The Washington Post

Got Plans: Advice from the Going Out Gurus

Oct 18, 2012

The Going Out Gurus discussed concerts, happy hours, weekend getaways and other ideas for seasonal fun.

Hi everyone. So, as you may have read, we're giving away passes that will get you into Drake's Howard Homecoming party for free tomorrow night. We just asked you to come up with a new acronym to replace Drizzy's ubiquitous YOLO. Our favorite responses will win. (Caveat: You have to be able to pick up your credit card-style pass from the Washington Post building today or tomorrow.)

Of course, if you don't care about Drake, we're here for you, too, ready to talk pumpkin beer, Halloween events, leaf peeping, Tom Sietsema's dining guide ... whatever you'd like. Ready?

LiveForTheMoment = LFTM

See, while we like this sentiment, how do you pronounce it? Lif-tum? Needs vowels. If no one can pronounce it, no one can yell it on the radio.

. . . take a guess. This is marginally related to going out, so I hope you will read my rant--why do the local news stations' morning programs present the day's weather only through 5pm? Even if you are just going to work and then home, how many people are home by 5pm? One station give the predicted weather at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. Hey, maybe I'll be going out and would like to know what the weather will be like at 9pm when I am commuting home. And aren't most people inside at 1 and 3 pm? It just seems like an odd and uninformative choice of times. It's not like they do not predict the weather for the evening--they ppresention their predictions for the next week! Arghhh! (thanks for listening!)

We hear you... and that's why use the Capital Weather Gang for all of our weather-related planning needs.

Hi Gurus, I am submitting my question early as I have a medical appt in the PM. My husband and I are thinking of participating in he zombie walk this year. What do you think about it? Is it worth the drive from Rockville? How is the lame factor? Thanks!

Zombie Walk in Silver Spring is a lot of fun, and I usually think things like this are pretty dorky. The costumes are awesome -- hold tight my friend Julie who went as Zombie Bea Arthur a few years back -- and many people are really into it. Jackie's, Quarry House and Sidebar look like Return of the Living Dead sets. And there's a midnight showing of Shaun of the Dead, which can never be anything but awesome.

Full details on the Zombie Walk site.

GOGs and chatters, has anyone done the four-course meal at Rogue 24? I don't want to spend the full $115 a person, I don't think, so thought the four courses would be a better fit, but I haven't heard any insight into whether it's worthwhile, or if I should just bite the bullet?

I'll be honest with you, I haven't had a chance to try that one yet, but Tom was really high on RJ Cooper's modernist restaurant in the recently released Dining Guide, so I would say go for it.

Any of our chatters tried the smaller pre fixe yet?

My parents and god parents are probably visiting in the Spring. I have been told that my god parents are unlikely to ever agree to going on the Metro and of the four of them, my father is the only one who can handle hailing and giving instructions to a cab driver. I was thinking about having them get two day passes for one of the hop-on/hop-off busses for basic transportation (since Arlington is definitely on the itinerary). I've seen the red double decker busses and the Old Town Trolley ones. Are there others? Are one or the other of these "better" for people who are intimidated by cities? I was thinking the live narration might be better since the narration can't get ahead of the stops and it will probably be a crowded time of year (near cherry blossom season). Has anyone used these busses?

I tried out the Old Town Trolley a while back for a story we wrote about tours in the city. It was great at connecting the popular touristy stops and giving some commentary along the way. The only negatives I found were that the majority of cars didn't have air conditioning (a necessity in the summer) and they could get very crowded.

What events/locales/bars have the most midwest migrant attendees?

I expect Fritz to chime in with more, but Kangaroo Boxing Club is a haven for Michigan fans... particularly on gamedays.

(a) Anywhere there's a Great Lakes or Boulevard beer tapping seems to bring out the Midwesterners in droves. Last Great Lakes party at Big Hunt -- don't think I've seen that many Indians hats outside of a game at Camden Yards before.

(b) Every state has a state society in D.C. These groups organize happy hours, cookouts, parties for various state holidays, etc. Some of the better-known events aren't from the midwest -- the Mississippi State Society's Mississippi on the Mall and the Wyoming State Society's Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival come to mind -- but your home state probably hosts events all year. See the National Conference of State Societies site for links.

(c) As Justin pointed out, a lot of bars develop a Midwestern identity due to sports teams. Capitol Lounge, for example, started hosting Michigan State football viewing parties, so they naturally became a destination for Lions fans, and I've seen more than a few Tigers caps there during the playoffs.

(d) Toledo Lounge has always had a strong Midwestern contingent, or I've met a bunch of people from Ohio and Indiana there.

I just took the GREs and was thinking of going to Bar Pilar to celebrate on Friday night. I haven't been in a while - what's the scene like downstairs? Any other suggestions for a relatively low-key evening somewhere between CH and Logan Circle where beer and cocktail snobs can be happy without emptying their checking accounts?

It has been so crowded on my last few weekend trips to Bar Pilar that I've stuck around for maybe 1 beer max before heading elsewhere. If you can make it to the tiny bar upstairs it's far more enjoyable, but that's a big If, depending on what time you were heading out.

I like Kangaroo Boxing Club, Dodge City (if you get there before 11, when all hell seems to break loose), maybe the new Coupe on 11th Street, which is so big that it's easy to spread out and enjoy the space.

Capsule review: Space is nice. Shakes are great. Burgers are meh. Servers are overwhelmed. I hope it settles into a groove soon because the tacos looked good and I really regret not trying them.

I had tacos and shakes, and both were good. The burgers looked good, and I was kind of wishing I'd tried them ... so now I'm glad I didn't. I really like the covered outdoor space. Should be a great alternative to American Ice Company for post-9:30 Club drinks.

My husband and I would like to take some nice hikes near the DC area (we have a car, so we can drive if need be) this fall. We'd like to go somewhere that offers hiking trails of different difficulty so that we can switch things up if need be. If there are biking trails that we can check out, that'd be an extra bonus.

Rock Creek Park with its proximity to the city, bike paths and multitude of trails seems like a no-brainer. But if you are looking for something a bit different, try Patapsco Valley State Park. It's closer to Baltimore than Washington, but it has everything else on your list.

You only die once.

This is true.

I'm meeting a friend for dinner around Eastern Market. Montmatre is out. Any particular place high on the Gurus' list at the moment?

I would head for Hank's On the Hill, and more speficially the Eddy Bar, current roost of allstar bartender Gina Chersevani.

LALL- Live and Let Live

This one gets my vote!

I did the double decker bus with out of town friends and their kids (in strollers) and it was easy and I think the narration is controlled by GPS so it seemed to cue up properly

Another suggestion for the person with older, timid visitors.

Maybe the end at 5PM because that's when their next big broadcast is? It's all about ratings.

Honestly, I use the Weather Channel app on my phone in the morning -- gives you the forecast by hour, which is all I need. (Way to work/leaving the office/on way home from bar[s].)

Hey Gurus, happy Thursday to you. I was hoping you could suggest a bar where I could watch the Giants-Redskins game in the Logan Circle/U Street area. I'm new to the area, so not sure of a good spot to park myself for a few hours....doesn't have to be a sports bar (would actually prefer if it wasn't)...just looking for a more low-key place where I can have a good view of a TV and a decent food/drink selection. Bonus points if there are more Giants fans than Skins fans in the crowd, though I'm not banking on that anywhere. Also, with the game starting at 1:00, what time do you suggest I go in order to get a seat? Thank you!

You'll find more Giants fans at the 51st State Tavern in the West End/Foggy Bottom -- total New York sports bar. 

A decent bar with TVs for football: Touchdown on U Street is a good spot. Same with Duffy's, although they're a Packers bar, primarily. I think Nellie's has good wings and beer, but don't usually go there for 1 p.m. games -- there's a VERY popular drag brunch that starts at 11, so finding a seat can be hard.

Stoney's near Logan doesn't have the best sightlines -- the TVs are high on the walls -- but great grilled cheese and burgers more than make up for that. And I always love catching a game at ChurchKey, which only has five TVs, but makes up for it with fantastic beer and food. (You just need to arrive around 12:30 to make sure you can get a barstool with the game you want in front of it.)

"Work hard, play hard" aka how every 20-30 something in DC describes their lifestyle on dating websites. How original! ;-)

Again, how do you pronounce that? Whip-uh? I suppose it's better than WOHAL -- Workaholic, Alcoholic.

TARO = Transform And Roll Out

HoHo for Howard Homecoming. Drake would be showing his ability to think globally but still act locally.

I think the organizing committee was pushing for the Homecoming hashtag to be #HUHC, which I can't pronounce either. 

How will you get in contact with the winners?

We'll figure out your mailing address from your IP address.


Just kidding. We'll ask y'all to e-mail us. That simple.

YEAHFAR - Yes Everything Always Happens For A Reason

Enjoy life freely!

Hello, My girlfriend and I were looking for a park or somewhere in the area (we live in southern Montgomery County, so preferably DC or Maryland) within a short-ish (30 minutes) drive that would produce a great, leisurely stroll through great fall foliage. I assume with the great weather, it will be a bit crowded at some of the major spots (Great Falls, Sugarloaf), so any cool off the beaten path ideas would be great as well. Thanks.

A nice walk along the C&O Canal sounds like it would fit the bill as long as you begin north of Great Falls where there are fewer people. I am thinking near White's Ferry or would be nice.

My wife and I are spending overnight in the city this weekend. (we're from the burbs, dont get in much these days, not with two kids under three...) We have a hotel booked in Cleveland Park, and dinner reservations Saturday night at Obelisk. Any thing particular going on this weekend that we should check out besides the usual suspects? Also, we currently have rezzies for Ardeo/Bardeo for Sunday brunch. Any better options? (we've done Tabard Inn before, love it but want to try something new.) Thanks in advance.

I'll steer you to our list of the weekend's best events, but I'd be intrigued by the Corcoran's Community Day, the Washington Performing Arts Society's Fall Arts Fair, with free concerts and recitals, and the gorgeous-sounding Beautiful Transitions display of trees at the Arboretum.

Fountainhead Park in Virginia along the Occoquan has both hiking and mountain biking. While the park only has one trail (one end of the Bull Run/Occoquan trail) it is nice and can be as long as you want - spans 18 miles all the way back to Bull Run park! Never done the biking trail but it looks extensive and seems well used when I've been.

I haven't visited this park, but it is now on my list. Sounds great!

Takin one for the team

Check out Greyline bus. They go to Arlington, Alexandria, Mt Vernon and I think around DC too.

Another tip for the older visitors.

Looking for a place that my girlfriends and I can go after work tonight, maybe get some dancing in before we have to go back to the burbs and get to bed (it is a work night after all!) Any suggestions on places that where the dancing before midnight?

Work night? YOLO!

The Grits and Gravy party at Jin tonight gets lively by 8 p.m. (seriously, I went last year) and has a great mix of everything from A Tribe Called Quest to Prince to Slick Rick.

El Centro DF's basement party gets hopping before midnight, probably because ladies drink free from 11 to midnight.

And now I'll turn this over to readers ... readers? Dancing on the early side?

It's Only Homecoming Once ....a year so live it up!! (pronounced I-oh-ho?)

WIT= Whatever It Takes ...because I'll never be able to look at Drake without a small part of me immediately thinking of Degrassi. That theme song, man...

On his next world tour, Aubrey should totally make his entrance in a wheelchair.

The TV weather people give a full forecast (last night at 11, Topper said it will probably rain this evening through tonight), but the broadcasts are hard to listen to because they jump back and forth from national weather to local, and because "local" is apparently now everything east of the Eastern Continental Divide. It's even creeping north of the Mason-Dixon line.

That would be because of the people commuting to the DC area from Chambersburg/Martinsburg, methinks ...

Best place to meet cool/interesting people who aren't pompous and elite?

Dive bars? Tune Inn, Jay's, Dietle's, Dan's Cafe, Lil Pub, Vienna Inn, Quarry House, JV's ...

Take Every Chance Always I tweeted you guys too, but saw other people were replying here.

You only live twice: Once when you are born And once when you look death in the face - James Bond

As a certified Bondophile, I like this one.

My heart goes out to this guy's two kids under 3, sounds like their teen years are going to be particularly embarrassing.

"DAAAAAAAD, stop saying YOLO!"

The Rocky Mountain Oyster Festival is actually put on by the Montana State Society, but everybody around here gets those states confused.

The Wyoming State Society has hosted a rocky mountain oyster festival in the past, I swear. But you are right -- the big party is held by the Montana State Society. I've been a few times and I should have gotten that right. My apologies to the good people of Montana.

Next Thursday is our anniversary. We're having dinner at Founding Farmers. Any suggestions for relatively close-by places were we could get some pre or post dinner cocktails? Thanks!

For what it's worth, the Jon Arroyo's drinks list at Founding Farmers is probably my favorite thing about the place. So you could simplify things and just stay put after dinner. But I hear, you, Anniversary. You want to amble. You want to take a moonlit walk with your s/o to somwhere intimate and reflective and anniversarial. "Let's just stay here" doesn't quite cut it when the table next to you is ripping apart beignets and flatbread pizza.  Thankfully, you're a short walk through Lafayette Square away from Off the Record, which is one of the most throwback bars in town. Go there, and happy anniversary. 

Hi there! The Post listed three house tours that are happening on Sat-- we can only manage to make it to one-- which one should we pick?? post:

I would definitely be curious about the Houseboat Tour at the marina, especially if you're curious about trying to design/decorate for a small space. But the historic 19th century homes on the Sandy Spring tour would appeal to the history buff.

Hi Gurus, any suggestions for bars in the area that make a good fall-themed cocktail?

Room 11's glogg isn't fall themed ... It IS fall. And it will keep you warmer than a microwaved electric blanket (do not attempt). I'd also expect the Eddy Bar to go all autumnal on its cocktail list before the month is out, and the Passenger's zeitgeisty cocktail list (Binders Full of Women, anyone?) will change with the calendar too.  Or you could just go to Bourbon, because bourbon. 

Bourbon is all I really want to drink in the fall. So... Jack Rose, Bourbon, Room 11, Boundary Road.

Best place to find Halloween costumes in DC? Or best place to find things to make costumes out of?

It doesn't get better than Backstage Costumes on Barracks Row. Those people are *pros* and have saved me more than once.

I saw a clean-cut young guy, maybe 30, in an older mdel Porsche convertible, listening to Prince's "She's Always in my Hair". Is his old stuff (my young stuff) hip with the kids nowadays?

You should check out DJ Dredd's long-running Prince parties at the Howard Theatre or (next Saturday) at the Rock and Roll Hotel. So many people getting down to "When You Were Mine" and "Controversy" don't remember those songs from the first time around.

I am working in the Ballston area tomorrow and I'm meeting friends there for drinks after work. I am looking for a place to have dinner with a friend afterwards. I am driving, but would like to stay near the Ballston area. Thank you! We are not picky eaters. Thanks!

Pupatella. Great pizza, and as Justin says, "It's close to Ballston, but not close enough to Ballston that it's an easy walk."

OP here. I already plan on using "sike!" a lot, and call things "Rad." Embarassing your kids is one of the delights of parenthood.

I still say "rad" all the time. And my kids will learn to be cised for things pretty early on.

After much deliberation among the GOGS (Going Out Guide Staff), we're giving Drake passes to the creators of the following acronyms: 

After LAGS: Let's All Get Silly

LALL: Live And Let Live

NUTS: Never Underestimate Triflin' Snitches

TOFT: Too Old For This

TOLO: Thou Only Liveth Once

WIT: Whatever It Takes

Here's the deal: If you submitted it on Twitter, we'll DM you shortly. If you submitted here (and not here AND Twitter), email your name and contact info to and we'll tell you how to pick up your pass.
Also, for some reason, I still have two passes to get two people into Wale's Homecoming Kickoff party at the Park. First two people to email me can claim those, too.
Alright. See you next week. 

I must have been gone for a long time...I didn't know you joined the ranks of parenthood.

Whoa, just to clear this up: I don't have kids. I was speaking in purely hypothetical terms.

In This Chat
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.
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