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Where to eat in Alexandria?

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  • Brian Jan 10, 2002 11:29 AM
  • 8

New to the website and the DC area and am looking for some hidden jewels to eat at in the Alexandria/NoVa area, any suggestions? I eat frequently at Duangrats (Bailey's Crossroads), have been to the Majestic Cafe, Las Tapas, and other usual suspects in Old Town.

I'll drive anywhere for good food, just trying to minimize the chances of having a truly awful meal. Thanks.

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  1. Try Bob&Edith's Diner on Columbia Pike near Glebe Road.
    Great breakfast and lunch. Also, Peking Gourmet in the
    Culmore Shopping Center on Leesburg Pike (rt. 7).
    The owner was Chairman Mao's personal chef, if that tells you anything. The Peking Duck and Four Seasons
    green beans are incomparable and the Zombies have a
    pleasant numbing effect on the lower extremities.
    Totally worth checking out.

    1. Hi there!
      In Old Town we like the Union Street Public House and the Fish Market.
      For some real interest, find your way back into the Del Ray area (Mount Vernon Avenue, Commonwealth Avenue) and check out the Evening Star (food is exceptional, best brunch I've had in the area, cool bar in the back and cool lounge upstairs), Taqueria Poblano (southern-california style mexican food), and Monroe's (trattoria style italian food, excellent pizza, and good cheap wine.)

      That should get you started!

      1. Unfortunately, Alexandria, and NoVa in general, lacks a truly great restaurant (like Vidalia or Galileo downtown). That said, there are some good restaurants in Alexandria.

        I am an Old Town resident, and eat out often. Here are a few notables.

        Upscale:
        The Majestic Cafe - southern inspired upscale food in the shell of what used to be a counter type restaurant. Best mix of food/service/atmosphere in Old Town. (King Street)

        Blue Point - Restaurant at Sutton Place Gourmet. Emphasis on seafood. Outdoor (patio) in warm or semi warm weather (they have heaters). Food is very good, not inspired (menu does not change much). (Southern Old Town, Franklin Street at Washington)

        Elyssium - The restaurant at the Morrison House Hotel. Very good food, atmosphere is weak except in the bar (grill room). Service spotty (can be snotty).

        Stardust - Very eclectic. New Orleans/seafood/asian. Aspiration of food not up to service/atmosphere. (northern Old Town)

        Evening Star - Good food, cool bar in back and upstairs, very good brunch. APALLING SERVICE. They need a good manager desparately. I beleive they have hired a former Austin Grill manager, which bodes well, but I have not seen the impact. (Mt. Vernon Ave, Del Ray)

        Moderate Price/everyday dining.

        Austin Grill - good tex mex, we go once a week. Part of local chain. Some management turnover at Alexandria location evident recently.
        Five Guys - Burger, branch of local chain. Best burgers I have ever had anywhere.
        Union Street - Pub atmosphere. Great bar scene. A good place (with Chadwicks) for a late burger
        Dominion Brewery - Brew Pub. Opportunity squandered to create really good restaurant. Instead depends on ignorant tourists.
        Taqueria Poblano - great cheap mexican in Del Ray.
        Bombay Curry Company - Awesome Indian food on Mt Vernon Ave in Del Ray. They roast and grind their own spices. Really unbelievable quality for a strip mall restaurant. Atmosphere is so-so (getting better) but service is decent, and the food...
        Chicken Out - Local rotisserie chicken chain. VERY good. What Boston Chicken would be if it had lived up to potential.

        Other
        Misha's Coffee House - locally owned operated. Roast their own coffee. Great atmosphere. (Rt. 1)
        La Cuisine - great non chain cooking gear store in Old Town. (Cameron Street)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bill Phelps

          Re: The Evening Star...
          We just had a fantastic meal there last night. The flash-fried calamari were tender, not greasy, and heavenly. We practically licked the bowl the red pepper sauce came in. My pecan crusted mahi mahi was excellent and I think they put some kind of drug in the creamed spinach because I could have eaten a whole plate of just that. My husbands' beef tenderloin was also good, according to him, but I was too busy savoring my own dish to get a bit.

          The service was a little on the slow side, but attentive and good. I asked something about the creamed spinach and the waiter told me in detail how it was made - ! Which I thought was good. He was friendly, helpful, not intrusive, and seemed to pick up on our desire to linger a bit over dessert. I have always been pleased with the service there and last night was reminded of this. Definitely check them out. They also have one of the best sunday bruches I have ever had in the DC area.

        2. check out our northern virginia tip sheet at link below.

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/writing/arli...

          3 Replies
          1. re: Jim Leff

            Tyler Cowan is a George Mason University professor whose avocation is eating in local ethnic restaurants. Check out his online newsletter.

            Link: http://gmu.edu/jbc/Tyler/ethnic.html

            1. re: Jim Leff

              There are at least 2 updates that need to be made to the tipsheet that I know of.

              Ningaloo is closed.

              La Cantinita moved some time ago - 3100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 (703)524-3611

              I could certainly recommend restaurants to be added, and I'm sure other posters could do so as well, but I have no idea if you have interest in doing so.

              1. re: Lori

                Dr Dremo's Tap House occupies the Ningaloo space. Chamdo is closed.