Got Plans? Win Redskins tickets by telling us what bar you frequent to watch your favorite football team.

Aug 11, 2011

Where do you go out to watch your favorite NFL team when you want to be surrounded by fellow fans? Submit your response for a chance to win four tickets to tomorrow's Redskins vs. Steelers preseason game.

Are you ready for some football? So what if it's just the preseason: The Redskins take on the Steelers at FedEx tomorrow night, which will be the first sight of NFL players in full pads that we've seen since the end of last season. That's exciting! Even if the product on the field may not be.


Since it's football season, we want your input on the best bars in the area to watch your team, whether it's the Redskins, Steelers or anyone else. Submit a question and tell us what bar you frequent and we'll pick a winner at the end of the hour. 

I heard Queen Vic is owned by a Liverpool Fan. Do you know if they open early for games?

I watched a few games at the Queen Vic last year, despite the fact that, as you say, it's owned by a Liverpool fan. They open at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. on Sundays when there's a match on. (Any English match, not just Liverpool matches.)

Crystal City Sports Pub is my fav for Skins games.

Why? What is it about the place that you love? You have to give us more than that if you want to score these tickets.

My husband and I are looking for theater tickets for tomorrow night for less than $40 per ticket (including fees, etc.). Plays only (no musicals). Best bets?

For starters, you can check out my list of free and cheap theater for the month of August. Of the shows in that price range playing tomorrow, I'd probably check out Constellation's The Ramayana (which I'm seeing tonight -- sooo excited) or Longacre Lea's new show Something Past in Front of the Light, which is about the devil making a documentary.

How late into the fall can one wear a white pants suit? It is not quite stark white, just a hint creamy, and it is not linen, but substantial sort of knit fabric. And what top and shoes would you wear into fall, if I am allowed to wear past Labor Day?

I think the Memorial Day/Labor Day rule is antiquated -- if anything, the weather should dictate what you wear, not the calendar. So if it's still hot in mid-September, I think it's ok to get a few more wears out of your white suit. For now, wear both pieces with a navy printed blouse or a coral tank underneath, but note that breaking up the all-white look will help you stretch the pieces a bit further -- so wear just the blazer over a sheath dress, or just the pants with a flowy silk blouse as the weather cools off. Keep your shoes on the summery side -- open-toed pumps, sandals, wedges. Avoid anything clunky or fall-ish.

Southside 815 in Old Town is the best place for a Steelers die-hard fan to watch the game on Sunday. There are so many jersey and terrible towels it is like being at Heinz Field!

In the interest of fairness...

Mad Fox has good food, but BBQ sauce does not make Buffalo wings. So 4P's sounds like your choice. Grevey's is a Bills bar, does it make wings that live up?

The wings at Grevey's are fine, maybe a touch above the usual sports bar fare. I'd rather make the drive up to Jimmy's Old Town Tavern in Herndon, which makes fantastic honest-to-goodness Buffalo style wings. (The owner's from Buffalo, you see... it's a Sabres bar, Bills bar, etc.)

Holly - I have some cropped pants/cigarette pants that are denim so dark it looks like navy blue-ish-black fabric. Need suggestion for cute top and shoes in terms of style and color - other than white blouse. And I have flats, loafers, wedges, sandals - so bring on the shoe suggestions. Thanks.

I love the look of cropped cigarette pants, classic penny loafers and a button-down shirt -- it's an easy work or weekend outfit that's equal parts Audrey Hepburn and Lauren Hutton. You could try a simple tunic and flat sandals or wedges for an I'd-rather-be-on-vacation look; if you're on the younger side, cuff the pants and try a plain v-neck tee in gray, white or black and some worn-in Chucks for weekend errands. Hope that helps!

Hey Gurus, My 24th birthday is this Sunday, and I was wondering where my friends and I should go Saturday night to celebrate in DC? There will be about 15 of us, all in our mid-20s. I'm looking for a bar close to a metro, moderately priced, with a fun atmosphere between 10pm and midnight that doesn't include dancing. Is there anywhere that could handle the size of the group and our reluctance to get out on a dance floor? Thanks!

I admire your reluctance to dance, as these birthday questions usually demand a dancefloor recommendation. 


Big bars near Metro stations without conspicuous dancefloors: Buffalo Billiards, James Hoban's and Public Bar (Dupont); Meridian Pint (Columbia Heights); Redline, Rocket Bar and Iron Horse (Gallery Place-Chinatown); Jack Rose (in the triangle between Dupont, U Street and Woodley Park/AdMo). Iron Horse is probably tbe best solution on the Metro-fun-moderate cost-no dancing matrix, IMO. 

Hey GOGS..I know the annual car show is in January but I wanted to know are there any upcoming car shows that feature supercars and exotic cars? I've gone to the Aston Martin and Ferrari dealerships in the area but would love to know if there are any car shows in or around the area, and even outside of MD. Thanks.

The first place that comes to my mind is Carlisle, Pa. It's a bit late in the season, but I have always loved exploring shows up there. Also worth marking on your calendar is the Antique and Classic car show in Rockville Oct. 15. Yes, I know that antique and future are opposites, but this year they are highlighting race cars. (Full disclosure, my dad works at the show.) Also, the Baltimore Grand Prix is worth checking out over Labor Day weekend.

Is there anything fun/active going on this weekend on Saturday? I am trying to meet up with a friend from college. We are looking for something inexpensive (have not been out of college that long) and flexible (ie dont have to buy tickets or anything in advance.) Thanks for any help with this!

You could check out the Alexandria Irish Festival, which is totally free and sounds like a good time. Depending on how mobile you are, there's also the Shenandoah Riverfest, which celebrates all things having to do with the river. Expect fly-fishing lessons, demos and food and music as well. At night, head back into D.C. for Madonnarama and celebrate the pop queen's birthday at Town (cover is $8 if you get there before 11). Enjoy!

This Saturday August 13, I'm celebrating my birthday on H Street with around 12 of my friends. What bar can best handle a party of that size and satisfy a wide range of tastes?

Go to Biergarten Haus early -- they'll make table reservations for groups with no minimum as long as you get there by 7, stay for a few hours and enjoy a few steins of pre-Oktoberfest beer in the beer garden. Afterwards, I'd head for the dance floor at Little Miss Whiskey's and dance and enjoy the street's widest beer selection.

Going up to the My Morning Jacket show at Merriweather for the first time on Friday. Do you know if they post set times like they do at 930 club? Any idea what time MMJ would go on if doors open at 5:30? Thanks.

Set forecaster David Malitz thinks 5:30 doors mean Neko Case will go on around 7 with My Morning Jacket taking the stage around 8:30. He's good at predicting these things. 

I head out to the Penn Quarter Sports Tavern sometimes in search of fellow Washingtonians (Washington State, that is) to catch some Seahawks games. It's not a Seattle sports bar (are there any of those?) but it's fun. It's easily accessible via Metro, has a fun happy hour and a heated patio. Their food menu is also pretty extensive, which is great. I'd love to win tickets to tomorrow's Redskins game for my boyfriend's birthday!!!!!

Seahawks fans have been going to PQST for a few seasons -- it's the closest thing I know to a Seattle sports bar, unless another chatter out there can help.

First, I want to thank you for your advice on what to wear to the spouse's law firm party - you were so helpful! Now I need some advice on what to wear to his niece's wedding, October 1, 5 pm service followed by dinner and dancing. Outdoors, with tent, I think. Any tips - cocktail dress? suit? would be much appreciated, also where to shop. thanks!

Glad the advice was useful! Whether you wear a dress or suit depends on your style and comfort level, but generally speaking, a suit (at least a pantsuit) is a bit stiff for a wedding. Since it's an evening wedding, you can definitely get away with a cocktail dress, but if you're more comfortable in something structured, I'd choose a simple sheath dress and add a tailored blazer. You can find lots of classic, mix-and-match options online at places like Newport News, Chadwicks, Lands' End, LL Bean, J. Crew, J. Jill, Talbots, Chico's, Ann Taylor, LOFT and Target -- totally depends on your price range and style.

Though this may ruin my chances as I will be rooting for the other team...I always go to the Mighty Pint to watch the 6 time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Mighty Pint is shockingly Steeler'd out at all times. Also should give a shotu out to the Pour House on Capitol Hill. 

We will be in Old Town Alexandria on Saturday for a wedding that evening. Is there anything going on during the day that might entertain our kids? We're just not that into restaurants and shopping. Thanks!

Definitely see previous answer on Alexandria Irish Fest. What's not to love about Irish dancing, troubadours, corned beef, etc.?? P.S.- It's totally free.

Hard Times Germantown - a "Cheers" neighborhood mentality with usually an even mix of Skin and the "whoeverelse" fans. Good unmeasured drinks, with bartenders friendly enough, that they ended up being invited to our wedding this year!

When you invite the bartenders to a wedding, you know you've found a great neighborhood bar. Thanks.

Hey there GOGs, This question is probably not best suited for you, but since I go to you for all my other DC questions - figured I'd try my luck! Looking to sell some old gold jewelry to fund an one year wedding anniversary gift and date. Any chance you know where I should go? There are a number of places around Metro Center that have "We Buy Gold" signs but they look a bit sketchy?

This is so not up our alley, but I just wanted to pass on Hank Stuever's funny piece from a couple of years ago about gold parties. The site he lists,, still seems to be working. This is a possibility for you, and so is, say, a local Indian jeweler, which may be more reputable that a place on the side of the road. It's at $1800 an ounce, so just be aware: The problem with selling it is that because of the price, a lot of shops aren't looking to buy...

Looking for something fun (but maybe towards the casual side) in Arlington/DC on Friday for a not-quite-first-date-but-still-close-to-it outing (i.e. something that's not sitting in a dark movie theatre or throwing back cheap happy hour drinks). Casting a wide net here, as we're both all about trying things off the beaten path. Any suggestions?

It's definitely on the casual side, but how about food trucks + live music at Truckeroo? Other than that, some good bets might be Jazz in the Garden or the outdoor film festival in Rosslyn. Full disclosure: tomorrow night's movie is Mean Girls, so not exactly romantic...

for the person looking for theater under $40, isn't there a DC equivilant of the Cheap tix booth where you can get discounted tickets day of? I can't remember the name, but it's on 7th ST NW a block or so sounth of the verizon center

Yes there is: Ticketplace

My dearest Holly...I'm meeting my dearest friend for dinner at Fyve at the Ritz Carlton for dinner....i've gone a couple of times...but can't remember what I wore...could you do a nice blazer with a pair of great jeans and heels, or should I do either a nice pantsuit or dress..

Hi, dearest reader! I think jeans can work if they're nice (ie, a dark rinse and great fit) and you pair them with the blazer and heels as you suggested. If you feel like dressing up more, I'd choose a fabulous, flattering dress and add the blazer and some great jewelry. Enjoy!

5 of us (guys and girls) couldn't get in to Jack Rose last Saturday around 10 because it was too crowded. I don't know if 15 people will want to wait in line forever. We didn't.

Thanks for the report. I haven't been in on a Saturday night yet. Birthday question-asker: Wherever you go, show up early. And maybe avoid Jack Rose. 

Yeah, it's honestly gotten to the point where I go before 9 or after midnight Thu-Sat.

Going to Mad Fox soon and wondering if there is anything else fun in the neighborhood? Live music?

I used to say Bangkok Blues, but that little Thai restaurant and haven of blues jams has closed. You've got the usual mix of Irish tunes at the Four Provinces and live rock and blues down the street at Dogwood Tavern.

A few minutes away in Seven Corners, Public House No. 7 hosts music on weekends, including the occasional Beatles cover band. This is a traditional English pub -- probably the best in the Virginia 'burbs -- and is worth a visit for snacks and pints.

My friends and I are planning to go on Saturday -- wondering what the picnic/tailgating situation is and anything else we should know? It says you can bring your own food but doesn't say you CAN'T bring your own alochol.,1208331.html

You may bring your own alcohol. There is plenty of room to picnic and watch the match. That is your best bet. There are spots where you can watch polo *and* tailgate out the back of your car, but those spots are usually sold out far in advance. Of course if you want to just drink in the parking lot and then go watch some polo you can do that.

The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse is my go-to spot for 'Skins games. Comfy leather chairs, huge cinema-size screen, and waitstaff bringing you a good variety of beers and game-food: wings, skins, cheesefries, nachos, etc. (or sangria and wraps if you're not a hog-in-training). It's also walking-distance to my home, so excessive toasting of victory or, more likely, drowning of sorrows isn't a concern. P.S. I was a Steelers fan for my first 25 years, and finally converted to the 'Skins a few years after I moved here. Not bar-related, just sayin....

Man, I'll bet you wish you had a do-over on that one, don't you? 


I love the Arlington Cinema N' Drafthouse idea. The Bethesda Theater Cafe, when it existed, would also show the game on the big screen (and this was pre-HD): I remember watching the team's only playoff win at FedEx Field, in 2000, not from the stadium in Landover, but from the Bethesda Theater Cafe. Brad Johnson! Stephen Davis! Norv Turner! 

Thought for sure we'd at least have 1 question about Restaurant Week by now. I am planning on going to The Caucus Room with some friends for RW -- any suggestions on not-to-miss dishes, drinks, or desserts?

I don't have any recent experience at the Caucus Room, but I hear what you are saying about restaurant week. Almost no one seems interested in it this year, both in our chats and in the greater DC food blogosphere. Has the luster worn off the promotion?

Mezza Luna is by far the best bar for homesick Texans to watch the Cowboys (bonus points because Fritz recommended it in response to my question in the GOG chat at this time last year!) I'm also keeping an eye on Hill Country for Cowboys/Texans/UT football games this fall...

I have it on good authority that the D.C. Texas Exes (i.e. the Texas alumni association) will be hosting its football game-watching parties at Rhodeside Grill again this year. I've been once (having not gone to Texas) and it was pretty intense.

Its been years since I've been to Geogetown and am thinking about spending the day out there tomorrow. I've tried googling to find out exactly what stores are there, so that I can map it out now. Also, for transportation, I heard about the DC Circulator bus near Dupont Circle is the closest form of transportation since there isn't a Metro in Georgetown. Do I catch the same bus to get me back to Dupont from Georgetown? Thanks!!

While you're at it, you should take a look at our Georgetown neighborhood guide for some options that aren't the big chains. As for transportation, you'll want to take the G2. It'll pick you up right on the circle and drop you off on Wisconsin. To get back, I usually pick it up at Wisconsin and Dumbarton.

Hi gurus! Where can I go for some decent stand-up comdey? I'm located in NOVA and DC Improv is a little too much of a trek. I'm totally at a loss. Thanks for your help!

Without question, Arlington Cinema N Drafthouse.

Hi Gurus -- Tried Tom yesterday, but he didn't get to my question. My sister is coming to town next weekend and she LOVES Cafe Atlantico's latino dim sum brunch. She was bummed to hear we couldn't go. I'm looking for a fun replacement brunch (with good food and drinks, preferably something unique) for that Sunday. Adding difficulty is the fact that it is Restaurant Week. Any suggestions? Would like to stay away from Asian. A Sunday night dinner option could also work if a brunch isn't possible. Thanks!

Is Asian off the table entirely? Because the brunch at Masa 14, a Latin-Asian fusion spot on 14th ST. has a fun brunch menu with a few Latin classics like Chilaquiles mixed in with some more creative options like a Banh Mi Burger. Did I mention that for $35 you can get unlimited food and drinks, including their specialty brunch cocktails?

Of course there are classics like Perry's drag brunch and the live jazz brunch at Acadiana. I also might steer you into Georgetown (gasp) for the brunch at Kafe Leopold. Make sure you save room for a trip to Leopold's colorful pastry case.

Any new and different Sunday brunch places in Dupont? I feel like I always go back to the same places and am looking to try something new. Thanks!

What places are you always going to? One of my friends can't say enough good things about the brunch at Circa (it's apparently much better than the dinner, which can be sort of hit-or-miss). I usually head to the cantina at Darlington House or Scion. Hank's is a good stand-by, too.

Where are the best places for dessert and cocktails?

Room 11 is pretty ideal if you're looking for something low-key. Co Co. Sala if you're in the mood for something a bit loungier. And then there's Serendipity 3 if  gluttony is your aim.

I'm inclined to suggest the Tabard Inn for both these things. And Fritz just reminded me that Bourbon Steak has a nice (if somewhat expensive) selection of desserts with suggested cocktail pairings.

My friend from Boston is coming to visit, we're in our mid-30s and looking for some options for drinks with a classic DC feel and a nice mixed crowd. We're dark jeans, heels, and sparkly clutch "kind of girls". We have reservations for the Hangover Brunch at POV on Sunday. What do you recommend for the night before?

"Drinks with a classic D.C. feel" -- do you mean a classic cocktail bar, a la Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons, or the lounge at the Tabard Inn? Or are you talking about sipping martinis while relaxing on a sofa listening to a DJ spin at Eighteenth Street Lounge? Any of those places would work, along with Masa 14, the new Blackbyrd Warehouse, maybe Ripple, the new wine-and-cocktail lounge in Cleveland Park.

Town Hall in College Park is my favorite place to watch games b/c it is delightfully dismal. Don't know what I'll do if/when they ever sell out to the high-rise condos that are popping up all over Rte. 1...

I'm reasonably confident that when the end of civilization comes, whenever that day is, Town Hall will still be standing tall. 

Hey gurus, I recently graduated from college (Go Cavaliers!) and am working in the city full-time. I'd love some suggestions for cool happy hour spots that also feauture specials for us strict herbivores. Could you also suggest any great veggie-friendly restaurants that are not absolutely bland and ridiculously overpriced? Thank you!

Yeah! Welcome. So I'm the staff's militant vegetarian on staff,  and Stephanie's probably pretty close. We're not loaded with vegetarian restaurants, but we have a lot of places that do it well, and a lot more really beginning to. I'll start with happy hours: Mandu -- either location -- is a Korean restaurant that has great offerings for vegetarians, including tofu Korean tacos and my favorite veggie dumplings in town. (Just let the bartender know you're vegetarian, and they'll take care of you.) Another couple to try: Heritage India in Dupont Circle (lots of Indian street food cheap and great drink specials, though it's a little formal and quiet for me...) and Jaleo (I'd add Oyamel to the list, too).

We also did this list of Editor's Picks for vegetarian-friendly places, and this one for veggie burgers, but I'm feeling about ready to update veggie friendly list, and I'd probably start by adding Elizabeth's Gone Raw, Everlasting Life Cafe (which I am dying to go to), Mandu, and Masala Art (they're so knowledgeable about their veggie food.)

I just saw a GOG speak on it. Can you tell me more about it, how do you dress for it? Am i sitting on grass??

Most people end up sitting on the grass (so bring a blanket!), though you can snag a seat along the fountain if you get there on the early side. As for dress code, you can really wear whatever you want. It's a mix of ties (some people clearly show up straight from work), sundresses, shorts and flip-flops. In other words: Anything goes.

Are you planning GOG happy hour anytime soon?? Not for August hopefully, since last year the August HH it was 105 out. But what about Sept?

Yes! We're hoping to have something in September, whether it's a full-on happy hour or a more informal tweetup. We'll keep you posted. 

Hi Holly, I recently turned 33 and received my yearly $100 gift from my parents (don't worry, they're very generous in other ways). I'd like to spend it on some new wardrobe staple, without being tempted to break out the J.Crew, Banana or other credit cards. Any suggestions on where to get the most bang for my buck? Obviously, not thinking of Forever 21, and haven't been to H&M since I was living abroad in Germany and it was called Hennes and Maurtiz.

Personally, I'd do some combination of the following things: Hit all the area thrift/vintage shops and pick up some unique, pre-loved pieces (bags, blazers and dresses are always good); scope out online end-of-summer sales at J.Crew, Urban Outfitters, ShopBop, Need Supply, Pixie Market, Gap and others; scour Etsy for special vintage and handmade items (you'll catch end-of-season sales there, too). I tend to disagree with fashion-types who think of clothes/accessories as "investments," so I'd try to spread that $100 around as much as possible and get a lot of interesting things that you won't be bored of by the time winter rolls around.

Hi GoGs! I love these chats- you guys and gals really know your stuff! So I have a dear friend who is getting married and I somehow got roped into organizing his bachelor party (I'm a gal). I don't mind- I'm good at these things, but it's next weekend and I've begged him for the invitation list and he hasn't sent it to me. I bugged his fiance and she hasn't got back to me either. The plan was to go camping and kayaking, but it's getting to be a little late to reserve campsites - especially since I don't know who's coming! gah. Thinking a local canoeing or kayaking day thing will have to do. Can you help me figure out a good local place for kayaking/canoeing? I like Jack's but not sure how best to make a celebratory day out of that kind of outing. It could be a day trip too from DC. Some of the invitees will be coming from Richmond. I was thinking Westmoreland State Park, but I don't know anyone who has been there before. Any ideas from the brain entertainment trust would be most appreciated! Thanks!

My vote would go to tubing, which is always a good activity for a group. It was a hot topic during last week's chat, which you can check out for inspiration.

My husband and I are looking forward to a quiet night out without the kids in a couple weeks. We've booked a room at the Fairfax at Embassy Row and have dinner reservations at Blue Duck Tavern. Any suggestions on someplace to visit before dinner for a drink or two?

That sounds like a great dinner-and-hotel pairing. Congrats. I'd suggest pre-dinner cocktails at Bourbon Steak, and after dinner, a short stroll over to Bayou for hot jazz and zydeco music and a Hurricane or two.

Duffy's!! It never gets too crowded and they have tater tots and pitchers. Now please don't post this and spill my secret, but send the tix my way anyway.

Love Duffy's, though I usually get those amazing wings and a pitcher instead of tots.

Billy Goat. No, it's not the original - or anything like it. But, there's a great little community of Bears fans that meet up every Sunday to watch. Of course, you could go to Union Pub with the masses - but Billy Goat is the place where everybody knows everybody. Only the Bears are on, with sound, on every TV. You get a free cheap shot when the Bears score. People actually know about the Bears, hate the Packers, and know the words to Bear Down, Chicago Bears without hesitation. Plus, the grumpy owner shows up in a track suit and yells at people in his Chicago accent. He really makes me feel like I'm back in my sweet home, Chicago.

This is a great answer. Step it up, Skins/Steeler fans.

My girlfriend finished a huge project this week and we want to do something fun this weekend to celebrate. Any ideas for Friday night activities in the Rockville area? Something to really bring a smile to her face? Thanks!

How about heading to the Montgomery County Fair? Buy her something fried, win her a prize on the midway and then kiss her on top of the ferris wheel. Finish the night with drinks at Growlers.

Try Meridian Pint - the food runs from good to ok, and I think the veggie food is better than the meat food generally.

I'm only vegetarian for a few weeks a year, and yet I always find myself drawn to the meatless items on the Pint's menu. The tofu scramble is by far my favorite dish on the brunch menu.

With 8 sons, ranging from 34 to 14, the only place I can afford to watch is from home - all of us gathered around the TV, shouting and (some of us) drinking cheap beer. Occasionally you might find some of the older ones at the closest Irish Pub - Fado's being our choice.

Ok, that answer is too sweet for us not to post.

Good energy without being raucusly obnoxious (unless Eagles are playing). Good sightlines from nearly every table, so you can focus on the game you want, but still catch the others. Back bar area for Packers games (keeps them corraled - thanks!). Knowledgeable patrons to the right and left of you to fill those endless repeats of commercials (wanna bet we get last year's recycled commercials because the beer/truck companies weren't sure if there would be NFL this year?). Good food (mmm, "Monster" burger and wings) and decent beer specials make for many a loooong Sunday spent there!

People are really into Duffy's today.

The Comedy Spot at Ballston mall.

I think Arlington Cinema draws bigger names, but Comedy Spot can also fit the request for some NOVA humor.

Any advice on where a former SoCal guy can find a good horchata around here? DC preferably, but would travel for a good one!

I just had some nice horchata last week from Casa Blanca, a little mom and pop near the Post building. I have also heard good things about the horchata at Oyamel and Taqueria Distrito Federal.

Holly- where can I find ankle/cigarette length black pants or jeans?? I'm 5'10 so a lot of the "ankle" pants I find just end up looking like capris. Help! thanks!

I'm 5'10" as well, so I usually end up hemming my pants to ankle-length (or just rolling them up in a narrow cuff). I've had good luck finding shorter styles at Old Navy and Gap. These options might work, or these ...

Hey GOG! I was wondering where the best places are to see local bands play. (I'm a NY Giants fan, and there is only one bar that fits my needs: 51st and State in Foggy Bottom. It is as tiny as a matchbox, but the bartenders and crowd are awesome. Lots of random high-fives, hugs and hellos when we do well, and collective misery when they play badly..)

Ah, it's a shame that you're asking this now, as the great summer series at Fort Reno Park, which features some of the best local talent, just wrapped up.

Even so, I would definitely check the calendars at the Velvet Lounge, Black Cat and DC9. I would also check in with Positive Force DC and Subterranean A.

Submitting early; thanks for taking my question. A group of 10 women, ages 40-50, are gathering to celebrate a friend who has found love. Where can we go in DC on a Saturday night that we won't feel too out of place?

How wonderful for your friend! You didn't say if you were thinking of dinner or drinks/dancing, so I'll try to think this one out for both. In most cases, I would DEFINITELY call ahead and see about reserving a table or space.  I'd start with  Urbana (which has a gorgeous private little room you guys might love); Bar Rouge has the same, not to mention over the top decor. Posto for dinner and wine.  I'd add to that a wine bar like Veritas, or the lounge at PS7s for cocktails and bar snacks. And I really would consider calling Marvin and seeing if they can include your group, especially if you're having dinner. If you just want dinner and to hang out, get there in the early evening, around 7 or 8, stay till it gets crazy, then head to Busboys and Poets to end the night over late night dessert.

Dear Gurus, I just moved to Clarendon and am having a hard time adjusting to no longer living in walking distance of all of my favorite U St haunts. Any suggestions of places I could check out this weekend to make me feel better about being a suburbanite?

The least-Clarendony places in Clarendon: Galaxy Hut, Jay's Saloon and Lyon Hall.

Oh -- Justin just reminded me about the little wine bar above Northside Social. Pretty cool spot.

Hello GOGs! My boyfriend and I are attending the prom night event at the Red Derby this Saturday and in an effort to follow all traditions, we were trying to decide on a restaurant to go to for dinner in the area with a romantic vibe. Since Columbia Heights still doesn't have too much to offer, do you have any suggestions around U street area? Thanks!

I disagree with the idea that CoHi is lacking a romantic vibe: There's Room 11, perhaps one of my favorite places for a date, because it's so tiny, dark, and there are great cocktails and goat-cheese cheesecake. What else does one need in life?

FWIW, the annual Derby Prom is one of the best excuses to dress up in bad formalwear that you'll find all year. Powder-blue tuxes! Ruffly taffeta! The occasional Tux T-Shirt! A photo booth! Cheap, cheap booze! (Just don't go on Yelp on Monday and complain that there were too many hipsters there.)

Hi Holly. I was going through a box of clothes the other day and found a couple of fascinator hats from the '50s that I bought in college (many moons ago). What should I wear these with and where should I wear them? I feel fascinators are a really special category of hats.

Oooh, aren't you lucky! You could dust them off for any sort of special occasion, such as a black-tie cocktail party or a formal wedding, and they should be worn with dresses (anything less formal and you'll look more crazy than chic). If you have one that's on the small/simple side, you might be able to make it work with a very dressy blouse and pencil skirt. Report back when you've made your fancy-headgear debut!

As a Detroit transplant- I fall into the consistently disappointed camp of Detroit Lions fans. Cap Lounge never has a shortage of Michiganders there to commisserate with, so that's always my favorite spot to catch a game.

Tonic in Mount Pleasant also gets a fair number of Lions fans; The owner, Bernie, is from Detroit.

Southside turns the volume on the main screen game, but still plays all the other games and sells half price burgers and beers so that my husband (a Browns fan) can down his sorrows. For an added taste of home, the bar sells IC Lite, although I think that's a novelty...

"Novelty" is one way to describe IC Lite, for sure. I've also seen it at Mighty Pint and, of course, the Pour House.

Will have 3 women coming to town to spend 4 days with my wife, from her bday. I would like to have as many suggestions as possible for them, they've been in DC before so museums and usual stuff is off the table, is about them getting together and having fun, from restaurants, lounges...any activities? Thanks!

Check out my answer above to the 40-50 something bachelorette partiers -- I think the same places definitely  apply. And you might consider doing a winery hop for the big birthday; the wine festival season is about to kick off, and the colors will start to turn in September, so there are plenty of reasons to do it. (I promise, I'll have a list of those fests in a week or so...)

Twilight polo is AMAZING. No need to tailgate - just bring a blanket, food and drink of choice into the venut and enjoy the night watching polo. They have some food being sold and wine sometimes, but better to just bring your own! Enjoy!

Amen. I love Twilight Polo and appreciate the chance to wear something slightly fancy, sip fancey white wine and pretend I am a citizen of horse country.

Science Club, right? Pizzeria Paradiso has (good) vegan pizzas, as does Ella's

Oh, man. Yes. The Tue-Wed happy hours at Paradiso, with half-price beers and cut-price pies, are one of the best happy hours in town for beer lovers, vegetarian or not.

Also yes, Science Club's menu is all-vegan, which goes well with the daily beer/wine/cocktail specials.

thank you for your answer about dinner at Fyve...I have an even more dire question. Do you know of any websites where I can get really hot handbags for under 100...I'm especially looking for an oversized red handbag and for the life of me I cannot find one...Did the google thing and cannot find anything

I'd skip the website and hit up a local accessory store -- start with LouLou (multiple locations) and Charming Charlie (National Harbor), which both stock tons (literally tons) of affordable handbags in every color (and they're sorted by color). You might also want to check out consignment and discount boutiques, such as Current (multiple locations), Treat (Old Town), Second Chance (Bethesda), New to You (Falls Church), Mustard Seed (Bethesda), Reddz Trading (Bethesda) ...

I also go to Penn Quarter for Seahawks games. It probably attracts every Seahawks fan in the metro region, since it's usually packed. Not only is it a great venue for enjoying my favorite, often crappy football team, but it's also has a wonderful "misery-loves-company" vibe for 'Hawks and 'Skins fans alike to bond over their respective, often crappy football teams. I've had many "no, MY team's O-line sucks more!" conversations in that bar with other fans. By association, I've become a Redskins fan :)

Misery loves company, as they say. At least Tarvaris Jackson can scramble to avoid the rush. Rex Grossman? Eesh.

I moved here from Seattle when I was 9, and most of my extended family still lives out in Seattle or Bellingham. I am not at all unfamiliar with the "whose team is more terrible" discussion.

I'm interning this summer and I am going to be moving here for good. What are the best areas to live in dc? As cheap as possible, but convenient to a grocery store, metro, happy hours and nightlife. Is this holy grail possible in DC for people on a budget?

Aww, intern. Instead of answering, I'm just going to compile the chatter around the GOG pod about your particular dilemma.

Holly: Someone should go ahead and crush the intern's dream of finding a cheap place near a metro and groceries and good nightlife.

Fritz: It's called the English basement of a group house in Columbia Heights.

Lavanya: There will be bars - but they'll be on your windows

Holly: on an intern salary, that'd be an english basement that you split with a craigslist random who may or may not shave your head while you sleep

Amy: Crushing dreams? Oh pick me pick me.

Really Lavanya, CoHi? Please let us not use that silly NY naming convention! I agree on Room 11.

Deal. Let's not. I don't actually talk like that in real life, if that makes it better. We just have a lot of these to answer in an hour!

I used AdMo the other day. I felt shame and sent myself to my room.

I love watching Skins games at Trusty's in SE. Great bar food, beer in mason jars, sundeck upstairs, plenty of big tables close to TVs, and very friendly bartenders! There are boardgames on every table, so you can sink your friend's battleship during commercials. Best of all, there are people that are actually FROM dc and are serious Skins fans. Never too crowded and very metro accessible. Pumped for another season. HAAAILL!!!

You've just listed all the reasons I love Trusty's -- well, those and the huge "why is there an actual school bus in the middle of the room?" bar on the second floor.

Moe's Tavern, if you can stand Homer.

Great call, but where can I watch the 'Topes?

Rhino for Eagles games. During one last-second victory over Dallas, some fan turned over a table. He was quickly kicked out, but nothing matches the place for the insane passion that is being a Philly sports fan.

"Insane passion."

You should also try the small places around Arlington. Abi, on Columbia Pike, has a great horchata & decent food & Dona Azusena, (I probably butchered the name) near Ballston Mall, has great food & great non alcoholic beverages as well.

Some advice if the OP wanders into Arlington...

I know you've talked on the chat about the new gel nail polish. I had it done on Saturday and it all started peeling off by yesterday. Did they do it wrong? Should I give it another try at a different salon?

Hi, I've talked to a lot of people who've had this same problem - I've heard that it could be an application problem (i've also heard CND Shellac isn't quite as good as OPI, which I could see since i love OPI).  I'm not sure I'm sold on gel, however.

For one, I've seen that it causes a lot more damage to your nails than you think. Basically, you end up needing it over and over just to grow your nails because your nails become so thin and brittle. Pretty much everyone I know who does gel notices this. Also, I find the colors really really limited, and you have to pay for removal (!) I think this is a fad (like Shatter) that will pass, to be honest.

Hi, Holly. I love your take on all-things fashion. I am wondering about your statement where you disagree that clothes/accessories are investments. I'd love to hear what your philosophy is...give me a different or new way of thinking. Thanks so much!

I just recently adopted that stance after becoming seriously interested in personal finance. I think many shoppers rationalize spending a lot of money (that they often don't have) on a designer item by thinking of it as an "investment," because they think they'll use it for years -- but in reality, an investment is something that either holds its value, or increases its value over time. A used handbag only keeps/improves its value if someone wants to pay the same amount or more than you paid for it, and in this economy, that's probably not going to happen. Do people invest in expensive bags and carry them for years? Sure -- just ask my mom, who bought a beautiful, simple Coach tote 20 years ago and recently passed it along to me. It was a splurge for her at the time, it's loaded with sentimental value, and it's still being used decades later -- but could I sell it for what she paid (or more)? Probably not. So in that sense, it's not an investment, just a wise (or lucky) purchase. I guess I'm just more of a realist than a fashionista at heart, and I'm frustrated by the thought of  shoppers pouring money into over-budget purchases and calling them investments, when they should be pouring that money into 401Ks and savings accounts. OK -- preaching finished!

Please let's also get rid of "the DMV". That is the department of motor vehicles, NOT our greater metropolitan area.

Actually, for many people, the DMV *is* our greatest metropolitan area. Just depends on whether you were born here (and, if so, where).

Poor intern! This is the one time I'd advise not listening to the GoG staff crush your dreams...but usually their word is infallible. The DMV is definitely expensive, and you may not be able to find your dream place, but I definitely recommend living with someone who you are comfortable with, and know you will get along with. Also, as long as you have a great social base, friends from college, work, etc., it really doesn't matter toooo much where you live. With that being said... I definitely would encourage staying away from highrise apts, and looking for group housing, row houses, or condos through an owner. Much cheaper.

I think this is good advice; group houses are great (as long as you don't end up with any dud roommates). I live in one by Logan Circle/Shaw, and my rent is dirt cheap for a massive bedroom.

yet another reason not to partake in the overpriced bbq :)

If it were a real Austin joint it would be a Longhorns bar, and only a Longhorns bar.

You described the holy grail of young urban life. In grad school, I lived in downtown Silver Spring. Not the city, but close, walkable, and may meet your needs.

Thanks for weighing in. After looking for a decent place (in any number of neighborhoods and living situations) for about six months, I've learned that it's all about adjusting your expectations. D.C. is an over-priced city with a preciously small number of available housing options -- you can't change that, and trying to will only leave you frustrated and exhausted. Branch out a few metro/bus stops away from your ideal neighborhood and you might get lucky.

Hi Holly- I am 38 and I feel like most women my age that I see around dress really "soccer mom" like and frumpy. Yeah, I'm the mom doing carpool in cutoff jean shorts, a tank and flip flops. I feel sometimes that I don't dress my age, but I'm only 5'3" and I look really bad in knee length skirts and anything approaching a capri. So I wear mini skirts, short sundresses, jeans, tanks, etc. So here's my question, where do I find contemporary looking clothes that are well made and won't look too teeny-bopper ish. I usually shop at the Old Navy, Gap, BR trifecta or department stores. I have recently had some luck at South Moon Under. Any other ideas for me? I don't generally spend a whole lot on my clothes since I work from home. Thanks!!!

South Moon Under is a good option, and I'd also try your nearby Loehmann's, Filene's Basement, TJ Maxx and Marshall's for casual, fun pieces that are reasonably priced. Since you're petite, you can probably find some cute options at Forever 21, and I'd also suggest H&M and Zara. I'd stick with basic, classic pieces, and stay away from anything overtly trendy (read: screenprinting, asymmetrical hemlines, and a few other tween-driven trends I'd like to forget).

Head over to Knockers, where Titania will pour you a cold Duff.

Thanks. I'll try not to stare. 

Okay, we're going to wrap it up. Thanks for all the great sports bar suggestions -- we'll take your advice for our upcoming guide to places to watch football -- but we're going to give the Skins-Steelers tickets to the the folks who watch games at the Hard Times Cafe in Germantown and love the place so much that they invited the bartenders to their wedding. Send an email to and we'll hook you up.

Everyone else -- we'll see you next Thursday. Enjoy your weekend.

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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. Join the thousands of readers who have followed us on Twitter and Facebook. And for nightlife news delivered twice-weekly to your inbox, make sure to sign up for the Going Out Guide newsletter.
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