Also on Monday, to celebrate Sarah F's twenty-third birthday, Nicole and I headed to Old Town Alexandria for a night out. The only time I had been there before was for a Theology on Tap session at Pat Troy's. We would later end up at that favored Irish pub, but first we started out at Red Mei, an Asian restaurant chosen by Sarah for its inexpensiveness. Because N and I arrived late, we didn't eat there with her and her friend Marcelle but instead walked a block or so to la Madeleine. I have grown less and less impressed with la Madeleine over the years, mainly because, like Panera, they make you pay too much for fairly mediocre food. Nevertheless, also like Panera, you're paying for the appealing ambiance of the restaurant itself; we had a nice little talk there while munching on my Mediterranean Salade (note to self: don't order salads at the very end of the day at a place like this) and Nicole's Chicken Friande (actually quite decent). Then, we moseyed over to the Scoop Grill for some delicious homemade ice cream. On the way, we stopped into a precious shop called decorium, an upscale home decor destination--we also picked up a job application there for Sarah and had the greatest fun filling out during the rest of the evening! Finally, after Sean V. and Andrew S. joined us at the cash-only ice cream parlor, we walked back up King Street to Pat Troy's. The ambiance was perfect there as well: we chatted the night away, swapping hilarious stories over a few beers with the familiar strains of Irish folk songs playing in the background. My final impression is that Old Town Alexandria is a great place to bring a friend or group of friends and have a bit of fun. Though you must also be prepared to pay for it, like the restaurants I mentioned, the overall charm of the town makes up for the fact. I would recommend it for dates and holidays. :-)
REMINDER: Fr. William's talk is tonight at 8 p.m. in St. John's Library basement level.