Good eats near the Westin Alexandria
I'll be staying at the Westin Alexandria at the edge of Old Town for a few days and am looking for recommendations for nearby places to eat. I'm interested in casual, less expensive places and would be very interested in any good Chinese or Thai food. I will have a car so if there's something really great, I am willing to make a drive.
Thanks very much.
"Less expensive" in the DC area can be very different from other places; can you be more specific about your price range? The cheapest/most casual "chow" place in Old Town is probably Eamonn's (a good fish-and-chips place). You may also want to check out Southside 815.
In terms of Thai, there's nothing really authentic in Alexandria; the best of what's there is probably Masaya or Thailand Royal St. If you're willing to travel a bit by car, pop over to Arlington and check out Thai Square or Bangkok 54.
Alexandria is a Chinese food wasteland; the only Chinese place I can think of in Old Town is the Ginger Beef on the east end of town, which is fine for Americanized fast-food Chinese but not what I suspect you're looking for. Here's a thread on some more authentic Chinese places elsewhere in the area: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/171180
Other cuisines that you didn't specifically mention, that might be worth a short trip by car (depending on whether you can get good examples of them wherever you are from) are Ethiopian and Korean. Search on the board for lots of threads on those cuisines.
728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
815 S Washington St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Ginger Beef Old Towne
430 N Pitt St, Alexandria, VA 22314
2927 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA
3217 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
Masaya Thai Cuisine
1019 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Thailand Royal St
320 Montgomery St, Alexandria, VA 22314
I'll second Pita House, but vote against Mai Thai; the only thing it has going for it is the location down by the waterfront.
Another place that might be of interest for cheap, casual, and Asian is Red Mei; it's a local pan-Asian place that does what it does well, and cheaply (I think $6 for any entree). (Can anyone give a good name to what Red Mei does, by the way? It's somewhere between fast food and cafeteria-style food, only cooked to order, and there have been a fair number of these sorts of places opening recently, including chains like Noodles & Co and Vapiano's.)
407 Cameron St, Alexandria, VA 22314
6 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
602 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
You are very close to the Hoffman Center which has movies, chain restaurants and eateries as well as Thai- Galae Thai. Perhaps others can chime in on how good it is-it looks nice/upscale.
In the Westin, the Trademark Bar has some really nice small plates. I particularly love their crab cakes-total crab. I'm haven't got to try their trio of mac and cheeses but holy smokes, if I were you staying there- I would (and please report back if you do)
If it hasn't been mentioned, the lunch deals at Cathal Armstrong's restaurants are fabulous- The Lickety Split at Eve, and the Royal Pick at Majestic. -I'm headed Eve for a lunch treat at the bar myself today ;-)
I was underwhelmed by Galae Thai the one time i tried it--like Mai Thai, it seems to value being pretty and hip over having good Thai food. Hoffman Center IS very close to the Westin, though, so if you're looking for proximity, Galae is probably the best bet for Thai, and it's not bad--just not particularly good. (Even though it's also in Hoffman Center, I'd suggest staying FAR away from Ted's Montana Grill, as it IS bad.)
With ncpearl's clarification of what "less expensive" means, I'll second the Lickety Split lunch at Eve (only available in the Bistro/bar area, FYI). The lunch and bar menus at Vermillion are also in that price range and worth checking out, especially since they're relatively close to the Westin. The dinner menu at Vermillion is also good, but I think most of the entrees are > $20.
Also in that <$20 price range is Overwood (on the far end of Old Town); they also have an especially good deal on their hangar steak ($10) on Mondays if you'll be here on that day. And if you're up for as close as DC gets to good Tex-Mex, South Austin Grill fits the price/casual criteria.
Going more downscale but staying closer to the Westin, on the west side of Old Town there is also Hard Times (chili) and Five Guys (greasy burgers).
220 N Lee St, Alexandria, VA 22314
110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
1120 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Galae Thai Restaurant
215 Swamp Fox Rd, Alexandria, VA 22314
Hard Times Cafe Alexandria
1404 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Five Guys Burgers & Fries
107 N Fayette St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Ted's Montana Grill
2451 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria, VA 22314
801 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
All these suggestions seem great and are exactly what I'm looking for. By less expensive, I mean entrees about $20 or less and these restuarants seem to have plenty of options in that price range. It sounds like the Trademark Bar might also be worth checking out. I usually try to avoid hotel food, but those small plates sound like they're worth making an exception for, especially the mac and cheese.
Thanks so much for all the great feedback.