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good solo dining option in Arlington?

I'll be in DC on business in a few weeks and need to find a tasty solo dining option in Arlington, convenient to a metro. Any suggestions?

I like all cuisines, but if pressed would prefer Vietnamese, Thai, or Mediterranean-ish flavors. Most important is a setting where someone dining alone will get decent service and not feel like a goldfish in a bowl.

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  1. Nam Viet in Clarendon is about a block away from the Metro stop. as you exit the Metro, turn around, go to Hudson Street, turn right and it's down the block on the right.

    Softshell crabs, roast quail, Vietnamese steak, grilled grape leaves are all very good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve

      I second Nam Viet, when I used to live in the area, I would get just the spring rolls and fried rice, my faves there. The softshell crabs and ginger chicken is good too.

    2. Flat Top Grill is great- and since you are alone, you can eat all you want without having to worry about being a pig. It's an all you can eat, make your own stir fry, but it's way better than the bigger BD's Mongolian BBQ chain. The ingredients are fresh and they have delicious prata bread you can get with your bowl.

      1. Pho 75 - easy walk down the hill on Wilson Blvd from Courthouse metro.

        If you like Vietnamese a lot, Eden Center is worth a visit...you can search for it in the board. It is about a mile walk from the East Falls Church metro stop, or you can take a bus. Multiple places to choose from there.

        Not a fan of Flat Top but that could because I'm not a fan of make-your-own anything when I'm paying restaurant prices.

        The best Thai in Arlington is not metro-accessible unfortunately.

        El Pollo Rico, near the VA Square metro, is a local favorite for peruvian rotisserie chicken.

        Cafe Tirolo is an Austrian and Italian cafe in Ballston that makes for a tasty casual dinner on weeknights.

        Those are a few ideas I had, I'm sure you'll get a lot of great suggestions.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lowbar

          Yes. I was completely unimpressed with Flat-top. I shouldn't need to know which sauce goes best with which meat and which vegetables. They have people called "chefs" who are supposed to know that!

        2. Sala Thai, on Washington Boulevard/10th Street, is 2 minutes from the Clarendon metro stop. Small, dimly-lit Thai restaurant where a single wouldnt look conspicuous. I love the dumpling appetizer and Beef Kaprow.

          1. off the Ballston Metro, I would take a left down Fairfax drive, pass the Flat Top Grill and head to the bar at Willow. It's simultaneously classy and casual and you will be well served by the staff. I can vouch for the great grilled flatbreads, they have an impressive wine list, and I hear and read rave reviews about the rest of the menu.
            here's the website for more info, good luck!
            http://www.willowva.com/index.htm

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jamie D

              I would definitely recommend the bar at Willow. I ate there alone a few months ago. The bartender made excellent suggestions of food and wine. The crabcake appetizer was memorable. The bartender reccommended it and I told her that crabcakes are usually disappointing...I am glad I took her advice.

              1. re: cathleenryan

                The Willow is exceptional (and close to the Ballston Metro).

            2. Thanks to all for some very good suggestions. I can tell I won't go hungry!

              1. Sawatdee Thai is located in Courthouse Plaza, right near the exit of the Courthouse metro. I've never had a bad dish there. I enjoy their steamed dumplings, pad thai, any curry, the young peppercorn chicken, and the tom ka gai soup...and so much more. You can't go wrong with the food, and it has small tables where you could easily feel comfortable eating alone. Plus, the staff is extremely friendly.

                1. fyi, check out the washington post dining section online today- there is a large piece by Tom on dining alone in the area. I dislike his reviewing in general, but this is one of his better pieces.