Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Can Lyman's Tavern revive (or create) DC's pinball scene?

Lyman's, the relaxed new neighborhood bar next to the Red Derby, has a lot of pinball tables -- 6, to be exact. Part of the reason, aside from pinball being fun, is so the bar can host official tournaments, and last week, they hosted their first. DCist has more, and asks an interesting question -- can Lyman's resurrect DC's pinball scene?

To be honest, I didn't know DC had one before, but the city was formerly the host of the National Pinball Museum, hidden away in the Georgetown Mall. The museum left for Baltimore due to rent, and there aren't many other places that have pinball machines aside from a couple at the Black Cat and the Satellite Room and a few other bars.

The tourney, held for charity, had some interesting rules: rather than just score the most, three-player teams had to achieve various objectives like unlock a multiball or get a certain number of points. (The Post has more on the tournament.)

According to the DCist article, the bar has been of interest to DC-area pinball groups because the machines are nice and well-maintained, so it sounds like a good niche for the Lyman's folks. (Owner Kevin Perone is a pinball fan too.) Plus pinball at bars isn't super unusual, Portland, Ore. has a huge pinball scene with reportedly more than 500 machines around the city. Too early to see if Columbia Heights is next, but hey, pinball is fun.

And if you don't like pinball, the bar is just a nice place to chill out. (Or play Super Off-Road, the vintage arcade game where you drive an off-road truck.)

Lyman's is located at 3720 14th Street NW, at Quincy Street. Here's more on it.

Photo from Lyman's Facebook

Cheap beer alert: $6 Narragansett tall-boy 6-packs at D'Vines

If you like beer, get yourself to D'Vines, the beer, wine and liquor store at 3103 14th Street NW: they have a super deal of a 6 pack of tallboys of Narragansett, a brew from Rhode Island, for only $6.

'Gansett may not be a Belgian farmhouse brew, but it's pretty tasty as cheap beer goes, and you can't beat that price for 16 ounce beers.

The other day I stopped in and they had the lager (pictured) and the Narragansett shandy for a higher price. I also like the slogan: "made on honor, sold on merit." I guess that's the Rhody version of "from the land of pleasant living" on Natty Boh.

And even if you aren't into cheap beer (for some reason!) they have a great selection of craft beer, wines and now craft liquors too. (Just beware if you're buying craft rye, it might all be from the same place.) 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mama Chuy, the tasty taqueria, now delivers!

Longtime readers of this blog will know that I'm a big fan of Mama Chuy, the Mexican taqueria at 2620 Georgia Ave NW, near Fairmont Streets. The spot, run by a brother and sister using their grandmother's old recipes, has delicious Mexican food plus tasty margaritas.

The tacos are delicious, as are the sopes, a kind of flat taco with a thicker, fried tortilla base. I've liked everything I've had there, especially the al pastor (marinated pork with onion and cilantro,) the milanesa (breaded, fried chicken) and the vegetarian ones with spinach, poblano pepper and melted Chihuahua cheese.

They also have bigger dishes like carne asada (grilled steak) platters, lots of burritos and the like, plus good sides -- I was a big fan of the papitas fritas, sort of like steak fries with Mexican cojita cheese.

But like Reading Rainbow, don't take my word for it -- they have four stars on 100 Yelp reviews.

And now they deliver! From 5 to 10:15pm, they'll bring their fare to you through Grubhub. I haven't tried them for delivery but I definitely plan to. And lst week they tweeted that you can get $5 off your first offer by using the code "eeo8919" at

FOIA: the most DC graffiti ever?

The other day I was hanging out at the Looking Glass Lounge with some pals, and made a trip to the downstairs bathroom, as people drinking beer are wont to do. In there, I noticed some graffiti scrawled onto the wall in big letters: FOIA. I think that might be the most DC graffiti ever.

And that's awesome. I doubt many other cities have folks who know what the Freedom of Information Act is, let alone care enough about it to write it in bathroom, then add to that the added step of having other people immediately recognize it -- what a town we live in.

(That said, Looking Glass is a good spot, don't graffiti their bathroom.)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Free Latin American drinks (horchata, tamarindo, etc.) today at Pollo Campero!

Pollo Campero, the Latin American chicken spot at 14th and Kenyon, is offering free Latin drinks today to mark the launch of new all-natural drinks on their menu. The spot was recently renovated as well. Here's more from them. 

If you haven't been by, the chicken is tasty. As for the drinks, horchata is a sweet and delicious drink made from almonds and spices, tamarindo is made from the tamarind fruit, and jamaica (pronounced ha-mike-a) is a sweet hibiscus tea. All are awesome.
Today, your local Pollo Campero will be helping guests to stay refreshed in the summer heat. We are introducing all-natural Latin drinks to the menu. To celebrate the launch, we are offering free, 100-percent natural, Latin drinks to guests from 11 AM to 9 PM.

Guests can beat the summer heat with all-natural versions of the restaurant’s popular Latin drinks. While flavors vary by location, most restaurants feature Horchata, Jamaica and Tamarindo
I'm interested. Pollo Campero is located on the Civic Plaza at 3229 14th Street NW. 

InfestDC, music festival benefitting nonprofits, this week with venues in Columbia Heights

If you're an underground or punk music fan (or want to help some good causes), check out InfestDC, a music fest happening from July 31-August 3 with many shows in our area. Described on their site as a "four day celebration of underground art, music and activism," the fest has shows and events at about a DIY dozen venues, many of them in Columbia Heights or the surrounding area.

Proceeds from the event go to help support Positive Force, a group that works for positive social change, We Are Family, which supports seniors, and Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center, which provides shelter and a safe space. They're also raising awareness for The Way Home Campaign, a campaign to end chronic homelessness.

A single day pass is $10 or a $5 badge for some of the events. Venues and bands are listed on their website, and on the flyer above (click it for a bigger version.)

UPDATE: I corrected the groups the event is working with above.

The event raises money for two local organizations, Casa Ruby, which provides shelter and a safe space for LGBT people, and The Way Home, a campaign to end chronic homelessness.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lost shark at 11th and Park: have you seen it?

Have you seen this shark? Spotted this at 11th and Park the other day, outside Meridian Pint. Unfortunately, however, the contact information for the person who lost the shark is ripped off, so I guess if you find him you'll just have to let him swim in your bathtub or something.

Love seeing funny stuff like this.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New gym coming to 14th and Clifton: Elevate

There's a new gym coming to southern Columbia Heights: Elevate, located in the Capitol View building next to Love & Faith, the new coffee and ice cream spot.

Their website describes it as a "different kind of gym," it sounds like a cross between a personal training gym and group classes, with lots of monitoring your fitness. One of the links talks about training for Spartan, one of those extreme runs with obstacles, so it sounds like it's for the serious exerciser.

Sounds interesting. It's located at 2428 14th Street NW.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New coffee and ice cream shop at 14th and Belmont, Love n' Faith Community Cafe

Caffeine and ice cream lovers rejoice: there's a new coffee shop and ice creamery at 2424 14th Street NW, between Belmont and Chapin: Love n' Faith Community Cafe, which advertises coffee, liquid nitrogen ice cream (more on that later) fresh baked goods and smoothies.

The spot opened about a month ago and is nice and bright inside, with about a dozen seats. They're open every day both mornings and night, so it's a nice spot to go get an early morning coffee and pastry or late night ice cream. (The hours are below.)

I bumped into a buddy on the street while I was checking it out, and he said he really liked it, so there's an early review.

So, the liquid nitrogen ice cream -- I forgot to ask about it, but some research reveals it's a way to make ice cream on  the spot when you order it, so if somebody asks for a scoop they can just whip it up. They means it's fresher tasting and only requires a few (also fresh) ingredients. Sounds pretty tasty.

Here's their Facebook page.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Awesome dish: Kangaroo Boxing Club's "F--k It Bucket"

A couple of weekends ago I was at Kangaroo Boxing Club with some friends, having a few drinks. It got late and we got hungry, and we noticed something on the late night menu, served from 11pm-1:30am Friday and Saturday: the "F--k It Bucket," listed as "$10 bowl of awesome, no take backsies." Basically, it's whatever food they choose to put in a big bowl. So of course we got it, and it was pretty great (as drunk food goes.)

The bucket's contents vary, depending on the whims of the staff, but in this case it was ground beef with gravy, fries, and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets (not on the menu, just a funny thing to put in there, we guessed) all topped with macaroni and cheese -- sort of a weird version of poutine, basically. It was also enormous, a ton of food for $10. Another version that a City Paper writer tried included a duck egg, pulled pork pizza, fries, tomatoes, jalapenos and more. Fries are always involved, beyond that it's anybody's guess (they'll also do a vegetarian or vegan version if you want that.)

I tried taking a picture, but it didn't look appetizing, despite completely hitting the spot on our need for food. But take my word for it, if you're hungry after a few drinks, it's well worth it. (The rest of the late night menu is pretty good too.)