Got Plans? The Going Out Gurus discussed Washington restaurants, nightlife, weekend outings and more.

Jun 07, 2012

Got Plans? The Going Out Gurus discussed fashion, nightlife, weekend outings and more.

Hello, chatters. We're raring to go with another edition of Got Plans, and hope you are, too.

This week, we've got an excellent prize to give away: tickets to the documentary "Bad Brains: A Band in D.C.," about the local punk/hardcore/reggae legends. It's screening as part of the Silverdocs Festival on June 21.

To win, all you have to do is tell us which concert this summer has the potential to be life-changing -- the kind of show that you'll be talking about in awe 5 or 10 years from now -- and why. You can scan our Summer Concert Guide for ideas if you need 'em.

Questions about dining, bars, theater, jazz or weekend getaways? Bring 'em on.

All I want to do in this weather is drink outside on a roof deck, which leads me back to the same question I've been asking since the Brixton open yet??!

Not yet, but it's getting closer and closer -- almost certainly in the next month, I would say. What I've seen of the interior and that roofdeck so far looks phenomenal.

In the meantime, you can visit 1905's new roof deck, which is just a short walk from the Brixton's corner of 9th and U. It's pretty cool -- check out the link above for more details and photos.

Last week someone asked for more places for good Tiki drinks. Friends & I have been sampling the area chinese restaurants since the Honolulu in Alexandria closed trying to find a palce for quality tiki drinks. Foong Lins Restaurant on Norfolk Ave & Fairmont in Bethesda makes a great Mai Tai & Navy Grog. They have traditional Chinese menu with a full page of "Exotic" drinks & most are under $9.00.

That is one of my favorite little spots for old-school tiki drinks, including a potent scorpion bowl. Reminds me (in a good way) of the drinks at Yenching Palace. Just wish the place had more atmosphere.

In laws are in town. We're tired of the same old trips with our visitors (Annapolis, Harpers Ferry, museums, Mt. Vernon). Any events or other excursion recommendations to put on our agenda for Sunday?

It depends how far you're willing to drive, to be honest, but with the Capital Weather Gang calling for temperatures around 90, it looks like a day to be outside. How about walking around Great Falls (doesn't have to be hiking), eating seafood in St. Michael's or a trip to Chesapeake Beach?

Chatters, any favorite summer day trips beyond the usual that you'd like to share?

My sister is visiting next week. She's used to the LA shopping scene, where she can find great pieces for cheap at the local Goodwill or giant vintage shops in the Valley. We're shopping for vintage bridesmaids/party dresses -- but think The Artist, not Mad Men. I would like to hit a bunch of shops in the same area on a weekday plus get food unlike what she has on the West Coast. Are there any areas that fit this description? We are in DC and won't have a car but Old Town is fine.

I hate to say, amidst the Michael Kors and J Crew in Georgetown are a handful of vintage/consignment shops that might just have what you're looking for. Annie Creamcheese might be a bit more on the Mad Men end of things but tends to have a pretty large selection. And Ella Rue is a good option as well. Also, I believe Second Time Around has limited vintage offerings that might work. Expect prices to be *quite* a bit higher than Goodwill, though. In my experience, great finds at actual thrift stores are a bit harder to come by in this area, and they're more spread out.

For food, there's tons to choose from in Georgetown as well. Try tea service at Ching Ching Cha, the new Bandolero or grab crab cakes and cocktails on the Waterfront with a lovely view of the Potomac!

In Old Town, Annie, the Annie formerly of Annie Creamcheese, has opened another option: Pretty People Vintage. If I were to eat in Old Town, I'd make a stop at the Majestic, and definitely Boccato Gelato!

The only potentially life-changing concert for me is definitely going to be Rocknoceros with my 4 year old. Because that may be the only concert I get to this summer.

Why not take your 4-year-old to Jazz in the Garden or another free outdoor concert series? Thinking the monthly Petworth Jazz Project at the Petworth Rec Center is another place where you can enjoy some tunes while kids run and play. (Next one: 7 p.m. on June 30)

In need of ideas for a Ladies Night that does night involve a nightclub. It is a diverse group of women (20s-30s). We are open to lounges, outside of the DC area, as long as we can hear each other speak. Typically, we go out for dinner and a movie at Tysons Corner. This is becoming a bore. Please help.

Summer actually offers all sorts of things to do that can help you ladies mix it up.  You can pack a picnic and head to Jazz in the Garden or Yards Park on a Friday night for live music or an outdoor movie;   you could totally meetup  in Dupont Circle for free yoga, or do Bikram yoga on a Sunday night at Meridian Hill Park. The Doubletree Hotel in Bethesda has brought back the parties around the pool around its rooftop,  and also in the burbs, there's Twilight Polo at Great Meadow (you can pack a picnic, and BYO wine), or a gals night at Top Golf.   A lot of these ideas are right here in our guide to the best summer ever (if you don't want to click through our gallery, find the easy-access list here).   You ladies could also hit the ice-cream socials and Styleliner mobile boutique at Bar Dupont on Wednesdays through June 17.  Seriously, what is more perfect than blowing your monthly budget on accessories, then scarfing down an ice-cream sandwich? (Um, minus the wallowing in  guilt later.)

See, no nightclubs necessary!

I'll have a group of 20 tweens and parents attending the 100th anniversary of scouting singalong events around the Washington Monument this Saturday. Things wrap up around 4 and before we hop the red line back up to the northern suburbs, we are looking for a place to grab an ice cream or a soda to let the crowds subside a bit. I was thinking of the cafes in the sculpture garden or the Nat'l Gallery but wasn't sure if that was too long a walk for shorter legs and if there'd be enough time before those places closed at 5. Can you think of any other place near the Washington Monument that might fit the bill? (We'll aim to get on the red line at Metro Center or Gallery Place)

Okay, so to clarify, you're looking for a place to just get a quick treat to wait out the crowds before hopping on the metro? You could try the Pitango Gelato on Seventh and D streets NW, but I think Teaism would be a great option as well (if you've never tried their salty oats cookies, they're heavenly). They have a large room downstairs that could probably accommodate that many people.

I've heard sooo many times that Springsteen puts on an amazing show as I've yet to see him live. As a first timer, I fully anticipate this concert to be life changing!

You never forget your first Springsteen show...

The one concert I missed in the early 90's when Perry Farrell decided to break up the band in the middle of their prime is Jane's Addiction! They are coming to Baltimore this summer and I got tickets! So excited to see them! It's been a reminder every time the theme song to Entourage is played that I missed seeing them and now I get to.

You're into the running for the prize.

any decent place for tiki drinks and Asian food in Arlington/Alexandria?

I think the last place I went for Chinese and tiki drinks in Virginia was Luau Garden, which is now closed, so if anyone has a rec for Asian restaurants with a decent Mai Tai -- and not a restaurant with fancy cocktails, like the Majestic -- I'd love to hear it.

I have seen some great stuff at Polly Sue's in Takoma Park. It's right along the strip where the Farmer's Market is. Got a dress on clearance there last year for $12 that I get compliments on each time I wear it! I'm also slightly partial to the "Middle Eastern Cuisine" restaurant in Takoma Park and their fresh-made hummus and delicious halloumi cheese!

I have spent a bundle at Polly Sue's over the years -- one of the best vintage shops around, especially for 40s-60s, though it obviously depends on what's in stock that day.

Putting this question in super early in case I forget. My boyfriend and I are celebrating our 6 month anniversary this Friday night. While he is in charge of picking the dinner location (and is keeping it a surprise), I am in charge of after dinner entertainment. I was thinking maybe The Gibson, then dancing at Marvin. Any other suggestions? Anything else fun going on Friday night? We are the adventurous types, if that helps. Location is not super important. Needs to be Metro accessible, and not too far out on any line. Thanks!

I'd nix the plans to go to the Gibson on a Friday sans reservations. Why not try something different? Near the 9:30 Club on Friday is a super-cool-sounding art party, Blended.  It brings in some of the Fatback DJs, lots of the city's best artists painting live, all for Albus Cavus, which is an amazing organization. (More details on this party here.) Backup: Jess, our resident jazz guru, suggests the D.C. Jazz Festival show at Bohemian Caverns -- Marcus Strickland Quartet. The play a late set at 10:30 p.m. The best part, is that unlike other events, both of these are late-night,  so you can actually make it there after dinner.

Ever knowing gurus--date night at Studio Theater tomorrow. Any cool places nearby a grad student and budget-conscious young professional can grab a quick bite before their 8pm show? And will I be way out of place in a cute sundress similar to this one

Here are a few thoughts:

-Apps and beers at Churchkey

-Small plates and adult slushees at Estadio (oh, man, my mouth is watering just thinking about that)

-Hank's Oyster Bar (not always, cheap, but can be if you stay on the lighter side)

We have a few more options on our list of Studio Theatre dining options. Oh, and rock the sundress!

Sadly work has kept me away from all of the wonderful weeknight beer events this week. Was curious if you thought any of the Saturday or Sunday events would be worthwhile (for those of us without Savor Tickets)?

Have you seen our picks for Savor? I'm really, really looking forward to three daytime events on Saturday: The Drink Local! tap takeover at Meridian Pint, with three dozen beers from D.C., Maryland and Virginia breweries on draft and cask; the Shorts beer takeover at ChurchKey, with 30+ drafts from the excellent and eccentric Michigan brewery, and the Odells tasting at Smoke and Barrel. (The latter, by the way, is raffling off tickets for Saturday night's Savor event, if you're interested in attending.)

Just wanted to make sure it was known that Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing Company has started distributing in the DC area! KC natives (and others who like wheat beer) no longer have to go to the midwest to find Boulevard Wheat!

I've been drinking a LOT of Boulevard beers over the last week. (The saison noir last night at Scion inspired a lot of discussion, not all of it positive.) But I'm looking forward to sampling their bretted saison tonight at Smoke and Barrel. Should be awesomely funky.

I would recommend wandering around U Street/Logan Circle for thrift stores and interesting boutiques. They can then grab Ethiopian nearby - very DC. Etete would be a nice option for good food in a trendier environment. Also, I was just at Second Time Around this weekend and the pickin's were slim, unless you're REALLY into polyester.

Thanks for the advice.

I went to the 930 Club a couple weeks ago and while I did go with a friend, I also realized something very important - the younger attendees could not care less how old I am. Thanks for the head-smack you gave me in a past chat, and maybe I'll run into you out in DC this summer!

Glad you made it out. In general, I think people are more self-conscious about going out than they need to be. Once you're at the bar/concert, no one notices how old you are, unless you're acting like the sketchy old dude hitting on women young enough to be your daughter or something. But I know none of our chatters would do that.

Gary Clark Jr. opening for Dave Matthews band on June 16th. An amazing blues guy and only in his early 20s. Compared to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, etc. Think "Bright Lights" - I'm so there.

The Dirty Projectors @ 9:30 in August, but mostly because I'm finally going to get to see Wye Oak live. Jenn Wasner is a beast and I want to see her play in person.

I never thought I would say this, but Fiona Apple's show at the Warner is going to be amazing. I can't stop listening to the "Werewolf" and "Every Single Night", two beautifully written songs from her new album. I don't know if I see the comparison much with Patti Smith's Horses as some have said - more like Cat Power's What Would the Community Think (but hopefully Fiona will be a little more with it than Chan when she plays here!) Never paid much attention to her before and now I'm going to check out some of the earlier stuff.

Did you see the review of Fiona Apple's twitchy last show in D.C., this spring? Sounds like it was definitely an experience. Can I talk about Cat Power a minute?  "What Would the Community Think" is one of my emo-girl favorites, but I'm with you on wishing she'd be more "with it." Every time I've seen Cat Power has been an utter disaster - tops being the time Chan Marshall ended a Brooklyn show because she forgot the words to her own songs, excuse being that she was tripping. Surely, Fiona Apple can do better.

Hello, My husband and I are thinking of a weekend getaway to somewhere local, affordable, and relaxing. Someone recommended Staunton, Virginia, and I was wondering what you thought or if any of you have been there. We were thinking of a bed and breakfast, possibly see a play and shopping. Thanks!

I love Staunton. Great locavore restaurants, the fantastic Shakespeare-style Blackfriars Playhouse (home of the American Shakespeare Company), easy access to wineries and breweries, fun old antique shops, and, a short drive away, Chiles Orchard, where you can pick your own peaches.

Staunton is a college town -- home of the Mary Baldwin Fighting Squirrels -- and it's full of little B&Bs.

Hi, I love you guys!! I had my first Georgetown Cupcake on Sat at the Race for the Cure and it was AMAZING!! I plan to take my teenagers there this weekend. Is there anything for us to do around the one in Bethesda? I hate driving in DC, so I figured Bethesda might be better. Btw...I want to see Enrique and JLo this summer. I'm planning on going with a couple gfs...but, I will be the one that Enrique devours on stage!! PICK ME ENRIQUE!!! PICK ME!!!

I'll do it. I'll jump on the JLo bandwagon. Did anyone see her in that "Follow the Leader" video, with the tattoos, etc.? Only in my wildest dreams will I look like that and date men decades younger when I'm her age. Oh, and Enrique goes without saying.

What were we talking about? Oh, right, the cupcakes. Make sure you call and order ahead and you won't have to wait in that crazy line!

Sigh. Every so often one of the GoGs suggests Chesapeake Beach as some sort of destination to take a date/family/children. I have to assume that none of you have ever been there. There's not nearly enough to do to keep anyone entertained for more than an hour, unless you consider the seafood restaurant masquerading as an actual resort to be it. It's the Bay, it's not the ocean, and they still *charge you* to stand on the pathetically small square of sand. If you're going to suggest Calvert County as some sort of tourist destination, at least direct folks to the Marine Museum or Annemarie Gardens.

I mean, yes, it's small, but it can be an interesting day out. I know Brownie's Beach charges non-residents, but you've got the water park with all the water slides and a lazy river, the new railway trail (with informative signs) that goes through wetlands and parks, the railway museum, etc. It's not Ocean City, but it's not as bad as you make it out to be.

We have tickets to SAVOR tomorrow night, and it's our first time for getting around the event? Is there a long line to get in when the doors open?

I've been to every Savor festival, and my advice is to make a game plan and go early. Arrive 15 minutes or so before doors open and you'll get in pretty quickly; for some reason, it seems like a lot of people show up right when the doors open. 

Check out the list of breweries on First, cross anything you've had before or even seen at ChurchKey off the list. Don't waste time at big names like Dogfish Head, New Belgium or Schlafly, which are all great breweries but pouring stuff you can find easily on tap in this area. (Exceptions: Stone and Bell's.) I'm looking forward to sipping beers from Ska, Arcadia, Short's, Deschutes ... getting thirsty just thinking about it. 

Friends and our family want to get together either Saturday or Sunday. Kids are all under 5. What would be some fun places to go this weekend to help them get the wiggles out and enjoy the great weather? We are in Thanks!!!

It should be an awesome weekend! You didn't say where you are located, so here are a few ideas, all over the map. At National Harbor is Cyclefest, but better might be Celebrate Fairfax!, kind of the first in the county fair-type events this season, with carnival rides and more.   Cyclefest, aimed at kids, is hosted by the National Children's Museum, with opportunities to ride bikes. Afterward, a group trip to Elevation Burger for shakes and burgers seems in order. Finally, if you want to do something daylong, I'd consider checking out the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo outside Frederick. It's super kid-friendly and cute, family-owned. And you can make a day of it by heading to Cunningham Falls very nearby afterward. (I loved the falls when I was a kid; you can get much closer than you can at Great Falls.) This plan, actually, makes me a little jealous of the little ones.

A bunch of us are in NOVA and want to get together with kids (all pretty young, 1-5ish). What are some good suggestions (other than playgrounds) that would be different and interesting for us this weekend? The weather looks to be awesome!

When the temp is around 90 I say that looks like a day to be inside in the A/C! To each his own. But if it were me and I had to do a day trip with the in-laws I'd drive to a couple of the nearby wineries, do some wine tastings and then have a picnic somewhere.

That's exactly how I described the Dr. John show at the Birchmere bandstand to my friends after it was over. This was the first time I had seen THE man after following the newer New Orleans style bands like Galactic for some time. I had no idea the energy I was in for. To see such a great performer still owning the stage after all this time, his new music just as good as the classics. Young and old, drunk and sober, all shaking it on the dance floor to the heavy grooves. Magic. By the time he closed with Such a Night, all I could do was agree.

Since you didn't mention Old Town in your litany of usuals, if you don't live or spend a lot of time in Old Town, it might be time to remind yourself of doing so on a weekend. It's especially welcome on a warm/hot summer day to explore by the water, explore art, galleries, shopping, lots of eateries and definitely ice-cream to keep the heat away.

Totally agreed. Hard to beat Old Town on a beautiful summer day.

Hello and thank you for taking my question! Planning a family dinner for 12, including older folks, in Arlington area. Would like a place to be on the quiet side and convenient parking is a must. Considering Eventide, Tallula, Village Bistro, Liberty Tavern, Willow. Assuming the food is comparable, which place best meets my two requirements? We'll consider a venue in Alexandria or Falls Church if it meets the same conditions

Of those, Tallula and Village Bistro have their own parking lots and are a little more quiet than Eventide or Liberty. I think the Bistro is a little more low-key, though EatBar/Tallula is more fun. Chatters?

Recapturing my teen years by watching Barry Manilow at Wolf Trap this summer. I might even open a bottle of Boones Farm.

That sounds positively lovely!

I like to go out 66 and just down 81 on the WV side. There are random smalltown restaurants, shops and some antique places plus beautiful mountains, cooler air, and a sense that you are far far away from DC!

Just see where the drive takes you, eh? Not a bad idea.

Since one of the previous posters brought up age, I want to mention something I've noticed in in DC. Contrary to what he wrote, the crowd I see in bars and nightclubs here is actually 30s and 40s. It is definitely *not* young. In most nightclubs these days the average of the patrons is over 30, if not higher. On a similar note, I'm in my 30s and I feel oddly "young" in DC, I'm one of the youngest at work, on the metro, etc. Are there any people in their 20s in DC, or is it an "old" city? The myth is that a lot of young people are moving here, but that's not at all what I observe, I mostly see people 30-50.

We discuss this a lot around the GOG-pod, where we're like you, in our 30s (Jess, however, is proof that 20-somethings are in D.C.).  We agree that bars are attracting a lot of folks in their 30s and 40s (and 50s), and we'd guess there are a couple of reasons why: Price points  are pricing out the interns and 20-somethings who don't make the salaries that 30-somethings and 40-somethings make.  Cocktails everywhere are upwards of $10; beers are easily $6 and up, and who can eat a dinner with a glass of wine for less than $30 these days? Two, it's expensive to live here, and only getting pricier. I think that's making more 20-somethings choose group houses, or Virginia, or living at home with their parents in Bethesda.  This story suggested that 20-somethings are fueling the growth, and that is true, since many of us 30-somethings landed here in our 20s.  But I think bars and restaurants now would tell you they'd rather have a more sophisticated crowd -- and that crowd is now here, and moving into the city and staying for far longer than we used to.

You seem to be favoring Petworth these days more than in the past. Any reason for doing so?

Well, you've had two very interesting bars arrive in the last few months -- Chez Billy and D.C. Reynolds, both of which I wrote about last week. 

But I've written about the Looking Glass Lounge/Temperance Hall and Domku in the past, and I've always been a fan of Red Derby, even before it was in Petworth (or 16th Street Heights, as I'm sure someone will point out).  It's cyclical. I'm sure it'll get even more coverage in the next year or two.

Have any recommendations for Father's Day next weekend (events, brunches, etc)? Also, my dad loves sushi, but my mother and sister hate it--can you think of any great sushi places that are also non-sushi lovers friendly? (FYI: My sister lives in College Park, I'm in Arlington and my parents are in Frederick, so somewhere along the Beltway/270 would be great). Thanks!

How about Raku in Bethesda? They do sushi, as well as all sorts of other pan-Asian fare, and feels hip and modern enough. Readers, any fave sushi spots that can please the non-sushi eaters?

Are there any bars or restaurants that are doing anything this Saturday in honor of the Belmont Stakes? Seems like there should be, considering the favorite = and potential Triple Crown winner - is named "I'll Have Another"! Or if not, what bars are likeliest to show it on TV and won't be crowded out by other sports events? Thanks!

I think it's a case of people not really caring about the Belmont, to be honest. I mean, a lot of bars didn't do anything special for the Preakness, either. I'd say the roof at Jack Rose is a good option, since they've showed the previous races...

Tallula may have its own parking lot, but it only holds about 10 cars and the neighborhood parking around there is mainly zoned/restricted, so I wouldn't recommend it as having easy parking. The Clarendon restaurants mentioned are within 2-3 blocks of a parking garage, which is a more reliable parking solution for a family of 12.

This is true, though when I've met friends at EatBar they've never complained about parking. (I always walk from Clarendon.) More of a concern for me was that the Clarendon restaurants mentioned (Liberty Tavern, Eventide) aren't exactly quiet.

The Mary Baldwin Fighting Squirrels? Wow. That's like the UC Santa Barbara Sea Slugs!

Their mascot is named Gladys. She's kind of awesome.

I haven't been to either place but would like to make an afternoon trip out there some time soon. If both beaches are small with not much to do, does that mean they're low-key and empty or that they're crammed with bored people? Hoping the former--I don't mind boring beaches!

I'd say both are pretty low key, certainly moreso than Sandy Point or some of the bigger Chesapeake beaches.

Trying to pay my tab at the end of a long, boozy Saturday night I handed the bartender a $50 and he told me it was counterfit. Since I got it from an ATM that same day, I knew it wasn't. Heated exchange ensuses, I say "fine - here's another $50 and give me that one back." No dice as is the policy. Now I am enraged, but no recourse other than to give them my card and say I will dispute this. Wednesday, manager calls to apologoze b/c turns out it's not fake. So not only will I get my $$ back, but a $50 gift certificate for the mixup. Nice!

That was definitely a stand-up thing to do. Props to the manager.  I have to say that people have been  passing fake bills at bars in D.C.; my boo was a bartender, and beginning a few summers ago he would take his money to the bank, only to find out several twenty-dollar bills were fake. And he was out that money. So bars and bartenders are being vigilant; they do so much volume, and frequently, it's dark, so they are targets for frauds. They are obligated to keep a fake bill and return it to the bank.  A lesson for folks who don't want to get hassled: Don't bring large bills to the bar. It'll save effort to just use the card, or use smaller bills (also a good idea for folks who cab home). Thanks for your story.

A dear friend of mine will be on leave in DC for her 30th birthday and we want to do something really fun and unique since she has been in Afghanistan for almost 2 years. It will be late June - either Saturday/night or Sunday during the day. Can do 8 people if it only works for a smaller group, up to 20 for something more casual. Thoughts?

Can you give us more specifics -- a certain weekend, any activities you're interested in more than others? We'd love to help.

Hi Guys! I am about to have my birthday and I am thinking about celebrating with a Happy Hour type thing. Any ideas on a good Thursday night happy hour spot in Alrington (near metro) or in the Dupont/Farragut/Foggy Bottom areas of DC?

We've had good experiences at Barcode in Dupont, partly because they've got a lot of space, and the specials are killer (the cucumber cocktails were $4 during a recent happy hour I was at, and they totally hit the spot on a hot day). Give them a call and see if they can set up a deal/area for your group. 

The most potentially life-changing concert this summer has to be the Beach Boys at Merriweather. Not only can you tell future generations you were able to see a classic American band with both Mike Love and Brian Wilson participating, but you'll be given a great, life-changing reminder about why it's important to stay off drugs!

Ohhh, so good! I was just in LA, and they were playing the Hollywood Bowl. So so so jealous -- absolutely a special show.

They are the Banana Slugs - not the sea slugs.

Yep. I've written a few trivia rounds based on unusual college mascots in my day. Delta State's Fighting Okra is another favorite. But I think Gladys the Fighting Squirrel might eat that one if she got the chance.

... and that should be UCSC, the University of California at Santa Cruz, not UCSB, the University of California Santa Barbara.

I admittedly haven't been up there for a while, but I've always found the 2nd floor dining room at Eventide to be MUCH quieter than Liberty. Definitely not true of the 1st floor bar or the rooftop, but that's part of Eventide's beauty to me. (And for the OP, there's an elevator, so no worries about accessibility)

Thank you -- Eventide has been back on radar this summer; check out Fritz's recent review of the cocktail bar, which dubbed it one of the neighborhood's best happy hours.

Hi Gurus. My husband and I are going on a date next Saturday. I'd like to try Comet Ping Pong, but we can't get there until 7:30. Will the wait be atrocious at that time or no? (Unfortunately we have a babysitter at home to think about, so waiting all night is not an option.) Thanks!

I'm not a parent, but if I was, I'd be loathe to use precious babysitter time on a place that doesn't take reservations. Comet's a popular venue for families and dates on weekends, and while the idea of playing ping-pong in the back room and drinking PBRs while waiting for a table is fun, you're going to be looking at some serious time in line.

Hands down - El-P and Killer Mike. Why? Because who on earth would have ever thought these two polar opposites would ever go on tour together??? No one.

The best place for the strongest tiki drinks is Meiwah, although, that's near GW. As for Alexandria, I live near Old Town and when I want a tiki drink I usually hit up Mai Thai. The drinks there aren't very strong, but compared to other places they tend to be maybe it evens out?

Meiwah's definitely are strong, and it's always fun to order a fiery Scorpion Bowl in a Chinese restaurant. (They're also a steal there, at like $12!) But chatters should be warned:  It's mystery alcohol, which was fun in your 20s, but oh-so-scary once you're old enough to have some sense.

I'm looking for a restaurant that does the classic buttermilk fried chicken, mashed potatoes, pan gravy, and green beans with ham hocks. Fried to order. Any suggestions for DC, Rockville, NoVa area?

I'm partial to the old-school/divey vibe at the Hitchin Post in Petworth, Levi's on Barracks Row, or even Ooh's and Aah's on U Street, though it's more of a carryout than a sit-down spot. It's not fancy (or super cheap), but it delivers.

My office is trying to figure out somewhere to do a happy hour next Friday evening. Will probably be 10-20 of us celebrating a few promotions and will start around 4pm. We are looking for somewhere with decent happy hour specials, preferably with an outdoor area and a fun vibe, but nothing too crazy. We would prefer to be in Old Town Alexandria or Shirlington, but are open to other locations in Arlington or DC (that are easily accessible by Metro). Any suggestions?

In Shirlington, I like Bungalow Billiards. The patio's not huge, but there's plenty of room inside, too. Alexandria's not super-strong in terms of outdoor areas -- there's the tropical-themed patio Mango Mike's on Duke Street, which is a few miles outside of Old Town. If that's not an issue, try the Light Horse on King Street. Two levels, $3 microbrews at happy hour (on my most recent visit).

Any intel on what time happy hour starts/ends?

4 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Worth it for $3 beers, $5.50 cocktails and the discounted appetizers.

Iota in Clarendon has some surprisingly delicious fried chicken and collard greens.

This is good to know. Will remember it next time I'm going to a show there.

Okay, we've got to run, but before we do, we'd like to thank everyone who submitted their favorite summer concerts. We're going to give the Silverdocs tickets to the chatter who suggested the Beach Boys and their life-changing example of why you should stay off the drugs. Please send your contact info to and she'll make sure you get your Bad Brains tickets.

Thanks again, y'all. See you next week.

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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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