Word on the Street

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By Abigail Jurk (Photo/Abigail Jurk)

We waited patiently for summer to arrive.  Now that it’s finally here — and ahead of schedule — it’s time to get out and enjoy ourselves. Here are some creative ideas for summer fun in Alexandria.

WHAT’S NEW: On May 14, Del Ray welcomed the addition of Stomping Ground. Located at 2309 Mount Vernon Ave., Stomping Ground is a new place to get your morning munchies. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch only; they are open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The atmosphere is casual and friendly, with a communal table for those who want to sit together and chat over coffee, or booths and tables off to the sides for others who want a little privacy. Outdoor patio seating is also in the works, although it has not debuted just yet.

The menu features breakfast favorites, handmade pastries and some heartier salads for lunch. The specialty of Stomping Ground is their buttermilk biscuits, which you can get a la carte or as sandwiches, and are served all day. Manager Cassie Meddis says her favorite is the Not-So-Classic, which features buttermilk-fried chicken with honey, red onion and a benne seed tahini.

Chef and partner Nicole Jones says the goal at Stomping Ground is to keep it simple: to use high-quality ingredients and really let them shine through in the dishes served. The ambience seems to agree with that philosophy. The restaurant has a simple feel — the food comes on mismatched antique china, the wooden tables are modestly set with fresh flowers and the floor-to-ceiling windows let the sun stream in. Stomping Ground feels like the perfect fit for relaxing with a hot cup of coffee and a few good friends.

WHAT’S HAPPENING: If you’re looking to see the historic side of Alexandria, a military tour could be just the thing. Tom Schultz, a 12-year Alexandria resident, runs DC Military Tours, a tour business that takes participants to sites of military significance throughout D.C. and Alexandria.

They host an Alexandria walking tour that comprises 15 different stops around town, including some favorites like Gadsby’s Tavern, the Torpedo Factory and the Carlyle House. This tour not only takes participants to the sites but also allows access inside them. During the tour, patrons learn the history of many spots in the Port City, as well as some fun facts.

Guests have the opportunity to sit in George Washington’s church pew, see the site of the first two casualties of the Civil War and learn about the mystery of the $200,000 sale of Mount Vernon right before the start of hostilities in that same conflict. Patrons are guaranteed a knowledgeable military veteran as their guide.

Tom and Eileen Schultz, both of whom are military veterans themselves, guide the tours. Tom is a former Naval Officer with a background in military history, while Eileen is a former officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. A military tour is a creative way to see a different side of Alexandria. For more information, visit www.dcmilitarytour.com.

To request a place, event or special be featured in Word on the Street, contact Abigail Jurk at ajurk@alextimes.com.

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