Spring break event calendar

April 13:

– Mason Broadway Showcase @ 8 p.m. ($5) @ GMU Fairfax

– Comedy Festival w/ Tony Woods @ 7:30 to 9 p.m. ($30) in Wash. DC

– Chelsea Handler’s Comedy Tour @ 8 p.m. ($65-$85) in Wash. DC

– Faquier Springs Country Club Community Market @ 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (FREE) in Warrenton

– Annual Festival of the Arts @ 5 p.m. (FREE) in Arlington

– National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade @ 10 a.m. (FREE) in Wash. DC

April 14:

– Washington Auto Show @ 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ($12-$42) at Convention Center

– South Asian Exhibition @ 6 to 10 p.m. (FREE) at the Waterford

– Sip and Sew Pop Up: Pencil Skirts @ 1 to 3 p.m. in Wash. DC

– Cupcakes and Candles @ 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. ($50) in Arlington

– Active for Autism 5k @ 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. ($35) at George Wash. MS

– Baseball Game; Pirates vs. Nats @ 1:35 p.m. ($11-$415) at National Park

April 15:

– Annual Peep Show @ 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (FREE) at Westminster, MD

– Tour of Udvar Hazy Museum @ 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. (FREE) at Air and Space Museum

– Boys Lacrosse Tournament @ 8 a.m. ($10) at Falls Church

– Bad Suns Concert @ 9:30 p.m. ($43) in Wash. DC

– Distance Over Time Tour @ 8 p.m. ($62+) at Warner Theatre

– NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert @ 8 p.m. (FREE) at the JFK Center

April 16:

– Annual Peep Show @ 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (FREE) at Westminster, MD

– Boys Lacrosse Tournament @ 8 a.m. ($10) at Falls Church

– Baseball Game: Giants vs. Nats @7:05 ($9-$151) at Nationals Park

– UMCP VSA Lunar Lanterns @ 7 to 10 p.m. at College Park, MD

– Sugar Mountain: Celebrating Neil Young @ 7:30 p.m. at Jammin Java

– Cohesity Unstoppable Tour @10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (FREE) in Herndon

April 17:

– Cars and Ice Cream Meet @7 to 9 p.m. (FREE) in Gaithersburg, MD

– Yoga in Luce @ 6 to 7 p.m. ($10) at the Smithsonian Art Museum

– Midweek Movies: Fences @ 6 to 8:30 p.m. (FREE) at Fairfax County Public Library

– DMV Springfest @ 8 p.m. ($54+) at the Fillmore Silver Spring, MD

– Georgetown University Farmers Market @ 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (FREE) @Georgetown University

– Annual Peep Show @ 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (FREE) at Westminster, MD

April 18:

– Kenny Chesney: Song for the Saints Tour @ 7 p.m. ($125-$499) at The Anthem in DC

– Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad @ 7:30 p.m. ($74-$387) at the Hamilton, DC

– Carrie the Musical @ 8 p.m. ($10) at the Katzen Arts Center

– Shen Yun Performing Arts @ 7:30 p.m. ($137+) at JFK Center

– Coding Skills @ 5:30 to 6 p.m. (FREE) in McLean

– Queens of Egypt @ 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ($12) at National Geographic Headquarters, DC

April 19:

– Murder Mystery Dinner @ 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. ($60-$75) at Maggiano’s Little Italy, DC

– Interstate BBQ Festival @ 5 p.m. ($5-$45) at Wash. County Agricultural Education Center

– Flower Power Art @ 6:30 to 11 p.m. ($10) in Wash. DC

– Cherry Blossom Harbour Cruise @ 1 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. ($17.50) in Wash. DC

– ICNA MAS Annual Convention @ 4 p.m. ($55 for 3 days)

– General Shaw’s Chicken Comedy Showcase @ 7:30 p.m. ($15) at Shaw’s Tavern, DC

April 20:

– Into the Woods @ 2:00 p.m. ($71+) at Ford’s Theatre

– Cherry Blossom Harbour Cruise @ 1 and 4:30 p.m. ($17.50) in Wash. DC

– Tailgating Spring Horse Races @ 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ($20) in Middleburg, VA

– Feed the Homeless @ 12 to 1 p.m. (FREE) at Franklin Square, DC

– Rob Schneider @ 7:30 p.m. ($68+) at Birchmere Music Hall, Alexandria

– Yoga with APO @ 6 p.m. (@25) Dupont Underground, DC

April 21:

– Easter 5k & 10k @ 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. ($30 & $45) in Fredericksburg

– Dabke Class @ 6 to 9 p.m. (FREE) at Bey Restaurant and Lounge

– Washington DC International Music Festival @ 8 p.m. ($66+) at JFK Center for the Performing Arts

– Easter Brunch with Lincoln @ 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ($55) at Lincoln Restaurant, DC

-Easter Sunday Brunch & Egg Hunt @ 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ($98) in Middleton, VA

– Easter on Parade @ 1 to 5 p.m. (FREE) in Richmond




Gong Cha in Annandale provides a great hang out spot

As the days become hotter and the sun comes out, grab a quick and tasty refresher at the newly opened drink shop, Gong Cha which means “tribute tea for the emperor.”

It is a global establishment with over 1500 locations around the world; including one near AMF Annandale Lanes. The cute, warming, interactive shop specializes in serving boba tea, also known as bubble tea.

Boba tea is a Taiwanese drink that has some flavor of tea, sometimes milk, and other flavors added. After the flavors are established, ‘toppings’ can be added, like their main distinguishing ingredient called boba, which are small, tapioca, jelly-like balls.

At Gong Cha, you can pick exactly what type of drink you want using their five-step process.

First, pick the type and flavor of drink. A few of their top ten flavors are pearl black milk tea, a taro drink, and purple sweet potato smoothie. Secondly, choose a size, and how much sugar you want- between none and 100%. Next, request an amount of ice; again it can be anywhere between none and 100%. Lastly, you get to finalize the drink with however many toppings you’d like from a variety of toppings from rainbow jellies to oreo crumbs to strawberry milk foam.

Gong Cha’s cheapest drinks are $3.00 for medium sized brewed teas like winter melon tea, oolong tea, and a honey drink.

The priciest options on the menu are the large sized ice smoothies like chocolate smoothies, peach yogurt smoothies, and milk foam peach green tea smoothie for only $4.95 which is not a bad price at all.

Three friends, Duy Duong, Kevin Tran, and Khang Tran are the founders of the Annandale Gong Cha.

They were interested in starting a business for a while, so when they “found out Gong Cha opened up their first DMV location in Rockville, [they] contacted them to become a part of the franchise and luckily [Rockville] got back to [them]. The rest is history,” Duong said.

Although there are many boba tea shops in the area, the three friends from college created Gong Cha to be unique and different from the others. They have flavors that other shops don’t offer, their drinks can be customized, and best of all, the environment is very welcoming.

“Our goal is to make it a fun environment for everyone, so they stay and have a good time,” Kevin Tran said. “It’s a great place for not just kids, but teens and adults too.”

From the decorations to the comfortable seats to the games, Gong Cha is the perfect little hang out spot. They have leather couches customers can sit in while playing a game of Connect Four, Uno or Jenga.

Not only is the atmosphere refreshing, the drinks are too. The mango green tea from the creative mix series was light and sweet. Even without any toppings, the tang of the mango came through in every sip.

Also from the creative mix series, the passion fruit green tea surprised me with its non-traditional, but pleasant flavors. The added rainbow jellies at the bottom boosted the strength of the passion fruit essence and added a nice texture.

Unfortunately, the winter melon oolong tea from the brewed tea series was not well reciprocated by a fair number of people. It tasted bitter and bland, but some sugar might have brightened it up a little bit. Some of the drinks and pairings are definitely an acquired taste, but others are perfect refreshers on a hot day.

“Drinking tea is safe and it’s not like alcohol, so everyone should definitely come in and try it,” Tran said.

Make sure to stop by at 4230 Annandale Road Suite 160, Annandale, VA 22003 for a flavorful and refreshing drink.




Dine in at Silverado- one of Annandale’s most popular restaurants

Silverado is another Great American Restaurant that is similar to Carlyle, but better and definitely more convenient for the Annandale community. While Silverado and Carlyle both share several menu items like the lobster bisque, short smoked salmon filet and the hickory BBQ burger, only Silverado offers complimentary chips and salsa as well as complimentary bread and butter. The variety of breads matched well with the butters and the crispy chips harmonized with the fresh salsa that leaves a hint of heat in your mouth.

I remember when I was young I used to always order the chicken tenders. They were covered in so much batter that the actual chicken was hidden and barely visible. I tried the chicken tenders again this past month and I had the same problem; too much batter and hardly any chicken. One time a friend ordered the Monterrey chicken salad with spiced pecans. The chicken in the salad did not represent the description on the menu; they are classified as lightly fried. It had the same issue as the tenders which was over-battered chicken with hardly any actual meat.

Fortunately, this is the only issue I’ve had with Silverado in all my times of dining there. A few dishes I tasted during my last visit were the cheddar cheeseburger with fries, the field greens salad, the wood grilled filet mignon (not available at Carlyle) with mashed potatoes, and the drunken rib-eye steak (also not available at Carlyle) with a baked potato on the side.

The cheddar cheeseburger was a juicy, medium-well cooked burger with good flavor. Thin french fries accompanied the burger and were well received. They had a good amount of salt and they had a nice crunch to them.

Several of the entrees came with a field greens salad which was nice because it served as a free second side for the meals. This salad was simply a salad– nothing special to it like a unique sauce or meat. It didn’t dry up my mouth, but it also was not mouth-watering. The toppings (tomatoes,sun-dried cranberries, dates, pine nuts, croutons, and champagne vinaigrette were all flavors that harmonized with each other, but I still do not consider it a superb salad.
Despite the only adequate salad and burger, the wood grilled filet mignon certainly had my taste buds dancing with the cremini mushrooms. I could taste the smokiness of the grilled filet and each bite almost melted in my mouth. As for the mashed potatoes, they were not my favorite, but I did not even focus on them as I was too busy devouring the filet mignon.

Another succulent and flavorful dish that I had the pleasure of eating was the drunken rib-eye steak with a loaded baked potato. The rib-eye steak was quite appetizing as the sauce oozed out of the well cooked filet and the flavor made the dish well worth the $32. Even though I really dislike potatoes, I can honestly confess that I enjoyed the baked potato loaded with cheese, bacon, and what I think was chives. All of the flavors mixed well and the different textures enhanced it all.
Silverado may be part of the Great American Restaurant chain, but it certainly has it’s good qualities and uniqueness to it. It is a great environment for anyone of all ages to be in, and it’s not too fancy that you need to wear a dress, but it’s not too casual that a dress would be too much. The booths are comfortable to sit in and the lighting induces cool fun.

Located only 1.5 miles- a six minute drive away from Annandale, Silverado is the perfect place to hang out with friends and enjoy some not too pricey, but good quality food. They are open on Mondays from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 pm., and 10:30-10 on Sunday. Make sure to dine at Silverado with friends and/or family so you can experience their food for yourself.

The tender drunken rib eye steak was delicious with a smooth, unique sauce.

The complimentary appetizer of crunchy, flavorful bread and two types of butter was a great way to start the night.

The juiciess and flavor of the cheddar cheeseburger is what made it stand out from burgers at other restaurants.

 




The best spots for Prom pictures

Tips to take pics:

#1: focus on the foreground and make the background/objects contrast
#2: find a spot with even shade and natural, soft lighting. the sun is great, but avoid the shadows
#3: come up with unique, timeless poses and capture candids
#4: stand back and use your zoom features rather than stand up close to prevent face deformation
#5: use one camera at a time so everyone looks the same direction
#6: take multiple shots to ensure some pictures with blinking or last minute oddities
#7: make use of your surroundings for more interesting background e.g. stairs, fireplaces, water
#8: take pictures from slightly above the subject(s) for the best angles and results
#9: vary between portrait and landscape frames for vastly different aspects of the same picture
#10: for group pictures, organize the subjects and have someone direct placements and details

 

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  • Crystal City Water Park (12 miles, 32 min. away) is worth the drive for those dazzling Prom pictures. “The waterfalls/fountains make a really pretty background. There are trees and flowers too, so you can get a variety of scenery,” alum class of 2017 Emily Pope said. It’s also good for walking around if you’re wearing heels because there’s no grass.”

  • Old Town in Alexandria (13 miles, 26 min. away) is a well known location for pictures, especially along the Potomac River. “We decided to go to a pier in Old Town where the setting was really nice to look at,” senior Han Gyul Chang said. “I really loved it and I felt it was a special place to take pictures because of the surroundings and water which were so beautiful.”

  • Although it’s 14 miles (35 min.) away from AHS, Meadowlark Gardens Ct. is a stunning place for pictures. “I liked the beautiful gardens of flowers and how big and open it was,” alum class of 2018 Joseph McCoy said. “To ensure the best lighting and angles, my mom used a high tech camera so the pictures came out perfect.”

  • With all the historical buildings and designs, Washington DC is great for being the background in Prom pictures. “We picked DC because of the Washington monument, the water, and how much room there was at the TJ Memorial,” alum class of 2017 Conrad Shartel said.

  • Located only 3.2 miles away, Green Spring Gardens is a convenient place to go for Prom pictures. “We actually decided to take pictures there by accident. We were planning to go to DC to take pictures, but we took so long getting ready that it wasn’t an option, so we thought of the closest place and it was Green Springs,” alum class of 2017 Sasha Silva said. “I’m glad we took them there because we got great photos with nature and the gazebo.”

  • The steps from the Belvedere at National Harbor (11 miles, 24 min away) is a popular spot for unique Prom pictures. “Some people were a little disappointed about the location being so close but I don’t think anybody minded once we got there and saw how nicely it had been decorated,” alum class of 2018 Megan Lee said. “It helped that our parents were like our personal photo crew, telling us to move over and fix our dresses and all that.”

  • MGM Resorts at National Harbor (14 miles, 25 min. away) has a great water fountain which is perfect for Prom pictures. “I liked the background and atmosphere of MGM. It had lots of photogenic stops which we used for them,” alum class of 2017 Matthew Vogus said.

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Guarenteed a good time at Glory Days

For years I saw Glory Days’ name and logo at almost every sponsored sports event that I attended. I never knew that it was a restaurant until I went for a late night dinner after a swim meet. The night I went to Glory Days was one very enriching and fulfilling experience.

Glory Days Grill is an award winning chain restaurant and bar located along the east coast. They accommodate a large variety of events, such as post-sports dinners, birthdays, dates, or just casual nights out. During my most recent experience there, the AHS swim team went after a meet around 11:00 p.m. We were a rowdy crowd of approximately 25 people and we had a great experience there in terms of food.

I had the pleasure of tasting the chicken tenders platter, the mom’s mac & cheese, the cheese fries, the medium classic sauced chicken wings, the glory days reuben, the all-star burger and a build your own pasta dish.

Most of the dishes looked appetizing, but some missed the spot in flavor. For instance, the cheese fries appetizer looked enticing and had good toppings, but they were over-salted. The chicken tenders platter was nothing special, but the chicken had decent flavor, texture, and it tasted how typical chicken tenders should.
The mom’s mac & cheese had a great cheese pull intertwined with all of the noodles, but it was not nearly as creamy, gooey, or heartwarming as my own mother’s homemade mac & cheese. The all-star burger was not a complete miss because the patty was juicy and the onions, lettuce, and tomato blended well, but it was only an average burger with processed cheddar cheese.

One of the least tasty dishes of the night was the build-your-own pasta dish, consisting of fettuccine noodles, marinara sauce, and grilled chicken. The noodles were under-cooked and the chicken was tough, dry,and bland. Also, the focaccia bread on the side was less than wonderful for it was cold, soggy, and greasy.

The best dish I tasted was probably the medium classic sauced chicken wings. The flavor of the sauce was spicy, but with a hint of sweetness. The sauce really added flavor and heat to the chicken wings and they were messily enjoyed. Overall, the food was acceptable, but not exceptional.

Regardless of the food, the best part of Glory Days, and probably the main reason they’ve won numerous awards, is the ambiance of the restaurant – even at 11:00 a.m. The grill was perfect for celebrating with good music and chatter. The atmosphere was fun, noisy and laid back. If you dine at Glory Days will hardly notice the sub-par food because you’ll be too busy having a blast.

There are three Glory Day Grills relatively close to Annandale High School; 6341 Columbia Pike, Falls Church (2.99 miles away), 3059 Nutley St, Fairfax (4.37 miles away) and 9526 Old Keene Mill Rd, Burke (4.66 miles away).




The St. James provides entertainment for all

The St. James complex is a new building on Industrial Road (a short 10 minutes, 3.5 miles away). It just recently opened in Sept. and it is a 450,000 square foot sports, health, and wellness center with everything imaginable. Inside the stunning building is an olympic sized pool, a water park, and multiple sports fields for all to enjoy. Also, take advantage of the two NHL sized ice rinks, the three-story rock climbing/bouldering wall, virtual reality games, and a three-floor gym.

If that’s not enough, there’s on-site child care so you can go off and practice twirling in the dance rooms or perfect your handstands in gymnastics gym. Even better, you can relax and rejuvenate at the spa with facials, manicures, and massages. After a tough workout, reward yourself with a nice meal from St. James’ very own restaurant, Vim and Victor. The food is beautiful, delicious and made with healthy ingredients.

The St. James truly is a place of wonder, and it’s the only building like it in the region. Strengthen your swing in a baseball batting cage, get your heart rate up on a stationary bike, or improve your golf hits in a simulation room. The facility is a never ending entertainment and activity center. You can even watch your kids play or get a sneak peak from the observation areas. In the near future a Medstar Health Center where members can go to for rehabilitation, medicine, and therapy will be created.

Since St. James is so close to Annandale, several students work in different sections of the center. Senior Kassie Peralta works in the Super Awesome and Amazing facility which is what the department calls itself.

“My favorite place is the gym because of all the equipment they have and their three floors,” Peralta said.

Another senior Alessio Humerez works at the rock climbing wall as an instructor.

“My favorite part would be getting to do something I truly enjoy while making money for it. Humerez said. “It is nice to meet and climb with new people.”

Employees at St. James receive a free membership. Adult memberships cost $169 a month, student memberships cost $100 a month, and military/first responder memberships cost $135 a month. Another option is to purchase a day pass which ranges from $15 to $48 depending on the department and day/time. When signing up, there is an initiation fee of $199 for a 12-month contract or $399 for a monthly membership, but it is often waived so don’t let that deter you from joining.

“I like that I get full access to the facility and that I can enjoy all the sports that I participate in,” Humerez said.

The St. James is unique and buildings like this one are difficult to find. They are open 24/7, so make sure to check it out for yourself at any time

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  • THE GYM - 65,000 square feet - group fitness classes for varying purposes and levels and personal training - treadmills overlooking the main entrance - consists of three floors full of equipment includes 12 racks of weight, kettle bells, benches, hurdles, plyometric boxes, etc. - offers yoga and stationary biking - open from 24/7

  • THE ICE HOUSE - two NHL sized ice rinks - figure, speed skating, and ice hockey has a skating treadmill and rapid shot/hands skills training - offers a great learn-to-skate program - hockey/skating practice and games - includes free skating, ice dancing, theater on ice, synchronized skating, etc. open 24/7

  • THE POOL - 50 meters long and 25 yards wide (10 lanes) - Katie Ledecky swam in this pool and other celebrities have come to check it out - has starting blocks and touch pads - offers private swim lessons - water polo games and teams includes a water park right beside it - hosts college swim meets and practices - open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • THE SAA - called the Super Awesome & Amazing facility - 30,000 square feet of fun - virtual reality 100 sq. ft gaming bays - 3D climbing structures trampolines - ninja warrior obstacles - ten e-sport stations to play games - nerf battling zones - open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • THE FIELD HOUSE - 110,000 square feet - sports coaching, programs, camps, and clinics development programs - used for lax, field hockey, rugby, football - made of turf material - hosts tournaments and games - glass surroundings for viewers to watch - open fields for free practice - open 24/7

  • THE RESTAURANT - named Vim & Victor - contemporary American restaurant - regular dining, a market cafe, a bar, desserts, and a breakfast menu - food like Jamaican chicken sandwiches, açaí bowls, pure green cold pressed juices, steamed mussels and more - entrees range from $12 to $42 - all day dining open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

  • more from Vim and Victor

  • more from Vim and Victor

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Chorus students put on a spectacular production of Broadway Desserts

AHS’ chorus company presented a phenomenal show called Broadway Desserts on Feb. 14, 15, and 16.  As always, the show opened with the entire choir department singing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from Gypsy. Poe and Holmes Middle Schools sang with the AHS singers to experience chorus on a whole new level.

This year’s Broadway Desserts consisted of a variety of songs from Spongebob Squarepants, Grease, Rent, and even The Muppets. Senior Rediate Zewdu sang Mama Mia with three others classmates, sophomores Savannah Gravitt, Elvera Miller, and Claire Vaughn.

“Broadway Desserts has always been a traditional show that I remember being in when I was in middle school,” Zewdu said. This show is annual and seems to steadily improve every year. The vocals were on point and the choreography was neat, fun, and interesting.

A few other songs performed were “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana, “Seize the Day” from Newsies, “Same Kinda Time” from Dog Fight, “When I Grow Up” from Matilda, and “Seventeen” from Heathers. The singers all executed great versions of the song through their emotions, staging, and outfits.

Each night the auditorium was packed with a diverse set of audience members. Many of them were not students from AHS. For example, alumni, parents, friends, and even students from other schools all came and enjoyed a relaxing evening filled with melodious music and delicious desserts.

Despite the many canceled rehearsals and postponed show dates, the singers pushed through and executed near-perfect productions.

“It’s been stressful with all of the snow days and the new show dates, but we made it – we did it!” Zewdu said. “I am very proud of all of the work my classmates have done. They are all quite talented and I love them.”

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The Lady Atoms win their senior night game

The Lady Atoms win their senior night basketball game against the West Potomac Wolverines. It was a close game- coming down to the last few seconds, ending with a score of 53-50.

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Girls tackle stereotype

Wrestling is a very high impact sport and it is extremely tough and hard on an athlete’s body. It is not really surprising that it is primarily linked to being a “boys’ sport”.Although clearly, it is a male-dominated sport, that does not mean that girls cannot compete in it too.

In fact,  recently, the wrestling team at AHS has experienced a large growth in female wrestlers. In previous years, there hasn’t even been a single female wrestler but this year there is a total of six girls participating on the team.

“I like the fact that girls feel confident enough to come out and wrestle,” Says Coach Damico, the head varsity wrestling coach, “More and more girls all over the nation are picking up wrestling and I think it’s great that we are ahead of the curve.”

Sophomores Eva Gomez, Nicole Lopez and Breanna Sanchez, and freshman Izzy Teinfalt, Danielle Dean and Alex Cabrera are the girls who are currently on the Annandale wrestling team.

“I tried out for wrestling just for kicks”, freshman Izzy Teinfalt said. “I eventually started conditioning with Coach Klein and slowly fell in love with the atmosphere. When the season started, I really enjoyed it and knew I made the right decision.”

The major growth in girls wrestling isn’t only at AHS, a recent participation survey by the Virginia High School League found that the number of girls competing in wrestling increased 18 percent from 2006-07 to 2015-16.

These increased participation numbers for girls are greater than other NCAA sponsored sports of crew, fencing, skiing, and riflery and in the NCAA emerging sports of rugby, sand volleyball, and horseback riding. In fact, women’s wrestling is reportedly one such as the fastest growing sports at the scholastic and collegiate levels.

Not only have more females started playing the sport, but respect for it at higher levels has increased in the past 15 years. According to the National wrestling coaches association, in 2004  women’s wrestling was recognized as an Olympic sport. 14 states and one US territory now sponsor a state high school championship specifically for girls wrestling.

“Most people would expect that I, as a female, would receive some sort of unfair treatment or discrimination,” Teinfalt said. “But it turns out that all the coaches and other wrestlers are very accepting and treat me no differently, and that really makes it a healthy environment.”

So far, the team has participated in eight meets.

“My record hasn’t been the best this year” Sophomore Eva Gomez, a wrestler on Varsity says, “But I can proudly say that I’ve beaten three boys so far.”

One of the things that make wrestling so unique is that girls wrestle against boys at the wrestling matches simply because there is no team specifically for girls.

Although legally girls can try out for boys team’s, in every other sport at AHS except for football, there are girl’s teams and boy’s teams. Several sports hold co-ed meets, such as track and swimming, but at those competitions, girls compete against other girls and boys compete against other boys.

“I can tell that a lot of my male opponents think that they can beat me really easily,” Gomez says, “All that really does is motivates me to work even harder.”

The team has an upcoming District tournament on Friday, February 1 against Mt. Vernon, Hayfield, T.C. Williams and West Potomac at AHS and they could make it to the region tournament against Fairfax at Fairfax High School on Thursday, Feb. 7.

 




King Street Tavern; a fancy restaurant inside a Hilton Hotel

King Street Tavern is one of the many restaurants that participates in Alexandria’s Restaurant Week. This high end restaurant located on King Street inside of a Hilton Hotel offers a three-course dinner meal for only $35 and lunch for only $22 per person.

The food served is hearty American comfort food that reflects its elegant atmosphere through both the menu choices and the presentation of the food. The actual taste, however is only average.

For $22 lunch include a main course, drink (iced tea or soda), and dessert. For the main course, the options are a pub angus beef burger, a pretzel reuben, a tavern chicken sandwich, or – for a slightly healthier option – a chopped cobb salad. All meals except for the chopped cobb salad come with a side of either french fries, onion rings, or a small market salad.

For lunch dessert, choose between bread pudding with a homemade bourbon sauce or a chocolate lava cake.

Included in the $35 three-course dinner menu is a starter of a philly cheesesteak egg roll, brew fondue, caesar salad, or market salad.

My table ordered the brew fondue and the caesar salad.

With the fondue came a delicious sweet sourdough beer bread, a pretzel, and vegetables (carrots and celery) on a rustic wooden slab with a newspaper decoration. The texture of the cheese was creamy and the bread and pretzel were perfectly baked with a very satisfying flavor.

However, the cheddar cheese beer fondue was thinner than expected and it was runny,. It just dripped off of the bread, pretzel, and vegetables. The bread and pretzel paired with the cheese quite nicely, but the vegetables certainly did not belong. The crunch and bitter taste of the carrots and celery dipped in a smooth and savory fondue clashed.

The caesar salad was nothing to sneeze at, but really there isn’t much that can be done with a salad to make it exceptional. King Street Tavern made the salad with butter lettuce rather than traditional romaine lettuce and a decent dressing. What made it slightly better than normal caesar salads was the garlicky, crunchy croutons.

Next out came the fried chicken and grilled rib eye off of the dinner special menu, and the Tavern Chicken Sandwich from the regular menu, but is also offered on the special lunch menu.

Probably in attempt to enhance the fried chicken, it tasted abnormal and the textures were not what is expected in fried chicken. It was very lightly fried, decreasing the crispness and oily, greasy flavor, but covered in spices and strange seasonings. The actual chicken, though, was cooked well and was tender. The fried chicken came with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Fortunately, the mashed potatoes palatable and the vegetables were drenched in a finger-licking sauce.

The rib-eye was quite juicy and appealing with adequate flavor. Overall the steak was average, nothing too fancy but also not bland. On the side was the same vegetable mix that came with the fried chicken, as well as fried onions. These onions were certainly not traditional, but it in an enticing and enjoyable way. They were lightly fried strips of onions rather than rings, kind of like a garnish, but extremely tasty.

Lastly for our main course was the Tavern Chicken Sandwich on ciabatta bread with grilled queso fresco, tomato, arugula, and a dill pickle on the side. It came as three mini sandwiches with a side of beer batter fried onion rings. The flavors were pleasant, but the ratio of bread to chicken to arugula was poor.

First off, bread tasted good, but there was definitely too much of it. Secondly, the chicken was pretty dry and the spread on the bread was uneven and inconsistent. Finally, there was way too much arugula on each sandwich and the provolone cheese did not add much.

Onto dessert, we ordered the cheesecake and bread pudding. For the cheesecake, it was traditional New York style with a strawberry drizzle. We were quite excited to taste it, but to our disappointment it tasted similar to a boxed cheesecake from Giant. The drizzle wasn’t anything exceptional either, in fact it tasted like preservatives from a jar. The cheesecake factory definitely makes better cheesecakes.

Last, but not least we dove into the bread pudding which was warm and comforting. It was luscious and sweet, but it resembled the taste of a pleasing french toast. Fortunately, it wasn’t eggy and there were pecans which added flavor and a nice crunch.

Despite the subpar food, the decoration was elegant and sleek. This is not the type of restaurant to go to in sweats and a t-shirt, even though it is located in a hotel. King Street Tavern has a modern vibe to it with yellow undertone lights and lots of black and silver and dimmed decor, like the comfortable chairs. Even the bathrooms were elaborate and modern with automated toilets, paper dispensers, sinks, and soap dispensers.

The service matched the decoration and atmosphere of the restaurant; it was elegant and convenient, but a little bit boring. Our server barely talked, but they did their job quickly and efficiently. Our food came out as soon as we were ready for it, and the waiter was quiet, but pleasant.

Overall, I would not recommend this restaurant because the food lacked in flavor and uniqueness, but it’s still worth a shot. It might appeal more to those who are used to higher end foods and a fancy setting.

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Make sure to take advantage of Alexandria restaurant week

Do you like to eat? Do you like to taste new foods? Do you like to save money? Head on over to Alexandria and visit at least one of the 65 restaurants participating in the annual Restaurant Week.

Alexandria has many popular cities with lots of things for the public to do like explore, shop, visit museums, and more. However, one of the best things to do in any city, especially Alexandria, is eat delicious meals with unique surroundings.

It’s a new year, so it’s time to try new things. Taste and experience a variety of great foods for great prices. Restaurant week lasts nine days, starting on Jan. 18 and ending on Jan. 27.

What is restaurant week? It is a community function in which restaurants from anywhere in Alexandria participate in special meal deals. A few of these deals are three course dinner for $35 or a dinner for two people for only $35.

Although all 65 restaurants participate in those two deals, not all of them offer the lunch deal. 35 of the 65 restaurants provide lunch for one for $15 or $22. Even fewer restaurants engage in brunch deals that are the same as the lunch deals. A small handful of ten restaurants provides a brunch menu for one person for $15 or $22.

There are participating restaurants for even the pickiest of eaters. A wide variety of foods from different cultures offer delicious dishes from Southern Cuisine to healthy, vegetarian recipes. Furthermore, Irish pubs partake in this unique week, as well as Chinese, Italian, Thai, Indian, American, Mediterranean, Mexican, Greek, and other restaurants.

Don’t miss this great opportunity and make a reservation online with the convenient website, Open Table.




True Food Kitchen lacks on flavor despite great service

From bowls to burgers to fish to pasta, True Food Kitchen in Mosaic District has it all. The ambiance

of the establishment was very earthy and natural with decorations like bamboo for walls and live plants all around.

The modern and decorative restaurant is a great place to indulge, but in a healthy way.

According to one of their waiters, a few of the most popular dishes include the teriyaki quinoa and ancient grain bowls.

People also enjoy the turkey burger and chopped salad which are $14 and under, and the reasonably sourced striped bass which is $26.

One of the dishes that I ordered was the lasagna bolognese with fennel chicken sausage, lemon ricotta cheese, mushrooms, spinach and other herbs. The price was $15 for a decently sized, one-person portion.

The dish was not at all what I was expecting. It was more of a soup and did not resemble a normal lasagna.

Although I personally did not appreciate the texture, it certainly was a unique take on an otherwise common dish. In addition to the lasagna being soupy, there were some crunchy parts that might have been tomatoes and onions which did not add to the dish.

There was also fennel in the dish which did not mix well, giving it an overall bitter off-taste. I am not a fan o

f fennel, but that’s just my preference, others may like the taste that fennel adds.

The other dish was the turkey burger with a side of sweet potato hash for $14. On the burger was smashed avocado, tomatoes, butter lettuce, smoked gouda cheese on a flax seed bun with a jalapeño remoulade on the side per request. It certainly was not something to rave about, especially since it lacked flavor and the meat was dry. Even the sweet potato hash was flawed.

The first bite actually tasted pretty good, but the next bite tasted bland. Not all of the sweet potatoes were fully cooked, in fact the onions were the tastiest part of the side dish. Overall the meal was not uniformly appetizing.

Contrasting the food, the service was superb. The waiter constantly refilled our drinks, asked if

we needed anything and delivered our food quickly. He was very accommodating and he answered all my questions about the restaurant in great detail. He even gave me a menu to take home.

I personally would rate this restaurant a 2.5/5 stars. My overall experience at True Food Kitchen was a disappointment due to the food, so we decided skip dessert.

True Food Kitchen is located in Mosaic on 2910 District Ave. which is approximately 12 minutes away.

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  • The restaurant is a hard one to miss, for it is a large building with bright, bold letters.

  • The lasagna bolognese was soupy with very few noodles in it.

  • The table set ups and the restaurant overall was natural and aesthetically pleasing.

  • The turkey burger was dry not very flavorful or tasty.

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