AHA Staff, December 2003
Working in and living in or around the District, AHA staff members are very familiar with fun and interesting, not to mention unique, places in our nation's capital. Below is a list of staff's favorites, ranging from bars to shops, tourist spots and hangouts. Any of the following are recommended!
Noralee Frankel: Jaleo Restaurant for Spanish tapas (Gallery Place Metro on the Red Line, corner of 7th and E Sts. NW, 202-628-7949); make reservations, it can be crowded even for lunch. Favorite spot: the United States Botanic Garden (intersection of Maryland Ave. and First St. SW).
Robert Townsend: Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffee House (5015 Connecticut Ave. NW). Bardia's New Orleans Café (2412 18th St. NW). Idle Time Books, an excellent used-book store (2467 18th St. NW).
Laura Dillon: Favorite museum: Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden (Independence Ave. at Seventh St. SW). Favorite bar: Cafe Citron (1343 Connecticut Ave. NW.), and favorite restaurant: Spices Asian Restaurant & Sushi Bar (3333 A Connecticut Ave. NW).
Debbie Ann Doyle: The Boy Scout Memorial in Lafayette Park (15th St. between E and Constitution NW) is the most bizarre public sculpture in D.C. The statue features a boy scout (in uniform) in front of nude male and female allegorical figures representing the ideals of scouting. Other favorites: Meridian Hill Park (see article), the popular culture exhibits on the first and third floors of the National Museum of American History, and the Uptown Theater.
Miriam Hauss: Favorite memorial: FDR, especially at night (Ohio Dr. NW). Favorite restaurants: Butterfield 9 (600 14th St. NW), Spices (see Laura's faves), Starfish Café (539 8th St. SE), or the Market Lunch at Eastern Market (225 7th St. SE). Favorite bars: The Capitol Lounge (231 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) or Politiki/Pour House (319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE). Favorite club: 9:30 Nightclub (815 V St. NW)—wonderful venue to see great music acts! Favorite boutique/shops: Avlear Studios—an eclectic art gallery owned by a local artist (705 8th St. SE); Home Rule—a great place for random kitchen gadgets (1807 14th St. NW); or Pulp—the best card shop in the area (1805 ½ 14th St. NW). And of course, Eastern Market (225 7th St. SE)!
Phil Katz: The Zoo Bar—free blues in a small neighborhood bar just a few minutes from the conference hotels! (3000 Connecticut Ave. NW.)
Elizabeth Fairhead: Favorite Restaurant: Little Fountain Cafe (in Adams Morgan, 2339 18th St. NW). Quiet, intimate, elegant (dinner only). Favorite tourist location: The National Arboretum (http://www.usna.usda.gov). Beautiful even in the winter; see the Bonsai house, the Capitol columns, and don't miss the gift shop. (We apologize to our new colleague for the typo in her name in the Program.)
Vernon Horn: The Organic (Yes!) Market store for all your vegan deli needs, and other reasonably priced organics (1825 Columbia Ave., NW or 3425 Connecticut Ave. NW). Sticky Fingers Bakery is Washington's first vegan bakery, and has some pretty good stuff (1904 18th St. NW). Cafe Luna in Dupont Circle (1633 P St. NW) also has great vegetarian food.. A fun Brazilian restaurant in Adams Morgan is The Grill from Ipanema authentic Brazilian food and bilingual staff. (1858 Columbia Rd. NW). Open daily. And of course, Kramerbooks & Afterwords for books and dessert (1517 Connecticut Ave. NW, http://www.kramers.com/).
Cliff Jacobs: My favorite restaurant in D.C. is The Oval Room at Lafayette Square (800 Connecticut Ave. NW).
David Darlington: District Chophouse (509 7th St. NW) good steaks, brick oven pizzas, and house beers.
Bruce Craig: For dinner, Dupont Grill in Jury's Doyle Hotel on Dupont Circle (1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW). Or, for lunch or evening time, Fado Irish Pub (808 7th St. NW)—a great place for a pint!
Stacy Tate: If you are a seafood lover, I highly recommend Phillips Flagship Restaurant of Washington (900 Water St. SW). It's the best!
Arnita Jones: Favorite restaurants: Teaism (2009 Connecticut Ave. NW), Café Asia (1720 I St. NW), or the Eastern Market Lunch (225 7th St. SE). Favorite shop: National Cathedral Gift Shop (Wisconsin and Massachusetts Aves. NW). Favorite spot: FDR Memorial (Ohio Dr. NW)
Chris Hale: A great place to eat near the Marriott is Chipotlé (Calvert St. & Connecticut Ave, NW), which serves up awesome (yet pricey) gourmet burritos. Favorite Bars and Hangouts: Bedrock Billiards (1841 Columbia Rd. NW); Adams Mill Bar & Grill (1813 Adams Mill Rd. NW); Kingpin (917 U St. NW), Ben's Chili Bowl (1213 U St. NW); Black Cat (1811 14th St. NW) has less commercial shows than those at the 9:30 Club; for more adventurous types visit the more urban Mount Pleasant district where you'll find Marx Cafe (3203 Mount Pleasant St. NW); and The Raven (3125 Mount Pleasant Ave. NW). Favorite D.C. memorial/monument: it's a toss-up between the FDR Memorial (Ohio Drive, NW), and the Korean War Memorial on the National Mall.
Mériam Belli: A fine Sunday or Saturday morning hangout is the café at Dean & Deluca on M Street, in Georgetown—great windows onto the street, for people watching, reading, grading papers, and looking at the rain falling.
I have no favorite bar or restaurant. But go get lost on U Street or Capitol Hill, and avoid Adams Morgan and its noisy crowds, unless you want a taste of Mexican or Ethiopian food—in the latter case try Meskerem, on 18th Street, it's a decent spot; for cheap, hearty, homey Sudanese food, go to Khartoum, on the intersection of Florida and 18th.
The C & O Canal and the Potomac are among the most beautiful features of the city. Go rent a bike—or a canoe or a rowboat—at Fletcher's Boat House (4940 Canal Rd.). Look at that view from the Key Bridge, especially in the early morning fog. Ride up to Little Falls. The trail starts at the heart of Georgetown (there's also the Bethesda branch for more urban trippers). If it rains or snows too badly, then take a jolly bus or Metro ride to the National Gallery of Art, on the mall. I have a weakness for the East Building's architecture (light, light, light), and the NGA always hosts great exhibitions (now playing are Picasso, 18th-century French prints and paintings, and Mark Rothko's murals, among others), neat (free) unique film events, and music.
Sharon Tune: The National Aquarium (14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW). Tucked away inside the U.S. Department of Commerce Building is the National Aquarium. A visit is a delightful way to spend 45 minutes to an hour in Washington. Animal keepers give talks and feedings at 2 p.m. daily, including sharks, alligators, and piranha. The aquarium even has an "Adopt a Fish" program allowing those interested to support a favorite resident! There is a small entrance fee of $3.50. The aquarium lost its federal funding in the early 1980s and is operated and supported by the National Aquarium Society. It is accessible on Metrorail's Federal Triangle Metro Station on the Orange and Blue Lines, and is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.