Got Plans?: Little Miss Whiskey's, Tailgate Food, First-Date Ideas and Fall Festivals

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The Going Out Gurus
of The Washington Post's Going Out Guide
Thursday, September 10, 2009; 1:00 PM

The Going Out Guide staff discussed Little Miss Whiskey's, tailgate food, first-date ideas and all the festivals going on this weekend on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. ET.

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washingtonpost.com: This evening we kick off the first GOG happy hour of the fall season. We're in football mode so we've got beer specials. We'll have various cheese and burger type bar grub for folks that arrive early. And a few lucky folks will win dinner at Hank's, a $50 Public bar tab or U2 tickets. In other news, I just found out that Johnny "Juice" Rosado, the DJ and engineering wiz behind Public Enemy's early work will be spinning at Little Miss Whiskey's on Saturday. Whoa! Okay, let's chat.

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Arlington, Va.: What is a good place to catch the Skins game on Sunday in the Ballston to Clarendon area? A place with plenty of TVs, good flow (not like the drafthouse where you just sit and can't interact with others).

Fritz: I like First Down in Ballston -- I mean, they have a framed Jason Campbell jersey on the wall, which counts for something, right? (And Sean Taylor, too.) Lots of flatscreen TVs. Beers are cheap -- $8.99 domestic pitchers, $12.99 buckets of Miller Lite -- and I really like the wings, as long as you get them spicy. Before/after your game, there's a "game room" with Big Buck Hunter, foosball, a boxing machine, etc. Cool little place.

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Searching for Bachelorette Party Ideas -: Hi - I know you post this all the time but I can't seem to find the link to your guide for bachelorette parties. Could you help me out? We're planning a bar crawl for Saturday night and we have some off the hook ideas. Thanks so much!

Stephanie: Hey there. Here's the blog post I wrote last year on the topic, and here's the one Julia wrote the year before. Have fun!

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Falls Church: Looking for a place to bring a visiting Texan (fabulous 30 yo single gal) and my relatively well-behaved 16 month old for dinner tonight. Would like to be within walking distance to the National Portrait Gallery and near a parking garage and be able to hear ourselves talk. Any ideas for a not-so-fab-anymore 30 yo mom?

Julia: You're still fab! Interesting conundrum. What about Poste? They have that nice outdoor area which could be great if the weather holds and they're in a hotel so they've just got to have high chairs (right? Do 16 month olds even use high chairs? I'm worthless when it comes to babies. Hope my mother in law isn't reading this.)

Oyamel's another one of my go-to spots for girls to gab.

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From the Reliable Source chat: So, what exactly is a dive bar?

Fritz: So I love Amy, I really do, but I don't consider the Irish Channel a dive. The atmosphere more like a midwestern hotel bar with good Irish music than the Raven, the Lil' Pub or Tune Inn, which I still consider a dive. The Irish Channel isn't a very good bar, though it's perfectly adequate for watching soccer on Saturday mornings when Fado is packed. It's an odd choice for a Supreme Court Justice.

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Arlington, Va.: Are there any places in the area that are going to be tailoring their Rock Band nights to "The Beatles: Rock Band" that just came out? My roommate is the one with the PS3 and controllers, and apparently he'll spend money to download every Rush song that comes out but he says the Beatles aren't really "his thing."

I'd love to rock out with some folks who want to try and throw down on the three-part harmonies.

Fritz: I have a feeling this will happen at a couple of the bigger Rock Band nights -- maybe they'll bring back the one Whitlow's? -- and will certainly post what I hear.

And man, the Mono versions of the old Beatles songs sound fantastic.

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Shakespeare Free for All: Are tickets still proving hard to get, or has it calmed down? I've heard stories about people waiting four hours on line to get tickets. I was hoping to catch one of the performances on Saturday.

Stephanie: This would probably be a good weekend to hit up the Free for All -- not too close to the opening or closing date. That being said, since this is the first year they're doing the indoor thing, it's anybody's guess. I'd definitely err on the side of caution and get there with plenty of time.

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Doh!, Va.: Sadly, don't think i'll be able to make it to the happy hour.. but judging by your description, does this mean Public has their kitchen open and ready??

Fritz: The kitchen opened last weekend. I was out of town, but the preview menu was very basic bar food.

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First date: We're planning to head to Jazz in the Garden tomorrow for the last concert of the season. If the weather turns bad, where do you suggest we take cover near the Mall? Restaurant/bar is fine as long as we can manage an intimate conversation. Thanks Gurus!

Julia: Wow, I can't believe Jazz in the Garden is ending already. The end of summer is so sad to me. Well, 701 comes to mind, given its hot new renovation, new chef and proximity to the Nat Gal. It's swanky in there these days, which may or may not be what you're going for. The bar at Jaleo is good for a date, I think. The bar at Sei could also work. Try Ella's if you need something more lowkey.

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Dupont Circle: Hey Gurus --

Who has the best wings that I can order "to go" and serve at my football season kickoff party (not too many people so maybe an order of only, say, 3 dozen!)? Thanks! Also -- who has the best wings in general (even if they don't offer take out)?

Thanks!

P.S. Go Patriots!

Rhome: As a Terp, I'm almost doctrinally bound to rep for Cluck-U.

Julia: I'm fond of Wings Over Washington, this shop over by Catholic that's part of a larger national chain. It's one of those places that lets you choose from a bazillion different sauces, but like, come on. Who does anything but hot wings for football?

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Germantown Md.: Can you provide a little more info on LIttle Miss Whiskey? I looked at the details on WP-GOG but it doesn't say much. Whats the atmosphere like? Dress code, if any? Thanks!

Fritz: It's a very cool unmarked spot that's steps away from the H Street strip. Plush purple-and-gold decor with tons of mirrors and old concert posters, very cool staff, ultra-hip crowd. Probably hipper than any other spot on H right now, actually. Good DJs spinning electro, indie, hip-hop, whatever. (Rhome's DJed there, and so have members of local bands like U.S. Royalty.) I love the patio out back, and the relatively cheap drinks.

There's no dress code. I believe the owners would say that they don't give a &#$(#*% about dress codes, to put it nicely. No cover charge, either.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus!

I think that I remember reading this before, but I need my memory refreshed -- did you mention that Fly Lounge plays less "club-like" music and more "Top 40" dancing tunes on Saturday nights? I think I remember you saying at some point that the vibe on Saturday night is different from Friday nights. Thanks for taking my question!

Fritz: Friday night is when DJ Dirty Hands (aka Fly owner Chuck Koch) takes over, and he spins lots of classic hip-hop and party jams.

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Clueless in D.C.: I have some friends coming in town this weekend and am looking for fun ideas. They are former residents of D.C., though they were only here for a few months. What's something offbeat and cool that we can do this weekend? We're all late 20's. Thanks!

David: This weekend is like critical mass for outdoor festivals in the area. Arts on Foot, Adams Morgan Day, Takoma Park Folk Festival, plus jazz festivals in Rosslyn and Silver Spring. Maybe something out of that batch will work?

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Bavaria, D.C.: What's the skinny on Octoberfest? I'm ready to rediscover my inner lederhosen.

Fritz: First big Oktoberfest party of the year is Tuesday, when Gordon Biersch taps its beer at a giant party that involves free appetizers and huge liter mugs -- or, in German, Mass -- of beer. I'll be there, looking all excited.

Oh, and I'm still waiting for the first good American Oktoberfest beer of the season. Not blown away by Brooklyn, Troegs or Sam Adams, which is all I've tried so far ...

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Annandale, Va.: Hello GOGs, You've helped me find plenty of places to go out to eat on the town, but could you recommend a decent prepared meal delivery service for my home in Annandale? I'm bed-ridden for 4+ weeks and can't stomach takeout or frozen diet food. I just want dinner that's freshly prepared and delivered to me -- regardless of cost! Thank you.

Julia: I'm sorry to hear about your condition! I consulted a friend in the Food section and sadly, we couldn't think of many things locally that could meet your needs. I mean, we found magickitchen.com and diettogo.com via Google, but, no first-hand experience. So, chatters, please help our friend in Annandale -- any ideas for this person? It seems to me that you could also potentially hire a personal chef. That's an expensive route, but possible.

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Towson, Md.: Hey Gurus,

I have a date Friday, and she claims the D.C. area doesn't have any "good Spanish eats," I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of somewhere I could prove her wrong...I know of Lauriol Plaza, but that's about it... thanks...

Julia: Can we make sure we're on the same page here? Lauriol Plaza sells Mexican food (more like Tex-Mex), not Spanish food. If she wants Spanish food, she should visit Jaleo or Taberna del Alabardero. Hit me back if you're actually looking for Mexican or Latin American cuisine. We've got just-okay Mexican, but plenty of good Salvadoran!

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Arlington to College Park: So my friends and I are planning our annual tailgate in College Park for the Terps/Clemson game in a couple weeks. To keep myself busy until then I am trying to come up with a new, exciting tailgate menu. This got me thinking -- what are the best tailgate items? Any Guru faves? Also Fritz if you made a guest appearance at our tailgate my friends would absolutely die - we might be alumnus but we can still party like Terps! Thanks

Fritz: At a Maryland tailgate, you can't go wrong if you bring a couple of pizzas from Ratsie's.

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Dupont (but a Hoya at heart): For the person looking for wings to go, I HAVE to put in my vote for Wingo's in Georgetown. Maybe it was the countless Sundays of my not-so-distant youth spent housing them with Busch Light but [gosh-darn], I still think those things are awesome.

Julia: Wingo's. Man, haven't thought about Wingo's since I used to go to Rhino Bar.

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Falls Church, Va.: Hi Gurus!

You guys always have the best ideas! I know you can help me -- my sister just had a baby, and I want to take my seven/almost eight-year-old niece out to give my sister a break. What fun/free/cheap things could we do Saturday or Sunday morning/early afternoon?

Stephanie: How sweet! You could start at the Kennedy Center's Open House, which has puppet theater and lots of kid-friendly events, or stay closer to home and hit up the Falls Church Fall Festival for jugglers and live performances. If you'd rather go for Sunday, then head to the Adams Morgan Festival. Then again, there are always the old standbys: Air and Space and Natural History. Astronaut ice cream and the insect zoo are proven kid-pleasers.

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Mount Pleasant, D.C.: I have friends coming to visit in a few weeks and we've decided a fun Saturday activity would be to tour Loudoun County's vineyards (with a DD in tow, of course). As an inside-the-beltway girl, I'm clueless on the best spots to hit. Any suggestions?

Julia: Our girl Lavanya has got you covered with this guide to nearby wineries.

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Good Spanish eats: Jaleo is great, but for real food-of-the-people Spanish food, they need to hit Churreria Madrid in Adams Morgan. Delicious and Spanish-owned. Stay away from the patatas bravas there, though. Ole!

Julia: Thanks for the rec!

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Is it tacky?: Gurus, is it tacky to go to a happy hour at a bar and order the food specials but no alcohol?

Julia: No way. I mean, look, if you were pregnant or something, they wouldn't turn you away.

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Speaking of Oktoberfests...: I have been to the Cap City Oktoberfest in Shirlington a few times, but a number of years ago. I thought that I remember hearing last year that (sadly) it is no longer all you can drink -- is that true? If so, what are the price points?

Fritz: Thanks to a (new) overzealous ABC inspector, Cap City found out last year that it is indeed illegal to offer "unlimited" drinks at Oktoberfest. Your $25 admission gets you a certain number of tickets that can be exchanged for samples -- last year, it was 10 or 15 or something like that.

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Dupont Circle: I just tried to get Pixies tickets with no luck. Is the show really sold out before the public sale even begins? Bogus!

David: No no, that was just the pre-sale. General sale starts tomorrow at 10 a.m. And don't worry that all the good tickets are gone in the pre-sale. That's not the case at all; in fact, often times the pre-sale spits out mostly "bad" seats. And if the show sells out quickly, don't be surprised if a second show is added.

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Getting to Philly: Hey there- this is more of a travel question but thought you guys could help. You DO seem to know everything. I am planning on going to Philly next Sunday for a day trip. A friend is there for a wedding and we'll have all day together. I love Amtrak, but it's sort of out of my budget these days. Wondering if anyone can recommend a bus? For a day trip they seem to take too long? I could also just rent a zipcar. Also any suggestions once I am there?

Fritz: Honestly, I usually suck it up and take Amtrak -- check out the $33-to-Philly fares when you buy three days in advance -- because my bus experiences have been so overwhelmingly negative. Once I saw a seatback become attached from a seat when the guy sitting in said seat started to recline, causing him to wind up on the floor. I had a bus stop with mechanical problems outside Citizens Bank Park. I've had overcrowded/oversold buses where people with tickets offered to sit on the floor.

Zipcar's not a bad idea, though you could probably also Priceline for an overnight car and pay like $19/day. (Don't laugh, I've done it.)

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D.C.: My best friend and her boyfriend are visiting for the weekend from Colorado. They both have tattoos, like rocknroll, like to drink but have that Colorado laid back attitude. What kind of place in the District could you recommend? Nothing fancy, no need for speciality cocktails... good music, laid back atmosphere, nice people, beer... Thanks!

Rhome: A bunch of places on H St: Rock and Roll Hotel (great music, okay beer), Granville Moore's (great beer, no music) Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar (great music, amazing beer list). Those are the best but you also have Jimmy Valentine's and The Pug. On U St I'd steer you to Solly's and Velvet Lounge. Adams Morgan: Madam's Organ and Asylum.

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Adams Morgan Day: Hey gurus!

Do the local businesses in Adams Morgan do anything special during the festival on Sunday? Any word on specials or things along those lines -- or are they just super busy?

Also -- how would you recommend enjoying the day if you had 2 hours to spend there? (Anytime throughout the day.)

Thanks!

Julia: I love Adams Morgan Day, but I think you'd be surprised if you ended up spending two hours there. It's fun to walk up and down the strip, checking our vendors and performances as you go, but it's not the kind of even that needs a game plan. Just show up and wander around. That's my favorite way to do AdMo Day.

As far as bars & restaurants go, not many do specials for the event but some do open early to catch the daytime crowds.

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Spanishea, TS: DC has no good Spanish eats????? Is she nuts? Why are you going on a date with her? D.C. is home to the premier Spanish chef in America today, Jose Andres, and every one of his restaurants is excellent. Good grief.

Julia: And he's got a fantastic accent, too!

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Rockville, Md.: HELP. This weekend in my b-day and I would love to do something outside, shopping,craft festival, any kind of festival. Have to get that last bit of outside time in. Love u guys....

Fritz: Check out our list of the weekend's best event and you'll see a bunch of weekend options on there: free opera on the outfield grass at Nationals Park (BYO picnic); Arts on Foot is taking over Penn Quarter for music, shopping, visual arts and live performances; the Rosslyn Jazz Festival is always fun, with Frederic Yonnet and Lafayette Gilchrist; the Takoma Park folk festival has seven stages or entertainment ... seriously, just click on the link.

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Potomac River: Hey GOG's -- I'm running the Nation's Tri this Sunday. Assuming I don't drown in the Potomac, crash my bike on the ride or puke on the run, any good places to hit up nearby and grab some cheap beer and good eats. (that would let someone who smells/looks like they just worked hard for the last 31.9 miles). Thanks!

Julia: I'd walk straight to Harry's Saloon if you want to stay in the downtown-ish area. Divey, good burgers, cheap beer. Personally, when I've run 10-milers in the past, I like making the trek back to my neck of the woods (in my case, Mount Pleasant) and getting brunch and beers at my neighborhood watering hole (Tonic). That way, I'm closer to home so I can crash immediately upon paying the tab. Good luck in the race!

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Julia: And he's got a fantastic accent, too! : No joke. I have about 35 episodes of Made in Spain on my DVR just because I love watching him and listening to him!

Julia: I interviewed Jose Andres one time. And while I was transcribing the recording, I kept having to remind myself that Spain does not start with an "E".

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Largo, Md.: Hi All,

I am 23, male & single, and I have two female friends from college coming from out of town to visit me this Saturday. Their more of the urban crowd and I wanted some tips on where I could take them for dinner, and some partying after...I wanted something outside of the usual Love and Ibiza type of crowds, but still able to get good music and a cool atmosphere...Thanks a million.

Rhome: Saturday is a tough night for funky beats and hip-hop that's not the mega club or bottle service crowd. Most of the cooler things happen during the week. You could check out DJ Jahsonic at Eighteenth Street Lounge on Saturday or give Fly a shot which is on the same block. If they're into soul you can check out Anthony David.

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Kid Help: I am babysitting my soon to be 6-year-old nephew this weekend. When he comes to visit, I always take him to the zoo or a museum, which he loves. However, this weekend, I'd like to do something a little more special and fun (for him) in addtion to the zoo since his birthday is next weekend. I was thinking of something along the lines of Rain Forest Cafe (which is no longer in this area). I mentioned taking him to Chuck E. Cheese to someone, but was told they are sketchy. Any ideas?

Anne: Chuck E. Cheese is freakish animitronic characters set in a dark, pathetic-looking Pizza Hut-type place, and there are sometimes arcade games. Does he want to go there? Seems like a ESPNzone or a Dave and Busters would be more of an appeal for the games aspect. You want to go somewhere where you will have fun, too -- and that will help your nephew enjoy himself. If he likes the zoo, then that's special for him. If you're very early risers on Sunday (like 7-10 a.m.), you can hit a pancake breakfast there for $5, and there are shuttles throughout for when you get tired of walking. There are tons of festivals this weekend -- would he like hitting one with a kids stage and watching teens rock out? My personal favorite thing this weekend is that you can get your picture taken on top of a Zamboni. But tell us what he likes and where you live so we can better help you out.

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Washington D.C.: Help! I want to have a small party, around 30 close friends, for my birthday. I am having trouble finding a place that hosts parties without confusing drink rules, minimums, and atrocious pricing. Do you have any suggestions for a fun place for 20-somethings who just want to have fun night out and not stress about guest lists and minimum tabs? Am I better off just telling my group to meet up at a particular bar and wing it? Thanks!

Fritz: My biggest and best suggestion is not to do it on a Friday or Saturday night, when bars are already slammed. Monday-Wednesday gives you bargaining power: "I'm bringing 50 of my friends here and we're going to eat and drink for a couple of hours," etc. Also, trying to shoehorn 30 people into a bar without saving tables or a minimum area can be a hassle.

There are bars that will give you space without a minimum, like Aroma, Science Club and Porter's, but I think most bars will work with you. What have you tried so far?

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State College, Penn.: For bed-ridden in Annandale: Try Seattle Sutton. Fresh food and they deliver: www.seattlesutton.com

Julia: Thanks, Nittany Lion.

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Vienna, Va.: Could you please recommend a fun, low-key bar or restaurant somewhere near Vienna or Fairfax? Somewhere where a group of friends can catch up and reminisce on a Saturday night? Thanks!

Fritz: I like Dogwood Tavern (especially the patio) in downtown Falls Church, and (of course) the Vienna Inn. Ireland's Four Provinces isn't bad, but it can be crowded on a Saturday.

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CPDC: Do you have recommendations for happy hour spots near Fed Triangle/Metro Center? I'm wondering if there are close-by options with great HH specials other than the usual suspects of Chef Geoff's, BluePoint, M&S Grill. Trying to expand my options. Thanks, GOGs!

Fritz: Laughing Man Tavern, Elephant and Castle, Capitol City Brewing Company and Ceiba are all on my list in that neighborhood. Ceiba's good for cocktails, not beer; the others are barfood-and-beverages kinds of places.

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I am so bummed...: Hey GOGs, I can't believe it but I'm missing yet another one of your famous or is it infamous happy hours. So I can put it early on my calendar, any scoop on your next one in October? I sure hope I can make it! Thanks. P.S., Is it okay to show up solo?

Anne: It's always the second Thursday of the month, starting at 6 p.m. - so save that date! And sure, everyone is welcome: solo, groups, couples, we're glad to hang out with you all.

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Dupont: So I know that you GoGs are super classy and normally eschew shameless plugs but I've gotta try. Tonight's my buddy's birthday (HI ADAM!) and he was planning on spending it at Public. We're both pretty broke and so anyway to help alleviate the inevitably enormous bar tab would be much appreciated. Oh wait... you guys are giving away a Public gift certificate? You don't say...

Fritz: $3 beers until 8! Free food! Sounds like you should plan to get there early.

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Shakespeare Free for All: UPDATE: FYI get there REALLY early! Last weekend, I had friends wait four hours in advance, only to find out that a congressman who shall remain nameless reserved half the theater seats for his "people". FAIL. :(

Fritz: Name names. C'mon. Seriously.

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Alexandria, Va.: Hi Gurus! About 6 of us girls are looking for fun tomorrow night. We want to something other than the typical dinner/movie or dinner/bar routine. Something like jazz in the sculpture garden, but not that since we've done it before. Any ideas of activities to do? One friend did mention BYOB night at a pottery-painting studio. That could be fun. Any other ideas? Thanks.

Stephanie: So you want a dose of culture with your good time? What about Arts on Foot in Penn Quarter? The big draw is Saturday, but there's still the arts market tomorrow night, plus plenty of places nearby to grab dinner or a drink. Or you could try to get into the Free for All or one of the screenings of the DC Shorts Film Festival.

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Winchester, Va.: What's the best place in the Va.-D.C. area for country music and line dancing? I've never been to one of those establishments. What are they like?

Julia: Nick's Nightclub. What's it like? A whole lotta awesome. Country karaoke, live music, guys that ask you to dance and then show you how. The kind of place where a conversation like this can happen. "We'll have eight shots of tequila, please." "What kind?" "Um, mediocre?" "No problem." If you go on Saturday and see a gaggle of 7-8 girls, come say hi:)

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No ideas in D.C.: All-knowing Gurus, I am desperate for your help coming up with some first date ideas for Saturday during the day. I'd like to stay in the District if possible...and definitely Metro-accessible as I don't drive!

Fritz: We've covered this before, and I'm sure you'll find some good ideas in there.

Readers, what's your ideal first date for this weekend?

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Hats off: Do any of you know where I can get a hat adjusted/tailored? D.C. preferably, but other locations are fine.

Julia: We don't have answer for you, but I do want you to know that this particular question just set off an awesome round of guru talk. "Isn't that called a haberdasher?" etc. Chatters -- any help? And just for history's sake, check out this cool photo.

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McLean, Va.: Hi gurus, this weekend will be the first one in weeks that both my girlfriend and I will be in town, so we'd like to take advantage.

We're hoping to do something fun & walkable (going to be sweating out MSG from post-dimsum gorging) in D.C. during the day Saturday, no preference between indoor/outdoor, but would like to stay away from museums unless there's a particular exhibit worth checking out.

Any ideas? Thanks!

Julia: I haven't been reading along with the live chat, so I'm not sure how many times this has been said, but let me just put in a plug for my favorite fall fest, Arts on Foot. You should go there.

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Solo at the gog HH: I have to say, I have gone solo to 2 GOG happy hours and it is kinda awkward. I feel like everyone comes in groups and they just wanna grab for the food and stick with their own.

Gurus, you should think of a fun icebreaker type thing or something that gets people talking to each other and mixing it up.... that would be great!

Rhome: I feel you on this. I've tried to walk around and start conversations with people but you feel like a loser saying "Hi! I'm a Going Out Guru!" But when you talk to folks without that identifier, they're not always keen on opening up the "friends I came with" circle. We'll be in uniform today so that should help. Does anyone have any more specific ideas to facilitate mingling?

Fritz: We could play "Spot the Guru," where you have to go up to random people and ask them questions that only Rhome or Julia would know the answer to, or something like that.

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Washington, D.C.: Is Proper Topper still around? I don't know if they repair hats as well as sell them.

Julia: That's certainly a place to start. I mean, if haberdashers still exist, Proper Topper would at least know hot to find them, I bet.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Thank you for the Guide's great piece on the Takoma Park Folk Festival, which happens this Sunday! Looks like Metro's Red Line has settled down, so people can get out here OK. Free shuttle buses will run from the Takoma Metro station, and from the Montgomery College parking garage. Sing-alongs with Pete Seeger songs will be offered, and many other performers have sing-along opportunities. There is also a dance stage -- and it's all free!

Anne: Gotta give this plug for the fest a little hometown love. I'm not going to say the Red Line is always perfect, but it was pretty smooth on my way in today, I'll give you that.

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Washington, D.C.: Fall has arrived (kinda) and all manner of football is here for the watchin'. My question is what is a good place to watch Sunday morning EPL and Sunday afternoon NFL?

Fritz: Oooh, very good question. I struggle with this sometimes. Public Bar has been showing big English football matches in the mornings, so that might be a good one. Cleveland Park Bar and Grill, too. And Molly Malone's on Barracks Row.

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GOG Happy hour,: I think the gurus should make more of an effort to introduce themselves. Maybe you should wear name tags!

Fritz: Where's the fun in that?

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Washington, D.C.: The Kennedy Center Open House seems to be geared mostly towards kids. Scanning the list of performances is hard to figure out what is more kid-oriented and if there is anything that is geared towards adults (not super colorful, splashy, and cheesy is sort of what I am getting at.)

Any insight on this? Is this just basically a kids event through and through?

David: It's definitely very kids-oriented this year, especially since they're combining it with the Children's Book Festival. But there are some bands playing that aren't kids acts -- Mambo Sauce, Bio Ritmo, Chopteeth. Not bad being able to see all of them for free.

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Maryland Tailgate: How about a boatload of fries from Marathon Deli? mmmmmm, secret seasoning....

David: Fritz already covered the Ratsie's angle, and that would be my #1 choice. But Marathon fries are also an excellent suggestion. I basically lived off that combination for four years.

Fritz: And South Campus Dining Hall cheesesteaks. And $1 Bud Night. And late-night Cluck-U, served by Cluck-U-Pac.

That's the College Park Diet for you.

Rhome: South Campus dining hall barbecue waings (sic). The sauce must have had traces of opiates in it.

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Just TX: Taking sis and bro to dinner, hubby's bday so he wants Mendocino Grill. If it were just us, great, but need a great place for six to eat, downtown, good wine, not too $$$, fun people watching, most importantly good food.

Julia: What about Cafe du Parc? The prices there are slightly cheaper than Mendocino and it's got a fun vibe.

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Public Bar: Is Public Bar open on Sundays? A friend and I tried to stop by at about 1:30 this past Sunday and it was locked.

Fritz: Public Bar will be open on Sundays starting this week -- the owners didn't think it made sense for a sports bar to be open if there weren't really any sports going on, you know?

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Julia: Hubby's bday.... I think Posto or Cork might be other good bet for you guys. The reservation's policy can be trouble, but, it can be less pricey than other downtown spots.

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NO to zipcar to Philly: Zipcar has mileage restrictions and will cost a BUNDLE if you go over. It's mainly for errands. If you need a car overnight, you're much better off renting from a car rental company.

Fritz: I totally forgot about this. Thanks for the reminder.

Like I said earlier: Priceline. Bid like $14-18 a day. Almost always works for me on non-holiday weekends.

Then enjoy a cold Belgian beer at Eulogy, some great gastropub food and PA microbrews at the Standard Tap, and ridiculous rums at Rum Bar.

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diettogo: If it helps I did it for a couple weeks...very impressive

Julia: Thanks, this does help!

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washingtonpost.com: Farewell summer. Farewell chatters until next week. Drink beer with us tonight and be friendly. No cliques! See you at Public.

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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.

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