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The Going Out Gurus
of the washingtonpost.com Going Out Guide
Thursday, October 30, 2008; 1:00 PM

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

The transcript follows:

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washingtonpost.com: What's shakin' folks? It's a busy week ahead, with both Halloween and this election thing, and we'll be sure to get to some of your questions on both topics. But for starters, here are some Halloween costume contests and here's a rundown of places to watch the results trickle in on Tuesday. And, as you have surely noticed, the City Guide is now the Going Out Guide. Read about some of our fun new features here, and if you have any questions, concerns, compliments, complaints, send them along during the next hour. Rhome's somewhere that isn't here, but everyone else is present, so let's get to it.

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Fairfax, Va.: Hello.

I would like to get my boyfriend a gift certificate for a hot shave and maybe a manicure/ pedicure or a men's facial. Do you know any places in Northern VA (Fairfax would be great) that would offer those services other than the Gentleman's Quarters in Alexandria?

Thank you.

Janet: There are Grooming Lounges in NW D.C. and in Tysons Corner that should do the trick for you.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus! My boyfriend's birthday is coming up, and I thought a fun idea would be to do a couple's spa day. Do you know of any salons (that don't cost a fortune) where I could do massages, pedi's, etc. for me and my man? THANKS!

Janet: I know that Serenity Spa in Tenleytown offers those services. I'm pretty sure that Aveda in Georgetown does as well. Sounds like a fun birthday!

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus!

My brother and his girlfriend (they are both 24ish) are visiting this weekend, and I'm looking for things to do during the day on Saturday. I think we'll probably try one of the museums, but I'd love to know if there's anything in particular going on. He doesn't seem into the Halloween festivities, so we'll probably skip that stuff. Spy Museum seems obvious.... other thoughts?

Stephanie: The Spy Museum is always a crowd-pleaser. I'd also suggest the G-Men and Journalists exhibit at the Newseum as fun weekend entertainment. If your guests are at all into art, history or politics, I can't say enough good things about Pompeii at the National Gallery and Regime Change Starts at Home (including work by Shepard Fairey, who is responsible for those now ubiquitous red and blue Obama posters) at Irvine Contemporary.

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Last minute as always: I was planning on going to Nightmare on M st but did not buy tickets online as I forgot until today. Well they are now sold out...Should I try at the door to get tickets or change my plans entirely? Thanks

Fritz: That's the limited number of discounted advance tickets ($12 instead of the $20 at the door). You can still go, but I'm expecting it to be completely mobbed.

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Bethesda, Md.: I was wondering if people would be dressing up for the Coldplay concert Friday night. Seems pretty silly for people not to dress up on Halloween!

David: I'm sure people will be dressing up. Chris Martin dresses up as a 19th century European infantryman every night, so he'll need to find a new costume.

Anybody out there have any particularly inspired costumes for tomorrow night?

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Breakupsville, Population: my friend: A friend of mine has recently broken up with her boyfriend. We are thrilled, she needs cheering up. I was thinking that a night of drunken kareoke would be just the ticket (she needs to belt out "I need a lover who won't drive me crazyyy!" But I digress). We've done it before but at random places like Carlos O'Kelly's in Fairfax (I know...) Where should we go in Fairfax/Arlington to lose some dignity? We're mid-20's, live in the Fairfax/Falls Church area. Thanks, love you guys!

Fritz: Karaoke Idol, which is an actual bar, not a competition, is a Filipino spot with karaoke every night of the week, and regulars who really get into it.

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Arlington, Va.: Last year you recommended I take my boyfriend to Butterfield9 for a wild game tasting menu for his birthday. He loved it! I'm trying to pick another unusual food / wild game place to take him this year in D.C. or anywhere in Northern Virginia. I'd prefer to keep it upscale, but am open to all suggestions.

My friends on Chowhound suggested a wild game wine dinner at Pearmund winery, which would be perfect, but its all booked up. They also said maybe Blue Duck Tavern or Central. Any 'gamier' options?

Thank you!

Julia: This is definitely more of a Tom question. Chatters over at his weekly chat have been raving about the wild boar at Dino. The restaurant is cute -- and definitely not a dive or anything -- but it's not as upscale as Butterfield 9 was.

Chatters, beyond Blue Duck and Central, got any other ideas for this gal? I noticed one of the chatters on your Chowhound question linked to Metrocurean's loverly post about the Rocky Mountain oysters at Firefly for the next few months. I've been half-grossed-out, half-intrigued since I got that release myself. More grossed out actually. I mean, come on.

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Capitol Hill: Gurus, please help! My friends and I would very much like to attend an inaugural ball in January, and since we're not politically connected, so we're willing to shell out some $$ to buy our tickets. But, where, oh where, do we go? Is there a list of the available balls somewhere? Or does that not really happen until after the election when the Presidential Inaugural Committee is formed? Is it better to wait? Or to grab tix that available now to ensure that we get them? How do we know which event is "the place to be"? For example, the Illinois State Society has tickets on sale now...and since one of the Presidential candidates is from Illinois, is it safe to think he, if elected, would be stopping by this ball? Clearly, we need guidance from the gurus! Thanks so much!

Fritz: The big list of Inaugural Balls comes out after the election, though as you note, the State Societies are already planning and organizing away -- tickets for Texas' legendary Black Tie and Boots Ball are also on sale.

As you suspect, there's a good chance that presidents stop by their states' balls -- both President Bushes stopped by Texas, while Bill Clinton attended the Arkansas State Society's ball.

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Halloween Costume: For Halloween this year I was thinking about being a Turkey Sub. Do you know if there are any places in the district where I could get bread big enough to make a costume?

Julia: Try calling a bakery that specialized in bread, perhaps those long six-foot sub rolls. Best Buns in Shirlington comes to mind.

Since six-foot subs get up there in price (and there's no WAY there'd be one wide enough for one person), perhaps foam might be a more practical choice. Calling a craft store like AC Moore might be your first step.

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Washington, D.C.: Re: cool singles scenes. I've read your list of Best Bets but am wondering whether you can offer other suggestions. Only requirements are that they must be in the District and be truly cool. Thanks

Fritz: What's cool to one person is lame to another. Can you offer more specifics of what you think is "truly cool"?

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Virginia: Hello, months ago, you wrote that anyone can park at the Pentagon Saturday and Sunday. I did try 2 weeks ago but the Pentagon police told me to go to Pentagon City since it is like 2 dollars for all day Saturday. Can I still park at the Pentagon parking lot?

Stephanie: As far as I know there isn't any public parking at the actual Pentagon. Pentagon City is your best bet.

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Washington D.C. - Upper Northwest: Hey GOGs, any ideas for a laid back bar in the upper NW/ Glover Park area that isn't like your normal frat party? Just moved last month from Boston and I can't seem to find a chill bar that doesn't have the Georgetown "going out crowd." I just want a pub/tavern style place that plays chill music and is low key compared to the likes of Town Hall, Gin & Tonic, etc. I tried bread soda and its not my favorite place, and as far as Bourbon goes is it a rule that you have to be a snob in the Glover Park/georgetown area?

Fritz: Well, Gin and Tonic was low-key when I was there to watch football last week, but I think I know what you mean -- skipping wall-to-wall crowds and loud dance music Thu-Sat, right? Well, if you're sticking around Glover Park and you've checked out Breadsoda, you're out of luck. About the closest I can suggest is the Malt Shop up in Tenleytown, but even that gets packed with AU students. You might be able to enjoy a pint or two at the pubby Kemble Park Tavern, though that's more restaurant than bar. And, of course, there's Martin's Tavern in Georgetown, where it still feels like an old English pub.

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Dupont: Help me Julia! I'm seeing "Drunk Enough to Say I Love You" tomorrow night, and I'm thinking about dragging my posse to eat at Granville Moore's before the show. Good call? Or should we do Sticky Rice? I've never been to either...And do we need reservations?

Julia: You can't go wrong with either, but my personal tastes lean more toward Granville Moore's. It's got a great cozy feel. Of course, that recommendation really all depends on the size of your posse. If you've got more than 5 people, I'd go with Sticky Rice.

I've never even tried to get reservations at either restaurant -- they're both such neighborhood joints -- but since you're concerned about timing before the show, give them a call and see if they can set something up. My usual H Street M.O.: If Granville Moore's is full, get a table at Sticky Rice (or vice versa).

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Washington, D.C.: I am looking for a place to throw an engagement party for my college roommate. Basically we are just looking for a room or area in a bar for 30-40 people where we have to put little down but can guarantee a large bar tab. The hiccup of course being that we are not in college anymore, so a dive is out of the question. Any ideas? I was thinking something like Russia House...

Fritz: The upstairs of Russia House would be a good idea. Also consider Science Club and Bourbon (Adams Morgan), where I've attended private events that went over well.

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Pentagon Parking: speaking of pentagon parking, are people still allowed to windsurf on skateboards in the lots like they did in the 80s?

or is this out of style?

Stephanie: Sounds like fun--and a great way to get to know the police officers who survey the area 24/7.

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Halloween Help: Hi GOGs, my friends who live all around the DC area are trying to meet up tomorrow night. We're late 20's early 30's and know we're going to run into crowds wherever we go, but would love to find a place where we can at least get to the bar. Do you have any suggestions for places on/near U street? Or another neighborhood we should check out to stay away from M street or Gtown?

Thanks!

Fritz: When Halloween falls on Friday or Saturday, it is always a throwdown of epic proportions. Just about every bar in the city gets rammed. What I would suggest is sticking to either hotel bars, like the Town and Country at the Mayflower, Bar Rouge at Rouge, Le Bar in the Sofitel, that aren't hosting parties (ie skip Helix) or neighborhoody places, like Post Pub, Murphy's of D.C. in Woodley Park, Atomic Billiards in Cleveland Park, the Pug on H St., etc.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Hi Gurus,

My husband and I are planning a weekend getaway to Shepherdstown. Any suggestion for things to do and a restaurant? It's his birthday this weekend.

Thanks so much!

Janet: That's a wonderful idea, and hopefully the weather will cooperate. For food -- dinner, especially -- I recommend the Press Room. Stone Soup is okay for lunch, but you could also try Maggie's. If you're Civil War buffs, the Antietam Battlefield is close by and well worth a visit. Shopping along German Street is a great pasttime, and you'll find lots of unusual gifts for the holidays. I love, love the bookstore and the skin shop. Have fun.

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Dale City: GOGers! Love the chat! I check it out every week! Tell me, why do people hate on Pasta Mia in AdMo? If people are WAITING IN LINE to get in there, it has to be good, right? I love PASTA, just as much as I love chips and salsa (and the 'ritas) at Lauriol! So, tell me: What's your verdict on Pasta Mia? And when is the best time to go there to beat the lines of people on a Saturday night?!?! K, Thanks!!

Julia: I love the food at Pasta Mia, but I see why people hate on them for their business practices. The line's annoying. I think they're still cash-only, which is frustrating for people like me who never have more than $6 in cash at any given time. And there was that one really awesome time where they took two weeks of "Spring Break" right after I had just raved about how fantastic the pasta was there in a blog post. Awesome. Anyway, basically, even though I love, I understand the hate.

The thing about Pasta Mia is that there just isn't a good way to beat the line. I guess it appears to die down like closer to 9, but I don't even think that's foolproof. Dating back to high school, there have only been two times that I have ever eaten at that restaurant and not had to wait in line. 1) When I showed up at 6:10 right after a rainstorm. 2) When it was snowing.

Good luck!

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus! I would like to watch the Redskins game at a bar on Monday night. My boyfriend is a diehard fan who only watches the games at home. Do you know of a place in D.C. where we could watch the game that would have the sound up, good TVs, and not too many distractions? Thanks!

Fritz: Just skip the Pourhouse, which is going to be packed with Stillers fans. Your boyfriend would fit right in with the diehards at a place like Champions, Rhino Bar, the Reef (only one TV, but everyone was wearing jerseys on Sunday), Momo's on U street, etc.

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Annapolis brunch: I know this is a little outside of DC, but does anyone have any recommendations for a Sunday brunch location in Annapolis?

Janet: Yes, I do. I really like Harry Browne's which is on Church Circle, right across from the State House. It's pubby-looking and cozy for a cool Sunday.

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Bread Costume: Friend in high-school dressed up in a refrigerator box he got from best buy.

He cut holes in the sides for arms. one in front for face. There were spray painted newspapers in orange, yellow, and red coming out the top. You could make green for lettuce, packing foam for turkey-comes in box.

Granted, he was a joint. We told the teachers he was a fall foliage tree.

Julia: Duuuuude.

Actually, I once knew a guy who used a box to be a 40 oz. That was a great costume.

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H St reservations: As an H St resident (and frequent patron of GM and Sticky Rice) I thought I could help with the post about dinner reservations. Granvilles has a modified reservation process - you can't actual reserve a table, but when you show up they add your name to the list and then call you when there is a spot available. Its basically just a waiting list. For a larger group SR is def the better pick. I got to GM at 7:15 last Fri and for a group of 2 the wait was an hour! Both hve great menus, just depends on how long you want to wait for your food!

Julia: More intel from an H Street resident.

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Ballston Dude: what are the guru favorite halloween candy? what about least favorite candy?

Any favorites to sit outside and people watch tomorrow night?

David: Nothing beats Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Everything beats the dreaded candy corn.

Julia: Favorite: Skittles. Least Fave: Actually, I haven't met many pieces of candy I didn't like. I don't like taffy too much, but I don't even think you can give that to kids any more because it isn't factory sealed. [<---fascinating ramblings of a candyfreak.]

Jen: I also love the Reese's. And I enjoy Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops, pretty much anything involving Tootsies.

I admire David for telling it like it is: Candy corns are revolting. And I have never been a fun of Three Musketeers. Nougat shouldn't be that whipped. It's just ... wrong.

Stephanie: I'm a big Payday fan. And I haven't found anything grosser than a Good & Plenty, especially since they look like Mike & Ike's. Such a tease.

Janet: I'm a Reese's fan as well. In fact I've been eating them just to taste test before Halloween. Frozen Snickers also can't be beat!

Fritz: I like Snickers, Reese's and, for some reason, gummi life savers. Won't eat Good and Plenty or candy corn or anything with razor blades in it.

Anne: Another vote for Reese's, because I love peanut butter + chocolate. Apparently a bunch of us got addicted to those gummy Lifesavers, too. But I will stay away from black licorice or cherry-flavored anything.

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Indecisive: We were planning a day trip to St. Michael's this weekend, but Shepherdstown sounds really intriguing. Does S-town have more to see/do than St. M's? Thanks!

Janet: Do you like mountains or water for background scenery? I'm very fond of both places. St. Michael's has a lovely maritime museum and plenty of places to shop and eat; Shepherdstown has nearby Harper's Ferry and Antietam, along with unusual shops. A toss-up in my opinion.

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Georgetown, D.C.: Yet another Halloween question:

This is my first time spending this holidy in dc. I live in Glover Park and have heard that Georgetown has quite the happening halloween scene, but I don't know any of the details. I assume it's on M st. and Wisconsin, but are there particular bars that participate or is it an outdoor event on the street? And is it worth checking out?

Thanks gurus!

Fritz: Basically, costumed groups just roam around Georgetown checking out each others' outfits and popping in and out of bars like Third Edition, Modern, Rhino Bar, etc. (Modern's having a costume contest, for example.) It's not particularly well organized, and the sidewalks get chaotic, which is why the police put up metal barriers to keep revelers out of the street. It's worth checking out if you've never been there before, but honestly, Adams Morgan is just as interesting these days.

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Glover Park, D.C.: I have a lunch date so submitting early. We just moved to Glover park and tired of the takeout options already. We have been going to 2 Amys and Cactus Cantina. Not too crazy about Divan. Could you give us more suggestions? Gracias.

Julia: I love me some Surfside, so that's an option. (Tom's reviewing the place in this week's magazine.) He gave a pretty good review to Shanghai Tea House up your way as well. If you're going to Cactus and 2 Amys a lot, it seems like you might also be pretty close to the Cleveland Park strip. Spices is reliable for sushi/basic noodle dishes.

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Virginia: Hey GoGs!

For Christmas, my boyfriend and I were considering a trip out to Charlottesville as our present to each other. Plan was to stay at a B&B, bum around the town, go to Monticello, maybe go to a winery if it's decent out, have a snowball fight, etc. Obviously, it would be better to do when it's warmer out, but would a trip out that way be a complete mess during the winter? Are wineries even open in the winter?

Stephanie: Well I'm completely and totally biased, but I think CVille around Christmas time is a great plan. There's no telling what the weather will be like, but it doesn't generally start to get snowy here/there until after the holidays. If the weather isn't too bad, stroll around the downtown mall, check out the campus, maybe go for a hike on humpback mountain and hit up some wineries (which should be open for tastings).

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Pentagon Parking: Perhaps the earlier commenter was referring to the small parking lot on the Pentagon City Mall side of 395. It's Pentagon parking only during working hours but free on weekends and after hours.

Stephanie: Good point! Another tip for the Pentagon parker.

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Columbia Heights, D.C.: Hey GOGs-

My parents are coming in town this weekend and they'll be meeting my boyfriend for the first time. We have dinner plans at Old Ebbitt and tickets to the Capitol Steps on Saturday at the Reagan Building and am looking for a low key place for drinks/dessert afterward that is within walking distance from there. I would prefer someplace a bit quieter to let them get to know him a little better. Any suggestions you have would be great!

Fritz: Around there, I'd say cocktails and dessert at the Willard Hotel would be good, if a little pricey, or maybe Les Halles. The upstairs wine bar at Bistro D'Oc is a good choice, if a little unpredictable -- I tried to stop in a few weeks ago and it was closed because it was TOO quiet.

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D.C.: Hello. Where can I go salsa dancing in Old Town, Alexandria?

Fritz: Cafe Salsa has a DJ spinning, great mojitos and a very small dance floor.

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dumb question: "when you show up they add your name to the list and then call you when there is a spot available"

how is this a modified reservation system? that's how all restaurants work when you don't have a reservation. unless you can somehow call ahead and put your name on the list and i just misread the post.

Julia: Yeah, it's kind of like how Cork works. It's just that instead of getting on the list when you get there, you can get on the list *before* you get there. Unless I misread the post too. Not a huge time savings, but it comes in handy when you're trying to go to the theater right afterwards. Like, the Dupont poster could call in advance, see if there was any possible way she and her friends could get a table by, say, 7 p.m. so they could make the show on time.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Hi Gurus, hopefully you'll take this because it's a question that many people might have this time of year ... I'm a left-leaner, and I'd love to go to a bar, watch the election results and (hopefully!) celebrate Obama winning the presidency. Any ideas on good bars for election night viewing?

Fritz: Weekend's Ellen McCarthy has compiled this helpful list for tomorrow's paper, which includes the political affiliations of the crowds at a number of different bars, plus drink specials and other cool info.

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Adams Morgan Resident: Pasta Mia is fantastic, but really, don't go if you can't handle the rules - it just makes it unpleasant for all of us. Specifically: cash only, no substitutions, no splitting entrees and no lingering over dessert (not that you'd have room for dessert). In addition, the only way in is to stand in line, and they won't take your name or tell you how long the wait is going to be, so don't bother fighting your way to the front of the line to ask.

Finally, "no line" is virtually impossible, particularly on a Saturday - I went two Saturdays ago and there was a line out the door at 10pm. However, if you are willing to eat VERY early, get there before 6pm and your wait will be limited to a half hour (they open at 6:30pm).

Oh! One final rule (this is my own) - when standing in line - DO NOT PROP THE DOOR OPEN!!!!!!

Good luck.

Julia: Yeah, I agree. Pasta Mia is what it is. You either deal . . . or don't go.

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NW, DC: Oh, tell me more about this wild game tasting at Butterfield9. That would be the PERFECT gift for my father!

Julia: Sadly, Butterfield 9 closed this summer. I'm afraid all the game tasters are going to have to hit up that winery!

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Washington, D.C.: I'm craving roasted chestnuts -- where can I find some in D.C.? Are there any street vendors? Thanks!

Anne: Hmmm, anyone know? There were some unroasted ones at the Del Ray farmers market last week, for starters.

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Coldplay (again): Do you have an update one what time they're supposed to go on tomorrow night? Any more opening acts? Thanks!

David: Duffy's the only opening act. She's supposed to hit the stage right around 7:30 and play for 40 minutes or so. Expect Coldplay around 8:40.

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Clifton, Va.: Wild game on the menu

Try Pawtomack Landing out in VA near Round Hill.

Julia: Thanks for the tip!

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Woodbridge, Va.: Can you recommend some anti-Halloween festivities?

Fritz: You know, I was assuming this was going to be more popular of an idea -- best one I've seen so far is the No Costumes Allowed party at Strike Bethesda with unlimited bowling and drink specials. Anyone else found some anti-Halloween gatherings?

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NoVa: Are the outer banks too far for a weekend trip? Thursday night to a Sunday.

Julia: It's not impossible, but it won't be too fun. My husband and I went Friday night through Monday night this summer and it just felt like the second we got there, we had to turn around for the six-hour drive. If you can get an extra day or two, might be worth it then though. It's so amazing down there.

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Annapolis, Md.: A friend and I are looking to watch the two best college QBs square off in the Texas v. Texas Tech game on Saturday night (GO UT!). Do you know of any places where they would be showing the game and we could watch it with other transplanted Texans? We are in College Park and Annapolis and would prefer a place out here, but would come into the city for a great atmosphere!

Fritz: Did you know that D.C. has the largest UT alumni chapter outside of Texas? (Actually, given the number of Texans working in the administration, maybe that's not a surprise.) I've been to one Texas game-watching party, and I have to say the D.C. Texas Exes are one of the more raucous crowds around. They're at the Rhodeside Grill in Arlington for every game, and if you can make it out, you should.

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Guys and Spa Treatments?: Hi Gurus,

Do guys really like/want spa treatments? It seems to me that a couples spa day could be pretty self-serving unless the guy has indicated he has any interest in such a gift.

David: Yeah, this could sort of be like, "Hey honey, I got us tickets to the Paul Verhoeven Film Festival!"

Fritz: Or David saying, "Happy anniversary, honey! Surprise -- we're going to see Deerhoof!"

David: (I would never be that excited to see Deerhoof, for the record.)

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Arlington and/or DC: I submitted a question just before 1, but I'll recap it here:

You guys know of any dog-friendly Halloween/costume parties on Friday or Saturday night? (Arlington, Alexandria or DC??) My gf got our mini schnauzer a hot dog costume, and he looks flippin sweet in it. Would hate for it to go to waste. Thanks!

Fritz: Have not seen any other than the always awesome Doggy Happy Hour costume contest at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria. Sorry.

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21st and K Streets, NW: Hey GOGs! I was thinking about becoming a DC nightlife promoter. I don't really know that many people in DC but I figured if I open a facebook account, add some pictures of me with hot women I don't know, blindly request 2,452 friends between the ages of 21-31 and then invite them to the "Hottest" events at Shadowroom, Lotus, Josephine's etc. I could become one of DC's super-promoters. Thoughts?

David: "Hey, did you go to D.C. Upstairs Nightlife Promotion School, too?"

Fritz: Calling it "Josephine's" is a sign that you're on your way already.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus - Please help! I need a restaurant for a birthday dinner with my in-laws this weekend. Budget isn't really an issue, but the food has to be excellent. A beautiful setting wouldn't hurt, and DC or Bethesda is best. They like French, so I was considering Cafe du Parc or Bistro Bis, but they're really open to anything, so what would your pick be? Thanks so much!

Julia: I love Cafe du Parc. It's pretty in there, but I don't think I'd call it a beautiful setting. It's more bistro-ish. (Oh, and game-dinner gal, they usually have rabbit on the menu. That might be an option.) Bistro Bis is gorgeous inside.

Marcel's and Central might be other options.

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Peoples Democratic Republic of Tacky Park: Where are the best costume contests?

Fritz: I don't know about you, but I could use $5,000 cash or a trip to Aruba.

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Bad Brains: Do you guys know what time Bad Brains will take the stage on the 4th? I know it's an early show, but how early is early?

David: No word on exact set times yet, but check the 9:30 club Web site the day of the show and they will be posted there. Doors are at 5, the doors for the late show are at 10, so you'd think they'd like to have everyone cleared out by 9. I'd expect Bad Brains on stage no later than 7:30.

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Upper Marlboro, Maryland: My husband and I are off this Friday. Most Halloween activities are at night. Are there any good plays or activities during the day tomorrow?

Stephanie: I think you'll be out of luck finding a play during the day tomorrow, but it would be a great time to go to a movie, find an orchard that's open on weekdays and go apple picking, or head to one of the museums for a fun exhibit.

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Arlington, Va.: My wife is turning 40 November 24th and I need ideas!! I wanted to get a few of her friends together to do "something" preferably live entertainment. Her and her friends are fun and cool, mostly live in DC, like to drink, and some type of live show with restaurant before or after would be ideal. But I didn't see anything descent going on two weeks before or after the 24th. AC/DC is at Verizon center - "interesting" but can't quite see that for her 40th. Help pleeeeease?!

Fritz: How about burlesque and sideshow performances at the Palace of Wonders with dinner at Sticky Rice or Granville Moore's? That would be my number one option right now.

Or, if you want to do it ON the day, then I'd highly recommend the flamenco show at Cafe Citron. Just get there around 8 so you have a good view of the live musicians and dancers -- some mojitos will help pass the time.

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ANTI HALLOWEEN????: Is there a version of the Grinch for Halloween?

or are these the progeny of the people who turn off the lights on this great night?

Fritz: Spend a few Halloween nights in Adams Morgan or Georgetown and you begin to understand why people get tired of the drunken chicanery.

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Alexandria - Pet contests: All - the pet contest at the Hotel Monaco is tonight, btw.

Fritz: Right. Should have made that clearer.

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New to D.C.: At the risk of offending all local Caps fans, do you have any idea where I can catch the Rangers games with other like-minded hockey fans?

Fritz: Best hockey bar in the area is Bugsy's in Old Town, by far. (Also the only place with framed Gretzky and Orr jerseys on the wall.) In D.C., 51st State is committed to showing Rangers games if they're on, but I haven't been there to know how the turnout is. Chatters?

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Arlington, VA: I'll be meeting my Owings Mills friend for next Monday for lunch and something fun to do afterward. But, I do not know MD suburbs at all! Could you recommend a nice lunch place and after lunch activity for us to do somewhat centrally located? Thanks!

Julia: Okay, so I'll admit it. As one of the resident Virginia girls, I also know nothing about the Md. suburbs. A quick Google Map tells me that you are in for a drive. Geographically speaking, D.C. looks like it's about as close to the middle as you'll come.

If you're willing to make a bit more of a trek for her sake, Laurel or Columbia seem like your best bets. How 'bout this place?

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Modified Reservations: Is it possible the poster was referring to an actual phonecall? I've been to restaurants in New York where they will take your phone number and call you when a table is ready, allowing you to go have drinks somewhere nearby.

Julia: Possible....guess we'll all have to call Granville to find out, cause we Gurus are pretty much outta time.

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glover park surfside: I have to respectfully disagree - the quesadillas are okay, but some of their burritos are not the greatest...

Julia: Another take on Surfside. I'm partial to the tacos myself.

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DeeCee: I heard Filter is playing at Hard Rock tonight. Seems like a long time since I've heard of bands at Hard Rock, is this a change back to the old days?

Fritz: Apparently. Rhome and I saw Estelle there not too long ago. They primarily have concerts as part of charity events -- tonight's is a benefit for Operation Troop Aid.

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Hollywood Meets D.C.: Any info on all these "Nightlife" reality TV shows I've been hearing about? First, the BCM on Lifetime, then the "Raising the Bar" thing with the former Fly guys, and now Absolute Addiction getting their own pilot. What are the chances that any of these see ever air? Does everyone get their own reality TV show these days?

David: Just wait until you see "Going Out With the Gurus," coming soon to G4.

Fritz: I don't get out of bed for less that Fuel.

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Washington, D.C.: My finance just had her wisdom teeth taken out and is able to eat solid foods, but gently and tenderly. Is there any amazing spot that features really soft foods obnoxiously so? Something that'd be seen as a sweet, romantic gesture?

Julia: Not to be a hater, but does she really want to go out? When I got my wisdom teeth out, all I wanted to do was sleep on the couch and wake up occasionally to watch bad movies like Vanilla Sky. Maybe you could go to a place like Jettie's or Chatman's and get her some soup to go?

Also, Tom Sietsema gave a generally favorable review to this restaurant in a D.C. apartment building. Guru Anne doesn't exactly share his opinion of the place, but she did mention that the food's all really soft...not so much in a good way!

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Washington, D.C.: Gurus! Does anyone know the best way to get to FedEx field for Monday night football? Metro? Drive? Can you park without a parking pass?

Julia: You can't park without a parking pass, but you can always buy $25 offsite parking once you get there. Driving will be a mess (afternoon commute + tailgate crowd) so if you don't mind a mile-walk to the stadium, take Metro, which will stay open until 1 a.m. to accommodate the crowds. (The walk really isn't that bad, but I'm so glad we have a parking pass for Monday night!) From redskins.com about walking from Metro: Want to avoid the hassle of driving? Then hop on the Metro. Just take the Blue Line to the Morgan Boulevard Metro Station. The Morgan Boulevard Station is located on Garrett Morgan Boulevard and is within 1-mile walking distance to FedExField.

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washingtonpost.com: That's it for us today. Take some time to surf around in the new Going Out Guide, we think you'll have fun. See you next week.

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