Thursday, September 6, 2012

Where to Have an Exotic Date in D.C.: H Street Northeast

Don't get me wrong: I love my routines. I love coming home from work each day, kicking off my heels and pulling on my gym shoes, and going for a run. And I love my newer routines of cooking brunch for my boyfriend on the weekends and staying in at night to cuddle on the couch with him and the latest episode of "Storage Wars."

But variety is the spice of life, right? And oh, how I do like it spicy. (You can take that any way you like.)

If you're looking to break out of your routine, or even go on a non-traditional date with a new romantic interest*, I've got a spicy date itinerary for you -- based on the up-and-coming awesomeness that is H Street Northeast -- that will be sure to tantalize your senses and leave your loins afire.

FOR DINNER: Souk Restaurant, 1208 H St. NE

MMMMMmmmmm, harissa. For those whose taste buds may not be as adventurous as mine, harissa is a hot chili sauce found in a lot of Arabic cuisine from North African countries, such as Morocco and Tunisia. And it's found in much of the food served at Souk, a Moroccan tapas restaurant on H Street.

I loved the interior design -- the picture here betrays how dark and romantic it truly is. And the small plates are perfect for picking out a deux and sharing.

My recommendations: The hummos with harissa, stuffed grape leaves, falafel and anything with lamb in it.


Sahra Lounge just opened earlier this summer, offering another spot for hookah in D.C. And you're in luck, because the hordes haven't caught on yet -- when I visited a few weeks ago, it was, sadly, without business.

But as I said, that's good news for you! No waiting for a table, and no waiting for a hookah either!

And even more than that, EXCELLENT SERVICE. The people behind Sahra are the same people behind Souk, so if you hop from one to the other they get very excited to see you and take extra special care of you (and if you're trying to impress a lady, don't you want to show her you know how to take care of her?).

The flavored tobacco is $20 for two pieces, which is awesome (at Gazuza, for example, it's about that cost for just one). Everyone gets his or her own mouthpiece, so no worries about spreading germs (unless you want to.)

My recommendation: The mango-flavored tobacco was delicious.

FOR THE FINAL, SEXY STOP: A burlesque show at Red Palace, 1212 H St. NE

I was disappointed when Palace of Wonders joined forces with the Red and the Black because even though it created a larger performance space and better access to bathrooms, the merger and construction stripped away much of the character Palace of Wonders initially had.

However, luckily for EVERYONE, the burlesque shows -- when they have them -- are just as naughty and titillating as they always were.

Burlesque is artful stripping -- the idea is to tease, not overwhelm. And the burlesque dancers do just that, winking and pursing their supple red lips and placing their hands in just the right places to cover up their precious parts. It's beautiful, and it's sexy, and it's HOT.

My recommendation: Go home and bang it out afterward.

Note: Shows range from $12 (for tickets purchased in advance) to the occasional $20 at the door. Moreover, burlesque shows are interspersed with indie rock bands, so be sure to check Red Palace's events calendar before planning your date.

And with that, go out and break your routines wide open and add a little SPICE to your life. When you're sweaty and panting at 3 a.m., you can thank me later.

(*Not recommended for a FIRST date because of cost, location, commitment and personal preferences. If you want ideas for a first date, go here or here or here or here or here.)

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