NFT Washington DC Fort Myer

Fort Myer

Fort Myer is mostly suburban (think '40s Cape Cods with aluminum awnings) with a few commercial enclaves, which is also its appeal. There's no Metrorail stop and it's not particularly pedestrian friendly, so grab your car keys if you've got the itch to visit. Most of the fun, and essentials, are on the edges of this area, but stick around and check out the weekend Columbia Pike Farmers Market, just down the street from the best dive diner breakfast around at Bob and Edith's.

We use the word "entertainment" very loosely when it comes to Columbia Pike. Perhaps you're entertained being stuck in traffic jams while shopping for laundry detergent and other bulk items at one of many big-box strip malls, in which case there you go. Columbia Pike does excel when it comes to its many wonderful ethnic eateries (See more.

>Bangkok 54), mom-and-pop pizza joints, an overlooked dive bar (L.A. Bar & Grille), and pawn shops. Bob and Edith's Diner will satisfy your greasy cravings 24/7 (now smoke free!), and the Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse offers a dinner-and-a-movie option, in addition to reviving classic films with alcohol-aided viewings, hosting comics, and providing a venue to anguish over Skins losses on the big screen.


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Crossing the Great Divide

By Joe Viola

“Damn. I just wish my friends in DC would accept me for who I am. I’m an executive. I drink beer like everyone else. I love my DC neighbors; I just prefer to live in VA. Let’s get it on… I mean, along. Let’s get along.”


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Jay's Saloon & Grille
Many proclaim to love the dive bar--as a boozy institution in opposition to a lounge, club, wine bar, hotel bar, or generally upscale watering hole. But in a city as pricey and suit-filled as Washington, what exactly qualifies as a "dive" in these parts? I've often heard the term used for bars that I would simply call dark, or laid-back, or not for dancing. Well friends, I can assure you that Jay's Saloon and Grille is musty, leaky, dusty, and stained. The clientele is older and unpretentious, and the service is pleasant. They serve cheap pitchers of beers, are situated next to a used car dealership, and have a patio of plastic furniture and ashtrays. It all feels very distance to the main Clarendon strip--take that as you will.

Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse
There are lots of occasions to see free movies in the summertime: the revived Screen on the Green, NoMa Summer Screen, '80s Outdoor Movies at Tingey Plaza, and countless other series in Maryland and Virginia. And these outdoor events are both seasonal and charming. But sometimes this town just gets too hot, too muggy, and too mosquito-y. As someone who lives in a 19th-century group house without air conditioning, there are some humid nights when I need the sterility of A/C--and hiding out in a dark, freezing movie theater just feels too good. At the Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse, you can do all this and...drink a pitcher of beer, eat potato skins with bacon bits and sour cream, and smoke cigarettes (should you choose to, in a separate and ventilated section). The historic 1930s Art Deco building is full of oversized, leather chairs and tableside service, and the Drafthouse is now owned and operated by a local family. Ready for the best part? As a second-run theatre, you will only ever pay a maximum of $5.50 per ticket. This is easily half the price of a regular movie house, and on Mondays, admission is only $1! Now, let's review: local, historic, $1, oversized chairs, bacon bits. Did you know places like this still existed?

Posted By:  Emily Groves
Photo:  Emily Groves

A visit to Ragtime in Courthouse guarantees a few things: saying "huh?" and "what?" a lot; an almost surefire encounter with a sketchy character; witnessing some horrific male dancing; and your hair reeking of smoke the next day (it is Virginia, you know). But, with a solid draft beer selection, good pub food, an outdoor seating area, frequent local live bands (playing without a cover most of the time), a gaggle of TVs showing current sporting events, a "hidden" dance room, and a whole lotta unpretentiousness, it also generally guarantees a solid, low-key good time with great people watching potential. You may only stay for five minutes, but you may also end up bopping out to local Virginia band "Tribal Mind" all night after one too many watermelon martinis. But regardless of your experience, if you ever happen to find yourself back in the Courthouse area again, you can guarantee that you'll be tempted to pop in.

Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Gold's Gym
While the patrons of the Gold's Gym in Ballston are largely an attractive bunch, the Gold's building itself is not. I don't know the history, but it feels like the building was converted from an old auto repair shop/airplane hanger (hey Saab built jets, so maybe it's possible). Exposed ducts and steel accents create an industrial atmosphere, and the layout lacks flow, with randomly spaced and oddly segmented rooms. But all of that might be changing. Recently the Gold’s at Ballston began some renovations, starting with the front room that faces out on Wilson Boulevard. Large sections of the walls were ripped out creating a much breezier workout experience (and yes, people kept working out). While it's still unclear what the extent of the planned changes will be, some building improvements could really enhance an already decent gym. Besides fleets of elliptical machines and treadmills, the Ballston Gold’s also has three studios (for varied classes including yoga, step, weightlifting, spinning, and more), two weight rooms (one exclusively for women), and numerous tanning beds (in case you party at Clarendon Ballroom). So even though the gym might not be in the best shape, you will be! Cha-ching!

Posted By:  Katie Pyzyk
Photo:  Katie Pyzyk

Onion rings, fries and hamburgers would at first have you believing EatBar is your run-of-the-mill diner. But just one taste of pretty much anything off the menu will change your mind. Everything is homemade, from the risotto fritters to the mustard and ketchup. But the food item that keeps customers coming back again and again is the phenomenal mini-burger. White Castle, watch out. These minis will have you drooling and begging for more. The top-grade beef melts in your mouth, accompanied by truffle butter and carmelized onions. It would be a shame to pair such a culinary delight with a Bud Light, so try a selection from the extensive list of craft beers. Or better yet, relax in the candlelight, while sipping a glass of one of the 70 wines. EatBar knows you cannot live on tasty meat alone, so on Sunday nights there’s an extra special treat—movie night with free gourmet popcorn and candy. But be sure to hit the ATM first, because unless you go for happy hour, all this indulgence doesn’t come cheap.

Posted By:  Kelley Coyner
Photo:  Kelley Coyner

New York has its Finger Lakes and Arlington has its finger (and pocket parks.) Skinny strips of land twist along the streams running through the valleys of Arlington forming one of the most extensive park system in the county. Arlington’s stream valleys cover the northern edge of the county; the brooks, or “runs” as they are known, flow into the Potomac. There are the well known parks (at least in Arlington County) like Lubber Run Park with it amphitheater featuring music and plays in the summer and historic sites like the Civil War era Ft. Smith. The pocket parks have the best names—Gum Ball Park and Rhodeside Green Park are at the top of the list. Some are named for Arlington’s famous which means the names could use a bit of explanation. The Herselle Milliken Park, a living memorial to a grandmother and local activist who in her late sixties was still playing softball with the kids in Buckingham. My current favorites feature extreme sports at least extreme playground sports. Mosaic Park on Piedmont and 5th North is a great place and has a climbing net, a 3D spider web for kids, and a curved climbing wall for grown ups.

Posted By:  Kelley Coyner
Photo:  Kelley Coyner

As recent immigrants of a sort, we crave food from our last overseas posting. We long for all things Bolivian, but especially for soups and saltenas. For days we walked by the on never suspect that both and other traditional Bolivian foods were within arms length. Saltenas—similar to an empanada only juicier—are a dangerous food. Made correctly, they spurt juice. I’ve been instructed to shake them before eating. I recommend a napkin bib or better yet eat the inside of the saltena with a spoon. If you are not brave enough to try the saltena, order the sopa de mani, a peanut based soup with mac and potatoes and random bits of meat. Perfect to warm up the soul on a cold day.

Posted By:  James F Thompson
Photo:  James F Thompson

Some restaurants are connected to the mob, some are connected to famous sports figures, and others to Hollywood actors. Rincome is connected to the Days Inn on Columbia Pike. But don’t let its wayward affiliation fool you. Rincome has been a mainstay in the neighborhood for 20 years, offering top notch Thai dishes to locals and gray-haired politicians in the know. This family-run restaurant is friendly, attentive, and modest. Their savory cuisine, hard work, and moderately priced menu has garnered a faithful customer base that has allowed them to send their work-for-tips children to college and law school. In a nation full of aggressive tip jars, pretentious "fusion" food, and a "you guys" wait staff mentality, Rincome is a welcome, old-fashioned approach to customers who appreciate indigenous flavors and sincere service. Begin by asking for a description of the various spices, and then decide what you want. If spicy food messes with your stomach, the staff will oblige your palette. They’re too accommodating to tell you that you belong at the McDonald’s across the street.

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