Just moved to Cherrydale, Arlington area
I just moved to the Cherrydale neighborhood of Arlington and I'm looking for tasty places (shops, restaurants etc.) close to home. I'd love ANY recs or ideas for the neighborhood or even places in the Rosslyn or Falls Church or Ballston areas. Thanks!
Welcome to Arlington!
Your question is pretty broad and you might want to try doing a search. To get things started, here are a few places that come to mind off the top of my head:
--El Pollo Rico or Super Pollo for Peruvian-style chicken
--Guajillo (Mexican - Rosslyn)
--Rays the Steaks (Rosslyn)
--Tallulah/Eat Bar (Clarendon)
--Nam Viet (Clarendon)
--Italian Store (Lee Highway)
--Arrowine (Lee Highway)
Yes, welcome and good eating! I'll add to the list and second some suggestions:
-Arax - Armenian cafe on Wash Blvd. - you'll need a car, but it's worth the drive for the cardamom (sp?) coffee alone.
-La Union Bodega - Lee Hwy and N Taylor; right at the top of the Cherrydale neighborhood; great selection of Central American eats and ingredients.
-Marvelous Market - just opened in Ballston; on Randolph (?) and I foget the cross street; swell breads, pastries, etc.
-El Chaparral Bodega - Wilson Blvd; btwn Courthouse and Clarendon; as with La Union, and even better meat selection.
-Arrowine - wonderful selection and great staff. Ask for Aldo, a Triestian gent with a wide knowledge of charcuterie; everyone else knows his/her stuff too; the wine staff is great too; I've never been steered wrong there.
-Greenberry's Coffee - Wilson Blvd; just West of Rosslyn; roomy, cozy, and great staff; very fresh and tasty coffee (personally, I recommend you skip Murky Coffee, but you'll get suggestions to go there I'm sure)
-Crisp & Juicy - in the same strip with Arrowine; great birds, great sides and cheap
Enjoy and let us know where you get to.
re: Cocinero Cubano
Cocinero Cubano is right on about La Union, a small market with a counter in back. Maybe the best Salvadoran food in the area, especially the veggie enchilada, one of my very favorite things to eat. Also tamales are some of the best around. All selections here are good.
At Heidelburg Bakery, go on Saturday afternoon when they are grilling wurst outdoors. The baernwurst is top notch. If you can get it on logenbrotchen (pretzel roll), so much the better. If not they sell the pretzel rolls on the inside.
Ghin Na Ree - I recommend the beef selad and the shrimp wrapped in wonton skins.
Taqueria El Charrito Caminante, 2710 Washington Blvd, goat or chorizo tacos.
El Pollo Rico, of course.
Cocinero Cubano and Steve are right about La Union, I go there for lunch, get a corn tamale with sour cream, pupusa revuelta and an empanada, $4.50. Delicious
Ghin Na Ree is good, not great, but the price is right and the people are very nice. Not as good as Thai Square, but unfortunately, my last two lunches at Thai Square haven't been as good as they used to be either. Still very good, just not great. The crispy squid just isn't crispy, it is more chewy.
TECC on Washington has phenomenal tacos, lengua and pork are my favorites. The tortas with avocado is very good too.
Pho 75 is very good, not great, but I still like their Pho Tai Nam Gan a lot. Only place I've had it better was Pho Pasteur in Saigon.
Guajilo is ok, nice atmosphere albeit it a bit noisy, ceviche was good, mole was fair, good staff.
Village Bistro next door doesn't get much press but I think they have well prepared food at good prices. Ravioli is pretty good, bow tie pasta as well. Very good mussels.
Chapparal Meats on Wilson (?) has a very good butcher, cuts rib eyes for me, not as tender but very flavorful.
Ragtime at 14th & Courthouse has a pretty good pub menu, my favorite is Tuesday nights for Seafood Night. $3-$4 for 6 oysters (surprisingly decent last week, despite the lack of an R in May), or 6 mussels, or 6 clams or a 1/4 pound of shrimp, if I remember correctly. Micro brew for $2.50 this month is a fair lager.
Ravi Kabob at Glebe and Pershing is phenomenal, still like the old one better, tho the new one is cleaner and roomier, Karahi for two is spicy enough to bring a little sweat to the forehead, just right. Good kabobs, chickpea curry, spinach with cheese, nan.
Nam Viet at Clarendon and Minhs at Courthouse are both solid Vietnamese restaurants with deep menus and good staff. Might give the edge on food to Minhs and service to Nam Viet. Unfortunately, I usually get the bbq pork on skewers with vermicelli, and it is good at both places. Tried the fish in a clay pot at Nam Viet, only ok. Spring rolls good at both.
Someone mentioned Lebanese Butcher, it is further out, but the lamb shawarma and ouzi are very good, hummous is really tasty, grape leaves fairly good, the sound of the saw nextdoor in the butcher shop going through a bone, priceless...
Mmmm... I've not had that, but it sounds awesome. We usually go there for their white chocolate mousse cakes for special occasions (that is, when *I'm* not baking!). :) Their site is kind of sparse, yes... probably because they're SO popular they don't think they need to put much more energy into advertising online (which is a mistake, IMNSHO as a web developer by trade). Maybe we could help them with that in exchange for some goodies... :)
Just a few blocks away you'll find Lebanese Taverna Market with lots and lots of sublime Middle Eastern goodies for take-out and a few tables for eat-in meals. Do a search for lots of specific recommendations on their food.
Also not too far, you have gotten some great suggestions:
Lebanese Butcher- best Lebanese in the DC metro area, Falls Church.
Lost Dog Cafe- excellent for sandwiches and take out.
Another good place for sandwiches is Earl's Sandwiches in Clarendon.
Carribean Grill- less peruvian chicken like el pollo rico more carribean, but amazing with great sides like cuban rice and plantains.
I also like Sette Bello in Clarendon for a little more upscale.
Eleventh St. Lounge is a great bar with incredible food for a bar.
For brunch Harry's Tap Room has good brunch, so does Tallula mentioned above, awesome pancakes.
Thai Square is wonderful for Thai.
People have posted good recs above!
You really are not in a bad spot for great food not too far away, if there are any specifics in genres of food you are missing let us know.
right in your immediate neighborhood (spout run pkwy/lee hwy/kirkwood):
THE ITALIAN STORE for super sandwiches, italian deli meats and cheese, wine groceries, and pizza!
LA TARBOUCHE across the street (near rite-aid) is so-so, imo. others here like them.
heading west on lee hwy:
near the 7-11 and fire station (before quincy -- on left -- and military rd. -- on right) PASHA is mentioned favorably on this board, for middle eastern and pizza, but i've never been.
PORTABELLOS also gets good reviews.
The Thai in that same little building is just so-so.
Further down the road, on the left, at lorcom lane, is the LEBANESE TAVERNA MARKET. We get pickled turnips and garlic sauce there, along with lavash bread and fresh pita. Their prices for these things are reasonable. If you want to splurge on tabbouleh and the like at $7.99/pound, that is probably dependent on whether you can make your own (much more inexpensively). we like to get a roast garlic and herb chicken from harris teeter grocery (further down the road, on harrison street and lee hwy), and use leb taverna's garlic sauce and lavash, with the turnip pickle. (sundays the chicken is only $4.99 vs. regular $6.99). we also get the kibbehs at $1.75 each. shwarma, imo, is "not so much". nice olive selection. they have a nice little middle eastern products grocery store. cookbooks and sweets, too!
PASTRIES BY RANDOLPH at Lorcom and Old Lee Hwy has great bread and pastries. i think they have the best local croissants. their almond/marzipan coffee cake pastry ring is out of this world. breads go fast. (HEIDELBERG BAKERY further west on lee hwy, is great for breads, cakes, german pantry items. did our wedding cake, and it was fantastic with marzipan, btw)
ARROWINE next door has good cheese and pate. they also have a regular wine tasting, and you should get on their newsletter for deals.
Heading further west on lee hwy,
METRO 29 DINER at lee and glebe has 6 am to late night service, and huge breakfast omelettes. run by a greek family, the food is reliably quite good -- not gourmet, mind you, but quite good. mr. alka likes the steak brochette, and the double burger platter. i love the spanakopita, which comes with a terrific greek salad. their pastries displayed in that case are really tasty.
heading west on lee hwy, west of glebe, on left is
LINDA's CAFE : good cheap diner breakfasts, (like 2 eggs, toast, breakfast sausages or bacon, hash browns for $5.99). we like to sit at the counter, and observe the fast cookin' short order cook team in action. btw, linda is really a person, and is very nice. introduce yourself. they also have burgers, gyros (which i have yet to try) and close early-ish -- around 7 pm?
CARIBBEAN GRILL at george mason drive and lee hwy, has cuban sandwiches that are pretty good, but the star are the latin american/cuban side dishes. (btw, there next to the 7-11 at that intersection is Sam Torrey -- shoe, luggage, etc. repairs. the man is good, but his name is not Sam Torrey, btw.)
at harrison street:
GHIN NA REE thai resto has a great lunch special, and parking is not difficult like over at the culinarily superior THAI SQUARE over on Columbia Pike (near Glebe).
PIE-TANZA has excellent thin crust wood fired pizza with the freshest ingredients. very busy place. go earlier or later to avoid the families with lots of happy munchin' kids.
ORIENTAL GOURMET the chinese in that same strip center is pretty good, too. also have a lunch special. often in the mail, you will get coupons in a coupon magazine for additional deals.
going from your place down glebe rd (at pershing) is the pakistani place RAVI KABOB. two locations, pretty much across from each other. VERY BUSY with the pakistani community. parking is an issue, but try parking behind the bank there at pershing -- but only in the evening.
in ballston area, we like RIO GRANDE CAFE for tex-mex. combination platters named "jalisco" or "guadalajara" are DA BOMB! great fresh chips and a dynamite salsa while you wait. go early or late to avoid the wait.
RAY's THE STEAKS back toward rosslyn (on wilson) is really good, too. superb value for money. lots of chatter on this board -- and well deserved.
near courthouse metro, the thai resto in that arlington county government building is good.
near clarendon metro: WHITLOW'S ON WILSON. esp. monday night half-price burger night! good beers on tap.
last tip: buy a good map, as arlington streets, while MOSTLY apparently rationally and sequentially named, can really mess up your sanity because of the way the naming system was imposed on pre-existing streets. streets that you assume are continuous are not necessarily so. forewarned is fore-armed! read this: http://www.civfed.org/streets.htm
Just to add to the suggestions that everybody made, Cassat's is a fun kiwi cafe in Lee Heights plaza with Arrowine, Pastries by Randolph, and Crisp and Juicy which were mentioned before.
not in the neignborhood, but not too far is my favorite local indian place, called "raaga" over on rte. 7, next to duangarat's thai resto. (you would travel down glebe to carlin springs road (in ballston) and then all the way to columbia pike, which then will feed you onto rte. 7.)
excellent tandoori lamb chops, reshmi kabob, chicken aachari, chicken tikka masala, saag, boti (lamb) kabob.... nice folks, too. excellent lunch buffet, and every day is different selection of dishes. usually, though, there is always a tandoori chicken or chicken tikka. usually a nice saag or palak paneer. a couple of veg dishes, and a curry of some sort. also a little dessert (though nothing spectacular really.) my favorite days are wednesday and friday. usually on friday i get palak paneer AND chicken tikka masala on the buffet. trust me, you will really enjoy it!
afterwards, you can walk around and browse at the nearby borders bookstore (in the next block, to the east).
sara, welcome to the neighborhood. i don't know of much new since may. you've got a long list to try already! ;-)
start with the capri sub at the italian store http://italianstore.com/index.html :
Prosciutto (a delicately cured ham) blended with genoa salami, provolone cheese and spiced capacola ham.
get the hard roll. full condiments. get a large and share. such a deal!
my friend is addicted to their white pizza. i like their pizza, but the crust can get a little gloppy in the middle with the large "suprema". good quality toppings, but i just wish the crust held up. ideally, i'd like the italian store meats/toppings in a pie-tanza crust (crispy)! at pie-tanza, i like the "mediterranean" http://pie-tanza.com/menu_pizzas.html
in fact, for the price of one 20" extra large at italian store, you can get two 12" pie-tanza pizzas. different styles, though.
Here's a few more for your list:
Restaurant Vero (http://www.restaurantvero.com/RVCOM/) at 5723 Lee Highway is really good, moderate prices, good ambience and excellent food.
In Clarendon, we frequent the Boulevard Woodgrill (http://www.boulevardwoodgrill.com/Bou...) - ribs, burgers, steaks, good beer list, casual dining, Fascia Luna - pizza and pasta, and Whitlows - neighborhood bar with comfort food (http://www.whitlows.com/).
A little bit of a drive from you is Duangrats (http://www.duangrats.com/), our favorite Thai place.
Ray's the Steaks at 1725 Wilson Blvd. Arlington has excellent steaks, though they do not take reservations and you often have to wait awhile.
At Eat Bar- I normally can't help but get the full size burger, it is so good, their meat itself to me tastes so much better than anywhere I have yet to have a burger. I also like their fries, I like some of their small plates- the bite sizers, I like the risotto fritter, the grits, they have a medium dish of pork belly with the grits that is really good. I am sure their pasta special is probably good, depending on what they have, some I have had were really good. And their cocktails are sooooo good. Avoid the onion rings though.
At Liberty- the Vermont pizza, I didn't like their other pizza as much, this one was really good. Also their mountain trout entree if you like trout is really good (they have huge entree portions). So is their steak entree, it might be even better than the trout, I really like their sauce on it, and the pot of stuff is really good, I can't remember what it is and I don't know if the online menu is up to date or not, because the trout isn't on it, so they have either changed the menu since like a week and a half ago, or it isn't up to date online. I also have enjoyed the mussels, but they aren't as good, as say brasserie beck. And they hae a good grapefruit cocktail. Also as a note, the amish chicken looked amazing at the table next door. I don't normally get something like that out, as I can make it home so easily, but I told Fiance we are going back for that. The entrees are huge though, we took some home, and split the starter.
I think all the recommendations here are great, just a few to add
Pie Tanza on Harrison and Lee Hwy, You will be pleasantly surprised I was, Everything is tastier than you would expect. It is more family style italian they have a Brick Oven so the tastes are very much what you would see at a high end place without the pricetag.
Pollo Rico in the Clarendon area is By Far the BEST Peruvian Chicken in the area.
Ray's Hell Burgers in Rosslyn is awesome.
Anyway Arlington has plenty to offer so you are good to go!