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.
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.
Boyfriend lives in Courthouse and we love Kabob Bazaar near the Clarendon metro. Their hummus is great, and they serve it with warm pita, fresh herbs and tzatziki. So good. We always order hummus, extra pita and two beef or lamb kabob entrees (big portions, I always have left overs) and get out for around $24. Great deal.
And, not really a restaurant, but we love going to Italian store for their pizza and subs. Quick, easy, cheap and tasty. We always pick up a couple bottles of wine while we're there too, can get some good bottles for cheap.
Hong Kong Palace, off Route 7 in Falls Church (above the Home Depot on Route 50). Order from the Chinese, not the American, menu.
Rabieng, Route 7 Falls Church. All-around favorite Thai.
Mark's Duck House, Route 50 in Falls Church. Go for the dim sum. Best between noon and 1 p.m.
Saigon Saigon, Pentagon Row, Arlington. Good inexpensive Vietnamese.
El Charrito Caminante -- Washington Boulevard, Clarendon. Best cheap burrito in town.
re: Dennis S
I like Charcoal Kebab, too, if you're referring to the Afghani place that's in same K-Mart shopping center as Indo-Pak spices and Medina Market.
I had a delightful Thai green curry in the little Thai place catty corner to the building Charcoal Kebab is in. The flavors were well balanced, it had just the right fresh Holy basil fragrance, it was great. I can't remember the name, but I've been meaning to go back & see if they can do that consistently.
At least once a month I go to the following restaurants. Some of them I go to more for convience more than anything else but I still frequent them.
Kramerbooks and Afterwards
Hanks Oyster Bar
Sakana (more like once a week)
Bistro du Coin
Le Bon Cafe
Mandalay, Mandalay, Mandalay--veg 06 most often (flat noodles with tofu and lettuce), veg 8 (yellow beans with onions) and noodles 1 (combination noodles) vie for most frequent. samosas, gram fritters and salads, esp tea leaf and mango, also come in.
Penang in Bethesda--mee goreng, crispy golden squid, fried rice (I can't remember which one), and more fried eggplant with tiny dried shrimp than I should be having.
Udupi and Woodlands--everything--buffet lunches, dosai, curries. we rotate between them.
Raku in Bethesa for sushi, possibly being replaced by Sushi Jin in downtown Silver Spring. The latter isn't necessarily as good, but we can walk there, and we're not particularly in love with Raku either.
Rays when we've ha a bad day and need to make up for it. (not every month, but probably every other)
Pho 75 (the one in Rosslyn; may have the number wrong; Rosslyn metro): one large 15, one small 15; lemonade and a coke. $20 with tip. All time most frequent standby. Eat there almost once a week.
Santa Fe Cafe (Rosslyn metro): Not the best tex-mex ever, but we love the friendliness and ingredient freshness of this place. Usually about $50 after meals and one or two of the slightly better margaritas. Sometimes we just get a plate of nachos (less than $10) and a couple of margaritas. The daily specials are usually rather interesting as the regular menu is standard tex-mex fare. I mean, they host a local scrabble club. What's not to love? Occassional standy-by.
Lebanese butcher and cafe (Falls Church, need car): Just there this past weekend and our standard was $32 after tip. Hummus, kibbeh, and the grape leaves/lamb platter, and two sodas. But everything I've had there is so good. Weekend errand standby.
Maneki Neko (Falls Church; need car): Our new favorite place. And they serve decent ramen! two ramens, beer, and a starter might put us back $40+. They also have good lunch and dinner bento box specials and $1 sushi happy hour. And the staff are so nice. Great neighborhood place.
Listrani's (Courthouse metro): Pizza and 1/2 carafe of wine around $40.
Ragtime (Courthouse metro): Food can be total hit or miss bar food, but the Happy Hour micro of the month is a great deal at $2.50 a pint until 8 pm. That and the spiced shrimp on Tuesday "raw bar" night.Last time we were there: 4 beers; basket of shrimp and mussels on special; and a burger with fries was $30.
Marvin: We've already been there 3 times since it opened and will be going back again soon. Love the beer, love the fried chicken and waffles, mussels with ale/bacon/leeks, and various starters. $60-$80 depending on what we have.
Royal Mile Pub (Wheaton metro): What a great neighborhood place. I like the pub salad with beets; great fish and chips; interesting daily specials; etc.. Can't wait to try the Irish breakfast some weekend. About $40 to $50 depending on what we have.
Takajin, I am with you on Pho 75, my fave is their Tai Nam Gan, all sorts of fat, tendon and brisket, and the best beef broth/stock! It isn't as good as it used to be but it is still better than any other Pho place inside the Beltway.
And the Ragtime comment, Tuesdays seafood specials as 'hit or miss' really sums it up. I go there every other Tuesday, and the oysters vary from pretty good to rather bad in a sandy or not so fresh sort sort of way. But the shrimp is usually good, the mussels can be delicious, and the clams are fair, but what is odd is that every time we go there, one of the four main items is decidedly bad, but never the same one... And that goes for the micros as well, December & January were really good but February was way too malty.
Agree that the food can be hit and miss at Ragtime, but sometimes have great live music. I caught a band there recently called One Ton Won Ton that really rocked the house.
But I digress, food-wise in I like Sakana in Courthouse; Taqueria el Poblano and Oriental Gourmet in the Harrison-Lee strip mall; Layalina in Ballston (though that gets expensive because we order so many mezze); Listranis (but we usually get it delivered) and Jetty's in Upper Georgetown for weekend lunches on a picnic bench.
We really need to get out to Layalina's. I've seen it mentioned several times on this board.
Re. ragtime: In addition to the Tuesday night raw bar, we learned that they also do half-price apps all night on Wednesday night. Half-price bar apps. and $2.50 microbrews are a fantastic deal.
We were shocked at how inexpensive the bill was when it arrived. Again, the food is nothing to go out of one's way for, but a perfectly acceptable neighborhood bar and a better option than some of the places in that same neighborhood (Summers, Four Courts, etc.).
Well, we went to Layalina's tonight and just wanted to give an updated comment. Mediocre. Vegetarian sampler had nothing that was more than ok and the Baba was terrible. How can anyone screw up Baba and Hommos? The Chicken Fatteh - ok. Pita was dry and tasteless.
Also the waiter was blah too. The two guys who filled our water at least smiled.
I liked the place - the old chairs and cushions and we went at 5 and so it was nice and quiet.
re: Bob W
The explanation I heard about the name is much more prosaic. When the first place was under construction -- I believe it was the Bethesda location -- the owners were too poor to afford a new sign. A fish place named Moby Dick had been the former occupants of the space so the Kebab folks simply painted the words "House of Kebab" onto the existing sign. By the time the Moby folks could afford a new sign, the bewildering name was indelibly associated with the place.
re: Indy 67
Here's the link to the article and the paragraph that matters.
Yes, Jahanshah did eventually tell me the story behind the restaurant's name. In the shah's time, one of the biggest kebab joints in Tehran, right near the American Embassy, was called Moby Dick, apparently because the owner just really liked the book. So for Iranians, the name Moby Dick is a little in-joke.
For lunch (McPherson Square) - Juice Joint, California Grille, Cafe Asia (though we're going to stop now because we've had two really bad experiences), Italian store on weekends/if I'm off work for some reason
For dinner (I'm in Courthouse, boyfriend in Falls Church): Guajillo, Crisp and Juicy/El Pollo Rico, Four Sisters, Hong Kong Palace, Piratz Tavern, Sweetwater Tavern, Il Radiccio (always when parents are in town), El Paso Cafe, Irish Channel Pub if we're going to a hockey game. But we try to mix it up as much as possible. We constantly attempt to go to Old Hickory Grille but half the time we go it closes early.
For happy hour: Post Pub, Mio, Chef Geoff's (though not as much as I used to).
Moby Dick - the ULTIMATE in cheap eat dining! Amazing chicken kabob and rice at a very cheap price
twelve48- or something like that? A Thai place on Wisconsin Ave near Tenley. Good cheap Thai.
2Amy's - we're addicted. Amazing thin Neopolitan pizza.
Yosaku - good quality sushi at a good price (for when we don't want to spend an arm and leg and Sushi Ko).
Breadline - wonderful sandwiches for a downtown lunch
Teaism - very nice bento boxes for lunch.
Armands - for when we want thick crust pizza. Also a good all you can eat lunch bar deal during the day (great in winter!)
Bistro Du Coin - for french onion soup and french fries.
Lebanese Taverna - the market in Arlington or take on on Rockville pike. Great takeout chicken.
Zorba's - nice solid greek or mede.food. It's all order and sit (no waitstaff) - so it's a good cheap eat.
Pollo Saborro (sp) in Adams Morgan area. Looks especially good now that Pollo Rico burned down!
susabella, i remember it clearly. i can still see the layout. it was a quintessentially '80s restaurant. it had good food, didn't it? and didn't they have another location in bethesda. later on? but my best memories there are au pied de cochon and the affiliated aux fruits de mer next door. food, political intrigue, a scene. i wish it were back, so i could venture back into g-town more often.
there was also an excellent place for late night gyros on m street, near where fattoush is now. the best gyros. anyplace in g-town still do GOOD gyros?
these days mr. alka and i go to raaga indian resto on rte 7, near columbia pike for lunch buffet and for dinner (fantastic tandoori lamb chops and boti kabob, chicken reshmi, aachari chicken), ravi kabob for take-out, or ghin na ree for thai lunch special, or thai square (when i can find parking), or pie-tanza for pizza, and oriental gourmet. three of those are in the harrison street shopping center. oh, and linda's cafe on lee hwy, between glebe and george mason for a good, cheap, diner breakfast.
Alkapal--You and I seem to eat in many of the same places. My family and I love Raaga, particularly the tandoori lamb chops and the chicken tiki masala. We live within easy walking distance of Pie-tanza, where we eat weekly, and Oriental Gourmet, where we eat less often. We also love the sandwiches at the Lebanese Market and Tarbouch (decent gyro), both on Lee Highway. I am glad to hear that Linda's Cafe is decent. I'll have to give it a try.
yes, alkapal, they had another location but I think it was in Chevy Chase on the corner of Wisconsin and....well, across from Mazza Gallery. All your restaurants sound sooo goood, I'll have to remember them the next time i'm in Virginia.
Oh, and I do remember that late nite gryos place, it was the first time I ever had one!
susabella, were you at georgetown u, also?
and cabster, we need chowhound logo lapel pins, don't we? like the elks, or the lions, we'll be the hounds! get on it, chow! a great conversation starter -- and fun way to meet other hounds, putting a face to a screen name and avatar! i'd love to run into another poster in a resto!
but maybe not this particular one: http://stwallskull.com/blog/images/700_ucvm_21_vigilanthound_small.jpg)
the origins? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-61QQr...
not too flattering as a mascot!!!
hmmm, maybe i need to rethink this.....
hong kong palace and x.o. taste near seven corners have supplanted oriental gourmet.
ghin na rhee is still on my great lunch deal rotation. soup, small spring roll, iced tea and big plate of drunken noodles (or several other entrees) all for $6.45. Yeah! it's run by a nice family, and their dinner is good, too. but because the lunch deal is so good, that is when i go.
anthony's in falls church is where we go for pizza nowadays -- ask for extra crispy crust. don't forget to make sure they write it down, because if they don't "get it right" the pizza just can't be "fixed" to make it extra crispy. (also, leaving off peppers helps keep the crust crispy).
(a good haircutter is roza at hair cuttery, btw). harris teeter's butcher is really nice and helpful -- in fact their whole meat department is nice.
Thanks for the tips. For some reason, we still have not made it to ghin na rhee, even though we can easily walk there. I used to go to Anthony's in FC years ago when I worked in FC. Now we just walk over to Pie-tanza in the Lee-Harrison strip--always get the pizza "well done."
oriental gourmet has good quality food -- but i guess we've been exploring more regional chinese. i'd bet they'd fix what one would describe as authentic regional cuisine if one knew how to request it. their ingredients have always been fresh. i love their firecracker crispy shrimp and their szechuan crispy shredded beef (or is it called "szechuan shredded beef proper"?).
someone on yelp says it's like a typical taiwanese resto -- and also like a&j's in annandale. i don't know.
but, sadly, nowhere i know of around here serves "the rungus of old people's head" http://www.engrish.com/2009/11/fresh-...
Dissy Issie's, reasonable beer and food- entree's can get pricey for everyday but there are a lot of good comforts. My Fav's: Blackened Tuna over a salad w/ blue cheese crumbles or on a kaiser roll, Veggie Quesidilla, Tuna Club on 12 grain, brussel sprouts!, steamed shrimp plus a pitcher of Stella to share. My Husband's fav's: The Burger, The Meatloaf, Chicken Dumpling Soup, Chicken Salad Club on Wheat toast.
It is our home away from home.
If not there then we are likely at Rocket to Venus: Whimpies, beet salad, brussel sprouts, sezchuan noodles
300 W 30th St, Baltimore, MD 21211
Normally we only go out once a week to a high end place and cook at home the rest of the time BUT i do love Pho ahn hong i think it's called, in the Springfield Plaza and i usually get that for lunch on the weekends. Sometimes i hit the salad bar at Whole Foods after work if i don't want to cook. And Chicken Out has good rotisserie chicken and some healthy sides for about $9 a person. On the rare occasions that i eat out for lunch during the week, i like Pick a Pita and Au Bon Pain in the Fashion Center in PC.
Lunch during work (Crystal City): Neramitra Thai and Urban Thai (if not those I usually do one of the many chains, like Chipotle or Au Bon Pain)
Dinner (live in Alexandria): Overwood. Really, its the only place we do regularly for dinners. Reasonable prices, awesome food, good location.
220 N Lee St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Neramitra Thai Restaurant
2200 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA
Urban Thai Restaurant
561 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202
live in Ashburn:
Foster's grille monthly- i need my burger fix
Cafe Rumi weekly- excellent coffee and european stuyle pastries that are too decadent to describe
Cafe Opera- I'm no a fan of Asian food but my son and huisband are, so we go there 1-2 times a month.
Not Your Average Joes- about monthly- their bloddy marys are excellent and the menu so diverse- we can all eat happy no matter what we're each in the mood for.
Sunrise Deli (really cheap, good eggs/bagels)
Greek Deli (EVERYTHING!)
Naan and Beyond (samosas, lamb biryani)
CF Folks (chicken salad platter)
Dinner (live in Chinatown):
Full Kee (vegetables/cantonese style shrimp dumpling soup)
Chinatown Express (noodle soup)
Matchbox (mini-burgers and pizza)
Hank's Oyster Bar
Red Hot and Blue
(Laurel Tavern may join the list, I haven't tried them since it changed hands)
Dutch Country Farmers Market on 29/198 in Burtonsville (but moving to just around the corner at 197/198)
Roy's Place when we're at my parents, even if nobody else likes it. I can't help going there - I've got a sandwich named after me.
Guess I'll add my two cents.
Barnsider Diner most Sunday mornings for breakfast. Yeah, I'm fancy.
Mediterranean Bakery (on Pickett) for some manoush.
A&J-Annandale on the weekend for some Chinese breakfast. Or, if it's a bit later, anything from the regular menu.
Pho Hot usually for some banh mi bo kho.
But, I have to say that my one, true regular haunt I've established in my short time in DC is Gamasot in Springfield. I think I'm there once a week at least to get my sulleungtang fix.
Gamasot is the one on Hechinger Dr, but there's (sadly) no longer a Ba Le in that plaza. (Also sadly, Pho Thang Long has also left that plaza, and its replacement isn't very good.)
The SLT is their specialty--I think "Gamasot" is actually the word for the pot that seolleong-tang is made in--but they also do a good bibim bap and a nice mandoo gui.
Given our odd eating hours (usually 11pm after the closing of our restaurant, here is our go to list:
Yechon for BBQ
Irene's 3 on Georgia for Pupusas con todos and good tacos and incredible sopa de res
Bob's Shabu Shabu
Hollywood East on the Blvd
Full Key Wheaton
Old Ebbitt for Oyster Happy Hour with Joe at the Oyster bar itself. A pretty regular Tuesday happening.
Lunch stops include:
On the way into the restaurant...
Max's for schwarma & felafel
Woomi for AYCE lunch buffet
When I'm coming back from Restaurant Depot or on the way to the Signature...
IL Mee for AYCE bbq buffet (I do the sushi and the BBQ and almost none of the cooked food)
Dean, owner of Dino
Add Pollo Sabroso-The Country Chicken on Grandview in the Wheaton Triangle area. Great rotisserie chicken and the yucca and Casamientos are both really good. They ahve the Bolivian pastries with beef stew which are heavy, juicy, messy and fun. The Carne Asada and Chorizo are both good grub, and come together on a combo plate with industrial tomato filled pico di gallo. The tortillas are heavy and dry and suggest that Pupusas may not be great. Beers are varied South American brands. The place is dirt cheap and a real working man's hangout. Service is fast and well meaning if a little lacking in the English department. Love it! Going to try their Cevice and some more of the Bolivian specials, and the Lechon Asado advertized as Saturday & Sunday only. Lound music. Or should I say LOUD MUSIC!
A year and a half later, here is my current list...
Honey Pig BBQ & Chul Pan, a veritable temple to pork belly
Odgadgib for soups mainly, & killer seafood pancake
Il Mee - still good for sushi and even better for BBQ. The fresh beef is best (fatty slices of deckel)
Wheaton/North Silver Spring:
New Kam Fong- excelent roast meats, cooked dishes & soups.
Kabob n Kahari
Ruan Thai back on the rotation and better than ever
Irenes - Avoid Friday and Saturday nights when the loudness of the music can be detected with a Richter machine.
Asia Foods- steam table Thai in the back of this tiny supermarket, best around 11:30 am when everything is fresh. CHEAP!
Max's - same shopping center as above
Vit Goel Lighthouse Tofu but not as often as I should!
Tacos La Placita for the best tacos I have found in DC and MD.
La Sirenita for cevice (tho filed with krab)
La Fondita for the Lamb Soup
Old Ebbett for half price Oysters only
New Big Wong Chinatown for seafood
- Saveur India (in Bethesda on Wisconsin by the Trader Joe's): amazing samosas and curries.
- Quarry House Tavern (in Silver Spring): half-price burgers on Monday, am especially fond of the black n' bleu.
- Mandalay (also in Silver Spring): only been once, but return trips are inevitable.
- Lebanese Taverna (any location): kabob sampler platter.
Capitol Hill/Eastern Market: Bread and Chocolate (for brunch), La Lomita Dos (on Independence, NOT the one uptown), and that little pupuseria (what's it called?) on the corner past the market.
Mount Vernon Square: Rinconcito, Old Dominion (sushi and a sports bar, together at last!)
Downtown: Nooshi Noodles, Julia's Empanadas, Mama Ayesha's
Rosslyn: Santa Fe Cafe (not haute cuisine by any stretch, but good and good service). Cafe Asia is off my list. I don't feel like I should have to convince my waiter that I am his equal just so he'll refill my drink!
Au Bon Pain - I love their soup!
Open City Diner
Lebanese Taverna take out
Vace (I'm lucky enough to live 2 blocks from Vace)
Ivy's Place (Thai in Cleveland Park next to the fire station on Conn. The peanut sauce is unbelievable)
So's Your Mom (in Adams Morgan on Colombia next to Bank of America)
Mr. Chen's in Woodley Park - really great Chinese!
I don't think I have any real "regular" places anymore (a lot more dining at home these days), but when I used to live at the south end of Old Town Alexandria, Southside 815 was my go-to place when I was too tired to eat at home or walk further than a block.
Apparently I was too tired to eat at home or walk far with some regularity; even though I'm not the sort who orders the same thing every time I go somewhere, after a while the waitstaff at Southside had seen me often enough that could relatively accurately predict what I was going to order before I had even figured out for myself exactly what I was in the mood for on a given day.
It now occurs to me that it's been months since I've been there. I may have to go grab a Dixie Chicken Sandwich sometime soon...
815 S Washington St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Another little gem in that area that you might not have heard of is the Old Town Deli at King & Washington--a great little hole-in-the-wall greek deli; their "Sampler Salad" in particular is very nice (although you're pretty much guaranteed to have the smell of the rich garlicky oil dressing clinging to you for a while afterwards).
That's another place that I need to return to...
Old Town Deli
109 N Washington St, Alexandria, VA 22314
work when I don't brown bag it:
au bon for soup
Juice Joint for everything
Will sometimes trek to Breadline.
mei wah take out. addictive, have had to curb said addiction.
Spices. So good. Love the rainbow salad.
2 Amys/Cactus but avoiding weekends before 8pm.
When I make the trip, Wegmans roast chicken.
Other than that, I rarely eat out anymore.
Lunch during the week:
Au Bon Pain
Sometimes I'll get a hotdog from one of the street vendors.
After work/happy hour:
Capitol City Brewing Company (decent appetizers and half price draughts)
Johnny's Half Shell, for half price oysters
Hard Times Cafe (decent wings and half price beers)
I really need to check out the Old Ebbit Grill's oyster happy hour one of these days after work.
Three Brothers, Greenbelt. Usually on Sunday afternoons, for beer and pizza. The surly bartender often gives me a discount of forgets to put a beer on my tab. They also have decent oysters and steamed shrimp.
Faidley's (I like eating at their raw bar after my band plays Lexington Market)
Pho VN One
Ledo's (the original one, near UMD)
There's probably more, but that's all I can think of now.
Well I tried to link it but the link isn't opening right on their website:
Here is the oyster happy hour which includes the whole raw bar:
It should be here under the Afternoon Delight (it is their happy hour, but it tends to start really early and they call it Afternoon Delight), but isn't working. I think most of the time it is like $5 for: burger and fires, crab artichoke dip?, and a bunch of other stuff I wish the link would open.
Here is the link in case it starts working: http://www.clydes.com/main/Whats_Happ...
At work in Rockville/Bethesda:
- Mediterranean House of Kabob on Rockville Pk (make their own pita -- get it with the hummus; friendly staff)
- Tara Thai
- Panera on S. Jefferson (been to others, but this one's better)
- Popeye's (I know, I know, but when I'm running late...)
- Chipotle (as above, but their steak salad is great)
- Mamma Lucia for pizza when I'm feeling particularly self-indulgent
At work in Alexandria (King St):
- Asian Bistro
- Cafe Salsa (service can be slow, and they seem reluctant to handle takeout, but the food's very nice)
- Also stopped in just recently at the new bakery place there at King and Washington across from Bumblefish -- don't remember the name, but it was quite good... took a while to get the sandwich from the kitchen, but tasty anyway.
At play in Dupont Circle... a group of us pick a place once a week after church... here is our list of "regulars:"
- Banana Leaves
- Thai Chef
- La Frontera Cantina
- Sette (good pizza, a bit upscale)
- Cafe Odeon
- Anna Maria's
Hi there. I'm in Montgomery County so most of my favorites are along the Pike or in Silver Spring/Wheaton.
Pho 95 and India Grill at Ritchie Plaza on Rville Pike--stop by for gelato at Sam's (if you have room!)
Yuan Fu Vegetarian--Rville Pike and Wooton Pkwy
Hollywood East in Wheaton
Silver Fountain in Aspen Hill
Thai Derm in downtown Silver Spring (across the street from Mandalay)--got sick of waiting for a table at Mandalay and finding out that they are out of special Thursday chicken....
For comfort food: Florida Avenue Grill near Howard University and
Parkway Deli off East-West Highway at Grubb Road
I live in Dupont/Adams Morgan so I care about price and proximity and is something I don't usually make at home
1) Mama Ayesha's is reasonably priced and has a nice atmosphere on calvert before the Duke Ellington Bridge
2) Etete has the best ethiopian food in D.C. on 9th and U
3) Thaiphoon has good drinks and a fun atmosphere
I live in Rockville, and my regular places are Black Market Bistro, for their cornmeal crusted oyster appetizer, it's better than Blacks in Bethesda (sesame fried oysters), I also love Black Market's antipasto, their salads, soups and the turkey panini at lunch. Addies, love the mussels and just about everything else, love the back outside dining area. Benjarong for their crispy duck, Yekta for their excellent kabob koobideh, kashk e badamjan, mast. Black's in Bethesda for their bread basket, coffee service, fried calamari, mussels and burgers.Mandalay in Silver Spring for the catfish with tamarind.
-Woomi in Wheaton
-Ruan Thai (Wheaton)
-Pho 75 (Rockville)
-La Bamba (SS)
-Ghar-e-Kabab (SS--wonderful buffet!)
-Bombay Bistro (Rockville)
-Bobby's Crabcakes (Rockville)
-El Tapatio (Gaithersburg)
-Chick-Fil-A (anywhere I can find one. Best chicken sandwich...ever!)
-Dino (DC)--I'm addicted to the wild boar pasta!
-Passage to India--still the best, IMO.
-Mia's (Bethesda)--maybe not quite 2Amy's, but it's very good and much closer to home.
-American Flatbread, when we have time to go out there.
Thanks for remembering so many other places that I just love:
Passage to India, I agree, it's the best.
Mia's, you're right, very close to 2Amy's but easier to get a table and closer to home.
Bombay Bistro, nice and cozy, good food
Bobby's crabcakes, wonderful
I must have gone on a bad day to Ruan Thai. Took a friend, was so looking forward to great food and was a bit dissapointed, will have to give it another chance.
Have to get to Dino's, heard so much about it and follow his threads here.
Moby Dick House Of Kebob (DELICIOUS kebobs/pita/rice/hummos)
Several locations in MD/DC/VA
Chicken On The Run for Peruvian chicken & mashed potatos(Bethesda)
Matchbox for mini burgers & apple salad(DC)
The Burger Joint- All burgers/fries are great! (Bethesda)
Chipolte & Popeye's for fast food
Quick near home (River@Western):
Moby Dick, Booeymonger, Hungry Tiger, City Lights of China, Meiwah, Vace, Haandi (buffet only)
Nicer near home: Mia's Pizza, Jaleo Bethesda (Penn Quarter one is better) Levante's, Olazzo.
Silver Spring: Mandalay, Addis Ababa, Quarry House.
Arlington: Guajillo, Ray's, Faccia Luna, Bebo, Minerva (again, buffet) Dairy Godmother for frozen custard, Taqueria Poblano.
Special occasions: Zaytinya, Zola, Komi, Farah Olivia.
Hong Kong Palace - we always get the Chengdu Spicy Cold Noodles. Recently, the fried chicken with spicy tangy potatoes and the garlic flavor fried flounder have been repeat favorites.
Chutzpah for Reubens and occasionally the Koufax.
China Star for Beef Stew in Hot Pot, Crystal Shrimp, and Salt and Pepper Eggplant.
Of course, in the summer, we've been grilling at home a lot more, to the extent that a friend calls it "The Backyard Grille".
lately it's been Cafe Rumi. whether i want a European pastry or omelet for breakfast, or a roast beef and brie or fresh chicken salad sandwich at lunch, OR authentic Italian Gelato for dessert, I find mywself here at least once a week. $4 to $8 is what i spend depending on whether or not I add a perfectly blended coffee drink or smoothie.
It's in Ashburn, on Waxpool... www.caferumi.biz
can't say enough good things about it!
Breakfast - Eggspectations (Silver Spring MD or Rockville MD) or Original Pancake House (Falls Church, VA or Rockville, MD). The Chesapeake omellete is amazing at Eggspectations. Both are higher priced breakfasts...$12-18/entree
Coastal Flats (Tysons/Fairfax Corner) - best crab cakes (I'm a MD girl all the way - trust me!) the shrimp & grits is really good too. I love all the salads $12-20/entree
Sweetwater Tavern (Merrifield/Tysons/Sterling) - any of the entree salads are fabulous. Banana Pudding is to die for. so is the chocolate waffle $12-20/entree
La Sandia (Tysons Corner) - new mexican/tequila bar restaurant - chips & salsa is amazing. Chicken mole is fantastic. tequila tasting was fun!
La Flor de la Canela (Rockville Town Square) is a FABULOUS Peruvian restaurant - get the stuff yucca, the lentil stew is GREAT! yucca fries are devine.
Pho 75 (multiple locations)
Chipotle & Panera are my "go to "fast food" " locations
I'm a poor grad-student foodie (who has no issues about driving for food)
mondays at Capital Alehouse in Fredericksburg - Dollar Burger Night!
American Flatbread in Ashburn - everything about the place is perfect.
Bombay Cafe ( 11213-E Lee Hwy. Fairfax ) - $5dollar all-day indian buffet = WINx2000
Volt in Frederick - Express Lunch pick3-for14
701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Pho14 on Park Road in Columbia Heights (grilled shrimp on vermicelli)
The Heights (incredible happy hour everyday 4-7--ginger calamari, burgers)
Nam Viet in Cleveland Park
Cafe Deluxe (fab steak frites)
Commonwealth (grassfed burgers to die for)
Marvin (their ribs and chicken with waffles will change your life)
Sticky Fingers (ok, not a "restaurant" per se, but I go there at least a couple times a month for their Little Devils)
Bardeo/Ardeo (excellent fish, small plates)
3228 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
this is just a reply to topic of restaurants you frequent. If I really have a craving for chinese, probably the best I've had is House of Chong in Glen Burnie. They definitely give you more than enough and for your meal and the next day or you can share 1 order with 1 or more other people. It is not fake chinese but the real thing. Everything is good there, people come from miles around to get their food. If I want italian, I go to the Olive Tree or Romanos italian grill in anapolis and for a great sandwich, I go to Chaps in Baltimore, MD.
G&A Coney Island Restaurant best hot dogs in baltimore fresh cut french fries home made soups and breakfast whenever you want it everything is homemade and the owner is hands on its agreat joint in highlandtown canton area definetly affordable to eat there everyday it was also featued on the food network DDD
For everyday eating, I assume that we're not picking the 2941s and Inn at Little Washingtons. I am from Reston, so you will see that my picks reflect that:
1) Kabob - Moby Dick (Metro DC) and Reston Kabob
2) Thai - Thai Luang in Herndon
3) Fried Chicken - Pollo Campero in Herndon (there are other locations)
4) Sushi - Ariake in Reston
5) Pizza - Tony's in Fair Lakes and Ciro's in Centreville
6) Delis - The Deli in Herndon (K-Mart Plaza), Chutzpah in Fair Lakes, Primo Italiano in Reston and The Italian Store in Arlington
7) Burgers - Five Guys (Metro DC)
8) Afghan - Panjshir in Vienna
9) All American - from seafood to burgers to salads, I find myself at any of the Great American Restaurants quite often.
10) Chinese - Peking Gourmet Inn in Falls Church/Bailey's Crossroads
Ariake has been mentioned a few times as of late. I've not been but I live around the corner. Any must-have items or avoid-at-all-cost items?
Oh, and for Kabobs, have you had Charcoal Kabob? I vaccilate between them and Reston Kabob (but definitely hit Charcoal when looking for sides).
re: Dennis S
The Guy at El Charro (the name he used while a taco wagon) is Jose. Just the other day I came across his business card from before the store front. The older woman is his Mom and the older guy who drives the Dually is his Dad. Great guy.
When at the wagon, he used to not work: Mondays; Snowy days; one week per year when he went back to Mexico. I know for certain he didn't take one day off the first two years after opening the storefront. While I still stop by, I don't live close anymore and only make it there about 8 times a year.
As he built his storefront we talked about pressure he was getting from the ABC store and other restos near Ft. Myer, as well as costs, paperwork, etc, in setting up a business. Again. Great guy. And superb food. Try the Chorizo.
El Charro Restaurant
933 Fairlawn Ave, Laurel, MD 20707
re: Dennis S
TECC is the best for tacos in the area, bar none. And Jose is the hardest working man in the business. I have worked a bit deeper into the menu there, trying the fish sandwich, good, the veggie burrito, ok, the tamarind drink, good for a change, the pupusas, ok to good, but the real reason to go there is to buy the great tacos, lengua, chorizo, pork are all great, chicken is ok but the salsa and the shredded radish and stuff makes even the chicken a delicious meal. Excellent stuff and you can carry it to the Lyon Park picnic tables for a fairly nice picnic outside.
Nearly 2 years after my last post on TECC, I have come around to Steve's point of view on the cabrito/goat. Delicious! But I am not as enamored with the chorizo now. But TECC is still my favorite taco around. I went to La Mexicana in Alex on the recommendation of several people on this board, and it was good, just not as good as TECC.
re: Dennis S
Baltimore--I live in the central/downtown area, but will drive for great deals and such.
Attman's--trying to cut down on my Attman's habit, its no good for me.
Chicken Rico--Peruvian chicken, Highlandtown on Eastern Ave
Tortilleria Sinaloa--tacos, Eastern Ave in Fells Point.
Sandwiches from Eddie's Market.
Trinacria on Paca
Mekong Delta on Saratoga + Cathedral
Nick's Seafood in Cross Street Market
Abbey Burger Bistro in Federal Hill
Rocket to Venus in Hampden
Holy Frijoles in Hampden
Dizzy Izzie's in Remington
Iggie's Pizzeria in Mt. Vernon
City Cafe in Mt. Vernon
Mekong Delta Cafe
105 W Saratoga St, Baltimore, MD 21201
Abbey Burger Bistro
1041 Marshall St, Baltimore, MD 21230
4800 Hampden Ln Ste 103, Bethesda, MD 20814
908 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211
The pork is marinated in Apple Cider and is like heaven on a plate. I usually get the taco special and just eat the pork right off the taco, the serving is enormous! But the taco does come with a marinated habanero cabbage salad and gouda cheese on the taco. This place is mexican at its heart, so the margarita/ tequilla menu is extensive and the chips and salsa are amazing! If you have not checked out Nacho Mamma's, do so as quickly as possible!
I can't say when the special is offered, I have gone twice this month and it has been on the menu, but have not seen it before June...
I'm in South Arlington, used to work in Old Town.
1. Guajillo - we are here regularly. I get their enchiladas with mole. Ask for one of each - beef, chicken and cheese. DELICIOUS. Also good are the fish tacos and shrimp ceviche.
2. Thai Square - usually get shrimp pad thai and tofu (bean curd) with chili peppers and basil. The mango sticky rice too!
3. The Burger Joint - mini burgers and fries
4. Matchbox - fire and ice pizza, mini burgers, the salad with bacon and pasta
5. Jaleo - always get the gazpacho and many other treats. Watermelon salad is fantastic too.
6. Whole Foods - Sushi (brown rice spicy shrimp roll), salmon cakes, olive bar.
7. Sunday Brunch - Boulevard Woodgrill - French breakfast - french toast, eggs, bacon. Luna Diner in Shirlington - make your own omelet and cinnamon raisin french toast.
8. Tacklebox - in Georgetown. Grilled tilapia, grilled asparagus and mac n cheese.
9. Northside Social - in North Arlington - Chocolate oatmeal cookie and ice coffee
10. Teaism - Dupont - Bubble tea and salty oat cookie
11. Dehli Dhaba - Arlington. Take out bar with salad and naan.
12. Haandi in Falls Church. My absolute favorite Indian.
13. Layalina - Arlington - I get the eggplant with beef dish with warm yogurt and pita crisps.
14. Taylor Gourmet - H Street - for their vegetarian sub with roasted red pepper, basil and fresh mozzarella and Herr's chips.
2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009
3217 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
1222 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA 22046
1116 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
5216 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205
The Burger Joint
106 N Washington St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Some of my regulars...
Maiwand Kebab- Arundel Mills, best lamb and chicken kebab around. The hot pita and cilantro yoghurt sauce is outstanding.
Joe's Noodle House- my favorite place in the area, bar none.
Black Hog in Frederick-very good dry rub ribs and chicken wings, half price happy-hour drinks.
Al Forno in Frederick- Best pizza around.
Thames Street Oyster House-my new hangout in Fells Point. Great fish, lobster roll is deadly delicious. Grapefruit vodka crush takes the sting out of winter.
Grace Garden-Ft. Meade, my favorite long lunch
Polock Johnny's-the one on Rt. 1 for a super Polish w/sauce. Just have to have one every now and then.
Gunnings in Hanover for crab cakes and the flounder sandwich for an amazing 7 bucks.
Mario's and Italian Store in Arlington for the steak and cheese and the Capri, respectively.
XO Taste, Hong Kong Palace at Seven Corners-dim sum, roast pork, duck and XO lobster.
Double-T Diner in Frederick-breakfast and bloody Marys.
Simple guy, simple tastes.
In Silver Spring.
Oriental East-i go for dim sum at least once a month
Moby Dicks-not so much for me, but it's my husband's favorite takeout
Kao Thai-for when we don't feel like getting in the car
Ruan Thai-all the times we don't eat kao thai
Ren's Ramen-i would eat here every day if i could. Unfortunately, no one else I know likes Ramen so I only go when I eat by myself :(
Marchone's-amazing subs and the frozen food options have a special shelf in my freezer
Paccis-i will ask for pizza and wine on my deathbed :)
Taqueria Nacional-they know my name there
Hank's Oyster Bar-i have a special dance I do when my husband says "let's go to Hank's for dinner"
Sichuan Pavillion-i only go with Chinese people
Spices-i just love this place. everything about it is my favorite friday night dinner out.
We live in NOMA/Atlas District/H St. NE area and work between Dupont and Foggy Bottom. Just about everywhere we go is $20 or under/pp. for a meal, excluding drinks. Places we often go just for a bite:
-BGR Joint (Dupont) and the newly opened BTS (Foggy Bottom). To me, their burgers, buns, and toppings are nearly identical. I'm not too crazy about the fries in either location. I usually get a cheeseburger, but some of their special burgers are good, too.
-Matchbox - good for brunch, entree salads, pizzas, mini-burgers (rarely order those, but they're so good)
-Pho14 (Columbia Heights) - this is kind of a haul for us, but sometimes we make a special trip. We order pho, bun, and banh mi most often. I prefer banh mi at Pho House in Germantown, but that's not even metro-accessible
-For a quick Chinese craving, we usually go to Eat First in Chinatown. They have decent Americanized dishes and some good authentic ones, too (such as shrimp-paste stuffed eggplant). My current fave is Sichuan Pavillion in Rockville, but that's further afield.
-For drunk food: Clyde's in Chinatown. I order the buffalo chicken tenders off menu. Or Hill Country for their chili nachos and amazing smoked wings. I would even seek out the latter sober.
-If I just feel like a steaming bowl of carbs, I'll go to Dupont Italian Kitchen for their spaghetti bolognese.
-Sakana (Dupont) has pretty decent sushi and tonkatsu curry.
-Bistrot du Coin (Dupont) for eggs benedict. They're good and pretty fast.
-Red Rocks (Columbia Heights) for pizza and chicken caesar salad. Rumor has it they're coming to H St. I'm stoked.
-The Big Board (H St. NE) for slightly overpriced but tasty, creatively topped burgers and crispy shoestring fries
-Ripple (Cleveland Park) for whatever specials look good (usually some kind of fresh pasta), the cheese plates, and the composed vegetable plate
-Pearl Dive (14th St.) for happy hour shrimp po boys and Addie's mussels. Hear the fried chicken is excellent, too.
-Sundevich (Convention Center) for expensive but really quality, large sandwiches. I like the Istanbul.
-The Passenger (Convention Center) for duck lettuce wraps
-The Queen Vic (H St. NE) for fish and chips and some fancy pub grub and massive, delicious desserts (the sticky toffee pudding and bittersweet chocolate tart are standouts)
-Shawafel (H St. NE) for a quick falafel or shawarma (my favorite, though, is Shawarma King in Columbia Heights/Adams Morgan)
Crystal Thai (Arlington): drunken noodles, pad see ew with beef, Guay Tiew Kaw (or something like that--not on the menu--just ask for it--chow foon noodles with chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, awesome), spicy eggplant with shrimp, pad lard na, pad lard na talay.
Piola (Arlington): greco pizza, honolulu pizza. I love the mozzarella they put on the pizza. Love the crust too.
Boulevard Woodgrill: burger, pulled pork sandwich.