For MWLUG 2017, we’re in my lovely city of Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. Some folks will come early, some will stay late, some will choose to dine out while they’re here. So, I wanted to offer some mild advice to make your search for a good meal easier.
Man, I want it to be close
Well, the easiest is right in the hotel. I’ve heard good things about Finn & Porter, but I’ve not eaten there. I’m sure everyone will stop in for a drink, so while you consider your options elsewhere, check the menu. Remember to tip your bartenders and waitresses well! The next closest is one I’ve been to very often. Well, a few times a year. Clyde’s is on the way home from my mother-in-law’s house, so we have stopped for a drink on the way home occasionally. The food is outstanding. If you like oysters, they always have a good list. There are good wines available and the bartenders mix up some fine cocktails. You can walk to and from Clyde’s (0.4 miles).
I really wish I hadn’t left home
Yes, there is a TGI Friday’s and I have heard they do wear the appropriate amount of flair. It’s a mile, so you could walk.
Beer, beer and more beer
I really like Cap City Brewing in Shirlington. Get yourself some pretzels and enjoy a few cold ones. Cap City opened early on in the micro-brew era, so it may not be ‘different’ enough if that’s important to you. On the other hand, longevity does indicate a certain level of quality. Take an Uber over to Shirlington, or wander over after our time at New District Brewing. (Half a mile from New District, 10 minute drive from the hotel to Shirlington).
I want to open a cheese shop
Nearby in Shirlington, Cheesetique started as a cheese shop that had some wines and snacks. Then, they morphed into a cheese and wine shop where you could have a meal. Now, it is really a good restaurant with amazing cheese and pretty good wine.
Everything seems to be headed to Shirlington, but I want something different
If you’re seeking something other than beer and wine as the draw, Shirlington has many restaurants these days. Busboys & Poets will always fill you up with delicious comfort food and also has some literature or might even have a poetry reading. Carlyle is an old standby – a little pricey for me. We’ve loved eating at every location of Cafe Pizzaiolo, including the one that they had right in our neighborhood for a few years. Guapo’s is great for Mexican food. There are a bunch of other restaurants, so it’s a good area to choose — keeping in mind it is just a half mile from Wednesday night’s brewery.
It has to be French, bien sur!
Two choices if time, distance and money aren’t real priorities: Le Diplomate in DC or La Cote d’Or in Falls Church. Great for me, because the wine lists are very good (longer and more expensive downtown, shorter and more reasonable in Fall Church) and the food is unbeatable.
You could head to Crystal City or Pentagon Row, which are near the Crystal City and Pentagon Row metro stops. Another good choice is the Clarendon areas in Arlington, which is very walkable once you’re there. Old Town Alexandria has dozens of restaurants and true nightlife.
Hope these ideas help!