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Any places I am missing in Loudoun County?

Just moved back to Western Loudoun County. Any restaurants I am missing? I know the big names (Tuskies, Lightfoot, Potowmack Farm, etc..). I am more interested in the small, ethnic casual restaurants that are worth a try! Thanks!

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  1. I haven't been to any of the following, but two of the three have gotten a lot of good reviews here, and I think the third has as well.

    Windy City Redhots (http://www.windycityredhots.com/) for Chicago style dogs

    The Cajun Experience (http://www.cajunexperience.biz/) - the owner comes on here occasionally and seems accomodating and open to ideas.

    There at least used to be a Thai place in Leesburg in a gas station. I had seen it one time after eating at Lightfoot and walking around, posted a question here and I believe more than one person responded that it was good. Sort of in the Tuskie's area.

    1. Paeonian Springs Market is now home to Mighty Midget bbq. I don't think there is a place to eat there, but it is a great food option.

      1. I don't know much about Loudoun but we had a great meal at Magnolia's a few months back.

        1. The Thai place at the Liberty gas station has reopened and is very good especially for take out. It's okay for eating in and does have a limited beer and wine selection but you are eating in a gas station. Get the duck with basil.

          Another great find is Savoir Fair in Round Hill. It's not an ethnic restaurant but serves very fresh local dishes with a menu that changes by the week. http://www.savoirfarelimited.com/rest...

          1. Jenny - Look for Palio to open soon, might already be open on 2 Market street in Leesburg. I have heard good things from people that know the chef.

            Also, I would go with reiflame's thoughts on Magnolia. Always great.

            3 Replies
            1. re: themeatguy


              Please elaborate, we're all dying to know whats going on with Leesburg's newest restaurant.

              1. re: ciaohounder

                Well it's an Italian place and from what I hear (and it's all good) expect this place to be a player when it comes to foodies making choices on where to dine in leesburg.
                Now when I say italian, I mean good Italian not spag&mBalls. I mean fresh game, veal and fresh seafood. Something along the lines where they have a CHEF...not a kitchen manager. Go and see it. I haven't yet, but plan too soon.

                1. re: themeatguy

                  Il Palio, named after a famous Italian horse race. The space is a big upgrade from the previous restaurant that occupied the building, they have a young Italian chef who serves inspired cuisine, I especially liked the eggplant appetizer, delicious. I had a nice bottle of Allegrini Pallazzo della Torre for 50 dollars, and the host Nino is very accommodating. The place is going to rise in popularity very soon and the owners plan on opening up the rest of the building in the future. Go there before it becomes a reservations only type of place.

            2. Have you tried the French Hound in Middleburg? Mrs. W and I are planning a return visit. It's the perfect winter-time restaurant, very cozy.

              I also second Magnolia's at the Mill (in Purcellville, for those who don't know where it is).

              1. The Wine Kitchen It is the best in the area

                1. A bit further out is Hunter's Head (Upperville) and Girasole (The Plains). Technically Faquier County, I think, but on the verge of Loudoun.

                  1. If Mexican/Latino food suits you and you like to eat it in a small family-like restaurant (it looks like a bigger kitchen!) then, La Chocita is for you. Check it out at http://www.mexicanrestaurantleesburg..... Delicious and affordable! They don't serve alcohol.

                    1. I've lived in Western Loudoun for the last 7+ years and have been to quite a number of places. When I first moved here from the CA Bay Area I read an article in the Washington Post referring to 'The culinary wasteland of Western Loudoun'. Needless to say I was close to distraught. Things have improved radically in the last 7 years.- here are some of my favorites:

                      1. Magnolia's - Purcellville. Consistently good, nice selection of beer on tap, nice atmosphere. Go there a couple times a week when I just don't feel like cooking. They are just about the only game in town in Purcellville. Have tried every other place in town with the exception of Mom's Restaurant which is set to open in the space formerly occupied by Mario's Restaurant. Keep your eyes peeled for a new burger joint going into the old firehouse, read that it's scheduled to open this spring.

                      2. Savoir Faire - Round Hill. While we've only been there for dinner once, which was very good, we did have them cater our wedding reception and the food was fantastic. The owner is a very nice lady and you should be well taken care of.

                      3. (you already are familiar with this one) Lightfoot - Leesburg - A step up from Magnolia's in menu offerings and price. Nice atmosphere and consistently good food. The sweet potato fries are great.

                      4. Paeonian Springs Market - Paeonian Springs - great bar-b-que. You can sit outside on benches under umbrellas when the weather is nice. Brisket and pulled pork is great although lately the portion sizes are getting smaller and smaller which has me pretty concerned.

                      5. Aiyara Thai - Leesburg - Great food, great service, great prices. Consistently great and flavorful. Recently opened in the space formerly occupied by Zefferelli's. If you like Thai, go to this restaurant.

                      6. Giovanni's - Leesburg - great for pizza.

                      There are a number of places that are very good and I could keep going; here are a few more:

                      La Lue, Puccio's Deli, La Chocita(great Peruvian/Mexican), Hamburg Doner, Red Kabob, RJ's Deli,

                      1. Magnolia's is good for a nicer meal. For more casual suggestions:

                        (1) My family likes to hit Fireworks Pizza in Market Station in Leesburg. Good, artisinal (I guess you call them) pizzas and great microbrew beer selection. They source from local farms like American Flatbread, but we like Fireworks a little better (maybe because it's a more comfy dining room compared to the sterile, strip mall feel of AFB). This is a solid place. Always been treated well when I've been by.

                        (2) Just about every person of Indian decent I ask about Indian food mentions "the place out in South Riding." I forget the name b/c South Riding is super far for me and I never go out there. But they all mention it and say they would rather go there than the places downtown. As far as Indian buffets, the one at Banjari in Ashburn is far superior to the 5 or 6 I have tried by work in Alex and Arlington.

                        (3) I second the recommendation for Paeonian Springs Market. I hit it after a hike on the AT. Funny thing was I was the only one eat the BBQ. And it was quite good. But about everyone coming in was buying these jumbo beef hot dogs. There must be crack or something in them. I will try that next time.

                        (4) Anothai in Broadlands is worth the trip. Some outstanding curries there. Green curry was outa site! For other Asian I also make the trip to Pho Bistro in Ashburn. My favorite broth of all the pho joints (although that can be a rather subjective thing).

                        (5) I have yet to find acceptable sushi in LoCo however.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: goldenbk

                          The Indian place in South Riding is Rangoli. Agree -- it's very good. I've been meaning to get back there.

                          1. re: goldenbk

                            Grand Thai in South Riding and MoCA Asian Bistro in East Gate (just east of South Riding) both have good sushi.

                          2. I am from the Chicago area, originally. The Wine Kitchen is a small plates place with very good food and local wines. The Cajun Experience has absolutely terrible food. Tuskies is okay, pricey, but they use local products and are adventurous. Lightfoot never changes their menu, but the food is consistently good, great desserts, sometimes awful service. The Thal restaurant in the Liberty gas station is really good, but it is like Thai home cooking, not your usual pad thai place. La Chocita is El Salavadoran, has good pollo con braza, but it's filthy in there. Hamburg Doner (Leesburg-@ Mighty Midget) is fun for falafel and doner, it's gotten pricey and quality has fallen a little, good beer, nice staff. BZ's Barbeque (used to be @ Mighty Midget) has moved to Paeonian Springs Market, he still has the best smoked pig and chicken around. American Flatbread in Ashburn has really good artisanal pizzas. Fireworks in Leesburg also has pretty good wood-fired pizzas. Vintage 50 in Leesburg has a varied, changing menu, the food is usually very good, and as everywhere here, service is spotty.
                            If you need a hot dog fix, I agree, Windy City Red Hots is the place for a Chicago style dog lover. Nice people, the food is freshly cooked.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: meffie

                              Speaking of Vintage 50, we had brunch at Vintage 51 recently and it was very good.

                              1. re: meffie

                                Can you give more specifics on The Cajun Experience? I've only heard good things, and it's on my short list. Would like to know more about your view. Thanks!

                                1. re: Dennis S

                                  The Cajun Experience was disapointing. Picked up a to go order of 1 chicken gumbo, 1 seafood gumbo, 1 oyster poor boy and 3 beignets at a total cost of $44.00. The gumbos amounted to about a pint each but most of it was soup and rice. The oysters were so heavily breaded it was hard to find them. The flavors were okay but we were all still hungry after we had eaten. The gumbos came with a side of potato salad and crammed in the container with a small slice of garlic bread leaving a soggy mess. Fortunately we had the beignets which were very good and filled us up.

                                  I would try it again but I wouldn't have high hopes.

                                  1. re: ditsyquoin

                                    I wrote a fairly long recap of it in the Cajun Experience thread back in sept. but here's the rundown:
                                    the shrimp remoulade ok.
                                    the gumbo wasn't good.
                                    The crawfish etouffe however was really, really good
                                    the potato salad was also really good
                                    the bread is a famous NOLA bread that they have shipped in... bakeries in NOLA can't be replicated here. It's the humidity in the baking process.
                                    The beignets were good but not puffy enough

                                    I can see how it wouldn't make good takeout: Too many opportunities for moisture getting in the wrong places (i.e. the bread). I'd rather just eat in.

                                    I would definitely go back and see how it's evolved in the time since then (it was still really new). I had a couple of lengthy phone conversations with Melissa, the owner and chef, for some reason and I was both reassured (because she's really nice and really wants the place to succeed) and also a little dismayed because she said that they were already looking to expand to other locations and have lofty dreams of international locations. Personally I'd rather see well intentioned restaurateurs own a fantastic joint in a sleepy little town than spread themselves all over the place and end up with a chain of mediocre places.

                                    Here's the old thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616146

                                    1. re: kukubura

                                      Agreed on Cajun Experience. We love the owners and the crawfish etouffe is amazing. I pretty much stick with that and ignore the rest of the menu. Gumbo is hit or miss... it almost feels like they don't make the right amount in their first batch of the day and try to stretch it later. I also worry that they are expanding too quickly. They just opened a DC place and are already looking at more spaces. The Leesburg location needs some help (new tables, more consistent food, etc) and I worry the distraction of multiple locations will eventually hurt them all. We'll see.

                                      1. re: tjljsc

                                        i really like Cajun Experience, but your point of being stretched thin is well taken.

                                        My first po boy was on fantastic bread, my second one a few weeks later was on stale bread, and my third one was on bread that just didn't seem right at all (either substituting an inferior bread or past its prime).

                              2. Thai by Thai in Sterling, behind the IHOP on Route 7. Excellent food - as authentic as I've had in Northern VA (and I just returned from Thailand). It is our go-to place. The kids love their noodle dishes, i.e. Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles and Pad See Ew. I love the Tom Yum soup, fried fish with crispy basil (occasionally available), the curries, papaya salad is usually good (I prefer mine usually). I like to try their specials. Had jungle curry off the Thai menu - firey and excellent. Several years ago had a so-so meal, but not since. Always excellent. You order and pay, and they bring it to your table.

                                1. Our experiences:

                                  Good Sushi (and Chinese) in Leesburg at Jasmine in Market Station www.jasminecuisine.com

                                  Wegmans also has good sushi and decent pizza

                                  Great wood-fired Pizza at Fireworks in Market Station, with a small but very good non-pizza menu

                                  Good pizza and italian at Emelio's in Landsdown

                                  Surprisingly good Tex/Mex in Purcelleville at El Rancho Plus on Maple Av (we're from Texas


                                  Very nice Italian food at Ciro in Aldie on Rt 50. Worth the trip.

                                  Lightfoot in the best in Leesburg, followed by Tuskie's. Palio is good Italian, but well overpriced for the food & experience.

                                  Magnolia's was disappointing on 2 visits (entree still frozen in the center in one case)

                                  Clyde's serves pretty average food at above average prices, although the atmosphere is nice.

                                  Blue Ridge Grill great for comfort food & drink at reasonable prices & an informal atmosphere (if you can get a table!)

                                  Same for Hunter's Head in Upperville. Go on a nice evening and sit outside on the patio. Good beer selection.

                                  In general Loudoun has some decent places, but is underserved with fine dining. Eastern Loudoun is being overwhelmed with chain places. Fine dining there = no drivethru window ;)

                                  Blue Ridge Restaurant
                                  2340 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20007

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: BlueRidgePro

                                    Curry Club on Waxpool road in Ashburn/Dulles is a very good Indian restaurant with a very bad name. They have a daily lunch buffet that is usually packed. A good portion of their clientele appears to be Indian, which to me is a good sign.