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FAQ: New to the DC&Baltimore board? Read this first.

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Are you new to Chowhound? Or just to the DC&Baltimore board? Perhaps visiting from out of town? We've got some tips to help you get started.

If you're brand new to the site, you should read our Site Etiquette (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367605) before you start posting.

This board is focused on discussing chow in Washington DC, Baltimore, and Suburban Virginia.

For tips on the rest of Maryland, Virgina, Delaware, and West Virginia, please see our Mid-Atlantic board: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/16

We've divided up this thread into separate posts, just to make things neater. Please read to the end. The sections are:

HAVE A HOT TIP?
HAVE A QUESTION?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THIS BOARD
STILL HAVE A QUESTION?
AFTER YOUR MEAL
DC&BALTIMORE SPECIFICS
FEEDBACK

  1. HAVE A HOT TIP?
    If you've got a great tip or a recommendation for someone, dive right in and post it. It's great if you can include some details of why you like a place, but even those short tips on where to find a great taco or donut are appreciated.

    To start a new thread, use the "Chowhound Discussions" menu in the navigation bar at the top of the page to go to the index of the board, and then choose the "start new thread" button.

    1. HAVE A QUESTION?

      The DC&Baltimore board is a pretty active place, and a lot of questions have been covered recently--the Chowhound archives are a great resource.

      Start your quest for an answer with a search of all the great info that's already out there. There's a search box at the top of each board and thread. It is a quick way to search the last year's worth of posts on your current board to find recent mentions of your subject. Just add your keywords and go. On the search results page, you can change your search criteria to add more keywords, or change your sort order or the dates you're interested in.

      1. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THE WASHINGTON DC & BALTIMORE BOARD
        (and how to find the answers)

        These topics are all commonly discussed on the DC&Baltimore board, so we'd encourage you to read through some of the recent discussions before posting about them.

        Where are the best crabs or crab cakes?
        Search terms to try: title:crab OR title:crabcakes
        This is a common subject, so you might want to try adding a city or neighborhood name for more localized results. In particular, crab or seafood in the Inner Harbor comes up a lot. Try: (crab OR seafood) Inner Harbor

        Where should we eat near the White House / Smithsonian Museums / Capitol Building / National Gallery / Washington Monument / National Mall?
        These are all near or around the Mall area, so searching on one or all of them by name will find restaurants in that general district. Use quotes around two word names like "White House". The Mall is more than 2 miles long, so if you're on foot, you will want to be conscious of walking distances.

        Where should we eat in the Inner Harbor / near Harborplace?
        Search terms to try: "Inner Harbor" OR Harborplace

        Where should we eat before an Orioles game?
        Search terms to try: "Oriole Park" OR "Camden Yards"

        Where's the best Ethiopian / Thai / Korean / Mexican / brunch / pizza / etc?
        Search terms to try: title:best and the type of food you're looking for (e.g. title:best AND title:Korean)

        Where should we go for our special occasion?
        Search terms to try: anniversary, "special occasion", proposal, romantic, birthday
        These might not all apply to your particular occasion, but they generally turn up the same kind of recommendations.

        1. STILL HAVE A QUESTION?

          The local hounds are a great resource, but help them help you by including some important details. Tell them:

          - Which of the cities or suburbs you'll be in. Please note this in the title of your post.
          - How far or how long you're willing to travel and whether you will have a car.
          - What your budget is. Descriptions such as 'expensive', 'moderate' and 'cheap' mean different things to different people, so use dollar values.
          - What types of cuisines you're interested in.
          - Any other special circumstances (traveling with kids? vegetarians? non-chowhounds?) that will help.

          If you've done some of your own research, mention what you found so hounds can help fill in the gaps, rather than rehashing what you already know.

          1. AFTER YOUR MEAL
            Most importantly, after your trip or your meal, thank the local hounds for their help by reporting back. Tell people which suggestions you used and how the meals turned out, plus add tips about any great places you discovered on your own. This helps maks the board more useful for everyone who visits after you.

            1. DC & BALTIMORE SPECIFICS
              The Coupons and Deals thread for DC/Baltimore: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8042...

              Some abbreviations you'll see on this board:

              NOVA - Northern Virginia
              PG - Prince George's County
              MoCo - Montgomery County
              B-more / Balto / etc - Baltimore

              Transit trip planning for DC: http://www.wmata.com/
              Transit trip planning for Baltimore: http://mta.maryland.gov/

              1. FEEDBACK
                If there's something you think is vitally important for new members of the board to know that we've missed, please comment on this Site Talk thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/458609