Tag Archives: Metro Center

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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McCormick & Schmick’s

Yes, yes this is a chain…but that doesn’t take away from the quality drinking experiences I’ve had at the various McCormick and Schmick’s in the DC-metro area.  The locations that I will speak to and the frequency to which I’ve attended each include– Farragut Square (twice), Metro Center (once), and Crystal City (once).  McCormick & Schmick’s is a very reliable chain.  The food and drink quality amongst the different chains is high.  Do not write off this place just because you want a “unique” bar experience.  Each location does have a slightly different feel.  The two locations in DC in particular have more of a classical bar atmosphere.  The Crystal City location feels slightly more open and modern in the bar area.

The first location I attended was Farragut Square.  Both times was for happy hour in which they had AMAZING food deals.  The best deal is the $4 cheeseburger (with fries).  This is a regular size portion.  All you have to do is abide by the $3.50 minimum beverage purchase per person.  I’ve also tried the chicken wings ($5), which are tasty, but for the portion size I would say just go for the burger. As usual, I alternated between my regular screwdrivers and vodka tonics ($5 each for Smirnoff drinks).  While the drinks specials aren’t the best in town, when you can get quality food along with the pleasant bar atmosphere it is hard to pass up this place.  The clientele can be slightly on the older side, but you certainly won’t be scoffed at for going in there with a group of friends and being under 30.

Two of the three places I’ve encountered extremely engaging bartenders/servers.  In particular, at the Metro Center location, there was one bartender who my friend insisted on calling Bob.  Bob, as we will call him because I have since forgotten his real name, was honest, patient, and very good with drink recommendations as the best bartenders should be.  He made me a delicious cucumber gimlet ($11 – off happy hours price), which I have since incorporated into my regular drink orders and ordered again the other night at the Crystal City location.  The consistency amongst the different locations is certainly something you can trust.  In terms of rating the locations, Crystal City wins the prize for most convenient to my current location, but the Metro Center location has the best atmosphere.  While the bar itself is on the smaller side, it feels cozier and still inviting despite being right in the middle of DC.

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