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Celebrate Anti-Valentine’s Day in Bethesda

Who needs romance when you can eat and drink well?

Are all the pink hearts and expectations for romance getting on your nerves? Well, you’re not alone. Many of us find Valentine’s Day an annoying Hallmark holiday.

Of course, you’re not planning a romantic Valentine’s night out, and neither are most of your friends. So, where can you celebrate Anti-Valentine’s Day? There are festive places in Bethesda that feel anything but romantic, where you’ll still find good food and entertainment. Just the right places to spend that dreaded night — no reservations required!

The Barking Dog — some live bands, often a DJ, creaky wood floors, alcohol flowing — is a good place to forget it's Valentine’s Day. They offer nightly beer specials. Meet your friends there to dance, but eat somewhere else first.

BlackFinn has sports on TV, friendly servers, a welcoming bar and tasty burgers and salads. Lift your mood with BlackFinn's dessert sliders — homemade cookies filled with ice cream, accompanied by a chocolate dipping sauce. Monday nights may be rowdy — service industry folks get discounted beverages all night.

Local folks founded this bar with its frat-party atmosphere — a return to the days when things were much simpler … when all you needed was beer, fried appetizers, a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt to fit in.  

Fresh Grill

Fresh Grill is a comfortable, casual place serving up micro-brews, soda pop and American classics, including the build-your-own-Angus-burger with 26 toppings. The Dragon’s Breath burger has jalapenos, raw onions and pepper jack cheese — but who cares, you’re not kissing anyone. Hang out, crunching on homemade potato chips, and catch up with your friends. For late night revelers, they put on a nightly movie.

If surviving Valentine’s Day involves eating, you’ll get your fill in this lively, friendly Bethesda institution. To get into the spirit of Anti-Valentine’s Day, order the cheese fries or chilly mac topped with raw onions.

Georgetown Grille has been around for decades serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner anytime. So if you slept all day to avoid interacting with people, you can go here for breakfast at 7 pm. No one will be watching.

Do you enjoy listing to charming Irishmen? Who doesn’t? Do you like your beer affordable and your bar to be dark? Affirmative. Ri Ra, an Irish-American bistro is the perfect place for Anti-Valentine’s Day — half-price wing night, and $2.50 will buy you a Bud or Bud Light.

Sweetgreen is just right for the lady or guy who counteracts feeling lousy by eating healthy. Here you can order a delicious salad with imaginative toppings like baby beets, quinoa or toasted parmesan crisps. Next, follow it up with guilt-free frozen yoghurt with fresh berries and mint. Everything is sustainable, biodegradable, natural, organic and chic. Then go see a horror movie.

Happy people seem obnoxious on a day like this; so go to Tastee Diner to avoid interacting with people. The staff and customers won’t bother you if you want to sit and read the newspaper. While you’re there, you can eat something satisfying (the blue plate special or fried eggs and bacon), and feel quite comfortable with a frown on your face.  

Union Jack’s welcomes you to play billiards, sit on spinning leather stools, and feel like you took a trip to Great Britain — at a time like this, it’s good to feel transported to another continent. They have 25 high-def “tellies” going, and  games of darts — there’s nothing more satisfying than throwing sharp objects at a wall. Union Jacks plays a variety of music, has a roaring fireplace and serves up fish and chips — what more could a member of the lonely hearts club need?

Wing Hub is so perfect for Valentine’s Day. Much of the food is red after all, and it’s meant to be eaten with your fingers. How sexy. Also, if you order one of their extra spicy sauces like Reckless & Dangerous or Kiss of the Demon, you’ll have a good excuse to cry. At lunchtime on Valentine’s Day, Wing Hub offers half price wings.

Rochelle February 13, 2011 at 12:57 PM
Old Georgetown Grille isn't open for dinner ;-(
Renee Sklarew February 13, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Thanks for letting us know. I guess we're left with breakfast for dinner at Tastee Diner. I forgot to include Cava on Bethesda Avenue--here you'll eat the same food they serve at their upscale bistro in Rockville or Capitol Hill-- but on paper plates. No tipping necessary.

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