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May 15, 2007 10:40 AM

Help out a VA farmer! Long list of NOVA to sort through!

If you were driving in and out of DC from Loudoun County to farmer’s markets a couple times a week where would you stop for chow? Also looking for easily accessible chow from Purcellville (30 minutes or less) but I have a v. long list. Help me pick the best Mexican, Peruvian, BBQ, Thai and Indian from the list. Only one visit to each cuisine allowed. This is what I have so far:

Tortilla Factory 648 Elden St.
Teocalli Tamale Mike's Mexolina brisket is wonderful, corn salsa. 336 Elden St.
Pollos Inka Peruvian whole chicken, a salad and yucca fries Elden St.
Minerva Indian 2443-G1 Centreville Rd
Sweet Basil Café 2501 McNair Farms Dr./ Centerville RD.
Pho 75 Kmart Center on Elden St.

Lightfoot 11 North King
Tuscie's cafe/bar area at Tuscorora Mill for lunch bread pudding 203 Harrison
Eiffel Tower Café 107 Loudoun Street, S.W.
Giovannis New York Pizza. 520 E Market St (Route 7) in a strip mall
La Chozita Grill 210 Loudoun St SE peruvian chicken the entrance and parking is in back
Mighty Midget great ribs, hamburger with the pulled pork, the pork shoulder
Moms Pies. coconut custard pies 220 Loudoun Street SE

Magnolia's at the Mill 198 North 21st Street

Planet Wayside. funky place, french fries with "mombo" sauce to dip them in. Route 7

Doc's Barbecue at The Aldie Country Store US 15 to US 50, turn right at Gilberts Corner
The Little Apple Pastry Shop sandwiches too 23217 Meeting House Lane
Pantry & Cafe, out Rt. 50 tea and scones

Pacific Cafe on Rt 7 excellent pan asian food.
Los Toltecos Mexican 50 Pidgeon Hill Drive
Cheng's at 20921 Davenport Dr

Saigon Star in Broadlands Pho South of the Greenway on Claiborne Parkway.
Banjara in the Ashburn Farm shopping center Indian.

Thai Basil 4511LeeJackson Memorial Hw # 3 or khao tang na tang green curry fish cakes
Picante -- The Real Taco same plaza
Rawal Kabob same plaza
Minerva excellent Indian food for excellent prices same plaza 14513-B Lee Hwy

Hope to see you all out at the markets this summer!

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  1. I can speak to The Tortilla Factory in Herndon - - grew up going there. It was great then and apparently from everything I hear, it's just as great today.

    2 Replies
    1. re: THenderson

      It is. Its been consistently great for years. I always leave with a couple of tubs of their salsa and one of their queso. One of my all time favorite places to eat. It also does well in terms of value.

      Pho 75 is an excellent choice for Vietnamese, too.

      1. re: ccbweb

        oh ccbweb - I miss that place. Actually, I miss the whole NoVa area - grew up in Reston - left area for college and have only gone back to visit. With everything in that area having changed so much, it's comforting to know that some things stay the same!

    2. Indian: Banjara in Ashburn is our favorite Indian place in the area and usual #1 choice when we go out (we live in Reston, but we're happy to drive - it's that good)

      Mexican: Teocalli Tamale (Herndon) beats the other places you listed and for less $$$.

      Kabob: Moby Dick on Ashburn Village Road near Rte. 7 is head and shoulders above the other kabob shops in the area.

      1. Great list tauer but sadly Planet Wayside -- the original WaPo "Crummy but Good" eatery -- no longer exists. But, a beloved farm market on the other side of Hamilton that was forced out is going to relocate to the Planet Wayside site.

        But here are some adds for your list: Rangoli (Indian) in the new Market Square plaza at 50 and Loudoun County Pkwy in South Riding, Pho 98 in the new plaza just west of the Thai Basil et al. plaza (formally known as Chantilly Park Center), Willard's BBQ on Willard Rd near the Dulles Expo Ctr, about a mile east of Thai Basil, and Blue Ridge Grille on the 15 Bypass near the outlets in Leesburg.

        PS What markets do you sell at? We patronize Middleburg, Leesburg, Cascades, and South Riding.

        1. Excellent choices. As it looks like you are hitting elden street, I would maybe add Thai Luang 171 Elden Street
          Herndon, VA 20170
          (703) 478-2233

          1. OK - to start with Tortilla Factory - good place, stayed the same from years ago, but it's its own thing - not authentic. Good if you like americanized mexican. Still - we go once or twice a year.

            Teocalli - a standby lunch place - solid but again americanized. Post back if you want much more authentic on this standpoint (mexican-ish).

            Still staying on that thread just a bit - I'm wondering if Las Toltecas (sp?) you mention in Sterling is related to the one in Burke. If so, again good and more authentic, but not out of this world. The one in the clock tower (El Chevre?), to the left, is very good.

            Kebab - if you're serious, then skip Moby and try either Charcoal Kebab (and the spinach!) in the K-Mart center in Herndon, or Reston Kebab.

            Leesburg - Lightfoot for upscale, mighty midget for down. Don't know about the pollo place but it's now on my list.

            Chantilly - don't forget Bungalow for the best traditional hot wings in the area.

            Pho in Herndon - skip dreadful pho 75 and get to Tall Oaks for Pho Reston 75 - not related at all - including food (which is a great thing).

            Pollo Inka is good - but as I lamented recently I still miss Pollo Real.

            Also in Herndon - Ice House cafe and Jimmy's!!!!! (esp. Jimmy's if you can't tell). Thai Luang is great, as is Tarin Thai. Thai Town is ok. Skip the other thai in K-Mart center AND the one in the Herndon clock tower.

            There's the BBQ place near Gainesville, especially for beans. Blocking the name right now.

            Also - I hope you're hitting the Reston F.M. on Saturdays. It's a good one. In Lake Anne Plaza you can find Lakeside Cafe that serves good fajitas and chorizo and eggs. You can also find Cafe Montmarte for some interpretive french - all al fresco. Jasmine is okay, and the Moroccan place is too, but skip the other place for food (the coffee house is okay as well but nothing crazy good except service). The mercado in the parking lot is ok food, but awful service and there are better choices around (incl. the taco truck on Rt 7).

            3 Replies
            1. re: Dennis S

              Thanks everyone!

              Bob W - I am suprised Planet Wayside is closed. I thought I read that it closed and then reopened. That's a shame. Anything else good in Hamilton? I work for a farm that does more DC based markets - Dupont, Mt. Pleasant etc. Way to support all your local markets!

              Dennis S - So if you'd go for one americanized mexcian place (Tortilla or Tamale) which one?

              Looking for someone's opinion for Indian - Banjara , Minerva or Rangoli?

              Thai - Thai Luang or Thai Basil?

              1. re: Dennis S

                "There's the BBQ place near Gainesville, especially for beans. Blocking the name right now."

                Jammin' Joes?

                1. re: theoneontheleft

                  That's it - Jammin Joe's. South on 29 outside of G-ville (in a parking lot selling sheds).

                  tauer - I would (and do) go for Teocalli before Tortilla Factory. TF is a Herndon mainstay from the 70's when there weren't other choices. I've not been around that long, but relatively I'm a "middle-ager" to the area so it still hits me in memory spot.