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Staying near Dulles....scared of starving to death

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Greetings Beltway Chowhounders,

I'm from Boston and down here for work. I'm staying at the Holiday Inn - Dulles Airport in Sterling, and the training I'm attending is right next door. Wisely, I got a rental car and am in search of good eats.

I saw previous posts, but most were two years old. So, lemme have it. I'll eat almost anything, and that Jimmy's Tavern looked promising in the reviews. I really don't want to eat at the Holiday Inn's fake Irish restaurant.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. There's a Wegman's very close to that Holiday Inn (just north on 28 at Waxpool Road). If you've never been inside a Wegman's, you'll have fun.

    There's not much to eat on that stretch of Route 28. Go south a few miles (past Dulles Airport) to where 28 meets Route 50 (AKA Lee Jackson Hwy, which turns into John Mosby Hwy a mile west, when you cross into Loudoun County; this is Virginia after all). Just east of 28 in Lee-Jackson Square (AKA the red roof plaza) is Sichuan Village, Il Mee (Korean), and Hot Breads (Indian munchies). Just west of 28 in Chantilly Park Center is Picante! The Real Taco, Thai Basil, and Minerva (Indian).

    About a half mile farther south, on Willard Rd. just east of 28 is Willard's BBQ.

    If you go north on 28 you'll run into Route 7, a major thoroughfare with plenty of eateries but someone else will have to help with those. Rte 7 is mostly known as Leesburg Pike but in Loudoun County, which is where you'll get on it from Route 28, it's known as Harry Byrd Hwy, afte another local icon.

    Jimmy's in Herndon is good for bar food and there are a lot of other interesting eateries in Herndon too. It's also a very diverse area.

    1. And for decent pub food and great beer, check out Old Dominion Brewery.

      It is near the Wegman's and right next to Redskins Park.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tugboat

        Get the directions before setting off from your hotel. Old Dominion Brewery is in a corporate office park, off Loudoun County Parkway. It's actually about a half-mile from the Redskins facility (which isn't itself well-marked).

      2. In Herndon, there is SBC Cafe, which has an eclectic menu--don't miss the signature two pepper soup. The coffee crusted steak is usually popular with carnivores. 2501 McNair Farms Drive (Centreville Road) SBC isn't readily visible from the road--go into the McNair Farms plaza. It's around the side, between a tire store and dry cleaning place. I know that doesn't sound promising, but the food is worth it.

        There's also another Minerva in Herndon. 2443-G Centreville Rd. Herndon, VA 703-793-3223.

        Herndon has a wide variety of ethnic food (Salvadoran, Indian, Afghani kabobs, Vietnamese soup, Thai, Japanese) at the K-mart plaza on Elden Street. The Afghani kabob place has an excellent lamb chop kabob, but their vegetable offerings don't include kadu (a wonderful pumpkin and honey dish). 410 Elden St.

        Yoko, the Japanese place on the outskirts of the K-mart plaza, does a fantastic softshell crab appetizer. The crab is lightly fried and served with a ponzu sauce. 332 Elden St.

        Tarin Thai, at 1106 Herndon Pkwy, has an excellent grilled beef salad.

        1. -Minerva - big thumbs up. I worked in Reston, VA, for a year and this was one of our favorite restaurants for lunch buffet and dinner.

          -Afghan place is called Bamyan, 458 Elden St. in Herndon. Also excellent and very nice and accomodating staff. The pumpkin is tasty.

          -Teocalli Tamale was quite good for mexican, 336 Elden St. However, I am a fan of Baja Fresh, which is in the Whole Foods shopping center in Reston, 11690 Plaza America Drive, Reston VA 20190.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Oshman

            Bamyan is a different Afghan place. It was closer to fine dining (table cloths, etc.) than a kabob place, and it's closed. PollyG knows her Herndon food intelligence, so I'm sure the kabob place she's suggesting is a different afghani place than Bamyan.

            1. re: Smokey

              Right, this is a different place. It may be Charcoal Kabob. The place is definitely Afghani, but they've gone the kabob route and offer a far less extensive menu than Bamyan did. I miss Bamyan's pumpkin. Bamyan has been out of business for at least a year now.

              One more comment: My understanding from my Boston-area sister-in-law, who did a Peace Corp stint in Thailand, is that we have MUCH better Thai food, on average, than Boston. In Boston, it is common for non-Asians to get short changed on some of the more expensive herbs, like Thai basil. In our region, we have herb farms growing specifically for the ethnic market and there isn't as big a price differential on herbs. No one has ever tried to serve me Italian basil in this region.

          2. within 15 minutes of your location you can find at least 2-5 joints for each of the following ethnic (salvadorean/so-central american; thai, vietnamese, indian, middle eastern, japanese, chinese, korean), plus a host of bars/pub type joints. All of the references above a good, if your looking for something else or specific, let us know. There is not any great upscale dining within 15 minutes however.

            1 Reply
            1. re: v man

              I disagree. Your location is near Ashburn and short drive to Leesburg (hop on the toll road and take the Greenway). We are huge fans of Tuscarora Mill (aka Tuskies), Zifferrelli and Lightfoot. All are pretty upcale dining. If you are looking for more casual places, of Waxpool in Ashburn, you'll find several restaurants that are pretty decent -- Bonefish Grill, Samurai Sushi etc.

            2. There's lots of yummy chow worthy food near you!

              EuroBistro in Herndon - excellent eastern european cooking - hard to find anything like it. For Mexican I love Tortilla Factory (also in Herndon) though you'll find descending votes on the Board.

              Jasmine Cafe at Lake Anne in Reston. Great restaurant but also a terrific spot for killing an evening when on travel. There's also a new tavern/pub also on the Lake.

              1. If you like wings and bar food, try the Buffalo Wing Factory.

                1. Go to Wegmans. You will love it especially if you've never been. They have a large cafe area with all kinds of prepared foods you can have for lunch or dinner (and breakfast I think). They have great sushi and they also have a big buffet of asian foods. You could eat there every night and try something new each time.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: baloo

                    I have to disagree on Wegman's. Unless you're there to go shopping, I think their cafe is just ok - and more novelty and convenience than anything else. Certainly wouldn't go out of my way to have a meal there with so many great restaurant options around you.

                    Please report back on your stay!