Arlington Recs near Westin
Looking for easy-access eats for both lunch and dinner near the Westin on N. Glebe. I will be there for 5 days/nights and may not feel like heading back into DC for meals every night. Moderate prices preferred, but will splurge for something special. Don't mind a metro stop or two away, either.
As for type of food, prefer something that reflects local flavor...coming from Seattle, I get lots of good Asian, so looking for something other than that.Thanks!
Grand Cru as good as it is for dinner, is even better for lunch, I really like both crab sandwiches, the chicken skewers and the canoli is good, for dinner they have some really good entrees like the Spanish chicken and duck entrees. I didn't like their croque monsieur though, it is one of the few things I didn't like there. I think it is even better than Willow.
There is a little red food cart in the square called Pupatella which has really great pizza (I know that sounds odd, but it really is great) and sausage and pepper sandwiches, and rice balls, all sorts of good stuff.
Also not too far away about 5-6 blocks is El Pollo Rico which has amazingly good peruvian chicken, it is a bit of a die, but the chicken is well worth it.
I second Tallula and Eat Bar next door, which is a bit more casual but still really good (best burgers in my opinion), Tallula has some really great entrees, and I love their cocktails, they have the second best bartender in the DC area in my opinion, well apparently others too since she just won an award for her skills, and the sticky toffee pudding if you like that kind of thing is very good.
Their is also PF Changs a chain yes, but it is right there and has some good stuff, I like the lettuce wraps and the side of asparagus.
Rio Grande is ok, not bad for the area, I like Guajillo in the courthouse/rosslyn area much better, but it isn't bad, especially the fajitas.
I do like Willow, but not near as much as Tallula or Grand Cru, they have good flatbreads and a good steak entree. And their outside seating is nice.
In Clarendon there are a lot of good options: Sette Bello has good Italian, I especially lke their risotto, although their pizza is good too, Eleventh St. Lounge has some very good food, although it is a bar in VA so there is smoking allowed.
Liberty Tavern is really good, their entrees are very well thought out, the portions are huge, but really good. I had the Vermont pizza which was really good, and the trout and a bit of the steak entree all really good, they are open for lunch too, but not all days, I forget which ones they are closed.
I also think Harry's Tap Room is pretty decent, not up there with Tallula or Liberty or Grand Cru, but very good solid food.
In Courthouse/Rosslyn there is Guajillo for Mexican, Rays the Steaks for really good steak, and he has a new burger place that is getting good reviews but I haven't been to yet.
I forgot to mention if you just want a sandwich for lunch there is a Marvelous Market a couple blocks down on the street between Fairfax and Wilson, I forget the name.
Also Earl's Sandwiches in Clarendon is very good. I gather from your post you probably don't have a car, or if you do you may not want to have to get it out of the hotel, but the Italian Store is in driving distance and has great Italian Cold Cuts. It is kind of one of the local favorites in the area. Also there is Tarbouch and Lebanese Market Taverna both decent for Middle Eastern. Much better than Aladdins, but not convenient like Aladdins.
For a nicer meal, I highly recommend Tallula. It is about a 3 minute cab ride from Ballston or you can take the metro a couple stops down. Also connected to the restaurant is Eat Bar which serves great small and medium plates which are very reasonably priced. Same chef as Tallula as well so you get the same great quality.
That's the Ballston area, so you can search on Ballston and get comments on just about all the restaurants in the area, of which there are many.
Willow is a "nice place" (really)
Rio Grande Cafe is one of the better Tex-Mex places in the area
Grand Cru is mostly a wine bar with decent salads and that sort of thing
Big Buns - a good burger if you hit it right
Aladdin - good wraps and OK kabobs, good lunch
Vapiano - mediocre Italian, decent pizza, unique ordering system (worth a visit for that)
Just to name a few