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Kingstowne Takeout

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  • Anton Sep 28, 2004 10:00 PM

We have just moved to Kingstowne, which is apparently still Alexandria, but no where near Old Town. We're not from the area, and are looking for good take out. Does anyone have any opinions on where to go? We're into Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian, Mexican... you know, the works. Thanks.

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  1. Across from an "international" market, is a favorite Japanese restaurant (Yamazato) at 6303 Little River Turnpike.

    Anette's BBQ Heaven is okay. It's at 279 S. Van Dorn St. in a strip mall.

    There is also a nice Middle Eastern market in another nearby strip mall containing the Home Depot/post office. It has a takeout counter but I haven't tried anything there.

    4 Replies
    1. re: FNGary

      None of these is particularly near Kingstowne -- they're all a few miles inside the beltway, while Kingstowne is a couple miles outside.

      The takeout at the Mediterranean Bakery in the Trade Center (the shopping center with the home depot) is pretty miserable. The store does have a wonderful array of mid-east groceries, salsas and baked goods, however.

      1. re: TH

        "Miserable" is a little harsh for the counter at Med Bakery, I think. Despite the fact that it is most likely a 10-15 min drive, poster should be well aware of this gem, one of the top ethnic markets in the area. EXCELLENT hummous, tzaziki, fresh pita bread baked on premises, pastries, fatayers, etc. This is a trip worthy spot, no doubt. They should have fresh almonds at this time, hard to find item.

        1. re: Roberto64

          To be clear, I don't disagree about the market side of things. Like you, I love that hummous, and their pita chips are a real treat.

          It's specifically getting lunch from the takeout counter that I advise against (which is what the question was about). I've both gotten takeout and eaten in there several times and tried several items (each time thinking, "the store is so great, the food can't be so bad") and been disappointed each time. In particular, the gyros was really bad. The meat was cold (small wonder, the gyros meat isn't rotating on a spit, but rather is pulled out of a fridge and then warmed up) and no feta was available. The pita pizzas were both very greasy and lacking in flavor. Friends who have gotten takeout from their have made similar comments.

          So, in short, get your takeout food from somewhere else, but go to Mediterranean Bakery for wonderful groceries and middle-east delicacies.

          A URL is below. And again, a head's up, this is in the Landmark area, not Kingstowne

          Link: http://www.mediterraneanbakery.net/

      2. re: FNGary

        I'm with Big Eats - IMHO Mediterranean Gourmet Market surpass Mediterranean Bakery in freshness and quality of food. For those who frequent Mediterranean Bakery, please, please, please try Mediterranean Gourmet Market, which is only a few miles down the road...their hummus, baba, tabbouli, etc., etc is tastier than Med Bakery's. I'm still highly addicted to Med Bakery's Mujadara but I will buy my muj at Med Bakery, then hop over to Mediterranean Gourmet Market for everything else.

        In the same Van Dorn strip mall where Savio's is located, there is a pretty good pho place called Pho Viet Flare.

        Just another block up Van Dorn is Sakulthai...pretty good for emergency Thai when I'm too lazy to make the drive to Thai Square. Actually, the folks who run the place have copied the Thai Square menu for the most part...I haven't tried the crispy squid at Sakulthai (out of loyalty to Thai Square), but everything else is pretty darn good.

        Further down in Landsdowne Ctr, I've tried the Thai and Japanese (which is owned and run by Chinese, if that makes a difference to anyone) - both are so so but not worth the drive down. I've yet to try the Greek restaurant or Indian place...there's a discussion and posting of these restaurants in the link below:
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/424367

      3. Down the street in the Hayfield shopping center (Telegraph Road) is the House of Dynasty. It is a little pricier than your average Chinese takeout joint, but the food is prepared with quality ingredients and is consistently tasty. The dining room is nice if you want to eat in. Again, a little more upscale than your traditional strip mall Chinese restaurant.

        Magic Wok on Van Dorn Street is a step down from HoD, but a little cheaper.

        A poster once recommended Thai Cafe in Springfield (Loisdale Rd.) which isn't too far for you but I haven't tried it yet.

        Mama Mia in Manchester Lakes isn't bad for greasy subs and they have ok Italamerican food.

        3 Replies
        1. re: MSL

          I don't think Thai Cafe is close to Kingstowne at all, it is near Springfield Mall by the Firestone. Go there for their Pad Zee Uw if you happen to be close by. The wife and I are so stuck on that dish, we have BOTH ordered it the last 5 times we have eaten there. Maybe their other stuff is good, I may never find out...

          1. re: Roberto64

            From the heart of Kingstowne (Kingstowne Blvd & Kingstowne Village Pkwy), Thai Cafe is less than 2.5 miles away. I guess it's not quite walking distance, but it's not too far.

            1. re: MSL

              Not far, I agree.

        2. You are pretty close to a Red Hot and Blue BBQ(Landstowne?) which has a seperate take out counter inside. I think their pulled pork and ribs are very decent.

          Since Van Dorn St. is being mentioned (short drive, not really in K-town), Savios is a good quality and reasonably priced ($10-$12/entree) choice for Italian with a twist. If you order from the "House Specialty" side of the menu you will be presented with tasty gems such as lamb in pesto (this dish is spicy, perhaps all their pesto is) pasta, I can't remember what else is there, but it is all good and not "typical." I have never been dissatisfied with anything: app, entree, or dessert that I have had there. They are also in the Entertainment Book, which saves you the cost of an entree.

          This particular little strip mall with Savio's is mentioned in Tyler Cowen's Restaurant Guide (do a search and download it, is a must have, particularly if you are new to the area) as having an inordinate number of good eating places, you may want to look at his Guide for further info.

          1. What do y'all think of the places actually in Ktowne, Landsdowne, Franconia or Manchester Lakes? Thai place in K; Paradiso; Burrito Joynt; Indian, Pho, Thai in Lans; Sampan Grill; King St Blues; Shiro; Kings Table; Dynasty; Place that replaced Papa Georges; Magic Wok; Host of chains (Bungalow, Baja Fresh, Chipotle, Mac Grill, Uno's, Chili's, Damon's, RH&B etc.)

            What would you like to see here? Great American (Mike's) type place, steak house, Mid eastern, Peruvian chicken, or what?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Kingstowne

              I'm not from Baja California or anything, but everyone I know in the area (myself included) thinks the fish tacos at the Burrito Joynt are extremely tasty...

              1. re: PB

                I agree that the fish taco's at the Burrito Joynt are tasty...more than just tasty. Really good, expecially in comparison to the other places that have them. Great, fresh guac. too and they deliver. As for chains, Panera is good, inexpensive and right in Kingstowne if you want to walk. Plus Ruby Tuesday's for the unlimited salad bar.

            2. I used to live in Franconia and live in Springfield now.

              The places I highly recommend: Panera, Pasara (EXCELLENT - Thai place near Panera) and House of Dynasty.

              Acceptable: Shiro (Japanese Steak and Sushi), Magic Wok (which is actually on Franconia Road near the DMV), King Street Blues.

              Not worth revisiting: Thai place in Landsdowne, Burrito Joynt (yuck), that awful pizza place near House of Dynasty (double yuck). I am not big on any of the chains: Mac. Grill, Bungalow, Uno, Chilis, Damons, Red, Hot & Blue, etc.

              What would I like to see in Kingstowne? Some good ethnic places and some independently-owned, non-mass-produced restaurants. A less pricey and easier-to-get-in-on-a-Saturday night sushi place would be fabulous (Matuba is our top pick). Ethiopian would be awesome, but we do have the new place on Pickett. A nice pizza place is needed.

              6 Replies
              1. re: govtlawyer

                >Ethiopian would be awesome, but we do have the new place on Pickett.

                Hey, um, what new place on Pickett?

                1. re: TH
                  r
                  Raphael Malveaux

                  Elfegn Ethiopian Restaurant
                  664 S. Pickett St
                  Alexandria VA 22304
                  703-823-2050

                  Great food, friendly service and has been there long enough that you should have tried it by now. It replaced the little video game arcade that had been there since the 80's. Sure, I miss the ol' Ms. Pacman machine but the food goes a long way to ease the pain.

                  1. re: Raphael Malveaux

                    This is next/close to Charlie Chiangs?

                    1. re: Raphael Malveaux

                      I just never get to that part of Van Dorn St. I will now. Thanks for the tip!

                  2. re: govtlawyer

                    All of the King Street Blues restaurants are pretty decent for sandwiches and homemade potato chips. I would normally agree with chain assessment, but I ate at that particular Red Hot and Blue about a month ago and was pleased with pulled pork, ribs, and turkey in the mixed platter. It is worth at least one visit so as to make up one's own mind.

                    1. re: Roberto64

                      ive been to king street blues a couple of times and i was always dissapointed. the red hot and blue however rarely lets me down

                  3. Got you covered. I know the area well. Unfortunately, Kingstowne is falling into the "Town Center" mold of chains. Yuk!

                    Right down Franconia Road no more than a mile or a mile and a half is the Mediterranean Gourmet Market, in a little strip mall with Sampan Chinese restaurant (very credible suburban Chinese). There's also a pretty good pizza place in that strip mall run by an Iraqi, and the pizza and sandwiches are very good. But the Mediterranean Gourmet Market is by far the best Middle Eastern carryout in the northern Virginia area except for Lebanese Butcher in Annandale -- and I've been to all of them.

                    Lots of other good ideas have been posted -- the shopping plaza at Lansdowne is also very good, with Red, Hot and Blue, plus Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and ice cream places.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: BigEats

                      Well, the OP was asking this question 3 years ago, so hopefully they got themselves covered a while ago, or they've been hungry for a while.

                      I'm intrigued by your mention of Sampan, though. What do you mean by "credible suburban Chinese"? Are there any dishes in particular that they do well?

                      1. re: sweth

                        By credible, I equate it with the typical suburban Chinese-American places like House of Dynasty in Hayfield and Ho's Garden in Burke (and now its sibling Asian Grill in Springfield). Extremely good spring rolls at Sampan. It was a long-running Chinese-American restaurant drawing customers from miles around, and then it closed a few years ago. It was replaced by a Vietnamese Restaurant, and then when that one closed, it was reborn as Sampan Cafe.

                        But typical suburban is not what we've been blessed with in Seven Corners, for example, which is closer to real Chinese.

                        1. re: BigEats

                          i second the Chinese food place House of Dynasty, you get big portions and the quality is consistently above average. Manchester Bagel in the Manchester lakes shopping center has delicious breakfast sandwiches and good coffee. they are only open until 4pm most days

                    2. Kingstowne is a bad culinary destination and is indeed in need of indepedent quality establishments. I never thought I would eat at panera as much as i do. I do get mediteranean bakery quite a bit and big bite pizza off van dorn is very good. keeping our fingers crossed for better openings; however seeing how packed all the chains are it seems most of the non foodie masses are satisfied.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: doorbeek

                        Have you tried Rice and Spice? I thought it was excellent.

                        http://www.chow.com/tour/106

                        Kingstowne, in general, is chain central and not even the better chains.

                        1. re: doorbeek

                          This is sad. Mediterranean Bakery is about five miles away, and is of lower overall quality (and higher overall price) than the Mediterranean Gourmet Market on Franconia Road, about a mile away from Kingstowne.

                        2. Not exactly Kingstowns, which is largely a culinary no mans land, but in Springfield the Canton Cafe next to Trader Joes is pretty good and not too far. Their hot and sour soup is the best I've found in the DC area. Good crispy salt squid, singapore noodles, and a lot of hot pots and casseroles I haven't tried yet. They also have dim sum, which I haven't tried yet. There are also a ton of ethnic restaurants tucked into the little strip malls on either side of Old Keene Mill Rd near Springfield Plaza. Lots of Middle Eastern, an interesting little Phillipino place that serves a buffet with whole roast piglet on the weekend. Kebabs galore, korean and Japanese too. I don't know the names of any of them off hand but you'll find more variety if you're willing to drive down the road apiece.

                          1. Rice and Noodle Thai is our absolute favorite. It's on Franconia next to the Burrito Joynt. they deliver to us (a lot) and we pick up. We've eaten there a couple times and they are very nice.

                            www.houndstoothgourmet.com