Restaurants and Bars, Washington D.C.

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  • CENTER CAFE AT UNION STATION
    CENTER CAFE AT UNION STATION
    by matcrazy1
  • CENTER CAFE AT UNION STATION
    CENTER CAFE AT UNION STATION
    by matcrazy1
  • BEER AND CHICAGO STYLE PIZZA :-)
    BEER AND CHICAGO STYLE PIZZA :-)
    by matcrazy1
  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Center Cafe: Broken language barrier :-)

    by matcrazy1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    KENT (Kentbein) :-) AND I
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    Center Cafe (details in my Restaurants tips) was surprisingly almost empty when we came. Surely we had a lot of to talk with our friends, especially Tania and Kent just met for the first time. They welcome us very, very warm. Simply we became friends after a few minutes :-). Surprisingly, I could understand more in English than during my first US trip over a year before (April/May 2003).

    Well, I sometimes say not exactly what I want in English because of my limited knowledge how to use English words and phrases. Hopefully my friends have understood what I have told them :-). The language barrier is larger than most folks think, especially those folks for whom common English language is a native language and who can't experience and imagine how difficult communication in foreign language is. I mean real communication, not just simple asking about time, directions or so.

    Dress Code: What you like. Casual dress.

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    Center Cafe: First VT-drinks :-)

    by matcrazy1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    CHEERS, TANIA AND KRISTI
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    Center Cafe is first of all a place to order some drinks (good choice of beer and hard drinks) not food (option: quick meals) and to have a 360 degree view of Union Station historic Grand Hall's marble and gilded opulence. For us it was a place to talk and talk. Well, we surely ordered some drinks.

    Kristi and Tania had some colorful drinks while the rest preferred some beer. I don't know the names of those ladies' drinks. For sure it was not Margarita which ruled during my first, never to forget, great VT-meeting on American soil in Oceanside, southern California in 2003.

    I remember that Kent explained a waiter that we were from Europe and as Europeans we would prefer stronger beer. Haha, that's right, Americans tend to drink very light beer although some of them, not to mention beer producers, name it a strong one :-). As I prefer stronger beers and often want to fry some unknown to me local ones I shortly learned to order local and strong beer in the USA. Although sometimes I was given local half-water half-beer. At least it was safe when I had to drive after :-).

    Dress Code: What you like. Casual dress.

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    Desperado: For great beer, burgers and fun!

    by camille91 Written Dec 3, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We were looking for a nice bar on U St after dinner and we ended up in this bar which we found out a little later had just opened 2 weeks ago. The waitress was awesome and explained to us the purpose of the resto-bar and described all the beers they offered with her own appreciation of them. The ambiance is really nice, great music, not to loud so can still chat easily. The food looked great, but we didn't try anything since we just had eaten dinner but people around us seemed very fond of the burgers.

    Dress Code: No dress code.

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  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Restaurants and Bars: Ugly Mug - Barracks Row, Capitol Hill

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Sep 13, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    The Ugly Mug is a busy little spot just outside of the old Marine Barracks on Capitol Hill. I swung by here one night before a holiday and the place was very busy. I quickly grabbed one of the last seats at the bar, and the busy bartender immediately noticed my Pittsburgh Penguins shirt and told me he, too, was from the Pittsburgh area. I grabbed a menu and a Yuengling, and he told me all pizzas were half price. I almost decided on a pizza, but when I got ready to order he pointed out that they have sandwiches similar to Primanti's in Pittsburgh... cheese steak, cole slaw and fries all on bread. I haven't been to Primanti's in awhile, so I quickly decided on this treat. While I waited, I was entertained by dozens of Marines who chose this bar to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday. My sandwich arrived, and though it wasn't even close to as good as Primanti's (different bread, different fries that were on the side & different cole slaw), it was a decent cheese steak.

    They have 24 beers on tap, and the bar is pretty close to Nationals Stadium. They also have all the sports channels: NFL Sunday Ticket, NHL Center Ice, ESPN Game Plan, MLB Extra Innings and more. Happy hour is daily from 4 to 7 and they have a variety of food and drink specials all day every day of the week.

    Average food, great beer selection, friendly staff, and a great place to watch a game.

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    Restaurants and Bars: Fado Irish Pub - Penn Quarter/Chinatown

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Jun 22, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Looking for a drink in Penn Quarter, we first tried RFD, but it was packed. Our next stop was next door at Fado Irish Pub, which was almost as busy, though we managed to find a few seats at the bar. We sat for a few hours enjoying a few pints of Irish beer and watching the crowd get drunker and drunker as the night wore on. Smithwicks, Harp, and other imported drafts are an expensive $6.25 apiece here.

    One side of the large restaurant is just eating and drinking, while the other side had the 80s music cranked up and a lot of people were dancing.

    Fado has 14 locations across the US including Annapolis; Las Vegas; Atlanta; Lincoln, RI; Austin; Philadelphia; Chicago; Seattle; Columbus; St. Louis; Dallas; Stamford; Denver; and Washington, DC.

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    Restaurants and Bars: RFD - Chinatown/Penn Quarter

    by Ewingjr98 Written May 26, 2009

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    RFD
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    RFD -- less commonly known by its more formal name of Regional Food and Drink -- claims the largest draft beer selection in the city of Washington DC. They typically have about 30 draft beers and some 300 bottled beers.

    We arrived a few hours before a Nationals baseball game and sat at the bar. We each had a beer and we split a plate of appetizers. I had the Golden Pheasant lager from Slovakia (known in its home country as Zlaty Bazant). Laura had a tasty Belgian Leffe Brune ($7). For a snack we had the spicy buffalo wings (8 for $8). The beers were great, and the wings breaded then fried like at Hooters.

    The bar was cozy, but the dining area was sprawling and barren with a cafeteria vibe. The outdoor garden patio did seem like a nice comfortable spot, however. The bar is just a half block from the big Chinese gate that marks the entrance to Chinatown, about a block from Verizon Center.

    The owners of RFD also operate the Brickskeller in DuPont Circle, which boasts the city's largest bottled beer selection.

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    Restaurants and Bars: Hawk and Dove - Pennsylvania Ave SE/Capitol Hill

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Nov 15, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    We stopped at the Hawk and Dove one evening while making our way from Eastern Market to Union Station around 11pm on a Friday. The downstairs was free to enter, but there was a $5 cover to go up stairs. We were only planning to have one beer, so we grabbed a few seats at the bar, ordered some beers and watched the people go by for a few minutes. There were a lot of youngish girls in low-cut dresses and too-short skirts for a dive bar. But hey, this is Capitol Hill! Most of the people seemed to be heading upstairs to the club or DJ or whatever they had this fine night. We enjoyed our beers and decided to move on past this young and somewhat military looking crowd (maybe from the nearby Marine Barracks?).

    This bar was apparently on that show a few years back called West Wing. I never even saw a single episode, so I really don't know for sure.

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    Restaurants and Bars: Gordon Biersch Microbrewery - Chinatown Area

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Nov 8, 2008

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    Gordon Biersch is a great spot in downtown to grab an afternoon beer. They specialize in German beers, so hefeweizen, bock, and pilsners were on tap. During your visit, notice the old ceiling, steps and balcony -- this used to be the Riggs Bank.

    Other nightlife in the Chinatown area includes a few nightclubs, ESPN Zone, Chophouse Restaurant and Microbrewery, Fado Irish Pub, Green Turtle Sports Bar, a second Capitol City Brewery location (the first at Union Station), and more. There are also several theaters in the area, so it seems there are always a bunch of people around. This seems to be one of the friendlier and safer places near downtown.

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  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    Polly's Cafe: Hip Dive bar with food

    by cjg1 Updated Mar 13, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This small roughed interior slightly underground bar can be a lot of fun. Decent selection of beer and food makes it a great place to run out for food when cooking isn't felt. I recommend one of their burgers to go with your chosen drink. The beer list although not extensive should have something for everyone.

    Dress Code: A very mixed crowd means you will feel inplace wearing whatever.

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    Tune Inn: Great bar with interesting characters

    by Touch57 Written Nov 20, 2007

    Great spot to have a few drinks on Capitol Hill. Very reasonable prices and the food is pretty good bar food. You never know who might stumble in, but you can bet they'll be liqoured up.

    Dress Code: Casual and optional

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • dgines's Profile Photo

    Sine' Irish Pub: Pub Fare on Pentagon Row

    by dgines Written Oct 26, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A great place to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. You won't have to yell over
    load music or crowds and it's smoke free.

    The menu is fairly large for a pub. Check it out on the website.

    You can also catch some rugby or futbol on the tele as well as some good ole American sports.

    HOUR OF OPERATION
    SUN-WED 11:00AM-12AM
    THURS-SAT 11:00AM-1:30AM

    Dress Code: None- saw a col in his ABUs there....

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Uno Chicago Grill (Pizzeria Uno): Time to say goodbye :-(

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 25, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    KATHY (Kodi01), KENT (Kentbein), URSZULA (matcrazy
    4 more images

    In the end of our meeting we surely took a few group pictures in front of the Pizzeria Uno. Well, my pictures didn't look great. Is that because of all those beer I drank or what? Shouldn't I take these pictures before?

    The worst thing about VT-meetings is that they go to the end so fast. Well, in general, I think that the best way to know someone is not to meet her/him for an hour or a few in a restaurant/pub but to travel together, to stay in the same hotel (or a room), maybe even in someone's home, to meet his/her family or friends. Large VT-meeting with tenths of participants are for fun (great fun!) and make people happy but it's impossible to talk longer with even half of their participants, right? Well, I love both these 1 to 1 meetings, these with a few people (like in DC) and those large ones :-))). Their variety make them more fascinating.

    Dress Code: Whatever makes you feel comfortable. Casual dress rules.

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    Uno Chicago Grill (Pizzeria Uno): Night drinks and talks :-)

    by matcrazy1 Written Dec 25, 2005

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    CHEERS! :-)
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    We ordered some beer and colorful drinks which names I didn't remember. But surely the most interesting was our great and amusing conversation.

    I had a lof of fun and joy talking with Kathy (haha, she talks fast and a lot :-) and Chris. I remember that among main topics of my talks were surely our next travels including my future US destinations: Chicago with Kristi and Philadelphia with Tania. Add interesting conversation on the Pentagon building with Kent, who had worked there. I got to know that Tania was going to visit Poland as she had some relatives living in the mountains not very far from my place (Piwniczna, right?). Add numerous jokes and funny talks after all those drinks :-).

    Dress Code: Whatever makes you feel comfortable. Casual dress rules.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Uno Chicago Grill (Pizzeria Uno): Night eating and Chicago :-)

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 25, 2005

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    CHICAGO STYLE PIZZA :-)
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    We, a group of 7 VT-ers, were seated by a single table in a few munutes. The restaurant was crowded which as usual had to mean for me that it was a good choice. And I wasn't wrong.

    Surely pizza rules in Uno Chicago Grill (Pizzeria Uno). So, most of us ordered them. Kristi (Dabs) from Chicago explained me that they served Chicago-style deep dish pizzas. They were delicious. Shouldn't I go to Chicago next time? Sure, but not for pizzas but for at least 2 reasons; a bunch of great VT-friends I would love to meet personally and to see the largest... Polish city in the world haha. That's why the basic topic of my talks with Kristi was Chicago.

    Dress Code: Whatever makes you feel comfortable. Casual dress rules.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Uno Chicago Grill: Amusing benches

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 25, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    TANIA BETWEEN THE REPUBLICANS AND THE DEMOCRATS
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    After first talks and drinks in Central Cafe we moved to Pizzeria Uno, a chain restaurant of Uno Chicago Grill (details in my Restaurants tips).

    At the entrance hall we noticed two wooden benches signed: Democrats and Republicans. For unknown to me reasons they were put in wrong order, the Republicans were on the left. Waiting to be seated we surely had to take pictures on these benches - no matter our political views, let's say that the bench for Republicans was better lit. Haha, in my homecountry, Poland (and many other European countries as well), there would be more space needed for, say 5 benches, and some of them should be seperated by high fence and security guards, at least at place where alcoholic drinks were served :-). But this was America :-).

    Dress Code: Whatever makes you feel comfortable. Casual dress rules.

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