iso Chowish near Backlick in Springfield
I am rolling in to Springfield soon to source a whole brisket at El Grande. I just read a thread that described a lot of good grub near Landmark. Is that area my best bet for a chowish meal to fit into my trip to Springfield? Cheap and usually ethnic are my preferences. I am especially interested in Korean or Ethiopian.
El Grande on Backlick has a Korean lunch counter that purveys chow both cheap and ethnic. Not superb but it is Korean and cheap. Little known fact, El Grande is actually a weird fusion of Korean and Latino, mostly Latino, but the management is Korean.
As for chowish near Backlick in Springfield, I'd send you to Food Corner Kebab, 7031 Brookfield Plaza, Springfield, VA, but if you aren't familiar with the weird gyrations Backlick does with Amherst, Commerce, and Old Keene Mill there, you'll wind up in Mixing Bowl hell.
There are several ethnic restaurants in the strip mall around El Grande, but I've never been to any of them, yet.
I stopped by El Grande on the way to Super H and Grand Mart for some meat for a bbq. What a great place! I got a great deal on a whole 15lb brisket with a good fat cap. Excellent selection on whole fish and their skirt steak is a steal compared to Safeway/SFW/Whole Foods. I'm tempted to find a recipe so I can buy some "bull pizzles." I'll have to try some of the korean takeout.
There are a couple of Korean restaurants at the strip mall that shares the parking lot with El Grande, but I haven't been to either of them since they changed owners a few years ago. There is also Bale, which serves banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches). These are great, and at $3.00, a real bargain.
There are a number of other Korean places scattered around Springfield, but they only ones I've been to under current ownership is Migado (on Commerce Street) and the one in Brookfield Plaza (can't remember the name), and I wasn't particularly impressed with either one. (Migado used to be a favorite of ours until the owner/cook sold it; the new cook just didn't have the same touch.)
I don't know of any Ethiopian in Springfield, but there are a number of Indian restaurants. I haven't been to any of those within the last ten years, so I can't make any kind of call there. I have meant to try Aabshar, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
In Springfield Plaza, Canton Cafe is next to Trader Joe's and offers pretty good dim sum on the weekends. They also offer a nice wonton noodle soup, although with the weather warming, that may not be as welcome as a few weeks ago. The offerings on their regular menu is good, even above average, but not outstanding (although I do recommend their Beef with Chinese Broccoli Chow Foon).
If you're in the mood for Thai, I highly recommend House of Siam. This is my favorite Thai restaurant in the region (although I haven't made it to Thai Square yet). As a point of reference, I think most of the other Thai restaurants make their dishes too sweet, so if you think the balance at those places is okay, you may not be as enthusiastic for this as my wife and I are. If you do go, try their pla choo chi - batter-dipped grouper deep-fried to crispness, then served in a tamarind curry. Another favorite is the Sticky Rice and Moo Yang, five skewered pork strips with a very flavorful marinade, then charcoal grilled. It would be good just as is, but when accompanied with the spicy chili-tamarind (?) sauce, it's fabulous. My wife usually insists on ordering their Pad Woon Sen and thinks their spring rolls are the best. The rest of their menu is also quite good as well, though it's hard for us to get past those standouts to order something different. Unfortunately, you won't be able to go there this weekend. This is a real Mom and Pop place, and Mom, the cook, had a baby very recently, so they're closed until May 1.