There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Washington, D.C.
Captain Obvious reporting for duty.
Gordon Biersch was connected to our hotel on H and 7th. Please, no grousing from the Buy Local crowd. I know. I do. I swear. Keep reading.
This one sure was more proudly appointed than its Syracuse sister in the mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex Destiny USA. And did I mention how convenient it was during our Friday-to-Monday D.C. getaway for my dear wife Karen and I? I am glad to report how we became chummy with friendly host Frank, like me a University of Maryland Terrapin, a young man with a ready smile and warm greeting for our daily entrance for Karen’s Export draft and my glass of house Cabernet Sauvignon.
The restrooms were up a nice flight. I took that opportunity with my iPhone 6 Friday night for a sweeping shot of the diners. That’s Karen with our friend Carolyn in the booth to the front far right, enjoying the aftermath of our meal, which was Chicken pasta for Carolyn, cheddar cheeseburger for Karen and Cajun pasta for me. Happy, all.
The waiter allowed us to remain in the booth for a good 90 minutes after we’d finished. I asked, and he said there were no takers to replace us anyway.
On Sunday, as we watched the conclusion of the PGA tournament, our bartender from Chattanooga served Karen a sample of the Merzen draft and me the Dark Horse Cab Sab, but we each stuck with the usual.
For lunch on Day Two, we met my practically forever friend Greg two blocks up and over at a very nice local joint, The Chop House.
I was so engrossed in our conversation about life that I made my one and only Gumby that I can think of for the trip. But it’s a biggie. I didn’t take any pictures, of the really nice place Greg chose for us to meet or, worst of all, me and the man I first met as fellow journalism freshmen at SUNY Morrisville in August 1975. Ouch.
Greg got a new job within the last year. His wife Wowie — I can call Carolyn that, her nickname when we all met as fellow students at the University of Maryland in College Park after Greg and I transferred down from upstate New York in 1977 — wonderfully just got a full-time contract after a consulting gig. Daughter Bess is doing well after receiving her Master’s, and son John is a busy freshman at the University of South Carolina. Greg and I figured we hadn’t seen each other since I’d driven down with our buddy Shaudy about eight years ago to play golf and attend a Terp football game, in which we beat Florida State. See, we had a lot of catching up to do.
This photo of Greg and I after golfing here in the Syracuse area some 25 years ago will have to suffice. He’s to the far right. Shaudy, at left, and Aggo, sandwiched between Greg and I, also both went to Morrisville and Maryland. Add to that the fact that Aggo and I, on Long Island, and Greg and Shaudy, in the North Country, went to junior high and high school together, and this is a group of longtime friends, no?
I tried to extract a promise from Greg that he’d stop in Syracuse this summer during his trip north to visit his parents, who live three or four hours even more toward the Canadian border than Karen and I.
Oh, yeah. He liked his burger. I dove into my steak and eggs-over-easy with home fries. Karen gave two thumbs-up to her waffles with a side of bacon. Water to drink for all of us, and coffee for Karen.
And then we saw a movie for my Syracuse New Times review.
Followed by a big walk.
We spotted a lot of food trucks during the miles we logged on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This Good Humor truck caught my eye because that’s the company I fancied as the Ice Cream Man circled my Long Island neighborhood growing up. Toasted Almond, yes, sometimes. But the Chocolate Eclair bar was my favorite. We passed on any, still full from lunch.
Plus, Pi Pizza, two doors down from our hotel, was on my mind for dinner.
The pizza place was hopping. Yet the hostess immediately led Karen and I past the bar to a table for two in the back room.
Karen commented that this place, like Gordon Biersch, made sure to have enough staff to make service fast, courteous and respectful. Nobody taking orders or bringing food seemed stressed. That atmosphere filtered down.
We went with a large Classico deep dish, hold-the-mushrooms at my request. There was enough to take home in a box to put in our room fridge for a Sunday dinner coupled with Chopped veggie salads we bought at a Subway.
Breakfast was at the hotel buffet. And then after our mega-walk of almost four hours, we each tossed down a Sabrett hot dog at our only food truck stop of the trip. No photos needed, I didn’t think.
Then I wanted to try a different bar, a local place. The Bistro Bar looked promising.
Inside it was — no surprise by now — gorgeous. There were no taps in sight, so Karen ordered a Bud Light. I stuck with Cabernet Sauvignon, pronounced carefully and correctly, as always. And in this obvious wine bar, the bar tender did not know what that was. He asked me what color. I became wary.
The waitress came to the bar and his aid. My house wine was fine, but the accompanying bill read $18.15. At GB’s, a round for a large draft and a wine twice the pour was $16. One drink here.
We enjoyed the atmosphere we’d paid for, though. Three tables held diners, and the largest round one held a happy family of four. When we left, Karen said the waiter and diners at the other two tables appeared to be annoyed at how much noise they were making. I thought they were the most interesting thing about the place.
The Hard Rock Cafe was across the street. I’d been to the one in Nashville 22 years ago. Karen had mentioned she wanted a look-see before I’d chosen the sort-of-ill-fated Bistro.
My kind of place. We sat at the bar, the TVs playing music videos I couldn’t hear, Karen drinking one more big draft and I sipping one more Cab Sav that I did not have to order twice, with the long receipt reading 14 bucks, and I thought of how just a couple of years ago, I was part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll machine. The bands played, so many of them on these walls, they came to Syracuse and performed in arenas of my hometown, and I watched and listened and reviewed their style for the big daily. Nice work if you can get it. My dear wife Karen smiled at my summation.
Smart wife, wanting to take her husband to this bar with the guitars and album covers on the wall.
Coming tomorrow: The Night Time
See Monday: Peek-a-Boo Views
What establishment appeared to be your kind of place, and why? What food and drinks do you like to order out the most, and why? What photo is your favorite, and why?