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“Did you know we could get $3 drafts right now?” one patron asked his buddy after the bartender suggested they swipe their loyalty cards and enjoy some discounted refreshments. Another night, a server bid her pizza box-juggling client farewell. “We’ll see you soon,” she said. “Yeah, I’ll probably be here tomorrow,” the departing gent fired right back.
Those with actual tickets come to pregame and often return for a parting shot. Others spend entire game days here, sucking down cold drinks (Jack’s Hard Cider is dangerously easy to drink) on the sun-splashed deck or following the action on the five flat-screen TVs that halo the main bar.
Happy hour looses $3 drafts, $4 rails or house wines and $5 Firefly cocktails.
Soak up some of the free-flowing alcohol with the stupid-hot ghost pepper grilled cheese — I teared up a few times while eating it, then flat out bawled much, much later — or a trio of lip-smacking sliders featuring juicy beef, zesty mustard, savory onions, sharp cheddar and bitter greens.Double
Bluejacket: 300 Tingey St. SE; 202-524-4862; bluejacketdc.com.
Average entree: $13 to $20 ($$). Open for lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, brunch Sunday.
Southeast D.C.’s preeminent brewery absolutely kills it when it comes to whetting one’s whistle.
The Fix blends together beer, gourmet coffee and vanilla beans into a robust pour displaying hints of toffee on the nose and a brandy-like complexity on the palate. Part chocolate shake, part coffee cocktail, this one has the potential to serve as both nightcap and eye-opener.
Come to pound?
Our favorite session beers include: Disaster Proof (medium hoppiness, smooth finish; more intricate than a light beer but still very approachable), Forbidden Planet (strong citrus kick; ideal for swigging while baking beneath the beating sun) and Heavy Meadow (gorgeous golden color, crisp flavor, lingering spice).
Not your first rodeo?
Oak-aged, cask conditioned Pyro comes across as the love child of smoke and citrus (we tasted grapefruit and tangerine). High Society lures you in with the scent of tropical fruit, then begins its slow burn down the gullet, dispensing hints of caramel and sherry all along the way.
Some bar snacks (overpriced pretzels, underwhelming pig tails) were instantly forgettable.
Not so the daringly spiced baskets of fries. The scallion-topped, red pepper-flecked General Satan’s sauced spuds were crowd favorites. The Frank’s Red Hot sauce-splashed, melted blue cheese-topped Frankenbutter batches were quickly devoured. Others squealed with delight at sight of gravy and shaved cheddar fueled potatoes bolstered by blocks of salty Tasso ham.Single
Agua 301: 301 Water St. SE; 202-484-0301; agua301.com
Average entree: $13 to $20 ($$). Open for lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, brunch Saturday and Sunday.
The kitchen remains in transition following the lightning fast departure of its opening chef, so steer clear of the comestibles — especially the greasy tacos and disappointingly dry grilled oysters — for now.
Luckily, the vintage tequilas and mezcals management wisely assembled work just fine.
Their classic margarita is rock solid. Each tailor-made tipple features a generously salted rim, a stiff pour of tequila and just enough face-puckering sour to make you want to do it all over again. And again.