If you're confused, don't worry. HOYA SAXA is not a place. It's the battle cry of my alma mater, Georgetown University, and literally translates into "What Rocks". If there is one constant in my life, it's my unwavering passion for the Hoyas. This Saturday marks the start of another college basketball season, so I figured a college-themed throwback post was appropriate.
My four years at Georgetown were a bit of a blur, possibly due to the amount of alcohol I consumed. I don't remember much about my classes (sorry mom and dad!) but I do remember each of the 100 or so basketball games I attended as a student and young alum. I even traveled for my Hoyas, visiting exotic locales like El Paso, Winston-Salem and Dayton to see them in action. Perhaps I'll save those cities for a future post...
I've been hesitant to write about DC - a city I called home for nearly 7 years. It's not because I don't love our nation's capital. Instead, it's the exact opposite. I love DC and truly believe it's one of the most underrated places in the country. The city is constantly evolving thanks to its young and transient population. So much has changed since I left in 2010. Every time I go back, I return to dozens of new "hot spots" and up-and-coming neighborhoods. Therefore, I would be doing a total injustice if I attempted to write about DC's finest. I'll have to leave that to a friend and future post. For now, I thought I'd share a few of my old favorite haunts from way back when:
The college diet: For all four years, I was on a beer and fast food-only diet. It worked wonders for my health. I don't know what the undergrads are doing nowadays, but hardly a day went by when I wasn't frequenting one of the below fine dining options:
- Tomb's: A Georgetown institution. Students either drink here, work here or both.
- Wisemiller's: Although they are best known for their Chicken Madness, I much preferred the Burger Madness.
- Quick Pita: My personal favorite. Get the Quick Pita Special - chicken, french fries and garlic sauce wrapped in a pita.
- Canal Express: I used to eat so much General Tso's chicken. For most of my junior year, my roommates and I would debate whether Canal Express or Kitchen No. 1 was better.
The night out & the morning after: Only after I graduated did I finally start exploring the rest of the city. The 14th Street and U Street cooridor was one of my favorite stomping grounds for a night out. Apparently, the area has only gotten more popular since.
- Bar Pilar: Start your night off at this low-key gastropub. Great cocktails and delicious, homey food.
- Cafe Saint-Ex: Head next door to the constantly packed Saint-Ex. Quite a few Saturday nights were spent down in the bar's basement dancing in a crowd of sweaty 20-somethings.
- Lauriol Plaza: The crazier the night, the more likely you'll hit up Lauriol Plaza for brunch the next day. It's as if all of DC descends on this place every Sunday, regretting what they did the night prior followed by a round of frozen margaritas.
Dinner on the corporate card: Downtown DC is defined by suited business lunches and yuppy happy hours. Get past the horrifying prospect of rubbing shoulders with government contractors and consultants (myself once included), and you can enjoy some of the best eats and drinks in town.
- Rasika: To this day, this is still some of the best modern Indian cuisines I've had. Loved the biryani.
- Brasserie Beck: This is where I went for my Deloitte goodbye dinner. Great selection of beers and mussels.
- Tosca: Prepare for a white table cloth, business formal meal. This is a great place for client meetings or anniversary dinners. More importantly, the Italian food is stellar.
- Poste Modern Brasserie: Conveniently located in the Hotel Monaco in downtown DC, this used to be one of my favorite happy hour spots. When the weather's nice, head out to the private courtyard bar.