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Happy Hour near I-95

g
Gina Miller Feb 18, 2009 08:41 AM

I need to drive up from Richmond, VA to Northern Virginia to meet up with some friends. They live all around Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria. I'm looking for a Chowhound worthy spot that will not be horribly inconvenient for anyone (especially me!). Can anyone recommend a good (non-chain) place for a cocktail and a meal close to I-95? Is there anything in Occoquan - as geographically speaking that would work well.

  1. chowser Feb 20, 2009 08:47 AM

    Right outside Occoquan is Dixie Bones barbecue. It can be hit or miss but generally pretty good. I don't know how they'd accomodate bigger groups since it's mostly booth seating. There are people who rave about how it's the best in the area. I've had decent and really bad (don't go late).

    Really convenient is Lorton and there are quite a few new restaurants there and they're all off 95. My favorite Indian restaurant is My Karma. It's dark inside but the food is great and not too heavy. In the same shopping center, there's a Japanese place, Tokyo Inn. It's passable food-wise but does a fun show. There's also Glory Days, a step up from Friday's, in the same center. Good burgers, too many TVs.

    There is also Pane e Vino for Italian and it has pizza made on a wood burning stove, good pasta, excellent rolls. Their specialties are excellent. Across the little street is Fireside Grill. When I tried it, I prefer the Great American Restaurants suggested above, but I've had quite a few people tell me that they've completely revamped it and is excellent now. Fireside is a bigger restaurant, modern, great place for a big crowd. Pane e Vino is cozy, smaller Italian place but they can do groups. If you're looking for a place to sit and have a cocktail and food, I'd go to Fireside Grill.

    http://www.firesidegrillva.com/

    http://www.paneevino-ristorante.com/main.html

    http://www.mykarmabistro.com/

    Further north, I'd try Mike's of the Great American group, in Springfield. That's right off the beltway but kind of confusing in that area, getting around. Good food, good drinks but if you want to chat, I find it too loud.

    1. w
      weezycom Feb 19, 2009 03:58 PM

      Maybe not what you're looking for in terms of happy hour atmosphere or particular cuisine, but Taste of Tandoor in Woodbridge gets good buzz from the locals -- they say if you want it spicy you need to ask for it REALLY spicy, as it is tweaked for typical Amurrican tastes. But it has a full bar, sounds like it will be quiet enough for good conversation, and the food is fresh.

      Address: 13836 Smoketown Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22192-4210
      Phone: (703) 897-7200|
      Website: http://www.tasteoftandoor.com

      1 Reply
      1. re: weezycom
        g
        Gina Miller Feb 20, 2009 08:09 AM

        thanks for this suggestion. May not be right for this event, but I am always looking for a good place to eat in that area. My next IKEA run will include a stop here.

      2. j
        jongchen Feb 18, 2009 11:35 AM

        I really like http://www.greatamericanrestaurants.c... good food and good service. Right off of 95 in the "mixing bowl." Not super easy for your friends given that they have to head into the "mixing bowl" to meet you, though they can take some back roads.

        1. n
          nickdanger Feb 18, 2009 10:27 AM

          Coincidentally, I went to Richmond last week for the day, visited Carytown and had lunch at Buzz and Ned's. On the way back to DC was looking for what you are, and couldn't find anything worth stopping for. You could try Dogfish Head in Falls Church, but that may be too far north.
          http://www.dogfishalehouse.com/
          There is a tavern in Occoquan that might suffice, but cannot say I've been there.http://www.occoquaninn.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: nickdanger
            g
            Gina Miller Feb 18, 2009 10:40 AM

            that's funny - I live only a few blocks from both Carytown and Buzz & Ned's. Glad you were able to stop and enjoy Richmond. I might have to go farther into NoVa - was hoping to avoid the mixing bowl but it may be inevitable.

            1. re: Gina Miller
              n
              nickdanger Feb 19, 2009 09:11 AM

              I will also confess I went to Sally Bell's Kitchen, courtesy of Roadfood. I can recommend Mike's American Grill as well, though not as much as some of their other places, like Sweetwater's. The GAR group prides itself on diner satisfaction, so if there is anything you have a complaint about, they will remedy it. Also, if they still have them, ask for the aussie (sp?) rolls in your bread basket. Yeasty goodness

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