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July 25, 2013

1
P.M.

Got Plans: Advice from the Going Out Guide

Total Responses: 22

About the hosts

About the host

Host: The Going Out Guide

The Going Out Guide

The Going Out Guide staff are the experts behind The Washington Post's Going Out Guide. They 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.

About the topic

Every Thursday, the Going Out Guide staff discusses concerts, happy hours, cheap date ideas, weekend getaways, new exhibits and other ways to have fun in the Washington D.C. area.
Q.

Fritz Hahn :

Hi everyone. Gorgeous weather outside today (and forecast for tomorrow, too). You should get outside and enjoy it.  Here's our list of the weekend's best events, and details on a great new rooftop on H Street.

Let's get to the questions. 

Q.

steakhouse

I'm looking for a good but not terribly expensive/exclusive steakhouse. We aren't big foodies and don't like "weird" things, and don't like too much seafood (which is tough in DC) - preferably something that has good pasta options and alternatives to just steak
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

I think Ray's the Steaks is exactly what you're in search of. As basic and American as they come, no frills, but excellent steak (or so I'm always told). There are assorted sides, including a mac and cheese, but not a huge menu.

– July 25, 2013 1:04 PM
Q.

Best Food Truck Picnic Area

I want to meet a bunch of friends on our day off for a food truck picnic lunch. It will be a Friday, around 1 or 1:30, (not a Truckaroo day). Where is the best place in DC to hit a bunch of trucks AND find a decent spot to sit to enjoy a lazy lunch with a group? Thanks!

A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

That would be either Franklin Square (between K and I) where you'll find an array of trucks every weekday, all centered around a somewhat shady, nice park.  A great option if you're coming from Metro Center; the other prime lazing spot is Farragut Square (near K and 17th), where pretty much the same happens. I think the offerings can be a bit more distinct over at Metro Center (they tend to line up on 12th Street), but no grassy patches there, though you CAN sneak your food over to the food court in Metro Center.

– July 25, 2013 1:12 PM
Q.

beer-friendly birthday spot?

I really need ideas for a 40th birthday gathering of 25+ people on August 9 or 10. First choice is somewhere we can cookout, play wiffleball, and drink beer - but I haven't been able to find anything that is available or affordable (most don't allow beer and we don't feel like trying to be sneaky about it). So, I'm looking for somewhere - other than my house - where we can catch up and hang out. While the birthday boy does want beer, I'd love to find something more exciting than just meeting at a bar. Cost is an issue, but we're willing to pay to rent space somewhere. Thanks!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

If you don't want to be sneaky, there's almost nowhere in the immediate Metro area where you can reserve space at a park and drink alcohol. There are exceptions, of course -- but Yards Park makes you hire security guards and have insurance, Arlington's two available parks (Rosslyn Gateway and Clarendon's Metro park) require you pay $100 and have a license from both Arlington County and the Virginia ABC, etc.

If you want to be outside, I'd suggest one of the newer outdoor bars, such as the Hill Country Backyard BBQ, which has games, picnic tables, barbecue smokers and full alcohol service, plus live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Bardo on Bladensburg Road is just a large outdoor area with beer, picnic tables and cornhole. No kitchen yet, so you're invited to BYO food, which could be fun. The Boomerang Party Boat is basically the anti-Odyssey: You sail up and down the Potomac for a few hours drinking beers, dancing, etc. Way more lively than a dinner cruise.

Chatters -- more ideas for an outdoor birthday with *legal* booze?

– July 25, 2013 1:14 PM
Q.

outdoor yoga

Does anyone else in the DC metro area hold outdoor yoga beyond the Sunday's at Meridian Hill Park?
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Resident yogi Stephanie Merry recommends a Lululemon-sponsored session in Dupont Circle every Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

– July 25, 2013 1:18 PM
Q.

Places to take your dog for a swim

GOGS, I'm submitting early. Is there a beach, river or pond nearby where you can swim with your pooch? I'm looking for someplace where you can wade in with your dog. I'd prefer a beach, something around the Chesapeake would be fine, or down on the Occoquan.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Matapeake Beach, located on the Bay just across the Bridge, offers a dog beach. Downs Park in Pasadena, north of Annapolis, has a small dog beach, too. (Quiet Waters, which was a great dog beach, closed that area of the park because the beach was eroding.)

Dogs are legal at Calvert Cliffs, which could be fun -- just know that you'll have to walk about two miles each way from the parking lot to the beach.

– July 25, 2013 1:23 PM
Q.

Frederick?

Gurus! Sorry for a question I'm sure you get a lot, but what is there to do in Frederick after a brunch at Volt? There are antique stores, right? Any ones that stand out? Is there anything else happening up that way?
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

There are antique stores in Frederick, and a slew of other cute boutiques. There's also a golf course if you wanted to hit the driving range, but I also really like doing a little hiking, or even laying out on the "beach" at Cunningham Falls, which has falls, but also has a more relaxed lake (manmade, I believe) where you can swim, soak up the rays, whatever. You can also visit the Monocacy Battlefield. Or stop at one of the nearby wineries -- I'd recommend Elk Run, or (better), Black Ankle, which don't do the sweet fruit wines common in that region.

– July 25, 2013 1:26 PM
Q.

Friday breakfast in DC

Hi friends, I want to go out for breakfast by myself Friday morning in DC. Somewhere totally delicious but not too fancy, ideally with outside seating. In NW, striking distance to downtown. Suggestions? Thanks!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

G Street Food near the White House offers some great international breakfast sandwiches and omelets -- the Norwegian Lox on a bagel is great, as is the spicy Hungarian omelet. It's close enough that you can wander over and eat in Lafayette Park if you don't want to sit outside. You could also try Johnny's Half Shell, which is closer to the Capitol, and has been serving breakfast to politicos for years.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Open City in Woodley Park, which offers filling breakfasts and great coffee right on the Red Line. Problem is it's a block from two of the biggest hotels in D.C., and there are frequently lines.

For anyone else who's hungry, check out the guide to the Best Weekday Breakfasts in the D.C. Area, compiled by the Going Out Guide and Food Section staffs.

– July 25, 2013 1:30 PM
Q.

40th

Fritz, You can legally have booze at Fort Hunt and do exactly what they want: Fort Hunt website. Personally, with that short of a notice/lack of planning, I would suggest going to Hains Point, playing mini-golf and having awesome food and pitchers of beer from the Grill. Then if there was still a desire to play wiffle ball, there is usually plenty of room down at the point.

A.
Fritz Hahn :

Interesting. When I called them about it, I was told you'd have to apply for a "special use permit" for alcohol. 

I second your Hains Point idea. I was just over there a few weeks ago. 

– July 25, 2013 1:34 PM
Q.

Farragut Trivia

Any suggestions for a weekly trivia night around Farragut Square?? Thanks!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

There's not a lot right on the square or directly around it. We love trivia at Stoney's on Wednesdays in Logan, and on Mondays at Tonic at Quigley's, which aren't too far from Farragut. 

– July 25, 2013 1:39 PM
Q.

Senior citizen movie

Senior citizens used to have the opportunity to see free movies at early morning times. This was a welcomed treat for people on fixed incomes and they enjoyed driving their cars during a less traffic congested time . It was a social monthly event. I wonder if this will ever come back?
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

I don't know of big movie theaters that do this, but there are still places to see films for free. Look to the museums: The National Gallery regularly screens films (sometimes very related the exhibits, sometimes a bit more loosely); right now, it's screening a series of Hitchcock's silents, with live accompaniment.  The Freer regularly shows new film from Asia. A place to see second-run films is the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse in Arlington, where seeing a move on a Monday and Tuesday is only $2 -- they have "Great Gatsby" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" on the schedule now. Not a bad proposition at all.  The National Theatre (Metro accessible) screens free  classic films in its beautiful theater during the summer -- you've got several more weeks to catch them.

– July 25, 2013 1:41 PM
Q.

Friday Funday

Need help please. Husband and I find ourselves with all day Friday overnight to Saturday noon without kids. Looking for a place within 2ish hours of DC where we can ride our bikes, hit up some wineries, and then spend the night in a little town where we can walk around in the evening, have a nice meal and a few cocktails (in a patio would be nice) and not break the bank. Too much to ask for? Thank you in advance.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

I just went down to Richmond to write a guide to the city timed to Redskins training camp, and I have to say I was impressed. (I hadn't been to Richmond in *years*.) From art galleries to restaurants, historic sites to cocktail bars, it has everything you're looking for. Bike riding on Belle Isle, drinks at the Legend Brewery overlooking the James River, browsing the shops on Cary Street -- It would be a great place for a 24 hour getaway.

– July 25, 2013 1:44 PM
Q.

Parks with Booze

It might be too far (the writer didn't say where he/she lived) but Centennial Park in Ellicott City is PERFECT for this sort of thing. LOTS of pavilions of all sizes, gorgeous lake, grills, etc. and alcohol is allowed, as long as it stays in the pavilion.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Great idea. Thanks for the tip.

– July 25, 2013 1:44 PM
Q.

Chesapeake sites

I'm a relative newcomer to the area and accidentally came across St Michaels as a nice place to spend a weekend day. I enjoy unwinding there but would like to see something new. Do you have any suggestions for a similar town/city/village?
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Cambridge is a good bet. On the water, nice little historic district, cool antiques shops and boutiques, outdoor concerts and some great little oyster bars and seafood restaurants. It's small, but you could easily spend a day there, especially if you go to the nearby wildlife refuge.

– July 25, 2013 1:48 PM
Q.

Roofus, DC

You can take your dog to what we locals call the "Georgetown Dog Beach." Go to Montrose Park (31st and R St NW) and walk down the service path. At the bottom vier to the right and about 1/4 mile walk you will see a great sandy spot where dogs go play right in the water.
Q.

Bachelorette party

GoGs- any unique ideas for a bachelorette party? My friend wants to do something different and adventurous... I have no idea where to start- help!!
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

You don't say when the party is, but if it's this summer, you could rent a couple of cars and ride to Busch Gardens for a silly day at the amusement park; or go tubing in Harpers Ferry (you can bring beer along for the trip -- you have to rent a cooler, and it would be wise to get a DD). If you're athletic, we're all huge fans here of the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring -- ziplining without the trip to Jamaica. Go paddleboarding on the Potomac.

I have saved the best for last: Show the groom and groomsmen up with a day of grand prix racing.

– July 25, 2013 1:51 PM
Q.

Blues Alley

Hey Gurus! Thanks in advance for taking my question - I could use your help on this one! Taking my husband out for his birthday in a few weeks to Blues Alley. Want to do drinks and a nice dinner beforehand, but my preferred spot for dinner, Blue Duck Tavern, is booked up. Do you know if seats at the bar are hard to get on weekend nights, and if so, what would you suggest as an alternative? Thanks again!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

My Blue Duck visits are mostly on weeknights, so I don't want to steer you wrong with bad advice. On the other hand, for a birthday -- especially one where you need to be at a show at a particular time -- you don't want to take chances.

What about Bourbon Steak at the Four Seasons, Rasika West End, or perhaps Fahrenheit at the Ritz Carlton? All fancy enough for a special occasion, and even closer to Blues Alley than Blue Duck. (Fahrenheit is only a few blocks away.)

– July 25, 2013 1:55 PM
Q.

Bachelorette Party Dinner

Hi GOGS! I'm looking for a place in the Woodley Park/ Adams Morgan area to do a bachelorette party dinner with a bachelorette and friends who are in our early-30s. We're not looking to go too expensive, and we have a couple of vegetarians in the group. Are there any fun, tasty places to eat in that area? Thanks!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Ripple would be my first suggestion, honestly. I think it would be a little more fun than Mintwood Place. Cashion's is a favorite, but would be a little small, depending on the number of ladies in your group. (Please, no one say Perry's.)

– July 25, 2013 1:58 PM
Q.

Speaking of St. Michaels

If I were to take a "sick day" and head out there, what should I do, see, and eat? Especially crabs!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Tour the Maritime Museum, try a beer from the (relatively new) Eastern Shore Brewing, get oysters and crabs at St. Michael's Crab and Steak House (on the water, a bit of a trap) or 208 Talbot (much nicer and pricier). You could even take a lighthouse tour (via boat) if you have enough time and the weather cooperates.

– July 25, 2013 2:03 PM
Q.

Dinner Recs

Hi GoGs, I'm stumped and hoping you can help. I have a friend coming in to town and want to have an awesome dinner on Sunday before going to 930. Awesome means not super expensive (under $100 for 3 people), not super loud, and not super fancy since we won't be dressed for it. Doesn't have to be close to 930, but red meat is a no go for 1/3 and seafood for the other. Help!!!
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

I would head over to to Ghibellina on 14th, if your show is an early one. They have happy hour on Sunday, and if you time it right, you can drink, order a half-price pizza (the veggie-loaded Bianca is my hands-down fave) and then start ordering small plates such as the farro salad, and whatever suits you (if folks have dietary restrictions, that's often a way to go).  If the show is later, like 9 or 10, you might head to Cause the Philanthropub on Ninth Street. It's a bit meaty, but the owners are former Peace Corps types, so you know there's a veggie burger on that menu. Check out Tom's review here.

– July 25, 2013 2:03 PM
Q.

Richmond suggestion

Thank you for the suggestion but we have family there and were looking for something that would only take 2 hours. 95 (or even 301) on a Friday is frightening. What about Winchester, VA? Possibilities for fun? Thank you.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Okay. I left midmorning for Richmond and the traffic wasn't horrible once I broke past the Beltway. (Thank you, VA, for high speed limits - made it from downtown to Richmond in under two hours.)

Winchester has a nice historic downtown, the Museum of the Shenandoah, a bunch of Civil War forts -- and you're not too far from all the wineries around Upperville and Purcellville. None of us have spent a lot of time there, though.

– July 25, 2013 2:10 PM
Q.

When does the Weekend Section publish complete "On Exhibit" listings?

Some weeks ago, I was headed downtown and decided to check the Weekend Section's "On Exhibit" so I'd have the museum listings just in case I had extra time, but only openings and closings were listed that week and for several weeks thereafter. Finally, the July 19th edition had the complete listings. Is there a schedule for schedule for publishing all ongoing exhibits vs. just openings/closings? I suppose I'm showing my age, but online listings just aren't the same. And I can't easily hand a copy to visiting friends and family. Plus, I already pay for the print edition, I don't want to have to pay for printer ink, too.

A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

Hi, thanks for writing, and for subscribing to the paper, which I personally always love to hear. So, here's the stock answer we've been sending around:

 Due to a cutback in staff, we had to scale back our museum listings, only running the openings and closings of exhibitions for a couple of weeks. We have published the full exhibitions lists in the last two issues, which we plan to continue doing. We understand how important the exhibitions listings are to our readers.

 

I'll add to this  a "We're sorry!"

 

– July 25, 2013 2:11 PM
Q.

Bachelorette party

You could also try the trapeze studio (TSNY DC). I believe they'll let you bring in booze for after swinging celebrations.
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

How did I forget about the trapeze!!!? Thanks for the reminder.  Great idea: The Trapeze School of New York (DC).

– July 25, 2013 2:14 PM
Q.

Fritz Hahn :

We're out of time. Thanks again for all the questions. See you next Thursday.

PS: Post Points code is GG2924.

Q.

 

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