Wednesday was a big day. It was the last day that Neera was going to be in DC, so we spent a lot of time hanging out.
First, we met for lunch at Bread and Brew, which is a little place a couple blocks from my house. I'd never been there before, but I really liked it! They do pizza, soups, salads, and sandwiches. The lunch combo (half sourp or salad, and a half sandwich) is only $7.50, which is less than the fast-food salad place I've been going to lately. Neera and I had the ricotta and spinach pizza and the house salad, and both were really good. Downstairs in the restaurant there is a full bar with a bunch of fun beers on tap. I tried an "Arrogant Bastard," which is darker than what I normally drink, but was really nice.
After work, I went with Tommy and Brendan to the Rayburn House Office building for a reception for the Space Shuttle Crew that just returned recently (STS-132). The shuttle crews do a day or two in DC, talking to various congress-people, and then are accessible to the public in the afternoon at this reception. We ran into other DC space people there and just chatted with everyone. There were also a bunch of kids at the event, which was really cute - lots of them were getting autographs from the astronauts. There was a pre-teen boy there that had a Hawaiian-style shirt covered in shuttles, and I noticed that he had the Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver App on his phone. I told him that I had the same app, and then we talked about how awesome Doctor Who is and how David Tennent was the best doctor ever. Cute.
After the NASA reception, I walked over to Art and Soul, which is near capitol hill. (If you've been watching Top Chef, the chef from Art and Soul was recently on as a guest judge.) I met up with Emma, Beth, Neera, Jeff, and Stephanie. Art and Soul has $6 cocktails during happy hour, which is a great deal, since they're usually about $12. They also have a number of fun food items on their bar menu. We tried the fried green tomatoes, olives, and sweet potato fries. I especially liked the calamari - it was pretty spicy - there were jalapeños fried in with the squid. Overall, I thought this place was pretty good, and the happy hour is definitely a great way to get to try things without spending a lot of money.
After Art and Soul, Neera and I started our whirlwind tour of DC food and drink. We had originally planned to grab a bite to eat and then see a movie, but then we decided that we so rarely get to hang out with just the two of us that it'd be more fun to just chat. We ended up doing a whirlwind tour of DC food and drink, in which we visited a bunch of different DC neighborhoods. Our first stop had been Art and Soul in capitol hill, and from there we moved on to Penn Quarter.
Penn Quarter: So, we first went to Jaleo, which is one of Jose Andres' restaurants, specializing in Spanish tapas. I've eaten here a few times before, and I know I like it, but I forgot just how amazing it is. The spinach with pine-nuts dish is unbelievable. We also had the white sangria, which is made with cava, and is a perfect summer drink - very, very tasty. For desert we had the flan, which I don't normally like, but at Jaleo was great.
U Street: After Jaleo, Neera and I went up to The Gibson, which is the little speak-easy place at 14th and U St. The drinks were very good (of course), and it's just a really nice place to sit and chat, since it never gets too crowded.
Dupont: Our next stop was Cafe Citron, which is my go-to dance spot. I'd never been their on a Wednesday, so we thought we'd check it out. It's definitely less busy, but it was still a lot of fun. They have good music, and people there are always friendly.
After that, we headed back to to my house - it actually wasn't that late, but then we ended up and talking a bit more. Then Neera caught a bus at 7am this morning, so I was didn't get all that much sleep - it was a really fun night, though!