Got Plans?: Baltimore Dining, Yankees Bars, Dive Bars, Rehearsal Dinner Spots, Crabs

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The Going Out Gurus
of The Washington Post's Going Out Guide
Thursday, June 11, 2009; 1:00 PM

The Going Out Guide staff discussed Baltimore dining, dive bars, Yankees bars and rehearsal dinner spots on Thursday, June 11 at 1 p.m. ET.

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washingtonpost.com: What's up, Washington, D.C.? Thanks for joining us here at Got Plans? Yeah, we're here to answer your questions for the next hour or so, but you know what we're really geared up for? The Going Out Guide Happy Hour, going down tonight at Freddie's. Come have a drink with us and throw your hat into the ring for a few prizes. We'll give out Beyonce tickets, a free brunch at Freddie's and accommodations at Rehoboth. (Check the blog tomorrow to find out who won the last prize.) Away we go!

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Yay for outdoor movies!!: Sooooo...screen on the green is back!!! Any link to or idea of what movies they are going to show? I only saw the first one for the 20th. Only the first one is Saturday, right? Then back to Monday? Oh and I finnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaly tried Sticky Rice last weekend per all the rave from the GOG's and I LOVED it!! You done done it again Gurus and I thank you!

Jen: Yes, as Dan Zak first reported yesterday, Screen on the Green is indeed back. And you've got the details right; it kicks off July 20th with "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," then runs Mondays after that, through Aug. 10. None of the other movies have been confirmed yet, though Dan reported that films from the New York Screen on the Green -- like "Dog Day Afternoon" -- could screen here, too. Would make sense since they are pulling this together last minute and probably want to show whatever they already have obtained permission to show.

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'90 trend (late): My work blocked this Web site for about two weeks so I didn't get to play with the other children. But I saw a sticker on the back of a car and had to remember to write this to you: PEACE FROGS!

Julia: Oh. My. God. We are all impressed with this pull. Seriously -- Peace Frogs?! I had totally forgotten. Thanks for sending. (And what's up with your work blocking this site, man? We're the news! You can't block the news, man.)

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Washington, D.C.: Good afternoon, Gurus! Fritz, have you eaten at Kiko's since it is across the street from your fave bar, Red Derby? The fact that they deliver is appealing but is the food worth it?

Fritz: I have to admit I have not -- I usually eat at Red Derby if I'm in the neighborhood. (I mean, deep-fried mac and cheese? How can you say no?) Never been to Kiko's. Chatters?

(Oh, and I should say, for the record, that I love the Derby but it's not my favorite bar in D.C.)

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Bethesda, Md.: We are looking for a fun place to grab some bar snacks and good drinks in the U Street area before heading over to the Gibson for our 10 o'clock reservation. We like Cork a lot, but are a bit tired of the $14 glasses of wine. Any other ideas?? Thanks so much!

Julia: What about Bar Pilar? I always like the food there. Cafe Salsa isn't a bad option either, but I'd opt for the first one.

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Washington, D.C.: Hello all.

Any reviews on how Shakespeare Theatre's King Lear is? The problem with theater is that I don't want to drop nearly 70 bucks for a bad production. Do I remember correctly that there is a way to obtain discounts for tickets? I thought I read that one time in the Post. Thanks!

Stephanie: Lear hasn't opened yet, although there were free open rehearsals last weekend; do any chatters care to comment? I have really high hopes for the production, but I'm not seeing it until the weekend after next so ask me again in a couple weeks! Speaking of Shakespeare Theatre, there's a Young professionals night tonight (although we'd prefer you come hang with us, obviously), where you can see Design for Living for $10.

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Adams Morgan: My brother's jazz band is coming to the D.C. area next Thursday to play at a place in Hyattsville called the Surf Club. I have never heard of it before (and in fact just learned where Hyattsville is). Have any of you been there before and can you tell me what I can expect? Thanks.

Fritz: The Surf Club -- formerly Chick Hall's Surf Club -- is one of a dying breed of old 50s/60s-esque roadhouses with a stage, cheap beer and fried food. Looks kinda like a beat-up VFW Hall. Older crowd of regulars, lots of rockabilly and roots stuff on the schedule.

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Baltimore, anyone?: We're going to the Hippodrome on Saturday night and are clueless as to good B'more restaurants worthy of a "date night" other than the always recommended Charleston. Do the GOGs or chatters have any suggestions? It would be much appreciated!

Julia: My Baltimore knowledge is sub-par, but Tom gave a nod to Woodberry Kitchen in his Dining Guide last year. Our newest co-worker Sarah suggested the Brewer's Art as another option.

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D.C.: For pre-Gibson drinks and snacks, I like the roof deck of Tabaq or the bar at Ulah Bistro.

Julia: Both of those suggestions have been hit or miss for me as of late, but I do think they're worth acknowledging. I wish Ulah was more consistent, because the price is good and that upstairs area is SUPER nice.

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Arlington: If it finally stops raining this weekend, any suggestions for fun things to do outside? I'm thinking more daytime activities than bars with patios.

Fritz: Will it get any better than Terence Blanchard or Buckwheat Zydeco playing for free on the Mall on Saturday AND Sunday? Probably not.

There's also the Takoma Park Jezz Festival on Sunday, which has a swing dancing theme this year.

And if you're more into REAL barbecue than the excuse-to-party Barbecue Battle in D.C., I'd head for the Beltway BBQ Showdown at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. Live music and a state championship BBQ cookoff sounds like fun to me.

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Arlington, Va.: Do you have any suggestions for a place to get crabs for dinner?

Julia: Depends on where you're willing to drive. Mike's Crab House is one of my favorite places on Earth (only a little bit of hyperbole there). Closer to you, Ernie's and Quarterdeck are other options.

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Washington, D.C.: Speaking of U street bars, has Ben's Next Door opened yet? Any good?

Fritz: BND opened before the Inauguration, and it's already on its second chef, with Rock Harper having moved to the Carlyle Club. It's a nice, upscale restaurant and bar that's almost as busy as its neighbor. Good beer selection, decent happy hour. Haven't eaten there since Rock left, but his nouveau Southern cuisine was pretty darn tasty.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus - Headed to Artomatic and then drinks on a first date tomorrow night. He picked the Artomatic, I have to figure out the bar. Question is where to grab the drinks, possibly dinner? Any neighborhood works, since I have to cross the city to get back home. I'm familiar with most of the bars on 8th St, but looking for something on the quieter side, but not too quiet, food is a plus. I do love Matchbox and the like, but trying to find something less crowded and that makes a good impression. Thanks!

Stephanie: I like his date idea -- sounds like a keeper! You won't be far from Barracks Row and Capitol Hill, so you could always head up that direction. Aside from Matchbox (though I think the Barracks location is less crowded than the original), there's also Sonoma and Belga Cafe, which are both good date spots.

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Alexandria: Do you know of any place that has Bitburger Beer on Tap?

Fritz: I've seen it at Cafe Mozart and Cafe Berlin in the past, through I'm not sure if it's not now. (Last time I was at Mozart was a few Tuesdays ago for their weekly discount-on-huge-liter-mugs-of-beer night, and I only had eyes for Kostritzer, the dark, malty German beer that's owned and brewed by -- guess who? -- Bitburger.

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Woodley Park: I thought I heard that Timberlake's in Dupont was closing, but now I hear that it'll remain open for the time being, but only at night and only serving drinks (no food). Fritz, do you have any idea what gives?

Fritz: I've had a number of people tell me Timberlake's is closed, so let's get the real info out there: Timberlake's IS closing in July, but as you point out, it's still open in the evenings. (I thought it was a limited menu, though.)

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Craving in Arlington: I NEED MUSSELS! But have one caveat: would like to eat them at a nice, quiet hotel bar. Have any ideas for places like that?? Need to take myself on a date :) Thanks!

Julia: Seriously? I have never ever once talked to anyone who was *looking* for a hotel bar. This almost sounds like it could be a plant for Brabo, the new hotel restaurant by Robert Wiedmaier. But I'm answering it anyway because I know the RAMMY-winning chef of the year has way better things to do with his time. And besides, his mussels are fantastic -- even though they only come in appetizer form here. (Check out this Celeb Go Out List by the chef for a glimpse at what the chef likes to do in his spare time.)

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Baltimore restaurant: Brewer's Art is, in fact, the $h!t! Good food, and even better beers. Also, the B in Bolton Hill was another favorite when I was living there a few years ago - not sure if its still there but if it is you should check it out. Now I am dying for a Resurrection and its only 1:30.

Fritz: Brewer's Art is, without a doubt, my favorite beer brewed in the state of Maryland. I have dreams about the Ozzy, the strong, light Belgian Pale Ale, and the Green Peppercorn Tripel, which is just what it sounds like.

Seriously, just typing "Green Peppercorn Tripel" made my mouth water.

And the space -- you can't beat the downstairs bar for a date spot in Baltimore. Helps that the food's great, too.

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Foggy Bottom: Hello GOGs-- do you know of any places to rent Rollerblades and go Rollerblading in the D.C. area? Also, unrelated, but can you point me in the direction of 18+friendly happy hours?

Anne: Places to skate, sure -- you can pick any trail around here. Renting skates, that's tougher. There used to be a bunch of places where you could rent them, but a bunch of those skate shops have closed or stopped offering them as rentals. Anyone have a tip? For the second part of your question, I'll turn you over to Fritz.

Fritz: 18+ happy hours? Are you talking about places where interns and students under 21 can join their co-workers at happy hour?

Places I've seen it happen include Tonic at Quigley's (in your neighborhood), Union Pub and Hawk and Dove, for starters.

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Screen on the Green poster: She's got her dates wrong. The 20th in July is a Monday; it doesn't start in June.

Fritz: Just clearing this up.

But is it wrong that I'm WAAAAAY more excited for the Godzilla festival at the Hirshhorn (which starts tonight) than for Yawn on the Green?

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus and Chatters, This is not so much a going out question, but I am hoping you can help. I have a friend that is moving away and several other friends and I would love to get her a nice necklace/piece of jewelry to remind her of the D.C. girls she is leaving behind in geography, but not in heart. Can you recommend some shops in D.C. that have unique one of a kind jewelery, or a store that would have some nice pieces? We are looking spend anywhere from $50-$100. Thanks so much!

Julia: No so much a store as a person, but I bought some Nancy Nelson jewelry for my wedding and all of my friends adore it. Literally, I can not wear this stuff out in public without people commenting on it. Check it out -- she's a local gal, lives in Frederick. I met her last year at the Ballston Arts + Crafts Market. Doesn't look like she's on the docket this year, but that's another option.

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Eastern Market -- worth time??: I've lived out here for 5 years and NEVER been to Eastern Market. I wanted to go last weekend but my husband didn't want to go. He has no interest. I was thinking of going this weekend (Saturday or Sunday afternoon). Is it worth it? What do they have? Busy?

What are your thoughts on the place?

Fritz: Tell your husband he's lame. Let's see ... crabcakes, blue buck pancakes, lots of antique glassware and furniture, fresh veggie stands, jewelry from local designers, my favorite cufflink vendor in the whole world, works by local artists, fantastic people-watching AND you're only a block away from the amazing Capitol Hill Books.

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Vienna, Va: For the person looking for a place in B-more, I suggest Pazo near the Fells Point area. Best tapas in this area (better than Jaleo, etc.). Also, the restaurant is very hip, and plently of good-looking people for wandering eyes!

Julia: Thanks for the tip. (Not to be the resident prude, but come on, they're on a date! No wandering eyes....)

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Alexandria, Va.: All knowing Gurus: I realize this isn't a "local" question, but I'd like your help. I am planning a bachelorette party in NYC for my sister, and don't know NYC at all. It will be the weekend of 9/18-9/20, we'll head down Fri afternoon, and come back that Sunday. Any suggestions on a fun, but reasonable place to stay downtown? There are 9 of us committed so far, but we may have up to 14 total. Also, we'd like to see a show one day, any suggestions on getting discount tix? Any show suggestions? Billy Elliott, Jersey Boys, WSS all look really good, any others that you'd recommend? Finally, any hot spots (bars, clubs, lounges, restaurants etc.) that can't be missed? We are a group of late 20 - early 30 somethings, ready to have some fun. I just don't know the logistics of NYC very well. Thanks so much in advance! Love your chats always.

Stephanie: I might need some chatter help on this one, especially regarding cheap lodging. As for theater, head to the TKTS booth at 47th and Broadway for cheap tickets. Evenings are probably best, because new tickets go on sale just before show time. Personally, I'm a big Jersey Boys fan, and it might be easier to get tix to that given Billy Elliot's recent Tony win. As for good spots to hit up, I think Agozar! would be a good place to kick off the evening's festivities, given their reasonably priced tapas and all-you-can drink (mojitos, sangria and beer) for $20 recession special on Friday and Saturday nights.

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Alexandria, Va.: Hi! My Fiance and I are getting married this Saturday, 6/13/09 in Alexandria, VA. We were hoping to find a bar in old town that we and are friends go out to after the wedding to watch UFC 99. Any suggestions?

Fritz: Okay, I'm officially stumped. You could probably go to Crystal City to watch at Bailey's or the Sports Pub, but I'm having trouble thinking of a place in Old Town.

Chatters?

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Shakespeare Theater: For the chatter asking about discounted Shakespeare tickets: there are $20 or $25 tickets for anyone under 35 for many performances. I've done this before and received great seats for a steal. I think you have to call the theater on Tuesdays at 10 AM for that week's performances. Check the website.

Stephanie: Good point. I should have mentioned that as well, given that I just wrote about it!

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Truth or Myth?: Gurus, help!! I hear there is a new place opening this weekend in the vicinity of Fly/Sesto Senso/Public Bar... and maybe I'm crazy but is it really called "Spot"?

Me and my girlfriends want to go, but I can't seem to put truth to whether this place is truth or myth?! Obviously googling "Spot, Washington DC" only produces close to a hundred gazillion results.

Help oh wise ones!

Fritz: Are you thinking of the re-branded Andalu? The grand opening was last Saturday night. If they can get decent DJs in there, the place has potential, but competition on that block is getting fierce.

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Virginia: Do you guys have any suggestions for inexpensive rehearsal dinner locations not too far from Arlington in Virginia? We're having a fairly small party (about 35) and looking to have something simple and cost-effective that still tastes good.

Julia: As I mentioned last week, a friend of a friend recently got a killer deal with one of the Morton's, so that's an option. Eventide and Tallula come to mind, but if you want to go really simple, what about just chowing down on barbecue at the Arlington Rockland's? They've got a really nice patio if you're willing to chance it with the weather. Could be a cool, relaxed barbecue feel....

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Pazo better than Jaleo, etc : Eh, I'm going to have to disagree with this. First, it's not really Spanish food. Second, if you compare apples to apples, Zaytinya is much better than Pazo. Sorry for the rant, but there are much better places to eat in Bmore than Pazo and I'm tired of hearing about it. Try the Bicycle or Kali's Mezze instead. Yum!

Julia: You guys are such Baltimore buffs these days.

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Date spot after Artomatic: Cava is just a few doors down from Matchbox--that's a good bet for a date

Stephanie: Yes, another great post-Artomatic suggestion.

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Cleveland Park: If you had a high-energy 3-year-old coming to visit you next weekend, where would you take her?

Anne: Turtle Park has a sprayground and lots of space to explore. But Clemijontri Park is surprisingly easy to get to, and it's worth the trip. You'll be sure to tire her out at either of those.

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Reston, Va.: I think Taste of the Town is going on this weekend at Reston Town Center, for the poster looking for something to do.

Fritz: Right. Gotta say, though, that Julia and I came up with exactly three non-chains that were participating: Passionfish, Vinifera wine bar and Mayuri. The rest is Red Hot and Blue, Clyde's, Vie de France, Uno's, etc. That's why I'm not too excited.

(Do like Vinifera, though, and hear good things about Passionfish.)

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Columbia, Md.: Ah Fritz! I bet you were the person I heard about that tried to mix the Charm City Cherry with Green Peppercorn at Brewer's Art. I miss the Cherry. They need to make it more often.

Fritz: No! Really? That sounds rad. I would love to try it -- and yes, sour cherry beer. Yum.

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Question on the Guide: Why can't the Going Out Guide remember my preference to show 50 events instead of 10? I am logged in and every dang time I have to scroll down, set the view to 50, etc. Does the wapo.com really need that extra click to feel good about itself?

Julia: Hey there, this is a good suggestion. We'll pass it along to our tech folks and see if this is something they can do. (I'm a 50-event person myself!). And yes, the clicks make us feel good, but happy readers make us feel better.

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More Baltimore ideas: I also would recommend Regi's American Bistro and The Bicycle in Bmore, though I also like Pazo and Brewer's Art. Enjoy!

Julia: Seriously, you guys are rocking B-more today!

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Silver Spring, MD: Hi Fritz (and gang)

I know you get this question every few months, but is there any word on when - and at this point if - the Hook and Ladder co. will open their bar/restaurant in the old firehouse on Georgia? It's been years since they announced it. Thanks!

Fritz: Last I heard, it's supposed to be this fall, but I completely spaced on asking the H&L guys when I saw them at Savor, the big craft beer event at the end of May. I'll give the owners a call and get something on the blog.

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Fairfax, Va.: Head over to either the Union Street bar or Chadwick's and you may be able to get them to switch the channel on one of the tv's.

Fritz: Chadwick's, possibly. This is a pay-per-view event, though, so it's not like asking the bar to change from ESPN to MASN or something.

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Bethesda, Md.: I hear Chuck Brown is playing a show this weekend but I can't find it on the Post Web site? Is it a surprise show, location to be released at last minute or has it been cancelled?

David: At the State Theatre in Falls Church tomorrow night, with Bobby Parker Blues Band. He'll also be playing the BBQ Battle on June 27.

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Crabs: Has anyone tried the crabs on the patio Wednesday nights yet at Art and Soul? Worth it or no?

Julia: I should have mentioned Art and Soul's new Wednesday crabs-on-the-patio deal. I haven't been yet . . . but I will admit to having a definite crab bias toward brown-paper-on-the-tables crab shacks. It's a regional thing. We can't shake it. My husband pretty much only eats crabs from the back of some guy's truck on 301.

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Re: Rehersal Dinner In Arlington: My wife & I had our rehersal dinner at Rock Bottom in Arlington. Now when the relatives come into town, they all want to go there.

Julia: Nice! Thanks for writing in.

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Washington, D.C.: My friend and I are looking for a place to watch the Yankees game on Saturday afternoon. We're both 20-something ladies, she's a newlywed, and I'm as single as they come. So we're looking for a place that has a decent crowd during the game, preferably with some gentlemen in our age range for me, without being a total meat market (thus, not the Waterfront). Some outdoor seating/television space would be ideal. Basically we spend a bunch of Saturdays at CPBG and would be perfectly happy to do so again, but think we're in a bit of a rut and it can't be the only bar like it in this city. Bethesda or Downtown DC is fine.

Fritz: For outdoor TVs, I also like Cleveland Park Bar and Grill, and maybe Union Pub -- though the Hill can be a little slow on Saturday afternoons. (Seriously, though, it's hard to beat CPB&G's rooftop.)

What about Buffalo Billiards? Nice patio, plenty of TVs, lots of guys hanging out at most hours of the day.

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Washington, D.C.: Speaking of new U street destinations, has anyone tried Eatonville? Looks great from the website, though I know there were some issues with the original chef...

Stephanie: I just went last week and loved it. Someone on the chat asked recently about great spots for cheese grits, and Eatonville certainly makes my list. The highlight of my group's meal was the berry crumble dessert, but I also thought the crab burger was superb. And I'm already plotting my next trip because I've heard good things about the fried green tomatoes and hushpuppies. The interior is also really fun -- colorful murals and even some tables with rocking chairs, which is a cute touch.

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Rufus the Dog: Went to the SPOT last week. No good DJ's or fire hydrant for me to pee on. I hate it when nightclubs in D.C. open before they are ready. Current is still unfinished. Public Bar is 80% of the way there. Still need to finish the roof. And SPOT actually has not even painted or stained the wood on their bar yet. Can you say my girlfriend scratched her knee on the unfinished bar while ordering us drink. Big woof woof.

Fritz: Rufus, I'm in your corner (if you haven't marked your territory yet). I'm fine with places like Current or Eyebar opening as long as the interior is done, since I think the deck is the add-on there, not the attraction.

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Arlington, Va.: Do you know any good places for live music on Saturday night in Bethesda ?

Fritz: There usually music of some sort at Ri-Ra, Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle alternates between blues and rock bands (I'd go Sunday for Mary Ann Redmond). Rock Bottom has sadly cut back to live bands on Fridays only, with DJs on Saturday.

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Post-wedding UFC?: Wow.

Fritz: Better watching than acting it out, though that could be an interesting reception.

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Rosslyn Brunch, Va.: Hi! A friend is coming from NYC and we'll have only a few hours to catch up this Sunday. What's a good brunch/lunch place near Rosslyn Metro? We love all kinds of food!!!

Thanks.

Julia: Most of the brunch places coming to mind for me are over the bridge in Georgetown: Leopold's Kafe and Konditorei, The Tombs. (Yes, I know. college-kid concerns aside, I've always liked brunch there). If you were willing to give the Courthouse area a try: Rhodeside and Yaku come to mind.

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CPB&G: is a Red Sox bar.... which may not be the type of guys the lady was lookin' for!

Fritz: Dude, every freaking sports bar in D.C., bar Sign of the Whale, thinks it's a Red Sox bar these days. And yet none of them had any sort of black bunting up when Dom DiMaggio died.

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Bachelorette SOS: Help! I'm planning a bachelorette outing this Saturday night and need suggestions for good bars or lounges in NW DC. I'm open to other ideas than bars, but want the bride to be able to have a drink or four, possibly dance, and generally have fun with the girls! Thanks so much!!

Rhome: Are you going to be in full regalia? If you're planning on toning that down, Midtown Lounge Current and Stir are options, although you might be short at the latter if your group is large.

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Arlington, Va.: Any ideas for a good decently priced wine bar to go to in D.C.? My college roommate from Hoboken, N.J., is in town for the weekend and I really want to introduce her to the D.C. wine bar scene; I am interested in Cork because of what appears to be reasonable food prices (expensive-ish wine prices are fine), I have been to Proof but it seems too expensive for my pocketbook at the moment. EatBar is out as I took her there last time she came for a visit.

Any new ideas?

Julia: I love Cork. You'll drop a pretty penny there (those prices are for small plates), but always less than what you'd drop at Proof in my experience. Add Vinoteca to your short list too, but I'd choose Cork first if you haven't been.

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Washington, D.C.: Friday night: Staying at the JW Marriot off 13 & Penn NW... 7 yr anniv with my shorty

Saturday morning 7am: Taking an exam the next morning across the street

What's romantic around 8pm Friday night in the area? Can't stay out too late cuz I gotta study/prepare in the morning

Fritz: A stroll on the Mall at sunset, followed by drinks for two at Off the Record, the famous bar in the Hay-Adams or an impromptu Scotch tasting at the intimate Scotch Bar at the Willard, which right across the street from your hotel.

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Arlington, Va.: So, the boyfriend's bday is tomorrow. We are both taking off work for it, and if I'm using 8 hrs. of leave, I think we should be doing something! Ideas on fun day-time activites that he would enjoy?

Fritz: Why don't you tell us a little something about your boyfriend? Hard to know what he'd enjoy ...

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Crabs: Whaaa... someone asks about crabs and you don't say Cantler's in Annapolis?!?!?

Julia: Sorry, folks. As regular readers know, I'm more of a Mike's person than a Cantler's person. I've got love for Cantler's, but Mike's is just my kind of place.

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Dupont Circle, D.C.: As you know, the city (and especially my hood) is about to be invaded by the Real World cast. Hide the children. Any ideas on what bars and restaurants I should stay away from in the coming months if I am a bit camera shy? I've heard rumors about Halo.

David: I'm torn on what will be more annoying -- "Real World" in D.C. or people complaining about "Real World" in D.C. Jury's out.

Rhome: I'm betting that they'll be tightly quarantined but I haven't watched that show in years. I just remember the Philadelphia that was depicted one season didn't look anything like the Philly I was familiar with. It was like the NYC of "Friends" that had no black or brown people in it. Folks will watch this upcoming season and think all of D.C. is young 20-somethings wearing laminates.

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Washington, D.C.: Yankees fangirl again: Ha. We're there a lot in our Yankees hats, and my friend is married to a Sox fan. I love my team, but I'm not that picky because all the bandwagon fans would otherwise really limit my choices. College football on the other hand... Looks like CPBG it is, thanks Fritz!

Fritz: "I love my team, but I'm not that picky because all the bandwagon fans would otherwise really limit my choices. "

Zing!

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Crystal City, Va.: More of a Tom question, but he didn't answer yesterday. I am looking for a place for my father's 70th birthday dinner, 9 family members including 3 small children. I have come up with a list of places (except for Palena) that have a private or semi-private dining room. Poste, 701, Oval Room, Central, Corduroy, 1789, Kinkead's, Tosca, The Source, Palena. Which one would you choose? Or, would you recommend someplace else (no Indian)? Thanks for your help!

Julia: Any of these options would be good. All have great food and service and and excellent track record for dealing with private parties. Corduroy, Tosca, The Source and Palena are the ones that stand out most to me, but really I don't think you can go wrong here. These are all lovely restaurants; you're a very nice child to treat your dad to such a great dinner. (When my father turns 70, I hope he's okay with Mike's!)

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CCR: I would suggest Crystal City Restaurant to the wedding party looking for UFC this weekend...

Fritz: Ultimate Freaky Championships?

(Crystal City Restaurant, not to be confused with the Sports Pub down the block, is ... a gentleman's club. And not a great one, either.)

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Logan Circle, D.C.: Where is a good place to have a going away party (20+ people) on a Saturday afternoon or evening? Anything suggestions welcome, bar, outside, etc.

Fritz: How about Cantina Marina? Literally right over the water, nice views of the Monument and Haines Point.

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Brunch on Sundays: I prefer Rhodeside (great omelets), but another option is Harry's Tap Room in Clarendon. The only word that comes to mind is "decadent".

Julia: Yeah for sure. I like Harry's just fine, but I always end up looking at the bill and being like, "Really? For that?"

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Jazz in the Garden: Is this rain or shine? Do people bring umbrellas and stick it out like at Wolftrap or are there safety issues because the performers are also outside?

Stephanie: If the weather is bad, the concert moves inside to the Pavilion Cafe.

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Baltimore again: Hahaa, just wanted to say Thanks to Julia for getting my back. We're married and have a baby on the way...so there better not be any wandering eyes!!!! (besides, we've been to Pazo, which we love and wanted something new.) As a funny aside, I had brought up Woodberry Kitchen and my man had brought up Brewer's Art so you're first response was hysterical. I'm going with Brewer's Art based on the recs from chatter. Thanks everyone!!!

Julia: Agreed. Thanks to all who chimed in!

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D.C. dives?: Can you recommend any good dives in non-scary neighborhoods? Metro-accessible a plus.

Fritz: I think Adams Morgan on a Saturday is far scarier than H Street at the same time. Jus' sayin'.

Tune Inn, Hitchin Post, Raven. Start with those.

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Rockville: To the Yankees ladies - 51st State in Foggy Bottom! It may not have outdoor TVs, but that's where you go if you want to watch NYC sports.

Fritz: Yeah, good call. I totally dropped the ball on that one. (Just like Johnny Damon.)

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Have we jumped the shark?: One question earlier today combined "getting married" and "watching UFC". now, I like a good bar fight and all, but that question just might be the best ever.

Julia: Every couple of months we get a question that I think will be un-toppable. And they you go ahead and top it. This is a prime example. (The last question like this was too R-rated for a family Web site, so we didn't post it. But it had to do with long hair on men. If you're out there, reader, you are much appreciated.)

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RE: Arlington Brunch: Yaku in Courthouse just up from Rosslyn has a great brunch with crepes, standard brunch fare and dim sum too. Also $15 bottomless mimosas and a patio!

Fritz: I love any brunch that includes the word "bottomless." Even the Front Page's.

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Wine Bar: It may not be D.C., but for some reason I like Grand Cru in Ballston. Yummy food, good happy hour deals :)

Julia: I really like the outdoor seating at Grand Cru. Not totally sold on indoors.

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I second the Tombs!!!: Famazing coffeecake. And I usually dislike coffeecake.

Julia: I know, right?

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Petworth: And I have to ask my eternal question - look folks, I KNOW the Nats have not yet reached their full potential but really, what's up with watching every trendy baseball team but not your hometown team?

You live here. Watch them. Love them.

Fritz: I don't blame New England *natives* who moved to D.C. It's the people who did four years at Northeastern and discovered their inner Bobby Doerr, or saw the god-awful remake of "Fever Pitch" or just got excited when the Saux won the World Series.

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Non-Scary Dive Bar: If you are willing to venture out of D.C., go to Jays Saloon in Clarendon. Its close to the metro and as a D.C.-er who avoids Arlington bars at all costs, Jay's is the only exception.

If you go on Friday, the DJ plays cassettes...how great is that?!

Fritz: Have I covered my love of Jay's in this chat over the years? No? Okay, I think it's a fantastic dive. One of the area's finest. Cheap beer. Great mixed crowd. Astroturf on the porch. Cassette DJ. And the best license plate hanging on the wall: "My two best friends are Charlie and Jack Daniels."

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Washington, D.C.: Any further word on the old Finn McCool's, now Molly Malone? All I've heard about it is that the inside is great, but the prices are very high. Is it a good place to watch a game?

Fritz: You've heard right on both counts. One of the best-looking pubs to open in D.C. in ages, all custom hardwoods and lovely touches. And they charge $7 for an Amstel Light.

I've watched sports there, and I'd do it again -- really like the lobster mac and cheese and the sliders -- but you should watch your tab before you order that third or fourth beer.

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Northwest: Hi, GOGs! Any good spots with outdoor seating for Saturday night? Or should we play it safe and stay indoors? Or play it really safe and start building an ark?

Julia: Okay, well, as of right now, the Capital Weather Gang's predicting sun on Saturday! So, it really depends where you are, but I've been digging the patio at Cork and roof at Perrys.

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ex-Pat Pennsylvania living in MN: Hey Fritz,

What the heck is a "blue buck pancake"?

Fritz: Buckwheat pancakes with blueberries, available at Eastern Market's Market Lunch in the mornings. So, so good.

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Washington, D.C.: Any ideas for a chill hang out lounge or club for those who like hip-hop?

Fritz: Marvin on a Monday night. Jahsonic rocking the old-school while people chill and have a few drinks on the patio. Hard to beat that.

Oh, maybe Friday night upstairs at Bourbon when Uncle Q is spinning the golden-age stuff and people are nodding their heads, getting their groove on but not getting too crazy.

Rhome: Harry Dixon's doing a new Thursday night jam at Steve's Bar Room. Cam Jus is at Selam on Saturday night. While that room and his style are inclined towards all out dance party madness, the connected room with the bar and a few chairs and tables are suitable for hanging out.

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Logan Circle, D.C.: Re: Cantina Marina. I like where you going with this, but the few times I've been there it was crazy crowded. Think this will work for 20 people?

Fritz: On a Saturday afternoon if the Nats aren't at home? Heck yes. Evening, though, tends to bring out the crowds.

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"My two best friends are Charlie and Jack Daniels.": How did they manage to fit that on a license plate?

Fritz: It's a front license plate, for states where you don't need two plates on your car.

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Washington, DC: I've been a Yankee fan since birth and a D.C. resident for four years. I'm not giving up my allegiance to the Bombers for the Nationals when I can root for both teams because they don't play in the same league and they rarely play each other. Face it, it is at least a few years before they would face each other in the World Series.

Fritz: Face it, it is at least a few years decades before they would face each other in the World Series.

Fixed your post.

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Don't you think this was a plant?: Adams Morgan: My brother's jazz band is coming to the D.C. area next Thursday to play at a place in Hyattsville called the Surf Club. I have never heard of it before (and in fact just learned where Hyattsville is). Have any of you been there before and can you tell me what I can expect? Thanks.

Fritz: Eh, it was an excuse to tell people about the Surf Club, which we don't mention often enough on Got Plans.

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Petworth: I dunno Fritz. If my Philly native SO could convert, so can they. Go Nats!

Fritz: When I was a kid, I had a passing flirtation with the Phils, since they were the closest National League team, until my aunt tried to get me interested in the Mets.

Didn't really stick with either, but I did become a big Lenny Dykstra fan for a while.

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Arlington, Va.: Besides the Red Porch & Red Loft at Nationals Park, is there a Nats bar around here ?

Fritz: The Bullpen. Right across the street from the park. You can't miss it.

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Where's the wi-fi?: Gurus, you never fail me. I have a fun weekend planned, but I also need to fit in some computer-based work. Where can I find some wi-fi and fun people watching to keep me entertained as I work, maybe with some caffeine? Arlington/Alexandria/D.C. would be best, but I'm open to your suggestions! And a belated thanks for an awesome Co Co. Sala/Pompeii date suggestion!

Julia: This was a questioned destined for an answer of "Murky's!" but alas, it has closed. Tryst is good, as are Misha's, Stacy's and Soho.

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Not Tryst!: Doesn't Tryst turn off their WiFi on weekends? It's the most annoying practice ever, and is the reason I never end up there.

Fritz: I'm certain Open City has wi-fi on weekends. Same owners, nice patio.

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washingtonpost.com: And that's a wrap. Come see us tonight in Crystal City, ya hear?! Otherwise, we'll catch you next week.

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The Going Out Gurus write about restaurants, bars, movies, the arts, special events and visitor attractions, and they're out every night to keep you on top of the D.C. entertainment scene. Check in with them throughout the week on the GOG Blog or join their live Q&A every Thursday at 1 p.m.

Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over 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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