From Katie Andriulli. Email her at katie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @kandriulli.
Okay, so here’s the deal. This weekend is that Inauguration thing. It’s gonna be crowded, cold, and lots of people from [insert midwestern state here] are going to stand on the left side of the metro escalators. You’ve been warned.
If you DO decide to leave the confines of your abode, you can find a massive list of unofficial inaugural balls here, bars staying open ’til ungodly hours here, and food specials around town here, but really you should just do the things listed below because they are going to be fun, probably!
- Although his mom jeans belie his coolness, we all know that Obama enjoys a good beer from time to time. In honor of POTUS and his hometown of Chicago, Jack Rose Dining Saloon is hosting a Goose Island Tap Takeover starting at 5 pm, featuring $3.12 cans of the 312 Urban Wheat, $7 drafts and a rare bottle tasting from 6 to 10 pm in their new basement bar.
- Do you like Reggae? Because it is one of the things in this world that I do not like. But if you do, that’s cool. To each his own! Also, you should probably check out the official Thievery Corporation After-Party tonight at The Brixton which will feature a reggae DJ. It’s free and things will kick off around 10 pm when the Thievery show at the 9:30 Club winds down.
- My colleague, Rachel, said it best: Inauguration weekend calls for doughnuts. Snag some of the Obama-themed variety from DC’s own Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, who will be holding another pop-up shop today at Chinatown Coffee Co. starting at 10 am.
- I will admit that I am not entirely sure what takes place at an improv comedy inaugural ball, but if you want to satisfy your morbid curiosity, head over to the DC Arts Center for the Aboulia! Inaugural Ball featuring a packed lineup of DC’s best improv troupes. The shows start at 7:30 and 10 pm, and tickets are $10.
- Preemptively counteract any licentious deeds you’ll be engaging in the rest of the weekend by volunteering as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. There are a ton of events going on across the city, including one at DC Armory, where volunteers will be putting together care packages for the troops. Get all the info you need and sign up or a shift here.
- Remember when Moby dated Natalie Portman? That was pretty weird! Be sure to ask him about it tonight when you see him headlining the Blisspop Inauguration Party at U Street Music Hall, starting at 10 pm. The show is currently sold out, but it’s definitely worth scouring Craigslist for tickets.
- If you’re starting to feel yourself descending into an alcohol and tourist-induced fugue state by this point in the weekend, then the Nevermind the Inauguration Counter Inaugural Ball and Festival of Resistance might be just what the doctor ordered. The event, which starts at noon at the Warehouse Theater, features free workshops and films on global resistance, and caps things off with a good old fashioned punk rock benefit concert at 6 pm.
- True story: In 2009 I watched the Inauguration on TV at a bar in Columbia Heights with an endless supply of mimosas and bloody marys, and it was the best decision I have ever made. If you’re smart enough to follow suit (did I mention it’s going to be COLD OUT today?) plant yourself at one of the many establishments that will be serving up their usual weekend fare and specials today, including Firefly, Tabaq and Red Rocks.
From Jane Alonso. Her passion for food and spirits leads her on frequent excursions into Borderstan’s land of bars and restaurants. Email her at jane[AT]borderstan.com
Mark Twain once said: “Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.” That phrase could aptly describe the prolific selection of whiskey and bourbon at Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Adams Morgan – a temple to the malted barley spirits.
The walls of Jack Rose are stocked with more than 1,500 bottles of liquid gold, some of which reportedly come from the private collection of co-owner Bill Thomas (who also owns the two Bourbon bars in DC). One look up at the tall ladders that the bartenders use to reach the bottles on the highest shelves, and I knew I was in love with this bar. The décor alone is proof that Jack Rose gives whiskey its proper place to shine at the top of the drinking universe.
If you aren’t familiar with scotch, this is a good place to begin the journey. Jack Rose’s menu lists hundreds of options, grouped by the main regions of Scotland — Campletown, Islay, Islands, Highlands, Lowlands, and Speyside. Well-known brands like Macallan, Laphroig, Glenfiddich and Glenlivet are right there alongside less common ones such as Kilchoman (the newest distillery on the island of Islay) or Clynelish (a distillery on the southern northeast coast of Scotland between Inverness and Wick).
Even among the recognizable brands, you will find offering that are less familiar. You can order almost anything on the menu in a half-ounce, one ounce, or two-ounce pours, priced accordingly. This means you don’t have to break the bank to try some truly interesting scotches, all without committing to a full glass of something you may not like.
One disappointment, however, is that the menu isn’t completely reflective of what is in stock – of the five whiskies I requested one night, only two were available. Bummer, as I became excited about my initial choices as I culled them from the long menu. This was a frustrating problem I encountered all the time at the old Brickskeller (for those of you who are old enough to remember that Dupont Circle beer institution, it had a menu about as long as a textbook).
So instead of wasting too much time looking through the Jack Rose menu, I recommend engaging one of the knowledgeable bartenders right away for recommendations to determine what is truly available, as well as what may fit your particular mood that night. That approach yielded some fabulous finds, such as a BenRiach aged in a cask used to make Tokai desert wine in Hungary. The whiskey has a deliciously sweet finish that was totally unique.
I love scotch, and yet I didn’t even know a Tokai-aged whiskey existed before a night at Jack Rose. Even with its stocking issues, this bar can still teach a seasoned whiskey dog some new tricks.
- Where Am I Going: 2007 18th Street NW.
- When Am I Going: Sunday to Thursday 5 pm to 2 am; Friday to Saturday 5 pm to 3 am.
- Paycheck Pain: Scotch and bourbon prices vary depending on the market price and the amount of the pour.
- Say What? It’s loud and boisterous in this bar, no way around it.
- What You’ll Be Eating and Drinking: Hopefully –scotch and bourbon, but Jack Rose also has a full beer and cocktail list, and a bar and dinner menu to help sop up all that alcohol.
But How Will We Get Down There?
Reports say that escalators at Dupont Circle (and Foggy Bottom for that matter — remember February’s collapse?) are soon to be going under for maintenance. According toWJLA, we’ll be without the escalator(s) for a year. The Washington Post mentions that we’re actually talking about the three escalators at the South entrance on the Circle. Despite the speculation, Metro has yet to indicate their exact plans, including when the repairs will begin. Expect them “soon.”
Who Cares About Public Transportation Anyway?
Don’t let Metro escalators get you down! Pretty soon, you might be able to pay significantly less to drive around town and park in crowded areas. Jack Evans, the Ward 2 Council representative (and yes, that’s our Ward) wants to go back on a controversial rate change to re-establish the price of parking from a few years back. Not only did Evans propose charging $1 per hour instead of the current $2, but he also wants to stop enforcing meters at 6:30 pm, three-and-a-half hours before they stop ticking now. The Examiner has the full scoop on this one.