By Katie Garcia
Originally posted on La Cuisine’s blog and reposted with permission.
Last year my best friend, Lisa and I decided to succumb to the traditional ways of spring break and traveled to the Dominican Republic. This year we decided to go in a different path. We decided to visit local shops and restaurants here in Old Town Alexandria. With so many different choices, who could resist. It started on a Friday night. We came to Old Town and went to Rock-It Grill, a karaoke bar. It’s not the best looking bar on King St, but it was a lot of fun and there was a fun atmosphere inside. Definitely not for those who don’t like any chaos, but it’s your typical bar but of course, with singing. On top of visiting Old town during our break, we had one golden rule: No shopping at any chain stores. It wasn’t easy to follow and we did have a couple slip-ups (7-11 and CVS) but it really made the week interesting.
We started off by having lunch at Bugsy’s Pizza Restaurant and Sports Bar We had originally planned to eat at MoMo’s a Japanese restaurant with Amazing Sushi, on Queen St. But they were closed for another hour and our grumbling stomachs could not last that long. Now, the Cuisinettes are long-time customers of Bugsy’s. Who can resist thick, cheesy pizza and yummy chocolate cake. Lisa and I had the Margherita Pizza: tomatoes, basil, garlic and mozzarella cheese. I love their specialty pizza’s and this one has become my new favorite. Fully stuffed, we walked the town for a bit, admiring attractive window displays. King Street is full of different shops but the side streets have much to offer as well. On Union St, there is The Christmas Attic, with beautiful Christmas ornaments and household decorations. We passed The Sugar Cube on North Lee St, which is candy heaven. Although we were not able to go inside because of limited time, it’s on my list of stores to visit. Before we left, we walked up to Grape and Bean, to have a delicious cup of organic coffee. I am in love with this small but cozy restaurant and now Lisa is too. They have delicious salads and sandwiches but my favorite is their flatbread with crescenza cheese, prosciutto and truffle oil. They also have a friendly staff and a nice atmosphere. We were definitely coming back to Grape and Bean., or G n’ B, as I like to call it.
Our break happened to fall the week of St. Patrick’s Day and of course we were excited to be in Old Town for any festivities. We did not go to any Irish Pubs. We just aren’t into being in an overcrowded pub, feeling like packed sardines. So instead, we first went back to Grape and Bean to try some of the beers they carry. I’m not a fan of ales, but I actually did enjoy them and had seconds! The staff helped us find a place to go, and we headed up King St, to The Light Horse. They were not overpacked, but did have a crowd and we had to wait a bit to get upstairs to their dance room. The bartender downstairs was very friendly and let us try a bit of the beers before ordering, just in case we didn’t like the taste. After a very short wait, we were able to go upstairs, where they have pool tables, tables to sit and a dance floor and DJ. The place had a nice vibe to it and we made friends quick. Overall, it was a fun night and I was more than happy for choosing Old Town as my destination choice. The following night, I was in Old Town once again. This time for a dinner date with my sister at Grape and Bean. As I said before, it’s an obsession to go there. After dinner, we walked around King St. It was a great end to a wonderful week.
Thinking about the fun we had, Lisa and I have made Old Town our new place to go. D.C has a lot of variety and more to choose from, but Old Town has a feeling of comfort. The atmosphere is friendly and we felt safe walking up and down King St. There are so many different restaurants and shops that we are still planning to visit them, one visit at a time. -Katie