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Mar 6, 2003 10:05 AM

lunch in farifax/fair oaks area

  • r

i'm getting a little tired of panerra/baja fresh/TGI Friday clones....

i hear Star Thai is good, and i already love Tony's NY for pizza/subs.

any recommendations? I'm looking primarily in the area west of fairfax city (I work near Fair Oaks mall).



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  1. Star Thai is excellent, as is Tony's pizza. Tony's gets pretty crowded at lunch, though, make sure you get there a bit early.

    In the Fairfax Towne Center (with Tower Records and TJ Max) you can find a wonderful Jewish/NY deli called Chutzpah (at the far end of the shopping center to the left of the Safeway -- kind of tucked away) and you can see the menu at Can't recommend it enough. Also in that center are a Baja Fresh, Yum Yum Cafe, and a few others that I can't remember (some Italian place and a kebab place, I believe).

    A little bit east of the mall on Route 50 is a big shopping center with a Circuit City/Burlington Coat Factory, etc. and you'll find a few little places there. An Asian restaurant called Seoul something, a Persian Kebab place, Bravo's.

    Good luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Colleen

      I assume you've tried both the pizza place (Pomadoro's) and the kebab place in the Panera/Tower/Safeway plaza- both are excellent.

      If you don't mind a fairly short drive, there's Cannaught Place (Indian) in downtown Fairfax and Woodlands (vegetarian Indian but SPICY) right off rt. 50/Jermantown in the K-Mart plaza. And also an Italian deli in the same K-Mart plaza.

      1. re: Malcolm J.

        I've been working in the Fairfax area for the last 5 years, and really like Cannaught's lunch buffet. It's about 10 bucks.

        Other recommendations:
        Dolce Vita - popular Italian place, will get crowded in a hurry. Pizza's are a bargain at 5.99. Nice size, and cooked in their brick stone oven. .50 for additional toppings.

        PJ Skidoo's offer's a very good lunch London Broil special.

        The Arrigato in Fair Lakes has the sushi buffet, the one on 29 does not.

        Pad Thai - Thai restaurant on 29, right next to Arrigato is decent. Star Thai and Sakoontra are also good.

        For the non chowdoundish restaurants, the area does have two barbecue chains, Red Hot and Blue and Famous Dave's, even though FD is actually in Oakton, but very close to Fairfax.

        Try ordering from the in house cafereria at Super H, big bowls of hot soup filled with goodies. Great, especially when the weather is a bit cold. While you are there, pick up some produce, it's hard to beat their prices.

    2. I believe there is a Pars Express in Fair Oaks Mall. It is a fast version of Pars Kabob House in Vienna. Very delicious.

      1. You are very close to Sakoontra, a Thai restaurant in the Price Club/Home Depot Plaza just down West Ox. Rd. from the mall.

        We like it better than Star Thai.

        14 Replies
        1. re: Bob W.

          I strongly second Sakoontra. The food is good, the surroundings spacious and pleasant. Try the Yum Watercress (#21) - it is truly yum!

          1. re: Barbara

            Barbara: you have excellent taste! I ALWAYS get an order of Yum Watercress.

            Yum indeed!

            1. re: Bob W.

              Wait a minute! Sakoontra, near the Costco, is GOOD? And I live maybe a mile away and have not been there yet?!?!? How can this be??

              1. re: James G

                Best you get there soonest (and report back what you think)!!

          2. re: Bob W.

            I went to Star Thai today, and it was very good. A friend of mine also mentioned Sakoontra, which is definitely on the list to try!

            Thanks all for the recommendations...

            1. re: Bob W.

              I posted elsewhere, but I'm not a fan of Sakoontra. The food was average, some good, some bad--def not good enough to override an unpleasant owner. The waitress was excellent at explaining the dishes and serving us--however, the owner is a boor. My 3 y.o daughter, with whom we eat out frequently, had spilled some rice on the carpet during the course of dinner. Since it's basmati rice, it's not sticky, and hadn't really fallen in a clump so that I could pick it up. I pointed it out to the waitress when she was clearing our dishes, and she seemed amused and said it was no biggie. Next thing we know, the owner is pulling the waitress over and publicly berating her. He makes one of us get up and has her vaccuum under the table because he says it will ruin the carpet. There was another couple with us, and we were embarrassed beyond belief and in a state of shock that he would get so mad at her (and us). Anyway, we gave her a big tip--the owner was watching us, and, as we were walking out the door, stormed over to see how much we were giving her. How rude!

              1. re: sim family

                I'm older and don't have any small children, but that is unbelievably rude! I'm not going there again myself.

                I hope you relate this story to Tom Sietsama at the Post.

                1. re: sim family

                  I live close by and might have tried it until reading this.Can't imagine giving that guy my $ if I can find another place with good food and nice(er) people. Thanks.

                  1. re: sim family

                    NO SAKOONTRA for me. The 1st time, the owner was very rude. We asked to be seated by the window, the hostess happily did it but en route he stopped her and made us sit elsewhere. The food was good so when my parents were visiting we told them to try Sakoontra for Thai. LOL, they came back talking about the owner being rude, and we had not said a word about it.

                    We now drive further to Cee Fine Thai dining and love it. Won't go to Sakoontra for free. It's not right to allow people to be rude to you when you are a paying customer, or otherwise for that matter. This NOVA businesses sometimes get away with it, because it's such a populace area with plenty of customers.

                  2. re: Bob W.

                    Sakoontra is the best Thai food I've had in Fairfax County, and my Thai friends agree. Whenever I'm within a 10 mile radius of Sakoontra, that's where I eat. I also recommend Blue Iguana for lunch. The place grows on you. Not a chain, good food and reasonable prices.

                    1. re: BigEats

                      Anyone ever been to Thai Luang on Elden in Herndon (just west of the Fairfax County intersection? EXCELLENT!

                      1. re: ichrysso

                        Sakoontra and Thai Luang are both good choices, but check out Sila Thai in Sully Plaza (Route 50 at Centreville Rd in "downtown" Chantilly). We just got takeout from there and it was outstanding. The tom kha gai (chicken coconut soup) was superb. We're going to try their "Thai dim sum" on Sunday for Dad's Day.

                        1. re: Bob W

                          Luang has been posted regularly here, but there is quite an upstir in the Reston/Herndon Thai scene right now.

                          Reported on this board, the family that basically ran Luang - including the bartender guy - got into a disagreement or something with ownership and left.

                          Somehow, they ended up over at what was Tarin Thai, taking it over and starting their own place. Apparently they get more in-store traffic than Tarin did, and have changed the menu somewhat from Luang.

                          The Tarin family is still apparently around. A friend saw them at the Herndon festival with a booth. They told her that they were looking for a space, but will keep the name.

                          I seem to recall someone reporting that Luang is now off in quality, and I imagine that's the case, but I haven't been by myself.

                          1. re: Dennis S

                            Well, we didn't make it to Sila for Thai dim sum on Sunday, but I do have some Western Fairfax Thai restaurant news to report.

                            Thai Palace near Costco is gone. It was always sort of under the radar, but was a pretty good place. Still, with Thai Basil and now Sila nearby, there was probably no need for this place too. Wonder how long it will take them to get a new restaurant in there.

                  3. If you are already burnt out on Tony's, Baja, Panera, etc. Try these:

                    Woodlands: There is a Fairfax branch of the highly Chowhound touted Indian vegetarian restaurant on Germantown road at Rt.50 a couple doors down from Kmart.

                    Arigato: Excellent Sushi, I think they have a lunch time buffet. There is one in Fair Lakes a few doors down from Target and one next to the Expo design center at 29 (Lee Highway) and Germantown road.

                    Hunan Gourmet: I posted about this place a while ago. It's uncommonly good Chinese in Fair Oaks mall. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but I actually walked by one day and saw many Chinese people eating inside so I felt it was my duty to stop and eat. I have not tried too many of their standard Chinese dishes because I can get past their entree soups with fresh hand cut noodles.

                    There are also a couple of Pho places that are always pretty busy. One is in the same development as the Arigato next to Expo and one is just a half a block down 29 on the other side of the street near the 7-11. The later also has some standard Vietnamese dishes in addition to just Pho.

                    That's all I can think of right now, I'll add more if anything else comes to mind.

                    Also, I did see that the Rhodeside Grill on Main Street in Fairfax City went under and has already been replaced by Ned Devine's, an Irish pub with another NoVa location(s). I have not been get, but will soon. Mmmmmmmm Guinness....


                    1. Re: Tony's, I am not a huge fan but they are pretty darn good. And, one time I had the Sausage and Potatoes -- like it sounds, just sauteed chunks of sausage and iirc onion, tossed with chunks of potato. REALLY GOOD especially considering I walked in expecting some okay-but-routine pizza.