Happy hour recommendation: Ghibellina

Ghibellina is a great option for happy hour if you looking for cheap, good food and drinks on 14th street.

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Their pizzas are half off at the bar ($7-10 for an entire pie), they have a good selection of cocktails and beer, and the open restaurant design makes for a fun atmosphere. I like their $5 sangria, which comes in a giant goblet. The best part is that their happy hour runs every day of the week (4pm-6:30pm).

Post-Thanksgiving brunch bonding

My sister is coming home for Thanksgiving break, and as usual, we are excited to eat together. By eat together, I mean the entire process starting from dissecting the menu, to obsessively combing through yelp reviews and pictures to determine the best dishes to try, badgering the waiter with questions, and making strange, perhaps sexual sounding, noises while consuming our dishes. After our always epically delicious Thanksgiving dinner (she actually cooks well, as opposed to me.. who usually just cooks the kale/broccoli and chicken with olive oil combination night after night), we are planning on catching up over brunch on Saturday. Since she lives outside of NYC, she asked me for some brunch recommendations in the area. We do not take eating lightly, so I knew I had to come up with some good options:

  1. Le Diplomate: because like a sick addict, I can’t stay away.
  2. Macon Bistro and Larder: this is relatively new restaurant in Chevy Chase and just started brunch service in September. It has a Southern/French menu (the restaurant is refers to Macon, Georgia and its sister city in France) and has already gotten some positive reviews. If a place has good biscuit and good grits, I am putting it on my list of places to try!
  3. Del Campo: just started an bottomless brunch option for $45 which includes bloody marys and mimosas. I have been here for Happy Hour with AL for fake-roommate bonding, and really enjoyed both the atmosphere and the small grilled meat dishes.

It is wonderful when someone is a good eating partner. I love eating out with someone who is just as excited as I am about a new place, is willing to try anything, and most importantly, willing to share their food (if your dish has fries, I am going to pick at them).

The missing question mark

(I understand this rant revolves around one tiny punctuation mark and I accept that it may come across as ridiculous)

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That is something so small that manages to bother me so much: if you are going to message me, why not include the question mark at the end of the question?

This isn’t twitter, where you are limited to a certain number of characters. Also, your first message was only four words so even if this was twitter, you still have a remaining 125 characters. You have space for your four letter question along with 125 question marks. But instead, you just decide to let completely ignore the punctuation options on your keyboard.

Punctuation might not be the most important thing on someone’s mind when they are on Tinder, but punctuation, or lack of punctuation, definitely has a subtle impact on meaning (in my opinion). Are you so lazy that you cannot get your thumb to press those three extra light taps (“123” button, “”#+=” button, “?” button) to add an question mark at the end? Do you lack the energy or patience for those additional keystrokes? Are you omitting it because you believe the question is rhetorical? Are you like not trying to solicit an answer to your question? I just used four question marks in the last four sentences so I can now tell you from personal experience that entering a question mark is not a difficult task.

If you don’t use a question mark in the very first message to me, I am just assume you’re questionable (that is right, PUN INTENDED). Put some effort into it… you make that first message sound like something you would say while quickly walking past a doorman at your building. In that case, you need to keep on walking.

Ode to the bloody mary

In general, I can say there is usually not a time where I won’t drink a bloody mary if it is on the menu. I might also ask for a bloody mary when it is not on the menu and then act confused when someone points out that the sun has been set for 6 hours. Seriously what is not to like? Vegetables, check. Booze, check. Olives, check. Spiciness, check. Bacon, occasional but preferable check. I honestly think it makes the perfect Saturday post-workout treat as well as the perfect post-dinner treat on Friday night. I get it, I’m in the minority for that opinion. Anyway:

Best bloody mary’s in DC (in my opinion):

  1. St. Regis bar (hello, clam juice)
    1. Bonus points because you can order this any time of the day, including 11pm on a Saturday night when your ex-bf refuses to go to any bar where he cannot have a seat
  2. Bar Pilar (hello, bacon)
    1. Shout-out to the bartender who gave me a plate of leftover bacon and some keebler cookies after he told me they had no more bloody mary mix (this also may or may not have been at 11pm on a weekend night)
  3. Logan Tavern (hello, options)
    1. The bloody mary menu at Logan Tavern is like the adult version of a pick your own adventure book. There are so many different variations to decide between. However, if you do request a bourbon bloody mary, the server will show up to the side of your table with a virgin bloody mary, a shot of bourbon, and a very confused look on their face.

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(Bar Pilar BM)

Le Diplomate: the drug I just can’t quit

Friday was supposed to be one of those relaxing nights where I met up with a good girlfriend at a neighborhood bar to dissect her latest potential relationship over one glass of wine. My plan was to be in bed by midnight so I could get a peaceful nine hours of sleep before a Saturday morning gym session. Well, three and a half glasses of wine later, followed by a shot, and another shot that I tried to avoid taking by slickly dumping it into my glass of water (this failed so miserably because brown liquor is not disguised easily by clear water)….  this resulted in a slightly painful Saturday morning. After dragging my butt to the gym to sweat out as much grape juice as I could, I desperately needed nourishment. Specifically, I needed carbs. All I could think about by the time I got out of the shower was swimming in a massive loaf of crusty bread. Le Diplomate’s bread basket was the answer.

Luckily, there was no wait for the outside tables on their “heated” patio (I say “heated” because there were heat lamps present but we could not actually feel any warmth from them). I got a table at the very front corner, facing 14th street (a prime people watching stop) Although it was a wonderfully sunny day, it was pretty cold and I appreciated that they had fleece blankets on their chairs for people to bundle up in. KBS met me a few minutes later, and we flagged down a waiter to request bread as quickly as possible. KBS ordered the burger, replacing the fries with salad (not even going to pretend I wasn’t extremely disappointed because I wanted to do the thing where someone orders fries and says “oh take as many as you want” before realizing I take that literally).  I ordered the Croque Madame . And then we threw in a side of a bacon because neither of us has gout, yet.

The bread basket was divine, as always. I love their beautiful raisin loaf and loaded up a few slices with their perfectly soft butter (remind me of this sentence when I ask why I don’t have a six pack). My Croque Madame was absolutely delicious. The bread in this dish was amazing. It was so thick and managed to absorb the sauce mornay and egg yolk without falling apart or getting soggy, it was light, it was fluffy, it was slightly sweet, it was perfect. It was just so perfect. KBS enjoyed her burger as well, and we both loved the crunchy, salty, fatty bacon of course. We sat on the patio for two hours, soaking up the sun and watching the Saturday 14th street scene as we tried to digest the wonderful meal we had inhaled. One of many things that keeps me coming back to Le Diplomate is the service. Our waiter was attentive without being overbearing. He brought me coffee, even thought I had not ordered it, and poured me another cup as we paid our bill to “warm [me] up before the road.” Those little gestures make a big difference, and I always leave my meals with a smile. I also leave my meals there with the urge to unbutton my pants to accommodate my new bread baby.

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Stay warm: drink by a fire

It is has been ridiculously cold this week, so this list of restaurants with drinks and deals by a warm, crackling fire comes out just in time.

I definitely want to check out Bourbon Steak‘s fire pits, although not on a weekend night. It’s startling how different the atmosphere there is on a regular week night for dinner (classy, warm, delicious) versus a Saturday night at 11pm (clubby, perhaps occupied by mob wife-wannabes). Those french fries, along with the dipping sauces, are irresistible. Plus they come out piping hot, so they can serve as handwarmers (seems practical to me).