Among our favorite places to celebrate birthdays and kiss Washington goodbye? P.O.V., the bar on the roof at the W Hotel. (Photo by Evy Mages for the Washington Post)

Check out some of the highlights here, and join us next Thursday at 1 p.m. when we're talking about this week’s Weekend cover story about where to see some excellent basketball on the cheap (hint: we’re referring to some of the area’s great college squads). Submit your questions early here.

POV Lounge at the W Hotel

Hello Gurus! A girlfriend of mine wants to celebrate her birthday with drinks and dinner for about 6 ladies at the P.O.V. lounge at the W Hotel. I’ve never heard of it before --any thoughts? We range in age from 24-33, love to have a good time, eat & drink, and of course, dance to great music (hip-hop, R&B, reggae, pop, etc). She made reservations for 9, is that a good time to go on a Friday night? We want to make sure she has a fabulous time! FYI, Parc is our backup. Thanks a bunch!

Fritz Hahn: If you’ve got reservations for P.O.V., you’re set. The W Hotel’s rooftop lounge has the best views of any bar in Washington — you really feel like you’re thisclose to the White House and the Washington Monument — and the cocktails are usually top-notch, if a little pricey. The only thing I’ll say is that you don’t get dancing there, as there’s nowhere to set up a dance floor. So enjoy your dinner and drinks, and then head elsewhere — you could check out Eighteenth Street Lounge, which is debuting its new upstairs Studio Bar on Friday, or maybe keep the rooftop theme going with a visit to Lost Society at 14th and U.

Restaurants vs. Food Trucks

Lynne, I noticed with some shock today that food trucks are going to be forced to move the minute they no longer have a line. (Previously, they were allowed to go 15 minutes between customers.) Some people are insinuating that this crackdown is yet another escalation in the fight between restaurants and food trucks. What is the Restaurant Association’s current position on food trucks?

Lynne Breaux: This has been quite the controversial issue; RAMW is all for expanding food options and legalizing food trucks. Restaurant outdoor dining necessitates 18 different reviews prior to obtaining a public space license, there does appear to be a disparity between such a lengthy regulatory process and using public space almost at will. RAMW very much looks forward to continued working towards a resolution.

Help a guy out with pregnancy cravings

My wife has recently started having pregnancy cravings. I could handle the takeout Chinese and ice cream requests, and sort of enjoyed the baked bread phase. But now she wants pancakes... as she puts it “Good Pancakes” which specifically excludes the IHOPs of the world. So do you have any recommendations where I can find “Good Pancakes” somewhere in Northern Virginia? Fairfax area a plus, but at this point, anywhere in the Commonwealth will work out just fine.

Lavanya Ramanathan: So, how much pregnancy weight have you put on? Well, we’ve got two suggestions, both diner-ish, but cozy and perfectly capable of making “Good Pancakes.” Try Bob & Edith’s (where the varieties they make include multigrain pancakes, which are delicious) or one of the Silver Diners. Justin Rude wrote last year about how the local chain has committed to using organic and local ingredients, making the diners worth another visit (you can check out the new ethos on their site). If you don’t mind the drive and the line, Market Lunch in Eastern Market does those legendary Blue Bucks (one of our essential D.C. eats) -- many many people argue they’re worth the wait.


I LOVE the pancake selection at The Original Pancake House (Falls Church and somewhere in MD). They have everything you could think of, including bacon pancakes (delish!).

Ramanathan: Great suggestion, thanks. The one in Maryland is in Rockville. (Editor’s note: There’s another in Bethesda.) I didn’t know there was one in Falls Church!

Bars for a slightly older crowd?

Friend and I (late 30s/early 40s) are looking for a DC bar that isn’t overrun with 20-somethings / Capitol Hill staffers wanting to party. Something a bit tamer and nicer where you might actually be able to hear what the person next to you says. Ideas?

Ramanathan: These days, most bars are filled with 30/40-somethings looking to party, seriously. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding something nicer. If you want to swing really nice, you could make a reservation at the Gibson, where you’ll have seats. You can also try Quill, the new Hamilton (happy hour is the best there), or Black Fox Lounge or Bayou for live music and drinks. If you don’t mind a little pop music and more of a “scene” -- I’d add the rooftop of El Centro D.F. to the list. It has been super chill, particularly if you get there a little early — there’s a happy hour there each day till 7, too. (In a similar vein, there’s the downstairs bar at Blackbyrd.)

Options for a proper good-bye to DC

Because of work, my husband and I need to leave D.C. for a few years. Tear. Before we go, I want to take advantage of the best of D.C. If you could plan two “D.C.” nights — one without a budget and one with a “cheap eats” theme, what kind of evenings would you plan? We’re willing to hop around anywhere. Thanks!

Hahn: Things I would have to do one last time before I left D.C. Cheapish: Half-price Belgian beer happy hour at Brasserie Beck. A last visit to the Kogod Courtyard at the American Art Museum. Ethiopian food, since it’s such a rarity outside of D.C., probably Etete or Madjet or Queen Makeda. A late-night stroll around the monuments. Late-night shots-and-PBR at the Tune Inn.

Not-so-cheap. World-class cocktails at the Passenger/Columbia Room. Dinner at Rasika or Fiola. Cocktails on the roof at P.O.V., just to remember the view. Nightcap at ChurchKey, one of the country’s great beer bars.