Thrifty DC: Going Big on a Small Budget

Thrifty DCOn top of taking 5 classes, partaking in student activities, keeping our houses relatively clean (ha) and making sure we don’t catch the flu that half of campus is currently suffering from, we Georgetown students have to manage our expenses.

For many of us, the mere thought of paying back loans is troublesome enough to keep us tossing and turning at night. I may not have a solution to all these issues, but I can offer you some thrifty deals in the Georgetown area that can keep a little extra dough in your wallet – and some delicious grub in your tummy.

1. Sea Catch Happy Hour (Canal Square 1054 31st St NW, Ste 1000)

Monday-Saturday; 5-7pm. $1 oysters
 and 1/2 off drinks make Sea Catch put the “happy” in happy hour. Who doesn’t love a delicious raw bar after a long day of classes?

2. Bandolero (3241 M St. NW)  Friday Happy Hour Specials – 4 Tecate Cans; $4 Shot of Espolon with Sangrita; $4 Apps; $5 Breckenridge Agave Wheat Bottles; $5 Antonietti Extra Brut; $5 Apps; $6 El Bandolero Margaritas, Ferrari Carano Pinot Grigio and Graffiato Nebbiolo; $5 Shrimp Cocktail – I get it.

Bandolero sometimes gets a bad rap, just like Modern does. But reputation aside, who can say no to all these amazing deals? The $4 Apps alone are reason enough for you 21+ Hoyas to take a trip down to M Street. (Also, rumor has it that Kate Hudson and Muse were hanging out there the other night, so essentially what I’m saying is if you go to happy hour, you’ll become best friends with a celebrity).

3. Chadwicks Saturday Specials (3205 K St. NW) $2 Domestic Bottles & House Wine; $2.50 Rail Drinks & Margaritas; 50 Cent Buffalo Wings; 1/2 Price Potato Skins; $2.50 Miller Lite & Bud Bottles – There’s something so Georgetown-y about heading down to Chadwicks for a nice drink by the waterfront. And with these deals, you get all the classiness of a Chadwicks meal on a college student budget. I’ll drink to that!

4. Garrett’s (3003 M St NW) Happy Hour 5-7 every day. 25-cent wings. Could it get any better? That wasn’t a rhetorical question. The answer is: no, it can’t. It’s like Chicken Finger Thursday taken to a whole other level… Oh, and did we mention this happens every day?

5. Mr. Smith’s (3104 M St NW) Weekdays 5-7 pm. Half-priced appetizers. My, oh my! Though poor Mr. Smith’s didn’t hold up too well against The Tombs in our previous Georgetown March Madness bracket, it doesn’t mean that they can’t hold up in terms of happy hour specials. What’s nicer than sitting out in Mr. Smith’s nice garden bar and munching on some grub, all while remembering that it’s half-priced?

So, Hoyas, go out and eat some wings and drink some cocktails, but rest assured you’re spending wisely and saving up! Keep saving that money and get out there!

4Eats: Our Guide to Fall Eating

Well, it’s that time folks. Sweater weather. Boots. Leaves. Turkeys. Hurricanes? Yes, Hoyas, fall is in full swing, and that means it’s time for the season of eating. Thanksgiving might be a few weeks away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out into the city and enjoy some delicious grub. At The Fourth Edition, we were quite inspired by The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema and his Fall Dining Guide, so we decided to give you our own—college friendly, budget friendly, and tummy friendly—list of Fall’s Best. Here are our 4Eats:

Dukem:

Located in the heart of jazzy and eclectic U Street and consistently ranked one of DC’s top Ethiopian Restaurants, it’s no wonder why Dukem made our Fall Dining List. Dukem is definitely a fun, interactive experience for all you foodies out there, and we highly recommend going as a group. Combination platters featuring spongy Injera bread, Lamb Wot, Beef Tibs, and savory Kitfu with cottage cheese will leave your mouth watering for weeks!

Toki Underground:

We didn’t think it could happen, but H Street just got more hipster and happenin’ with Toki Underground. $10 Ramen. $5 Dumplings. Infinite happiness. We’re telling you, these dishes are going to blow your mind. There was so much umami going on in our mouths, we could have had a party like this. Not to mention the salt-cured pork belly had us screaming in pleasure. Don’t take our word for it? Fine. But maybe you’ll believe DC’s hottest veteran chef, José Andrés. Yeah, that’s what we thought. If you don’t eat at this place, we’ll go again for you.

Lia’s:

Nothing makes our hearts warm up like the crisp autumn air and a Chef Geoff’s restaurant like Lia’s. Take the Red Line up to Friendship Heights for some hearty Italian that will leave you with the happiest food coma of your life. Lia’s Happy Hour Menu is the by far the best deal in town, and their Crispy Risotto Balls are probably the best thing in the world. Oh, and if you still have room for dessert, try the Nutella Chocolate Tart with roasted white chocolate-banana ice cream. Yes, David After Dentist, this is real life.

Amsterdam Falafelshop:

Nothing quite says Fall like Amsterdam Falafelshop. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Fall, or even Amsterdam. But yes, it does have everything to do with heaven in your mouth. This Adams Morgan eatery is what we like to call a “falafel buffet,” an eden of sorts where you can dress your falafel up or down however you please. Our tips: wear pants two sizes too big, have the baba ganoush, and please, for the love of God, try the garlic sauce.

Photo Credit: DC Eater

Luke’s Lobster Student Days

In case you haven’t heard, one of the best places to get your fish fix lies just minutes from campus at Luke’s Lobster! The cozy, New England stylized restaurant first opened its doors in October 2009 after Georgetown alum Luke Holden (MSB’07), saw a need for some fresh lobster, crab, and shrimp rolls at a great price (cue mouth watering).

Hailing from Maine, the fishiest state on the East coast, Luke knew the secret to crafting the perfect roll, successfully opening up restaurants in New York City with the help of his dad Jeff and business partner Ben Coffin. The fish was such a hit that restaurant goers began to start referring to themselves as “Lobsta Mobstas.” Take that, Tony Soprano.

After the major success in the Big Apple, Luke decided to return to his college roots and give Georgetown another eatery. The lobster rolls at Luke’s are served Maine style: “the seafood is served chilled on a toasted split-top bun with just a bit of mayo, a drizzle of lemon butter and a dash of our secret spices.”

To make things even better, Luke’s will now be hosting Student Days every Tuesday. On Student Days, Hoyas will automatically receive a 10% discount all.day.long. But wait, there’s more. To kick off the Student Days, Luke is giving all Georgetown students a 30% discount TODAY so get your behinds over there (1211 Potomac Street NW) and get some great food!!!

Now that you’re hooked, BRING IN THE DANCING LOBSTAS! 

College Students Love D.C.

D.C. is quite clearly an awesome place to be. And now, the media is taking notice. This month, D.C. was chosen the third best city in America. In September Forbes released a list of the most hipster neighborhoods in the country, placing the H Street corridor at 6th. Now, our very own D.C. is the best college city in the country, according to The Huffington Post and The Princeton Review.

As Georgetown students, we have front row seats to the best college city experience in the country. It’s not that hard to see — from a professional standpoint, we have access to the most infamous network of interns anywhere, with government offices, lobbying firms, contractors and banks constantly looking for some impressionable, free college labor.

More importantly, though, D.C. is an incredibly fun city for us college kids. There are tons of bars. Tons of restaurants. Food trucks. Free concerts. Free museums. Easy public transportation. And in Georgetown in particular, we have quality fun institutions within blocks of campus (Tombs, Booey’s, Rhino, Thirsty Thursday at Thirds). Plus, Georgetown is far enough removed from the city to maintain its collegiate feel (despite the complaints of our neighbors). What more could you want from a college town?

Really not much. When most people think of college towns, they’re probably thinking of places like Ann Arbor, Mich. (10th on the list); Boulder, Colo.; State College, Pa.; or Columbus, Ohio. But here at Georgetown, we are witnesses to the same collegiate amenities as those college towns — with the added bonus of living in one of the most exciting cities in the country. Basically, boredom in D.C. is no excuse for a college student.

Other cities and universities ranking highly on the list include New Orleans with Tulane University, Boston with Boston University and New York with NYU, Columbia and Barnard. Our other D.C. brethren at The George Washington University and American came in 3rd and 8th, respectively.

America’s Next Top… Potty?

On Monday, I came across a massive piece of news regarding the upcoming election. No, not the upcoming November presidential election, something far more important. I learned that in the monumental election of America’s Best Bathroom, Georgetown’s very own Mie N Yu is a contender for the top spot.

This is serious, people. And as a professional, groundbreaking journalist, I did what any professional, groundbreaking journalist would do when he heard about this scoop: I experienced the Mie N Yu bathrooms for myself.

And let me say this: the Mie N Yu bathrooms are the greatest gift to planet Earth since Oprah.

Mie N Yu, as a restaurant, is a delightfully tacky and modern, Silk Road-inspired Asian hot mess. Lining the walls are flowing linens, Buddhas, and trendy seashell paper lanterns. Mahjong tiles cover the bar, and in the background, one can hear the cool sounds of Oriental lounge music (think Club Lau meets Panda Express).

The food isn’t bad either – if you’re looking for a good deal on M Street, try Mie N Yu’s $5 Happy Hour Bar Menu, served Monday-Friday from 5-7 (the Angry Spice Truffle Fries are delicious).

But the gems of Mie N Yu — the reasons why I will return — are their glorious bathrooms. From the moment I walked downstairs and stepped into the lavatories, I realized I was no longer in a strange, Epcot-meets-Asia restaurant. I was in a soothing Asian cove — No, I was in heaven.

The bathrooms are unisex and communal with intricately woven in patterns on the walls and dark, aged wood surrounding the doors. Green tiles border the toilets. Large metal trunks sit on the floor, adjacent to wooden water barrels and rusted copper sinks filled with massive, black pebbles. The atmosphere is breathtaking! I suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of calm, followed by an intense urge to take a mirror shot. This was one place I’d never want to forget.

Voting for America’s Best Restroom continues here until October 26. I highly encourage everyone to vote for Mie N Yu, especially since it faces some stiff competition from some big names, including New York’s Da Marino and Arizona’s Liberty Market. Only time will tell to see if Mie N Yu’s loo will earn the prestigious title of America’s Best Bathroom, but in the meantime, take a pit stop on M Street and enjoy these bathrooms for yourselves.

In my opinion, Mie N Yu takes the cake for America’s Best Bathroom. Or the fortune cookie. Either one.

Photo credit: Lindsay Horikoshi

Living Without Wingo’s (for now)

It was brought to our attention earlier today that Wingo’s is currently closed, and won’t open again until August 20th. Where else are we supposed to get sauce that promises to be hot on the way in and the way out?

But just because Wingo’s is on summer vacation doesn’t mean you have to go without buffalo wings. We’ve put together some places to fill the chicken wing-shaped hole in your life while we all await the return of our beloved wing shop.

J Bell’s Wing House
Founded by Julius Bell, a Buffalo native, J Bell’s Wing House has been around D.C. for more than 20 years. They serve up traditional southern food and buffalo wings with sauces like Honey BBQ and Mumbo. Their house specialty, 24 Karat sauce, is a sweet and sour spicy barbecue sauce—try it mixed with the hot sauce and enjoy. J Bell’s is carry out only, so if you’re planning on heading here call ahead so that your wings are ready when you get there.
715 Euclid Street NW (between Georgia Ave and 9th Street)

ChurchKey
This Logan Circle bar won in DC Beer’s hunt for the best buffalo wings in the District, so I think it’s safe to say that they’re pretty good. They described it as a wing that “even the most snotty foodie might appreciate,“ with a sauce made simply of butter and Frank’s Red Hot sauce. ChurchKey also has an absurd variety of good beers with 50 different beers on tap and more than 500 different labels.
1337 14th Street NW

Old Glory
Home to the most authentic barbecue in Georgetown, Old Glory’s wings are marinated in amber ale, slow smoked, grilled, and served with a side of cilantro ranch. There’s a good amount of meat on them, and you can choose from a variety of sauces from different parts of the country. Or not choose, because all six are already on the table.
3139 M Street NW

The Big Hunt
If you want to eat wings and you want to eat a lot of them, check out The Big Hunt in Dupont Circle. An order of buffalo wings weighs in at over a pound, so you can share with a friend or three. They’re not too spicy and go well with a cheap beer (PBR, anyone?). Bonus: Tuesdays from 7-11 The Big Hunt has 15 cent wing night which is almost as great as half price Wingo’s on Wednesdays.
1345 Connecticut Ave NW

The Tombs
An old standby that can’t be beat in terms of location. While Tombs doesn’t have as many sauces as Wingo’s and is a bit more expensive, if you want good wings without traveling too far this is the place for you. They serve solid, traditional buffalo wings with bleu cheese dressing on the side—goes great with Tuesday night trivia!
1226 36th Street NW

Hooters
But actually, go for the wings.
825 7th Street NW

Photo: Flickr user dovetaildw

Is The Guards Closing For Good?

Could this be the end of an era for The Guards? The Washington Post’s All We Can Eat blog posted yesterday that the restaurant and bar might be closing permanently.

While Georgetown students know it more as a bar, The Guards is one of the oldest restaurants in the area. It opened back in 1966, and their website boasts that they have “one of the most attractive bars in Georgetown today.”

They closed last night after dinner service, but their future is uncertain. Apparently owner Hossein Shirvani is renegotiating the lease with the landlord, and the closure may be a bit more than temporary. According to the Post, if the restaurant does reopen it will be after some renovations.

Since I’ve never actually eaten a meal at The Guards, I took a peek at their menu to see what all the fuss was about. It can be weird to think about our bars as the restaurants they are during the day time—I ate lunch at Thirds once, and sitting at a table where I saw people booty poppin’ the night before was a strange experience. But now I’m sad that I’ve only ever been to The Guards for the beer and late night dancing, because it looks like a real, legitimately good restaurant.

Fingers crossed that The Guards won’t be closing its doors forever, because that English-cut Prime Rib. Besides, where else are freshmen going to go out in the fall?

Photo: Flickr user Richie in London

Georgetown Waterfront – After the Flood

It has been a year since the unfortunate day that the Potomac River flooded the Georgetown waterfront after one of the floodwalls was not raised despite numerous flood warnings. It was a disaster  for many of the restaurants in the area, and while many have recovered and reopened, some businesses are still struggling.

One restaurant, Farmers and Fishers, will remain closed for up to eight more months due to the damage caused by the flooding. Farmers and Fishers may have suffered the most, since an entirely new restaurant is in the process of being built. The restaurant has had to endure property losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and has lost about $6-7 million in sales.

However, many of the other restaurants, including Tony and Joe’ Seafood Place and Nick’s Riverside Grille, reopened within only a few weeks of the flooding and plan to reopen again this June in remodeled dining spaces. The Mexican restaurant Cabanas will merge with Nick’s. Sequoia, a restaurant that was forced to close for a month after the flooding to repair damages, will reopen again this summer as well.

MRP Realty, owners of the plaza, has been planning a $20 million reconstruction of the space since September 2010. A 12,000 square foot ice rink is slated to be built for use in the winter months in place of the fountain. The plaza’s lower level will hopefully be completed by the end of 2012, and ice rink may open as soon as winter 2013.

File Photo: Meagan Kelly/The Hoya

Shophouse Moving into M Street

Salad, bowl, taco or burrito? Throw in black or pinto beans. Take your pick of meat or go vegetarian. Top it with your choice of salsa. And finally, finish it off with the typical sour cream, cheese, lettuce and guacamole. Oh, and don’t forget your chips.

That’s your typical Chipotle adventure.

Now, what if you’re in the mood for Asian cuisine but don’t really have an hour and a half to sit down and be served and waited on? Well, you’re in luck. The same company behind Chipotle recently launched its Shophouse branch. Most people would throw Shophouse under the “fast casual” category of restaurants. If you really wanna think about it this way, it’s kinda as if fast food and casual dining had a baby.

The first Shophouse was opened last fall in Dupont. Word on the street is another Shophouse will be taking the space vacated by Furin’s bakery, a family-owned and operated bakery that closed last summer after 27 years at 2805 M Street.

Shophouse derives its name from the architectural style of Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi. A shophouse is essentially a building that serves as a residential apartment on the upper level and then on the lower level, houses the family’s business whether it be a family-run restaurant or convenience store. To see a real Shophouses, take a look at these 19th century Singaporean shophouses.

This “fast casual” southeast Asian kitchen boasts tastes inspired by Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese Singaporean cuisine. If all goes well, pretty soon Georgetown students can take their pick of rice, noodles or bánh mì. Choose between meat or tofu. Sprinkle on stir-fry vegetables, curry choices and garnishes and voilà, the meal is complete—quick, easy, full of variety and within the single-digits price range.

How do you feel about having the convenience of “fast casual” Asian food right on M Street?

Photo credits: The Georgetown Metropolitan

More than Just Deals

by Michelle Cassidy

It looks like daily deals are about to get a luxury upgrade in the District. Two weeks ago, The Guide explored the origins of Livingsocial, a startup co-founded by Georgetown grad Tim O’Shaughnessy (MSB ’04). The D.C.-based deals giant already operates around the world, but now they’re doing something totally new.

Livingsocial’s new storefront at 918 F Street NW will be the site of a new direction for the company, according to DCist. Where they have previously focused on online vouchers and “adventures” like skeet shooting, sailing lessons and skydiving, the new venue will serve as a permanent space for lessons, pop-up restaurants and concerts.

Their new facility has taken over the old National Union Building, which has been around since 1890. They have converted the building into a four-story playhouse with classrooms that can be used for anything from dance lessons to painting classes. There’s also a commercial-grade kitchen that will host local restauranteurs and cooking instruction alike.

D.C. Top Chef Mike Isabella will be the first to host a pop-up restaurant in the space. Later this year he will be opening a new restaurant called Bandolero in Georgetown (on M Street, where Hook used to be before a fire this summer). But he’s hosting a preview of the menu in the Livingsocial space. It’s not quite the deal you would expect from their daily coupons, with seats at the preview going for $119 a person. But that doesn’t seem to be limiting the interest, as Isabella’s event is already sold out — looks like we’ll have to wait until the real thing opens to check out the menu.

It’s more than just fancy food though. There will be mixology classes and live music at the downstairs bar, with an acoustic set by O.A.R. scheduled for this Sunday as the first performance. Though Livingsocial’s new storefront may not have all the deals we’re used to seeing from them, we’re looking forward to what kinds of events might come out of this new location.

Photo: Benjamin R. Freed via DCist