Birthday dinner

So Jill had me meet her at the closest Metro stop to where she’s interning. I wasn’t sure where she was driving us to until we turned onto H Street. I’ve been watching the Atlas District become a hot thing and been tempted to go, partly because of a new music club, but mainly because of Dr. Granville Moore’s Brickyard. It’s a Belgian place that leans heavily on the beers, and the reviews have been looking good. Apparently I’d mentioned the place when we’d been talking about Belgian beers (maybe at Rustico?), and Jill had found out it wasn’t far from her work.

I was kind of surprised she went for it – the neighborhood’s still kinda sketchy, but we parked on H a block away and walked in. Some of the reviews had mentioned it being noisy, so we asked the waitress which floor would be quieter, and she sent us upstairs. Of course seconds after we arrived, the bartender was cranking the tunes. But he was just playing songs off his iPod, and he asked us if there was something we wanted to hear (there was). It was fortunate timing to get there at opening, as we were the only ones up on the second floor while we were there, and got excellent service. The food and drinks have to receive high marks as well. I started off with a Chimay Red – I’d had the white before, but couldn’t resist a description that included “hints of candied dates”. Jill was also thinking of the red, but went with a similar brown the bartender recommended. The mussels are the house specialty, and she had those (the “regional” flavoring) and some of their frites, while I had a beer sausage sandwich (fabulous), paired with a Tripel Karmeliet (the bartender said it was his personal favorite) that was delicious. We were too stuffed for dessert, but I had a Kasteel Rouge (cherry beer) that had just the right amount of sweetness.

I forgot to mention – my folks and sis had gotten me some nice gifts the prior night, cool books like a His Dark Materials story, the last Neil Gaiman movie companion and awesome Dilbert figures, but Jill went for the ultimate with Dance Dance Revolution for the Wii. The only bad thing is we’d need two controllers to play at the same time, but it left us winded enough that we could catch our breath while the other played. We’ll see if we can get out of the beginner levels anytime soon.