Tag Archives: DC

Where in the world is IntoxiKatie?!

After a 4-month hiatus, I think it is about time that I got back into the blogisphere.  I won’t lie to you all and say I’ve been reflecting on my blog that whole time.  Life gets busy as you all know and at different points in life you make priorities based on what provides you the most satisfaction.  The style of review and methodology of selection got stale for me.  This will be changing – hopefully for the better.  

Ch-ch-changes…..

Quantitative Rating System

I want to keep some lighthearted/conversational prose, but I will be adding a more standardized rating system in which you can easily review why a bar sucks/doesn’t suck.

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Rather than just writing a review about wherever the wind takes me, I will be taking on a new bar/drinking challenge for each review.  These challenges might be liquor/beer-based in a single location while I try different concoctions or they might be more neighborhood-based…think quantity over quality…or if I’m feeling fancy, quality over quantity.

If any of you have suggestions for bar challenges or would like to participate, I’m all ears!

Stay tuned 😀

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Black Jack

Summertime and the living’s easy…as the song goes.  It may be “easy,” but uneventful and non-busy it is not.  To get refreshed for the summer season of drinking and bars, I thought it was quite necessary to take a small vacation to Curacao.  I’m back, “tan”, and ready to keep you all updated on which bars you should or shouldn’t be attending!

My most recent bar addiction has been Black Jack!  Located in Logan Circle, what started off as a random Friday happy hour with a girlfriend has quickly turned into my new weekly trivia destination.  I first attended Black Jack about 2 months ago as a second and last stop of a Friday happy hour outing.  Having heard good things about said bar and making what at the time was a rare appearance in Logan Circle, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try some place new.  Black Jack is slightly hidden; located directly above Pearl Dive.  It offers a tasty selection of mussels and oysters that should NOT be overlooked.  Somewhat masquerading as a ‘speakeasy’ because there is no official sign, there is no arrogance here.

The bartenders/wait staff are cordial and accommodating.  They were even willing to buy us a round when there was a last-minute cancellation of trivia.  These are the rare type of people that I actually feel comfortable engaging in light banter.   To describe a little more about the décor, Black Jack is relatively narrow once you get upstairs.  There is only one bar, but I’ve never had an issue waiting too long on a drink or food for that matter.  The main part of the bar offers a handful of tall tables, a couple booths, and some cozy couches that are great for those looking for a slightly larger gathering of people in addition to seating at the bar itself.  Be warned though, grabbing a couch or even a table during popular happy hour times or during trivia has been fairly difficult and requires a little bit of patience.  Further away from the blinking GOLF sign in the main bar area, you can find the indoor bocce court, complete with some baseball stadium type seating.  Quirky and slightly eclectic in comparison with many DC bars, I think it really is important to stress that the atmosphere here is not pretentious and laid back enough that most people can feel comfortable here.

Tuesday nights, as many of you are aware is my weekly trivia night.  At Black Jack, the trivia is hosted by Trivia Kings, which should be your reassurance that it is a quality product.  Starting at 8pm, my team is always pleased that Black Jack extends their happy hour deals until 9pm, which means ½ priced drafts.  These aren’t your normal shitty drafts though.  They go beyond the standard Miller Lite and Natty Boh deals.  Seeing as I’m still new to the beer drinkers club, I typically stick with a cider.  They offer both Jack’s hard cider ($6) and Strongbow ($9).  Beyond the mussels and oysters here, which are quite delicious, I have yet to be disappointed with the food.  From pizza to a Cuban sandwich ($11) to just a side of French fries with aioli dipping sauces, you do not need to eat before arriving at this bar.

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While I have yet to visit Pearl Dive or some of the other surrounding bars, this establishment has the potential to be part of great bar crawl in Logan Circle for those that are easily bored or need something different to hold their attention.  The only drawback to this Black Jack is that the volume can sometimes get on the loud side.  If you’re looking for a date atmosphere, it might be more of a struggle unless you manage to snag a more intimate booth or couch or go during an off time (if those exist here).  This would even be a decent place to drink solo at the bar because of the ongoing movies projected against the wall behind the bar.

Stay tuned for my next post!  Thomas Foolery opens this Wednesday and yours truly can be spotted on the menu 😉

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IntoxiKatie’s 2nd Drinkaversary!

Happy Drinkaversary, IntoxiKatie!

I know I didn’t really make a large public announcement this year or make a big deal about it. Another year older, another year wiser is what they say, right?? Well, another year older is definitely true…wiser is somewhat debatable, haha.

Celebrating a few Fridays ago, there was some poor foreshadowing at work when a Dove chocolate offered me the advice of ‘Have no limits today.’ Damn you, Dove. Similar to last year, I selected U Street as the neighborhood of choice for celebration. This year I wanted a new story to share though, rather than just a story of all my regular places.

First stop – Dodge City!

Dodge City was actually one of the first bars I went to in DC. I went there the first night I ever got drunk. Having been there a few more times since, I feel comfortable giving this bar a more complete review. We arrived around 11pm to a fairly crowded downstairs bar with people dancing to a solid DJ mixing R&B/rap music. With no alcohol, my guy buddies weren’t quite ready to cut a rug on the dance floor. (I’m always ready to dance, as awkward as it might be, haha). The alternative to dancing was heading upstairs to the much more subdued bar and patio. While there was also a DJ and a few musicians performing upstairs (more electronic/top 40/indie music), people didn’t have quite the same spirit….yeah, spirit is what I will call it. The general aesthetic of Dodge City is chill. It’s large enough to bring a group of friends, but the interior darkness still allows for the flexibility of a more intimate setting if you find yourself in a nook closer to either of the bars. Overall, I would suggest this bar for the middle or later in the evening rather than a first stop. Dodge City has also provided a relaxing drinking atmosphere for me post 9:30 Club shows on a few occasions

With easy access to the chill upstairs bar, I started with a Crispin cider ($7). Doing a lap around the place that included the upstairs and downstairs patio space, a few more buddies showed up and I went for round 2 (screwdriver – $6). Both the upstairs and downstairs patios aren’t very glamourous – mostly sparse with a few small tall tables to just rest your drink, but great for those looking for some fresh air or to just chat with friends instead of grinding up on them. Less than five minutes after ordering the screwdriver came a round of Jameson and a toast to getting ‘white girl drunk.’ For the record, I adamantly denied that such a thing would happen. Oy. Venturing back outside to the patio to chat, I wandered off (as I tend to do at bars with multiple floors) to get a shot (kamikaze – $6)…this was going to be an expensive night. Heading back outside to meet my buddies, somehowwwwww I ended up making a bet.

The bet/drinking challenge: That I could drink more than one of my guy buddies. Whoever drank water or ate first was the loser (assuming the number of drinks stayed the same). Seems like nothing could go wrong, right? To my disadvantage, other than height and weight, haha, I was already 4 drinks in when this bet was made while my competition only had 3 drinks. With 4 drinks worth of liquid courage/confidence, I was sure I could win though!

Making our way down U Street, for some reason we felt the need to stop at our normal trivia bar, Touchdown. After getting distracted by a few texts, I arrived a minute or so after my friends to find that I was already losing the bet. Two drinks down. To combat this, I ordered a shot and a cider (what a winning combination). Drinking quite aggressively, I finished those within a couple minutes. Having evened the playing field, another friend encouraged me to go for two more to screw over my competition. Great idea, clearly. I ordered two more. Yes, that was 4 drinks in 10 minutes. This is the point of the night where details get a little fuzzy.

Facts: We went to Saint Ex next. I ran there. I went MIA for a little bit. I left. I ended up with a battle scar from the evening on my forehead. Some details may be excluded for self-preservation/pride. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, haha. This drinkaversary was a little rough…not as bad as last year, but bad enough for me to make the executive decision that I do not need to celebrate my 3rd drinkaversary next year, haha.

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District of Pi

Silly me, I almost forgot all about another important holiday this past week – Pi Day!

For those of you with your mind in the gutter, this took precedent over Steak and BJ Day, which falls on the same day, haha.

After looking at a sparse list of events on Going Out Gurus, it was decided that District of Pi was the perfect place to play catch-up with a couple friends.

District of Pi

Arriving slightly after 6pm, the place was packed.  Clearly, we weren’t the only nerds in DC with the plan of celebrating here.  Big shocker, a city that’s been called Nerd Hollywood takes Pi Day seriously.  Entering District of Pi, you are greeted with a long bar to the left and a few small tables across from it.  If you walk through the bar area you will find a larger seating area and even further back there are stairs that lead up to a second bar area. Since the first bar was packed with no signs of anyone budging from their seats, we decided to head to the much smaller upstairs bar. This bar just so happened to be the location of the pi memorization contest.  Entrants ranged from 8 year olds to middle-aged men.  Yes, we were super pumped to watch this event!  I compared it to the excitement of the national spelling bee – the anticipation, the drama.  If you’re questioning just how nerdy I am right now, I don’t blame you, but in fairness, you were the one that kept reading after seeing ‘Pi Day’ haha.

What’s nerdier than entering a pi recitation contest?  Being fan girls of people entering the contest.  We quickly ordered up a happy hour cocktail ($6 – vodka, agave, lime, herbed fancy named drink).  These were quite tasty – refreshing, but with a definite kick.  They reminded me of something that you might find at a cocktail bar for a heavier price tag, but still just as potent.  District of Pi actually has other locations in St. Louis that I was lucky enough to attend in a visit there a couple years ago.  The St. Louis location placed a lot of pride in their mixologist’s talents; this seems to be a theme of the establishment.  Anyway, back to Pi Day!  As the competition started, the kids gave it a good try, but were quickly defeated by the adults.  My friend and I chatted up one entrant that we thought for sure would win when he said he had memorized 150 numbers….damn. I’d just like to reference how nerdy DC is again, but memorizing 150 numbers into pi was not enough to win.  Crazy.  Cognitive psychology tells us that the average working memory can only store 7 items, give or take 2 items, so clearly these people are ridiculous (don’t worry, I won’t present more psychology nerd knowledge on this even though I want to, haha).  I’m not sure how many numbers the winner was able to remember, but he was reciting numbers at a fast pace for what seemed like 10-15 minutes.  Either way, if you intend to enter next year folks, you should expect some stiff competition.   After viewing such a stunning display of sportsmanship, we ventured back downstairs to get some pi(e).  This was my second time attending District of Pi.  The first was for a girls’ night of ‘broing out.’  While my friends seem pretty pleased with the modest draft list, the cider selection was a little thin.  Opting for an Original Sin Cider ($6), I was still pleased because I do enjoy that one and the price was fair enough.  Because of the ridiculous crowd, we did have a long wait for seats at the bar and for the pizza.  A small pizza (Kirkwood- $18) was the perfect amount for two of us to split.   Luckily, some seats freed up just about when we got the pizza. Devouring our pizza over some lovely girl talk and beer/cider, this was a great second Bro Night.  Now the nitty-gritty, for those of you attached to authentic Chicago style deep dish this may not be the place for you.  I’m fairly naïve when it comes to deep-dish, but I this is of the St. Louis variety with a corn meal base – personally I love it.  One of my roommates from Chicagoland does not approve so much, haha.  If you want to stay in the bar areas, I would recommend keeping your group size at a maximum of 4.  Otherwise, it might be difficult to find seats together/non-awkward standing space.  There is always the option to dine-in at a larger table, but you definitely lose the bar atmosphere that way.  Overall, I definitely see this being in my regular repertoire of bars for the Gallery Place/Metro Center area.

Good news readers, I don’t want to get TOO ahead of myself, but with warmer weather approaching, that means I become more adventurous and stop hiding under my rock/in the gym, haha.  This *should* translate into more bar reviews and stories of my crazy shenanigans for you to read 🙂

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Rock & Roll Hotel and Other H Street Adventures

I know I’m cutting it kind of close for my deadline, but I’ve been looking for inspiration for this review.  This may seem crazy to my readers, but sometimes when IntoxiKatie is busy…it’s not with bar-hopping….SHOCKER, haha.

Originally, this review was intended to discuss Rock & Roll Hotel and the drunken spelling bee they host every Friday at 8pm…but my friends arrived just a few minutes too late for us to participate.  One day I will successfully compete in this (successfully competing does not mean I will win, because after listening to a few rounds of words I realized how truly dependent on spell check I am).  Arriving just about 7:30pm, I had 30 minutes to kill by myself at the bar…classy, I know.  I got settled in with a can of Jack’s cider ($4 still on happy hour special, $5 otherwise).  One of the reasons I enjoy H Street so much is that it lacks the level of pretentious patrons that many other neighborhoods in DC possess.  For this reason or maybe just because the establishments are nicer here, the drinks tend to be cheaper (even if they make you pay with cash #DealWithIt).  What happens when you take away the typical pretentious people that frequent DC bars?  You are left primarily with hipsters.  I don’t mind the hipster population.  Perhaps this is because I have been accused of being one myself due to my music preferences.  Anyway, sitting at the second floor bar on a decidedly quiet Friday evening was an enjoyable experience.  There were a handful of other patrons gearing up for the spelling bee, but other than that it didn’t seem too strange being a female sitting alone there (trust me, a rarity).  If I hadn’t just stuffed my face at Taylor Gourmet (I have a soft spot for the Philly-associated names), I would have tried some of the food offerings at Rock & Roll.  Who knew they had food?!  Previously, I had just known Rock & Roll Hotel for its awesome sweaty dance parties and sometimes obscure musical offerings.  It was nice seeing the alternative side to this bar.  Excuse me while I day dream of venturing back here in the spring/summer for their rooftop bar.  Yes, I’ve briefly discussed Rock & Roll Hotel before and this review now still does not do it justice.  Just know that this establishment is awesome and has many offerings.  A rooftop that is great for chilling with friends, a second floor DJ on weekends or a cool happy hour spot during the week, and a first floor performance space that I still haven’t ventured to…but word on the street is that K.Flay is coming at the beginning of March so I may have to come back for that.

Anyway, my friends arrived shortly after 8pm.  We sat at the bar, listening to the entertaining spelling bee for a bit before deciding to play some games of our own.  Yea yea, we ventured to H Street Country Club.  You all should know by now that I like that establishment…since I keep going back there for some tom foolery.  My friends had never been there so we did a tour of the games…mini golf, giant jenga, and shuffleboard.  Like usual, the game playing was not without making random friends with other patrons – including one drunken guy who generously bought us shots after losing the game and his Australian mate.

My friends, in an adorable attempt to play matchmaker for me, invited the Aussie to play shuffleboard with us and then to Dangerously Delicious Pies.  Warning, the pies there are quite delicious and could ruin all your hard work at the gym.  Selling both sweet and savory pies, I actually opted for a crab and cheese quiche…worth it.  If only more niche establishments were open until the wee hours of the morning for the hungry drunk crowd.  Following the Aussie to meet up with his friends at The Pug…we did not stay long.  You’ve heard me say it before, I love dive bars…but something about The Pug just really rubbed me the wrong way.  It was small, packed, and the hippie hipster crowd was too much even for me.  Perhaps I will give it another shot, but for now, I’m okay going to other H Street establishments.

And for those of you concerned about our Aussie friend…he did get my number, but it was a fairly lackluster date (ending at Lucky Bar with me kicking his butt at pool?? Yes, that happened, haha).  At least I can cross going on a date with an Aussie off my bucket list!

Hmm…I think a Capitol Hill bar crawl might need to be next on my ‘to do’ list – Beuchert’s Saloon, Hawk & Dove, and *drum roll* Harold Black… Who’s joining?

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Satellite Room

Someone gave me a cold…not pointing fingers, but I’m going to suspect it was Friday night in Dupont, because really, Sign of the Whale is kind of disgusting/people use the dance floor as a bedroom/people seem to be unaware of personal boundaries there.  Shame on me for venturing there again, haha.  Anyway, good thing IntoxiKatie is resilient and already feeling better.  Just my own PSA with the menacing flu season upon us: let’s all be a bit more considerate when we are at overcrowded bars and practice good personal hygiene.  Now, moving on to my real review…

 

“Katie, are you sure you know where you’re going?”

Despite initial fears that I was leading my friend to a back alley to kill her, last Saturday night we found our way past the throng of Delta Rae fans to Satellite Room.  Located conveniently behind 9:30 Club, this bar is especially perfect for those looking for a place to kill time before or after a show.  Arriving just after 8pm, we managed to grab a couple stools at the bar.  The wait for a table was estimated at 30 minutes.  It was pretty much decided upon entering that I loved this establishment.  Luckily, my expectations that I manifested purely from the aesthetic and feel of the bar proved themselves over the course of the evening (self-fulfilling prophecy? probably).

The first thing you see walking in is the large light-up sign above the bar, ‘Satellite.’  The inside bar accommodates about 15 people; just the right size.  While there are a handful of tables inside, there is a much larger outside patio/bar area for those just looking to drink and mingle.  We only stepped outside for a moment to investigate.  It was still kind of chilly that night and the outside atmosphere was different from inside.  While the volume level inside was just right for our group of three to engage in good conversation, outside required more effort to hear one another.  Wow, as I finished writing that sentence I saw myself age 30 years, haha.  Volume aside, the outside area did still leave a fun and jovial impression that would be good if coming here with a larger group of friends.  If you have a smaller group, my preference would definitely be inside.

Arriving early was a good choice, because it quickly got crowded.  Luckily, it didn’t take too long to get in our orders for food and drink.  So for those of you that are not aware, Satellite Room’s specialty drinks are milkshakes.  While you can virginize them, who doesn’t love a good boozy milkshake?!  Starting with the Vincent Vega (vanilla shake with bourbon) and progressing to the Sammy and Kim (black & white with vodka) these milkshakes are on the pricey side ($10), but worth it.  The Frank Costello (chocolate mint with whiskey) and Lucy Ricardo (chocolate with johnny walker) were hints with my friends.  Yes, all the milkshakes has great names like these.  Food here was also quite tasty and fairly priced ($11 tacos and $8 burger dinners).

Mmm, Vincent Vega

Having only attended Satellite Room once, I’m not sure how much the clientele here is dependent on the type of concert at 930 that night.  Either way, I will definitely be back to booze it up with some milkshakes.  Great for a small group, this could also be a fun date spot or a good place to start or end the night.

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Cinco de Mayo!! – Policy & Lost Society

Hola! Hope everyone had a great Cinco de Mayo.  After last weekend, I made sure to do everything possible to prevent that tequila hangover today.  I’m going to accredit Ben’s Chili Bowl cheese fries and then my drunken cooking (fried egg sandwich) – even if it meant that I woke up this morning in a slight panic that I forgot to turn off the stove…don’t worry, roommates, all is fine :-).

Yesterday’s ventures took me to an Arlington party, followed by a DC party that then headed to U Street.  I know all you haters out there would question my attendance at the Arlington party, but with offerings of beer pong, corn hole, a rooftop of awesomeness, food, and a piñata, how could this be turned down??  After a few hours of embarrassing myself at these bar games and trash talk with volleyball teammates, it was time for the piñata.  Yes, I may have had quite the pitiful/bashful swing, haha, but just keep in mind this childhood game is quite different when tipsy.  Following the piñata, we promptly negotiated candy trades, gobbled it down like 3rd graders, and made it on our way to party #2.

While we were slightly late to party #2, the host was very gracious in welcoming us.  Without a drink in hand, my friends were quick to resolve this with a strawberry margarita…as I reminded them that this week was my turn to be the responsible friend ;-).  After some catching up with friends and playing with fake mustaches, we made our way to U Street.  It was quite the busy night on U Street, much unlike the week before.  Our initial stop at Policy was vetoed due to crowding, so we walked up the street with the intention of going to Lost Society.  However, I believe some gentlemen were wearing shorts and/or flip flops that were turned down by the bouncers.  Next I mentioned to friends wanting to try Patty Boom Boom – the reggae bar next door.  Unfortunately by the time I was done quickly freshening up in the bathroom, my friends were already coming down the stairs from the dance floor and ready to leave.  I will legitimately attend here sometime soon, I promise.  At this time, everyone was tired of ping-ponging and it was settled to just go back to Policy.

With more of my senses upon me this weekend, I feel comfortable reviewing this establishment.  While there are two floors, the first floor was dominated mostly by those waiting in the ridiculous line to get upstairs to the dance floor.  This floor offers a bar and several tables /booths so with a line of people running through it, it felt quite constricted.  After waiting in line for a significant period of time (it had to be at least 30 minutes), using some flirtatious methods finally got a friend and me upstairs. *Yes! Of course, my name is Shelly and I’m in your party! Just lead me up the stairs, haha. * Upon reaching upstairs, I reminded my friend of my wing girl status and my willingness to make a fool of myself/approach anyone without fear, haha.  Making our way across the floor, we stumbled upon a nice group of Minnesotans.  Anyone who offers up a free tequila shot to me is not too shabby in my book 🙂 even if the salt was missing.  After some mingling, we sought out to find our friends.  They were not so lucky with getting upstairs (read: they gave up on waiting and headed to Lost Society/elsewhere). Conclusions: It is quite crowded and if you do not time it right, the wait to get upstairs can be annoying.  I wouldn’t recommend bringing a large group here unless you are early to arrive or get bottle service/a table.  The cranberry vodka I bought for my friend was moderately priced at $7 – definitely could have been worse.  Overall, I would give Policy a good rating for dancing and meeting people (even if that’s only because it’s so crowded that you are forced to be friendly).

Our next stop brought us to Lost Society to catch up with friends.  Apparently the no shorts/flip flops rule is ignored if you’re a female – typical double standard :-).  This time we ventured up to the top floor.  I really don’t have much to add to that review.  The upstairs was at least twice as loud; there was no dancing, just more mingling of people in groups.  There were also tables upstairs that appeared to be reserved by people if you’re looking to have a seat instead of just stand around.  It is largely just a crowd of people talking though.  Quite the different atmosphere from the other floor, the top floor may be able to hold larger groups, but the other floor holds all the ambience.

To end the glorious night, we ventured to Ben’s Chili Bowl and gave in to a final indulgence.  All in all, it was a great night.  I may be getting too much of a U Street reputation though – time to switch up neighborhoods.

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