Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

Cactus Cantina,3300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016, USA

I enjoy Mexican food. Where I grew up in the SW of the USA, it was not difficult to find good, tasty food served in colourful surroundings. However, now I live in the SW across the pond, good Mexican food is much harder to find. So, it was with happiness and excitement that I returned to Cactus Cantina, 3300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016, USA.cactus-cantina-out

The first time I visited Cactus Cantina was with my friend Maureen, over twenty years ago. I have visited the restaurant almost everytime I have visited the Capital and it is with great pleasure that I was able to introduce my husband and other friends, Lisa and Bill to the restaurant I have enjoyed for so many years.cactus-cantina

Cactus Cantina was founded in December 1990 by Raul Sanchez and Luis Reyes and is a fun, engaging, casual, family-friendly restaurant serving what I think is the best Text-Mex specialties in the Washington Area. It resembles a true, authentic Tex-Mex cantina with capacity for 300 people. While it is best known for our awesome Tex-Mex menu, our restaurant also serves Cuban, Spanish, and South American dishes.

cactus-zooI even enjoy the area of the city in which Cactus Cantina is situated, past Washingto DC Zoo and near the National Cathedral. Tex-Mex fare, margaritas & a patio draw college students and families to this lively, casual spot.Washington D.C.

We started off with tortilla chips and salsa. The boys had beer while Lisa and I treated ourselves to margaritas. My husband wanted to try everything so he had the Matamoros which includes BBQ pork ribs and chicken fajitas. I am vegetarian and chose the vegetarian burrito platter.cactus-cantina-saddle

We had a wonderful evening: great service, fun environment and excellent food. For a good evening with old friends, I highly recommend Cactus Cantina in Washington DC.

Valerie Penny

 

Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA

My husband and I recently had a wonderful vacation in Washinton DC, USA. We met up with friends who live in a different part of the country and we all met up in Washington DC and stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA. The hotel is nice and central. It is situated equi-distant between Du Pont Circle and Macpherson Square metro centres.dc-coffee-table

This Double Tree by Hilton is adjacent to Scott Circle Park. My husband and I took a junior suite on the 7th floor. It was to the front of the hotel, so it was a little noisy, especially at the wekends, however, the room had pretty views over the park. This was clearly, once, an upscale hotel in downtown D.C. and is near the White House. However, the Hotel would now benefit from investment.

The carpets are a bit worn, the colour schemes are dated and the furnishings have seen better days. However, our suite offered really good value for money and our friends, who took a standard room, were also satisfied. The rooms all have large, flat-screen TVs and WiFi (for which there is a small fee if you are not a Hilton Honours member) The beds are large and comfortable. All suites add separate kitchen and living areas and ours also had a granite wet bar and a large bathroom.dc-bed

The bistro is disappointing. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it is dark, dull, dated and understaffed. It offers contemporary American cuisine which is tasty, but the menu never changed the whole period we were there. There is a bar which has a “Happy Hour” lasting around 4 hours! It serves signature drinks and is busy and clearly popular. Unfortunately, it too suffers from dated furnishings and understaffing.  The amenities of the hotel also include a fitness center, valet parking (for which there is a fee) and a business centre. The rooms are clean and the bathrooms spotless. I did like the big, fluffy bath towels.dc-tv

Having said all that, this Double Tree by Hilton benefits from the most charming, helpful and dedicated staff. The majority of them could not do enough for us. Only one or two seemed to be going through the motions. The staff of the Double Tree by Hilton, 1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC is a great asset. We were all made to feel welcome and valued. At present this is a good hotel in a great situation with great staff. With some investment and modernising it would be a great hotel too. I will use it again, and recommend it.

Valerie Penny

Peet’s Coffee & Tea 1156 15th St NW, Washington DC, USA

On a recent visit to the nation’s capital, I discovered the delight that is Peet’s Coffee & Tea 1156, 15th St NW, Washington DC, USA.  Although founded in 1966, I had never been into a Peet’s Coffee & Tea. They had a counter that sold good quality coffees and teas. The smell when you walk into the shop is delicious.peets-outside

A variety of savoury and sweet choices are available for eats. I particularly enjoyed the coffee cake, while my husband chose the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. There are a few vegetarian choices, but I did find that the staff understanding of vegetarianism is poor. The sandwiches arrive in the shop premade and when no vegetarian sandwich was available, I was offered a bacon egg and cheese sandwich with the bacon removed. Of course, the bacon fat would remain and I would have been ill as a result of eating that. The offer was kindly meant, but declined.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea is self service. There are two counters: one for ordering coffee, tea, cookies and cakes to take home, while the other serves those looking to enjoy the ambience of Peet’s. There is a wide variety of seating available and access is good for those with mobility issues. peets-inside

I thought Peet’s was a great find for a breakfast, a quick snack or a coffee break in the afternoon. It is not fancy, but the quality of the coffee and tea is excellent and the cakes, croissants and cookies to go with it are delicious. I highly recommend Peet’s Coffee & Tea for these.

Valerie Penny

Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, USA

hyatt-regency-washington outsideI have always liked staying in the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel when I have business in Wasginton DC. It is a high rise building in the Penn Quarter of the city. The Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel is a central, upscale, conference hotel and it only takes about 10 minutes to walk from there to the Supreme Court, the U.S. Capitol, the National Mall and Union Station. The Museum of Natural History and the Verizon Sports Centre are also close by. So the situation is perfect and I have also always found this hotel to be excellent value for money. hyatt dining

On family visits to Washington DC, the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel is also amongst the hotels I consider, because the amenities include a hip hyatt poolbistro/bar with a fireplace and high ceilings, a cafe serving breakfast and lunch, a coffee shop and a deli. An indoor heated pool and gym are available at no additional charge right nest door and provide a great way to keep fit, or unwind, as appropriate.

I like the rooms in the Hyatt Regency Washingtonhyatt room Hotel too. The floor to ceiling windows make the rooms bright and light. Wi-fi is available for a fee and there are 42-inch flat-screen TVs with cable channels, iPod docks, coffeemakers and minifridges. It makes life easy whether business or leisure is involved in your trip. The staff are also courteous and professional and the rooms have always been spotless.

All in all, I can highly recommend the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel. I have used it on several occassions before, and have no doubt I will stay there again.

Valerie Penny