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July 8, 2010

1
P.M.

Got Plans?

Total Responses: 55

About the hosts

About the host

Host: The Going Out Gurus

The Going Out Gurus

The Going Out Gurus 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

The Going Out Guide staff discuss great ideas for local entertainment, dates and family fun on Thursday, July 8, at 1 p.m. ET.
Q.

Alex Baldinger :

Welcome chatters, and thanks for joining us on this hot-but-not-as-hot-as-yesterday-thank-goodness Thursday. In case you haven't heard, we're hosting a happy hour at Nellie's tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. You should come. Why? Free food, $2 vodka drinks and $2 Miller Lites and a chance at some swag,  including tickets to see the Dave Matthews Band at Nats Park.

Until then -- or for the next hour, anyway -- we're here to take your questions about the weekend ahead. Have at us. 

Q.

Adams Morgan, DC

Hello Gurus! Do you have any recommendations on what show to see or how to choose a show at the Capitol Fringe Festival? Last year I went based on description alone, and was a bit disappointed. Thanks.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

We certainly do. Lavanya and I compiled a list of the shows top our must-see list, plus Lavanya also wrote a story about some promising self-help themed shows at Fringe. You can also find reviews on our special Fringe page starting tomorrow.

– July 08, 2010 1:03 PM
Q.

Pick me!!!! Pick me!!! World Cup Final

I have a job interview when you have this week's discussion, so I'm submitting early. But can you tell me of any cool places to watch the World Cup Final besides bars? I'm looking for a place like the Dupont screening for the US vs. UK game, or maybe an embassy hosting something. I want a place with lots of excited fans (and preferably as little sun and easy access as possible). Thanks!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Sadly, the folks who ran Soccer in the Circle on the World Cup's opening weekend couldn't get the funds together to do a repeat.

The best non-bar public screening (that I've heard about) would be the viewing party at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art, with free entertainment, refreshments and games for the kids.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Soccer Mansion, a multi-embassy-sponsored party at the Josephine Butler Parks Center. They have flat-screen TVs and a real international flair. The final is $20, which includes a free drink, and seating is limited. (See thesoccermansion.com for more info.)

– July 08, 2010 1:08 PM
Q.

family dinner

Hi gurus! This might be more of a Tom question but I'm a huge fan of yours so thought I'd start here. My mom, dad, brother and his gf, and 95-year-old grandma are coming to town. I'm looking for a place for celebratory dinner, preferably in NW DC or Bethesda. Main criteria is that it not be too loud or busy (so Gma can hear and not feel too rattled), also with entrees around $25, any type of cuisine. I'd thought of Ardeo or Lavandou in CP--thoughts? Any other great ideas? Thanks so much!
A.
Justin Rude :

Ardeo is a great choice actually. Finding quiet in that pricerange is hard, especially in Northwest and Bethesda. Its slightly pricier, with entrees from more around $30, but you might also consider 1789, which is comfortable, quiet and delicious.

– July 08, 2010 1:09 PM
Q.

Drive in's????

Hey there Guru's. Hubby and I were talking a few weeks ago about some of the dates we used to go on and a few times were to the drive in movies. We got to thinking about any drive in theaters in the northern va area and I can't find any. Do you know know where we could find any, online is showing way out but I was hoping for something within a 40 min drive? It used to be a favorite past time. Drive in movies were huge in the midwest when we were growing up.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

The only one I am familiar with is Bengies Drive-in Theatre in Baltimore. I am a big fan and think it is well worth a drive from Nova.

– July 08, 2010 1:11 PM
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

Oh, and there's one more! Starlight Cinema in Centreville is only one month a year, but it starts in August. I have to admit, the movies are really family-centric, but if you have kids, it could be an option.

– July 08, 2010 1:31 PM
Q.

Fetes?

The only Bastille Day-related event I've heard of yet for this year's event is that of La Maison Francaise. Anything else going on this weekend? Or on the 14th?

A.
Fritz Hahn :

Well, you've got the Alliance Francaise party on Friday, which combines live music, a French DJ, champagne, crepes and a display of classic Citroen cars at the Alliance's Kalorama headquarters.

On the 14th itself, there's the lively, always-packed, women-on-dancing-on-the-bar throwdown at Bistrot du Coin. L'Enfant hosts French Maid relays -- races where both male and female participants dress in French Maid outfits -- and offers food and drink specials and a DJ spinning French tunes.

Still waiting on the details of 1905's party, but that's been lots of fun in the past.

– July 08, 2010 1:15 PM
Q.

Where to get running shoes?

I finally have time to go running after having a baby where can I go to get new running shoes? Thanks!
A.
Stephanie Merry :

I always head to the experts at Metro Run & Walk out on route 7, and my knees thank me. They take you outside and watch you run so they can tell if you pronate or supinate and give shoe recommendations accordingly. I'm pretty sure Fleet Feet in Adams Morgan has a similar drill.

– July 08, 2010 1:15 PM
Q.

World Cup Game

I've never been to the Capitol Skyline Hotel's pool. Was thinking of going Saturday, but do they have a TV up there? Thanks!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

There were no outdoor TVs last weekend, so I doubt it. You should be people-watching, not TV- watching.

– July 08, 2010 1:16 PM
Q.

Sterling Restaurants

A co-worker and I wanted to get a gift certificate from a restaurant for another co-worker and his wife who are about to have their first child, in the hopes that in a month or two they'll be able to get out for a date night. Only problem is, they live in Sterling and I have no idea what is out there. They are adventurous eaters and like dining out, any suggestions?
A.
Justin Rude :

The only place I am familiar with out that way is Bistro Bistro, which fortunately enough is recommendable. Maybe some of our chatters have some insider Sterling knowledge.

And just in case you probably want to make sure the gift certificate has a decent lifespan. I think it was four months before my wife and I could really head out for an evening together after our son was born.

– July 08, 2010 1:16 PM
Q.

YEAY IT'S TIME

I love this chat! I plan my mtgs and lunch around this chat lol
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Funny! We plan our meetings and lunches around this chat too.

– July 08, 2010 1:16 PM
Q.

Bachelorette Party!!

Hi, I am planning a bachelorette party for a vegetarian bride. I think we have a decent route planned (Russia House, a hookah stop, the rest of Adams Morgan), but I'm having trouble with the dinner part of the evening. I want a vegetarian friendly restaurant that's not too pricey that can easily accomodate a large party. Right now, I am thinking Tabaq, but I don't think of Tabaq as terribly filling, which is a bad start to a night of hard drinking, and it's sort of overpriced. The view can't be beat, though. (The bride is from out of town). Walking distance to Adams Morgan/the Russia House preferred!
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

I'm vegetarian, and I live in the neighborhood, and I still struggled to answer this question at first. I think you should consider Pizzeria Paradiso:  It's just a few blocks from Russia House, inexpensive, and I think the vibe in there is really nice for a bachelorette party -- it's not uptight. Maddy's is another option; it's a sportsbar that is nice inside, has nice servers, and it has veggie options that aren't half bad. And finally, right across the street from Russia House is Banana Leaves. They could probably fit you all in their upstairs room, but I'm not sure it screams "fun."

– July 08, 2010 1:19 PM
Q.

Happy Hour in Bethesda

Any recommendations for something fun and affordable?
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Bethesda's got its fair share of wings'n'beer happy hours -- Tommy Joe's has $3.50 drinks and half-priced food, for example. But that's pretty generic. Why not venture a bit farther south to Friendship Heights -- some would say that's Bethesda South -- to LIA's? If you've been to Chef Geoff's this will look familiar to you: You can get anything from $3 cans of PBR to $8 34-ounce Supermugs of pretty much any beer the restaurant serves on draft. Seriously, it's the best way to get happy, in a hurry, during happy hour. I really think the restaurant's $6 burgers are a steal too.

– July 08, 2010 1:19 PM
Q.

Thanks, Fritz; Birch and Barley was superb!

I appreciated the suggestions for the birthday dinner last week (and my husband was impressed I submitted a question - so bonus points!). We ended up keeping it simple and doing Birch and Barley and then Churchkey. The food was excellent, the beer recommendations (from the waiters downstairs and upstairs, as well as some personal pairings from the Beer Director) were spot-on and we had a fabulous time overall. We'll keep the other suggestions in mind for the next time we have a babysitter. Thank you again!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Glad we can help. Actually, kudos (again) to the staff at Birch and Barley, who are really skilled at pairings and all-around service.

– July 08, 2010 1:20 PM
Q.

Soccer in the Circle Part Deux?

Is there going to be soccer at Dupont Circle this Saturday? If not, any place w/ a mass viewing?
A.
Amy Orndorff :

No soccer at Dupont this Saturday, but you are in luck if you are looking for a giant outdoor screen. Fairfax is hosting a World Cup Fan Fest with festivities beginning at 1:30 p.m. and a screening of the game at 2:30. I also think the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art's shindig sounds like a good time. They promise three giant HD screens and three plasma monitors plus free food and drinks. 

– July 08, 2010 1:21 PM
Q.

Weekend rut

My husband and I have gotten into a rut -- neither of us are good planners, so when Saturday rolls around, we inevitably realize that we have nothing up our sleeves and end up just going to the movies. Help us! I'd love to have 3-4 fun days planned out so that we're not twiddling our thumbs this month! We're both fairly physically active, kind of nerdy, and interested in a wide variety of things. We have a dog, and we're always looking for new outings to do with her. And we have a car!
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Have you checked out our Best Bets lists? If you're into advanced planning, you should take a look at our featured events through September. If you're more interested for the weekend, then come back late afternoon (and every Thursday afternoon) for our list of 20 or so top picks for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

– July 08, 2010 1:23 PM
Q.

World Cup for Spanish fans?

Any suggestions where Spanish fans or Spanish expatriots will watch the World Cup final on Sunday? I heard the Dutch folks go to Mackey's. I'm a fan of Spain and would love to hang out with Spaniards for the match.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

I couldn't go yesterday, but I hear there was a large Spain contingent at Summers. (I'm also guessing you'll find a few at Jaleo, where Jose Andres has taken octopus off the menu in honor of the psychic octopus who predicted Spain would beat Germany.)

I have a call into a contact at the Spanish Embassy and will post more if I get a call back.

In the meantime -- Spanish fans?

– July 08, 2010 1:23 PM
Q.

Running shoes in MD

I like RNJ on Randolph Road. Prices there are awesome and they also watch you run. Be sure to take old shoes so they can see the wear and use that to better fit you. And don't forget to bring whatever socks you'll use while running. They'll want to see those too.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

More words of wisdom for the runner.

– July 08, 2010 1:24 PM
Q.

Fun Outdoor activity

I need something fun and outdoors to do tonight, especially since I said I didn't want to go to the Nationals game (since I went Friday, Tuesday and going again this weekend) with my husband. I promised something supercool.....help!
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Why don't you come hang with us at Nellie's? Or you could pack a picnic and check out tonight's Fort Reno concert.

– July 08, 2010 1:27 PM
Q.

Metro Run and Walk on Rt7

Is no longer. Sorry. There's a running store there, but its a different one. And I do miss Metro. For my last pair, I went to Fleet Feet and they were great - tried on half a dozen pairs while they watched how I ran inside the store. Highly recommend and will definitely be going back.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

I think I'm going to cry. All right, then Fleet Feet it is. Plus another recommendation momentarily...

– July 08, 2010 1:28 PM
Q.

Food and Drink Unique to DC

I have a friend coming into town this afternoon and she is looking to get the "local DC experience" through out the next four days. Aside from the obvious spots (Ben's Chili Bowl, Good Stuff Eatery, The Gibson, Little Miss Whiskey's, etc) what are some other great spots to eat/ drink in town that are truly unique to the city?
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

If you can tolerate the heat, you could always pack a picnic and head to the National Gallery on Friday night for Jazz in the Garden (always local jazz artists, total D.C. scene, plus, you're surrounded by world-class sculpture).  I think that Salvadoran food and Ethiopian are now officially staples of D.C. cuisine (whatever that is), so how about  Ethiopic before Little Miss Whiskey's? And for drinking, there's no part of town more interesting right now than the culture in Columbia Heights. I really like Room 11 for a lot of reasons: It attracts a mixed crowd, it's so warm and inviting, and the food is locally sourced as often as possible. Sit at the bar, eat cheese, try a cocktail. Or sit outside and people-watch. It's totally D.C., but not at all that stuffy, uptight vision that so many out-of-towners have.

– July 08, 2010 1:29 PM
Q.

Running Shoes!

If you're in NW, right off the Cleveland Park metro is Potomac Running and you get a treadmill inside instead of hot sticky pavement running outside. Plus they have the sensors to see where you settle your weight (think the new Dr Scholl's Commercials)
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Thanks for all the tips, chatters.

– July 08, 2010 1:29 PM
Q.

New Clarendon Restaurants?

Aside from the meat and sausage heavy Lyon Hall, are there any new restaurants worth checking out in the Clarendon area?
A.
Justin Rude :

I'm pretty high on Tunisian eatery Chez Manelle. If you are looking for something casual and family friendly there is American Flatbread. And down the street a bit is Ray's Hell Burger Too, which isn't so much new food as it is a different way to do the Ray's Hell Burger experience -- with table service.

– July 08, 2010 1:31 PM
Q.

Fetes encore

I was thinking about the Alliance Francaise party but the ticket price is steep at $85! I like the sound of French Restaurant Week starts tomorrow with seven places including Bastille in Old Town and Lavandou in Cleveland Park have special menus starting this weekend.Three-courses for $35 is more like it. But what about a Bastille Day party for cheap skate like me? (And don't you dare suggest a bottle of Two Buck Chuck and a day-old baguette!)
A.
Fritz Hahn :

You're thinking of the Maison Francaise party at the Embassy on Saturday. The Alliance party is still $49, but that's including food and drinks.

Like I said earlier, the party at L'Enfant is a blast, costs $5, and includes food and drink specials. Bistrot du Coin is no cover -- you just have to brave the lines.

– July 08, 2010 1:33 PM
Q.

Bar Behavior

I have a question about how to behave when you're alone at a low-key bar. The other night I was meeting friends for dinner and showed up early because I just couldn't find the time to kill and it was too hot to loiter outside. I went in to the bar area and it was low key enough to get a seat but too busy to really chat with the bartender after he gave me a drink recommendation. Being slightly awkward, I just pulled out a book and read absentmindedly while waiting for my friends. Is this considered rude? I chatted briefly with the person next to me about the menu but there wasn't really anyone I could strike up a conversation with so I just figured reading was an okay way to pass the time (I couldn't stand the sight of my blackberry). Thoughts?
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

Good for you for not relying on the Blackberry! I think this is totally cool to do -- frankly, anything that's not   being [blantantly] rude to the bartender or your fellow bargoers is fine by me. Readers: What do you think? Is reading a book (while flying solo) in a bar wrong?

– July 08, 2010 1:35 PM
Q.

Biergarten

Should have put this with my last post: Went to the Biergarten last week. While I don't think I'll go much in the hot summer, it will soon become one of my favorite hang outs - even if I live across the city. Plenty of tables outside and in, huge tvs for sports watching, friendly servers, even if some are actually German and don't speak much English. Oh, and the Beer!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Yeah, that beer list is amazing. I took a group of friends on Monday -- braving the temperatures -- and everyone who hadn't been came away impressed.

My full review of the place, including a short video narrated by yours truly, will be going up later today. (GOG email subscribers get the first crack.)

– July 08, 2010 1:35 PM
Q.

Bottomless Mimosa or Bloody Mary Brunch

I'm looking for a restaurant in DC that has a bottomless Mimosa or Bloody Mary brunch on the weekend. Any ideas?
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Sure. Creme on U Street has bottomless Mimosas and Marys for $16 on Saturday and Sunday. For something a bit more low-key, try Red Rocks in Columbia Heights for bottomless Mimosas for $9. Any other bottomless (Mimosa/Mary) brunches, chatters?

– July 08, 2010 1:35 PM
Q.

Night Out

Where can a group of late 20's early 30's guys go wearing jeans some sneaks and a button down to enjoy a good vibe and a relaxed scene? Music does not matter but being around those of similar age without pretentious door policies is a must.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

I feel you, especially in these temperatures. (Nice to see that even Eighteenth Street Lounge buckled and allowed men in shorts to come in over the July 4 weekend.)

But there are literally dozens and dozens of options out there for bars without dress codes and too much pretense -- everything from the divey Red Derby to the loungey beats of the Science Club to Saturday hip-hop and funk parties at Liv. If you can narrow down the neighborhoods or music or specs, I'd be glad to help.

– July 08, 2010 1:37 PM
Q.

Dressy Dinner

Hi Gurus, I'm wondering if you can recommend a restaurant for dinner where I could dress. Nothing crazy, just a small black dress and heels. I feel like everything is so casual out there, and I dont want to be the only one dressed up. DC or VA please--although now that I think about it, is Volt a dressy kind of place? Thanks!
A.
Justin Rude :

I completely sympathize with this. There aren't many restaurants with dress codes left in the city, and even those that have couture recommendations are easing their restrictions. Tom wrote about this recently, and the three places he highlighted were 1789, Corduroy and the Prime Rib.

– July 08, 2010 1:39 PM
Q.

Drinks in Dupont

Any ideas for places to get a few (cheaper) drinks with about 10 friends after dinner on Saturday in Dupont? Some people we haven't seen in a while so a quieter scene would be appreciated. Or at least something that might not be too packed so we could move around to chat one-on-one. We could venture to a different neighborhood or can walk somewhere from Dupont (though ending up within a mile of a metro stop seems like a good plan for the possibly drunken trips home).
A.
Fritz Hahn :

This is something I've used Ceiba for in the past -- the bar isn't really a destination on weekends, and there are also happy hour drinks from 10 to close. There's room to mingle at the bar, or you could grab seats in the lounge.

– July 08, 2010 1:40 PM
Q.

Date Night

Hi Gurus, happy Thursday! I need your help planning a great date night. My GF and I have been super busy the last month and need to reconnect. I'm looking for a fantastic restaurant for a week-day date. I'd love to try something new (and delish!) and would really like a place where we can order lazily small plates, a bottle of wine, and won't be rushed to leave. Places we like/frequent: Napoleon, Blue Ridge, Raku. Not metro-bound and price not a huge issue. Just looking for great food, a chance for great conversation and maybe a little romance. Thoughts? Thanks!
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

Screen on the Green starts Monday. How about you, thoughtful, sweet SO that you are, pack an amazing picnic loaded with little dishes you made (or picked up from Whole Foods; I don't judge), some chocolates from ACKC or someplace special, and then a few  more sweet things.  Don't forget to bring a nice, soft blanket. Then hit the lawn by the Capitol around 6:30 or so. It's such nice night out, and if she's cool, she'll realize how much more special it was than dinner out -- again.

– July 08, 2010 1:40 PM
Q.

Bottomless brunch beverages

I believe Vinoteca has a similar deal at the bar.

A.
Alex Baldinger :

Another bottomless beverage brunch possibility.

– July 08, 2010 1:42 PM
Q.

No soccer scene at Jaleo yesterday

I thought Jaleo would have a World Cup scene too, but my Roja-loving coworker walked by yesterday (with a coterie of other friends in Spanish jerseys) and looked in the windows -- no apparent soccer scene for the semi-final. She went to RFD instead, where there were folks watching the game, but no particular Spain feel... Jose Andres, are you reading? Throw us a party Sunday! We will buy lots of tapas!
A.
Justin Rude :

As long as its not octopus small plates. Rumor is that Jose pulled the cephalopod from his menu as a way of thanking the eight -armed-oracle that predicted Spanish victory over the Germans.

– July 08, 2010 1:43 PM
Q.

Brunch around 10th and H

Hi GOGs, We are taking my SIL and nephew to catch the bus back to NYC on Sunday. The bus stop is on 10th & H, right by the Kastles tennis court. The only restaurant I know of right there is The Capital City Brewery, but I don't think they serve brunch. Is there a place for brunch within 3 or 4 blocks? Thanks!
A.
Justin Rude :

Co Co Sala is nearby, and has a good brunch if you like sweets.

– July 08, 2010 1:47 PM
Q.

Dupont Happy Hour

I'm looking for a cool place for happy hour tonight in Dupont. Some place that one can talk but still has enough going on to people watch.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

First, I'm going to suggest that you forget about Dupont and come to OUR happy hour on U Street. (We're taking over the tented roofdeck at Nellie's and offering free food, $2 drinks and ticket giveaways until 8.)

For good Dupont happy hours with people-watching -- not always the easiest pairing -- there's the Big Hunt, the $3-drinks-all-night fun at Lucky Bar... Gazuza can be fun for sushi and cocktails, especially with the second-story patio. Eighteenth Street Lounge is more fun (and relaxed) early in the night. Maybe Public Bar? Kramerbooks can be fun if you get the right crowd.

And I should mention Bar Dupont, where you just grab drinks and grab prime window seats overlooking the Circle. Perfect for watching the city go by.

– July 08, 2010 1:47 PM
Q.

Wineries

Hey GOGs, in your opinions, what is the best winery in the area (VA or MD)? Selection, atmosphere, price, etc? BTW....I love the chats!!
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

If you can drive out a little farther, Charlottesville and the area a little farther from here is loaded with great ones (such as Linden) that will probably fit your description. If you want to stay closer to home, I think Tarara kind of gives you the whole experience, especially at one of their festivals, or on their weekend premier tastings. Again, they've been doing it a while. Do check out this list I made too, with more favorites, longer descriptions of each.

– July 08, 2010 1:48 PM
Q.

For "Food and Drink Unique to DC"

If you're on U Street, Ben's is a must, but what about Dukem too? It's a cross the street. Their doro wat rivals a Ben's half-smoke for tastiest DC dish. And it's also a bargain: sambusas (puffy triangles of meat or spinach) from Dukem's carry-out are about $3/piece. DC may not have a little Italy but we are home to the second largest Ethiopian population in the world, outside of Addis.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Honestly, I love Etete and prefer Madjet to Dukem (and am dying to try Ethiopic),  but I second the recommendation for Ethiopian. It's something you certainly don't find everywhere.

– July 08, 2010 1:49 PM
Q.

Fringe Festival

Will your web page have suggestions for Fringe Festival events that aren't weird, avant-garde, or otherwise "out there". That is, something that I don't have to think too hard about but are just fun? I can't find anyway to sort the listings on the fringe festival page except by date, location, or alphabetically. Thanks!
A.
Alex Baldinger :

It wouldn't be the Fringe Festival if it wasn't at least a little bit "out there." That's the point. Isn't that fun in its own way?

Never fear, though: check out Stephanie's rundown of July theater events for a look ahead at some big upcoming non-Fringe performances.

– July 08, 2010 1:49 PM
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

I second this. Take a chance on some of these; Stephanie and I chose the shows for a lot of reasons, but not one them was chosen based on the fact that it seemed "weird." Trust us, these will be quality shows, and they'll all be a lot of  fun.

– July 08, 2010 2:01 PM
Q.

Rehearsal Dinner in NW.

Help, my parents insist on hosting a huge rehearsal dinner, we're talking 80-113 people. Where would you suggest (all I can find is Clydes) that is private, good food, not outragously expensive, and does not require us to shut the whole place down on a Friday night. Wedding is a while off so up-and-comers welcome. Close to Dupont a plus for out of towners. thanks!
A.
Stephanie Merry :

I went to a big rehearsal dinner last year at Old Glory and it was low-key and a lot of fun, plus there were fried pickles. Does it get any better? Also, a couple years back, Julia wrote a story about rehearsal dinners and she recommended Lucky Strike, which can hold a private party up to 180 people. Sort of an offbeat idea, but could be fun...

– July 08, 2010 1:50 PM
Q.

Hotel Pool for weekend

I'm in town for work but my hotel doesn't have a pool and with the weekend coming, where can I go to pay and spend the day at a hotel pool? In this heat, I'll pay up. The fancier the better. Thanks.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

The Capitol Skyline is probably the best bet, since the Donovan House doesn't sell day memberships. You can try the Saturday party, with DJs, drinks, etc, which runs from noon until 10. It's free for the first two hours, and then $20. On Sunday, Top Chef Spike hosts his weekly Spike'd Sundays, which is a little more laidback. But it's a giant pool, plenty of room for lounging.

– July 08, 2010 1:53 PM
Q.

Non-Tourist Activities

Sister is in town this weekend and I'm looking for some non-typical touristy things to do. NO MUSEUMS. Any ideas?

A.
Rhome Anderson :

Seems like a perfect time to go back to these expertly compiled tips.

My favorite non-touristy things are Sunday evenings in Meridian Hill Park, Eastern Market and the Arboretum.

– July 08, 2010 1:54 PM
Q.

Outdoors activities today

Hey Gurus, just wanted to say thanks for taking my wife's question about outdoor activities today, when I saw her question pop up I was half hoping you'd say "the nationals game IS outside!" but maybe we'll swing by Nellie's tonight instead...
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Well Nellie's is a sports bar, so you can get baseball on TV if you really get desperate.

– July 08, 2010 1:55 PM
Q.

Soccer Mansion Feedback

My friends all ponied up the money for Soccer Mansion and we greatly disappointed. The place was a dump. Beer was being sold for $4 until the bartenders ran out of change and upped it to $5. My friends are huge soccer fans, did Soccer in the Circle and got hooked into the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association sponsored viewing parties at Lounge 201 for every game they could. But they will never pay to go back to the soccer mansion again.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Ouch. Thanks for the feedback.

Another option for Sunday: As noted in the Nightlife Agenda column, the Beacon Hotel's weekly Sunday DJ party is hosting World Cup viewing, with free food and drinks (for the early arrivals), then a party afterwards featuring the excellent local DJ duo Beautiful Swimmers and Brooklyn's Runaway spinning disco-flavored summer jams. And it's free to get in ....

– July 08, 2010 1:55 PM
Q.

Public pool use?

Sadly I am not a size 0, nor do I own a Gucci swimsuit, but I'd love to hit up a pool this weekend where I can hang out with some friends, enjoy a couple of overpriced cocktails, but not feel like a beached whale next to the uber beautiful people. Any suggestions?
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

Hey, I promise you, not one of us is a Gucci-wearing, size-zero supermodel (though Fritz comes close). And we've all bucked up, put on our Target bathing suits and hit one of these parties at one point. You could actually try a public pool, where I like to go to hang out with the regular folk. Francis Pool near Foggy Bottom is big enough for the crowds this weekend, clean, and totally not pretentious. And honestly, Spike'd Sundays at the Skyline are pretty normal too. Interns, summer visitors, and all the people desperate for relief from the heat really should throw off the supermodel quotient. 

– July 08, 2010 1:56 PM
Q.

re: book

I think its totally fine to read a book in a bar, as long as you are comfortable with it. what do you care what other people think?
A.
Fritz Hahn :

I read books in bars all the time. I really don't care if other people mind, though it can be hard if the bartender is trying to make smalltalk.

The way I see it, I'm paying rent on the barstool when I have a drink in my hand.

– July 08, 2010 1:56 PM
Q.

re: dressing up

Is J&G Steakhouse LBD appropriate? I'm looking for fun not fussy. Thanks guys!
A.
Justin Rude :

Absolutely. Though I wouldn't overlook Corduroy, it may be a nice date or special occasion location, but I find it more elegant than stuffy.

– July 08, 2010 1:59 PM
Q.

Bottomless Mimosa or Bloody Mary Brunch

Beacon has both!
A.
Alex Baldinger :

And another one.

– July 08, 2010 2:00 PM
Q.

HH in CH/U Street area

I am feeling uninspired. I need a HH either in Columbia Heights or U Street. The catch is I am leaving work early, so will be there by 4:00. Any suggestions?
A.
Fritz Hahn :

In Columbia Heights, I dig the low-key happy hours at Social and CommonWealth, both of which start at 4. (Commonwealth has half-price drafts.)

– July 08, 2010 2:03 PM
Q.

For the Rehersal Dinner

Is there a brewery nearby? For our rehersal, in NC, we had a low key dinner at the brewery and the brewmaster came and explained all the beers. It was loads of fun and definitely something to remember.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

I love this idea, but neither Fritz nor I can think of a local brewery that would be big enough for a group that large. But maybe the chatters have some idea...?

– July 08, 2010 2:03 PM
Q.

Stay-Cation

Husband and I are looking to do a stay-cation in DC complete with restaurants and fun things to do. We'd love to plan a full day of fun - whether it be for this weekend or next!
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

This story from last year really the hit the spot, right when we all needed it. Three itineraries, courtesy writer Michael O'Sullivan.

– July 08, 2010 2:03 PM
Q.

seeking tasty non-alcoholic drinks in Bethesda

I'm heading out for happy hour next week with a group that includes 2 women who appreciate a well-made cocktail but are abstaining for various health reasons. Do you know any place we can go in Bethesda that has one or two imaginative mocktails on their menu? Ideally located within a 10 minute walk from Metro. Thank you!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

I think Bethesda's cocktail scene is dire, honestly. I don't see as much imagination there as in D.C. or northern Virginia.

You might try Black's, but otherwise I'm drawing a blank.

– July 08, 2010 2:06 PM
Q.

Jaleo, I stand corrected. (World Cup)

I posted previously about Jaleo and World Cup and need to clarify: there was no scene at the Chinatown locale yesterday, though I see in the Reliable Source that Jose Andres himself was partying it up in Bethesda. Also, I just looked, and the Jaleo website says they will show Sunday's final at all three locations. Andres will be in South Africa, according to your compadres at Reliable Source.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Okay, Spanish fans. You have one suggestion...

– July 08, 2010 2:06 PM
Q.

Bus and Brunch

Acadiana is a short walk away and has a great brunch. Brasserie Beck also has brunch and is nearby.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

I totally second the nomination for Acadiana.

– July 08, 2010 2:07 PM
Q.

know of any places/events where people between 35-45 can hang?

hi, my friends and i are looking for places/events where we other single people in our age range (35-45) go. we are severely allergic to singles bars. there must be other options than the supermarket, PTA meeting or home depot :) thanks!
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

So I did a story that involved a group in Virginia called Singles in the Suburbs -- it's a Meetup, not a "singles" group. And the idea is to just have friends to do amazing stuff with.   Like, six times a week now, I get e-mails about the roller skating, wine-tastings, tubing trips, beach trips,  karaoke and best-bartender contests that they're organizing. (I met them, spent hours hanging out with them, and they're all really cool and really friendly.) How about joining?

– July 08, 2010 2:07 PM
Q.

Really?

I thought Rhome was the pretty one? Hey, I promise you, not one of us is a Gucci-wearing, size-zero supermodel (though Fritz comes close).
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

Rhome? Is that you?

– July 08, 2010 2:07 PM
Q.

Nats vs Giants

Hello! We are going to the game on Sunday and are interested in catching an early dinner afterwards. There will be 4 adults and a toddler. Any kid-friendly places nearby or accessible by metro we should consider? Thanks for your help and really enjoy reading the chats!
A.
Alex Baldinger :

The only thing near the stadium that I'd recommed would be Justin's Cafe. I made my first visit there after a recent Nats game and I recall seeing some youngins in the house. The menu leans heavily toward wood-fired pizza, so nothing that'll be too tough of a sell to a young eater. Worth noting that it's not a big place and tables aren't plentiful, so you might want to consider leaving the game an inning early. The alternative would be to walk about 25 minutes north to the restaurants Capitol Hill or east toward Barracks Row, but I'm not sure how appealing those options are with a toddler in tow.

– July 08, 2010 2:08 PM
Q.

Unrest

Any chance they'll play "World Cup Fever"...it'd be timely...and sweet. And should I bring my Air Miami vinyl for them to autograph?
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Well, considering Air Miami had a different lineup than Unrest ... but hey, it's Mark Robinson. You never know. (Just don't ask Phil to sign an Air Miami record.)

– July 08, 2010 2:09 PM
Q.

Alex Baldinger :

That wraps it up for us today, chatters. Hope to see you in a few hours at Nellie's. Look for us and come say hi.

Q.

 

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Host: