Everyday Eating: Restaurants you frequent
There are many threads about high end eating, or specific types of restaurants but what about places you go to regularly (say, a few times a month)? What places do you frequent, what would you recommend there/not recommend there, what is the price range? Where would you go on a night where you had nothing planned, were too tired to cook and wanted to grab a decent meal?
There's a dearth of decent places near me. But we will go to:
Hunan East in Burke: decent Americanized chinese food. Moo sho pork, etc. They have good Thai food, chef supposedly spent 20 years there cooking. But, if I were getting Thai, I'd rather drive farther and get something better.
Aladdin's: decent, healthy small chain--I like the sandwich wraps but avoid overly cooked tuna entrees. Desserts look amazing but aren't.
Asian Bistro in Springfield: have not had anything bad there. Nice, small, light portions.
DC Sandwich and Ba Le Bakery for banh mi
My Karma in Lorton for Indian.
D C Sandwich
3103 Graham Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042
Hunan East Restaurant
9546 Old Keene Mill Rd, Burke, VA 22015
6328 Rolling Rd, Springfield, VA 22152
Mostly agree, but if you're in Springfield and you want Asian, go to Canton Cafe in the K-Mart plaza at Old Keene Mill and Backlick. I love Aladdin's too, but farther down Franconia Rd, not quite as far as Kingstowne, is Mediterranean Gourmet Market, the best Middle Eastern food in northern Virginia outside of Lebanese Butcher in Falls Church. And the Asian Grill is the same family as Ho's in Burke.
As Middle Eastern goes, I also like Afghan Kebab caddy corner from Whole Foods and for a lighter meal, love Cedar Cafe in the Shoppers Plaza. Cedar Cafe is more take out, though there are tables to eat in. I've tried Mediterranean Gourmet for lunch and was not impresssed--meat a little too dry, reheated. The best middle eastern I've had is a hole in the wall place in Woodbridge, of all places, near the Nordstrom Rack. It's called Medina Kebob and I tried it on a whim, not expecting much since they have an all day buffet (normally a sign that I should pass). There was one woman running the whole thing, service was slow but the food was amazing. Everything was freshly cooked.
Asian Grill is owned by the same family as Ho's but the food is far different. It has much more of a Thai influence and they've just added a large vegetarian/vegan menu. The food is much lighter, less greasy. I think Ho's is expensive for American Chinese food. I used to go to Canton Cafe but the food has gone downhill from when it opened. I haven't been in years. For real chinese food, I go up the beltway but these are the closer places I go to for quick bites, not somewhere I'd take my inlaws.
Good idea on updating this, deangold (below). Asian Bistro quickly went downhill and I haven't been in months. Hunan East we still go to but quality of food has also declined and is very salty--but we've been regulars for so long and the owner is still very nice. About half a year ago, we went and I didn't know what I wanted so she disappears in the back and comes back with chap chae that she made herself. Delicious. But, it's become heavy buffet food now. Aladdin's is good for a quick healthy bite to eat and I like Cedar Cafe still. If I want Italian, I go to Pane e Vino in Lorton. Nice warm rolls.
My new local special occasion restaurant is Bistro L'Hermitage in Woodbridge. It's been excellent the few times we've been. But, south Fairfax County still needs more good restaurants. It's chain central.
hey chowser, how is this place "mike's italian" on richmond highway (i'd describe it as in-between alexandria and lorton)? http://www.mikesitalianrestaurant.com/
someone told me yesterday that the food is delicious, but i have no idea of his standards. ;-)).***
he and others also recommended "elsie's iron skillet" for a good breakfast.
edit: after looking at mike's menu, i'm not sure the man has even been there. why do i say this? because when i asked if the place had good stromboli, he said yes. i don't see it on the menu. the menu reminds me of this little place in arlington -- we called it pepe's -- that was located where ray's hell burgers is today. i'd get chicken francese, and we'd always start with the mussels marinara. they'd even make a pizza we devised, "stuffed" with ricotta -- then a second layer of crust -- like a double pizza, iirc.
Delhi Club in Clarendon! And Ravi Kabob in Ballston!
What a great idea for a topic. And now I have a craving for a chicken kabob...YUM. :)
Italian Store for the Napoli (I get the large eat then pack the other half)
Luna Cafe and Grill in Shirlington for breakfast, I like the breakfast burrito, but they have good sandwiches too.
Cafe Asia for lunch sushi take out, I get the lunch special which is like $8 or $9.
Breadline again for lunch, I get the sausage sandwhich or chicken. I never make it on Friday for BBQ maybe I will do that soon.
Dicky's Custard again for lunch they have a good cuban sandwich.
Caribean Grill for chicken, plantains and cuban rice.
Hook- I really like the black risotto, but it's kind of high end.
Aroma in Shirlington for thai, there is a lamb with veggie dish I love I get them to make it spicy.
Matchbox- pizza and mini-burgers
Eleventh St. Lounge for thur night half small plates, the calamari, frisee salad and NC BBQ sliders are good.
Eat Bar- good burger, fries, braised veal with grits, homemade sausage.
Others I haven't done lately because I have more late classes: Sushi Zen, Lebanese Butcher or Taverna. Rhodeside Grill for wings (we use Dr. Delivery). And Thai Terrace.
But I try to cook a lot or we try to really vary the places we go to so we try new places. I mostly eat out for lunch at work, or when I am too tired to cook we get delivery or go out close.
Wow, so funny to think about the changes in my life since four years ago: out of law school, passed the bar, married, practicing law in Virginia. I guess I should update my list:
Italian Store still on it for the same exact thing.
Lebanese Taverna Market- good wraps and mezze.
Restaurant Eve for the Lickety Split lunch (the price makes it doable often).
Virtue Feed and Grain- Pope's Lunch or other sandwiches.
Liberty Tavern- Vermont Pizza.
Screwtop Wine Bar- sandwiches, lasagna, etc.
BGR Joint- Plain Burger with lettuce and tomato (sometimes bacon).
Taqueria Poblano- crispy LA Tacos.
District Taco- tacos.
Carribean Grill- still on it for the family meal with whole chicken and sides.
Nam Viet- #39.
Thai Square- Anything with their homemade noodles, country style curry, pork knuckle stew, crispy squid or crispy duck.
And I still go to Eat Bar now and again, but I normally meat up for Happy Hours at some different places now it, Cheesetique, Lyon Hall, Screwtop.