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Herndon/Chantilly suggestions please!

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Hello,
I am a Dupont Circle resident in exile in Herndon (near Fox Mill shopping center) for several months. Please help! Looking for Chowhound spots true to the definition of the word...not necessarily upscale, elegant, special-occasion restaurants...rather authentic great-eats, especially sushi, indian, mid-eastern or asian. Any input is much appreciated...Red Lobster and TGI Fridays are just not going to cut it for me. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Sophie: just scroll down the list of messages on this board. You should find what you're looking for. There are posts focusing on Herndon, Chantilly, Reston, Centreville, etc. Lots of good stuff out here in the hinterlands!

    1. I am also an exile in that vicinity (my dogs get groomed at the Fox Mill Pet shop) and you're right, Red Lobster et al are about all that there is out there. But fear not! There are a few bright spots. If you like sushi, I was very pleasantly surprised by Yoko II in Herndon on (I think) Elden Street. Also, in Centreville, there is Blue Iguana (I'm not crazy about it, but it gets good reviews) in the Fair Lakes area, and Sweetwater Tavern, though a chain, does good food and excellent home-brewed beer. There is also good Afghan food in Herndon (can't remember the name, maybe Pansheer?), passable Indian, etc., all along Elden Street. If you find anything else, please let me know!

      1. Try the Milwaukee Frozen Custard on Route 50 for dessert.

        Link: http://www.milwaukeefrozencustard.com/

        1. Zeferelli's in Herndon is good Italian. The Tortilla Factory was good 15yrs. ago, I don't know what it's like now. In the Reston Town Center there's a number of relitively good shopping center restaurants. Among them I think Big Bowl is probably my favorite just because it's the least over done. Over by Fair Oaks there's Baja Fresh (kinda like Burrito Bros.), Moby Dick Kabobs, and Chuzpah Deli. A little futher away, over by Fair Lakes is Agriato (sp?) sushi.

          7 Replies
          1. re: James

            Oh, how could I have omitted Chutzpah!?!? As a native New Yorker, I am a dedicated fan of this place, easily the best source for a fix of pastrami, bialys, etc. The only caveat is that they have horrible table service (not rude--that at least would be authentic--but quite slow).

            1. re: James G

              I would give Chutzpah a good solid OK. On the lunch front, we've enjoyed the pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. I thought the chopped liver was lacking that certain something, but of course, I was Aunt Pearl's designated chopper, so my chopped liver standards may be higher than most. Chutzpah's won't kill ya. And where are the pickled tomatoes??

              Turning to breakfast, I liked the salami and eggs, although next time I would ask that the salami be fried more before the eggs are added. As for the lox, eggs, and onions, the portion is quite generous, but the dish seems too "wet" to me. Too many sauteed onions, I think.

              The babka looked real good, but we haven't tried one yet.

              As for the table service, I concur with James. Addlebrained is the word I would use.

              All in all, a good addition to the neighborhood. Bagel Buddies is still the place in these parts for good bagels, though, and black-and-white cookies for you New Yorkers.

              1. re: Bob W.

                Bagel Buddies? Where are they?? Lack of decent bagels in the DC area is another of my betes noires.

                1. re: James G

                  James: Bagel Buddies is on the far right wing of the Fair Lakes shopping behemoth, in the little standalone plaza with Red Pepper chinese restaurant (decent) and yet another Tony's NY Pizza (Mrs. W. says it's not good).

                  Anyway, Bagel Buddies is owned by an ex-New Yorker named Ed Schiffman. He is very very proud of his bagels, with good reason. They are good sized (not as big as Ess-a-Bagel, fortunately) and nicely chewy.

                  They have a wide range of flavors -- the egg supreme is excellent -- plus surprisingly good bialys. Also, good, fresh cream cheese. Ignore the bizarre flavors of both bagels and cream cheese.

                  They also have good whitefish salad, decent rugelach and knishes, plus some other stuff.

                  In short, this is a very valuable resource.

                  1. re: Bob W.

                    Great, I shall have to give them a try!

                    1. re: James G

                      I went to Bagel Buddies yesterday for a bialy breakfast and to pick up some bagels for home. Sure enough, the bialy was excellent, and the bagels seem promising. I got kudos from the guy at the cash register for pronouncing "bialy" correctly--I guess a lot of their clientele are not New Yorkers and are flummoxed by the word. (Having said that, the guy ahead of me in line had such a thick SW Virginia accent that the cashier needed him to repeat what he said several times before any of us could make out what he was saying.) A good find!

                      1. re: James G

                        Glad you liked it!

                        Same thing happened to me at Bagel Buddies the first time I asked for rug-a-la and not roog-loch, rug-lock, rug-e-latch, or any other reasonable attempted pronounciation of rugelach.

          2. There are 2 restaurants at the Sully shopping center (intersection of Centreville Road and Lee Jackson Highway/Rt. 50). the Indian one is called Oasis and the Vietnamese one is called Pho something (can't remember). Have been to each one a couple of times. They may not be the absolute best but the food is good. Don't order bagels at Chutzpa - they're awful (taste like not very good bread). I haven't found real bagels in Fairfax county yet. Their iced tea is sorta authentic NYS in that it's just like the worst iced tea you can get up there (burns your throat). I'm wondering if anyone here has tried that German restaurant in Herndon that's located in a small shopping center? I think it's supposed to have schnitzel among other things. Nizam's in Vienna has good Turkish food (they're always pushing their donor kebob for some reason; I prefer their moussaka). Yoko in Oakton (Hunter Mill shopping center) has good food (and green tea ice cream which we love!). And the French restaurant in Great Falls (it's late, can't think of the name...just rebuilt after a fire last year..featured in a recent issue of Bon Appetit).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Anova

              The restaurant you're thinking of in Herndon is Euro Bistro. The food is actually Austrian, but they also have pizza and some asian dishes too..something for everyone! We have enjoyed our food there very much. Save room for dessert!

              N.B. the tables are very close together.

              The French place in Great Falls is L'Auberge Chez Francois. It's one of the most beloved restaurants around here. The food is Alsatian, with wines to match.
              Reservations a must, often weeks in advance for certain nights.

              Yoko has a new location in Herndon, on Elden St. of course. We love it.

              The bagels at Bagel Buddies in Fair Oaks are the best around here. The owner is from New York. The bagels at Tysons Bagel Market on Leesburg Pike next to Kip Killmon's Ford are also good, as are those at Main St. Bagel Deli in Fairfax, although the kids who work the counter there can be spacey at times. All three are far preferable to Chesapeake Bagels, Manhattan Bagels, Einstein Bagels, or any of the other lousy bagel chains hereabouts.

              If you like Turkish food, Nizam's is good, as is Temel in Fairfax.

              For Indian, I would skip Oasis and drive a few miles to Bombay Bistro in Fairfax.

              The Vietnamese place at Sully Plaza is Pho 90. Try the baby clams appetizer. Another Vietnamese place has opened in the part of the Plaza facing Rte. 50; I can' think of the name right now but I'm pretty sure "pho" is in the name.

              In short, don't be fooled by the preponderance of strip malls into thinking there isn't good, interesting food around here.