Got Plans? - Amy argues with chatters about cheese whiz

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The Going Out Gurus
Thursday, August 12, 2010; 1:00 PM

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Justin Rude: Everyone make it out of the storm okay? Need a post-tempest libation? Lets talk about where to get it...

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EPL: Hi GOGS, Can you recommend a good bar in DC to watch the Liverpool-Arsenal game on Sunday? I'm looking for a good crowd with a lot of people, I don't mind getting there an hour or so early to get a spot. If it matters, I'm a Liverpool supporter and just moved to DC and have heard it's a good soccer city. Thanks!

Fritz Hahn: There are always Liverpool fans at Lucky Bar, Fado and Kitty O'Shea's. (That's ranked in order of how crowded they're going to be.) Many of the staff at the Irish Channel seem to be Liverpool supporters as well -- that's my backup pub when Fado is just *too* crowded.In my past experience, Arsenal supporters outnumber Liverpool at Summers. Just FYI.

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Interior Design: My little sister is visiting this weekend; she's an interior design student. Are there any good exhibits or things to do related to that field? In particular, I think she likes the textile end of it. Thanks!

Stephanie Merry: In that case, take her to the Textile Museum. If she has any interest in mid-century design, I'm sure she will fall in love with the "Art by the Yard" exhibition of fun, bright textiles by mid-century female designers. If she wants more of an overview of different styles, the museum also has a sampling of its permanent collection on display with everything from Roman Empire to Victorian England era textiles.

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I Need Some Excitement!: Is there anything fun & exciting going on Saturday afternoon/evening/or night (anywhere in NW DC or MoCo) that isn't a typical bar night out- definitely would like something that involves drinking and maybe some type of sports theme or fundraising event that is open to the public?

Amy Orndorff: How about a DC United game? They play FC Dallas Saturday at 8 and it is ladies night!

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DC to Philly: Hi Gurus! My bf and I are heading to Philly this weekend to meet up with a friend and her 4 mos. old daughter. We're hoping to catch up and celebrate our birthdays on Saturday. We're looking for some baby-friendly activities and a fun place to ring in another year (before we hit the big 30!). I know this is a DC chat, but any ideas to help a couple of Washingtonians without much knowledge of Philly? Thanks!

Amy Orndorff: The only reason I ever go to Philly is for Pat's... anyone else have some advice?

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Arlington music for parents visit: What is the scene like for a Saturday show at Iota in Arlington? Is it fine to bring parents (in their 50s) who enjoy live music? My Dad is the drummer in a band, and is up for anything, regardless of the crowd. Mom is much more reserved...I'm looking for something that will satisfy Dad's rock-out style but won't send Mom running in the other direction. Thanks!

Lavanya Ramanathan: Iota is always a pretty laid back (and pretty) place to see a show, and your parents should fit in just fine. (Bonus: The band this Saturday is kind of Elvis meets the Smiths, totally parent-friendly.) I'd also suggest the Birchmere, which is a great place to see a show, but looks like Saturday's show is sold out. Friday's isn't, however ...

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Fun dinner out: My husband and I have a rare night out for his birthday this Saturday (yay for babysitters). We want to start with a drink at Biergarten Haus, and end with games at H Street - but the question is where to have dinner? Near H street is fine - as is the Hill or 8th street SE. We want somewhere newish and we all types of foods - particularly ethnic.

Justin Rude: Try out Ethiopic, which is also on H Street. Its fairly new, has a handsome dining room and the best lamb tibs I've had in a while. My wife and I were in a similar position two weeks ago, we dropped our little guy off at the grandparents we hit up Ethiopic and we had no regrets about spending our precious kid-free night there.

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New ideas in Dupont: I'm having my birthday dinner in Dupont and looking for fun new places to go out afterwards- we're a mid to late twenties crowd, looking for something nicer than a dive bar but definitely not velvet rope club crowd either. Me: 26 female, loves craft beers and not paying cover (unless it's really justified). Haven't been out in Dupont in a while, thinking maybe Public Bar but what else should I try?

Fritz Hahn: You don't say what night, but if you're not looking for a velvet-ropey crowd, I'd skip Public on a Saturday night. Ridiculous lines to get in, then a crush once you're in. (Plenty of people sitting down with bottle service, too.)Try the new Madhatter -- they have some great beers, inc. Goose Island, Lagunitas, etc. -- and take your friends upstairs to the smaller, privateish bar.If you haven't been out lately, you might want to toast yourself with a draft from the rejiggered beer list at the Big Hunt. It's jammed with craft brews, and they even have a firkin of cask-conditioned ale now. The back patio can be a lot of fun in good weather, too, since you don't have all the street noise to deal with.Science Club is a given -- great DJs, good beer, no cover, loungey seats you can grab without having to deal with bottle service.If you're into dancing, you may want to check out the brand-new Sweet Spot, which is on the same block at Science Club and opens tonight. It's a stripped-down DJ lounge that's promising great house music (the owner is part of the famous DJ duo Saeed and Palash) without the hassles of places like Josephine. Obviously haven't been yet, but the place has promise.

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Yoga Instruction (again): Reposting from last week's chat for Steph's input (because you promised!):After practicing yoga off and on for over five years now, I'm ready to commit and become certified to teach yoga. Where do I do this in DC?

Stephanie Merry: I did my yoga teacher training at Flow in Logan Circle, so clearly I'm a bit biased on where you should do it. It was an amazing experience, but I should warn you: It is a major commitment both financially and in terms of time. As far as cost, I think Flow is pretty middle of the road. Yoga District offers a less expensive option, while Boundless is pricier, I believe. You can get the full list of registered yoga schools on the Yoga Alliance web site and visit the individual studio web sites for pricing information.

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21st Birthday Dinner?: HI! Where would you recommend that is trendy, elegant and tasty in the PQ area for a mom to take her daughter for her 21st birthday? Money no object, just want a reason to dress up, be pampered and eat well. Thanks!

Justin Rude: How about Proof? Good menu and a really knowledgeable staff to help make that first drink (I'm assuming) a memorable one. Afterwards head over to PS7 for an after dinner cocktail -- bartender Gina Chersevani is one of the city's best and most creative.

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bar suggestions in Gtown?: Hi Gurus! I'm planning a girls night in Gtown this Sat for 4 fabulous ladies in their early 30s. Trouble is, I'm a bit out of the scene these days and am just not sure what places are good anymore. I'm looking for someplace in between the downscale/college/meatmarket places like Third Edition and the super high-end places with cocktails beyond our budget, like the bar at the Ritz. Would Mate fit the bill? Mie N Yu? Is Modern any good these days? Thanks for your help!

Fritz Hahn: I think you hit the nail on the head with Mate -- good late 20s-early 30s crowd, fun cocktails, DJ who sets the mood for a good party without the pretention. (Even seen some Caps players there.)Mie N Yu's bar is nice, and with the right DJ it can be fun, though it's not much of a "scene," if that's what you're looking for. Modern is a bit collegey, in my opinion.

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Free and crowdless in DC: Dearest Gurus, can you halp a girl out? I am once again broke, and finally committed to trying to lead a lifestyle that has me living within my means, not living within my means and whatever my credit card limit is. I'd like to find some cheap, fun things to do in DC, but there's a catch - I'm mildly agoraphobic. My idea of a good time would be a sophisticated cocktail at the Gibson or a dinner out at Komi - something that requires reservations and keeps the masses at bay. Obviously, those two activities have to go out the window at the moment. I'd like to take advantage of all the great free stuff that DC has to offer, but the crowds that such activities inevitably draw leave me crawling back into my shell. Are there free things in DC (not just museums) that would leave me feeling both flush and not overwhelmed by hoi polloi?

Stephanie Merry: I just put together a list of free and cheap theater options in the area, which might help you feel cultured without spending too much dough. Of course some of the options will get a bit crowded -- a pay-what-you-can performance at Woolly Mammoth, for example -- but there are certainly options for you, espcially now that the Shakespeare Free for All is doing an online lottery for ticketing. No more crowded lines in 90 degree weather!

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Are you ready for some football?: Where can I find a schedule of which games will be on local networks this fall? Not that I don't love the Redskins and all, it's just that some variety is nice...

Fritz Hahn: With the exception of the Sunday Night NBC and Monday Night ESPN games, much of the television schedule hasn't been set yet, though the Fox Sports site has a big list of which network every game of the season will be on. (You can see that here.)Honestly, though, with bars like Velocity Five, Buffalo Billiards, Public Bar, the Crystal City Sports Pub and Mister Days offering to show every single game on dozens of TVs, you don't need to worry.

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weekday brunch!: Hey Gurus-My parents (pleasantly?) surprised me by saying they'll be in town this week for some job interviews. Aside from the internal questions I have for myself if they're moving here would be a good thing or not, I have a question for you.Do you know of good brunch places in the Arlington area that would be open on a Friday morning? I want to at least say hello and give them a good taste of the area before they continue their job quest. Mimosas would be nice, but mostly I'm looking for good selection and service. I know you get a ton of brunch questions, but I couldn't find any good weekday ideas on the Arlington side.Thanks!

Justin Rude: The first place that comes to mind is the Luna Grill in Shirlington, where they serve breakfast anytime and open at 8.If you are willing to dip your toes into the city I also suggest Ted's Bulletin, a review of which will pop up on our site later today.Brunch questions always elicit good responses from our chatters though, so any of you fine folks know of an Arlington eatery that serves brunch on Fridays?

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RE: Free & Crowdless in DC: Step one, find a middle-age dude with money who doesn't like dancing. Step two, get him to buy you drinks and dinner. Simple.

Stephanie Merry: Oh right. I totally forgot about the gold-digging option....

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Dupont Birthday: Thanks, gurus! (Forgot to mention, but it will be Saturday night). I think I will try Sweet Spot. What's the scene like at Maddy's? Dinner will be at Bistrot du Coin so this would be one of the closest options.

Fritz Hahn: Maddy's is more of a pub-like option: Lots of people sitting in booths or hanging out at the bar. Not a ton of mixing and mingling unless you're next to someone at the bar. (That said, they have a good beer selection and friendly bartenders.)If you're up that way, you might want to stick your head into One Lounge, which is on the same block as Zorba's and Darlington House. It can be hit-or-miss, but there are some comfortable couches and interesting cocktails. (My server also told me one Friday that they didn't demand table minimums/bottle service for groups.)

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Last Minute Birthday Bash: My wife just had her birthday this monday and just called me from overseas indicating that she will be home on saturday. Please advise on a nice restaurant I can take here here in the Bethesda, Potomac area for a suprise party with at least 10 close friends. Txs in advance!

Justin Rude: I swear, I'm not saying this just because it was on Top Chef last night: I would hit up Redwood. Its good for groups, has a beautiful dining room and a strong kitchen.

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Philly places: When I visit friends in Philly we always go to Geno's Steaks

Amy Orndorff: Well then you and your friends would be wrong. It's all about Pat's.

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Almost Adult DC: Hi gurus -- I have a challenge for you. My 16 year old sister and one of her friends are headed into town next weekend from MA. Both have been to DC before so we will be skipping the usual monument/museum loop. Planning to spend timed during the day on Saturday kayaking and I am sure at least part of the day on Sunday we will be shopping. I am stumped for night-time activities though. What will meet the cool factor for a 16 year old? I took them to Co Co Sala last time and they really liked the experience. Neither are adventurous eaters so that narrows things down even more for dinner. Open to any ideas for dinner and other activities in DC. I know you are up for the challenge. Looking forward to your recommendations.

Lavanya Ramanathan:

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Line Dancin: Where's a New Mexico transplant go to do a little two step around this city? Seems like all the bars out there are that "thumpa thumpa" music and filled with greasy hair dudes with black shirts.

Fritz Hahn: Methinks you're hitting a limited selection of bars, then.For country line dancing, I gotta go with Nick's in Alexandria, which has live music on Friday and Saturday, DJs on Thursdays, country karaoke, line dance lessons (Tue, Fri-Sat) and some very friendly folks who are always happy to dance with you.

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Washington, DC: Which DC/northern VA sports bars show pre-season football games, not just the local ones? ESPN Sportszone used to show some, but I don't know where else, now that they aren't open.

Fritz Hahn: I think everyone who has capability to show preseason games will be showing them. (Bear in mind that they don't televise every game the way its done during the regular season.) Again, Crystal City Sports Pub, Velocity Five, Public Bar, Nellie's, Cleveland Park Bar and Grill, Ventnor's -- I'd try any of those.

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Re: Free & Crowdless in DC: I know this is the going out gurus, but you can re-create the going out experience with a few good friends (no crowd) and staying in (requires reservations). Make up some nice cocktails, perhaps have a competition if you are into that sort of thing. Have your own version of Iron Chef where each person has to bring a dish focused on your secret ingredient as an inexpensive nice dinner. All you need are a few good friends who are as game to do this sort of thing as you are.

Stephanie Merry: Thanks for the input. I love the Iron Chef idea!

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Sweet Spot Earplugs: Make sure you bring earplugs if you check that place out. I went to the Soft-Opening last night and it was so LOUD I could not hear my own inner thoughts. It also looks like they ran out of money but decided to open anyways. It's really bare in there. Also you must love thump thump house music because that's all they play. My ears are still ringing today.

Fritz Hahn: Thanks for the preview.I'd say the stripped down look is what's really in for Underground-ish dance clubs right now -- the anti-Josephine/anti-Park look. (Cf: U Street Music Hall, Santos' Party House in New York.)Earplugs are becoming de rigeur for a night out these days -- didn't have them at the Stereo Faith benefit at U Hall last week and my ears were KILLING me after the all-out aural assault of Tittsworth's drum'n'bass set.

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Good place for Tea: Hi GOGs, thanks for all your fab advice! I'm organizing a celebration for a coworker to celebrate her upcoming wedding, and thought it would be nice to take our team to high tea to mark the occasion. Where in D.C. would you recommend going for tea on a weekday? Thanks!

Lavanya Ramanathan: also pretty affordable.

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I love cheese!: Hi Gurus. Nerdy, I know, but do you know of any cheese-making classes in the area? Thanks.

Justin Rude: I don't think that's nerdy at all (coming from a former cheesemonger)...And Sur La Table in Crystal City has a homemade cheese and dairy workshop on August 24 for $69.

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cheesteaks in philly: actually you're all wrong- tony luke's roast pork italian is the best sandwich in philly.

Amy Orndorff: Ahem. It is all about Pat's. Would the staff at Tony Luke's stop what they are doing to help me (a Marylander!) and my friends push a car out of a snow bank while there is still a line around the block? I strongly doubt it.If I am going to Philly I am getting a cheese wiz wit. And besides, I am a guru. This ruling is final.

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Weekday Arlington brunch: I believe Cafe Assorti is open for weekday breakfast/brunch.

Justin Rude: I knew you guys would have something.

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Madhatter/Goose Island: Does Madhatter have 312?!? This is one of my favorite beers - ties with New Belgium Sunshine Wheat! I recently spent an entire day/fortune drinking 312 @ Black Squirrel and would love to repeat at a new locale.

Fritz Hahn: I haven't been in for two-three weeks, honestly, but it might be worth a shot. Meridian Pint, Big Hunt and Kramerbooks are other places I'd expect to see Goose Island on draft.

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Philly and Yoga: You're both wrong...Tony Luke's because you can also get the roast pork with provolone and broccoli rabe.I've been practicing dating off and on for five years now and now I'm ready to commit. Where can I meet a hipster lawyer that likes to surf and ride motorcycles? Will the Lou Barlow concert work for that or will it be all indie rock dudes?

Amy Orndorff: Someone that cool would be eating at Pat's.

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Preseason: If I remember right, you don't get preseason games as part of NFL Sunday Ticket, so there might not be anywhere that can show out-of-town games.

Fritz Hahn: ESPN is showing a limited number of them, inc. next week's Giants-Jets preseason matchup. Fox and NBC too. (Sadly, I don't think any of them will be Skins games, and I can't use my tickets tomorrow night.)

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RE: Almost Adult in DC: Is it just me or does this just sound wrong to anybody else?

Justin Rude: I got a similar vibe. And then when Lavanya followed it up with "show them a weekend that's really adult" I got a little worried. But then it was kayaking and Jazz in the Garden, whew.

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To Free & Crowdless: While I sympathize with anyone suffering from agrophobia, are you sure you are not just a little bit of a snob? Hoi Polloi, indeed.

Fritz Hahn: Yeah, that sounded weird to me, too. I can understand not wanting to go to overly crowded bars on weekends, but some of my favorites are dives like the Lil' Pub or Jimmy Valentine's.

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Charity Event: I know you guys usually don't do this, but we need people. Registration for our charity event is way down this year and we'd love any help you can give us.The Charity Pong-A-Thon is a fun event planned to incorporate a favorite past time with charity. We hope this combination encourages young people to get involved in this great cause. All the proceeds (100%) from The Charity Pong-A-Thon go directly to the National MS Society's local chapter and we have raised over $45,000 in the past six years. This year's event will take place at (RFD) in Chinatown at 3:00pm on Saturday, September 11 with 80 teams taking part in a bracket tournament. Cash prizes and champion belts will be awarded. There will also be a raffle with services and memorabilia donated by local businesses, sports teams and individuals.www.charitypongathon.comAny word you can spread is much appreciated!

Fritz Hahn: Dear charity folks,We love to feature bar charity events in the Nightlife Agenda and in our regular listings. Please send all the info -- with as much lead time as you can provide -- to events@washingtonpost.com. Thanks.

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Fireworks: I missed the 4th of July since I was out of town. Anyplace else shooting off anything around here so I can pretend I didn't miss it?

Amy Orndorff: Actually, National Harbor has a fireworks show every Saturday night through the summer. I went two weeks ago for a story about riding a skipjack and stayed for the show. It was worth it!

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Wiz = Gross: Take the cheese class and learn the difference between "cheese" and "cheese product".Gross. You not putting cheese product on my ribeye.

Amy Orndorff: To each their own. But you are missing out.

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Pre-cinema drinks for EPL?: Hi Gurus - My partner and I are eagerly anticipating the debut of Eat, Pray, Love this weekend - and are looking for a nice place to have some Appletinis and Cosmos before the show. Nothing too fancy is necessary, although he is threatening to strap on his Manolos...Any good combination drink/theatre suggestions? Ciao.

Fritz Hahn: I'd say PS 7's before seeing the film at Gallery Place -- and I bet the bartenders would be happy to make some custom drinks to your taste that go beyond the standard cosmos. If you want to go fancy, the bar at the Ritz Carlton is Georgetown is very classy and only a block from the movie theater, so no need to worry about getting blisters from the heels.

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Preseason: That's what I meant though - you probably can only watch whichever ones are being shown by the usual networks, all of which will probably be shown by just about any sports bar.

Fritz Hahn: Sorry, I thought I said that earlier, but you're right. To recap: Limited amount of games, but any sports bar who can show them will be showing them.

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Date night: Hi gurus -- looking for a fun, "active' idea for a date tonight. I have a late meeting downtown, so that would be best, but anywhere metro accessible is ok. Thinking dinner somewhere fun in Gallery Place Chinatown followed by Rocket Bar, but I'd love other ideas. Thanks!

Rhome Anderson: Dinner and Rocket Bar is a good base. Will you be done with your meeting before happy hour is over at PS7? You could also wander around at Flashpoint which could give you some things to talk about.

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Playground for Grownups: Didn't you do an article recently on something like this? In MD, maybe? I can't find it.

Amy Orndorff: We did! There are two, most recently we wrote about Go Ape and last year I wrote about Terrapin Adventures.

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Fireworks: You can also catch them at every Friday night Nats game!

Justin Rude: There you go.

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To Wiz = Gross - Don't be a Hater!: Sure its made with cheese like stuff and kept unrefriderated, in a can, under pressure. But it tastes good! The number of times we just sucked that stuff right out of the can after a night of, well, you know, in college. Nothing settles a beer bing stomach like some warm liquid cheese.

Amy Orndorff: Amen.

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On a budget: Through a series of unfortunate events, my boyfriend and I are short on cash this month. We decided it was a good excuse to hit up some museums for some of the rotating exhibits, but I wondered if the all knowing GoGs knew of any low cost things on the radar for us to try out so we can forget we are budgeting? If it helps, we are avoiding RW because of the crowds and my man is more of a sports bar kind of guy. Thanks!

Fritz Hahn: Every Monday, we have a column called "Free and Easy" that runs in the Style section and on the Going Out Gurus blog -- it's essentially a day-by-day guide to free culture and events, from movies to concerts to trivia at the Argonaut. Night" for free -- just make sure you read Steph's blog post about the new ticketing format. (They've ditching the wait-in-line-for-hours format for an online lottery.)And while you're at it, we also have a nice big list of all the pay-what-you-can and free theater performances coming up in the next two months, which are a great way to feel like a million bucks without spending any.This is also a great time to check out some food-and-drink happy hours -- maybe the $5 pint-and-a-slice deal at Radius, the late-night half-price beer and mussels at Brasserie Beck, the fancy sushi deals after work at Current, Bierria Paradiso's half-price beer and discount pizza happy hour on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, etc.

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Wiz = Gross II: If you're ever in Denver try Stueben's for a cheesesteak. A five cheese bechemel beats "Wiz" product anyday.

Amy Orndorff: I have never been to Denver and five cheese bechemel does sound good... but beats wiz? No.

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Amy Orndorff: Also going along with the baseball theme, the Frederick Keys set off fireworks after Friday night games. It's always a good show.

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Surfing, motorcycle riding hipster lawyer: depends if they are vegans or gluten free eaters

Amy Orndorff: Shame on me for not considering that. Thank you.

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Stueben's : I second Stueben's! If you don't mind bypass surgery - try the gravy fries too.

Amy Orndorff: Okay, okay, two people can't be wrong. I am going to go to Denver... home of the... um... what else is there in Denver besides Stueben's?I still doubt it will beat Pat's.

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Hipster lawyer II: This one's a straight carnivore. But I've tried vegetarians in the past. They taste good. Ba dum dum.

Amy Orndorff: Great, now everyone in the newsroom is looking at me because I laughed really loud. Thanks.

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Denver - Larimer Lounge: Live music every night.

Amy Orndorff: You know people, this is really backwards. I am supposed to be helping you.Oh well, keep the Denver suggestions coming...

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Saturday night: Oh wise gurus! Please help! Where can a small group of late-20s/early 30s gals go dancing Saturday night in DC where we won't feel old, and will hear familiar music (hip hop/80s/90s/Top 40, etc - not house, techo or indie)? We are celebrating a birthday and its been years since we went out dancing on the town. The scene has sure changed! Thanks!

Fritz Hahn: I am constantly surprised by how hard it is to recommend a place with a dance floor that I know will be playing good, solid Top 40/'80s music on a regular basis on a weekend -- even moreso now that Clarendon Grill is closed for refurbishment. Most clubs are going for house/indie/whatever, and the ones that aren't tend to be slightly younger/college-age crowds like McFadden's or Third Edition.So here's a few names for you, trying to keep it as far from 22-year-olds as possible: Clarendon Ballroom (okay, it's just outside D.C.), Town Tavern, Public Bar, Marvin, Cafe Saint-Ex, Chief Ike's Mambo Room ... all going to be busy to varying degrees on a Saturday, but all fit the bill.

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Denver: More micro breweries per capita than any place in the US? Okay - you might to include Fort Collins/Denver but i's enough for me to make a trip.

Amy Orndorff: Wow, never knew there would be so many Denver fans in the crowd. I like beer so really, I am going to go.

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Denver: Colfax music scene - 5 small live music venues within one mile

Amy Orndorff: Okay, this is just getting out of hand. But I like music, too so I will put this on my list.

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RE: Wiz = Gross II - Bechemel? : Come on dude (or dudette). A 5 cheese Bechemel is just another fancy pants way of making mac & cheese. Not only does a bechemel lack the salty goodness of true cheese-product, it lacks the beautiful orange color that can only come from a perfectly mixed combination of red dye #4 and yellow dye #8.

Amy Orndorff: Again. Amen.(And again the people in the newsroom are starting to stare because I am laughing so hard. Thanks.)

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Chuck Brown Bday Party??: Hey Gurus--I'm contemplating going to the Chuck Brown Birthday Party concert at the 9:30 Club in a few weeks. Do you know if Chuck actually plays a set, or is it more of a tribute type thing where other bands/artists play for him? It's been on my to-do list for years to see him perform live, and I just want to make sure if the Birthday Party is the best bet for that. Thanks, love ya mean it!

Rhome Anderson: You'll enjoy the 9:30 Club show, but I'd recommend one of his smaller room gigs to get your best dose of Chuck.

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Happy Hour List: While cleaning up some files on the computer I stumbled on an excel file that had the various daily happy hours and deals at all the places in the metro DC area. It was A) a few years out of date and B) originally from WaPo. Do you have an updated list similar to that? (as an excel file I can keep it on the work computer and it looks all official and work like)Thanks.

Fritz Hahn: Oh man. I remember this well. We did not actually come up with that spreadsheet,which I remember being out of date even then. (Here's a link to that story about interns.)I should get around to updating that, or find an intern who's willing to do it. Could be fun.

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40th Birthday Party: Hey GoGs! I'm turning 40 in the fall and need your help to find just the right venue to celebrate with my closest friends (about 20-25ppl !). Looking for a hip but ultra classy place with live music or a DJ spinning R&B, funk hits from classics to current hits. Oh and a quality menu would be a perk too! Thanks!

Rhome Anderson: The only thing I can think of that comes close is JoJo but it might be small for the size of your party. Perhaps you can work out a space reservation with them. They have live old-school soul bands on weekends. Indulj may also work. They have bands that play a combination of R&B covers and mature go-go (essentially "pocket jazz"). Call them for the band schedule.

Fritz Hahn: This is where I like New Vegas Lounge. More than one friend has had a birthday party there, and the live band cranks out everything from Motown to Ohio Players to Isaac Hayes. There's plenty of room to move and hangout and talk. Not ultra-classy -- most of those places don't have funk or live bands -- but it's a ton of fun.

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Denver: I was just there! Check out the Tattered Cover and the REI flagship store!

Amy Orndorff: Oh man, I like REI, too. And I haven't the slightest idea what the Tattered Cover is, but I will google it and probably love it. You guys know me so well.

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To tie it all togther...: I am moving to Denver in a month and have never made it to Philly while living in DC . Based on the glowing Pats review, I will be making a special trip.

Amy Orndorff: Yes! Just practice saying "cheese wiz wit" and have your money ready. Have fun in Denver.

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watching the game: Hi, my friends and I like to go out to restaurants and bars to watch Redskins games, but we also like to eat a nice meal. Our biggest complaint is restaurants/bars that have the game on but refuse to put the sound up (what's the point?) Do you know of any restaurants/bars in DC that show Redskins games with the sound up but also serve decent food?Thanks,Kathy in Silver Spring

Fritz Hahn: Our Julia put together this list of bars that show games AND serve better-than-average food. I might add Maddie's to that list, too, though I haven't watched a football game there. Yet.

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bechemel: gruyere (sp) + cheddar + parmesan + whatever else yields yellow color + salty taste.trust me. better then wiz. my sister used to eat bologna and wiz on wonder bread growing up...i can never touch the stuff.

Amy Orndorff: Bologna and wiz on wonder bread? Blech. And I don't trust you simply because you had a bad experience as a child.

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I LOVE DA WIZ!: Ok, maybe that didn't come out like I wanted, but seriously I love the stuff. I put on hot dogs, burgers, cheese stake, corn pops, crackers, fish, chicken, soup, and ham. You can also use it as a method to secure pictures to your dorm wall, marking your way home from frat row and decorating your passed out friends face (the smell and color never really wash off). WIZ RULES!

Amy Orndorff: Oh god, you guys need to stop, my side is hurting and I think they are going to call security. But yes, someone could write a book about all the uses for it.

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Denver: It's probably the same person sending all the Denver crap.

Amy Orndorff: Nope, we have ways of knowing.

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Where is the Cheese Wiz Factory & Day Trip?: Now I'm really interested in this stuff and would like to know how its made. Maybe they have free samples like the used to do at Bush gardens?

Amy Orndorff: My mouth is watering.

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pat's: It's just "whiz with" (or "wiz wit", if you will); don't need to say "cheese", they know what you mean. (And for those that haven't been before, the "with" refers to onions.)

Amy Orndorff: Silly me. Now that I think about it, it would be redundent to say "cheese wiz wit." Forgive me.

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Anything but pizza!: Hey Gurus,My fiance loves pizza. LOVES it. Obsessed. He would eat it for every meal. If he called off the wedding, it would be to marry a pizza instead. However, pizza once or twice a month is more than enough for me. I just get sick of it really fast.Once you take out the pizza obsession, he's a great guy...so, in the name of premarital harmony, can you suggest restaurants that have pizzas, as well as tasty non-pie options for me?(PS - "Pizza" is actual pizza, not a metaphor for anything)

Justin Rude: Matchbox has a good non-pizza menu. Or you could always go to We, the Pizza and split time between there and Good Stuff.

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Cheesesteak: If you're in Delaware, try Capriotti's. They even have a branch in Vegas whose shipments of Tastykakes are eagerly awaited.

Amy Orndorff: Where in Delaware? It isn't the biggest state, but I don't want to get lost.

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Sangria: Who has the best sangria in the DMV area? Any places with outdoor spots have great sangria? I'll even drive to Baltimore for it. Thanks!

Fritz Hahn: St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.The tasty, tangy white sangria at Estadio, which includes tequila, was a hit with the friends I took there a week or so ago, too.

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Capriotti's: 67 Rehoboth Avenuein Rehoboth, 767 Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach, plus a few others around the state (I used to patronize the Hockessin one). My cool sister dropped off two last week and I ate like a king. http://www.capriottis.com/locations/delaware.html

Amy Orndorff: Lovely. Thank you.

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Nats Game: So I know you've answered this before, but I can't for the life of me find the answer. I'm going to the Nats game tonight and want to go out before hand for drinks/snacks. Where can we go within walking distance (ideally) or a quick metro trip (if we have to) from the ballpark? Thanks!

Fritz Hahn: Justin's Cafe is the best spot, and it's only a block north of the Metro. Very solid craft beer selection (Great Lakes, Founders, Bells, Bear Republic, etc.) , great deli sandwiches. Didn't have the pizza, but it looked good.

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Does the Sangria come with Wiz & Crackers?: Ok, I'll stop now, but you guys got me all worked up for a cheese steak, I'm dying.

Amy Orndorff: OH MAN. That sounds so good. SO GOOD. Forget lunch.Okay guys, if you want to discuss cheesesteaks, wiz or my trip to Denver you can email me or join us next week. Justin is pulling the plug off my computer as I type...

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Re: anything but pizza: Rustico fits that bill nicely - good pies, but lots of other non-pizza choices. And a superb beer selection to boot.

Justin Rude: Of course! How could I forget. Love Rustico.

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Justin Rude: One more pizza and non-pizza endorsement from Fritz: Mad Fox in Falls Church.And that about wraps it up for us. If you want to keep talking about cheesesteaks and Denver, please email Amy directly.


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