Falls Church Business Trip....
A lonely Texan is heading out to Falls Church for a business trip next week. Any solid dinner suggestions? I'll have a car, so a short drive is not out of the question, but I'd like to keep the meal under $40/person.
You might be able to get out of Vero for less than $40/person if you limited your wine consumption. It is about a mile or two up Lee Highway from Falls Church City.
There is also an area of Fairfax County that goes by the appellation of Falls Church. It is much more geographically expansive.
Lots of choices in Falls Church. If you want Vietnamese, go to Eden Center at 7 Corners, just a bit south of Falls Church. There are many good, budget-friendly restaurants in that center.
Haandi is an Indian restaurant near the corner of Shreve Road and Rte. 7 that I know was good a couple of years ago, but haven't heard recent reports. Maybe one of the other chowhounds can chime in?
For nicely done American fare in a brewpub, Sweetwater Tavern on Gallows Road at Route 50.
For something completely different, try Myanmar, a very small Burmese restaurant on Lee Highway, on the right hand side as you head from Falls Church toward the beltway, in a small shopping center. Excellent and very inexpensive. Try the graham fritters, the green tea leaf salad or the ginger salad, and one of the stews. Even if you include a beer or an iced tea with milk (not as sweet as Thai), you'll have leftover money to splurge a bit on another meal.
Falls Church is a mecca for Chowhounds. All sorts of great food to be had.
Punjab Dhaba: Get the half Tandoori chicken and an order of dahi vada (lentil cake). This is a five-star meal trapped in cafeteria surroundings. Like many Indian places in these parts, there is a buffet which is to be avoided. On Rte 50 in Loehmann's Plaza.
Lebanese Butcher: Mini-sausages, lamb shwarma, kibbe. All the ambience of eating in a butcher shop, which they own right next door. In Falls Church City.
Myanmar: Ginger Salad (a MUST ORDER), goat curry, tofu with tomato, whole roasted fish- must order this spicy. There are a couple of condiments on the menu that are essential to Burmese cuisine (you sprinkle them on the food), ask about these and order them. The Ginger Salad is one of the best things I've ever eaten. In a small shopping strip off Rte 29.
Hong Kong Palace: Despite the name, an excellent Sichuan menu in addition to a forgettable Chinese-American menu. Chengdu noodles, tiger skin peppers, Cumin Lamb, corn and egg. Go crazy here, it's plenty cheap. Off Rte 7 in the Shopping Center with Shopper's Food Warehouse.
Eden Center: For nighttime entertainment value and food, this place can't be beat. An entire Vietnamese shopping center with over 23 Vietnamese restaurants as well as bakeries, cafes, sandwich shops, jewelry stores, etc. In addition to the stores surrounding the main parking plaza, there are three or four interior courtyards with more restaurants, music stores, herbal shops, etc. Some of these places are very tiny and not open very late. My favorite meal right now might be at the very simple Nha Trang, where you can get both the ground pork wrapped in rice paper and the roast quail. Let us know how this compares to the Vietnamese in Lubbock! www.edencenter.com
And depending on what is considered Falls Church (the city is small, but the area is huge), you might wan to go east on Rte 7 to Maccu Picchu for Peruvian Food. Squid in its own ink and fish with peppers and onions are very good. Or try the lomo saltado which is beef and french fries covered in gravy. As this dish was originally invented by the Chinese in Peru, it's secret ingredient is soy sauce! Chicha Morada (purple corn beverage) to drink.
Of all the suggestions above, I list Myanmar as one of the top five places to eat in the DC area. Bu they are all winners, if modest in appearance.
Also, a group of us occassionally gets together for meals, so send me a PM if interested and we can probably pull something together.
Listen to bacchante and steve -- they know whereof they speak. All great recs.
Falls Church (where I have worked for the past 15 years) is also somewhat of a mecca for one of the most obscure latin american cuisines -- Bolivian. This area happens to have one of the largest Bolivian populations in the US. Two places to check out are Llajtaymanta on Rte. 50 (right across from Loehmann's Plaza) and Luzmila's Cuisine on W. Broad St. in Falls Church proper.
Well, I'm ashamed of myself for not mentioning Lebanese Butcher, since it is one of my very favorite places in the area. They have the best fatoosh (salad with fried pita) of anywhere, and their felafel is outstanding. As is the chicken tawook (chicken with garlic sauce). Love both of their sausages. There are very few things there that I don't like. Interestingly, I'm not that fond of the fatteh bel lamb (lamb with yoghurt).
Punjab Dhaba and Hong Kong Palace also are excellent calls. At the former, we like the lamb samosas, too. The tandoori chicken is better than the lamb, we think.
At the latter, twice cooked pork is totally unlike that found in the typical Chinese-for-American-taste place. It's made with luscious pork belly. That cumin lamb is wonderful. The other day, we had chicken with pickled vegetables (the spicy version) that was very tasty, too. Insist on the Sichuan/Chinese menu (it's in English, too). Otherwise, you will see nothing more than the usual suspects on the menu. If you see them coming at you with the paper carryout menu, shake your head. When the wait staff realizes what you want, they are pretty helpful. If you want it spicy, make it clear that you do, and you'll get it.
to reiterate the point about insisting upon the proper heat level at Hong Kong Palace, my last lunch there was a superb Ma Po Tofu - silky tofu, a generous amount of ground pork that had a great sausage-like flavor, all in a delicious peppery brown sauce - but because I spaced on telling them I wanted it spicy, they way they normally cook it, it was pretty tame, heat-wise.
There are hundreds of possibilities. Falls Church isn't exactly the end of the universe. Where will you be staying? What do you like to eat? What would you like to eat? Does the $40 include wine? Drinks? Dessert?