#tbt My Preservation Date

Years ago, while I was in graduate school, I wrote a blog about historic sites as potential places to go on dates. I always enjoy re-visiting the blog and re-reading my snark. So much so, that I thought I would share selections from it across this platform. From Spring 2011:

Unfortunately I have been out of commission for awhile, as I had a raging head cold that confined me to my apartment for a straight 60 hours.  Instead of visiting a battlefield as planned, I caught up on my TiVO in a Mucinex and TheraFlu haze.  This weekend was simply too cold for this Southerner to frolic around Manassas (where my Grandma Joanne used to work in the 1980s), so I opted for Old Stone House (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: Old Stone House (I am resisting the urge to write a building description-but check out those dormers!)

I wrote my first preservation paper on Old Stone House.  It is located in Georgetown – 3051 M Street NW (Fig. 2).  It happens to be the oldest standing structure in Washington DC as it was built in 1765.  The original owner sold it two years later to a woman who added an addition on the back.  It was not sold to the Federal government until 1956 and although I have not done the deed research, I believe that it remained in second owner’s family until then.

My experience was pleasant as it was not crowded and there were minimal children running around.  Two thoughts usually strike me when I tour sites such as Old Stone House:

  • My fellow preservationists may chase me out of the field with pitchforks, but historic buildings interiors are never as grand as I hope them to be, even those classified to be vernacular architecture.  There.  I said it.
  • Holy crap!  The original inhabitants must have been super short.  This 6’2″ girl constantly finds herself ducking or hitting her head on doorways, which brings me to…

the brunch that preceded my site tour.  Do this AFTER going to Old Stone House to avoid hitting your head on doorways/light fixtures/slanted roofs.

K and I opted for Thunder Burger and Bar – 3056 M Street NW (Fig. 2, Green Arrow) and shortly after our food arrived, J managed to meet up with us (wearing his exact outfit from the night before).  Top five things about Thunder Burger and Bar as a brunch date location:

  • Sugared fried dough frites are served in lieu of bread (K and I finished ours but that did not prevent J from requesting a new basket when he joined us);
  • Spicy Bloody Mary’s, heavy on the Tabasco and the vodka;
  • A real fire next to our table is super flattering;
  • Every brunch food conceivable is on the menu;


  • Brunch is served until 3:30.

The only complaint I have about Thunder Burger and Bar is that they interior designers took the rock and roll theme entirely too far. Yes, I was raised on classic rock (not just the standard Led Zeppelin and the like…think more Steely Dan, Derek and the Dominos, Sweet) and would be more at home during the 1970s, Dazed and Confused-style, but this attitude is not translated to the decor of Thunder Burger and Bar. Instead it looks like a closet of Affliction t-shirts vomited all over the restaurant.

What not to order on your date: the chili burger. While it looks delicious on the plate, the mess it makes is not so sexy. K and I watched in horror as J devoured his chili burger while leaving remnants on his face.

Should you decide not to pair a brunch at Thunder Burger and Bar with a house museum tour, go to Baked and Wired – 1052 Thomas Jefferson Street NW (Fig. 2, Orange Dot) for cupcakes. Being the cake connoisseur that I am, I can confidently say that Baked and Wired is superior to Georgetown Cupcake and CakeLove. The sole downfall is that there is never room to sit down (although you will never wait in a line outside). Instead, bring the cupcakes to the Old Stone House Park (Fig. 2), as it is very picturesque and romantic. Cupcakes and a house museum – sounds like an ideal date to me!

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