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Largest Jewish community is in Silver Spring, which is a suburb of Washington. For tourists, best place to stay is in downtown Silver Spring, which has a metro stop and a nearby  shul in Woodside Park within walking distance.

The shul website also has alot of helpful tourist information

Things to do
Washington Monument


« Last edited by SSLPhD on December 08, 2021, 08:39:29 PM »

Author Topic: Washington DC Master Thread  (Read 135740 times)

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #380 on: February 10, 2015, 03:38:39 PM »
Silver Crust, High End Dairy Restaurant Opens
A new, high end Kosher Dairy cafe featuring pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches has opened this week in the DCJCC. The cafe will accommodate their busy DC clientele by offering quick, to-go options as well as sit-down table service. This is welcome news for the Jews of DC who did not have much of a selection when it came to Kosher Dairy restaurants. Silver Crust is under the kosher supervision of the Vaad of Greater Washington. They are located at 1529 16th Street NW, Washington DC, 20036. Click here to see their website. h/t YeahThatsKosher.com
Sweet, might be going next week so it's perfect timing.

Offline lunatic

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #381 on: February 10, 2015, 03:41:10 PM »
Sweet, might be going next week so it's perfect timing.

If you go,  please post a report

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #382 on: February 10, 2015, 11:12:31 PM »
For anyone who has stayed at the Fairmont, or any of the other hotels in that immediate vicinity, what did you do about parking? Their parking prices are insane. I see some cheaper alternatives on Parking Panda, Spot Hero, etc. but I feel like I might need in and out privileges, which is harder to figure out on these sites.

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #383 on: February 23, 2015, 12:42:54 PM »
If you go,  please post a report

Short version: (had to add this once I saw how big the full TR was)
Drove down from NYC on M"S, stayed for 3 nights, drove back Tuesday afternoon. Stayed at the Fairmont Washington, got around via Metro. Day 1, went to the National Museum of Natural History, ate at Silver Crust. Day 2, went to the National Air and Space Museum, ate at Char Bar. Day 3, went to the National Zoo, ate at Esti's Besty's on the way back in Cherry Hill.

Long Version:

Hotel/Location
We drove down Motzei Shabbos from NYC through all sorts of terrible weather - it took around 5 hours even with me driving much too fast given the conditions. We decided to stay at the Fairmont, mostly due to location, but also to use suite upgrade and 3rd night free certificates I had left over from the cc I opened for my Hawaii trip. So the total was $410 for 3 nights in a suite.

I highly recommend the location (West End), if not necessarily the hotel. There are 3 hotels on that one corner alone (Fairmont, PH DC, Westin), plus a Ritz, Marriott and Embassy Suites within a block or two - so you have options. The Fairmont is a <10 min walk to the shul in Georgetown (Kesher Israel), <10 min walk to the Foggy Bottom Metro station (a few short stops from the majority of attractions), and both of the kosher restaurants in DC are basically within a mile. One concern with staying closer to the city center is parking (which is true of any major city). The Fairmont only has valet parking and they charge a ridiculous $48/night. The same issue applies to the other hotels in the area. I did a little research and found out that there are a fair amount of meter spaces in that area, which are free on Sundays and holidays (and the Monday we were there was a President's day). Worst case, I'd park in a nearby garage for much cheaper.

When we arrived, I unloaded my family and my stuff and went back down to look for parking. I found a spot right away, literally across the street from the hotel, and left the car there till we packed up to leave on Tuesday. I fed the meter the last morning till we left, though I probably didn't need to because it ended up snowing and the whole city kind of shut down. I'm sure the weather had some impact on the number of meter spots available, but there really seemed to be spots available at all times.

We were booked into a Capitol Corner Suite, which is an 'open concept suite' (ie not a 1 bedroom suite). The room was nice enough, and I could see it being a really good option when not traveling with kids, but we were travelling with a 3yo and an almost 2yo, so we were disappointed not to find ourselves in an Ambassador Suite (a true one bedroom suite). Much more disappointing though was finding the room not set up for our kids despite asking for a rollaway and crib several times in different during the booking/confirming etc process. The bellhop set up the pullout couch and brought a crib, but it was a pretty bad first impression. They also didn't end up having a fridge for us (we used the mini-bar fridge but it was a pain emptying and re-filling it), and the  room was generally too cold no matter what we did with the thermostat. I was basically too busy on such a short trip to bother complaining about any of this.

They do have a real gym - as in a normal, membership based type of gym - that the hotel guests can use free of charge, which has a pool, sauna, a proper locker room and probably a bunch of other stuff. They also have a complimentary car on a first come first serve basis that will take you anywhere within a mile (more on that later). Bottom line: it's a nice hotel and was worth what I paid, but don't waste free nights on it or anything like that.

Activities
We very much enjoy museums, as well as historic sights/areas/buildings, etc. Last time we came to DC we did the National Museum of American History, Udvar-Hazy (the National Air and Space Museum hangar/museum out near IAD), and the Crime Museum. At that time we only had our older son, and he was just a few months old, so we didn't have to think about occupying him. This time we had 2 children with us at ages where they need to be somewhat engaged.

We decided to try to stick to activities on the National Mall and get around via the Metro. We took our huge double stroller so we'd be able to get around quickly and have the kids be able to lay down/rest when they got tired inside the museums. The DC Metro is really good for that, with elevators (plus an online system that allows you to check if any are broken) and huge handicapped 'turnstyles' (for lack of a better word) at every station. Just be sure you understand the pricing system and how the farecards/smartcards work before you buy them - we ended up wasting a few dollars because the Smartcard machine was broken when we started out, and I didn't initially realize that I needed separate cards for me and my wife.

Day 1: We spent the first day at the Museum of Natural History. Plenty for kids here, mine mostly liked the exhibits categorized on the map as Animals and Ecosystems, like the Mammals and Live Insect Zoo exhibits. I was blown away by the photography exhibit, which was all nature and wilderness oriented. You can see some of the best shots here. My wife liked the gems, minerals and geology exhibit - especially the Hope Diamond. ;D

Day 2: The second day we went to the National Air and Space Museum, another kid-pleaser. There is a ton to see here, we definitely didn't get to see some parts I'd have liked to see. It's still pretty cool seeing some of the huge 'artifacts' hanging or standing all over the place, but I prefer the cohesive exhibits that speak to a particular time or topic. That includes the exhibits on aerial and space observation, time and navigation, the Wright Brothers, and the world wars. One exhibit that's really great and specially designed for kids (though probably aimed at those a little older than mine) is the How Things Fly exhibit.

Day 3: Toward the end of the second day it started to snow, and continued through the night. As a result, government offices were closed the next day. The Smithsonian museums are not bound by that, but most of them were closed anyway. The only one that was open that we were interested in was Air and Space, which we'd just been to. So, we took our time packing up, looked into a few options, and ultimately decided on the National Zoo, which opened at 12pm that day. It was still a little early, so we stopped off to see the White House first - we basically just walked by the north lawn, took some pictures and left.

At the zoo, we tried parking on the street at one of the many metered spots along Connecticut Ave, but we were informed that we'd get fined and/or towed, as it's a snow evacuation route and a snow emergency was in place. So, we went into the zoo and parked for $22 - not terrible considering the zoo itself is free.

Almost none of the animals were outdoors due to the weather, so we basically skipped from indoor area to indoor area. We visited the Giant Panda Habitat (which is what the National Zoo is known for), the Bird House, the Elephant Community Center, the Small Mammal House, the Great Apes, and the Reptile Discovery Center. By then it was around 2:30 and we started heading home.

Food
We took cereal and milk and ate breakfasts in our room. For lunches we brought bread, PBJ, and deli, which we ate in the cafes/cafeterias of the museums. For suppers, we went to the restaurants. I apologize in advance for being the first one to review the 2 new DC kosher options because I'm not a foodie and didn't take any pics, so this probably won't be all that helpful. :P

Silver Crust:The first night we went to the brand new Silver Crust. It's a hair over a mile away from the hotel and it was freezing, so we weren't really interested in walking. That's where the Fairmont's complimentary car came in handy. We had to wait a few minutes for it to return from the last guest that used it, but we didn't mind. It was a really nice Cadillac, not sure if it was an XTS, or an extended version of one of the smaller Cadillac sedans. The driver was really friendly and nice, schmoozing about the area and famous people she'd driven on the short ride over there. We used Uber on the way back.

Silver Crust is in the same spot as the former Distrikt Bistro, and it's still super weird being kind of tucked away in this lobby-esque area. People were coming and going from the gym and what seemed to be a theater of some sorts upstairs. The food itself was pretty good, though the menu is kind of annoying because they unnecessarily use Italian words to make it sound fancier. I ordered the Spaghettini Pomodoro, which as good, but spicier than I prefer. My wife had the Antipasti salad. What came wasn't quite what was listed on the menu, but the waiter quickly brought out whatever was missing (sorry for being vague, I wasn't really paying attention). We ordered the larger size of the Classic Pizza, which was equivalent to maybe 3 or 4 regular slices. The kids ate around half of it, and my wife and I ate the rest.

It seemed like the draw might be the specialty pizzas, which we weren't really interested in. They appeared to be doing a fair amount of pickup business too. Bottom line, the food was decent and not too pricey, but certainly nothing you have to come to DC just to try.

Char Bar: The second night we went to Char Bar, which is a new version of Eli's, in a new location. It's sort of on the way from the Foggy Bottom Metro station to the hotel, so we ended up going straight from the Metro after coming from the museum, and walking back to the hotel afterwards.

The space was nice, I would a pretty decent upgrade over the old place. I ordered the Steak Burger, which was okay - got the job done, but not something I would order again. My wife had the Shemtov Salad, which is basically a steak salad. I tasted a piece of the steak and thought it was pretty good. For the kids we ordered the Half Rotisserie Chicken, which I didn't sample, but they seemed to enjoy. The waitress let us swap in different sides without issue.

This one I'd call much more of a normal restaurant experience. The food was good and you can probably eat there a few times in one trip without getting sick of it. Again, nothing you'd absolutely need to try out.

Esti's Besty's: We just had pizza as Esti's, as we just wanted to get in and get out, be on our way home again. Esti and a friend were sitting there watching some show when we walked in. She asked what we wanted and made it right then and there, which didn't take too long. It seems like she mostly does made-to-order. The pizza was okay, nothing special or terrible.

And that concludes my TR. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but we basically didn't get any shots worth posting.

Offline lunatic

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #384 on: February 23, 2015, 01:11:09 PM »
Thanks for sharing

Offline montey

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #385 on: March 12, 2015, 02:27:56 PM »
Which Airport is best if I'm just going in and out of Silver Spring MD? And do I need a car, or can rely on combo of public transit and uber?
Thanks!

Offline yls2011

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #386 on: March 12, 2015, 10:32:56 PM »
Which Airport is best if I'm just going in and out of Silver Spring MD? And do I need a car, or can rely on combo of public transit and uber?
Thanks!
DCA is the closest. What your plans are there really determines whether you'll need a car/Uber. But as far to/from the airport, Uber is fine.

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #387 on: March 12, 2015, 10:35:11 PM »
DCA is the closest. What your plans are there really determines whether you'll need a car/Uber. But as far to/from the airport, Uber is fine.

Actually, time wise,  bwi is just as close. And depending on the time of day, can be quicker

Offline queries

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #388 on: March 18, 2015, 04:03:41 PM »
Hi!!!

We r planning to travel Washington dc from Boston in the coming long weekend( Apr 3rd-Apr 5th).
Can anyone please tell me the best hotel deals & tips for washington dc tour??

Thanks!!

Offline zandray35

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #389 on: March 19, 2015, 08:00:24 PM »
Looking to go to DC for two days chol hamoed with the kids. any recommendations on a hotel? I generally use aa miles for hotel stays if that makes a difference.

Offline 12HRS

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #390 on: March 19, 2015, 08:05:55 PM »
Looking to go to DC for two days chol hamoed with the kids. any recommendations on a hotel? I generally use aa miles for hotel stays if that makes a difference.

aa miles for hotel stays? sounds expensive

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #391 on: March 19, 2015, 08:15:28 PM »
aa miles for hotel stays? sounds expensive
Try and keep it to 10k a night

Offline itsyehuda

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #392 on: March 31, 2015, 04:51:49 PM »
Any kosher restaurants in DC that will deliver to DCA?
I remember when a coke was a nickel, and you could buy VRs in OD.

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #393 on: March 31, 2015, 04:53:47 PM »
Any kosher restaurants in DC that will deliver to DCA?

Use Uber

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #394 on: April 24, 2015, 04:08:35 PM »
Besides for CharBar what is the best kosher meat restaurant in the area?

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #395 on: April 24, 2015, 04:25:39 PM »
Besides for CharBar what is the best kosher meat restaurant in the area?
There's nothing else in DC, see this list for options in the MD suburbs (includes meat and dairy):
http://www.capitolk.org/supervised/restaurants.html

Offline zow

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #396 on: May 28, 2015, 04:20:45 PM »
Just a brief data point / mini TR: I was just in Alexandria for a meeting. Got Char Bar delivered via Uber, under $20, which I thought was pretty great given the distance and rush hour. Had the Texas Toast and a Caesar salad. The TT  was delicious but not as good as having it hot on toasted bread in the restaurant. The owner (Andreas) had good insight to recommend the bread and meat wrapped separately, so it wasn't soggy, but still not as good as on site. Caesar good but could have used more dressing. All in all, though, I was  a very happy camper and my host was thrilled not to have to pay some exorbitant amount for a single delivered catered meal for me.  (Also, tangentially related, I noticed on a google map of Alexandria that there is an Office Max/Depot less than two miles away. That alone is good, but I saw that there is a WM, Target, and a KKD all within a few blocks of the OM/OD..... ?olam habah?)

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #397 on: May 28, 2015, 04:44:48 PM »
Just a brief data point / mini TR: I was just in Alexandria for a meeting. Got Char Bar delivered via Uber, under $20, which I thought was pretty great given the distance and rush hour. Had the Texas Toast and a Caesar salad. The TT  was delicious but not as good as having it hot on toasted bread in the restaurant. The owner (Andreas) had good insight to recommend the bread and meat wrapped separately, so it wasn't soggy, but still not as good as on site. Caesar good but could have used more dressing. All in all, though, I was  a very happy camper and my host was thrilled not to have to pay some exorbitant amount for a single delivered catered meal for me.  (Also, tangentially related, I noticed on a google map of Alexandria that there is an Office Max/Depot less than two miles away. That alone is good, but I saw that there is a WM, Target, and a KKD all within a few blocks of the OM/OD..... ?olam habah?)
Sounds like good food over there now.   what's a KKD?
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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #398 on: May 28, 2015, 05:10:01 PM »
Sounds like good food over there now.   what's a KKD?
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Char Bar replaced Eli's, which was also pretty good, so not much has changed.

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Re: Washington DC Master Thread
« Reply #399 on: May 28, 2015, 05:36:42 PM »

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Char Bar replaced Eli's, which was also pretty good, so not much has changed.
I know that Char Bar is just the new Eli's, but I actually think it is a whole lot better. The menu is more bbq/grill and not so heimische/deli, and the setting is cool, modern.  Eli's wasn't bad, but Char Bar is a real improvement. Just my opinion. :)