Monthly Archives: March 2012

Approaching Anniversary…

As the anniversary of my first drink approaches, I am left wondering what I should do to celebrate.  Please vote here as to how you think I should celebrate.  If you have other suggestions, feel free to share!  More information will be provided at a later date for people to join me in the festivities 🙂

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McGinty’s

Oh what a night…I debated on whether I should write a review for last night’s destination due to my level of sobriety.  While my details may not be extremely crisp, I’ll do my best.  I thought it was important to get some more diversity in my reviews and step outside of my normal DC/NoVa bubble.

Last week a friend moved to Silver Spring and so naturally, this week he had a housewarming party.  Hopefully, it was a lovely welcoming. 🙂 After drinking up at the party, we made our way to McGinty’s. We entered to find that there was a cover (I think there was a band playing when we arrived? Haha).  I rarely have cash on me so luckily a nice gentleman spotted me and I bought him a drink in exchange.  The bartenders were very engaging and friendly, definitely tolerant of my drunkenness and the large group of people that arrived at the same time.  They definitely knew how to handle the crowds.  Ordering two rail drinks (vodka tonic for me, a rum and coke for the gentleman) and a Makers Mark for some other random person – I’m fairly generous when that drunk, haha).  I will say the prices were excellent; the rail drinks were $3.21 a piece and the Makers Mark was $5.73 (thank you receipt for aiding my ‘memory’).

The general layout of the bar was nice.  The bar was long with plenty of seats with plenty of standing and table area too.  While my friends commented that the clientele was a bit older here, I did not seem to notice and found making friends with other patrons very easy.  Honestly, what’s more welcoming than making friends with a table full of people over some SportsCenter?  That was another advantage to this place, while I did not observe dancing, I was able to watch some sports (#drunkenpastime).  Admittedly, this was my first time in Silver Spring and getting off the metro here I was slightly skeptical.  There is definitely a different feeling here than in DC or NoVa.  It’s more of a neighborhood/suburban bar than a downtown bar, which may or may not be appealing to some.  I would offer up a picture of my friends here, but Drunk Katie accidentally deleted it last night instead of saving it.  Overall, I would definitely come back to McGinty’s if I found myself in Silver Spring again.  Prices were cheap, people were friendly, and it was good for a large group (would have been just a good for a smaller group).  If I were in the area, I might even see myself feeling comfortable coming here alone.

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Caribbean Breeze

Friday was absolutely gorgeous outside.  Given the amazing nature of the day, my coworkers were anxious to go to a happy hour with outdoor seating.  The establishment that was selected….Caribbean Breeze.  One of my coworkers and I arrived slightly before the rest of the group to get a feel for the place.  As you enter, you have the choice of being seated at a table inside (the restaurant area), sitting inside at the bar, or going to the outside area. The outside bar area is essentially a portion of the sidewalk blocked out for the restaurant.  It’s not directly on the street, which is nice and provides some privacy, but still open at the same time.  We initially ventured to the outside bar area and looked to claim a table for the rest of our coworkers.  A server then rudely greeted us and said that we could only sit down at a table if we were going to order food.  This was 5pm on a Friday…almost all the tables were empty and people were surrounded at the bar standing all because they have a seemingly pointless requirement of ordering food in order to sit down.  Someone should tell them that people would stick around longer, order more drinks and potentially order food if they aren’t restricted right off the bat.  After this not so pleasant interaction, we decided to wait at the inside bar until others arrived.  Sitting at the bar was really no better.  It took us 10 minutes to get served.  If it were a crowded late night, I might understand this, but it was very mellow and the bartenders were just slow in terms of service.

Upon finally getting our drink orders in, we were definitely pleased with the quality of the drinks.  I ordered one of their mojitos on special for $5.  My friend ordered a dragon fruit mojito, which was also very tasty, but a bit pricier at $8.50.  Fresh mint and sugar cane in the glass only added to the summery feeling on Friday.  More coworkers arrived shortly and we did finally sit down outside (but only because they ordered a few appetizers).  In terms of service outside, it could have been better.  The staff was not very attentive to new people arriving, taking drink orders, or taking away finished drinks.  Overall, while Caribbean Breeze might have tasty products and offer an aesthetically pleasing layout/seating options, the service is downright poor.

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Atomic Billiards – My First and Favorite Dive Bar in DC

*Warning: This review might be slightly sentimental, but keep reading for the nuggets of humor*

Let us flash back to July 2010.  I had just moved to the lovely neighborhood of Cleveland Park, graduated college in May, and was ready to start a master’s program at GWU.  Yes, it was a fresh beginning in a new city.  Ironically at the time, I had never had a drink in my life, nor had I intended to start drinking.  Despite not drinking, I still needed a place to hang out on the weekends. Those of you that know me and my killer pool skillz (yes, with a ‘z’), I can thank my time at Atomic Billiards and some fine teaching from a friend or two.  Atomic Billiards and Nanny O’Briens quickly became where I spent most of my original bar time in DC prior to drinking.

Dark, Crowded Interior on a Friday Night

My initial impression of Atomic Billiards was nothing too exciting.  You enter by going down a set of stairs like basically every other billiards place in DC.  It’s dark and basement like.  The interior has a retro 60s feel to it, very mod, topped off with the Jetsons painted on the bathroom doors.  There are 5 pool tables (which have been newly felted in blue!), two shuffleboard tables, 2 dart boards, various board games, and an AWESOME jukebox at your disposal.  The pool and shuffleboard rates do run on the higher side ($14/hour for 2 players during prime time and are slightly reduced at off times), but about the same as other places.  Atomic Billiards is also where I picked up my mean shuffleboard talent.  As if I weren’t cool enough playing pool, I also needed to learn how to have a decent showing at shuffleboard.

Having lived in Cleveland Park for almost a year and being in attendance at least once every two weeks, you can imagine I have a collection of stories.  Aside from my countless times of beating the boys at pool 😛 and a number of dates (have I mentioned on here before that I think pool is one of the best date ideas? Because it really is), Atomic Billiards will always be the place where I had my first alcoholic beverage.

I get this question all the time.  Why did you start drinking? To answer it here, in writing for everyone to see so maybe I don’t have to explain it as frequently as I do now, it was just time.  I had no responsibilities to an athletic team, everyone had finally stopped pressuring me to drink (my family and friends wised up), and I had gotten over my fear of my family’s history with alcohol. None of this really fazes me now and it’s almost funny to think that prior to drinking so much of what I considered to be apart of me was defined by ‘not drinking.’

My drink of choice that glorious night?  Fuzzy navels. Super classy, I know and no, I didn’t get drunk.  My first drunken experience would come the next night on U Street following a concert, haha #typical.

More recently, I was lucky enough to visit Atomic Billiards two weeks in a row.  The one week I crashed a boys’ night and the other was a mostly girls’ night out.  The first week, I stuck to my classic vodka tonics, which rang up at $4 a pop.  The girls’ night was a bit more adventurous with buttery nipple shots ($5 each, I believe).  Either way, I’m definitely a fan of the super affordable $4 rail drinks here.

The bartenders are cool and down-to-earth.  They are definitely willing to joke around with you, but during busy hours it can be slightly difficult to get that kind of personalized attention.  The bar is typically crowded Friday and Saturday nights and with the logistics of the pool tables you may have to wait a couple minutes for a drink, but nothing unbearable or obnoxious.  One thing that I am never quite good at predicting is the clientele that will be present here.  Sometimes you have a younger ‘hipster’ crowd or college aged students (especially on their way elsewhere for the night), other times you have a slightly older yuppie crowd, and then you never know when the table of old guys will be playing a game in midst of the younger folk.

Over many observations, I can proudly say that Atomic Billiards is my favorite dive bar in DC.  Is this somewhat biased and sentimental? Heck yes, but isn’t that what choosing a favorite dive bar is all about?  This establishment is really great for a lot of purposes (girls’ nights, guys’ nights, dates, relaxing).  From my first real neighborhood dive bar, to the time I almost punched a drunk girl for sitting on our pool table, to my first real drink, to the first time I could nostalgically bring other friends to Atomic Billiards and rave about it – these are the memories that I will not forget.

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Uncle Julio’s

My coworkers and I decided to try a little variation from our normal Friday Happy Hour spot last week.  We ventured to Uncle Julio’s in Ballston for a taste of their margaritas.  Arriving just after 5pm, the bar was fairly filled, at least to the point where the five of us couldn’t find a seat there.  Luckily, we were able to sit in the relatively vacant restaurant area (that would later fill up) and still get the happy hour specials.

Mango MargaritaStrawberry Margarita

While we debated on drink orders, it was nice to be able to chow down on tortilla chips and salsa.  This was refilled throughout the visit.  For the first round, everyone ordered a margarita of some variation.  These were priced at a $2.25 discount from the regular price.  My frozen strawberry margaritas rang up as $6 a piece.  I will say this did come as quite the surprise when the check came because the server initially stated that all margaritas were $2.25 (rather than the $2.25 discount).  The drinks around the table were almost all good…with one exception.  The swirl drink was unanimously decided that it tasted like chemicals (more specifically how dog shampoo smells).  Luckily, my friend spoke up to the server and the manager was very nice about coming to speak with us.  He exchanged the drink at no extra charge. Do NOT go to Uncle Julio’s and order the swirl….trust me.  As previously mentioned, the restaurant area quickly filled up with patrons looking for dinner and different intentions than our group’s intention of drinking.  If you do go to Uncle Julio’s just be aware that Friday nights can be rather family-oriented in the restaurant area and you should probably just stay in the bar area if looking for a strictly young crowd.

Dog Shampoo Swirl Margarita

Prior to coming to Uncle Julio’s I was warned of food that was on the expensive side, but that they had cheap drinks.  After visiting, my impression was so-so.  While the staff was friendly and well-intentioned, the terrible drink and miscommunication of happy hour prices left Uncle Julio’s with a warning strike.  If you’re in Ballston, I’d recommend Chevys over Uncle Julio’s for drinks at least.

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Post Pub

Apologies for my absence!  You all must have been deeply concerned, but don’t fret Intoxikatied is back and ready to start reviewing once again.

Last night, I hopped into a car with a friend with no particular destination in mind other than somewhere in DC.  After struggling through Chinatown traffic (~7pm and there was a Wizards game) and a detour through Shaw, we ended up just north of McPherson Square.  The initial idea was to head to Churchkey, but apparently a little drizzle makes DC metro drivers even more intolerable to handle in Logan Circle.  We basically drove to parking and used our buddy Yelp to pick a place.  Post Pub is located at 1422 L St. NW.  I won’t lie, this bar does not look that appealing or inviting from the outside.  For all those in search of decent dive bars though, I’d advise you not to overlook this place.

Walking into Post Pub, it almost feels as if you are transported out of DC.  Offering an escape from the K Street madness just a block away, this establishment has cozy booths, limited bar seating, and a handful of standalone tables.  It is dimly lit and offers a classy music atmosphere of nostalgic 80s, 90s, and maybe a few early 2000s songs.

Since it was a slightly later happy hour venture for me and my friend, we went easy and ordered just a couple drinks.  A vodka tonic for me ($5.45) and two beers for him ($4 for some typical domestic and $5 for a hipster IPA).  I decided food was probably a wise decision, despite some slight hesitation regarding the potential quality (yes, we judged this place based on its looks, so sue me).  For dinner, I ordered the Diplomat Burger (Bacon cheddar cheeseburger with LT and onion rings) for $9.  This burger was as delicious as it was messy – very much so.  My friend made fun of me as I struggled to fit the whole burger in my mouth (I succeeded!) and made a mess in the process. He ordered the London broil special and was fairly pleased….My meal was definitely better, ha.

The staff here was friendly and very engaging. Upon ordering, instantly felt at home here with the ease of discussion with the bartender.  The clientele here (last night at least) definitely reflected the homey/local bar feeling.  There was an active banter back and forth between the customers and the bartenders, which was kind of refreshing to see.  Going here with a large group might be difficult considering the limited seating, but it would be good for small groups.  I could also see it as a welcoming place to grab a drink solo.  Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a dive bar, but it’s not as sleazy as it appears.  Prices are a bit more expensive than I would hope for a dive bar though (maybe I’m just biased at the lack of happy hour special on rail drinks).  If I were in this area more and looking for a very relaxed place without all the BS, I’d definitely come back.

The bar

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