Morou Ouattara opened his highly regarded restaurant, Farrah Olivia (600 Franklin St.; 703-778-2233), in 2006. He does creative cooking in the back while his wife, Heather, welcomes guests in the front.
I find the Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St.; 703-838-4565) inspiring. People weld, paint, design jewelry, and make pottery. I like to see things being made. . . . I start to think about food.
I go to the professional-cook store La Cuisine (323 Cameron St.; 703-836-4435) for cookbooks, terrine molds, and assorted cutters.
When I need last-minute flowers—birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day—I run across the street to Bloom Fresh Flowers (625 S. Washington St.; 703-299-9929). They put together organically grown arrangements.
Sometimes I need to get away from caviar and foie gras. I like Five Guys (107 N. Fayette St.; 703-549-7991) for an old-fashioned, messy burger. I especially love the peanuts; I can’t eat them at home because one of my daughters has allergies.
A Good Fit
Former Washington Post staffer John Harris started Politico with fellow journalist Jim VandeHei to cover the national political scene. Politico is available in print four days a week, though it reaches its widest audience 24/7 online.
Hank’s Oyster Bar (1026 King St.; 703-739-4265) is a great addition to Old Town. I like the seafood ceviche.
In the summer, I sometimes go to the farmers market at City Hall (301 King St.). I like to cook, and I pick up fresh produce there. I make blueberry pie.
My wife, Ann, and I take the family to Nana’s Sunday Dinner at the Majestic (911 King St.; 703-837-9117). They serve food family-style on communal platters. We went just after Thanksgiving with the kids.
I always get my running shoes at Pacers (1301 King St.; 703-836-1463). They seem to know what kind of shoes should fit your feet. You get a level of service unlike that in a big chain.
We have a new puppy, Elsa, a Bernese mountain dog. She had great training at the Olde Towne School for Dogs (529 Oronoco St.; 703-836-7643).
I surf the Web at Buzz (901 Slaters La.; 703-600-2899) or just have coffee there with a friend. When I feel decadent, I have a cupcake.
A Place to Think
A native of Alexandria and graduate of T.C. Williams High School, Mayor William D. Euille became the city’s first African-American mayor in 2003. Reelected in 2006, he is now running again.
Joe Theismann’s Restaurant (1800 Diagonal Rd.; 703-739-0777) has been home base for me since it opened. I’m a sports fanatic. I go there after work to relax, dine—the wings are good—and watch whatever is on TV.
I go to Mai Thai (6 King St.; 703-548-0600) for a quiet dinner. It’s close by at the foot of King Street. They do a nice pepper-beef dish.
I had David M. Martin at Gold Works (1400 King St.; 703-683-0333) design the first-ever medallion for a mayor of Alexandria using the city seal. I recently bought a pair of gold cuff links with a diamond setting from him.
When I can, I look around Decorium Gift and Home (116 King St.; 703-739-4662). I usually walk out with a thing or two. I last bought two five-foot wrought-iron candleholders for my recreation room.
If I need to think, I go to Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison St.; 703-838-4340). As a kid growing up in nearby public housing, I used to play there. Then it was industrial; now it’s an elegant park. I still go to the water and skip a pebble or two.