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Mar 26, 2009 06:19 AM

Looking for restaurant suggestions in the Falls Church Area

Looking for restaurant suggestions in the Falls Church Area

Staying in the area for three nights this week looking for some ideas for dinner or Breakfast, no problem traveling 10 to 15 miles or more for something good, preference Streak restaurant, Indian, or Barbecue, or most things , LOL

Thanks for the help

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  1. For the Barb, the best thing in that area will be Korean BBQ. There are threads on here about that Honey Pig isn't too far away depending on what part of Fall's Church you are in (it can be a big place). Annandale is known for it's Korean and Vietnamese restaurants.

    If you like Vietnamese Four Sisters is very good. Also the Eden Center has a huge variety of Vietnamese restaurants and shops, and would be a good place to eat through.

    The closest high end steak places are probably in Tysons. They have a Capital Grille and the Palm and a few others. You could go to Arlington and go to Ray's the Steaks, it is in Courthouse and very good, depending on what part of Falls Church you are in it might not be too far.

    There is also a lot of Middle Eastern food in the area. The Lebanese Butcher is right in Falls Church and has great lamb, I like the Lamb Ouzi and Lamb Schwarma.

    I also really like to get food at La Carenqua in Falls Church, but the restaurant part is tiny with little atmosphere, so I normally get take out.

    I think the Celebrity Deli is open for breakfast, I like it.

    I also like the Old Hickory Grille there too for down hone kind of food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ktmoomau

      Excellent items at the Old Hickory are the cajun egg rolls, the fried oysters, and the stoneground grits. Unfortunately, the rest of the menu is only ok. Get appetizers here and go next door (Punjab Dhaba) for the rest of your meal.

      Celebrity Deli is atrocious. I used to like it once a upon a time, but they are well passed the the point of caring about what they serve.

    2. hong kong palace -- a szechuan place around "7 corners" intersection of wilson blvd, broad street/rte. 7, and rte. 50
      my current faves: chengdu salt and pepper shrimp
      snow pea shoots with garlic
      chicken with crunchy peppers (now famous) -- on the "specials" board -- just ask
      their braised pork belly is decadent ("home-style pork"?) -- on the specials board.

      near there: eden center for vietnamese. others will recommend faves there.

      raaga indian -- near "bailey's crossroads" neighborhood
      best: tandoori lamb chops, chicken kebab sampler (reshmi, tikka, and one other), saag dishes, lamb boti kebab. skip appetizers.

      steak restaurant: ray's the steaks (a must-try) in the "courthouse" neighborhood of arlington. gotta go!

      red, hot & blue bbq in falls church.
      decent pulled pork, when you crave it.

      thai food, on columbia pike in arlington: thai square (park on neighborhood street perpendicular to columbia pike -- NOT in the parking lot with the boston market).
      or duangarat's on rte. 7 (east of falls church) for what i hear are fabulous kee mao noodles done with duck.

      20 Replies
      1. re: alkapal

        Thanks for both your great reports, I just found Raaga Indian , it look like its on the list , as is Rays The steak

        thanks a lot


        1. re: djr222

          raaga:: def. get the tandoori lamb chops, or the "mixed grill" chicken kebabs. abs. get to ray's. do not pass go....

          do not go to lebanese butcher. stinky and overrated. and there is much better around for the money.

          1. re: alkapal

            Where? Certainly not Lebanese Taverna, Me Jana, or Layalina.

            1. re: bacchante

              And I think the smell has gotten better since they "remodeled" aka painted and spruced the place up. Not that I minded the smell, but I did grow up on a cattle farm.

              1. re: bacchante

                depends on what you want. e.g., kibbeh? i like the gourmet basket in mclean --esp. the vegetarian version.
                tabbouleh -- leb taverna market, also toum, loubiah, hummus, spinach pies, sambousik, shwarma
                kebabs -- ravi kabob (i know its pakistani).

                leb butcher is a butcher, and the odor just taints the dining experience. i found their kibbeh to be meh, and their lamb kebabs gristly. i might be persuaded to give it yet another try IF it didn't stink. plus service was confusing, but maybe they've gotten better on that front.

                1. re: alkapal

                  They have gotten better on service and and as I said I don't think it smells anymore I think their lamb is tender and not overcooked which is hard and they use good cuts normally that aren't tough.

                  1. re: ktmoomau

                    well, kt, maybe we'll give it another shot, then.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      I had lunch at Lebanese Butcher yesterday. The chicken shawarma sandwich is an five-star Chowhound delight. It is a tight little bullet of a sandwich, the pita toasted all brown and crunchy on the outdside, and the garlic sauce and chicken all gooey on the inside. Small enough so that I was almost tempted to get two.

                      In my seven or so trips to LB, I have never detected a foul smell, so it must be something which is there for only a little while and dissipates.

                      1. re: Steve

                        OK! i'll be back.
                        you hounds have convinced me to give it another chance. mr. alka will be happy.

                  2. re: alkapal

                    You are so right about the pumpkin kibbe from The Gourmet Basket. I'll add two more winners from that place: the cous cous salad and the sliced eggplant salad.

                    The cous cous is loaded with goodies -- pistachios, cranberries, lima beans -- that add little bursts of flavor and textural variety. It's much better than the cous cous salad at Lebanese Taverna Market.

                    The eggplant salad consists of sauteed slices of eggplant topped liberally with diced tomato, onion, parsley, and garlic. Sublime!

                    Is loubiah another name for labneh? If so, the store-made labneh at Lebanese Taverna Market is much better than the packaged version sold at the Gourmet Basket.

                    1. re: Indy 67

                      I think loubiah is the green beans cooked with tomatoes. It's quite good at Lebanese Taverna Market. Another favorite there is the garlic sauce--can't think of the name for it. It's great to use with mussels instead of making aioli.

                      1. re: Indy 67

                        loubiah is as bacchante describes it, with onions and garlic, too.
                        the garlic sauce is called toum. yowza is that good stuff!

                        1. re: alkapal

                          the garlic sauce is my sole reason for liking the shwarma at the old GW cafeteria... I would eat it with a spoon...

                        2. re: Indy 67

                          to make your own labneh, just put some good stonyfield farm whole milk organic yogurt in a paper coffee filter in a sieve, then set it over a bowl for a while. even overnight is ok. voilá.

                          1. re: alkapal

                            you just made my world a happier place alkapal...

                            1. re: kubasd

                              yes, there is no reason to buy labneh if you have yogurt!

                    2. re: alkapal

                      thanks Just got back from Raaga, great chow, I did what you said had the lamb chops they were melt in your mouth, I had to chew the bones,

                      once again thanks


                      1. re: djr222

                        dave, that is super, and i'm glad you were pleased! thanks for the report. (and yes, mr. alka gnaws on the bones, too --- much to my "dining sensibilities" chagrin ;-). the meat has a silkiness along with its succulence. the yogurt marinade gives it that quality. YUM!

                        did they bring you the small bowl of saag (spinach, so technically "palaak") to go with your chops? i hope so. they do for us, but maybe that's cause we're long-time, frequent-ish customers. that spinach makes me crave more, and i eat it till i can't possibly have another bite.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          did not have the Saag, I do love thet but as I knew I was going to have spinich at rays tonight I had the black lentals instead , and a side of madras sauce
                          Went to rays tonight, new location, had the Fillet with Mushroom cream sauce a 2 glasses of South African shraz, yumm great place good food

                          The steak was a litle undercooked but so tender, the veggys were good, all in great , just have to make up my mind now where to go tommorow, LOL


                          1. re: djr222

                            hong kong palace. easy! ;-). chengdu salt and pepper shrimp. chicken with crunchy pepper. pea shoots with garlic.

                            then..... a long nap!

                2. Falls Church is ground zero for Northern Virginia Chowhounds. Almost too many great options. Mostly cheap hole-in-the wall places. Please do a search on this board for more info, recs. Below are my favorites.

                  Myanmar - ginger salad, goat curry, pork with fresh mango
                  Luzmilla's (Bolivian) - steak, saltena, humintas, soups
                  Punjab Dhaba - tandoori chicken, dahi vada
                  Lebanese Butcher - shawarma, kibbe, baba ganouj, min-sausages
                  Hong Kong Palace (Sichuan) - chicken with crunchy peppers (not on menu, posted in Chinese only, must ask for it)
                  Bay Lo (Vietnamese, in Eden Center) - miscellaneous salad, bay lo 7 special.
                  Machu Picchu - squid in its own ink, fish encoballado, lomo saltado, chicha morado to drink.
                  La Caraquena (Venezuelan) Arepas domino (with black beans and cheese) or reina pappeada (chicken and avocado salad), tequenones, blackbean soup. Soursop to drink.
                  Breakfast: Baguette Republic, bakery, I think the have a small table in there to eat.

                  Forget about bbq.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: Steve

                    I pretty much agree with Steve's list. But be forewarned that when he says hole-in-the-wall, he means it.

                    Lebanese Butcher is literally that, with the restaurant alongside the butcher shop and a swinging door between. However, it has the best Lebanese food in the entire area. The raw kibbe is as fresh as it gets. Fried kibbe is as light as a feather and not greasy at all. Ditto the felafel. Fatoosh is the best around.

                    Give serious consideration to Myanmar (an inexpensive, regular restaurant)--particularly if Burmese food isn't an option where you live. You'll recognize elements of Indian and Thai cuisines, but it is different. For example, a curry is like neither Thai nor Indian curry.

                    Raaga, listed above is more upscale than Punjab Dhaba. The latter has good food ordered at the counter and eaten off of disposable plates. Large selection of desserts.

                    If you go to Hong Kong Palace, be sure they don't give you the paper Chinese American menu.

                    1. re: bacchante

                      they always give both menus, in my experience. they like to share their best food items, imo.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Well, they have gotten better about giving the "real" menu, but then I've never known whether that is because they recognize me by now. In the beginning, we always got the paper and had to ask. I wouldn't want to recommend the place to someone from out of town and have them end up with moo goo gai pan.

                      2. re: bacchante

                        At Punjab Dhaba, when they put the smoking hot platter of tandoori chicken in front of you, you know you've arrived at the right place.

                      3. re: Steve

                        Steve: I will be an Arlington visitor next weekend. The Peking Gourmet Inn in Falls Church advertises itself as the home of Peiking Duck...any opinion? Looking for a banquet for party of 10 somewhere between Bethesda and Falls Church.

                        1. re: familyguy13

                          Peking Gourmet Inn has some very nice dishes of Chinese-American food. Especially their garlic sprouts, a MUST ORDER. Other good choices are the kung pao chicken and the Beef Proper, two Sichuan dishes that are not served spicy, but are still delicious anyway. Whole fish is necessary in my opinion for a true banquet. The Peking Duck is good, but I don't really think I've had a PD that I didn't like, so I am not opinionated on this subject. Do not go with their set family meals as they do not include their best dishes, although they do save money.

                          1. re: Steve

                            Thanks for the info...I'm already adjusting my menu.

                            1. re: Steve

                              I haven't been happy with the Szechuan Beef Proper the last 3 times I've had it -- they've been putting far too much sugar in it -- the most recent try (a take-out, about 6-8 months ago) had a giant burned caramel mass of sauce. If you do order it, ask for them to reduce the amount of sugar. Their other dishes have been quite good, so I don't understand why the quality of this one has gone downhill so much.

                              1. re: weezycom

                                Probably because popular tastes have changed. One of my regular dinner companions always orders Szechuan Beef Proper when we go there and hasn't commented about the sweetness, but I have. I had a well balanced version at Hong Kong Palace, but you have to know that it's on the "American" menu, not the "Real Chinese" menu.

                                My friend doesn't like to eat at Hong Kong Palace because his favorite dish isn't on the real menu. I can't get him to like Rose either. He always wants to go to Shamshiry (where he always orders the same thing).

                                1. re: MikeR

                                  I hear you on friend's palates -- one of my pals will probably love the SBP even more now, but he will add sugar to McD's sweet tea.

                            2. re: familyguy13

                              Ask for the crispy Jumbo Shrimp and the asparagus and crab soup. Those two dishes are so simple but the quality is hard to beat.

                            3. re: Steve

                              Luzmilla's is open only until 5pm, unfortunately. Instead go for the saltenas ( like a soupy empanada) and humintas (corn cakes wrapped in corn husk) at El Pike if you want to try Bolivian food.

                              1. re: Steve

                                Make sure you go to El Pike early if you want to get the saltenas, they go fast. But even if you get there after they've run out, the humintas are delicious as well (think sweet tamale with just cheese inside).

                            4. In the same area of Falls Church near Raaga Indian, is Bamian, an Afghan restaurant that is very nice.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: weezycom

                                imo, afghan is short on flavor, moisture of kebabs & accoutrements.

                              2. i have to get off my duff and get to "rose" restaurant. LOOK at these kabobs!!!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: alkapal

                                  I've never had a more tender or juicy chicken kebab than Rose's (but we've never been to Ravi's). As of lately, we think Rose is better than Shamshiry and Moby Dick.

                                  1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                    Their kebabs are definitely good. I'm sorry they moved from Falls Church to Vienna. But for someone staying in Falls Church, it isn't all that much of a drive.

                                    I've never tried Shamshiry, but I've been to the other one "in the family" on Old Dominion Drive. Must not have made an impression, because I don't recall it. I've never been that impressed with Moby Dick (McLean) the couple of times I tried it--recommendation from a cab driver notwithstanding.

                                    1. re: bacchante

                                      Are you talking about Amoo's? Is that in the Shamshiry family?

                                      1. re: Indy 67

                                        That's it. I seem to recall that it is owned by a brother or something like that. I could be mistaken.