Alexandria, Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: Vermilion

Wall at Vermilion

"Wall at Vermilion" by jenn larsen, on Flickr

“Mmmm…” a friend sighed contentedly into her glass of hot buttered rum, “liquor pie…”

Brunch with the girls at Vermilion on a chilly afternoon was a mellow affair, lingering over hot toddies in the brick-walled upstairs room. With the place almost all to ourselves, we curled into a corner table and indulged to celebrate a birthday.

Vermilion serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00am – 2:30am, with an eclectic menu that ranges from eggs and french toast to scallops and bifteki. The hot drinks were especially welcome, as was the laid-back service allowing us to savor everything without feeling rushed. And of course, any place that serves lamb sausage ranks high on my happy meter. Continue reading


Monumental: Tomáš Masaryk

Masaryk 6

Tomáš Masaryk stands on Massachusetts Avenue across from the Embassy of Luxembourg, atop a granite slab. The monument is a gift from the Czech Republic, and was placed on its site in 2003, making it one of the newer monuments in the city. Masaryk was the first President of Czechoslovakia after World War I, when it broke from from the remnants of the defeated Austria-Hungary. This process was far from simple, but Masaryk was the cause’s champion, travelling Europe and the United States to convince the powers that be that the Czech and Slovak people needed their own state.

He was finally successful in late 1918, and he delivered a speech at the steps of Independence Hall in Philadelphia arguing for a free nation for those in central Europe. What would result would be Czechoslovakia, a nation that would then elect Masaryk to be their president. He would serve in that office, re-elected twice, until 1935. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

“More Than Sugar and Spice”

Normally a tarty calendar with women on it means something different, but this one is put out by the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs organization and I’m betting is more likely to have silicone baking pans than… other… silicone things.

While WCR seems to be a national organization, lots of our local women chefs and their tips show up – the website lists Nora Pouillon of Dupont’s Nora, Jamie Leeds of Hank’s Oyster Bar, and Barbara Black of Blacksalt and Tracy O’Grady of WIllow.

They had me with Willow. You can grab the calendar online or – and this would be my vote – grab one when you go have dinner at one of the restaurants (*cough* Willow *cough*) listed at the website.

Essential DC, Interviews, Life in the Capital, People

We Thank DC

In This Temple
Originally uploaded by stuckincustoms

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! As per custom with many today, we here at WeLoveDC want to take a moment and share what we’re thankful for with regards to the DC Metro area, our home.

We all wish you a great and bountiful day today, many leftovers for tomorrow, and good shopping deals over the weekend. But most of all, we wish every one of our readers well and toast at our tables to your health, your happiness, and your prosperity.

Our personal “What we’re thankful for about DC” after the jump.

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The Daily Feed

And So It Begins…

Beltway traffic 2
Originally uploaded by derang0

If you’ve not left for points outside of DC, don’t delay too much longer. WTOP’s Bob Marbourg is noting that rush hour could be quite horrifying, as traffic is slowly building up and slowing down. Choke points at the moment are mainly where lane merges and interchanges occur, with backups slowly building.

Also, at Reagan National, you’ve got some spaces still available. If you’ve got late flights, check this page for lot availability.

Happy travelling and be safe!

The Daily Feed

pre-Thanksgiving goof off time

Originally uploaded by LaTur

I know what you’re doing. You’re sitting in your cube as the day ticks by, surfing the Internet, waiting until you can finally leave to get on with your holiday plans. It’s okay, I won’t tell your boss.

So, what are your plans, anyway? Are you jumping into a car to drive home, knowing that the drive will take twice as long because that’s what EVERYONE is doing? Are you spending Thanksgiving here in the area? Are you one of the crazy ones actually hosting dinner? (And if so, your turkey should be in the brine NOW!)

I’m one of the crazy ones- I’ll be spending the afternoon getting last-minute supplies and cleaning my house in preparation to spend all of tomorrow cooking. Fortunately, we throw dinner parties all the time, so we’re more excited than stressed, but not everyone hosting their first Thanksgiving feels as prepared as we do.

The Daily Feed

Post-Thanksgiving Exercise

Crescent Trail bridge
Originally uploaded by NCinDC

So you’re stuffed full of turkey, the kids are running around the house in circles, and it’s definitely time to take a hike. Literally.

My suggestions for post-dinner or Black Friday avoidance are some of our area’s best trails. Click on the links below to for trail Google maps, user reviews and photos. Check them out:

1. The Capital Crescent Trail which runs from Bethesda to Georgetown
2. The Mount Vernon Trail which runs from Arlington way out to Mount Vernon
3. The W&OD trail which runs from waaay out in NOVA (Purcellville) into Arlington
4. Rock Creek Park trails

So, work off those calories on local trails! Your tummy and family will thank you. (And then add your pictures to the We Love DC pool on Flickr, of course.)

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Food and Drink, Special Events

Extended Weekend: What to Do?

Photo courtesy of F1RSTBORN
Jive Turkey, courtesy of F1RSTBORN

In town for the holidays and not a cook? Looking for some dining options other than wrestling with a big ol’ Butterball and your mom yammering in your ear? Hosting relatives and looking for things to get them out of the house? Or are you an international visitor and don’t celebrate with us Yanks?

We’ve got you covered.

Behold, a quick-and-dirty WeLoveDC look at dining and fun options for the upcoming four-day weekend.

Continue reading

Essential DC, Talkin' Transit, Travel, WMATA

Talkin’ Transit: Turkey Time!

Photo courtesy of M.V. Jantzen
Coming and Going, courtesy of M.V. Jantzen

So for the first time since moving down here, my wife and I aren’t driving anywhere for the holiday; since we bought our house this summer, we’re the hosts for this year’s holiday season.

However, I feel your pain, people. If you’re reading this now, you’re either like me and not going anywhere this holiday weekend, or you’re just procrastinating from packing and will most likely get caught in area traffic.

For you lazy bones, I’ve got some tips on alternate road routes, but we’ll knock out a few regional transit items first.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Inaugural Ad Insanity

Inaugural 09 Hotel Madness…
Originally uploaded by dbking

Okay, so you live in an English basement apartment, or maybe a one room loft. You’re missing out on the whole inauguration rental deal. What do you do? Rent Yourself as a Verifier of Services. Smart. Brilliant, even. How do you know, coming to the DC area, that the place you’ve rented for a couple grand is even legit? That’s where this guy comes in. He checks out the short term landlords, he checks into some of your logistics, and makes it all work.

For a low, low fee, I’ll be glad to be your concierge while you’re here…

The Daily Feed


Originally uploaded by tbridge

I went this afternoon to pickup our Turkey at Let’s Meat on the Avenue in Del Ray, and to my delight and surprise, they are selling Turducken for Thanksgiving. Not sure what Turducken is? Well, it’s a Turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. You’re either reaching for the nearest trashcan, or you’re out the door to get this American delicacy.

Get out your wallet, though, it’s $6 a pound, with a 15lb target weight. But, I will vouch for Let’s Meat’s awesomeness, everything we’ve gotten from them has been nothing short of incredible.

The Daily Feed

Smokin in da club?

image from WWTDD

One of my guiltier pleasures in life is “What Would Tyler Durden Do,” a website laden with snark and sarcasm that happens to revolve around celebrities. For about a nanosecond I considered linking to this story about Lohan and Ronson since the pictures are supposedly from a security camera in an area nightclub, then decided I couldn’t live with promoting gossip.

Till I noticed the cigarette. Now I have to ask – is the DC smoking ban being commonly flouted in the dance clubs or is this purely a celebrities-can-do-anything-they-want thing? I’m more a bar with a jukebox guy than a club-goer at this point in my life, so there could be Centaurs and Pixies in there for all I know.

Yeah yeah – you’re saying “if you have an issue with gossip why would you read that site?” It’s because his (their?) writing cracks me up. For example: “Kerry Katona of the Brit girl group “Atomic Kitten” was smashed out of her GD mind during an interview on the ITV morning show today. As she stammers through the beginning of the interview, be sure to keep an eye on Ken, who has the worlds greatest expressions. At the 4:20 mark Ken finally asks her about her slurred speech, and Kerry responds with, and I hope I’m spelling this right, “glrbblle riddle woodle waddle”.”

The Daily Feed

Rangel Gets DC Homestead Exemption Wrongfully

Ingalls Homestead
Originally uploaded by t-dawg

There are three conditions under which you can claim the homestead exemption for property taxes in DC:

1) An application must be on file with the Office of Tax and Revenue;
2) The property must be occupied by the owner/applicant and contain no more than five dwelling units (including the unit occupied by the owner); and
3) The property must be the principal residence (domicile) of the owner/applicant.

That means you have to live at the location as your primary residence, Congressman Rangel (D-NY). The Post is reporting that the Congressman was successful in deducting the homestead exemption on the value of his home despite all this. Of course, this means he will have to fight Eleanor Holmes Norton in a no-holds-barred cage match to represent the District of Columbia in Congress. Frankly, I’m taking her, as she’s got tenacity up the ying yang.

So, cough it up, Congressman Rangel, you owe us some back taxes. Or we’ll send Representative Norton with a hammer and tongs.

Business and Money, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, WTF?!

Gird Your Loins For Battle, It’s Black Friday

an Easter inflection by Intangible Arts

The economy is looking pretty dire. The numbers came out this morning, and both disposable income is down, and so is the rate of growth of the American Economy. But, that means sales are what we’re looking for this holiday season, right? Okay, so what we’re really looking for is good deals. Black Friday will have those deals, provided that what you’re willing to do is get up so early on Friday you’ll think it’s still Thursday, and brave hordes of shoppers whose nearest evolutionary target is either the barracuda or the great white shark. So, with that in mind, get yourself ready. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Taxation Without Representation Street?

Taxation without Representation
Originally uploaded by dbking

That’s what the City Council wants to call South Capitol Street between N Street and Potomac Avenue, making the southern entry to the District a political address that none could forget. Of course, it would also mean that the Nationals, whose headquarters offices at Nationals Park would also have to be redone. Sounds a little hokey to me.

Of course, would Drive sound better? How about Way? Maybe Boulevard? Street just seems so…bland.

The Daily Feed

Enjoyment over exercise

Turkey Trot, by philliefan99
Turkey Trot, by philliefan99

According to this weekend’s Washington Post, the average Thanksgiving meal rings in at 4,500 calories, way in excess of an average man or woman’s daily caloric intake, 2,000 and 1,600 respectively.  But honestly aren’t we all tired of articles about holiday weight gain and how to avoid it?  It’s the same tips every year, just check out this week’s Health section.  And while yes, we should be mindful not to gorge ourselves, shouldn’t any taken counter measures be lauded not for their negative caloric effects and fat reduction, but rather for their enjoyment?

So in that spirit, what activities (calorie burning, or non-calorie burning) do you and your friends and family share with each other on Thanksgiving?

Continue reading

Food and Drink, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: Stardust

Stardust Bar

When contemplating going out for drinks with the girls, my friend Jasmine suggested Stardust. “It’s a martini bar full of girls and old people,” she said. Well put, Jasmine. Tucked away on a side street off of Washington Boulevard Street in Alexandria, Stardust is basically just as Jasmine describes, except with a little bit of an edge.

Booths dressed in leopard print and flanked by old avocado-green, art deco kitchen appliances gives Stardust a warm, whimsical feel. The yellow wooden stars hanging from the ceiling don’t add any street cred, either. It’s bonafide girlie, but that means I loved every minute.

The martini menus are hand-made with cloth and a glitter pen, and feature really adorable martini names. The drinks are broken into themes: Startinis, Breaking the Ice, Flirtinis, and You Can Quote Me, and the names range from things like “Is This Seat Taken” to “Malibu (it’s not just for Barbie anymore!)”. Continue reading

Sports Fix

Sports Fix: Redskins Win, Caps Look Good, Wiz Look Really Bad

FedEx Field
FedEx field by Gnomedude

Record: 7-4
Past Two Weeks: 1-1
Place: Tied for Second in the NFC East with the Hated Dallas Cowboys.

Two ugly games in a row for the Redskins. This week, unlike last, the Skins came out on top. Clinton Portis continues to be a dominant force in the Redskins offense, with 143 yards on 29 carries, including some second-half sprints that rocketed the Skins to victory. Jason Campbell had an off-day, going 20 of 33 for 206 yards and a single TD. The defense, though, couldn’t stop the 2-9 Seahawks from putting up 228 offensive yards, most of that on the ground. They did, however, force a turnover with under a minute to go as the Seahawks were driving toward the end zone, putting the kibosh on the Seahawks’ last rally.

Up next? The 10-1 Giants. They’ll be here at FedEx on Sunday, and the Redskins will need an impressive showing to take down the top of the NFC East. Currently, we’re tied with the Hated Cowboys, and next week they play the Seahawks while we’re facing the Giants. Not exactly the matchup that we’re hoping for. So, if they want to keep their place, it’s win or die against the Giants. I’m not hopeful. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Have You Seen stikman?

Originally uploaded by kimberlyfaye

Walking to the metro from Art & Soul last Friday, Matt and I passed by a stikman figure stuck onto the pavement in the crosswalk near the U.S. Botanical Gardens in front of the Capitol.

Matt got all guy-nerd on it and was like, “That thing is cool. I wonder what it is!” Which led to some frantic googling on his part, and up came this WaPo article on stikman, the little robot figure popping up all over the city. Created by the artist known as “Bob” (better than formerly known as Prince, eh?), stikman is the brain child of a street artist (think Banksy, but not at all) just looking to spread the figures. And to “simply to cause those gazing down to pause and wonder”, something I hardly do enough of on my morning and evening commutes.

I think he’s pretty cute. Matt’s convinced that he’s dancing (doing the robot, duh). I think he’s just hanging out, tryna make friends. Any theories on stikman’s activities? Where have you seen him?

Adventures, Downtown, Entertainment, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, Weekend Flashback

Weekend Flashback: 11/21 – 11/23

Photo courtesy of M.V. Jantzen
Back from the Past, courtesy of M.V. Jantzen

From new theater openings to the reopening of the NMAH, from yard work to group fun, you guys really made the most of this past weekend. Sooooo many good photos, I couldn’t stop!

Keep up the great work capturing life in our area. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I know I’ll find some great stuff from everyone for next week.

And watch this space next Monday: we’re going to have a photo contest, and you’re all invited!

Continue reading