D.C. date night: Where to go on a college student’s budget | The American Word

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D.C. date night: Where to go on a college student’s budget

Katie Johnson | 11/14/13 5:31am

[Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in our print edition on October 25.]

Once in a while, things can get repetitive. “Girls night out” movies or drinks can only be done so many times before it gets to be boring. When friends visit, how many of us roll our eyes at the thoughts of going to see monuments again? You’re not alone.

Whatever the occasion, we’ve got you covered! Once an issue, I will take on the sights and tastes of D.C. trying to answer one simple question: What else is out there?

My boyfriend and I went on an exploration with three key goals: 1) Find a place to enjoy the community and D.C. culture, 2) explore an area of interest that is not on our typical path and 3) go to a new restaurant (Chef Geoff’s is getting kind of boring) while making our way to all parts of the city.

We started the morning by hitting the Metro to head to the Flea Market at Eastern Market. I’ve heard everyone rave about it, but I never felt like making the trip to southeast. That was my first mistake—this place is extremely easy to get to! Eastern Market has its own Metro stop on the Blue and Orange lines and it is most definitely worth the ride on a Sunday morning.

If you haven’t been before, it’s a fantastic way to spend a morning—browsing and even buying things produced in the local community! Another great aspect was the ability for each of us to spend whatever we chose.

After meandering the stands for about two hours, we hopped on the Metro and hit the National Zoo. Here, we were met with adorable (and some scary) animals to watch, along with a plethora of places to grab a quick snack while we fawned over the pandas and watched, in awe, as the lions grabbed at birds passing through the exhibit.

One downside to our day—I wish we packed lunch! The tables and dining areas surrounding the exhibits would have been perfect for a good old-fashioned picnic in the park. You don’t even feel like you’re in the city here, and the calm atmosphere is great for couples, friends and out-of-towners that want to see monuments away from the hundreds of tourists.

Soon, we felt exhausted and starving. In keeping with our adventurous spirit, we went to the infamous H street corridor to dine in an overwhelmingly unique place called “The H Street Country Club.” The second floor is a mini golf course and the entire bar area featured classic arcade games.

On Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, you receive a free game of mini golf with an entrée purchase. I wish we went to the Sunday brunch, where you’ll find meal and drink special galore.

Even more unique was the food selection; the restaurant featured Mexican cuisine despite the fact it appeared to be a typical American-style bar. We sat on the rooftop overlooking the city. From the top of the three-story restaurant, we got to watch the sun set as we dined. It was picture perfect!

As for the food, we could not have been happier. While the service was a bit slow, the food came out promptly. We began with an appetizer, splitting nachos with a trio of dips, which were all house-made: guacamole, salsa and pumpkin seed. The flavor was not overwhelming and the rich texture met our appetites perfectly.

We were still raring to eat by the time the entrées came out. I opted for the “Country Club Salad,” with cheese, fried tortillas, chicken, avocado and tomatoes. It was a good rendition of a classic salad and I really enjoyed it! My boyfriend, however, ordered a “Taco Trio,” which our waitress allowed him to mix-and-match the types. He got steak, duck and pork belly tacos, all of which were delicately served with sides of rice, beans, sauce and sour cream. He loved every bite.

Overall, we were in and out within an hour. Both of us plan to spread word of this delicious little gem we had never heard of before.