Sticky Fingers Bakery (Columbia Heights)

We made impromptu Saturday evening plans to go out with my personal trainer and friend, who just happens to be vegan. She suggested that we go to Sticky Fingers Bakery. I had heard of it before, but had never really felt compelled to check it out on my own. My past experience with vegan baked goods was not terribly positive. We checked the menu to make sure we meat-eaters would have some acceptable options and agreed to make the trip. We’ve been meaning to start exploring Columbia Heights and this felt like a good starting point. I was a little skeptical of the menu when we got there,  nothing really jumped out at me but I settled on a salad. I was not disappointed.  And if I hadn’t known the cupcake I had was vegan, I may not have guessed. I was impressed and am glad that this vegan baked good experience was much better.

  • Favorite thing I had: The Power Salad. It was a HUGE plate of kale and other goodies and I ate every bite of it. The Peanut Butter Fudge cupcake was on point too.
  • Most interesting thing I want to try next time: Boozy milkshakes, any of the other baked goods!
  • What makes this place stand out: It’s entirely vegan, without question.
  • How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): Next time I’m in the neighborhood and want a treat. UPDATE: I woke up craving that salad, so I might have to make a special trip soon.
  • Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): One of the several bars in Columbia Heights. Meridian Pint, Kangaroo Boxing Club, The Coupe.

The Gibson (U St NW.)

After dinner and a night-starter at Bar Charley, we headed a few blocks east to 14th St. NW to The Gibson. This one has been on the list to try for a long time and we’ve just gotten to the point where we’re ok with dropping $12 on a good cocktail(s). We knew the general location, but had to look up the actual address to find the well-camouflaged location. Once we found the door (with the address painted the same color as the facade) we saw The Gibson painted in tiny letters on the brick. We walked into a narrow hallway where a host checked our IDs and seated us at the bar behind a closed door in a surprisingly dark room. It took a minute to adjust, but as soon as we had drinks in front of us, all was right in the world. We ended up leaving $80 poorer and quite tipsy, but would do it again in a heartbeat. Safe to say, those were the best cocktails we’ve had in DC.

  • Favorite thing I had: The Clover Club cocktail. Gin, raspberry syrup, lemon juice, egg white. It tasted almost like a creamsicle and I had 2. Egg whites in drinks, who knew? I want another one right now.
  • Favorite thing she had: The Brown Derby. Whiskey, grapefruit juice, honey.
  • Most interesting thing I want to try next time: Anything and everything. Giving the bartender a few details and having a cocktail constructed especially for me.
  • What makes this place stand out: Has the feel of a speakeasy but without code words or secret numbers. Nothing standing between you and deeeelightful cocktails.
  • Fun Details Otherwise: We got a little bit of a show, watching the bartender break down giant blocks of ice for drinks. They were even creating their own spherical ice cubes. What do I have to order to get one of those? It was also fun to watch them expertly craft 5 different cocktails at once. I’d sit here just to watch and learn.
  • How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): Tomorrow, if I could afford it. Realistically, next month.
  • Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): U St. and 14th St. NW are your oyster, here. A show at Black Cat or U Street Music Hall.

Bar Charley (Dupont)

Suffering Bastard

A friend of mine told me about this place just a couple of weeks ago. Then several other people raved about it, so I knew it had to be bumped to the top of the to-do list. Tucked into a basement right beside Mexican behemoth Lauriol Plaza, it’s more of a hole in the wall than anything else. As soon as we sat down and saw the Happy Hour menu, I was sold. There was a drink that included ginger beer for me and an Old Fashioned for my date. Great cheap food specials. We had a small dinner (her a burger, me the mussels, split the curry dates- all above average in tastiness) and got out for under $40.

  • Favorite thing I had: The Suffering Bastard cocktail, served in a tiki cup. Bourbon, gin, ginger beer, lime. The mussels were good.
  • Most interesting thing I want to try next time: Sitting on the patio out back. Their all you can eat BRUNCH.
  • What makes this place stand out: They open at 4pm. It was cozy. And the server was very nice and charming.
  • How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): Next week, for happy hour.
  • Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): Larry’s Lounge, Glen’s Garden Market, anywhere in Dupont, on U St., or Adam’s Morgan