Washington, D.C. Journals

Washington, DC haunts

An October 2001 trip to Washington, D.C. by Laura

Quote: I go to DC for business 4 times a year. I lived here for a stint in the early 90s when the other Bush was in office. This journal reviews the places I have been lately. I am told DC is fairly boring to non-Americans. Especially Europeans who don't think 200 years is old at all. And American history and our (small R)republican form of government is just really not that signifigant or exciting non-Americans.

Washington, DC haunts

Overview

Quote:
Union Station is lovely, US Capitol has guided and self giuded tours of the building, Supreme Court building is great, National Archives has the Declaration of Independence and other important documents. There is also a huge library to do geneological reserach. The American History Museaum, Corchoran Gallery, White House Tour (I think these are only for school kids post 9/11)Quick Tips: Call your member of Congress before your trip. He/she can send you list of the sights and when and how best to see them, what days they are closed, etc. You can also get VIP White House Tour tickets, Gallery passes for the House and Senate and other VIP tours through your Represenative. This is an excellen...Read More
Quote:
This is a very good location for seeing the Capitol, Union Station, etc. The rooms are decent and come with a mini-bar and coffeemaker. The immediate area is not so great. There is a lively lobby bar, a restaurant and a fancier Capital Hill Club restuarant on the 11th floor. I have gotten room service a few times and it was very good -they serve this great pretzel roll with dinner. I had a wonderful Asian chicken salad, but notices they took it off the menu later.Last time I stayed, I had an upgrade voucher to a Regency Club room. The 11th floor Regency club is closed until roughly the end of January because the hotel has so few guests lately. The hotel is located on the Senate side o...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 16, 2001

Hyatt Regency Washington
400 New Jersey Ave., NW
Washington, D.C., United States 20001
(202) 737-1234

Quote:
The Crystal Gateway Marriott is located just outside DC in "Crystal City." It is the strangest area completely paved over and filled with high rise hotels, office buildings and apartment buildings. Underground throughout the area is a pedestrian pathway/mall filed with shops and food courts. The hotel is so convenient to the Metro via the pedestrian tunnel and just a stop or 2 toward DC from Reagan National Airport. I took a taxi from the airport and was bummed to pay $9 after all the airport fees ect. The Metro would have been $1.10. I was pleasantly surprised with the hotel. The front desk staff was super friendly and pleasant. My room was great. I think that Marriott has changed their...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 1, 2002

Crystal Gateway Marriott
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, Virginia 22202
703-920-3230

The Fairmont Washington D.C.

Hotel | "WASHINGTON MONARCH HOTEL"

Quote:
This hotel is lovely and does not feel like a big city sterile hotel. It is a couple blocks from the Foggy Bottom Metro Stop and is located in the trendy "West End". There is a gorgeous landscaped courtyard and the hotel lobby is decorated to bring the in the flora and greenery. It would be a great place for Sunday brunch.

The rooms are gorgeous with dark wood furnishings and floral linens that make you feel like you''re at a bed and breakfast. But the rooms are set up for business travelers. The concierge was helpful and made great restaurant recommendations.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 2, 2002

The Fairmont Washington D.C.
2401 M St. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20037
(202) 429-2400

The Caucus Room

Restaurant

Quote:
This is an old school DC restaurant and pretty pricey. The wine list is extensive, but the menu is not too creative. I had a 12 oz bone-in filet for $27 served with a onion and potato hash brown. The steak was cooked perfectly and they warned me that the medium rare was REALLY rare - so I got medium and it was perfect. There is no vegetarian choices so my one friend got a salad and a baked potato. There is a nice seafood selection. One friend got a pan broiled salmon and another got the special bacon wrapped scalops. My glass of Pinot Noir was $12. The desserts were $8 each and heavenly. We got a coconut cake and a chocolate cake to share. The salad choices looked more creative than the entr...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 10, 2002

The Caucus Room
401 9th Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20004
(202) 393-1300

Old Ebbitt Grill

Restaurant | "Old Ebbitt Bar and Grill"

Quote:
I have been to Old Ebbitt Grill for lunch and had the steak house salad. It is very good with grilled sirloin cooked to taste, and bleu cheese and fried onion strings over Romaine lettuce. I have also been there for happy hour and it is quite the after work meeting place. The bar is very crowded as is the restaurant. It is in the shadow of the White House and is often a pre-theater dining stop. Old Ebbitt is really is a proverbial DC-establishment place to dine. The dinner menu has moderately priced sandwiches like a buffalo chicken or hamburger both served with fries for $7.95. They also have more traditional entrées like steaks, rack of pork and are known for their oysters served on th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 1, 2002

Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th Street North West
Washington, District of Columbia 20005
(202) 347-4800

AMERICA RESTAURANT

Restaurant

Quote:
This place is interesting. The menu is a huge map of the US and every region or state and city is represented with a type of food. I had frybread with grilled chicken, carmelized onions and cheese served with fries. I was a bit concerned that with a menu that diverse, could anything be decent? But the food was pretty decent and the portions large. My friend had meatloaf and the other friend has some fish, salmon I think. We had veggie pot stickers as an appetizer. They were yummy. For dessert we got pecan pie. It was heated though and served with ice cream. We closed the place chit-chatting the night away, but the waiter did not seem to mind. The dinner for three of use was under $60 i...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 1, 2002

AMERICA RESTAURANT
50 Massachusetts Avenue
Washington, District of Columbia 20001
(202) 682-9555

Cheesecake Factory

Restaurant

Quote:
Cheesecake Factory is a chain you can find in most decent-sized metro areas. The menu is huge and is sort of fusion cuisine with LARGE portions using Asian and Tex Mex influences. I like it for lunch even though it is a bit on the pricey side. I had a Chinese chicken salad that was excellent and fresh with marinated chicken, lettuce, bean sprouts, mandarin oranges and fried won ton pieces in a sesame soy dressing. The lunch portion was very big - enough to share with a friend. They have a nice lunch special that includes a small pizza of your choice and garden salad piled high with carrots, beets, lettuce and tomato wedges for $7.95 served until 5 pm. I have had the roasted veggie pizza and foun...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 1, 2002

Cheesecake Factory
5335 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20015
(202) 364-4623

Billy Martin's Tavern

Restaurant | "MARTIN'S TAVERN "

Quote:
The hotel concierge recommended this little Georgetown haunt when Old Ebbit Grill could not accommodate our group of 12. It was a terrific choice. The wait staff handled our group with poise, the table was set and waiting for our arrival. I am not sure if it is know for it, but the Prime Rib was absolutely excellent - probably the best I have had anywhere. The pot roast is not a good choice and was a bit tough, the person who ordered it, sent it back in exchange for another bowl of delicious vegetable soup. For a group of 12 including beverages and wine, it was about $600. The restaurant can get a bit smoky so it you are hyper sensitive, it is probably not a great choice. It is a terrific locati...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 21, 2001

Billy Martin's Tavern
1264 Wisconsin Avenue North West
Washington, District of Columbia 20007
(202) 333-7370

Occidental Grill & Seafood

Restaurant | "OCCIDENTAL GRILL "

Quote:
In the shadow of the White House, this is one of those over rated Washington institution type places. The walls are covered floor to ceiling with the who’s who of black and white photos. I went with a date. We had 2 filets and one glass of wine between us and spent over $50. They were out of the fish he wanted. It's a good place to go – once.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 21, 2001

Occidental Grill & Seafood
1475 Pennsylvania Avenue North West
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 783-1475

Morton's of Chicago

Restaurant | "MORTON'S STEAKHOUSE"

Quote:
Morton's is a quintessential steakhouse and you can find one in any big city. This is a good place for gluttons. I have never seen a filet, broccoli spear or baked potato so huge. The service is very professional, the filet very rare, but delicious. They also have fish and chicken selections if you dare, but if you go to Morton's, it is for steak or maybe a surf and turf.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 21, 2001

Morton's of Chicago
1050 Connecticut Avenue North West
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
(202) 955-5997

Austin Grill Penn Quarter

Restaurant | "AUSTIN GRILL"

Quote:
Austin Grill has a couple DC locations. The one in the newly thriving area around the MCI Center and one in upper Georgetown at 2404 Wisconsin Ave., NW. Both serve up some tasty fajitas and other tex mex favorites. The frozen margaritas are fabulous. Try a red white and blue - appropriate for Washington DC and is a striped with blue raspberry, lime and strawberry frozen margarita. It is a fun, friendly atmosphere at the bar, a good place to go with friends.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 21, 2001

Austin Grill Penn Quarter
750 East Sreet NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 393-3776

Bombay Club

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
When my friend told me to meet him at Bombay Club, it was not what I expected. From the street, you barely know it is there in the base of an office building just off Farraghut Square. It did not have the flashy elephant decor with the shrill of taped sitar music. I was greeted by a suited host and music flowed from a live grand piano player. Traditional Indian favorites were on the menu like chicken tikka. The specials that night were tandori salmon or venison - very unique. I had curry vegetable and traditional cheese cubes in spicy spinach. The samosa appetizers were great filled with peas and potatoes and a spicy kick. They had a nice wine list too even though only I had a glass of Rioja...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 11, 2002

Bombay Club
815 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20006
(202) 659-3727

Heaven & Hell

Attraction | "HEAVEN & HELL"

Quote:
Heaven and hell is a blast. It is 2 clubs in one. You guessed it, heaven is upstairs and hell down. The crowd is lively and DJs spin tunes including some 80s an a regular basis. It is a good choice for a lively night out with friends. The crowd tends to be a mid to late 20s bunch.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 21, 2001

Heaven & Hell
2327 18th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20009
(202) 667-4355

Union Station Shops

Attraction | "Union Station"

Quote:
Union Station besides being a Metro Stop and Amtrack stop, is indeed a mall. There are brand name retailers like The Limited, Sam Goody, B.Dalton Books, Bath & Body Works etc. One of my favorite stores in Political Americana. Depending on the day, they sometimes have some great collectable political memorabilia at decent prices. I got a press pass from the 1972 GOP National Convention for $6. They have buttons, bumper stickers, photos - both new and old, genuine and reproductions. Across the hall is AMERICA!, a store filled with faux White House accessories like coffee mugs and towels as well as other patriotic and whimsical, and decidedly American items. Also there is a Discovery Chan...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 1, 2002

Union Station Shops
50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20002

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Attraction | "Reagan National Airport Shops"

Quote:
OK. I know it's an airport, but the shopping is actually pretty good. DCA has a Disney Store, Discovery Channel Store, Smithsonian Museum shop, National Geographic shop, AMERICA (with faux knicknacks from the White House, Congress, etc.), National Zoo store and more. Some of my favorites. The shopping is pretty darn good and the prices are fine. I got inauguration t-shirts for $5 at the golf store and they were 100% cotton - not that 50/50 crap. There is even a jewelry kiosk that looked nice with reasonable prices, but I have not indulged yet. I spend a lot of time in airports and like to get gift shopping done wherever and whenever possible. DCA is probably the best airport shopping around in...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 2, 2002

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Washington, DC
Washington, District of Columbia 20001
(703) 417-8000

Quote:
They tell you to allow about 2 hours to get throught the museum. I think I spent more like 4 hours. I read every word I could in order to learn and help explain the Holocaust. There were a couple different movies to sit through as well. Eash visitor gets a "passport" when s/he walks in and is supposed to think about the person in the passport as s/he walks throught the exhibits and the timelines from the war. The exhibits go into detail about the atrocities and there are tons of artifacts on display found in the concentration camps. One case has only shoes. The items in the museum as well as the form or archetecture of the museum make it great. The design and layout of the building are su...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 2, 2002

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, Sw
Washington, D.C., United States 20024
(202) 488-0400

U.S. Supreme Court

Attraction

Quote:
When the court is not in session, the public can sit in the courtroom and see where the Justices sit and the attorneys sit. Lectures from interns are given every hour on the half-hour. They explain the functions and operation of the court as well as facts about the building and the history of the court. They also offer Q and A. In the lower level there are exhibits that change periodically. When I was there, the topic on display was about building a home for the court. It did not have its own building until 1935. There is a theater, where a film on the Supreme Court is shown as well as a gift shop - good for lawyer gifts. The building is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 2, 2002

U.S. Supreme Court
1 First Street NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20543
(202) 479-3000

Verizon Center

Attraction | "MCI Center - Wizards Basketball Game"

Quote:
The MCI Center is a great place to see a game. It is a newer arena and reminds me of a smaller United Center for watching basketball games. Maybe that is because #23 Michael Jordan now plays for the Washington Wizards. Anyway, I have sat on the 200 Club Level and, it is lovely.

The concourses are carpeted and there is a great variety of foods - not just hot dogs and pretzels. I had a prosciutto panini with roasted peppers. Then I had a tiramisu for dessert. The 200 level also has waiters, if you prefer that bring food and drinks to your seat for a 15% automatic gratuity.

The MCI Center located is right above the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stop.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 1, 2002

Verizon Center
601 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 628-3200