Where to Take Out of Town Guests?
Ok, I have friends visiting from California this weekend and am at a loss of where to take them. We want places that are reasonably priced, but definitely nothing that they could get (better) out West (re: asian food, mexican food, or burgers). Already planning Ethiopian, but what else??
Other requirements: one is allergic to shellfish and nothing too far out in the burbs and something that may not be mobbed during the holiday weekend/restaurant week.
Bamian serves great Afghan food in an atmosphere that's a couple of notches up from many ethnic dives. As long as the Bailey's Crossroads region isn't too far out in the 'burbs, you'll be happy there.
Are you ruling out all Asian cuisines? I associate CA with outstanding Chinese and Korean food, but I don't make the same association with Thai or Vietnamese food. I'm perfectly prepared to be told that I'm wrong, but, if I'm right, you've got two more cuisines to explore. Our last couple of Vietnamese meals have been at the Four Sisters in the Eden Center in Bailey's Crossroads, but I think recent Chow comments have been somewhat critical. Others will have to chime in with specific Vietnamese and Thai recs.
A few ideas for you:
How about some soul food, like Oohs and Aahs?
Lebanese Taverna (I like the food and atmostphere of the one at Pentagon Row)
Zaytinya for a late lunch/early dinner...I find this to be a great option after spending time touristing with visitors downtown.
Ghana Cafe for west african.