The bar belle: M Street Bar and Grill

2033 M St. N.W. (at St. Gregory Hotel)

After spending last weekend at a real college and engaging in the debauchery associated with college towns at large state schools (namely, tailgating, co-ed filled bars and frat guys buying you round after round of drinks) I realized that there is one thing that these party connoisseurs are missing out on: happy hour.

I ended a long week of back-to-back classes, a horrible head cold and dismal weather by leaping out of my seat at my last class, popping a Dayquil and heading straight to happy hour at M Street Bar and Grill.

Like any good journalist, I checked out the bar’s Web site before making my grand appearance and was elated to hear that their Thursday happy hour offered $3 rail martinis and $1 appetizers. But as I found out shortly after taking my seat at the outdoor patio, this was not accurate. “Sorry, we’re cheap,” was the answer from the attentive server when I inquired about the appetizers, which are actually priced at $5-12.

Adding to my chagrin, a dark, foreboding cloud rolled over our heads and unleashed its droplets onto the drink menu I was examining. But determined to become wasted within the next half hour, we quickly regrouped inside.

After passing a creepy J. Seward Johnson statue of Marilyn Monroe and dodging bell boys with carts, we made it to the inside section of the bar. A quick scan of the small downstairs bar area and we realized that we would not be picking up any of the men there, unless one of my friends had a secret fetish for professionals in their 40s.

We sat at a table across from the bar, which was surrounded by a stylish seating area of natural wood tables, a fireplace and odd boxes, some hanging and others mounted for decoration.

Though the service was a bit slower inside, we were pleasantly surprised with their most notable drink special, $3.50 martinis, the sour apple being the best by unanimous vote and the blue a close second. The guys ordered domestic beers, which were also highlighted on their happy hour menu, but they were still $3.50.

We knew we were tipsy when we started singing along to Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” and the drunken food cravings set in. There are no nachos or chicken wings to be found on their menu, so we settled for the Cajun chicken skewers, crab and avocado salad and chicken and plantains, which turned out to be delicious, although we were admittedly drunk upon tasting.

Things started getting crazy when the bartenders, either out of boredom or intending to impress the 10 people at the bar, turned into pyromaniacs, lighting the bar and their mouths on fire with 151. Even this spectacle was not enough to keep us interested for much longer. After two hours, I came to the conclusion that M Street Bar and Grill is a good place to pre-game or have drinks during the week but not exciting enough to make a night of.

Bar Belle Rating 3/5

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