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Summer Guide: The top restaurants and bars to hit before Washington Nationals games

Summer Guide: The top restaurants and bars to hit before Washington Nationals games

Last summer, NBC Sports Washington put together guides that detailed the best bars and restaurants to watch the Capitals' Stanley Cup run and FIFA World Cup

With summer 2019 right around the corner and baseball in full swing, it's time to highlight the go-to spots to eat and drink around Nationals Park. 

In no particular order, consider these: 

District Winery, 385 Water St SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.4 miles to Nats Park 
  • Fully-functioning boutique commercial winery located along the Anacostia River 
  • Tasting bar features five carefully selected wines (bottles to go are available) 
  • Brunch deal through June 30: Enjoy two courses plus a bloody mary, mimosa, or glass of cava for just $29. Select one appetizer and one entree per person

The Salt Line, 79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.2 miles from Nats Park (across from first base entrance) 
  • New England inspired classics and Chesapeake dishes are enjoyed at this seafood house with an accompanying outdoor riverside patio 
  • First D.C. restaurant to particpate in the Dock to Dish program which works directly with local fishermen to highlight the freshest, most sustainable catches 
  • Dog-friendly (patio only)

Agua 301 Restaurant, 301 Water St SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.3 miles to Nats Park 
  • Every dish is a celebration of Mexico and all of its traditional cuisines 
  • Extensive margarita bar 

Due South, 301 Water St SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.4 miles to Nats Park (block and a half from Navy Yard Metro) 
  • Features ribs, shrimps, grits and other Southern staples 

Mission - Navy Yard, 1221 Van St SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 111.5 ft to Nats Park 
  • Lively bar and restaurant, open since 2018, with daily happy hours, Tex-Mex food, weekend brunch and a central bar with weekend DJs 

Declaration Nats Park, 1237 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.1 miles to Nats Park (one-half block away) 
  • Primarily pizza-focused bistro that references American history with themed pies, cocktails, and a walk-up bar 
  • Gluten-free crust is available 
  • Menu features pasta, poultry, meat, fish, and vegetarian options 

Bluejacket, 300 Tingey St SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.3 miles to Nats Park 
  • Microbrewery and restaurant serving craft beers and American eats inside the comforts of a century-old former factory 
  • Bar and dining room feature rotating selection of 20 Bluejacket beers and five Bluejacket cask ales

Walters Sports Bar, 12n N St SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 59.1 ft to Nats Park 
  • Self-pour beer system that charges customers by the ounce 
  • Happy hour is offered weekdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

All-Purpose Riverfront, 79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.3 miles to Nats Park 
  • Relaxed riverfront restaurant featuring deck over-fired pizza, antipasti, and wine 
  • Local beer and seasonal dishes inspired by the Eastern U.S. and Italian coastlines 
  • Dog-friendly (patio only)

Dacha Navy Yard, 79 Potomac Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.2 miles to Nats Park 
  • Modern American comfort food with a French-leaning menu
  • Outdoor beer garden, overlooking the Anacostia, seats 700
  • Dog-friendly (patio only)

The Brig DC, 1007 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.8 miles to Nats Park (18-minute walk) 
  • Year-round tavern featuring liters of German brews and eats like bratwurst and pretzels 
  • Dog-friendly 

The Big Stick, 20 M St SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.3 miles to Nats Park 
  • Weekday happy hour (3-7 p.m.): $4 draft beers and rail liquors + $2 off all wines by the glass and all appetizers 
  • Menu focuses on specialty sausages, sandwiches and an extensive craft beer selection 

The Bullpen, 1201 Half St SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.1 miles to Nats Park (one block from center field entrance) 
  • Opens two hours before and closes two hours after each Nationals home game 
  • Gameday happy hour: All drinks $5 from 3rd-7th inning 

Postgame Dessert Options:

Ice Cream Jubilee, 301 Water St SE #105, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.4 miles to Nats Park 
  • Features flavors like Cookies & Cookie Dough, Thai Iced Tea, Banana Bourbon Caramel, Fresh Minty Chip, and Bold Vanilla 

Altani Gelato & Coffee, 2nd Pl SE, Washington, DC 20003

  • 0.4 miles to Nats Park 
  • Shares a space with Wiseguys Pizza 
  • Dairy-free options available 

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Astros wade through first boo-filled night of many to come

Astros wade through first boo-filled night of many to come

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The only agreed upon factor of Saturday night’s spring training opener was affinity for Dusty Baker. 

Baker, alone at home plate to receive a ceremonial first pitch, raised his hand to the crowd when announced. Both sides cheered. Those in red stood, some shouted his name. Others on the Houston side could unabashedly applaud Baker. He represented what’s next, not what was.

But the past chased the Astros from the second the ballpark opened. Any Houston highlights were followed by hefty boos. “FOR THE H” flashed on the right-center field video board during the evening on what was supposed to be an Astros “home” game. However, there was nothing warm and fuzzy about the location for the Astros, an experience sure to track them outside of Houston throughout the season.

The Astros were booed en masse since Baker did not play any of his regulars. Myles Straw, Jeremy Pena and Taylor Jones began the game against Max Scherzer. It’s difficult to let Nos. 3, 89 and 79, respectively, have it on the first night of spring training. But, those on the team in 2017 remained safely in the dugout, prompting an expansion of targets.

Before Scherzer began his night, the Astros’ mascot, Orbit, ran across the face of the Washington dugout with an oversized Houston flag. He, too, was booed -- with fervor. Anything representing the Astros was in play since their main facets were not on the field.

Two signs carried by Nationals fans were taken by a ballpark employee. Some Washington fans banged on their seats during the game to mimic the Astros’ prior method for stealing signs. Scherzer thought something colorful had a chance to leak into the setting.

“I figured something like that was going to happen,” Scherzer said. “I got a good taste of what it’s like [when] facing [Bryce Harper] last year when we had our whole crowd going. I thought our fans would boo. I didn’t realize it was going to be that loud when I face Harp. That was a playoff atmosphere. Everything gets turned up a notch when the fans get into it.”

Scherzer threw 22 pitches, 13 for strikes in two innings. He allowed a single and struck out two batters he’s unlikely to ever face again. Otherwise, he was nonplussed to face the Astros in a game rain forced to pause, then stop, after two innings and a head-scratching delay.

“We won the World Series,” Scherzer said. “It wasn’t like I have a vendetta to hold. So, for me, over here we’re just trying to move forward and get ready for our season.”

Baker thought the reception went as expected.

“There were a lot of Nationals fans here,” Baker said. “We had a lot of fans here, too. You could tell who was for us and who was against us. All in all, it wasn’t too bad. You kind of expect to get some. But they weren’t too bad, though.”

So, the night ultimately served as the expected start. Scherzer pitched well. The Astros were booed.

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Astros booed, fans' signs taken in spring training opener against Nationals

Astros booed, fans' signs taken in spring training opener against Nationals

As if this week hadn’t already been bad enough for the Houston Astros, it got a bit worse on Saturday afternoon when they faced the Washington Nationals in the spring training opener. 

The Astros took the field at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and were welcomed by the fans with an eruption of boos. The two teams share the facility, but it was Houston's home game. 

Since 2017 Washington and Houston have shared their spring training facility in West Palm Beach and made it a tradition to kick off their respective Grapefruit League schedules against each other. They will play six times this spring - though Saturday's opener was postponed by rain after a scoreless two innings. 

One courageous fan really got into the act, holding up a sign reading "Houston *'s" that was eventually confiscated by ballpark personnel, according to the Associated Press.

If this start is any indication of what they will face throughout this season, it's going to be a long 2020 for the Astros. 

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