Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dollar Beer Nights: Boullionnui's Rules

Dollar Beer Night Rules:

There's something reassuring about Thursday dollar beer night at the Pour House. Everyone is on the same page. Everyone's there to get hammered, watch sports, eat nachos, and do each other.

To be sure, the Pour House has its drawbacks, but there's no other place better for those nights when you want you want to get a group of friends together and get schnockified on the cheap. We recommend doing a Thursday at the Pour House at least once or twice. Sure, the place will be hot, loud and packed, but if you follow Bouillonnui's simple dollar beer rules, you should be ok.

- Get there early. Get there by 5:30 so you can get a table or a booth. If you don't want to deal with the loud noise, head downstairs to the Scheissehaus and try and snag a table in the back. Don't depend on a waiter showing up. Save yourself some time and order from the bartender.

- Order at least 3 beers per person at a time, especially since it's so much fun to say "18 Budweisers please." Try it sometime. Come on, they're a freakin' dollar!

- Eat nachos. The Pour House nachos are the best on Capitol Hill and will probably remain so for some time (no thanks to you, Tancredo!) Make sure you wait till at least your 4th beer, or for Rowdy, your second, so you're a little drunk when you eat them. Everyone knows all foods are at least 30% more delicious when you're starting to get a little tipsy.

- Hit up the jukebox early. If you don't get there quick enough, there's a good chance you'll be left listening to Bon Jovi or Godsmack all night. Be sure to sparcel out your selections with some chill tunes at the start, then maybe some mid 90s rap, a couple crowd pleasers, something obscure....aaahh..screw it, we’ll just make a playlist for you:

Perry Como - Papa loves Mambo (just to freak people out)
Peter, Bjorn and John- Young Folks
Fujiya and Miyagi- Collarbone
Eazy E - Gimmie That Nut
Midlake- Young Bride
Bob Dylan- Ballad of a Thin Man
William Shatner - Common People
The Editors - Munich

- Don't flirt with anyone until you've had 9 beers (4 for Rowdy). You know you're not clever until you're hammered, so there's no use in rushing it. Just spend the first few hours enjoying your nachos, watching the game, and putting together a solid scouting report. Don't worry about the other guys putting in the leg work, talking to the girls all night. The swoop in method is always the way to go, and even if you fail, at least you didn't have to spend the whole night having some long, awkward conversation...

You- "Sooooo, umm. Where are you from?"
Girl- "Minnesota."
"Oh, wow, really?"
"Yeah, why? Are you from there"
"Well, no. Michigan. But I always liked Minnesota."
"Yeah, a lot of lakes, huh?"
"I guess, yeah."
"I heard Michigan actually has more lakes than Minnesota. Wouldn't that be weird? Cause you guys are all like..."
"Umm. You want another beer?"
"I think I'm good."
"Shots? You want a shot. No? Screw it, bartender! 6 Jager bombs!"
"I'm gonna go find my friends now."
"Guh? Damn, this sucks. Why haven't my songs come on? And where the hell are my nachos?"

- If it's dollar beer night, don't try to kickstart your conversation by ordering 6 Jager bombs. However, a very good maneuver on most other nights.

- Eat Nachos. If you're still around at 10:30 and on you're 17th beer, there's no reason to not go all in for the 2nd feeding. At this point, you've blown your chance with that cute Minnesota girl (comparing lakes? What were you thinking?), you wasted 80 bucks on shots, and you're gonna be totally fucked in the face come morning if you don't get some more grease in you fast.

So there you are. Stick to these rules, and be sure to get a breakfast sandwich in the morning and you should have many fine dollar beer adventures.

(edited by R. Chowder)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Shake of the Fist/Heavy Petting

We're starting a new section here on Capitol Hill Bar Review. From time to time, we're going to do a little round up of random things we've encountered at various Capitol Hill Bars. A la Siskel and Ebert's Thumbs Up/Down, or Colbert's Tip of the Hat/Wave of the Finger, we're going to assign "Shake of the Fist" for something we view as lame, and "Heavy Petting" for something we like.

Shake of the fist:

1. We were at Top of the Hill (Pour House 2nd Level) recently, and
overall it was pretty good times, mostly cause it was void of the usual Hill-jerks typically found there on weekends. The bartender brought us three beers that we hadn't ordered. We thought we were getting the hook-up, but later we saw she tacked them onto the bill. Now, you can tell from Bouillonnui and Rowdy's appearance that we are not men of great wealth. Granted, we don't really belong in a classy establishment like Top of the Hill, but come on, you don't have to rub it in by making us pay 16 bucks for beers we didn't order. We po' mo-fo's yo! Recognize!

2. Rowdy reportedly got some more bad beer at Tune Inn. This makes twice in a row. Get on your horse, Tune Inn! We know you're not looking to be the snazziest place around, but non-skunkified beer is a must for any bar, even if your fried okra is one of Bouillonnui's favorites.

3. We made a valiant effort to hit up Pour House's Dollar Beer Night after a year layoff. We showed up around 6:30, and the place was hot, packed and loud to the point of being un-stayable. Soon, Bouillonnui will post his Rules for Dollar Beer Night.

Heavy Petting:

1. Major heavy petting goes out to Conrad's Pub, which came up huge last Thursday after the Pour House debacle. You simply can't beat walking into a bar, getting a $5 bucket of beer served to you by a dude who looks and behaves as if he still thinks he’s in rural Norway, and then looking up to find American Gladiators reruns are on TV. I mean c'mon, what else could you want?
Once you get 3 or 4 pitchers deep, order the Old Bay French Fries, or even some hit or miss Thai food from the adjoining restaurant.

2. All Tune Inn Burgers were $5 on Tuesday night. The burgers were
simple and good. That's all we ask. That's all we ask...

3. To Top of the Hill (despite the forced beers) for being a good place for us to chill for a bit while hatching late Saturday plans. Jukebox was good and the Dylan gave the place an aura of hard wisdom that served as a nice backdrop in which to contemplate the evening.

Monday, May 14, 2007

2nd Saturday and the Turkish Problem

As usual, we attended the 2nd Saturday celebration at Capitol Hill Books. The wine flowed like Faulknerian prose and the patrons were ensconced in conversation that carefully wound its way from Baudelaire to Biggie Smalls. Giddy grad-students grabbed copies of Jane Austen, and tried to sound as if they knew what Ayn Rand’s books were about when their friends asked. (“It’s about, like, her philosophy…”)

The generally genial mood of the party was momentarily deadened by deep, guttural pronouncements projected from the mouth of an 84-year-old Serbian nihilist who had quietly entered the store, propped himself up with his wooden cane, and then stood proclaiming the death of Europe for several minutes. (Why is it that we want to take old men from the Eastern Bloc so seriously? and more so when their eyebrows are untrimmed?) Eventually, his Malthusian meanderings gave way to talk of chesty young women and soccer-style field goal kicking, but not before he had cast his aura of impending doom upon those within earshot.

Our next move was Tunnicliff’s, mainly because it was right across the street. We rolled into the bar 6 deep and ordered 5 beers and a cider. As is customary, the Admiral bought the first round and we settled into our stools. Talk then turned to our Turkish tablemate and his feelings on a secular Turkey. The Admiral, never one to mince words, got down to brass tacks:

Admiral: “So are you gonna vote for those Muslims?”

Mehmet: “No. I’ll vote secular.”

Then, in a brilliant non-sequitur:

Admiral: “You guys killed all those Armenians.”

Mehmet: “Well, you guys killed all those Indians.”

Ah yes, the scandal of origins. And of course, the Admiral is caught in a paradox—he wants a secular Turkey, but at the same time wishes for an acknowledgement of genocide that would undermine the meta-narrative that helps legitimate the nation-state as he wants to preserve it. Perhaps a secret acknowledgement of that fact, miraculously timed with the arrival of our appetizers, ended that vein of conversation.

On our table lay plates of calamari, buffalo wings, spinach artichoke dip, wasabi glazed tuna, and quesadillas. We were at once overwhelmed by the bounty before us and at the same time driven to annihilate it which we did in short order. After another round of drinks, the weak and girlfriended (Boullionnui, Never Bisque) and the old (The Admiral) went home, and the hearty moved to 18th Amendment.

The first floor of 18th amendment was inexplicably filled with Republicans in green polo shirts. It didn’t seem worth asking what was going on, so we didn’t. Instead, we headed straight to the basement in hopes of open jukebox and pool. Our hopes were partially dashed when the bartender informed us that someone had stuck a baseball in the pool table the previous night and as such, it wasn’t working. We played a few tunes on the jukebox and decided to move on to Capitol Lounge.

Cap Lounge was on its way to hypeness when we arrived. We sat on the west side of the bar and ordered beers. Rowdy petitioned for shots, but there were no takers. The bartender on the west-side is of Brazilian origin; More specifically, from the historically significant region of Minas Gerais, but just as she and Rowdy were about to toast “the Inconfidencia”, the female member of our party informed him that someone had etched “for a good time, call Rowdy” on the back of the stall in the lady’s room. Incensed at the besmirching of his honor, Rowdy stumbled downstairs to investigate…

At this point, as so often happens when 2nd Saturday draws to a close, details become nebulous. What is vaguely remembered is that the Mad Turk was missing, the rain drops fell more and more insistently, and as revelers scattered home, the need of self-intoxication slowly ceded its will to the practical problem of retiring to one’s private ambient.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Finn macCool's

We've been hitting up Finn MacCool's since way back in the winter of aught four. There have been some crazy times there over the years: "Vampire Girl Night" and "That One Time The Cute Waitress Talked To Us Night" being chief among them.

After a bumpy start, Finn MacCool's has firmly established itself as a solid addition to the 8th St. chill. Their draft selection is ample, with Magic Hat, Dogfish Head 60 Min IPA, and Stella Artois as a few of the highlights, along with, of course, Guinness and Harp.

The food there is decent, but pricey. It's typical bar food with some Irish fare such as Shepherds Pie. It's just wrong to charge $12 for Fish and Chips, but at least you can get them half-price on Tuesdays. Throw in a Black and Tan and you got yourself a pretty fine dinner.

Bouillonnui remembers them having a decent burger, but, again, $10 for a burger? Our advice is to hit up the 7-11 on 8th st., grab a half-smoke or two, then focus on your drinking for the rest of the night. (yes…we readily admit that there’s an 11% chance that advice could go very, very wrong.)

If it's crowded downstairs, make sure you check out their second floor. Here you'll find darts, a pool table, foosball and Shuffleboard. All they're missing is Skeeball, really. If you run into Forever Bisque (the long-lost 3rd barblogger), challenge him to some Shuffleboard. He'll get really into it, go up early, and definitely blow it when it's time to seal the deal.


Second Saturday

Come by Capitol Hill Books, across the street from Eastern Market, this Saturday from 4 - 7 pm for it's Second Saturday celebration. There will be wine, cheese, and 10% off all purchases.

If we're lucky, the Admiral will get drunk and recite Omar Khayyam, Rowdy will rock out some Midlake and be snarky to customers, Bouillonnui will graciously offer to do whatever he can to heighten your bookstore experience, and Forever Bisque will gesticulate wildly whilst making bold absurdist pronouncements. Hopefully, Segway cop won't bust the party up too early like he's been known to.

This month's featured dead author is John O'Hara, an American Author from the early 20th century who, like Sherwood Anderson and Johnny Two Steps, was revered up there with Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Faulkner, but has since gone somewhat by the wayside. BUT THAT DON'T MEAN HIS SHIT STILL DON'T ROCK!
So come on by, browse a little, ill a little, pick up a copy of "Rage to Live", it shall be good times.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Le Eastern Market est mort. Vive le Eastern Market!

We've been getting thousands of emails and letters over the past week from our loyal readers expressing their concern about the fire at Eastern Market.

Hillary Goo: "Eastern Market was totally the best… oh my god, all my friends are like, "DMY HG"... but I'm all like, OMG, I'm totally EMO.What do I do?"

Armless Jane: "WTF? No EM? WWBD?"

Forever Bisque: "Rowdy, I know, deep down, there's some good in you."

Battlecat: "What can I, just one woman, do?"

Hey all, for starters, you can hit up some of the local bars and eateries (put that on the list of words that sound dirty but aren't) this Tuesday night, May 8th. Hit up to see which places will be donating a portion of their profits to rebuilding Eastern Market. Check out for more info.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Sometimes, when nothing else is working, you gotta go down to Trusty’s on 14th and Penn SE. The place is about a year and a half old and sits comfortably apart from the 8th Street corridor and the rest of the bars on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The bar has a sort of Route 66 service station theme which basically works. Old gas and oil cans hang from a ceiling propped up by license plate speckled walls. In the bathrooms, you’ll find photos of car crashes which are an especially nice touch.

The bar is rather small and they serve you beer in mason jars. On the wall behind the bar there’s a nice jukebox with download potential. Past the bar, you’ll find a few tables with board games stacked on them and really, what's better than drunk Jenga?
Answer: Drunk Candyland
Rowdy and Boullionui have issued Trivial Pursuit challenges to other tables, but wisely, none of them have accepted.

The menu has basically what you’d expect at a bar like this—hamburgers, nachos, half-smokes etc… The burgers are acceptable, the nachos are cold (they don’t put them in the oven) and should only be ordered after you’re drunk.

One of the pleasures of Trusty’s is that it’s rarely too crowded and there usually seems to be a friendly vibe amongst the patrons. Nobody trying to impress anyone else with their fancy job or degrees, just people looking to drink, talk, listen to tunes, and maybe watch a game or two. The crowd is reflective of the area to an extent—white gentrifiers, black folks growing accustomed to them, and other hill peeps who have made the pilgrimage to the East Side.

Put simply: We dig this place. Worth the walk (when you pass "Nina's Place" you're almost there) or metro ride (it's at the Potomac Ave Metro stop) from the main hill drag, but please, don’t everyone go down there at once and ruin it for us.

- Bouillonnui and Rowdy Chowder

Lazy Sunday

One benefit of the DC Smoking Ban, besides not killing off all the local waitstaff and bartenders, is that area bars have been forced to provide more outdoor seating. On a recent Sunday afternoon, we were trolling around the neighborhood, looking for a place to drink some oat sodas out of doors when we noticed 18th Amendment recently put out a few tables.

It was a fine day. There was a cool breeze, it was sunny, Eastern Market would still be intact for another 7 hours or so, and we had a pitcher of Yuengling on the way. Unfortunately, the Yuengling came up Assling, and even the replacement pitcher of Bud Light was flat. Rowdy's an 18th Amendment veteran, and he's had good fresh and frosty beer experiences in the past, so we're hoping that this, too, is a fluke.

While both Rowdy and Bouillonnui are big fans of the burgers and wedge fries at 18th, (the pizza ain't too shab neither) their appetizer menu could use some work. Capone's Nachos aren't too bad, but would anyone ever order Capone's Nachos (with mozzarella and pizza sauce) over regular nachos? Before you respond, remember that regular nachos are the supa-shizz.

Now, you wouldn't know it to look at him, but Rowdy is not long back from a jaunt in Tuscany and he felt like ordering the bruschetta. When it arrived, he was, in a word, disappointed as it was utterly senza flavor, which is something most of us like food to have. The Admiral, who was likewise resting his bones after a hard day in the metaphorical sea of letters, was also summarily unimpressed. That, combined with the flat beer was enough to send us on a hike to the East-side of the Hill.

- Bouillonnui and Rowdy Chowder