Got Plans?

Aug 05, 2010

The Going Out Guide staff discuss great ideas for local entertainment, dates and family fun on Thursday, August 5, at 1 p.m. ET.

Let's get going chatters. As you may have seen in the GoG blog we have a big giveaway this week:  a pair of tickets to see Arcade Fire and Spoon Aug. 6 at Merriweather. We know you want them.

All we ask in return is that you help us honor this great musical pairing by telling us your favorite duo of local events; a show at Fort Reno followed by Steak & Egg, perhaps? Were looking for creativity here, so if you are planning on picking a place for dinner followed by a place for dancing, it should be pretty imaginative. Best answer wins.

I have a birthday during the work week and I've decided to take the day off. I would love to get brunch that morning, but I'm not sure who does breakfast/brunch in the middle of the week in DC/NoVA. Do you have any suggestions? I could use a good mimosa, and please no founding's a little too close to my job. Thanks!

Ted's Bulletin is new, cool, and does breakfast all day. Not sure about Mimosas, but I've been dying to try their adult milkshakes.

Hey GOGs, sent this question in last week, giving it another try. I went to a bar in San Diego a few weeks ago that had an interesting take on happy hour drink prices. They employed a "customer-driven" pricing system, meaning as one particular liquor or beer was ordered, its price went up, and an equivalent liquor or beer's price went down. They displayed the fluctuating prices on several large screens above the bar, complete with a ticker scrolling along the bottom. They used "market crashes" every few hours to drop prices dramatically on several different things too. Do you know of any place in DC that does something along these lines?

There's a place in New York called the Exchange that does pretty much the same thing, but I don't know of any place in D.C. that's as financially-minded.

Do you know of any bars/restaurants showing current MadMen episodes?

If I remember from last week's chat, both Toyland and Arlington Cinema Drafthouse are showing them.

Hello, Gurus! Are there any events planned in DC to celebrate the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird? Thank you!!

Accoring to the 50th anniversary web site there isn't anything around here, but I am going check with the folks at Book World and see if they know of anything.

Hello, Just graduated college and moved back to this area. Looking for fun/new bars to go out to with friends that are NOT located in Adams Morgan or Dupont Circle. Looking to explore a new area. Not too trendy and not crowded with overly drunk sketchy annoying people in their 20's. (even though we are in our early 20's.....) Any suggestions!?

Congratulations on graduating. I felt the exact same way you did; as soon as I was out of school, I couldn't wait to move beyond the AdMo/Dupont rut (though I still enjoy Bourbon). This is what H Street NE is for, my friend. You want to explore? A new place opens up out that way every week, it seems.  I'd suggest easing into the neighborhood with H Street Country Club, which I like to think of as H Street's training wheels bar. If you want something slightly more adult, try Little Miss Whiskey's; a bit crazier, try Sticky Rice. Biergarten Haus won't let you down, either, assuming you like beer. Have fun out there, and make sure you have cab fare.

So I'm submitting this super early, but I'm going on a tour of the White House with some friends this weekend and I'm worried about the dress code. What's a girl to wear to this type of thing that then won't be super uncomfortable for hanging out around the city afterwards? Thanks!

Whatever you want. If its the public tours I'm thinking of then it's pretty touristy. If you want to stand out, wear anything other than jean shorts and a backpack.

Personally, I'd step up at little. You are walking into Michelle Obama's home, after all. But really, doesn't anyone remember the Northwestern students who wore flip-flops and set off a huge outcry?

I'm a Georgia alum who's thinking about going to the SEC party tonight, but I've never been to the club before because I'm not good enough to be on the list. What is the party going to be like?

I honestly think that tonight's SEC Tailgate at George will be the first time a number of people make it to the list-only bar, but if you go in with a "I'm not good enough to be on the list" attitude, you won't have as much fun as if you go in with the mindset of "I'm going to meet some other alumni, have a few drinks, and talk [trash] to Florida fans about Tebow."

George isn't that big -- it's basically an L-shaped room with a bar and a dancefloor -- so if you're wearing your UGA tie, it won't be hard to spot others.

Last week someone asked about who was showing the Jersey Shore premiere - it will be my first time going so can't give a review yet, but my girls and I are planning to rock our Super BumpIts and best jersey shore attire at Velocity Five in Courthouse for the show.

I, for one, will be checking in on "Real Housewives of D.C." tonight. But, yup, Velocity Five is having a "Jersey Shore" party, with drink specials and prizes for folks who really go all out to look like the Situation, that chick with the implants whose name really doesn't register, or Snookie (would a black eye be gauche?)  For a highly ironic viewing party, Sticky Rice is showing it, too, and following it up with Jersey blingo.

But can I ask this: Do people really care?

Dear Going Out Gurus, My 28th birthday is coming up. I've spent all of my (legal) drinking years being responsible, reserved and (dare I say it) restrained. So for one night, I would like to let loose, dance on a bar and, perhaps, go for a swim in my courtyard fountain on the way home. (Don't worry. I'll have a designated driver in tow.) Where is the best place in DC to dance on a bar? Thanks for the advice, Birthday Girl

Oooh, I love this question. Outside of Bistrot du Coin on Bastille Day, I've seen women dancing on the bar at Midtown, McFadden's and Tattoo, though I don't know how much the bars actually encourage it. Of those, I'd say Tattoo is probably the best for your age -- the crowd at McFadden's is a little young.

I am turning 31 next weekend and want to have a party at a lounge or restaurant/lounge with possible outdoor seating with friends in DC. I'm looking for something similar to Hotel W's rooftop, but not as pricey on drinks or pretentious.

How many people are we talking, and do you care if it's private or not?

Museum of American History followed by the Marine Corps Band concert and fireworks at Wolftrap. Made substantially harder this year by the interruption on the Orange Line, but it was still worth it.

A very patriotic combo....

Hi Gurus! My little sister will be in town from Philly this weekend Saturday evening through Monday. We're going to see the Phillies play the Nats Sunday afternoon, but I was hoping for a few suggestions of other things to do, particularly because she's underage! Also, any suggestions for where to grab dinner after the game? Preferably within walking distance of the stadium, but I also wouldn't mind going downtown... she's a picky eater though; not into anything too exotic unfortunately!

Does she like tennis? You could make it an all-sports weekend and head for the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on Monday.

As for post-game eats on Sunday, Justin's Cafe is a few blocks north of the stadium. I haven't tried their pizza yet but it has the right look about it. You could also head east along M Street to 8th Street SE for a whole slew of restaurants that extend up toward Eastern Market. Ted's Bulletin is about as picky-eater friendly as it gets.

Hi GOGs. I have company coming into town that has never been to DC and I am looking for a place to have happy hour tomorrow night with a really nice outdoor space. My friends are not real comfortable with city life (they are from a very small farming town) so not looking for the most popular place in DC. Just some where we can be outside talk and enjoy good drinks

I'd say Room 11 is a good spot for this -- great cocktails, a nice selection of meat/cheese/seasonal snacks, and a wonderful patio. If you're going for happy hour, I've taken people to Bourbon in Adams Morgan to catch up.  It's cozy, it's quiet and I love bourbon cocktails. As long as you're out of there by 9 or so, you miss the Adams Morgan crazies.

Hi GOGs! I've seen gluten-free beer at bars such as Churchkey, but does anyone know if any stores in DC or Arlington sell it? Thanks!

I've seen gluten free beer at the Whole Foods in Clarendon, and I would be willing to bet that the one up on P Street has a brand or two as well. Another good bet, if you are in the neighborhood, would be to check out the crazy beer selection at the Westover Market in Arlington.

I had a Green's ale at the Black Squirrel, and I didn't know it was gluten-free until later. It felt like one of those old Maxwell House commercials.

I'd second Westover, and say you could try Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits, D'Vine's and possibly Calvert-Woodley.

Do you know how long the tournament will last on Friday, the opening day? There's not much information on timing on the website. Thank you.

The information I have says the Street Soccer USA Tournament runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Good afternoon! Are there any outdoor yoga classes in the District (besides Meridian Hill Park)? Either free public classes or at yoga studios? Thanks!

Lululemon hosts yoga in Dupont Circle on Wednesdays and the House of Sweden WAS doing it on the building's rooftop, but I think that may be over.

I will be in Rosslyn for a meeting & need somewhere to grab a quick bite to eat in the evening. A cool bar with good sandwiches, wings, pizza would be great.

I'm a fan of Piola -- it's a mod little Italian-based restaurant and bar with great pizzas (servers pass out free samples at happy hour), good drink deals until 8 or so.

These are not "events" per se, but: Picking up a cheap crepe at Crepes-a-Go-Go on P St NW, then walking a couple blocks to nosh on it in Dupont Circle while listening to street musicians and people-watching (excellent subjects for both).

We're going to push a bunch of these through ... keep 'em coming.

We are "staycationing" it most of this summer, and are thinking about a day trip to Annapolis next month. We've been once before, and spent most of the day walking around and checked out the Capitol, but were wondering if you had tips for some must-see or must-do Annapolis things that are cheap/free? Also, is Mike's a good bet for crabs, or should we do Cantler's? Thanks!

You can't get any more Annapolis than the Naval Academy and they actually have a pretty cool museum. I visited a two years ago and went on a tour of the campus and it was lovely.

Another fun Annapolis thing to do is go on a ghost tour. I went on one with the Annapolis Ghost Tours for a Halloween cover story and had a blast.

In last week's Things You Must Do Before Summer Ends cover story in Weekend, I staked my claim for Mike's: Love the waterfront views, good service, a little less touristy than Cantler's. Strangely, ex-Guru Julia and I agree on this, and we don't always agree on crabs.

My favorite thing to do in Annapolis is get a strong rum drink at Pussers, the bar at the Marriott where there's nothing separating you from the harbor, and watch the ships sail in, or wander around Eastport.

The William Paca house and gardens is breathtaking, especially if you're a history nerd like me, but it's $8 to get in. Maybe after a free tour of the USNA it will feel cheap?

I know most people must know everything there is to know about it, but I'm taking my sister there for the first time. I have the day off, so we were going to go early, do you think 4 o'clock is early enough to get a nice spot on the grass? Are the lines for food/alcohol really long (like half hour)? The website says no coolers but we have this larger lunch bag cooler we were going to pack some food in - should that be fine? And any spots you recommend that are shady and you can hear the music? Thanks so much for your help, we can't wait to go!

You and your sister will have a blast. You sound a bit nervous about the whole thing, but really, it's a totally easygoing night out. You don't really have to get there at 4, because while it's definitely crowded,  no matter when you get there, two people can  find a patch of grass.  The  spots on the edge of the fountain are prime viewing, so   harder to come by, so you should try to snag space there if it's available.  Most of the beverage lines aren't that long, since there are so many of them; to avoid having to wait several times, spring for the pitcher of sangria. As for the rest of it: You can absolutely bring food; the picnicking is the best part. But if you don't,  they have bread bowls and dip and other stuff you can purchase. Oh, and definitely bring a blanket.

My favorite 2 Activities-1 Night Out thing to do is dinner at Ben's followed by a series of cocktails at The Gibson. I like my drinks to cost exponentially more than my food.

Exponential is right.

Redbridge is pretty standard at Harris Teeter and Safeway.

That was the first gluten-free beer I tried, and also the one that put me off gluten-free beers. But it's made by Budweiser, so what do you expect?

"All-you-can-eat Meat or Meat!" at Korean BBQ great Oegadgib followed by karaoke (downstairs, same building) in a private room complete with tambourines and dramatic Korean music videos hilariously mismatched to songs.

Very efficiently done.

I'm from Southern California so I desperately miss so close the ocean and here I don't own a car. So my favorite (summer) combo is hands down the fish market in the morning and walking around and just smelling the salt and fish and it's such a great scene followed by Hank's Oyster Bar where I can pig out on oysters and beer and then stumble home. Great weekend.

As someone who grew up on the shore of the Puget Sound, this hits close to home.

Hi Gurus! Love the chats! I'm going to the opening matches at Legg Mason on Saturday, starting at 10 am. Any idea how much time (and sunscreen) I should allot for this event? Will it be all day? Thanks!

You'll definitely want to plan to be there through the hot part of the day and into the early evening. The draw hasn't been posted anywhere yet but it's qualifying day, so you're going to see one match after another. In other words: PLENTY of sunscreen, especially if you're like me and burn instantly. Thanks for the skin genes, Mom.

I'd go with dinner and minigolf at H Street country club followed by dancing and music at Rock and Roll Hotel. Lame, I know, but freakin awesome every time.

Good pairing. (But how many times can one person play that course?)

I admit, I don't understand it, but I have seen at at the Yes! Market on Georgia and Taylor. I'm sure the other Yes! locations would have it too.

Another gluten free beer sighting. But what don't you get? Shouldn't our celiac-suffering brethren get to enjoy beer too?

Very very good ones, at that! A mimosa with the french toast is my go-to splurge breakfast.

Great to hear, thanks! I know that place had a bit of a rocky start with the breakfast all day, but I think they have really pulled it together. Have you had one of the milkshakes?

so - I haven't been to the new W roof bar yet - would you please explain it to me? My husband's birthday is on a Saturday night in August and I would love to take him up to the roof bar - do you need a reservation? What if you just want cocktails - is that ok? What is the roof bar called - there seems to be several bars in the W. Any guidance would be much appreciated.

I had a great experience taking the bf to the W for his birthday. It's called P.O.V., and yes, you really should make the reservation now for a Saturday night. I found I had an easier time of getting in by booking the reservation earlier in the night, around 5.  Prepare for a little sticker shock, because the drinks are pricey (you'd probably do well to take your server's advice and get a pitcher of cocktails). Here's why my trip was great: I happened to mention to the server that we were there for a birthday, and without even being asked, she brought out a chocolate lava cake with a sparkler in it. And my boyfriend -- cool as he is -- totally loved it.

Hi Fritz, tahnks for answering my question. I am thinking about 15-20 folks and it doesn't have to be private. Just really chill and fun.

Chill and good drinks on a weekend -- see my comments about Room 11 earlier, which I like because you could move on to Meridian Pint, Red Derby, etc. later for a change of scenery. (The downside is that you have to sit down outside.)

If you want somewhere with music and a DJ, Science Club's patio was hopping when I was by last week, and they'll let you reserve space for free if you call in advance. (Ask for Steve.)

Little MissWhiskey's New Orleans-goth back deck is probably my favorite patio in D.C., though it closes around midnight to keep the neighbors happy. But it's a great destination for dancing upstairs, you can easily bring 15 people without a problem, and it's not expensive at all, since there's never a cover.

Eating/drinking at Churchkey, ride bikes down to the Passenger for more drinks, ride to one of the Memorials (I like Jefferson) to see it/walk through it lit at night, then a nice bike ride home.

As long as you're sober while biking...

Yup, it's from Anheuser-Busch It's not fantastic, but it will do. Honestly, I'm more inclined to drink Woodchuck instead, it's also gluten free and carried at more bars than RedBridge or the Bard's Tale ones.

See, I don't think having celiac disease should mean having to drink substandard beers. That's not fair.

BTW, if you like cider, you should try the fantastic English apple ciders on now at Churchkey.

Second the recommendation for USNA! As a grad, I'm mildly biased, but even so... I'd just make sure you look at the schedule - you really don't want to be there during Plebe parents' weekend (usually the 2nd weekend of August), but I'd recommend trying to get up there before the end of plebe summer (3rd week sometime, but the schedule is all on the website. And the museum was recently renovated. I haven't been in since they redid it, but I hear its really great.

Thanks for the advice! Watching a Navy football game is also high on my list of favorite Annapolis things.

Renting kayaks from Jack's Boathouse and then eating lobster rolls from Tackle Box. YUM!


Do any of you know where to get a Magner's cider in the DC/Virginia/MD area? I'd prefer to buy a pack/case somewhere, but can't seem to find it anywhere.

Gilly's Craft Beer and Fine Wine, just off Rockville Pike near the Twinbrook Metro stocks Magners. They're currently out of it but I was told to expect a new shipment either this Monday or the following Monday. So if you can wait a week or two, Gilly's has your Magners fix covered. In the meantime, try Crispin; it's not quite as dry as Magners but will definitely hold you over in the meantime. 

Dinner at Black Squirrel with the tomato bisque soup and grilled cheese and bacon sandwich combo (paired with a great beer of course!) followed by a packed opening and/or theater performance at DC Art Center! -lisa

Art, theater, food and booze... you know your audience.

Just a comment. You must have picture ID to enter the USNA and take the tour. And park at the stadium and take the free shuttle. Parking is $5. It is an awesome tour!

Oh thanks for adding that, I forgot about the ID thing and they are pretty strict about it.

Does Matchbox in Chinatown have a happy hour? Some websites say yes and some no? If not, what are other options in Chinatown/Metro Center for happy hour with good, but cheap food & drinks? I've done Oyamel, Zaytinya, La Tasca, Clyde's....looking for something new in that area! Thanks!

Matchbox USED to have a happy hour with discounted beers and $5 house-infused martinis. I enjoyed it. Then it went away. Any sites advertising it are out of date.

For happy hour in that 'hood, I like District Chophouse ($2.50 house-brewed beers from 3-7), Iron Horse ($2 off all 20 beers from 4-8) and the really solid happy hour menu at PS 7's, with $3 beer, $4 wine and $5 cocktails.

Lunch on King St, Alexandria (Majestic/Vermilion) - water taxi to National Harbor for the SoundsofSummer series; Cheers!

I was hoping we would see "Swimming across the river followed by peeps and a cupcake at National harbor," but this will have to do.

Best after-work duo of events: Hit a bucket of balls at the Hains Point driving range, then swing by the Maine Avenue Fish Market to pick up something fresh to grill.

Nothing like a bucket of balls and a bushel of crabs.

Was there a decent turn out at Pride in the Sky at Rooftop in Rockville last weekend? I was out of town and I understand they will be having it again in August. What have you heard about it? Thanks.

We didn't have any boots on the ground there last weekend, unfortunately. The next Pride in the Sky event is slated for Aug. 21, however, so you've got some time to plan your visit. If you check it out, please let us know how it was.

Folks want "Not too trendy and not crowded with overly drunk sketchy annoying people in their 20's" and you send them to H Street!? Come ON! How about, I dunno, some of the bars in Old Towne, or Cleveland Park, or Capitol Hill? Why must so many requests lead to the uber-trendy epicenter of the DC Hipster Universe?

Well, I didn't answer the question, but I could make the argument that:

Bars in Cleveland Park are pretty uniformly "eh" unless you're watching a game or listening to Irish music, bars on the Hill are full of drunk people (aka staffers) in their 20s who like to talk politics annoyingly loudly, and if you're in your early 20s, Old Town's bars are a straight-up choice between okay Irish pubs and places with good (albeit pricy) cocktails.

I don't think every place on H Street is straight-up hipsterdom, especially not Biergarten Haus, the Star and Shamrock or H Street Country Club, and this is coming from a guy who got called a hipster last week.

I already apologized for that, Fritz!

My favorite local duo of events occurs at the Red Derby where the opening of a can of Schlitz is followed by the pouring of a shot of Jameson. Fun is almost always the outcome of these events -- and I say this without having any financial ties to said establishment.

This is one of my favorite combos in the area, possibly edged out by Natty Boh and Clontarf at the Pug.

A classic movie at the AFI followed by dinner across the street at the bar Ray's...the Classics. I would usually add classic cocktails at Jackie's Sidebar, too, but that makes a trio.

A pretty tasty trio, though.

You guys are the go-to guys for places to go so I'm looking to you for help.There used to be Mayorga in Silver Spring, there's Starbucks/Panera everywhere and I like Tryst but can you recommend other places where I can take my laptop or a book, chill with a little coffee/chai/snack and be social without being social. I'm out, far out in Silver Spring and looking for spots in DC or MD but probably not VA as I can't see myself crossing the river to relax while sipping and reading. Thanks!

I have a friend who swears by Chloe's Coffee in Kentlands in Gaithersburg, which is not where I'd normally think of for non-chain hangouts. But there it is, looking totally cool, hosting open mike nights and such. In D.C., I think one of the best places to eat a bagel, nurse a coffee and read the paper is probably Midcity Caffe

Does it have wireless? thanks!

Yes it does.

Hi gurus! Looking for something fun for me and the boyfriend to do tomorrow night...thoughts?

That depends. Does your boyfriend like sharks? It is Shark Week, after all, and the Discovery Channel is doing a free outdoor screening of "Ultimate Air Jaws," which shows sharks blasting out of the water at ridiculous speeds -- and in super-slow-motion -- to chomp on their helpless prey.

Plenty of restaurants in the Silver Spring area to make it an evening you, or he, won't soon forget.

Hey GOGs, So I have the best, most supportive husband ever and I want to get him a great gift for his birthday next month. He loves craft beer so I was thinking about a tickets to a beer-pairing dinner or beer-tasting event. I can't find anything on Birch & Barley's website about upcoming dinners. Any ideas? Would the National Harbor's Octoberfest event be too filled with drunk kids to be enjoyable? Thanks!

I would love it if someone got me a ticket to the Victory beer dinner at Tuskie's (aka Tuscarora Mill) on Sept. 1. Such a great brewery, and the dinners at Tuskie's are always a lot of fun. (If your husband can wait, I'm salivating over the idea of a Stone beer dinner in October; more info here.)

Birch and Barley doesn't have a set schedule for classes and dinners, and I find that most all-you-can-drink Oktoberfest parties are really less about the beer than just getting drunk.

Hi GOGs! I need suggestions! I have a third date coming up and he wants to take me to a park. The problem is we are both kind of new to the area (we live in Arlington). Where can we go in VA or DC that would also allow a bottle of wine? Thanks!

Oooh, parks and booze pretty much are mutually exclusive here. I just took a question about Jazz in the Garden, held every Friday night at the National Gallery of Art, but that's the one place that comes to mind that feels like an outdoor evening and sells wine (though bringing your own is not officially allowed). If you're willing to skip the booze, the batting cages and minigolf at Upton Regional Park make it a really fun date.

Good afternoon! My wife and I will be going along wth another couple to see Avenue Q at the Lansbergh Theatre (450 7th St. NW) this Sunday evening @ 7:30. I'm not very familiar with the area, and would love to get suggestions for food and drinks before and after the show. Also, I'm a big NY sports fan (Yankees, Knicks, Giants) fan. Are there any restaurants/bars/lounges that feature these teams' games on TV? Thanks for your help. I'm a big fan of the GOG and love following this chat every's my first time submitting a question though. It was a pleasure seeing you all and chatting with Fritz at your Big Hunt happy hour a couple months ago. Keep up te good work!

For food and drinks, I like dinner and cocktails at Cafe Atlantico (right around the corner) and wine and dinner at Proof. Predictable, but for a good reason.

For NY sports bars - the 51st State in Foggy Bottom is owned by some New York guys and they promise they will always have Yankees/Mets/Giants/Jets/Bills/Sabers etc on the TVs.

You answer questions about Annapolis & NYC, help me with Baltimore please! I'm looking for bars where we can dance or an area with multiple bars/dancing options for Sat night. Thanks!

Ok, maybe I am the only one who thinks this is obvious, but Federal Hill or Canton is where I usually end up when I am out in Baltimore for bachlorette parties and such.

Hey there! My sister is coming into town from NYC for a Sunday Funday, and I want to show her a good time with some 'off the beaten trail' kind of fun events- not your typical museum tour. The weather may not cooperate with some rooftop pool action, so do you have any thoughts on things to do that would show her that DC is way more awesome than Manhatten?

If you want offbeat, then you might try catching the Bluebrain/Urban Artistry dance performance, but be sure to download the mp3 ahead of time. Your sister might also go for the lovably goofy Fringe holdover Super Claudio Brothers.

Deprive yourself of the Summer's afternoon heat with a skate at Kettler Iceplex in Ballston, move on to dinner in Clarendon, I'll pick Ray's The Steaks out of a couple dozen options, and then finish up the night with a live band at Jays.

Oh... Ray's is the key. I can't tell you how many times I've messed this up by going straight from Kettler to Jays.

My husband and I have a rare and expected date night this Friday - our kids will be otherwise occupied from 6-9:30. We want to have a quick dinner and do something fun. We live in Silver Spring. If we had a bit more time we might go to H Street Country Club. I think we could get to close-in Montgomery County or maybe upper NW DC. Any thoughts? In the past we've done Dave and Busters and Atomic Billiards. But we like concerts, movies, games, wine tasting, festivals, etc. Any thoughts?

Can i echo Lavanya and add some improvised wine tasting at Jazz in the Garden? I'd also bet you could get away with pizza and a couple quick games of ping-pong at Comet in upper Northwest.

A day of fishing/canoeing at Fletcher's Cove followed by Listrani's great pizza on the drive back into the city. They don't mind the smell of nightcrawlers and Potomac stench... well, they put up with it.

Man, I used to love fishing at Fletcher's; not even in a boat, just right off the dock or the shore. And you just made me crave a Listrani's calzone in the worst way.

Hi Gurus, My bachelorette party is on Saturday, and we have the majority of the evening mapped out (Drinks at a friends, dinner at Al Crostino, drinks at the champagne bar at Napoleon, Dancing at ?, and Karoke at Peyote). It should be a great night, but as you can see, we don't know where to go dancing. I'm not really into the bottle service velvet-rope scene. Can you recommend somewhere in the area that is a bit more laid-back and will play top 40s, 80s, or 90s hits?

Chief Ike's is divey, but it will give you exactly what you need: A dance floor and songs you can sing along to. Another option is the upstairs at Town Tavern, and I've seen bachelorettes there before....

I know Rustico has a few and they will put together a mix and match six pack for you - will be more pricey than a store, but it's an option. I've grabbed various six packs from them on way too many occasions. Plus, you can get their chickpea pizza which is one of the best around according to my friends with ceiliac.

Another good option. And hopefully soon you will be able to take advantage of it in Ballston when Rustico opens their new location there.

There has been a recommendation for visiting the USNA. As a St. John's College grad, I feel compelled to recommend taking a gander at the St. John's campus. I don't know if there are any special events going on, but you could check the website ( In any event, the campus is really pretty. Too bad you've missed the annual croquet match between the Middies and the Johnnies. It's a sight to behold.

Oh no! In no way do I want to offend the St. John's College crowd. I have never been there, but you say its good, then that is enough for me.

By all means, if you have the time, visit both and mark your 2011 calendar for the croquet match.

Ok, not in DC, but mountain biking at Schaeffer Farm followed by drinks and lunch/dinner at Dogfish Head in Gaithersburg.

This one gets my vote.

Is jazz in the garden a suitable place to bring a toddler? I have a (childless and hip) friend coming in from out of town and want to do something she would enjoy. But my 18-month-old is still nursing, and therefore goes everywhere I go. Any other suggestions?

Absolutely. I would take my 19 month old there without a second thought. And check our site tomorrow for my feature on kid-friendly happy hours!

One of my favorite "escapist" days is walking around the French market in Georgetown, grabbing a crepe and checking out the sidewalk sales, then heading over to Dumbarton Oaks to wander around the English gardens and pretend I just stepped into a Jane Austen novel.

If you can't afford to fly to Europe, this might just fit the bill. Thanks.

Greetings GOGs! I know the majority of questions are from 20-somethings, so taking a chance here - I'm back in the DC meet market after two years; got a first date with this girl Saturday evening; we're both youthful upper thirtyish. Any options/ideas in the city that are neither too boring nor too silly??? - Grateful guy.

Actually, I don't think all of our questions are from 20-somethings at all. I've been noticing that the people in Fritz's nightlife stories are all in their 30s lately -- it makes sense if you think about it; who else has the funds to go to places like the Gibson and Buddha Bar?

Okay, your question:  I think you should definitely spare yourselves an awkward dinner on a first date. How about a wine bar? Dixson on U Street has lots of atmosphere, and will give you guys time to chat.  Museums also make good dates; the National Gallery is opening a show of works by Edvard Munch (though that one might creep the girl out). In Virginia this weekend, there'a the Asian Tennis Festival, which means food, entertainment, and a chance to talk. HR-57 has a good-sounding show this weekend; it's a great, spare little jazz venue where you can BYO wine and really have a memorable night out.

can someone explain what exactly is a hipster? i know its a person and i know that they apparently hang out on h st. am i clueless (be nice when you answer that!)?

A hipster is someone who violently denies being a hipster when accused of being a hipster.

Since it's NSFW, I won't directly link to it, but google a site called Look at This Hipster. (I intentionally left a bad word out of there.) Or check out photos from last summer's Brightest Young Things pool parties.

Hi, all! My cousin is getting married in Alexandria over Labor Day weekend. Most people will be staying at various hotels in Old Town, and she asked me to help her organize a casual get together for Friday night. Do you know of any bars in the Old Town area that have private rooms, or just a private area we could section off? There will probably be 30-40 people coming and going. Willing to pay if need be, but will also be running up a pretty decent tab! Thanks!!

Daniel O'Connell's, a big two-level Irish pub, is full of nooks and crannies and they're happy to reserve space for groups. For something a little more low-key, try Union Street Public House, which has various rooms you can reserve.  And if you want to blow people away, call NOW can see if you can make a reservation for the PX. Best cocktails in Northern Virginia by some stretch.

Dinner at Pasta Mia, followed by drink specials in (pick your poison) bar in Adams Morgan. Then walking down 18th street, thru Dupont, to Farragut West (to walk off all the alcohol) to metro home.

 You might be the reason that one guy thinks all of our chatters are in their 20s.

I know Spider Kellys is great for games and such, but what about the food? Any recommendations? Should I go somewhere else to eat before going there?

Burgers are awesome. Fried pickles not so much.

Well that does it for us. Time to announce a winner. We were already jazzed about

"mountain biking at Schaeffer Farm followed by drinks and lunch/dinner at Dogfish Head in Gaithersburg."

But the fact that the Arcade Fire's new album is called "The Suburbs" totally sealed the deal. Please email to claim your prize.

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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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