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Help! Lunch in Herndon?

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I'm taking a new hire to lunch in less than an hour. I had planned on going to Tyson's but now have to stay in the Herndon area (near Worldgate and the Clock Tower). Where can I take him that's a little more upscale than all the pho shops around town, but that doesn't cost more than $20 per person (no alcohol)? Considering Sweet Basil Cafe but if there's something better I can try on the company dime, I'm up for it!

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  1. Ice House Cafe - though I've not been now in a couple of years.

    Thai Luang.

    El Manantial or Cafe Montmarte - both in Reston.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dennis S

      Eeek, I went to Ice House Cafe last year and it was really bad. The whole restaurant smelled like an ashtray that hadn't ever been emptied. Food was not very good either.
      What about Hama Sushi by the clocktower?

      1. re: SandpaperTongue

        There had been other reports that it gone downhill, but I thought I recalled some newer ones where it was cleaning up its act (and charging more).

        Used to be a good place around the turn of the century...

      2. re: Dennis S

        You cannot beat El Manantial, but it's in Reston. Its name is "oasis" in Spanish, and it has to be because it's an oasis in the middle of nothing but Reston chains.

        You mention the clocktower, and there's a darned fine Thai place there. Chao Phra Ya is the name, I think. There's also a very good Vietnamese place called Pho 99. But not far from Worldgate is my favorite Italian in the area, Zefferrelli's, and there is not a better veal chop on the planet.

        1. re: Dennis S

          Has anyone been to Cafe Montmarte lately? I went there for brunch last year as had one of my neighbors. The service was maddeningly slow and the food only okay. I had a good lunch last week at Euro Bistro on Elden in Herndon. A month or two ago, my husband and I tried Ice House Cafe. My husband liked his dinner, but I didn't care for mine. So a split decision. We do like both the sushi and cooked food at Yoko. Good shumai.

          1. re: Martha

            Oh yeah, Euro Bistro - a good rec. I've been a few times this year to Cafe Montmartre. One time the service was slow. The lady I consider the head waitress (always wondered if she was an owner) wasn't there - a whole staff of people I'd never seen before was there instead. Even that time, though, the food was still good.

        2. I second Hama Sushi. Even if you don't want sushi, they do have some good lunch specials.

          1. Thanks for the suggestions. I ended up going to Sweet Basil which was pretty decent - had a yummy softshell crab sandwich and a reallllly good red/yellow bell pepper soup. My new hire enjoyed his grilled Cuban as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: elaineathon

              I had the same issue a few weeks ago. We went to Luciano's and really enjoyed it.

              http://www.lucianosherndon.com/index2...