Sunday, February 28, 2010


One of the newest joints on H Street is called Toyland. The place is on the South side of H between 4th and 5th streets. A friend and I went there for the first time on Thursday night for a few drinks and here are my initial impressions.

They have a small but interesting beer and cocktail selection, and what appeared to be a decent wine list. (Side note: Is everyone in this town out of Malbec? Is there a Malbec shortage? Last 3 places I've heard it ordered they've been out of it.)

The decor has a sort of late 60s vibe with fake formica covered tables. The table tops are kind of sticky. You cannot slide your beer bottle of glass to one side of the table with your hand. One possible result of trying to do that is that your beer will topple over on to the pants of the person sitting across from you. I tipped over 2 bottles before I realized why it was happening. No, I wasn't drunk. Hadn't spilled a beer in years.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


You know what? Fuck it. We're back.

Some friends of ours who live in Dupont Circle recently started a Dupont Circle drinking club--The DCDC, they call it. Despite being Capitol Hill residents for some time, Forever Bisque and I have been invited to attend various DCDC functions on a trial basis. The DCDCers are lovely people, but they seem to lack the rage to live that CHBarReview brings to the table. It was this realization that convinced us of Capitol Hill Bar Review's continued relevance. After a nearly 3 year hiatus, it's time to rumble again.

Last night, after a plenty of drinks and palaver at the Black Fox. The DCDCers appeared to be winding down. We walked a few of them back to their homes in the gayborhood around midnight with a tacit understanding that Bisque and I would keep chasing Wednesday night around town. The odds that we would find what we sought at the bottom of our next glass seemed, at that point, to be at least 50/50, so we turned the corner and ducked our heads into Townhouse Tavern, a divey little dugout in Dupont which we Cap Hillers have come to appreciate.

I ordered us two beers at the basement bar from a golden-haired bartendress and we sat across from each other at a table in the center of the room. Talk wobbled from hard-boiled detective novels to gambling on college basketball. As we were talking through the bubble teams for this year's tourney, a slender young Indian woman in a white sweater came in, sat down at the bar, and began jotting things down in a small notebook. Now, my weakness for dark-haired women is well documented. Suffice it to day that I was a bit intrigued. As Bisque, rambled on about Donald Westlake, I kept one eye on the mysterious maiden and the occasional staccato bursts of her fine-tipped pen. A poet? An MFA grad student knee deep in creative writing coursework? Is she returning my glances? I think she might be...

I went up to get us two more beers. She said hello and suggested that we sit up at the bar with her. I coolly accepted and motioned to Bisque to join me at the bar. Bisque, the bartendress, the mysterious girl, and I started chatting. At this point we were probably the only people left in the bar. I was enjoying myself and figured I was well on my way to at least making out with the mysterious girl at some point in the near future. Then we started talking...

"So, what's with the notebook?" Might as well get the obvious question out of the way, I thought. "Lists." she said. " I make lists." She began paging through her notebook and stammering semi-unintelligibly about various lists, notes, and drawings she'd produced over the last few weeks. I looked her in the eye again and that's when Morpheus handed me the red pill and saw things as they really were--this girl was crazy as a two-headed billy goat.

My brief illusion now bludgeoned, we downed two more beers and walked out into the cold. After a few seconds, Bisque lit a cigarette and said, "Was it just me or was that girl strange?"
"Wasn't just you." I said. "Let's go home."

We went home.

R. Chowder