Day: August 1, 2017

Behind the Bar, Featured Post, Wining & Dining

Behind the Bar: Neil L. Burroughs

Neil L. Burroughs Redstone American Grill 155 National Plaza National Harbor 301-839-3330                   Neil Serves Up the Redstone Pickled Goose – Grey Goose Vodka, dill pickle and olive juice shaken, shaken, shaken and garnished with pickle wrapped hand stuffed blue cheese olives! How did you get started in the bartending business? Thanks to the pressure of my older brother and mentor, Phil Vickers, and a hidden desire to make new tastes I decided to jump right into this ever evolving industry and trade. From traveling and drinking to learning and appreciating other cultures and reasons behind certain drinks and garnishes, I love the whole concept of bartending. Enjoying the random bar guest conversations and serving the old style drinks that are popular now are part of what being a seasoned bartender is all about. However, my liver and my mind awareness started with Phil Vickers and was made possible by Paul Salter now of Mission BBQ. What is your biggest bartender pet peeve? The guests who arrive on their phones AND stay on their phones and make no consistent eye contact. You know, the ones who point and wave and never finish a statement and then complain about orders not coming out correctly and or lack of service. What is the cleverest line anyone has ever used to get you to give them a free drink? Still to this day a 20 dollar bill in the air and when I card them and it’s their birthday….I’m like “Oh Lord, welcome to drinking in public and not in your friends basement”. What is the best/worst pickup line you have overheard at the bar? Excuse me…. does this smell like chloroform. Just playing….”I’m single, let’s mingle and for 5 or 6 hours let’s…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

The Cable Wood Chopper

Summer is cruising by so I hope you have taken full advantage of it so far. This month’s exercise is the Cable Woodchopper. Two different versions exist. The handle can be on a high pulley to finish low or, in this case, start low and finish high. More resistance will be needed for the high-low chop and less for the low-high. I am using a single grip rotating handle attached to the end of the cable, however, I use both hands (right is over the left) to grab the handle. The start position is shown in figure 1. Take a quarter-squat stance with the feet wider than shoulder-width. You should be far enough away from the weight stack such that the weights do not touch each other. Keep both arms straight and the hands about knee high. The pictures show me starting on the lower left side rotating and extending up high to the right for the finish. This should be one continuous, smooth motion as you pull the handle in a diagonal line, rotating the torso, extending out of the quarter squat with a slight rotation of the hips. Keeping your arms straight and the handle away from your body during this exercise will effectively engage the core muscles. Try ten reps from left to right and then switch to the other side without resting. The resistance should be light if you are trying this for the first time. Do not attempt a one- repetition max because of the spinal rotation factor. You can incorporate the low-to-high version of the cable woodchopper into a warm-up routine or utilize it in an abdominal workout. Either way, this is an excellent exercise for all the major muscle groups and a great way to increase the heart rate too! Stay cool out…

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Notes from the Publisher

Publisher’s Notes

By Bob Tagert Here we are in the middle of summer. Whew! July brought us some warmer temps if not just down right hot. Hopefully August will cool off a little bit but I have my doubts – it is the Dog Days of Summer you know! I guess by looking at the cover this month you may have been given a big clue. The “About the Cover” goes in to detail about these two cool canines but I wanted to take some space here to extend our sympathy to Jackie Bogle Meuse and her family in the loss of Roo. He was hit by an automobile a few weeks ago and didn’t make it. Jackie is the proprietor of Little Washington Spa in Washington, VA. She is going to be donating 20% of what you spend with her to your favorite animal charity if you mention the Old Town Crier this month. You can treat yourself and some furry friends all at the same time. See her ad in the Health and Fitness section. Road Trip takes us back to Solomons, Maryland, but through different eyes than mine. It is a thoughtful approach to one of my favorite places. We are also looking forward to checking out some of the places in Rappahannock County that we missed last month. Be sure to see the Rappahannock ad layout in the To the Blue Ridge section where Julie Reardon writes about the fruit and vegetable bounty available this time of year in the region. We will no longer publish Civil Discourse. Doug Coleman has supplied us information about the Civil War for the past four years, which is a huge feat. Like myself, a lot of readers will miss his monthly contribution. One writer leaves and another comes on board. We…

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Dining Out, Wining & Dining

Vola’s Dockside Grill – Old Town Waterfront Dining

By Bob Tagert Vola’s Dockside Grill – Old Town Waterfront Dining The Alexandria Restaurant Partners, owners of The Majestic, Virtue Feed and Grain and Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap opened their latest eatery in Alexandria a few months ago…Vola’s Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge. With the dog days of August on us, eating dockside food seems to be a natural. For those really hot days there is a spacious air-conditioned restaurant and bar and for those wonderful cooler days, there is ample outdoor seating along the waterfront. Attached to the restaurant is the Hi-Tide Lounge where the island theme prevails with signature rum and other cocktails. It is called the Hi-Tide Lounge because when the Potomac River has an unusually high tide – particularly combined with a heavy rain upstream – the river rises and backs up the storm drains into the streets of Old Town. Hi-Tide Lounge sits about 6 feet above the street and is safe from rising water. This is fast becoming not only a favorite gathering place for locals but also for private parties. Vola’s is named after Vola Lawson, a community activist who was Alexandria’s City Manager from 1985 to 2000. Vola helped to stabilize the city’s finances and make Alexandria what it is today. The local animal shelter is also named after Lawson due to her long time fight for animal rights. Today the restaurant continues to support many of Lawson’s causes including hosting regular fundraisers for animal rescue groups. The main restaurant sports a large bar of about 25 seats and there are photographs from the past throughout the restaurant. Besides great drinks, the bar also serves lunch and dinner. On our night there we were seated at an indoor table with a window view of the patio. We started out with their…

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Personality Profile

From Piano to Politics to Piano! Hunter Lang – A Rare Talent

By Bob Tagert From Piano to Politics to Piano! Hunter Lang – A Rare Talent This month’s profile is a real treat. Last week we ventured into Georgetown to see Hunter Lang perform at the Georgetown Piano Bar on M Street. This brought back a lot of memories as friends and I would ride our motorcycles to Georgetown in 1967. Our destination back then was the Crazy Horse bar where a few friends worked as waiters. Twelve ounce bottles of beer cost 75 cents back then. Times have certainly changed. The Georgetown Piano Bar is located at 3287 M Street, where the old Rhino Bar once reigned king and back in my day it was Winston’s. We arrived about 9 pm and the round basement-level bar was packed and most of the tables were taken as others milled around with a cocktail or beer in hand. I know I have gotten older but man, I don’t remember being that young. The two keyboard pianos were two steps down from the bar level. About 9:15 Hunter Lang and his piano partner Joshua Rich, after passing out song sheets, took their seats, and the fun began. What is sometimes billed as dueling pianos, these two entertainers played and sang back and forth the rest of the night. They play their favorite songs or you can make a request. The request is usually written on a post-it note and then attached to currency. The higher the denomination, the quicker the song is performed. If you can’t think of a song, there are a ton of recommendations on the song sheet they pass out. They can tackle any number and deliver the goods as evidenced by Lang’s version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Somebody to Love. Freddie Mercury would be proud. Lang discovered his…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

Stayin’ Cool in the Casino!

By Lani Gering Stayin’ Cool in the Casino! It’s a numbers game here! 3 lively bars, 7 happy hours during the week, 8 full service restaurants, 9 food vendors in the National Market, a gorgeous 400 room hotel and spa, a 3,000 seat theater and 24 Hour Gaming – All under one “air conditioned” roof! I have to admit that I really do like this place! If I had a tad more expendable income, I would probably be considered a “regular” here. I do tend to spend a bit more time at the restaurants than I do in the casino at this point but that is another reason that I like the MGM. Jose Andres’ FISH is my full service restaurant of choice at this point but I haven’t had the pleasure of dining at Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse yet. However, their bar and lounge is quite inviting. Tap Sports Bar is just that – lots of big screen televisions and large portions of typical bar food and some good cold beers. Marcus’ Classic American and Ginger’s Asian are the only two restaurants that don’t have access to the great waterfront views but they are inviting nonetheless. The National Market food court is one-of-a-kind. You won’t find any chintzy chain restaurants here (unless you consider Starbuck’s in that category). Nine unique venues from the Bento Box to Honey’s Fried Chicken and Waffles grace this space. All with very reasonably priced fare and drinks. The Theater is a very special space! The sound system and acoustics in this place are over the top! The fact that it only seats 3,000 people also makes for pretty much not having a bad seat in the house! I am looking forward to seeing one of my old favorites, Cher, this month. It’s my birthday present…

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Beauty & Health, Product of the Month

Product of the Month: emerginCspf 30+ and tinted 30+

Product of the Month emerginC spf 30+ and tinted 30+ spf 30+ and tinted spf 30+ are touted as “Broad Spectrum Sun Protectors” – a lightweight, non-greasy powerful sun block for the face that provides powerful UVA/UVB protection. This sun block has been formulated with hydrators, vitamins, antioxidants, and herbal extracts and does not leave any white film on the skin. spf 30+ contains all natural ingredients to protect and nourish the skin, including vitamin C, which improves tone and texture by removing dead skin cells, ultimately diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that often result from sun exposure. spf 30+ also uses the antioxidant power of vitamin E and green tea, as well as soothing hydrating effects of aloe vera, which also stimulates cell growth. Other active ingredients include sea buckthorn extract, licorice root, maritime pine bark extract and panthenol. What we think: This sun screen does go on nicely and the tinted version lets you know that you have even coverage and there isn’t a white residue like some of the others we tried. Probably because it doesn’t contain any zinc oxide. It is good under makeup and holds up to normal perspiration, however, we don’t recommend using it if you are at the pool or the beach since it is neither water resistant or water proof. We did use it in conjunction with other emerginC products for the face, however, for the price, we aren’t sure that it does that much better than some of the drugstore brands out there. Retails Prices: spf 30+ $38 spf 30+ tinted $40 Available at upscale spas and online at  

Business Profile

Your Dog’s Home Away From Home!

By Lani Gering Your Dog’s Home Away From Home! What better way to celebrate the “Dog Days of Summer” than featuring one of the area’s top full service dog daycare establishments in this space. Located in a large, lavender (very soothing color I guess) corner building on the Jeff Davis Highway in the Del Ray area of Alexandria, Your Dog’s Best Friends (YDBF), caters to your canine friends every need. In addition to daycare, they have boarding facilities that are monitored 24 hours a day, offer grooming and walking services and conduct both training and socialization sessions. They also sell a wide assortment of dog related paraphernalia both in the facility and online. This is definitely a one stop shop. This state-of-the-art facility was built with much attention to cleanliness, safety and most importantly, the comfort of your dog. Established in 2003 as a result of a movement among the residents of the Del Ray section of Alexandria to attract a dog daycare into their area, YDBF is the culmination of those efforts. To quote prominent Alexandrian and early advocate and well-known dog lover, Sandy Modell, “Create a profoundly positive place for dogs and success will follow.” This is certainly the case with YDBF. This may actually be one of those Field of Dreams businesses that the “Build it and they will come” model worked. This definitely isn’t the norm with the other 99% of business models. Owner, Paul Haire, formerly an established real estate investor and broker and policy wonk, went back to his roots – sort of – when he decided to take on the YDBF endeavor. In his youth he worked at an oceanographic institute in Hawaii and assisted in the care and training of the porpoises. It was pioneering work at the time, applying then new…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Road Trip

On Watch- Solomon’s Island, Revisited

By Beth Jannery   This past month Beth Jannery submitted a road trip for consideration. Solomons, Maryland is a favorite destination of ours as well as many others from northern Virginia and I write about southern Maryland often. The approach is different than I would take and made me think in different terms. My sailboat is in Calvert Marina and every time I sail out I pass the statue “On Watch”. I hope that you enjoy the article. – Bob Tagert We’re a disconnected nation. It’s summer and there is no wacky, oddly-fun ice bucket challenge happening on social media to connect us all. We are tired, torn and frustrated. We are fighting one another. I suggest a road trip. We need an adventure. Something to relight our inner American flame before she flickers out. I propose disappearing to quiet Solomons Island, Maryland and embracing an American adventure. Road trips give me a sense of freedom and I’m off, leaving the rest of my hectic world behind to renew my spirit. I wonder what it will take to renew our countries’ spirit. I find the simple answer for all of us on Solomons Island. It’s the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a start. I make my way toward a restaurant on the pier and devour a dozen raw oysters with extra lemon. There is plenty to do – if I have the desire to go, go, go – boat rides, fishing excursions, you name it. But I don’t. I want to keep it simple. Anything I do on the shore involves fresh seafood. There are fresh oysters from The Pier at Solomons as well as very tasty rockfish bites and crab cakes to be eaten. Food connects us. But this isn’t enough. I’m still feeling the grip of my…

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Events, From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, National Harbor

National Harbor Calendar August 2017

National Harbor Calendar 8-17   The Plaza is a Busy Place!   FREE FITNESS CLASSES On the Plaza Through October Participate in a free fitness classes on the Plaza brought to you by No Excuse Workout. All classes run from 7-8 pm except Saturday morning yoga that runs from 10-11 am. Mondays – CardioHIT Tuesdays – Kickboxing Wednesdays – Zumba Saturdays – Yoga (Please refer to National Harbor’s Facebook page for any weather related cancellations.)   MOVIES ON THE POTOMAC Through September Nothing says summer like an evening under the stars—and there’s no better way to enjoy the season than a date night at National Harbor. Join us on the Plaza every Thursday night – Date Night Style – and Sundays – Family Night Style! Please note that movies will begin at 6 pm on Sundays and 7 pm on Thursdays and will be shown once, so end times may vary with each movie. Double Features start at 4 pm. A schedule of movies to be shown can be viewed below. Date Night Screenings: 3rd – The Blind Side 10th – Central Intelligence 17th – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 24th – Top Gun 31st– Rocky (1976) Family Night Screenings: 6th – Space Jam 13th – Double Feature: The Karate Kid (1984 & The Karate Kid (2010) 20th – The Might Ducks 27th – Remember the Titans   SUMMER FRIDAYS ARE BACK! Through September 29th 4 pm- 8 pm Start your weekend right with Summer Fridays at National Harbor! Play Corn hole, Connect Four, Giant Jenga, hula hoop, hopscotch, and more with family and friends. Enjoy performances by Bobby McKey’s, giveaways, and listen to the DJ spin your favorite summer jams. And of course, joining us means you get front row seats to the best sunset view in the…

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