by Borderstan.com December 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,561 0

"Solly's"

Solly’s Tavern at U Street. (onuis Gomez Photos)

From Emiliano Barron. Email him at ebarron[AT]borderstan.com

Solly’s Tavern is one of the most unique places I’ve visited while in DC. Being from a foreign country, Solly’s is exactly how I imagined a typical American bar, complete sports memorabilia and other items that look like they’ve been collected form vintage stores and garage sales.

One of the things that makes Solly’s so special is its community feel. Whether you are there with friends to watch a big game over some beers, or you are alone on a weeknight, looking for a quiet place to drink, Solly’s accommodates everyone.

During my recent trip, I enjoyed sitting at the bar, meeting other locals and hearing stories on the history of the neighborhood, as well as its new developments.

The bar has a menu that changes almost weekly, giving the customers a different surprise every time they visit. Solly’s serves up dishes such as nachos (always a great choice with a cold beer), a variety of sandwiches, tacos and wings.

The bar’s most famous sandwich is the Chicken and Cheese Stallion, which is  chicken, cheese and roasted tomatoes. All the items on the menu are priced around $10, and the beers range from $3 to $10.

The bar is conveniently located (1942 11th Street NW) near the U Street Metro and is walking distance to tons of other bars and restaurants on U Street for those who prefer to “crawl.”

Solly’s is a great place to go have a quick bite to eat and have a couple drinks while enjoying a great conversation with the great people that come in.

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by Borderstan.com December 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,233 0

"Mexico"

Mexican Cultural Institute on 16th Street NW. (Emiliano Barron)

From Emiliano Barron. Email him at ebarron[AT]borderstan.com

The Mexican Cultural Institute (2829 16th Street NW) is committed to enriching the relationship between Mexico and the U.S. by sharing Mexico’s vibrant cultural past and present with the local community.

The building, known as the Mansion, was the home of the Mexican Embassy up until 1989. Today the Mexican Cultural Institute is its own home, where the walls speak for themselves, telling not only the history of Mexico but also of the Americas.

One such exhibit that helps to tell this story is Luces y Sombras: Fourteen Travelers in Mexico, which is currently showing through March 2, 2013. The Mexican Cultural Institute describes the exhibit:

Mexico’s politics, diverse landscapes, ancient history and existing culture have lured and influenced photographers since the advent of the medium. The twentieth century saw many internationally acclaimed photographers travel through Mexico and document the country from their unique perspectives. Their status, both as outsiders and as artists, gave them a distinctive view on this subject and allowed for a wide range of imagery to emerge in their work.

The exhibit accurately conveys aspects of the social history of Mexico through images of the working class and poor areas of country. Those who visit the exhibit will see faces of the elderly, completely run down, and little kids that are not smiling or playing, but rather taking a break from work.

Through photography, Luces y Sombras: Fourteen Travelers in Mexico shows how much the country has advanced over the years. What I found to be most enjoyable was Paul Strands’ photography. Strands’ images focus on portraits, as well as religion, giving viewers a true sense of the hard work and dedication of Mexico’s working class.

Luces y Sombras: Fourteen Travelers in Mexico is a free exhibit. The Medican Cultural Institute is open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, and from noon until 4 pm on Saturday.

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by Borderstan.com December 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,813 0

"Citron"

Cafe Citron, Oldie but Goodie. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Emiliano Barron. Email him at ebarron[AT]borderstan.com

Café Citron (1343 Connecticut Ave.) is an oldie but goodie. The unique and colorful Dupont restaurant and bar offers everything from strong mojitos, to traditional Latin dishes and dancing.

The menu represents several countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru and the Caribbean, and the dishes are made with fresh ingredients. The most popular menu items with customers include the Caribbean Ceviche from Peru, Venezuelan empanadas and Mexican nachos.

If you enjoy having a drink or two and dancing, Café Citron is the place to go. The place is best known for their great Cuban Mojitos which are prepared in front of the customer and can even be ordered by the pitcher. Café Citron gained popularity 12 years ago because they were they first to start selling mojitos in D.C. when the bar was inaugurated.

As the night progresses the place gets more and more energetic and transitions from a restaurant into a night club. Café Citron’s D.J. plays a very Latin playlist, and the bar provides bongos and congas on every floor for the crowd to join in on the fun.

The crowd ranges from CEOs, to students, crossing generations and hosting a variety of local and international customers.

The deals at Café Citron are also enticing:

  • Wednesday night is salsa night. Café Citron has free salsa lessons from 7:30 to 8:30 pm and an open bar from 11 pm to midnight on rail drinks, ABSOLUT VODKA and Dos Equis XX. They also have a D.J. playing until 2 am.
  • Thursday night is Brazilian night with a free Zamba class at 9 pm and a Brazilian show at 9:30 pm, as well as an open bar from 11 pm until midnight with Jonnie Walker Red and rail drinks.
  • Rough Monday? Cafe Citron has an open bar from 4 pm to 10 pm for $12 every hour.

Café Citron is just a around the corner for many Borderstan neighbors — so if you haven’t been there, now is a good time to check out the old, but good cafe.

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