Monthly Archives: July 2012

Neighborhood Hopping – Mad Rose Tavern, The Ugly Mug, Midtown, and Cafe Citron

Oh what a Friday!  What I thought would be a relatively relaxing evening, turned out to be packed full of events.  A last minute decision to go to happy hour on Friday, found me at Mad Rose Tavern in Clarendon.  While I’m not a huge Clarendon fan, I was still surprised that I had never been there just because of its proximity to everything else.  Arriving a little after 5pm, we found a few coworkers already there enjoying some beverages inside on the ‘hip’ couch area.  After ordering a $4 screwdriver, I knew I should set a limit for my consumption knowing I’d be going elsewhere later.  While we quickly ordered and promptly served, our waitress spilled part of a beer on a friend.  Yes, yes, this happens, but in my cranky old age of 23, I was taken aback that the waitress was more concerned with wiping up the table and the lack of offering of paper towels for my beer soaked friend, ha.  Aside from our slightly spacey waitress, I did enjoy Mad Rose for happy hour.  The drinks were cheap and provided a good space for meeting with a larger group of people.  Despite the humidity, we ended up moving to the outside seating area.  I did enjoy the outside couches that provided a cozier environment than most outdoor seating areas (I think any girl in a skirt or guy in shorts can identify the pain of the ever popular wire chair).  Overall, I would come back for Mad Rose for happy hour with a group of people.  I won’t comment on what the night scene is like, but I wouldn’t want to come here with just one or two other people.

Leaving Mad Rose around 7pm, I had just enough time to go home, cook dinner, and freshen up before heading out to my late evening plans – hanging out with my volleyball teammates.  One girl just happens to work at The Ugly Mug in Eastern Market and had always suggested we all come visit her on Friday night.  The only other time I had ventured to this establishment was for a brunch/lunch with my roomies.  While the food was still good, it certainly did not have the same atmosphere as a Friday night.  Starting off with a screwdriver, I was initially surprised when my teammate brought me such a large glass – don’t worry, it was a good surprise.  Proceeding to with my normal vodka tonics, I was far from disappointed with the quality.  These three large drinks set me back $20.  Important to note: My teammate provided some awesome service (never letting anyone get parched).  After a few drinks and banter, bear fights were the next obvious step.  The back story is our indoor team name was Bear Fight.  Now, I only have partaken in a bear fight once before (on a lovely business trip to St. Louis…at City Museum).  That experience was so good that ever since I’ve been raving about the drink.  Now being the girl racing two guys, I won’t say I lost…but I definitely did not win, ha.  More importantly, the bear fight was just as good, if not better, than I remember.

So what does The Ugly Mug have to offer?  Large drinks and good service.  It has the feeling of a neighborhood bar, but did have an oddly inserted DJ there on Friday.  People weren’t really dancing, but it does add to the fun/lighthearted atmosphere.  This is definitely a chill place and great for meeting a small group of people.  I wouldn’t suggest this establishment for too large of a group just because of the numbered seating inside.  Also to note for the outside bar dwellers, they do have a sidewalk patio that I’m sure is great for people watching/mocking.

Being quite toasty at this point, the guys decided it was time to move on from the Ugly Mug.  Proceeding to Dupont Circle, our next stop was Midtown.  Oh Midtown…I’ve had many a memory at Midtown (or blurs, haha)…typically involving dancing.  My first time there I may have ended up in many cell phone picture collections, but I will most likely deny any such events if you ask me about it in person, ha.  Midtown, for those of you unfamiliar, offers several floors, many bars, overpriced drinks, a relaxed lounge (for those that aren’t dressed appropriately), creepy dudes, and a more exclusive lounge area.  It really is great for women that enjoy dancing because there is typically enough space, but beware the sausage fest.  Moving on from Midtown, we walked a block or so to Café Citron for some real dancing.  I will point this out now, if I haven’t already.  I am by no means a dancer.  Do I like to dance? Heck yes!   Even before drinking, I’d be the girl wanting to get on the dance floor and make a fool of myself.  The making a fool of myself still continues, don’t worry, haha.  Hopefully my evening dance partner wasn’t too embarrassed by my subpar dance moves.  Sometimes I like to think my enthusiasm is all that really matters #thingsyourmomtellsyou.  While I won’t give Café Citron a full review due to a lack of experience here, I did have a positive first impression and hope to venture back with more dance enthusiasts.  Overall, Friday was a pleasantly eventful evening.   Special thanks to my teammates for a good night, even if it was rough waking up early Saturday morning.

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Take me out to the Ballgame….The Bullpen and California Tortilla

So…it’s been a while.  I won’t bore you all with excuses as to why the reviews have been sparse lately or why this review is a month overdue.  I will say there are good reasons for the delay, including a wonderful 4th of July celebration (yes, that’s right…I can throw a heck of a party too J ).  Anyway, hope you enjoy the humorous story below.

As I’ve already established, this blog may be more a collection of my foolish stories than bar reviews.  Hate as people may that I work in Northern Virginia, I am employed by a pretty cool company; proof being that we took a group trip to a Nationals game at the beginning of June.  The trip started a little rocky when our bus driver sideswiped a car.  Amazingly, he didn’t completely take off the car’s side mirror and with just a minor delay, we were on our way.  Arriving slightly after the opening pitch, the BFDs and most dudes headed straight for the beer – we also got $15 to spend at the park.  I decided to pace myself and waited until we got settled in our seats.  This may be shocking to some, but this was only the second baseball game I’ve attended.  The previous one hardly counts though because I was little and spent the whole time coloring…at least until I spilled my crayons into the beer soaked stands.  Beer and crayon smell do not mix, by the way.  Anyway, I digress.

Just because I hadn’t been to a baseball game in recent memory, does not mean that I was unprepared for the outrageous lines.  After a good 20 minutes in line, I finally got to order some fries and a coke…which I shortly turned into the vanilla variety, ha (#superclassy).  The fries were mediocre, but the dipping sauce offered was quite tasty ($10 total for small fries and large fountain drink).  After some social engagement with coworkers and consumption of food and drink, it was time for another drink.  This time, I was convinced to get something a little ‘harder’, ha – I was already feeling the vanilla coke!  I opted for my typical vodka tonic ($8 – $12 can get you a frozen margarita in a souvenir cup).  By the time I finished this drink, the stadium already had its ‘last call.’  Doomed to wait until after the game before drinking more, in the meantime I actually watched some of the baseball.  Sorry Nats fans, they were not victorious that day.  Following the game, we made our way across the street to The Bullpen. Funneling through the crowd and ID check, we entered a parking lot that was just as filled with people, but there was the addition of tents and lines for booze.  In an orderly fashion, we waited in said line for approximately 5-10 minutes to order from a set menu of drinks.  I opted for the $8 margarita, which was made and waiting for drinkage as soon as I paid.  My coworkers and I headed to the elevated deck area, but really The Bullpen was really just large amounts of people drinking overpriced drinks in a parking lot.  The advantage is for those looking to continue the fun after baseball games without having to go far.

Finishing up our drinks here, we had the good fortune of having a coworker recently move to the area.  He was quite hospitable, offering a couple of us some drinks and poolside relaxing before we headed to the bar in his building.  I should note that the reason I stuck around after the baseball game was because I had a volleyball match to play in near Capitol South.  Being logical, I thought I would be okay to have a couple drinks before playing.  My coworkers, being the gentlemen that they are, encouraged me…”Maybe you’ll be better playing if you’re drunk, Katie.”  Having never tried, it’s not that I saw this as a challenge, I just was not paying attention to my consumption.  One of those moments where you don’t realize how drunk you are until you stand up, ha.  I somehow made it to the volleyball game safely on foot.  While I do not quite remember the game (other than being in the sand an abnormal amount), my teammates have since reassured me I was quite encouraging and extremely positive.  At least I’m not an angry drunk 🙂  So we lost the game and went out the California Tortilla afterwards.  Oh the funny things I do when intoxicated :-).  While I would love to give a review of California Tortilla, I don’t think I’ve experienced enough of it to give it a complete review.  From the couple times I’ve been there, the margaritas have been tasty and my friends have enjoyed the food.  Our service has also been dynamic.  Anyway, I digress from the continuing hilarity of this night.  When drinking, as many of you know, I can get quite social.  I also have a fairly fearless attitude.  After receiving a challenge to talk to another social sports team, within seconds I left my bar stool to chat with the team…Tequila Mockingbird.  The team name was fairly clever and we had seen this team there a previous week.  After drunkenly imposing myself on this team, my friend came over to join me.  With some shameless flirting, two gentlemen bought us some drinks.  They later got tag names of Old German Guy and Crater Face.  Yes, after drinking a lot I can be quite flirty too…big shocker, haha.  I will say a lot of the details of this night are fuzzy…I vaguely remember turning around in my spandex (read: I shouldn’t be allowed to go out to bars in my volleyball attire).  Just like many Friday or Saturday nights seem to end in dudes being creepy and crossing a line of acceptable behavior, Crater Face found it appropriate to grab my waste and spin me around – not cool.  With that move, we left promptly.  I later found out that Old German Guy got handsy with my friend.  Dear Gentlemen, where are you? Haha.  Icing on the cake…Crater Face found my email and creepily emailed me asking me out., oy.

Tl;dr:  Nats games are surprisingly fun.  I do not play volleyball better drunk.  California Tortilla is pretty cool…even if they have creepy dudes there on occasion.

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