Got Plans? Discuss great ideas for local entertainment, dates and family fun with the Going Out Gurus.

Aug 04, 2011

The Going Out Guide staff discuss great ideas for local entertainment, dates and family fun.

Does anyone notice how quiet it is around here this week? Must be August. But the important thing is that you're here, we're here, and the weekend is not far off on the horizon. What do you all want to talk about today? 

Hi Gurus, Do you or any of the chatters have any recommendations for companies that offer tubing or rafting in West Virginia (or anywhere else within a reasonable drive from DC). We'd be going a Saturday in August, and a lot of reviews complain about long wait times. Also, want a company that allows you to bring beverages!

Butts Tubes/BTI Whitewater is probably the best-known outfitter, and it's where I always turn -- in fact, I'm heading up there this weekend. If you make a reservation ahead of time, you're probably looking at a minimum of an hour from the time you get to the parking lot until you're in the river, but that includes signing waivers, picking up your tube and riding the bus to the river mouth. They'll rent you a floating cooler for drinks or a cooler tube if you want to bring your own cooler. One thing I learned the hard way last year that should have been obvious but was not: Do not wear flip flops. 

Chatters, any other good tubing experiences in Harpers Ferry worth shouting out? 

I’m trying to locate a graffiti or urban mural to do a photo-project. Im looking for colorful relatively big (more than 5x5 feet) graffiti that involve images more than names. I remember that a couple of months ago I took the MARC train from Union station and going north, somewhere perhaps between New York Ave metro & Takoma Park, I saw a huge mural next to a shopping center parking…I’m not from that area so I have no idea how to get there, Does anyone know about this mural? I saw that the Washington post published an article a while ago about graffiti in DC and they even mentioned locations but using google maps I couldn’t get the exact location, SO if anyone knows of a relatively big graffiti or mural in DC, VA or MD please let me know!

I am not sure about the WaPo article, but I do know about the mural you are talking about. Everything you need is right here: Albus Cavus.

I wrote in last week asking for cocktail suggestions. I went with the St. Germain cocktail since I had seen that listed on cocktail menus. The drink was a big hit. Thanks! I want to try their sangria recipe soon.

I spotted at least three St. Germain drinks on the menu when I was at Jackie's Sidebar a few weekends ago. The Sidebar 76 -- campari and fresh lemon juice added to St. G and champagne -- was a freshing and slightly bitter treat on a hot day. And don't miss the Yo Nikki, Word Up -- a Last Word variation with St Germain and High West whiskey. Quite delicious.

Actually, don't skip any drinks at Sidebar. Friends and I went through seven well-crafted cocktails there and the bill was under $70, which I thought was an incredible bargain.

Where can we go for free outdoor music events? Rachel

There are still plenty of free concert series happening this summer, even though the most talked-about, Fort Reno, is ending tonight. Have a look at our list of best free concert series this summer.

I'm on night shifts now and that means I sleep from 9 AM-5 PM and am up in the hours after! I'm looking fro something fun to do on saturday evening/night. I'm not much of a clubber- any suggestions on things to do when everyone else is asleep? Thanks!

How about dancing -- at a yoga studio? Midsummer Night for Dreams is a fundraiser with food, drinks and a Fatback DJ at Stroga in Adams Morgan. After things wind down there, head to Bloombars for the monthly Sunrise Cinema series. And should you get hungry at some point, our guide to late-night eats from earlier this year should come in handy.

Arlington's Lubber Run Park outdoor amphitheater -- a fun family entertainment venue -- is up and running after a 2-year hiatus. I was there last week with a SRO audience for Friday's wonderful Mary Ann Redmond program and will be there this Friday at 8 p.m. for the Brazilian musical group Origem. A great place to hear great live music, picnic, dance and meet people of all ages and backgrounds.

Yes -- a welcome bit of news for Arlingtonians. Glad to hear the crowds are showing up.  

Hi GoGs - what's with the lack of patios/outdoor seating in the Chinatown area? The only ones I can think of are Bus Boys & Poets, Zaytinya and Poste. Am I missing something? Do you have any recommendation for outdoor libations and food in the Chinatown area? Thanks for all your wisdom!

Don't forget the (covered) back patio at R.F.D., the sidewalk patios at Proof and Bar Louie (the latter one is there, it's just hidden facing 6th Street), or, if you go further south, the TV-covered patio at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern. Great place to watch baseball at night if it's not oppressively hot.

There's not a lot of sidewalk space to be had in the neighborhood, and much of what's there is uncomfortable. I mean, yeah, Gordon Biersch has a row of tables at 9th and F, but you wind up sucking exhaust fumes from cars waiting at the corner.

Proof would be my choice if you're dining as well as drinking. R.F.D. might not be bad with a group.

Hi gurus, this weekend is our wedding anniversary and my husband I would like to do something fun on Saturday afternoon, when my mom will be at home with our toddler. I'd love to do something that we can't usually do with our son in tow, like kayaking, horseback riding, a theatre show, etc. Any ideas?

If you want an outdoor alternative that you couldn't do with a tot then visit the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School. I had a great visit a couple weeks ago.

Holly, I am leaving tomorrow (Friday) on a last minute trip to Paris with my BF for four nights. I am planning on taking a pair of ballet flats, maxi skirt, skinny jeans, a few tank tops and cardigans. What else should I pack? I'm assuming we might do one nicer dinner out, but does that mean i should pack a pair of heels just for one night?

How dreamy! Your packing plan sounds ideal -- I'd throw in a nice, sharply tailored blazer and some great statement jewelry for good measure. And since I'm totally living vicariously through you, I'd take some extra cash to buy a pair of heels (or two) while you're in Paris, instead of packing a pair. Have a great time!

Hey guys -- I'm looking for a place in Old Town for my wedding's rehearsal dinner. Hoping for something reasonably priced but not a chain like Bertucci's -- a private room is a plus. Any ideas?

I would contact the folks at the Columbia Firehouse. It's a beautiful space, and I know that they do plenty of private parties there.

I am taking a friend out for his birthday this saturday. He loves meat so I want to take him to either a steakhouse or a bbq place. The problem is that I am vegetarian. Although I am happy to go anywhere where he can have the food he enjoys (since it is his birthday), he told me that he doesn't want to go somewhere where I can't eat. Are there any places that serve great steaks or bbq that also has some vegetarian fare?

Normally I wouldn't recommend Fogo de Chao for anything other than a bromantic night out, but when Tom Sietsema says the place's salad bar "looks like the entire produce section of some grocery stores," I'm confident that you'll be able to eat well as a vegetarian while your meat-loving pal gorges on a steady supply of skewered meats. You can order the salad bar without having to order meat, FYI, and I'm sure you'll be able to poach from his fried plantains. 

I really like hiking the Billy Goat Trail, are there any other similar trails that are close to the metro area?

Alas, the Billy Goat Trail is very popular for good reason--it is pretty darn unique. I highly suggest visiting the Virginia side of Great Falls which has a handful of hikes that will give you similar views without a huge challenge. Best of them? The Difficult Run Trail.

Really enjoyed the VA wine, distillery and brewpub article. My birthday is this month, and I'm thinking of doing some sort of tour with some friends. What's a realistic number of places to go to in one day (leaving from DC around say 11 and returning early evening) -- don't want to be super rushed but want to make the most of the day? And, which places would you hit up? Thanks!!

I think you could conceivably do three in a day. There's a great concentration around Afton -- three breweries, including the nano Wild Wolf, which I visited while researching, and a number of vineyards, including Veritas and Afton Mountain. The only caveat is that it's around two-and-a-half-hours from Arlington each way.

That said, it's certainly do-able. If your tastes lean more towards wine, hit those two vineyards and get dinner and do a quick beer tasting at Devil's Backbone. If you're the beer sort, make sure you do Blue Mountain and Devils Backbone, and I'd probably take Veritas' wines over Afton Mountain, but that's just me.

Also, make sure you make time for some peach picking and fresh peach milkshakes at Chiles' Peach Orchard in Crozet. So, so good.

Oh, and designate a driver. There are a lot of breweries and wineries in Nelson County. The cops know this.

Hi Gurus! I need your advice. My future in-laws are coming into town tomorrow for the tasting for my up-coming wedding. Any ideas for non-food related things to do tomorrow night, since we'll be hopefully stuffed from delicous wedding food? They're into theater and museums, and generally go to bed pretty early. They're staying in Dupont, but I think we're open to ideas anywhere in the city. Any ideas? I'm stumped!

How early will this tasting be done? If it's early enough to hit up the  museums, then I'd start with Michael O'Sullivan's great list of must-see art. Otherwise, I'd probably direct you to the Friday Evening Concert Series at Yards Park, if you think they'd be up for outdoor fun, or the wonderful Clybourne Park at Woolly Mammoth.

Is there any place in the district to get good/authentic Malaysian or Singaporean food in the DMV? Thanks!

The Dupont Circle area has two options for you: Malaysia Kopitiam and Straits of Malay.

Hi, I have family coming to town this weekend and don't have a clue what to do with them. They have been here often so the usual tourist stuff is out. Small group with adults and young teens and none are fans of the out-doors. I'm stumped!

None are fans of the outdoors? Oh my. Well, if you insist, I think a visit to the BrickFair would be a great way to pass the time.

Any insight as to why the concert (which was supposed to happen last light) was cancelled and whether there are any plans to reschdule? I was really looking forward to it! Also, any other "big" reggae acts/concerts on the horizon? (BTW, I loved the last Post reggae night at Carter Barron!)

No word from Wolf Trap yet about the cancellation, though we're guessing it was weather related. In the meantime, I hope reggae fans have Sunday's big Jamaican Independence Day celebration at the Crossroads on their calendar. (The holiday is actually Saturday, but still.) It's an interesting slice of reggae: Lovers rock from Beres Hammond and his band, more crossover-y R&B/reggae from Wayne Wonder, the smooth-voiced Sharon Thomas ... that's my pick for the weekend.

What does a 50 year old mom wear to an outdoor B-52s concert she is attending with teenage daughter in mid-August? Will be hot, sitting on ground. Haven't been to a concert since early 90s!

First off, kudos to you for doing something awesome (and probably unforgettable) with your daughter! It'll likely be unbearably hot, so I'd go with the lightest, airiest dress you can find (here are a few options), or a pair of light linen pants and a tank. Be sure to wear sunscreen, bring a wide-brimmed hat, and drink plenty of water.

I've had good experiences with River Riders; they are very organized and offer internet discounts if you reserve ahead. But tubing on a Saturday in August is going to be crowded (including the river itself) no matter what. If you can manage to take a "mental health day" in the middle of the week, River Riders offers mid-week discounts on tube rentals.

Some more good intel on tubing. 

Don't forget Sugarloaf Mtn in MoCo (Dickerson, not far from 270.) also, Catoctin Mtn./Cunningham Falls is a bit further -Thurmont, MD - but offers a LOT of hiking options.

These are nice suggestions. For the original chatter, what is it you like the most about Billy Goat? The challenge? Closeness to DC? Lovely views of the Potomac? And what do you dislike (tons of people)? Those answers might help me give you some more suggestions.

I know you get this question weekly, but it's not until early September so hoping you have answers for me. Any suggestions for a place in DC proper, preferably NW for a birthday gathering? About 15 people, late 20's/early 30's. Maybe food, but in no way a dealbreaker. The gathering will be on a FRIDAY, which may complicate things. And we don't mind dive bars. We'd be ok with a place with a small deposit or minimum amount of drinks (we like to drink!), but preferably a space where we can reserve area for free or is large enough where we can get a spot if we get there early enough. Thanks.

Okay, so I'd get on the phone to Science Club, which is kind of my default for free loungey table reservations, and see what they can do for you. Biergarten Haus is another option, but I'd call NOW and try to book a table. (They have minimums for groups, but if you like to drink, it shouldn't be a problem.) The Christmasy private party room at Little Miss Whiskey's is another option.

Just looked at the BTI website, which do you recommend: white water tubing, flatwater tubing or a combo rafting/tubing? Can you get a cooler on any of them? Or just the flat water? Thanks!

I go with flatwater; it's pretty slow and lazy but you're less likely to experience a runaway cooler and if you're in a group it's easier to stay together. Plus,  it's easier to pull off to one of the banks on the side of the river to, umm, enjoy the contents of your cooler a bit more vigorously, if you catch my drift. 

If you're more interested in the rafting/tubing than the social aspect, though, I'd probably go with whitewater.

Hi Holly. I recently purchased a linen skirt in a color called "willow". It's a bit brighter than the online color shows. It's a summer skirt, but how far into fall can this skirt take me, do you think? It's a great travel skirt--very comfortable and forgiving. I'd like to take it to Santa Fe in September--I think it won't be too out of place. Thanks for the chats!

I think you can probably wear it with sandals (and then ballet flats) until it gets too chilly for bare legs ... once you need to start wearing tights or hose, you should probably pack away the linen. Santa Fe in September sounds like the perfect place for it!

My boyfriend and I are taking his parents to Capitol Steps at the Reagan Center this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Any suggestions for good dinner options beforehand? We've gone to Elephant & Castle before, but are hoping to explore other options. Always appreciate your great advice! Thanks!

Cafe du Parc at the Willard would be a nice place to take the parents.  It's not too expensive, most dishes are well done classics and the staff takes good care of its guests. Slightly up the price chain you could always try Central or 701.

I'm going to see Sarah's Key at the Bethesda Row cinema on Saturday morning, then lunch in the area. Can you recommend a not too expensive restaurant within walking distance of the theater? Thanks - love the chats!

Lots of places in the immediate area: Bento boxes at Raku? Steak frites at Mon Ami Gabi? Tapas at Jaleo? American bistro food at Cafe Deluxe? Thai food from Tara Thai? You can eat well at most of those for $20-$30. For something lower key, there's Taylor Gourmet, Five Guys and a Georgetown Cupcake (with a long line, no doubt) in the immediate area. 

It's too bad Delhi Dhaba closed, because they had a great Indian lunch buffet on Saturday and Sunday. 

Speaking from experience, make sure that you have tested that those ballet flats are comfortable for walking all day long and for long disintances. I know we all want to look fashionable and non-touristy while in the City of Lights, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of comfortable supportive footwear for an enjoyable visit!

Agreed.

I thought Straits of Malaya closed last winter.

Oh no. I hadn't heard that. What a shame.

You could always go to Naked Mountain Vineyards and then you get to purchase a bumper sticker that says "Drink Naked."

Truly the only way to drink.

Everyone knows that DC streets are murder on heels, but I have no choice but to wear them back and forth from different locations and I feel like I am constantly taking them to be re-heeled or buying new heels - not cheap. Is there a brand or style of heel that holds up best to dc streets or tips to prevent shoe destruction?

You don't have the choice to wear flats while you're walking? If that's the case, you should probably switch to a chunkier style (maybe a wedge or Cuban heel) instead of a stiletto that constantly slips into sidewalk grates, etc. New heel tips should only cost about $10-$12, but if you're doing that more than three a year, a change in shoe style is probably the best solution.

My sister is in town for the weekend and we're trying to get a group together for happy hour on Monday evening. I know trying to find a fun bar for a group of 15 is a daunting task (at least it is for me right now!!) but we're hoping Monday is a slowish day. Can you recommend anywhere where we could get 15 or so people together for drinks in the Farragut/Metro Center/Chinatown area? We did Austin Grill and Rocket Bar last time and were looking for somewhere new. Thanks!

Monday is usually a slow day for bars, hence all the trivia nights and promotions designed to lure crowds. For 15-ish people, I'd look into Hill Country (their downstairs happy hour rocks), Iron Horse, Barcode, maybe the Passenger (ask about the "Train Car" room).

I have a dress that needs to be altered (not extensively) for a wedding in a few weeks. Any recommendations for a good moderately priced tailor/seamstress, preferably in the Arlington area?? I really don't want to go back to the bridal salon and would love to have a place that I can also take future items to. Thanks!

I've heard good things about Millie's Tailoring on North Glebe Road ... chatters, any other suggestions?

My niece is in town this weekend and into art and history. We're planning on hitting a lot of the toursity stuff as it's her first visit to the area but I was wondering if there was anything particularly awesome going on that she might enjoy. Thanks!

Aside from the typical Mall fare, I'd probably look into hitting up the Corcoran's free summer Saturdays, which has different programming every week. There's also an art walk that day in Bloomingdale. For something a little different, you could check out the opening of experimental video at Capitol Skyline, courtesy of Conner Contemporary and the Rubell Family that evening at 6.

Please don't do this. It's dangerous. Almost all rivers have rapids, sharp rocks, and canoers/kayakers, all of whom can seriously hurt someone who's impaired.

A good reminder to tube responsibly, people. If park rangers or other officials observe you drinking or behaving unsafely, they can cite you. 

When my kids got too old for the Billy Goat, we would climb Old Rag with the adults walking the trail and the kids walking parallel to the adults - they had an extra degree of difficultly - they had to scramble over any boulders we pointed out.

Ha, I like this idea. The last time I hiked Old Rag was with in March with a large group of Boy Scouts. It is kind of like herding cats, but we had a great time.

Gogs, Just wondering if you've had an update on how one of your chatters did with that nice bartender and if it worked out. Normally I wouldn't be that interested in a follow-up report but it could make for a good story if it worked out well for them.

I've been curious about this, too. Chatter with the bartender crush: If you're out there, please give us an update.

What are the best spots for young professionals, mid 20s, to go for happy hour? Cheap would be appreciated but looking for a little more than beer and pizza.

First, I'll steer you towards this roundup of happy hours I wrote a few weeks ago -- everything from dirt-cheap and intern-friendly to upscale spots with free French wine or half-price Belgian beers.

Since you're looking for "more than beer and pizza," I don't think you can go wrong with the rooftop margarita happy hour at El Centro, the half-price snacks and cheap cocktails at Oyamel, the discounted food and drinks at PS 7's, or the step-up-from-Cafe-Asia Sushi Happy Hour at Current. (Details of all of those are included in the blog post referenced above.)

Not in Harpers Ferry, but there is a place in Patapsco that does tubing... I think it's called Terrapin Adventures?

They do. Probably can't get away with alcohol, though. (Full disclosure, my younger brother works there.)

Any suggestions for a Saturday out with the whole family? youngest is 1 yr. we've done the usual stuff like zoo and Natural history. am not inspired or looking in the right places this week. thanks for your help!

How about spending a few hours at Glen Echo? You could check out the Puppet Playhouse, have a picnic and ride on the merry-go-round.

I'm craving mongolian BBQ -- do you have any recommendations that don't involve a mall food court? I've been in BD's in Bethesda before, not bad but a little cheesy. Inside the Beltway preferred, but I'm flexible.

Give Khan's on H Street NE a try. Justin's eaten there and notes that you'll be pleased with the food and the whiskey selection. 

So I've only been to H street once, but want to explore the area more. Thinking of doing sort of an H street crawl with a group of friends (maybe 6 ppl) on a weekend day. What places would you recommend going to?

Depends on where you have and have not been. If you haven't done this already, I might start out with beers and some putt putt at H Street Country Club, on the early side to beat the crowds. Then maybe move on to Biergarten Haus for some quality German brews (or hit that up later and split the biggest pretzel sandwich you've ever seen). I'd choose Little Miss Whiskey's over Rock & Roll Hotel any day, but that's just me. And while I haven't been there yet, you could also check out the new Tru Orleans, where the patio looks promising. It sounds like you're looking for the rowdier side of things, but for something a bit more upscale, check out Smith Commons. I also like the quiet wine bar, Sova, which draws a big crowd on nights when they have live bluegrass. Have fun!

Holly, I just got this in black and was wondering what you would pair with it. The waist is elastic so it might look funny to tuck a top into it, and it's slightly shorter on me than it is on the model. http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/skirts/solids/PRDOVR~44367/44367.jsp

That's one cute skirt ... and extremely versatile, too. Here are my ideas: White tee and simple sandals for a casual afternoon out; silky, flowy tank in a solid color (probably a neutral, but that's just me) and wedges for a casual date; chambray shirt, blazer and ankle boots for work; sleek black sweater and heels for something a bit more fancy (when the weather cools off). With all those looks, I'd tuck in the top ... let it blouse a bit so you're comfortable, and you can always add a belt to change the look of the waist. Have fun with it!

Hey! Looking for a great place to go for a birthday brunch...six ladies, ready to have some champagne and great food....was considering masa 14 or cork's new brunch on sundays-any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!

I haven't tried the new brunch at Cork yet, but Masa is a fine idea. To give you a few more options, I know that Vinoteca, Urbana, 1905 and Ardeo+Bardeo also have bottomless deals and good brunches. If you could score a seat on Ardeo+Bardeo's rooftop that could be particularly great, assuming the weather cooperates.

I used Judith at Judith's Boutique and Alterations in Vienna for my own wedding and for a bridesmaid's dress. I recommended her to two of my friends and both were also happy with her work. Her quoted prices on hemming a 3 layer skirt were less than anywhere else by $20. I highly recommend her. She only does wedding-related alterations, however.

Thanks for weighing in!

You, dear commenter, are in the wrong chat. "Impaired" and casually drinking are different FYI.

We here at GOG encourage responsible behavior. So let me add my bit of tubing-and-drinking advice: take cans, not glass bottles and don't you dare throw empties into the river.

Hi! I have never been to Screen on the Green but am planning to go this summer. Do you know about what time the movie starts? The website says at "dusk." Also, how early should we get there to find a nice spot? And should we bring blankets to sit on or do most people bring chairs? Any other tips on the event are appreciated! Thanks for your help, love your weekly chats!

I would show up an hour or so before so you can hang out leisurely and stake out a spot. The film does actually screen at sundown, which will be just before 9. Bring chairs or blankets, whatever you're most comfortable with! Lower chairs are best though...

Paris has A LOT of cobblestones and they're hard to walk on. Your feet will be in shreds very quickly if you don't have the proper walking shoes and then you will be cranky and won't enjoy Paris. Bring the ballet flats for evenings out, but bring something else with more support for walking around during the day.

I think this depends on individual comfort level -- some people can walk around a city and wear ballet flats or casual sneakers with no problems; some people require more support to be comfortable and need something a bit more specialized. And I'm sure there's a middle ground somewhere where you can wear your regular shoes but bring along  gel insoles for when you're doing serious trekking.

I have a friend who's a pretty strict vegan and even he could eat well at Fogo de Chao.

As long as it's not Morrissey, who would say something wildly inappropriate the second he smelled meat, and get you all banned from Fogo de Chao for life.

I'm a girl who loves trivia nights. Unfortunately, my friends and I can never seem to all get together on a certain night to form a team. Are there trivia nights that seem to be more open to stragglers joining a team? I've had difficulty finding people who let me "play in." I live in Northeast, but anywhere works!

I'm a fan of the trivia night at Stoney's (came in third last night!), and I've seen people show up alone and joining teams. Fritz and I chatted, and we think the smaller, less serious trivia nights would be your best bet for this, so you might also try Wonderland or Bedrock.

Hi Holly. I live in central PA, but come down to NoVa often. Can you recommend somewhere I could consign my wedding dress? (It's a plus size, if that makes a difference.) I don't have anywhere local to sell it so thought I'd have more options down by you all. (NoVA locations would be better.) Thanks!

Well, for starters, you can sell it online through a number of sites: PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, WeddingBee.com and RecycledBride.com are just a few I've written about in the past. As for local options, there's I Do I Do in Gaithersburg, but I'm not familiar with any in NoVa. I think your best bet (especially since it's a specialty size) is to sell online -- you'll reach a much wider audience and probably sell it a lot faster.

Hey, gurus! My friend is turning 21 on Sunday and we are trying to plan where to take her for her first legal drink at midnight. She is really into retro things (especially anything between the 20s and 60s), so we were thinking of trying to get into the Gibson, but I know it's difficult if not impossible to get a table there. Do you have any suggestions for other retro bars, preferably around the U Street corridor?

Dickson's has a speakeasy vibe about it, and the wine bottles decorating the walls give the place, particularly the ground floor, something of a prohibition-era grotto feel, if that makes sense. 

I'm gonna play fairy godmother here. I wasn't sure whether a bar that's usually 21-and-over only would let a 20-year-old in, even if she was only a few hours shy of 21, so I called the Gibson's manager/mixologist Jonathan Harris to make sure I didn't give you any bad info.

He says he doesn't mind letting her in a little early (though she's obviously not allowed to drink until 12:01), and you can shoot him an e-mail at gibsondc.events@gmail.com and he'll make sure everybody knows what's happening, so there's no hassle at the door.

Tell her I said happy birthday!

Any suggestions for a fun piano bar in the area besides Mr. Smith's? I want to go with a group for my birthday.

Bobby McKey's, the dueling piano bar in National Harbor, was designed with birthday parties in mind. You sing along. Jokes get PG-13 and R-rated as the night goes on. It's packed and cheesy and ... yeah, perfect for birthdays.

Any ideas on stylish yet walking-friendly shoes for a trip to Europe?

I like the offerings from Earthies, especially the new booties and pumps from the fall collection. I'd advise you to try them out before your trip and make sure you're really comfortable walking in them -- the footbed is designed a bit differently so it takes some getting used to.

How can you forget about Tony Cheng's Mongolian BBQ on H ST NW between 6th and 7th ST NW? The original and definitely the BEST! I've been going there since college and that was nearly 20 years ago!

A vote for Tony Cheng's!

Hi Gurus--My parents are coming to visit next week and I generally like to go to dinner with them and a few of my closest friends. Somewhere with good food where we can all talk, but nothing too pricey, since my parents will be picking up the tab for the whole group. Preferably between Penn Quarter up to U Street or Dupont, but all suggestions welcome.

I give both PS 7's and Bombay Club credit for keeping the volume low enough that you can actually enjoy the company of your friends. At a slightly lower price-point you could try out Posto in Logan Circle or Agora on 17th Street. Assuming it's not too hot, I especially like the outdoor seating options at Agora.

Morrison House in Alexandria

For a cocktail, sure. For a group birthday party? I think I'd still take Bobby McKey's.

My friends and I have had fun tubing on the Gunpowder River close to Baltimore, MD. We go to a place called Monkton Bike and rent tubes

The Gunpowder is a great choice, thanks for the suggestion.

Do NOT go to Posto if you're looking for a quiet meal. It's really, really loud.

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I was suggesting Bombay and PS 7's for being quiet and Posto and Agora for being good and not too expensive. The inside at Agora can get a bit loud too.

Fritz, I know you written about this before, but I can't seem to turn up anything. My friends and I are looking to stock up on tasty Belgian beers to build our own happy hour at one of our places tomorrow. Can you recommend a purveyor and some tasty warm weather beverage options for wanna-be Belgian beer snobs? Thanks, love your chat.

In warm weather, I am all about saisons and Flemish sour beers. You can do well at D'Vine's in Columbia Heights or Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits on upper Connecticut Avenue. Both have deep selections -- just looking at the Chevy Chase catalog, I'm drooling over the Foret Saison, Saison Dupont, Duchesse De Bourgogne  (maybe my favorite beer of all time), Monk's Flemish Sour, St. Feuillen Saison  ....

Nice work, everyone, sharp chat. Really good. Everyone in the chat queue as well. Really a lot of hustle. I liked it.

 

Enjoy your tubing/salad bar/birthday party adventures this weekend, everyone, and we'll see you next Thursday! 

Are there any good places to stay near the wineries in Nelson County? I would like to go for a romantic weekend and maybe walk to a few?

Okay, one last response, because the nice people at Blue Mountain have published a list of recommended B&Bs near the brewery, which I actually find very helpful. (Look under the "Lodging" tab.)

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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. Join the thousands of readers who have followed us on Twitter and Facebook. And for nightlife news delivered twice-weekly to your inbox, make sure to sign up for the Going Out Guide newsletter.
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