. Good bar snacks, good beers, darts and a solid jukebox.

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Bethesda, Md.: My Marc Jacobs purse needed a repair as the strap was stretching out. I took it back to Neiman Marcus where I got it and they sent it to the actual factory in Italy to repair it. Since I got it from NM, there was no charge but I think if you pay that much for that kind of bag, you should get it done from the source. I've also had my Gucci bag repaired by them and I was so pleased. Just go to the handbags counter and inquire.

Janet: Good thought from this Bethesda reader for the Marc Jacobs bag owner who needs to get a repair. And totally agree, if you bought a bag this expensive, the place where you bought it should take it back and get it fixed.

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Washington, D.C.: Maybe second time's the charm? I asked this last week but no luck. I work a later schedule (don't get out until 7 pm) and I was wondering if you know of any bars in DC or Arlington that have happy hour specials until at least 8:00. Thanks!

Fritz: When I was writing about Piola recently, one of the comments I kept hearing from customers wasn't that they loved the $3 beers, $5 caipirinhas or free pizza, but that the extended hours -- 4:30-8 -- made it them more likely to come back.

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Arlington, Va.: Gurus, I'm a huge Manchester United fan and they're playing Chelsea in the championship next Wednesday. Can you recommend any bars around Arlington that would be fun to watch the game?

Fritz: Kitty O'Shea's. Summers is usually far too crowded to enjoy for big finals.

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Capitol Hill: I'm sure you don't want to get into a whole taxi cab thing, but just wanted to let you know that the Post's taxi fare estimator is lacking the gas surcharge on metered rate estimates. In reality that means the meter initially drops at $4. (And, for what it's worth: The rides I've taken so far -- all after going out for the night -- have been either equal to or more than the zone fare would have been.)

Fritz: Good point. To be pedantic, the meters start being enforced on June 1 and the gas surcharge expires on May 28... but the Taxicab Commission will probably kowtow to drivers and schedule an emergency meeting the night before and extend the surcharge.

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Left Field: Okay, so this isn't really about going out anywhere, but you're my last hope. I'm trying to find someone who is reasonably priced to help me with a groom's cake for my future hubby. He went to VT, so I want to get something that looks like Lane Stadium. If it just required a generic stadium, I could go to Williams-Sonoma and get their baking pan, but I want it to look good. The catch (besides the money), is that it doesn't have to be made out of cake. It could just be an "artistic" rendering, since I don't want to cut it up anyway, so we'll just serve some random cake. So I guess I don't even need a baker - it could just be an artist. But I don't know how to go about finding such a person, and all the bakers in the area are too expensive (I'm hoping for under $1000). If it's not possible, oh well, but I knew if anyone could help, you guys could!

Julia: Wow. No kidding about left field. This is a toughie.

Okay, so my first thought was Fancy Cakes by Leslie. That woman can bake. She won the wedding challenge on the Today Show a few years back with a ridiculously cool groom's cake made to look like a bushel of crabs. I think she's kind of on the pricey side, though.

Anyone have any ideas for the bride-to-be?

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Washington, D.C.: Any leads on whether or not the Cathedral thing is worth going to this weekend? Especially with the rain?

Fritz: If we get a break from the rail, I'm very interested in seeing what Gerry Hofstetter can do with the Cathedral. He's projected some amazing images onto other landmarks -- the pyramids, the Arc de Triomphe, huge icebergs -- and the Cathedral should make an amazing canvas.

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Cheap drinks AND awesome music: Went to Solly's on Monday and it was not too crowded but had an incredible musician palying there. Best guitar I have heard in years. I did have a few very cheap drinks so called Solly's the next day to get his name. He is Eric Sommer and he will be back there on the 19th, they said.

Thats a lot for your money!

David: He's also got a semi-regular gig at the James Bond Film Festival this month, so if you want some good guitar with your spy gadgets, there you go.

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Re: later happy hours: Ceiba! There drink specials go until 10:30 (and start at 2:30) - $5 drink of the day. Also, a lot of Hill bars will have week night specials that are good all night (aka Pour House has $10 pitchers on Tuedays).

Fritz: Very good one, thanks. Also, some of the Austin Grills have happy hour until 9 or so.

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Re: Sick of $15 drinks: I thought the reader asked for bars for folks "not in college"?!?!

Fritz: Outside of McFadden's -- which has plenty of people who aren't in college, trust me -- most of the bars I listed have a clientele that's in their 30s or later.

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Alexandria, Va.: Where can a group of about ten late 20s to early 30s women go for some post-"Sex and the City" movie cosmopolitans and fun. Somewhere near Regal Gallery Place would be great, but we're willing to travel by Metro.

Jen: Wow, you ladies are all planning ahead. I dig that about you.

Plenty of places in the Gallery Place environs have good cocktails -- Indebleu or Oya would be two of your better bets and they're both in walking distance of the theater.

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Taxicab Question!: I can not seem to get a straight answer..and even the Taxicab Commission could not tell me. Can you now share a cab home with a friend? Can you drop a friend off and keep going to a 2nd location without stopping the meter?

Fritz: Yes. I asked this question and was told that the last person can pay the whole fare, or you can pay for what's on your meter at the first stop, at which point the cab can reset the meter for the second person and treat them as a new fare. Only problem with that is you'll pay the $3 drop fare twice.

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To: Left Field: Charm City Cakes in Baltimore.

Fritz: I generally hate food shows, but "Ace of Cakes" is addictive.

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Washington, D.C.: FYI - It's Vermillion, not Vermillion's; Zaytinya, not Zaytinya's; Etc...

(regardless...thank you, your chat is great, my grammar and spelling are never perfect, but that one's just a pet peeve. Vermilion is not a person.)

Julia: For the record, I know the name of the restaurant. I trying to say "Vermillion is" and then shorten it to "Vermillion's" because I talk that way, but Jen now tells me that is wrong too.

Tough crowd! Hey, at least it's better than a few weeks ago when everyone in the office started chiming in with words I misspell every week. Now that was awesome.

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Stadium Cake: Charm City Cakes in Baltimore is famous for this kind of stuff. Prices have gone up since they got their own TV show though. (Of course that also means you can turn on food TV any day and see some examples of their work)

Julia: Thanks for the tip.

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By Brazil?: Um, Rhome, my Internet sources tell me that's a clothing store. Are you sure?

Rhome: When I've seen Brazilian parties at area nightclubs, they've often cited By Brazil as their Guarana supplier. Whenever I'm on my way to Chuck Levin's I see that Brazilian flag and tell myself to check it out. Couldn't hurt to call them.

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Bethesda, Md. Re: Brides and mani/pedis: Please please please get your nails done the day before, also, if you are wanting to get your nails and hair odne in one place in Bethesda, its going to be tough since most hair salons only have one or two stations for nails. Sandy Nails on Old G-town Rd and St. Elmo has a ton of pedicure chairs and nail stations and they are fast but its still enjoyable. Plus, if you go to a hair salon to get all this done, its really going to cost you. If a hair salon/spa is what you are looking for: hit Red Door in Wildwood or Jolie on Bethesda Ave.

Janet: Another vote for getting nails done the day before. Are you listening, bride-to-be?

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Fam food in Old Town: I don't think that you can go wrong with Majestic. I have a good friend who has some food issues and they always take amazing care of her. After someone from the kitchen came out to talk to my friend personally about her food allergies, I was sold!

Julia: That's really thoughtful.

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Washington, D.C.: I have a friend coming to D.C. this summer for an internship, and he is under 21 while I am over 21. What places would you recommend we go when we want to go out and party?

Some I can think of would be the Black Cat and 930 since they're 18-and-up, but I can't think of others. Thanks!

Fritz: I'm going to have a big list of places coming up in the Interns Guide's annual "Where to Go [Legally] if You're Under 21" story, but if you want to go clubbing, Fur is always 18-and-over, Ibiza, Ultrabar and Love are 18-and-over on Thursdays, and H2O seems to depend on the night. In the Black Cat/9:30 vein, don't forget that Rock and Roll Hotel is 18+ for shows, though you have to be 21 to get into the hotel lounge upstairs.

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Quick: Happy Hour. Today. Chinatown/Penn Quarter area. Best bet?

Fritz: Rocket Bar. $3 beers. Skee-Ball.

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HH at Austin Grill: I think the Austin Grill happy hours are more like 4-7, then again 10-close. Still, a good later option.

Fritz: I know the one in Silver Spring is 2-9 p.m., and as I was marveling at its length (and cheap margaritas and Shiners), the bartender told me other Austin Grills had similarly extended deals. So I could be wrong.

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Grammar hangups: I think during chats we should all let our grammar hangups go. We're typing fast here. We're not writing essays.

Fritz: I don't forgive split infinitives.

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Bethesda: Could you suggest a really fun restaurant for a pre-bachelorette party dinner in the Adams Morgan area? We are looking for somewhere that takes reservations. There will be about six to 10 of us. Any type of food is fine.

Julia: I was at Perrys for dinner on Saturday and there were three bachelorette parties in the place -- all with veils. If you're going the veil route and like sushi, that's probably your best bet. Just lay off the deliciously addictive absinthe martinis if you plan on partying all night.

If you're not doing the veil thing and feel like dropping a huge chunk of change, Cashion's is a great choice for a delicious meal. Napoleon has champagne cocktails and French fare that might also fit your bill.

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Grooms Cake: You can contact either a cooking school or art school...they are usually pleased to help with things like this and it gives projects to students. You just pay for supplies.

Julia: Nice idea. L'Academie de Cuisine or the Corcoran might be good places to start.

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James Bond I am Not, D.C.: Apparently I turned in my cool kid card. What/where is NoMa?

Fritz: It's yet another product from the real estate agents who think like this:

"OMG if we try to give our neighborhood a New York City-sounding name, then everyone will think we're cool -- JUST LIKE NEW YORK!"

"And then we can charge New York prices for crappy new 'lofts'!"

Anyway, it's short for NOrth of MAssachusetts avenue, and the movies are screening at Florida and New York Avenues, right across from the ATF building.

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Fritz...: You'll have to just get over your split infinitive issue!

Fritz: Grrrrr.

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Arlington, Va.: I wouldn't normally claim that the Brickskeller has cheap beer, but if my memory serves me (and it turns 39 next week and has had lots of beer, man I love beer), there are a few select cans of things like PBR and schlitz for $3 or $4.

I tried to check the web site, but the beer list doesn't have prices...

Fritz: No, you're right, but who goes to the Brickskeller to drink Corona or Bud? Totally defeats the purpose.

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Suggesti, ON: Hi gurus,

I'm looking for some suggestions for a birthday dinner spot for this weekend. It will be mostly my family, including my grandmother from South Carolina. That makes about seven people. My grandmother wouldn't ever complain about what we eat, but she would probably be more comfortable with something that wasn't too exotic.

Do you have any suggestions for a restaurant in either Arlington (my hood) or Alexandria (where I work). Bonus points for a place with some southern style soul food!

Julia: In addition to being one of the words I misspell all the time, Tallula is a great spot for groups. Indigo Landing, Vermillion (mentioned above) and Majestic come to mind.

Clarendon's Restaurant 3 specializes in Southern-style cuisine, but I didn't think it was worth the money when I went.

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Grooms Cake: Unless the wedding is next May or June, you should probably count Charm City Cakes out. They are booking 10 to 14 months in advance now.

Julia: Wow, that's crazy.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi all, celebrating a 30th birthday this weekend with a small group of girls, looking for a nice club to get our dance on. Something that's not MCCXXIII, but wouldn't require bottle service to get a group of three cute, well dressed ladies in the door promptly. Was thinking Josephine, but I'm not sure what the lines/covers are like. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated, thanks!!

Rhome: There's a big party at Cafe Asia on Saturday. I would have recommended Posh where you can get some flossy action without the usual headaches but the usual DJ will actually be at Cafe Asia. I'm assuming you're looking for mainstream urban club jams and top 40.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus!

I was hoping you could help us out in our quest for a fun night of dancing. My boyfriend and I (late 20s early 30s) are committed to a black-tie work dinner on Saturday night on Capitol Hill, so we'll be in a tux and evening gown, but we want to try to go out for some (fun!) dancing afterwards. Where can we go that is somewhat in the vicinity (willing to expand the radius if necessary), wouldn't be too weird if we showed up dressed to the nines, and had a good mix of top 40 or other dance-able mix? Preferably somewhere that isn't completely packed, if at all possible! Thanks!

Fritz: Wellllll, honestly, there isn't much dancing on Capitol Hill, even on weekends, outside of the sweaty upstairs scene at the Hawk and Dove, or the basement bar at the Irish Times (if you consider that the Hill.) They'll both give you what you want musically, but they're generally packed with lots of interns and college students.

I've said before that Top 40 dance music is really in danger in D.C. -- it seems like it's relegated to college bars, not bigger clubs. One place you might try is Avenue, where DJ Geometrix is a turntable wiz who really gets crowds moving. You can score free passes from dcpartyscene.com.

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Who goes to the Brickskeller to drink Corona or Bud?: OR worse, Schlitz!

Fritz: I'll take Schlitz over Corona, unless I'm on a beach.

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Too far from the mountains: I lived in Appalachia for four years and really miss the amazing bluegrass music. Is there anywhere to get my fix.

Fritz: Tiffany Tavern in Alexandria is the best spot on the weekends, or you can try Madam's Organ on Wednesdays for Big Hillbilly Bluegrass.

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Rosslyn, Va.: Hi GoGs,

When DirecTV upgraded our dish in Jan, the guy pointed it at a tree, and now that said tree got its leaves a couple of weeks ago, we've lost our signal. Since we're moving in two weeks it's not worth fixing.

Anyway, my question is - are there any low-key bars or restaurants in Arlington where I can watch the Penguins dismantle the Flyers over the next week without being surrounded by college kids or drunken rowdies?

Fritz: Jay's, Kitty O'Shea's, maybe Ragtime?

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Did I make it?: You just mentioned Indigo Landing. The reader reviews aren't so great concerning the food. Any of you Gurus been there lately? What are your thoughts? I love the location but don't want to go if the food is not good!

Janet: I was just there, and the food is respectable, if not dazzling. My rockfish was prepared well -- not too done or too undercooked -- with a very good vegetable accompaniment. And, yes, the setting is great.

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Alexandria: Hi Gurus.

I was wondering where to find the best gnocchi around. It is one of my favorite comfort foods and life has been pretty stressful lately. Location doesn't really matter but metro accessibility would be ideal as would a big glass of red wine to enjoy alongside the meal.

Julia: The gnocchi at San Marco is cheap and delicious. Locanda used to have a good one, but the restaurant has since switched over to a spring menu that doesn't include it.

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Washington, D.C.: My 36-year-old male cousin is coming to visit for the weekend. He wants to do some sightseeing but I don't want to pick anything too cheesy or childish. He is from NYC and is a cop. Any ideas?

Fritz: Man, he's just going to miss the opening of the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, which arrives on May 23.

My picks for key non-cheesy sightseeing: Vietnam Vets, Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, the Capitol grounds, looking down the Mall, and, because everyone loves it, the Air and Space Museum. Also, because he's a cop, you should make a visit to the National Law Enforcement Memorial. With it being Police Week and all, I'm guessing that's going to be a very popular destination.

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washingtonpost.com: Thanks for joining us, and we hope we took some of the gloom out of this rainy Thursday. Until next week.

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