Your Dinner Tonight: La Tasca

The debate over the best tapas in D.C. isn’t likely to be resolved anytime soon, but next dinner out try La Tasca, one of the city’s best. Tapas aren’t cheap, but when splitting with friends the price never seems too overwhelming. La Tasca has several locations, including an extremely Metro-accessible location in Chinatown. The menu is extensive, offering both standard Spanish tapas such as tortilla española and patatas bravas as well as their own creations, including literally the best eggplant you will ever put in your mouth. It’s fried in this light batter and served with a delicate cheesy sauce that is not to be missed. A side bonus? La Tasca has amazing opportunities for vegetarians, including the previously mentioned eggplant. With options for everyone and a lively crowd, get here early on weekends or come during the week to avoid the inevitable wait.

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Coffee Break: Buzz Bakery

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This neighborhood coffee shop is a hot spot for meeting up with friends and coworkers, the mid-morning rush a testament to its lasting power past just the caffeine fix for the morning work crowd. Small tables are crammed together to accommodate as many guests as possible, but the rustling of newspapers and cheery chatter will all fade in the face of the excellent espresso-based drinks and variety of tempting baked goods. The quiches and popovers offer egg-based options for a more substantial breakfast, or choose a cinnamon roll or one of the many cupcakes for a sweet treat. In the summer, fight for one of the few tables scattered in front of the restaurant for brunch en plein air. For moms looking for a kid-friendly outing to coworkers looking to have a quick business lunch, Buzz offers good eats and pick-me-ups in the form of caffeine and chocolate.

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Where’s Waldo?

See this photo? Grab a partner real quick. Whoever finds the Washington Monument first wins.

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Say what? You can’t find it?

Oh wait, it must be the fog that’s obscuring your view across the harbor.

But trust me. It’s there.

Welcome to the bizarre weather that DC has been subjected to over the past few years. Snowpocalypse. The earthquake. Sandy. And now, some super-thick fog. (For the record, the Washington Monument is still closed to tourists).

I visited Old Downtown Alexandria for the first time on this trip to DC with a local friend as my host. The area is cute and quaint, mixed shopping and dining, plus the incredible views across the river to downtown DC, where normally you would be able to look across the water and view the city’s skyline, monuments and all. Still, we weren’t about to let the weather get us down, so we wandered and shopped for a while after grabbing brunch, picking up some cards at Papyrus and some tea at a local store.

Old Town Alexandria is accessible via the King Street Metro Station, as well as by car, with a mix of metered and free spots, depending on the time of day and the day of the week. Check store hours if you are planning to shop, to avoid getting there too early/ late to take advantage.

Old Town is definitely worth a look, and if you can plan a visit around Restaurant Week, all the better! It’s a cute spot to wander for a few hours, with more locals than tourists, unlike other shopping areas like Georgetown.