NFT Washington DC Four Mile Run

Four Mile Run

Often referred to as "the funky Old Town" by its residents, Del Ray is a place where neighbors say hello, children (and dogs) have manners, and activists fight for a better town. Thanks to its artsy, liberal residence, there's a real sense of community here -- you can feel it at the Saturday Farmers Market or as you walk by the young families, gay couples, and fifty-something bohemians strolling "The Avenue."

Mount Vernon Avenue is brimming with neat little restaurants, pottery studios, and antiques shops. The Evening Star's entrees always shine brightly, and are followed nicely by a stop at The Dairy Godmother for a creatively flavored custard. Parents visiting? Take them to one of Del Ray's more refined dining experiences, followed by a show at local institution See more.

>The Birchmere.


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Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Del Merei Grill
Frickles (fried pickles), tatter tots, and bacon are a few of my favorite things. And at the Del Merei Grille, on the outskirts of the popular Del Ray neighborhood, I can get them all, and more. Most of the menu works like this, you pick your main entree (like tenderloin, chicken breast, or crabcakes), your sauce (peppercorn brandy cream?), and then your sides. The sides are where the fun is, and where the hardest decisions must be made. If you get the smashed potatoes do you add bacon, caramelized onion, and goat cheese? And if you order the creamy garlic cheese grits, will you have room for the apple butter baked beans? A recent menu addition, called the DEL-icious menu, gives patrons even more options, but at a lower price. Everything on the DEL-icious menu, like pulled pork sliders with a side of tots, is priced for the frugal eater at $8 - $12 each. No matter what you try, make sure to save room for dessert. I can highly recommend the grilled doughnuts, with their crunchy caramelized outer layer and dollop of vanilla ice cream. Mmm mmm, southern cooking.

Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Cheestique has a unique, but not unpleasant, odor that catches you as you enter the door. It's the combination of aged goat, horseradish cheddar, stinky cow, and dozens of other cheeses piled upon each other in two large display cases. Each cheese is labeled with a handwritten note detailing its properties, flavors, and pungency (noted by nose icons). In fact, handwritten notes are strewn across the store (which is now twice as large after Cheesetique's recent move) taped onto bottles of wine, microbrews, olive oils, crackers, and other gourmet foods, offering cheese pairing advice and an expert's insight. The new Cheestique (just a month old and a block from its last location) offers a new feature: a Cheese & Wine Bar. Nosh on soup, quiche, cheese board selections, and other nibbles. Or, skip right to one of the desserts, like the "Sweet and Blue," a combination of "a wedge of Vintage Stilton and a glass of Warre's Special Reserve Ruby Port." Choose from a carefully selected wine list and accompanying cheese suggestions. And online keep up with the latest cheese news on the Cheesetique CheeseLog (get it, cheese log?). Viva la cheese!

Posted By:  Corey Finkle
Photo:  Corey Finkle

I know what you’re thinking: In a world already over-saturated with overlarge and boxy “superstores” that remove small businesses from our local downtowns, is there even one good reason why I could possibly have the gall to recommend, not just PetSmart, but a particular PetSmart in Alexandria, VA? I’ll give you two good reasons: Gerald and Jay. When you want a personal trainer, you look for the person in the best shape, right? In the same way, when you want to buy a pet, you want the help of people who love animals, and know their shit better than anyone. These two guys will tell you what fish go with what, and they are not above yelling at you if you think you know better. Every time I’ve gone here, at least one customer has returned a fish corpse to these two, complete with an apology, and a vow never to doubt them again. And the best part is, if the carnivorous red-bellied pacu you bought over their protestations eviscerates your tank, they’ll take them off your hands, and add them to their own personal collections.

Posted By:  Nancy Dunham
Photo:  Nancy Dunham

Los Amigos
There’s no doubt that my friend Vanessa knows good Mexican food. As someone who’s lived in El Salvador, married a man from Peru, has traveled extensively, teaches ESL, and has dozens of Latino friends, when she tells me there’s a Mexican restaurant that I must try—well, I must try it. Los Amigos Tex-Mexican Restaurant in Alexandria is the kind of restaurant that doesn’t look like much from the outside. It’s nice enough, with plenty of decorations that make it festive. But what sets Los Amigos apart are the drinks and the food—and I don’t really like Mexican food that much. On a recent visit, I had the seafood chimichanga which came out piping hot and stuffed with seafood. Vanessa had enchiladas which were brimming with meat and cheese. Both of us were given beans and rice on the side, which were nicely flavored. Los Amigos bills itself as having the world’s best margaritas. Believe them—both the frozen and on-the-rocks are fantastic. I generally go by the motto “don’t travel for food” because usually there isn’t that much of a difference in food at various restaurants. Not so at Los Amigos.

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