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Where to eat in/near Sterling?

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We'll be in Sterling for a week, starting Saturday, & will have to eat out most nights. Any recommendations, not too high priced but decent? I haven't been able to find much help on this board!

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  1. Two things would help - one being a more exact location and your circumstances (with car or dependent on others), and second being your taste in food, etc. For the first point, Sterling is a somewhat nebulous term for location.

    That all being said, within reasonably easy striking distance:
    - Sweetwater tavern for good American dinner or lunch (and beer) - it's a brewery and part of a local chain - hard to go wrong here.
    - Good So. Mex food, including tacos - the place under the clock in the clock tower near Rt 7 and Dranesville road (behind the Chik fil a).
    - Thai - across the road from the clock tower is Thai By Thai. In Herndon is Tarin Thai, Thai Three Sushi and Thai Luang. Any of the mentioned is good. Food wise I prefer Tarin by an edge over Luang; service at Luang has been poor for me recently but Luang has the best atmosphere followed by Thai Three Sushi.
    - Herndon and Reston are both close, and search on the board for Dulles as well. If you're West of 28 on 7 then you're also close to Ashburn and Leesburg, search for those as well.
    - There's Windy City Redhots hot dog truck on 7 west of 28 that has got good reviews here (I haven't had it yet - full disclosure)
    - Great bar, and way above average bar food at Jimmy's in Herndon. I'd rec the beef on weck or cheesesteak for sandwiches, and the wings are good (Jimmy is from Buffalo and is likely to be there). On Friday's they do a really good fish fry.

    Any more and I'd be diving into one of the areas mentioned above (Reston/Herndon, Leesburg, Ashburn, the even more nebulous Dulles). Give more info and we can respond a bit better.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dennis S

      We wanted to go to the Wine Kitchen in Leesburg the other night but the fire at the chinese restaurant next door prohibited us. I don't know if they had any sustained damaged or if they are closed, but I really want to go there, so it might be worth a call to see if they are open and everything is ok. We ended up at Vintage 50 which was good, not extremely creative, but very solid in terms of food. You get a salad with your entree, fyi.

      In Reston I really like Passionfish, some things are a little pricier, but it is really good. There is also supposed to be a good seafood place in that area called Hooked.

      I also have heard good things about Willards BBQ in Sterling, but I am not out that way a lot.

      Also I am not sure if you are hoteling or what, but the food at Landsdowne Resort was surprisingly good when we were there.

      1. re: ktmoomau

        I actively disliked Willard's bbq. Ribs were oily and tasted baked. The burnt ends were sawdust dry and pre-tossed in a thick bbq sauce. Based on only one visit, probably my worst bbq experience in a long, long time.

        1. re: Steve

          I'd urge a return visit at some point for burnt ends and brisket. The pulled pork is very passable, and I've not had any other meats.

      2. re: Dennis S

        I'm curious as to why the service was bad at Thai Luang?

        1. re: ichrysso

          Lunch service, 3 times in a row. The taller, seemingly main lady who runs the dining area. Cold, distant, slow. The thing that killed it is that for lunch I'd been a regular - nearly once a week, coming in early (since I'm a lone diner, I come early or late to keep tables open). Had been ordering the same dish. When the dish came out I nearly had to get out of my seat to catch her in order to tell her it was the wrong dish - and she challenged me! When the correct dish came back, it was about half the usual portion.

          I used to rec the place, take people there, and either go with family or get take out with regularity. But, with Tarin Thai only a bit further, and Three Thai Sushi and Thai by Thai doing a decent enough job, who needs to put up with such arrogance?

      3. My apologies for being so late in thanking everyone for their recs. We didn't make it to any of them but will be back in the area sometime. Thanks to all.