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Day 77: Hangover in Bethesda

It’s the day after St. Patrick’s Day and we hope you enjoyed a jolly good time yesterday and made it home safely after a lively night of good eats, drinks and fun.  We promised to give you some hangover remedies today so here’s our Top 5 list:

1. SLEEP IN!

2. Drink lots of fluids, preferably water, sports drinks or fruit juice (no coffee as it dehydrates you even more).

Parker's....Cheers of Bethesda!

3. Some like to grab a little bit of the “hair of the dog that bit you!”  If that’s your style, we suggest a Bloody Mary as the tomato juice and celery will replenish vitamins and help you feel refreshed while taking the “edge off” too!  A great place to grab a Bloody Mary and perhaps a burger is Parker’s Bistro on Bethesda Ave.  They open at 11:30 AM and will take good care of your hangover needs.

4. Take a good shower – hot or cold or alternate both as needed!

Le Pain Quotidien

5. Eat a good hearty breakfast.  We have found some great breakfast places in Bethesda.  You could try a tasty bagel from Bethesda Bagels or try some stone ground oatmeal or fresh omelettes at Le Pain Quotidien on Bethesda Lane.  Or, for a very inexpensive, American diner-style breakfast there’s always Tastee Diner, a 24-hour local favorite since 1935.

Bethesda Bagels

If you’re in need of more invasive assistance in the form of medication, we suggest CVS Pharmacy on the corner of Arlington Road and Bradley.  It’s actually open 24-hours a day, a little known fact (a terrific place to go for a late-night chocolate fit too!).      ~ Amy & Brian

Day 77: Hangover in Bethesda

It’s the day after St. Patrick’s Day and we hope you enjoyed a jolly good time yesterday and made it home safely after a lively night of good eats, drinks and fun.  We promised to give you some hangover remedies today so here’s our Top 5 list:

1. SLEEP IN!

2. Drink lots of fluids, preferably water, sports drinks or fruit juice (no coffee as it dehydrates you even more).

Parker's....Cheers of Bethesda!

3. Some like to grab a little bit of the “hair of the dog that bit you!”  If that’s your style, we suggest a Bloody Mary as the tomato juice and celery will replenish vitamins and help you feel refreshed while taking the “edge off” too!  A great place to grab a Bloody Mary and perhaps a burger is Parker’s Bistro on Bethesda Ave.  They open at 11:30 AM and will take good care of your hangover needs.

4. Take a good shower – hot or cold or alternate both as needed!

Le Pain Quotidien

5. Eat a good hearty breakfast.  We have found some great breakfast places in Bethesda.  You could try a tasty bagel from Bethesda Bagels or try some stone ground oatmeal or fresh omelettes at Le Pain Quotidien on Bethesda Lane.  Or, for a very inexpensive, American diner-style breakfast there’s always Tastee Diner, a 24-hour local favorite since 1935.

Bethesda Bagels

If you’re in need of more invasive assistance in the form of medication, we suggest CVS Pharmacy on the corner of Arlington Road and Bradley.  It’s actually open 24-hours a day, a little known fact (a terrific place to go for a late-night chocolate fit too!).      ~ Amy & Brian

Day 76: Your Party Itinerary for St. Patrick's Day in Bethesda

Happy St. Patrick's Day

An Irish blessing for our readers (kind of): May the road rise up to meet you.  May the wind always be at your back.  May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains falls soft upon your fields, and if you drink lots o’ beer on St. Patrick’s Day, may you be wise enough to call a cab!

Here’s the number: 240-767-4488.

Better yet, make a reservation on-line ahead of time for a pick up from your favorite local pub.  Here’s the link:  Bethesda TaxiCab – open 24/7.  They accept credit cards and can be your friendly neighborhood D.D.  So may I suggest picking up your cell phone now.  Then program that number into your phone as “Designated Driver.”  Good! 

Now…onto the St. Patty’s Day festivities!

Bethesda area restaurants and pubs have no shortage of fun planned for this St. Patrick’s Day celebration.  Here’s our suggestion for a fun-filled itinerary for the day (we assume you are honoring the Irish by taking the day off work!):

6:30 AM – Visit RíRá’s 1st Annual Penguin Plunge for the NIH Charities.  Stop by the Shoppes of Bethesda parking lot on Hampden Lane to watch the early birds plunge into the ice filled pool starting at 6:30 AM to raise money for charity.  It will be their most sober moment of the entire day!  Come and cheer them on as they freeze their shamrocks off! 

RíRá Irish Pub

8 AM – 10 AM head over to Union Jacks’s for an absolutely FREE breakfast, no strings attached – hot and cold foods, all good stuff (yes, we know it’s an English pub but why not?  It’s FREE!)…or….from 9 Am – Noon check out Tommy Joe’s who is also offering a free breakfast as a buffet.  If you’re really hungry, you have time to get to both of them!

11 AM – 2 PM – NAP and prepare for the wild evening ahead!  Gather your green garb and maybe even your leprechaun outfits for the crazy night ahead!

3 PM – 5 PM: Stop by The Barking Dog at 4723 Elm Street for a full day of celebrations including live music from Jimmy Nalls Band, giveaways, and all kinds of food and Guinness specials!  There is no cover for their St. Patty’s Day Party that lasts until 12:30 AM.  They will have $5 Irish coffee and $6 green bombs (I have no idea what that is but good luck with that!).

Irish Inn at Glen Echo

5:30 PM  (Call taxi if needed) Head out to Irish Inn at Glen Echo for a special performance by one of our favorite groups, The 19th Street Band.  Bring your smiles and enjoy the fun while partying at the pub with some great music.  They always have great drink specials but  my favorite is Kilkenny on draft.  The Irish Inn is offering a special 2-course lunch or dinner ($25/$35 per person respectively).  Reservations are recommended…or just hit the bar for some darn good music from 3 PM – close.

DINNER:  We recommend the Irish Inn at Glen Echo, Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle or RíRá – all Bethesda Irish pubs who should be doing it right on St. Pat’s Big Day.  Call ahead for your reservations!

9:00 PM – Stop by RíRá for some Celtic Rock by the live band, Kilmaine Saints.  Their pub has a great atmosphere  and lots of room for a rockin’ good time.  Good beer on tap and I’m sure lots of terrific St. Patrick’s Day food and drink specials.  Try a black & tan – a combo beer with Guinness draught and some kind of stout – like Bass or Harp lager.  It’s mmmm, mmmm good.

11 PM – Last, if you want to continue on with the pub crawl and really go crazy, dress in your sexiest leprechaun outfit and stagger over to Union Jack’s for a chance to win a trip to the Caribbean while dancing to their live DJ!  You must wear green or you may get pinched (on second thought, if you’re wearing a sexy leprechaun outfit, you may get pinched anyway).  21 and older of course.  They will be offering $3 Killians and Guinness pints.

LAST: Call Bethesda Taxi, your lucky leprechaun, for a ride home: 240-767-4488.  Be safe everyone and may the luck o’ the Irish be with you this night and always!       

~Amy, the red-headed, somewhat Irish REALTOR & blogger

Day 75: The Irish Inn at Glen Echo

Irish Inn at Glen Echo

One of Amy’s and my favorite haunts in the area is the Irish Inn at Glen Echo.  One night after work we stopped by to enjoy one of our favorite beers, Kilkenny.  Kilkenny is an Irish cream ale from the makers of Guinness beer, from Kilkenny, Ireland.  What we really like about the beer are the small tiny bubbles, what they call a “nitrogenated” beer, and of course it goes down smooth and tastes great.  Kilkenny was only recently introduced to the U.S. market back in the fall of 2009.  Candidly, up till now I would have told you that I really don’t like beer that much but this beer has totally changed my opinion of the beverage.  In college I drank my fair share of cheap American beer and I never understood the appeal.  I became adept at the game quarters primarily to avoid drinking it.  I guess I just never had the good stuff! Amy on the other hand is a bit of a beer connoisseur (and yes I did have to look up how to even spell that) and introduced Kilkenny to me having been to Ireland and sampled the ale direct from the source.

Kilkenny Beer

The location where the Inn is located has a bit of a morbid and checkered past, having been the site of tragic fire that killed the family that lived in the residence that once occupied the land, and the location of a rough neck local bar and grill known as Trav’s.  Ghosts of the fire and a lethal brawl at the previous “joint” are believed to haunt the establishment.  For a brief time the building housed the restaurant known as the Inn at Glen Echo until it was purchased by the current owners and renovated and transformed into the Irish Inn in 2003.

Amy and I like the small intimate atmosphere of the place, whether you are eating in the white tabled clothed restaurant or enjoying the tap at the traditional Irish pub.  The bar area has richly colored walls that compliment the extensive long wood bar and amazing hand-painting throughout.  Don’t be surprised if the lovable Christy Hughes, the owner, slides up next to you and introduces himself.  It’s that kind of place.  On the same night I tried Kilkenny I was treated to another experience, live music compliments of the 19th Street Band.  In stroll two young fellas and a beautiful young one (young girl).  You end up saying these sorts of things when you’re in the Inn after a while.  The trio begins to play a wonderful selection of contemporary hits and old classics in the folksy Rockabilly music tradition.  Caolaidhe, Meghan & Mike make up The 19th Street Band with Caolaidhe on guitar, Meghan on violin, and Mike on upright bass.  The first time Meghan took to the mike and began to sing nearly every head in the bar turned to the stage as we all had a collective, American Idol trained, “a-ha” moment when as we realized that this girl has an extraordinary voice.

Lastly, we really enjoy the food.  My personal favorite in the Pub is the “Bangers and Mash”, an Irish staple of sausages served with mashed potatoes, peas and whiskey sauce!  This St. Patrick’s Day Dinner will be served from 4-10 with a $35 per person special featuring your choice of Salads, Potato and Leek soup (yummy) or fried oysters with main course options of Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, Fish and Chips, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Lamb Chops, Boiled Ham or Guinness Beef Stew.  The 19th Street Band will be making a special appearance on St. Patrick’s Day as well.  Any idea where I might be on Thursday?  You guessed it.  So don’t be a dry shite (boring person), a dosser (a lazy person), or a Wanker (a person no one likes) and join my “young one” (Amy) and me for a Jar ‘ol Kilkenny at the Irish Inn on Saint Patty’s day. ~Brian Maury

Day 74: RíRá Irish Pub – Where the Craic is Mighty!

RíRá Irish Pub

RíRá means a “divilment (mischievous), good fun or any sociable activity that improves with fine food” and that’s just what you will experience at RíRá Irish Pub located at 4931 Elm Street.  The Pub has what every good Irish Pub should  – the right atmosphere and friendly congeniality among patrons and guests.  Plus, they have a whole host of enjoyable entertainment and activities to give you a good belly laugh as well as an interesting thread of Irish history right here in Bethesda.

Trivia games are the rage these days and RíRá offers a lively game of Pub Quiz on Tuesdays beginning at 7:30 PM.  It’s good fun while you indulge in some good eats and drinks.  On Wednesdays they offer 1/2 price burgers.  After 10 PM on weekends, you can enjoy live musical entertainment.  This Thursday, they will feature La Unica Irish Band beginning at 5:30 PM.

RíRá is a community minded business, supporting and hosting many charities throughout the years including local food banks, organizations that support cancer victims and children’s charities among others.  Their latest charitable event is being held at 6:30 AM on March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day (yes, that’s AM not PM) with The 1st Annual Penguin Plunge benefiting NIH Charities.

The Penguin Plunge is a fundraising event wherein participants gather donations for taking the plunge into an ice-filled pool at the crack of dawn…if they dare!  The pool will be set up behind the RíRá restaurant in the parking lot of the Shoppes of Bethesda on Hampden Lane on Thursday morning.  If you want to participate you will need to contact Simon, a jovial, nice Irish man who happens to be the General Manager at RíRá, and get your pledge sheet.  You still have time.  You only need to collect $50 in donations in order to participate.

I am strongly encouraging Brian Maury to take the plunge!  But I need your help.  If you want to pledge for Brian to take the plunge, (SAY YES, oh please say yes so I can MAKE him GO!), just send us an e-mail or leave a comment here and we will be happy to mark you down with your donation.  I will post the video on Thursday if I can!  But if I miss it, they say it will be on the news anyway.

The Olympia Theater Bar from 1879

We learned about the Plunge on a recent visit to RíRá wherein Brian and I enjoyed chatting with Simon about the Pub and the rich history that is a part of its construction.  The actual bars inside (there are two) and the glass mirrors behind them were carefully packaged and shipped to Bethesda from old pubs in Ireland.  The bar that is situated to the right of the entry is called The Irish Shop Bar which was originally part of an Irish grocery shop that opened in the late 1800’s in the town of Shercock in County Cavan.  The large bar and its mirrors behind it that are in the main restaurant area of RíRá, were originally part of the Olympia Theater Bar built in 1879 across the street from Dublin Castle.  As you belly up to the bar, imagine whose elbows have been placed upon it over the years!  Oscar Wilde is apparently one of them.

The Irish Shop Bar of the late 1800's

The beautiful thing about a local Irish pub – be it in Bethesda or Dublin – is that it’s a comfortable, casual environment to meet up with friends, share a drink, some good hearty food and some laughs.  Prepare to be transported to Ireland when you visit RíRá.  Relax and stay a while.  My beer suggestion: Kilkenny!

Now don’t forget, please pledge a little something so I can motivate Brian to head out to RíRá Thursday morning for the Penguin Plunge to benefit the NIH charities.  And we hope you will stop in and enjoy RíRá any day or evening for some mighty good craic – just like they do in Ireland!     ~Amy

Day 73: Feelin' the Luck O' the Irish Yet?

Flanagan's Harp & Fiddle

This Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day and whether you are Irish or not, it is a great day to enjoy a raucous good time at your local pub.  In honor of this upcoming celebration, Bethesda365 will feature our three local Irish pubs this week Monday – Wednesday.  Then on Thursday morning, Saint Patrick’s Day, check out our post outlining all kinds of St. Patty’s Day events and activities about town – especially at our local pubs.  Friday we will of course feature hangover remedies.  😀

So perhaps you should start warming up your lucky charms this evening and try your luck at Stump Trivia at Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle.  Located at 4844 Cordell Ave. in Bethesda, Flanagan’s offers Stump Trivia every Monday from 8 PM – 10 PM.  There are prizes nightly and it’s free to enter.  There are many rave reviews I have read about their trivia night so check it out.

Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle is also an ideal spot to enjoy live music every night and, if you’re a fan of European sports, they have a live satellite telecast.  As a rugby fan, it’s the only place I know of in the area where you can catch a game while enjoying a great pint of Smithwick’s (pronounced Smithigs) at the same time!  Trust me, Smithy’s is a great alternative to Guinness if you’re looking to sample some good Irish beer.

Happy hour from 4-7 PM weeknights offers some great deals on appetizers and drinks.  Then from 7 PM to close they offer late night specials.  So basically, show up any time after 4 PM and you will find some kind of food and drink deals.  I am told that the chili fries are tasty.

The Pub Entry

Every Tuesday night starting at 8:30 PM, Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle offers Open The Jam Sessions featuring live music from local artists, a popular weekly event.  And finally, if you’re a fan of karaoke, Flanagan’s is your place on Wednesday nights with Drunkie-Okie Karaoke – pretty self-explanatory.

If you’re planning a visit for St. Patrick’s Day, they will be featuring live Irish music all day long.  Consider reservations now at 301-951-0115.  Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle is just a down home good ole’ Irish pub experience with a lively musical atmosphere, good menu and lotsa beer.  The food is fine but the beer is best.  Bring your lucky charms tonight and test your skills at trivia.  Enjoy!      ~Amy