Hey guys: When is the next Kids dance party at DC9? What about the next No Scrubs dance party at 9:30? A group is jonezin' for a dance party this wknd. (Get sick of straight top 40s tunes and don't like house music. Enjoy Fatback, dancing in Saint Ex basement, etc.) Finally, you've given advice regarding which embassies to visit + which to avoid in previous years. Will you recap your best of EU Open House. Thanks!
Kids -- one of my favorite old-school hip-hop nights -- brings the Wu and Tupac jams at DC9 this Saturday, since it's the first weekend of the month. Get there between 9 and 10 for free admission and free malt liquor!
As for E.U., I usually do it every year, and my advice is to avoid the big guns (Germany, England, Belgium, etc.) and try to go to less touristy places like Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic or Poland, for example. Fewer lines, more chance to talk to staffers, look at art and sample food and drink.
Also, make use of the shuttle buses.
Going to Gold Cup but want to return to WDC to see the Derby. Bourbon or Iron Horse? Or other? Drunken respite and then want to watch the Pacquiao/Mosley fight? Spider Kelly's? Public Bar? Penn Quarter Sports Tavern? Crystal City Sports? Other?
Return to D.C. to see the Derby? You'd have to leave the Plains after maybe 2 or 3 races, which kills all the fun of walking around at Gold Cup. (Remember, traffic to/from the course is a nightmare.) If you're that much of a trooper, though, I'd go for Bourbon.
For the fight, I'd go to Public Bar or Ugly Mug. (The Mug is sponsoring its own trip to Gold Cup, FYI.)
I have a wedding dress that I'd like to donate to a local charity. I've done some online searching in the past, but could only find charities that required me to ship the dress out of state. I was hoping that now that spring is here again, there may be some opportunities for local drives where I can donate. Any info?
Would Toyland be a good locale for after-dinner drinks for a birthday? We're a group of ten 20-somethings. Thanks!
You know, I haven't been back to Toyland in a while -- there was a ownership dispute that led to most of the staff leaving the place, and things were kind of shaky drinks/service-wise afterwards. If you're on H St., I would steer you to Smith Commons or the Argonaut, maybe Little Miss Whiskey's if you want to get your dance on.
I know this is probably a long-shot, but I am going camping at Greenbrier state park in MD this weekend. Are there any bars/pubs somewhat nearby (within 10 miles or so) that would show the Chelsea-Man U match on Sunday?
Anywhere good in Chinatown having great deals with no cover? What about Rosa Mexicana?
I love that when people think "Cinco de Mayo" they think "Chinatown."
In terms of specials, I'd rather do $5 margaritas and two-for-$5 tacos at Oyamel than anything at Rosa Mexicano, even though those deals only run from 4-6:30.
Gurus - I was thinking of heading to the National Cathedral Flower Mart this weekend, but I can't tell what it really is - descriptions in today's paper said it's for people who like flowers and for families. I'm a single 30-something who likes DC stuff - will I be entertained enough if I go? I've hit the EU Embassy thing in the past, and really don't feel like standing in hour-long lines just for free beer and food.
Flower Mart is good for two things, really: Buying flowers for planting and buying food from carnival-style food stands and, increasingly, food trucks. It's a fun way to spend an hour or two if the weather's good (and you're a stone's throw from the embassies if that's where you're headed next) but it's not going to blow you away in the entertainment category, either. Still, if you're out and about, you could do a lot worse than snacking on BBQ and fresh-squeezed lemonade in the Bishop's Garden.
I'm going to throw my two cents in for the pure awesomeness of the tower climb, your once-a-year chance to ascend the 333 steps to the top of the bell ringing tower. At that point, you're 300 feet above one of the highest points in D.C., and you have a beautiful panoramic view of the city, the Potomac and Northern Virginia. Probably the best $10 you'll spend this weekend.
I'm looking to celebrate the end of my final exams this week with a Saturday night out in Arlington. If Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill is too crowded, any suggestions for an alternate venue in the Rosslyn/Courthouse area (aside from my old standby, Ireland's Four Courts)?
ARB&G isn't too bad if you get there before 10 or so. It's a little more laidback than Whitlow's, for sure, which gets loooooong lines. If you're looking for good drinks outdoors, I dug the patio at Fireworks Pizza the other night, and they have an outstanding beer selection. (Not as much of a singles scene as the Rooftop, though.)
If you don't mind going down to Rosslyn, what about board games/pool/darts at Continental?
My mum is coming in for the weekend and I am hoping to take her somewhere for British Food (she is British). I have been to the Queen Vic, but it wasn't serving food yet. So I guess my question is, is the Queen Vic worth the trip for the food? Or is there a better option in DC?
I like the food at the Queen Vic. I would say it's definitely worth the trek, though the menu is relatively small and the atmosphere is more that of a bar than anything else. Your best option might actually be Public House no. 7 out in Falls Church.
Hey guys, Going camping in June with some friends in Norfolk and looking for a good place that is somewhat equidistant for us. The only place I'm familiar with is Assateague. Any other good places you guys can recommend?
Assateague is lovely, but the bugs (and people) can be crazy that time of the year. I did the math in my head (so forgive me if I am off) but if you are willing to drive to Assateague might you be willing to Richmond? Pocahontas State Park, (the largest state park in Va.!) is about 20 miles from the city and might work for you.
Hi gurus- Thanks for the American Ice Co recommendation for pre-930 club eats and drinks a few weeks ago. Food was delicious (swachos=heaven) and beers were excellent. I was there on a Monday and it got kinda crowded and they ran out of food! Anyway, I'm headed back to the 930 club, but this time on a Friday. Any other places you'd recommend, just in case American Ice Co or Duffy's are too crowded before the show?
My darkhorse pick (don't tell anybody) is Chix, on 11th just north of U. The cozy patio is a great place to munch on some Peruvian chicken, and with late-night happy hour in effect from 7 to 10 p.m. bottles of wine are just $10 and all beers are $1 off. That means Flying Dog beers are just $3 and cans of Tecate are $2. You're not going to beat those prices anywhere else in the neighborhood.
I am going to the Gold Cup this Saturday. What should men wear? Should I wear a sport jacket, hat, etc?
Slacks, sport jacket, tie. Hats are optional, though more guys have been wearing straw fedoras and such in recent years. Don't think they look right on everyone -- especially with madras pants -- but they can really complete an outfit.
Hi gurus, we were anxiously awaiting a gloriously sunny weekend to spend time outdoors, but now it looks like we may be due for rain perhaps both Saturday & Sunday. Are there any fun indoors alternatives in DC or Northern Va that you'd recommend?..outside of the usual museums/galleries, unless there are specific exhibits. Thanks!
I refuse to believe it's going to rain on Saturday, both because the CWG is looking optimistic and because I'll be at Gold Cup. For the sake of argument, though, (and since Sunday really does look like rain), here you go: You could peek inside some embassies, hit up a Kentucky Derby viewing party, or see a movie at the National Gallery. For more ideas, pay a visit to our list of best bets for the weekend.
Are the Capitol Steps still around and performing? I can imagine they are doing something with this week's news. Do you know where they are at these days?
Going to dinner with co-workers in this area tonight. We were planning on going to Oohs and Ahhs with a backup of Ben's Chili Bowl. I hope the soul food is good because I much rather have that - any opinions on Oohs and Ahhs?
Hi Holly, Janet: My boyfriend is looking for some sturdy flipflops for the warm weather. I really can't stand them but understand he wants to wear something that doesn't require wearings socks. Do you have any recommendations for shoes that are breathable and yet fashion forward? I like the look of boat shoes, but not so much the white soles. Thanks! - long time Fashion Chat fan.
While Janet and Holly aren't here today, I have to sympathize with you -- I'm not really a huge fan of white-soled boat shoes either. Both Sperry and Quoddy make versions of their classic mocs and boat shoes with gum or charcoal-colored soles.
Is Holly still with you all? I've submitted two fashion questions (one last week and one this week), both submitted early, but they never showed up. 1. Should I not submit early? 2. Is Holly gone from the GOG chat?
Holly isn't here this week, but she'll be back next week, I believe. You can still try submitting. I bet Guru-fashionista Lavanya can help you out...
Your advice was spot-on. Exactly what I was looking for -- thank you!
Erm, about what? But thanks!
Hi Gurus! Any suggestions for some place in DC or Arlington to buy good flavored coffee (whole bean)? It's a Mother's Day gift, so suggestions would be appreciated!! Thanks!
Do you mean "flavored" as in "hazelnut," or coffee with good flavor? If you mean good flavor, a lot of quaint coffee shops and gelaterias carry excellent coffee that's special enough to make a nice present. Fritz is a devotee of Swing's, which is roasted locally, making it a pretty "from D.C." gift; Filter in Dupont (which coffee drinkers are cultish about) also uses locally roasted coffee, from Cafe Pronto in Annapolis; Dolcezza sells a variety of the boutique-y trendy stuff, including Portland's Stumptown and Heart brands. And there's always Tryst, which sells its own Tryst house blend made by Counterculture Coffee. It's pretty close to perfect.
We should encourage women to wear British style hats. I love that trend. As for the wedding dress, donate it to the Salvation Army. You'll make a poor bride very happy.
Women have been wearing over-the-top hats at Gold Cup for years, but in the wake of the royal wedding (or, as Morrissey put it, "The Royal Dreading"), I think we're going to see waaaaaay more "fascinators" or headbands or whatever this year.
I agree with Salvation Army suggestion. I am a big fan of thrift shops!
Hey Gurus, I see that there are a lot of Kentucky Derby viewing parties, but where can you go to actually bet the race? I am new to the area and am used to an OTB close by but it looks like the closest place would be Charles Town, a good drive for some quick bets. Are there any places in DC where you can put in a bet?
Hi GOGs, My son will be running in a 5K on Capitol Hill this Sunday. We thought we'd meet him afterwards for breakfast to beat the Mother's Day crush. Any idea where on the Hill we could find something at about 9 am? Thanks!
Unfortunately, I can't actually go to the Derby this year. Any good places to view Derby where they'll be serving some decent mint juleps, preferably in the Northern Virginia area (Fairfax)?
When does it open?
The first Jazz in the Garden for the season is May 27, with Origem. The weekly series runs every Friday through Sept. 9.
Is there anything unique (not House of Sweden) going on for Europe Week besides the tours on Saturday that would be good for kids? I'm having trouble finding the schedule.
In need of a gift for a friend who is super into beer (knows more than anyone, including bartenders I've encountered). Any breweries driving distance that are worthy and potentially making a night/weekend of it?
I love the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth because they always have "test beers" on draft that you can't find outside of the bar. Case in point: I fell in love with DFH Ale there before it was released to all the Dogfish pubs. That's always a good place to start.
You could also consider going out the the amazing Devil's Backbone Brewery near Wintergreen. Two years old, four major Great American Beer Festival medals.
Hey GOG's - thinking about going kayaking this weekend for the first time. I've been wanting to go for a while, but can't find anyone who wants join. Therefore I'm debating on going to Jack's Boathouse by myself. Considering it's my first time, is this a stupid decision - or do I have nothing to worry about? And no, I don't feel like kayaking next to a whole bunch of tourists. I'd like to be out on my own and just paddle while I enjoy the scenerey. Thoughts?
Do it! Kayaking is a wonderful way to get a work out and get outside. I think going alone is fine, just follow the general rule of letting someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. You shouldn't have any problems in this area, but who knows.
As for staying away from the tourists, you might want to consider Pohick Bay. They rent canoes and it is an absolutely lovely area. If you want to make this a long-term thing, meet others into kayaking or want to try white water kayaking then you should consider taking a lesson with Potomac Paddle Sports.
Fritz - I know you've often published a reviews of the local pub quizes. But if you had to pick a Sunday - Thursday week long pub quiz sampler, what would you recommend. (My team is itchy for new conquests).
Completely avoiding any chain/franchised/corporate pub quizzes:
Sunday: Bedrock Billiards
Monday: The marathon quiz at Wonderland
Tuesday: Quizzo at Union Pub
Wednesday: Booze Clues at Argonaut
If they're willing to go to Assateague then you could also consider Pocomoke River State Park on the eastern shore, which is good for canoeing. (When I worked at Assateague that's one of the alternate places we would suggest to people when they'd show up in the middle of summer without reservations and be shocked they couldn't get a campsite.) The state parks along the DE seashore can be nice too.
That does sound lovely. I am going to put it on my to do list for this summer, too.
I will be picking up my mother from Dulles around 7:30am. Is there any place between the air port and norther Alexandria to get some breakfast? I'm new to the area and I seem to be lacking any breakfast eateries. Thanks!
What day? I'd probably pop over to Shirlington, where you'll have the option of either Busboys and Poets (opens at 8 every day) or Luna Grill (opens at 8 weekdays, 9 on the weekends).
They show the Derby on the Jumbotron at Gold Cup, so watch all the races, then hand around.
This is true. The only problem is that most tents/parties will be wrapped up (and dry) by post time.
Hi GOG, I live in Chevy Chase/Friendship heights and I am desperately looking for a place to get a few friends together and grill/picnic outdoors. My building's rooftop won't allow us to have grills up there and I am not sure what the deal is with the various parks around the metro area. Where would be the best place to rent or reserve a grill/grilling area space in the DC/Metro area? Any parks that let you do this? Anything with metro access works great. Thanks!
Got a convenient one for you: That little park near the intersection of North Park and Willard Ave. There's a public grill or two tucked behind some trees and there's rarely (if ever) anyone using it. Great place to host a group of friends.
Hi! I'm looking for ideas for a small group of early 30's women visiting in late June. My closest friends are coming into town to celebrate - part bachelorette/reunion/new baby/etc. So far I've thought of wine tasting, drinks at POV or Gibson, picnic on the mall, spa... activities where we can talk and catch up. Anything fun that I'm missing, especially anything that could be a surprise for one of the girls who is a bride-to-be? Thank you!
Instead of a picnic on the Mall, I'd pencil in Jazz in the Garden, which launches at the end of this month (I cannot wait!); and an evening on the patio at the Standard or Poste or Biergarten House? There are a lot of summertime festivals in June, including the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ at National Harbor, and Northern Virginia Summer Brewfest. As for a surprise, I'd save POV for that - I've always found the servers there to be so cool about knowing how to make a celebration a celebration. (You'd be wise to order your drinks by the pitcher, however.)
Any new additions to the Cinco de Mayo list? Preferably, the cheap margaritas, guac, and beers until about 8 or 9?
My favorites that I'm going to add as soon as the chat is over: Mezcal tequila cocktails at Room 11, the HowBoutWe dating site's party at H St. Country Club with mariachis, $3 Coronas and all-night food specials, the Bottom Line's $2.50 Tecate/$3 Coronas/$3 margaritas/25 percent of Mexican food all night ...
My nieces (ages 2 and 4) are visiting town this weekend, and I would love some suggestions of places to go with them. So far I am planning on taking them to the zoo, and we will definitely get ice cream and cupcakes in Georgetown (that's where they are staying). Do you have any suggestions of places that kids of that age might enjoy? Any restaurants in the Georgetown area that might be particularly good for kids (I'm already thinking Pizzeria Paradiso and getting prepared food from Dean and Deluca, having them heat it, and eating outside)?
Another carousel is a little closer to the city this weekend, too -- it's Flower Mart at the National Cathedral. It's pretty, they can run around, ride the carousel, and snack on food truck fare. As for dinner, I'm with you: I think Pizzeria Paradiso is a great option. I always see kids at the Georgetown location.
Ugh. I hate myself for asking this, but: what's a good place to get margaritas in Montgomery County? I'm not generally a big believer in the 'Let's co-opt another culture's holiday as an excuse to drink' philosophy, but I have been coerced this year. Any thoughts?
MoCo is a big place. Can you narrow it down at all? Bethesda? Rockville? While I can name places, I can't think of anywhere that would be worth crossing the county for.
Do you know how often the shuttles run between the embassies? Any other good advice when attending this event?
10-15 minutes supposedly, but more like 15-30. The shuttles on the Mass Ave route (U.K., Finland, Belgium, etc) seem to be the most crowded, though once you're at one of those embassies, it's easier to walk to the next one than wait for a bus.
I submitted this earlier, so hopefully you don't have to answer twice. I have fallen love with a vintage, summer straw hat. It's got a medium brim and rather large flowers attached to the brim/crown. The flowers are pale pink and fuchsia. I have to go to a wedding next week and this would be perfect. I have a fuchsia top that would match the one fuchsia flower, but my only skirt option is cream-colored (which does match the straw). So my question is whether it is still considered inappropriate to wear something cream-colored to a wedding. I really doubt anyone is going to mistake me for the bride or bridesmaid but I don't want to be inappropriate. (My other option is to wear navy blue, which my MIL is wearing--she's a darling, but I don't want to match). Thoughts?
I think you're in the clear on this one, since it's only your skirt that's cream-colored, and not your whole dress. I think your outfit sounds cute for a spring-y wedding, in fact. Speaking of which, did anyone take note that at last week's royal wedding lil sis Pippa wore white, and it was totally okay? I was shocked, then really excited. Maybe it means the end of stuffy rules? Personally, i'd much rather have people look classy and awesome at my wedding than follow the rules.
Going out for drinks with co-workers tonight and want to avoid too many crowds (bad night choice, I know, but it's just what worked) in the Foggy Bottom/Dupont area. Any suggestions for 5-10 people, low-key, not too Cinco-y?
I can't think there'd be too many Cinco revellers at the Bier Baron, and the place is a big improvement over the Last Days of the Brickskeller. Good food, hundreds of beers actually in stock.
I just learned that you can get these through the magic of the internet. But what if I reserve some months in advance for a youth group, but turns out we can't go? Can I transfer them easily?
Thanks for taking my question. But I meant "flavored" as in "hazlenut" or something else like that. I've called a lot of places, but no one seems to have what I'm looking for!
Ahh! Okay, I think we're in a period where flavored coffee is out of fashion and boutique coffee with "notes of caramel and lemon zest" are in, which might be why you're having a hard time. Why don't you buy Mom a cool syrup she can add to her locally roasted coffee? World Market sells Torani syrups. Any readers have suggestions?
Hi Gurus - I am hoping you can lift me out of my bar rut this weekend. I tend to haunt U Street/14 Street and can't seem to get my head around any other places that are a bar scene (decent beer/wine), 30-somethings, maybe even some good people-watching. I'm not looking to head to H Street NE or ESL. Any thoughts come to mind? Thanks!
How about a trip to Columbia Heights? Great beer choices at Meridian Pint, or a cool, slightly older crowd for cocktails and snacks at Room 11, especially if the weather cooperates and the patio's open?
Best outdoor bar/rest for Cinco de Mayo celebration in DC?
How come I didn't know you could make your own Pop Tarts? Holy moly, you just planned Sunday morning for me. But of all the recipes on the internet, do you have one you suggest? This made my day. (And no doubt my toddler son's Sunday.)
I had fun last year at Bourbon's Derby Day event - my friends and I got there early enough to get a table outside, but I can't remember how early that actually was. Any suggestions for what time to arrive to beat the crowd? Or any suggestions for other (inexpensive) derby events in Adams Morgan?
I've been there by 4 to get a seat in past years, and it's worked out fine. I think it's totally going to depend on the weather.
Am I still in time? Don't really care, but not upper MoCo. Bethesda/Rockville/Silver Spring
The Austin Grill in Silver Spring turns Ellsworth Drive into a giant block party, with burger-eating contests, live music, margaritas, etc.
Check out Brides against Breast Cancer. I don't know where you would have to send the dress but I know they have events all over this area.
Another good suggestion. Thanks!
Wegmans carries flavored coffees, in larger bags and smaller "sampler sizes". They carry the flavored syrups too. Not sure you if you needed metro-accessible though.
Perfect! Thank you.
What's the best, casual bar around Chinatown for a group of about 5 to meet, chat, have a few drinks and possibly a few apps?
We went to the non-EU embassy tours last year and all we did was walk from embassy to embassy looking at the LONG lines and deciding it wasn't worth it. It kind of ruined me for ever wanting to do it again. But are the EU embassies better or worse? 35-30 minutes between shuttles - by the time the bus gets there, is there room for everyone???
Last year, some friends and I decided to focus on the Van Ness embassies (Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia) and the 16th Street embassies (Poland, Lithuania, etc.) and it wasn't bad at all. (We started the day at the Belgian Embassy, which was all lines.)
There were no problems hopping between embassies on shuttles or waiting in super-long lines. I think there may have been a 10-minute wait or so to get into the Czech Republic, so we just went across the street for goulash and Hungarian wine tasting.
Will people be in hats/dresses/etc for the Derby event at Bourbon on Saturday?
Some will make an effort, some won't. If you want dressed up crowds, I'd say there's more of a chance at the Iron Horse Tap Room charity event (which has a Derby fashion best-dressed contest) or even the Red Derby, which is offering discounts/drinks/etc to women who wear big hats to brunch.
It was in mid-March - there's nothing on the website about it this year. I think that it may not be happening on Saturday.
Hola Gurus! I'm going to the late show at DC Improv on Friday night with 3 friends and we want to do dinner nearby beforehand. I know there's a bunch of places around there, but what do you recommend? I think a Churchkey vibe would be cool--but without the zoo that Churchkey is on a Friday night. Gracias!
The only place that comes to mind that fits the bill is Madhatter. I also know it's not the vibe of Churchkey at all, but I don't hate the food at Big Hunt. I kind of like it, and there are usually specials of some sort.
You're only a block or so away from Barcode, and they have a pretty great happy hour. The menu can be hit or miss, but overall, I've enjoyed the pastas and pizzas.
Hi Guru's, about 4-6 of us are getting together Mon for drinks to catch up. we usually head somewhere in Metro Center or Chinatown (Poste, Ceiba) but would love to try something new. Since it's a Mon, are there places that offer good deals on Mon's? Do you or the chatters have suggestions for a place that has good drinks, happy hour specials and/or good food? MEtro accessible is a plus. Thanks!
Monday and Tuesday are actually my favorite days to go out drinking -- fewer crowds, more relaxed and more room to spread out. It's a night when you actually can bring 3-4 friends and get a table to try the excellent cocktails at PS7, a table on the patio at Barcode (it's supposed to be in the 70s on Monday), or enjoy one of the best burgers in town at Scion.
I have a friend coming in Tuesday and I wanted to check out American Ice Co. Would this work for happy hour around 5 p.m.?
Yeah, you should be all set, though I will warn you that there's a sold-out My Chemical Romance show at the 9:30 Club that night. (Doors open at 7.) If it gets to be too much at AmIce, I'd decamp to the rooftop deck at DC9.
I hate to confess but I saw an episode of Say Yes to the Dress where the wedding was cancelled. The bridal shop knew of a bride who could not afford a dress and the bride who was not getting married donated her dress to her. It was very sweet. So maybe the wonderful woman could contact some local bridal salons to see if they know of someone in need of a gently worn dress.
This is an option -- another one, that isn't quite giving the dress away for free, but still can help someone score a dress for far cheaper than they'd otherwise pay, is a site like Recycled Bride. It's like the Etsy/Ebay of wedding dresses, and I've seen some high-end and some edgy/young designer dresses on it. Not that I'm looking.