Hi Gurus. My partner and had plans last weekend, but he and I are hoping to put on our Dirndls and have some Oktoberfest fun this weekend. Are there any special activities at Biergarten Haus or anywhere else? Thanks!
We've got a list of Oktoberfest events right here that I'm still adding to. This weekend, there's the Das Best Oktoberfest at National Harbor, an outdoor beer tasting festival which generated a lot of complaints about lines (for IDs, for bathrooms, for bars) last year. Organizers have tried to be proactive by adding more bars/portajohns/entrances, limiting capacity and spreading the event over two days. We'll see how that goes. If you're serious about the dirndls, though, you should note that they're giving extra drink tokens to people in *real* German dress. (Your lederhosen T-shirt does not count, guys.)
Biergarten Haus and Blob's Park are offering live music and German dancers this weekend -- Biergarten Haus on Fri-Sat nights on the patio, Blob's on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. It'll be easier to get into Blob's for sure, though Biergarten Haus has better beer and doesn't require a drive to Jessup.
Helllllo Gurus, what's the inside scoop on the lineup order at Virgin Free Fest?
Heading to free fest on Saturday but don't want to miss a college football game. Do you know if there will be re-entry to the fest? Thanks!
Definitely no re-entry, sorry.
I'm in desperate need of new pictures for my living room and dining room. I know I missed the Alexandria art fair (out of town) so where should I go? I wanted to go this weekend. I don't want to spend a lot of money - think just bought new house in debt for 30 years :) I was thinking eastern market but where else? I prefer to drive and am out in Fairfax so Maryland is fine and even Pennsylvania. DC is ok but I'd have to metro for that. I've alrady checked a lot of different stores out but didn't see anything that really caught my eyes.
Eastern Market is a great (and cheaper) place to start, but if you are looking for a drive, why not hit up the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton?
Any tips on how to maximize the book festival experience? There are a couple author signings I'd love to attend but I'm not sure it's worth missing the speakers and how crazy are the lines for someone like Suzanne Collins or Ken Follett?
I don't think it is ever worth missing an interesting speaker to get a book signed. The lines for signings are always crazy long and I try to avoid them. Plus, who wants to lug around a big stack of books all day?
Your best bet is to plan out who you want to see and then work on getting a good seat since the tents can also get very crowded.
Heading to Oktoberfest at the National Harbor on Saturday; any suggestions for transportation from downtown DC?
What do you think Clarendon day will be like? More family oriented? Worth going to given the other options for the weekend?
If by "family-oriented" you mean "Stroller Apocalypse 2010," then yes. It's your basic neighborhood street fair thing - vendors, food, that kind of thing. Remy, he of "Arlington: The Rap" fame will be performing at 4:15, which is sort of like the Clarendon equivalent of Jay-Z performing "Empire State of Mind" at Yankee Stadium.
Is there somewhere in the DC area that makes an actual Banana's Foster? I haven't had one in years (in a Chinese restaurant in Texas, no less), so I'd love to know if there is a place I can get it made around here.
We're debating the merits of an "actual" bananas foster, as opposed to a faux bananas foster, and aren't sure where that line is drawn. I can tell you that Mon Ami Gabi (also in Reston) has one. It's a plate of bananas drizzled in foster sauce and served atop a crepe. I've had it more than once and can vouch for its actualness. Chatters, any other bananas foster recs?
Where can I go to learn skeet shooting? I need a new hobby and figure firearms are cool so why not?
Hi GOGs, I'm a loyal fan and am hoping you can come to my rescue. My parents will be in town (from CA) to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday and will be here Oct. 8-11. They've been here multiple times and have done all of the usual tourist activities. Can you suggest a nice restaurant and any fun events/shows/or plays that are parent/celebration appropriate and aren't typical tourist places?
Since Bob Saget's show at the Warner probably would make them want to get back on that plane to California, how about the opera? If they're into the highbrow, that Sunday, you can take them to see the Washington National Opera's production of "Salome" with one of opera's leading divas, Deborah Voight at the Kennedy Center (hard to believe, it'll be her first performances in Washington). If the folks would be into that, I'd probably suggest dinner at Founding Farmers, which is fancy but doesn't skew too young. Or if Mom is at all into drinking, on that Saturday, Rustico hosts an Oktoberfest block party that will be a little more tame than the one in Timonium. But they also happen to be here at one of the prettiest times in the fall. Have you considered a drive, perhaps out to Skyline Drive or even to Harper's Ferry? I've already been seeing colors begin to change. Last week's cover story had a really interesting way to see the colors; you can go whitewater rafting.
We're set to meet our daughters boyfriend when we visit next month. We'd like to take them to dinner someplace fun, but with a noise level that allows for conversation. I prefer small, local, restaurants that serve great food over trendy spots. Something ethnic is always good. Either Capitol Hill or Alexandria area is best. Thanks for suggestions.
Hi Gurus! Do you know if there will be a free night of theater this year? I don't recall seeing/reading anything about it. Thanks!
What happened to them? They used to be on Saturday's lineup.
They were taken off the lineup a few weeks back. But they will be playing their own headlining show at 9:30 Club on Oct. 27.
You know what would make Banana's Foster even better? Cheese Wiz!!!!
That doesn't sound like an actual bananas foster to me.
My boyfriend and I loved Go Ape and we're looking forward to trying out the other dates! Thanks for the recommendation!
Awesome to hear! I can't believe how many couples I met there. For other folks interested in going, it stays open pretty much till Christmas, so you don't necessarily have to get all sweaty on your date.
Yeah, at the Mighty Pint tonight from 8 p.m. to close -- IF you win a coin toss with your bartender. (If you call incorrectly, you have to pay full price for Yuengling/Guinness/Blue Moon/Miller Lite.) I went 0-for-3 last week, a record that was only made tolerable because my date won a toss for Jameson shots when we were about to leave.
For the person looking for pictures, if s/he can wait one more week, the Del Ray Art on the Avenue is 2 October. Usually there's a lot more local artists and interesting stuff at this one vs. the one that takes place in Old Town every year.
Yeah, there are a bunch of art festivals next week. If the writer can wait then I would second this.
Ooh ooh! Bull Run Shooting Center is great: you have to take an hour or so long lesson if you've never done it before. It's basically a guy showing you the gun and then making you shoot it for a while. Then you get to go and do actual skeets. It was $30 for the lesson, then when you're done you rent the gun for $11 and the number of rounds ($5ish for 25 shots per round). They were really friendly and it wasn't very crowded.
More skeet-shooting tips. Thanks.
Not sure if it qualifies as a sandwich, but the gyro at the Greek Deli is unbeatable - best I've EVER had! And it's elusive nature -- only available for lunch during the week -- makes it all that more desirable.
Are you saying it takes a bit of detective work to track it down?
Italian Store chicken salad!
The Italian Store gets too much love for its pizza and not enough for its sandwiches. Bravo.
Need a good one please as we're staying at the Willard for a special occassion. I have reservations at J&G but have heard some negative things recently. thanks!
Really? What have you been hearing? I haven't been there very recently, but I would be willing to wager you will have a fine meal.
Other than J&G you have the Occidental nearby, and it has some old-school DC charm. And Oceanaire is well worth the short walk east.
How does the pavillion seating work? In the sense of, if they've sold all the seats as GA then isn't it going to be a pain to get in/out? And if they haven't sold all the seats then won't you have bands playing to empty seats up front with people on the lawn further away? Does this make sense? Also where are the other stages?
They actually did sell pavilion seats this year. Not sure if those are completely sold out. The GA pit way up front is first-come, first-serve - if you want to get in there, get in line early and don't plan on getting back in if you leave. The West Stage is out in an open area, way to the right if you are on the lawn looking at the pavilion stage. The Dance Forest is on the way out there. Basically, if you have a regular old ticket you got for free, don't expect to spend much time inside the pavilion unless you are REALLY dedicated to getting in there.
Does anyone know if the new Woody Allen film is showing in DC yet?
Help! I've procrastinated and am trying to pull together a Bachelor Party for the weekend of October 2nd. Biergarten Haus and Old Europe are booked Saturday night. Any ideas for a German meal and some Oktoberfest fun? Dinner and drinks don't have to be at the same place... willing to go anywhere in DC or Alexandira, 10 guys max. Thanks!
Ok, its not strictly German, or in Alexandria, but Lyon Hall in Arlington has some amazing wursts, good spaetzle and a great schnitzel. And they have a handful of Octoberfest beers.
I heartily recommend the bockwurst.
Can you do the main event during the day? Oct. 2 is the date of the Oktoberfest at Cap City Brewing Company in Shirlington, when about three dozen breweries set up tables in the streets and offer tastes from noon-6. (You get to try 10 four-or-five-oz. samples for your $25 entry fee.)
I waited 40 minutes in a black wool pantsuit for the lobster truck's lobster roll earlier this week ... normally one would be afraid of getting killed by one's boss for waiting 40 minutes for a sandwich, but when the sandwich is so good your boss waits with you ... I think you're in the clear.
I still haven't tried this! You're making me hungry...
BGR's Lobster Roll. Perhaps not my favorite sandwich of all time, but it takes *3 hamburger buns* to contain all of that lobstah meat. PS, I love SVU.
They were into lobster rolls before being into lobster rolls went mainstream. I second this.
Lost Dog Cafe - the Fat Molly: grilled chix, spinach, roasted red peppers and feta on a warm pita; or pretty much any other sandwich on their menu, topped off with a good beer from their vast selection
I'm not a fan of their serving restrictions, but I have nothing but good things to say about their sandwiches.
I want a 32oz porterhouse smothered in cheese wiz. Any place in DC offer that delicious combo?
Oh no. Has cheese wiz become our chat's pleated pants?
Hi Gurus! My sister is coming to town (she's 20) and I need some fun ideas of what to do at night. She's coming a Friday - Sunday (Oct 1-3), and I have daytime things covered but it got me thinking...what do minors do at night? I live in DC, so prefer that but really anywhere would work. Thanks!
We actually do have venues that'll gladly let your sis in. It's one of the best things about D.C. The Black Cat is hosting two straight nights of 60s garage dance parties, the 9:30 club has Rogue Wave that weekend, and for that real clubby experience, U Street Music Hall has a show on Oct. 2 is 18 and up. (Go on the Friday only if you are into house.) And oddly enough, Landmark's E Street movie theater has kooky midnight screenings of camp movies every weekend; that weekend, it's a John Waters film.
Can you recommend a good place to go for my birthday in a couple of weeks? I am in my early 20s, but my friends are both under and over 21. We will be celebrating on Sat. Oct 9 and I want to go dancing somewhere. I'm thinking somewhere with a low cover, really fun dancing, and obviously somewhere the under 21 people can get in. There will be 5-10 people coming.
U Street Music Hall if you're looking for house/electro/underground sounds, the Black Cat for hip-hop/indie/retro (*really* depends on the night), Ultrabar for a larger club scene with multiple rooms and DJs. (Reports of skeevy male behavior at Ultrabar have been coming my way more often, just FYI.)
Hi GoGs! My husband and I are celebrating our 2 year anniversary at Russia House this Sunday. The food and, of course, the vodka menu look amazing. However, they have almost nothing for dessert. Can you recommend somewhere within walking distance for something tasty? Or at least a little more variety then plain cheesecake and vague "ice cream"? Thanks!
Dolcezza! It's a gelateria (is that a word?) just down the street on Connecticut. With flavors like Lime Cilantro and Mango Champagne made from goods bought at farmer's markets, it's hardly Baskin Robbins. They also have espresso drinks and churros. (And they're open late.)
Sorry, need a moment to wipe up my drool.
Guru's help! My Dad is in town this weekend and all I have planned is the Nats game on Saturday. He has been to DC several times and he is not a huge fan of museums. Any suggestions ...
Um, what other interests does Dad have? Skeet shooting? Fly fishing? Hiking? Billiards? Sweet, delicious Oktoberfest beers?
I've spent a full decade of my life tasting Reubens around town, and, as I often have in this forum before - I stand by and endorse the Reuben from the Four Provinces in Falls Church. Its big, but not to big to bite into; its moist, but the juice doesn't wash to the elbows (just the wrists), and they are happy to switch the fries for a small salad, so you can pretend like you care about your health. I'm currently avoiding the places, for reasons that shall not be spoken of, but wow, how I long for that succulent corn beef, and a nice shandy to go with
Wow. A great review, and a bit of intrigue to boot.
Literally the best sandwich is at Best Sandwich. It's tucked in an office building next to the Borders at 18th and L NW -- you can't see the shop itself, you have to walk back through the office building to get to it. The sandwich is the Sweet Pepper Cheesesteak Wrap.
Yum, I know what I am having for dinner tonight.
FYI, I went for my birthday a month ago and it was the worst service I have EVER had at a DC restaurant (we literally said it was worse than our regular visits to Chili's). I have the manager's card after I tore him apart that night, but I've done my duty in food service and don't have the heart to complain any more.
Well, here is J&G detractor.
I went there for my wedding anniversary in July and it did not disappoint. Really delicious in every way.
And here is a booster.
hi, gurus. i have tickets for oktoberfest at the national harbor this saturday. a ticket comes with 6 drink tokens - any idea how much beer you get for a token? fritz, what oktoberfest brews would you recommend? thanks!!
Looking at the beer lineup, I'd say Flying Dog Dogtoberfest, Heavy Seas Marzen, Erdinger Oktoberfest, Wurzburger Oktoberfest, Evolution Jacques au Lantern (which the list has as 'Jack O Lantern' for all you non-francophones who can't figure it out), and Schlenkra Marzen.
Four Provinces? Irish or Jewish Corned beef.? Reuben to be any good has to have real NYC deli corned beef. That means with fat and not lean. lean corned beef no flavor. Same with pastrami it has to have fat for taste and mouth feel.
My current fav reuben is at the Star and Shamrock on H. Beautiful taste.
Speaking of reubens, my favorite is also a reuben, but an unusual one that no longer exists. It was a chef's special at Juniper around 4 years ago. Smoked duck breast and sauerkraut on homemade marble rye bread. I can still taste it like it was yesterday...
Oh my goodness you people are killing me... so hungry.
hi, gurus. i know you've answered a few national harbor oktoberfest questions already, but i really would like to know how much beer i can expect to get with my ticket's six tokens. trying to budget how much cash to bring. thanks!!
You get a plastic "souvenir" mug at the door, or did last year. I think it's around 4 ounces of beer per "taste" if I remember correctly.
If you were turning 30 on a Wednesday, and going out with just your husband, and didn't want to go far from the Arlington/Alexandria and you did NOT want to go into DC . . . what the heck would you do?
I celebrated my 30th with similar restrictions. We splurged and went to Restaurant Eve. If I had to do it again I would go to the PX afterwards. (And yes, my wife made me order the cake.)
Hi Gurus - Help! Just started seeing a great new BF and need to come up with a cool, but not too showy b/c we're still new, birthday gift. I was thinking tickets to something cool since he's relatively new to the area, but he's already heading to a few Oktoberfest events, so there goes my first idea. He's also outdoorsy, adventurous, into history and government, cute, sweet, considerate...*sigh* I don't know much about his music tastes yet. Do you have any suggestions for a ticketed event on Fri/Sat/Sun after October 6th? Driving is fine, and I'm thinking up to $100 or so for two tickets. If you or the readers have any other suggestions for a this-girl-is-so-awesome birthday present for a late 20s/really starting to feel like a grown up guy, I'd love to hear them!
This reminds me of a funny story -- I once had this very dilemma and settled on a David Sedaris book. When I found out the guy's co-worker got him a $50 itunes gift certificate, I felt like an idiot! In any case, what about heading to Night of the Living Zoo? That's sort of offbeat, but it could be fun. Another idea: Lavanya did a write-up on fall wine festivals, and one happens to be the weekend of October 16 out in Mount Airy. Chatters, help a girl out?
Hey Gogos, Any body spending time on 9th Street? What do you think? Will 9th be the new 14th?
Stop reading my mind! I have been saying that exact same thing, particularly of the area near the Convention Center. The addition of Longview Gallery (and the parties that various groups have been throwing there) is really giving folks a reason to go out there. The restaurant Corduroy really was an early adapter, as was 1905, picking Ninth for homebase. DC9's roofdeck is pretty incredible, and will give people new reason to head to Ninth. I also got a totally random opportunity to see the bones for an upcoming bar, Lost and Found, by the Convention Center, when 88 music held parts of an electronic music festival there and in Blagden Alley (home of the old Fight Club).
Then again, some bars didn't survive, including BeBar and the Space, because of neighborhood issues. But I'm rooting for it.
If I could pick any sandwich right now, it would be a tough choice between either the lobster roll at Hanks Oyster Bar or the Wellington burger at BGR (sauteed mushrooms, onions, black truffles, and blue cheese).
I can 2nd that Hanks nomination.
Cafe Renaissance in Vienna, VA makes a delicious Bananas Foster. I'm not a huge banana fan, but I was hooked after eating one there.
Another bananas foster suggestion.
I second Best Sandwich Shop near the Borders at 19th and L. Never had anything bad from there and I miss it terribly now that the office has moved.
That's two votes for the Best Sandwich Shop...
1. Mona Lisa at Earl's. 2. Irish Gyro at Lost Dog. 3. Turkey Pesto at Earl's. 4. Any sandwich at the Italian Store. Thanks for the chats!
Worst part about moving from Court House to downtown: No more Earl's at lunch.
Actually, that's tied with the inability to walk to Galaxy Hut after work.
I'm a 28 year old stay-at-home mom from NoVa who hardly ever gets out and never know where to go for a fun night out of dancing and hanging with the girls. I prefer a mix of pop, house, hip-hop, r&b. A mutual friend and I both have birthdays this week and can't figure out where to go with a small crowd for a grown-folks atmosphere that is a good place to party, dance, etc. Recent places to get a bad review from friends include Fur, Ibiza, and Ultrabar. Was told Ozio was nice, but not much dancing. I really want to be able to have the best of both worlds - a nice atmosphere for having a conversation with friends AND a good DJ that can make me get up and break a sweat on the dance floor. Oh, and preferably without the sharky, grabby crowd you get at some of the above mentioned clubs. Your help is GREATLY appreciated so we can get this group thing together ASAP. Much obliged. :)
Ozio isn't much for dance floor action, honestly. Bar 7 and the Park at 14th sound like exactly what you're looking for. Maybe Jin, too.
Hi Gurus! My boyfriend and I would like to celebrate fall (next month, when it might feel like fall) by going to a corn maze. Any recommendations? Maryland slightly preferable to Virginia. Thanks!
I shill for them often, but Lawyer's Winterbrook Farm always, always gets my vote. Why? Beacuse in addition to walking their maze, you can launch pumpkins out of a giant, pressurized air cannon. God that was fun. It's a bit far -- up near Frederick -- but once you pull the launch lever on that bad boy, it's well worth it.
I have a friend visiting this weekend and she would like to visit Old Town. I don't get to go very often and would like your recommendation for a couple of places to eat.
How about the Majestic, Vermilion and for something different (a fish and chips joint) Eammon's.
Where is the outdoor date list the Go Ape loving chatter listed? I'd love to check that out.
I'll go ahead and nominate the Norbadeer sandwich from Jetties on Foxhall Rd...it's the ultimate Thanksgiving day sandwich, roasted turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing...it's perfect esp. considering it's now officially Fall! :)
It is that time of year, isn't it.
I really love the veggie sandwich at Logan Tavern on P Street: Portabello & Eggplant, Feta Cheese & Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto. It's a great option if you're looking to go meatless but still relatively hearty. There is no way Det. Benson eats cheese steak/cheese wiz every day and still looks that great catching bad guys!
I love it when we get veggie suggestions.
I see that the third Steig Larrson movie is opening in October in limited release--any idea if/when E Street, Bethesda Row will be showing it?
First time poster here. This is more of a PSA rather than a question, but I feel like people are always asking about which bar holds charity happy hours. I was at a happy hour a few weeks ago at the Passenger for a friend's charity. I do not know the exact details, but she said that she just emailed and they gave her a choice of Monday nights and her charity got a percentage of the proceeds. It was a lot of fun and I do love that bar, so I thought I would pass along and help some good causes!
Write this down, non-profit event organizers: I believe the Passenger gives about 10 percent of happy hour's bar sales directly to the charity. All you have to do is drive traffic there and let the expert bartenders do the rest.
Gurus, I've been dating my girl for over a year. Things are good but I'm not sure she's "the one." I don't know if I should know this by now but I don't. We love to go out and eat at great restaurants. We both want to try Citronelle but I don't know if we should go there because I don't want to send a wrong message--isn't that a place where you'd go with the "love of your life," the one that you want to marry? What do you think?
I think...you should relax and just enjoy a great meal at a very nice restaurant without worrying what it "means." Taking your significant other to a nice place, a la Citronelle, does not signify a commitment to matrimony, nor does taking them to Yum's Carryout signify a commitment to break up.
You can take a woman for a nice dinner without having to propose. I've done it. You're going for the experience as much as the date, right? -- i.e. YOU have heard good things and want to try the food/wine/whatever.
The Hax-followers among us will probably say that if you're not sure you're in it for the long-term, you should stop stringing the girl along. Just don't break up with her in the middle of dinner at Citronelle.
Whoa, is she giving you hints that she expects a proposal soon? If she's not, she's probably not going to think you're trying to wife her up (plus, you already go to great restaurants, so this isn't going to be all that unusual). If she is giving you hints she wants the ring, I'm going to refer you to Carolyn Hax's chat.
My boyfriend and I have a day off tomorrow (his birthday) and we have dinner reservation but what is there to do during the day on a Friday? Any events or places we should check out that's within the District? Thank you for taking my question!
Well, you get be right up front when Chuck Brown performs at Woodrow Wilson Plaza's final summer concert at the Reagan building at 5 p.m....
Looking to go out in DC Friday night with another girlfriend, preferably a bar where people in their late 20s might actually mingle and make conversation. We like Churchkey and Bar Pilar and are open to other bars in the dupont/chinatown/u street/logan circle area. Thanks!
I think ChurchKey isn't really very social -- too loud, too many groups. (I was there on my own a few nights ago and people weren't feeling very chatty.) A few ideas: the new rooftop bar at DC9, the rooftop bar at Local 16, the bar at Stoney's (via Steph, who goes there often), even the bar at Cork, though I still think the crowd can be a bit date-y. Dodge City isn't bad, though you may have to start the conversation.
I'm bringing my 2 boys, ages 12 and 13, to DC this weekend. Any must see events/locales on Saturday night or Sunday?
For the person looking for a good birthday dinner for mom, if you decide to go to the Kennedy Center, I would highly recommend Marcel's. The food is fantastic and they offer a free ride to and from the Kennedy Center. (I wouldn't go with Founding Farmer's--I think the service is mediocre and it seems too casual for a special birthday dinner for mom.) For the person looking for dessert near Russia House, it's a little bit of a trek, but I am a big fan of the dessert at the Blue Duck Tavern. You can sit in their lounge to order, and I think everything the pastry chef makes is amazing.
A suggestion for the 60th birthday dinner -- I have heard doubts about Founding Farmers before, so an alternative is worth considering. And a suggestion for the Russia House diners (but I stand by Dolcezza).
I vote for the tartes or the poached pear at Bistrot du Coin, honestly. Remember, if you're doing vodka shots (chased with Baltika) or drinking pretty-much-straight-vodka cocktails, you're going to need something in your stomach. Don't be that guy (or girl).
The Butcher's Block! My husband and I each get a different sandwich and then we exchange halves...because how can you choose just one!? We're partial to the goat cheese, red peppers and bacon carmelized onions and the one with prosciutto fig and brie.
This reminds me of a great sandwich I've had at Cowgirl Creamery. Soft soft ciabatta, herbs, fig spread and brie. I agree; it's an amazing combo.