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Moving to Vienna, need recs

After a decade and a half in Rockville/Wheaton, I'm moving to Vienna, VA. There are positives (No more Mont Co alcohol laws, closer to the Eden Center). There are trade-offs (bye-bye Rodman's, hello Wegmann's). I'm looking to find "replacements" for my good ole stand-bys -- not that I won't be heading back across the river for my favs when the crave hits.

What can you recommend in or near Vienna for the following?

- Peruvian rotisserie chicken takeout (w/ good sides, particularly yucca frita)
- Mexican/Salvadorean
- Chinese (Sichuan and Hong Kong style in particular; also looking for great dumplings)
- Thai (We've loved Natta Thai off of Maple, looking for additional choices)
- BBQ ribs and pulled pork (giving up a 5-minute drive to Urban BBQ is one of the toughest things about the move!)
- Indian


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  1. Vienna isn't strong for your favorite ethnic foods. There's decent eating but not a lot that's really special. Paya Thai recently closed, so that's one good one down the tubes. There's a Tara Thai in town that's dependable, and Born (also Thai), which I've only eaten in once and don't remember, but keep telling myself that I should try it again.

    Anita's is good for a very specialized regional Southwest cuisine that people looking for Texas, California, or Mexican Mexican food will tell you that it's in the same class as McDonald's, but I like it for what it is. There's BBQ (darn if I can remember the name of the place) that I've found to be inconsistent, perhaps because I only eat there maybe 2-3 times a year, but it's never been outstanding. I prefer Famous Dave's in Oakton a few miles down the road (and some will say their BBQ isn't fit to feed to the hogs it came from).

    Aditi Bistro is a cute and tasty Indian fast food place, but for sit-down Indian, the closest decent place is on the other side of Tyson's Corner (I'll think of the name after sending this post), in the same strip as Shamshiry, an excellent kabob place. In Vienna, Rose and Panjshir are good Afghan but you didn't mention that.

    No particularly Sichuan or Hong Kong style Chinese that I can think of, but Wu's Garden is an old fashioned Chinese-American with occasional good specials, and I like East Chateau, a little hole-in-the-wall that's tasty. They do have some Sichuan dishes that they do reasonably well but it's not like Hong Kong Palace (which isn't far from Eden Center).

    Vienna has several nice "American" restaurants that are worth trying. Bazin's on Church is one that seems to be consistently good. Tyson's Corner is a territory of its own, with a lot of variety from food courts to fancy steak, to seafood.

    When you get settled, cruise the neighborhood. I don't think I've ever eaten anywhere in Vienna that I absolutely wouldn't return to.

    1. You'll live in Vienna, you'll eat in Falls Church.

      Crispy and Juicy for chicken and yucca.
      Pilin Thai and Duangrat's for Thai.
      Flavors Soul Food for BBQ.
      Haandi for Indian.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Culocho

        Flavors for fried chicken. Ftfy :) Though the pulled pork is good; especially with adding the vinegar sauce on the tables.

        Do get to Shamshiry - it's Persian and the rices are great. Don't think of it as a regular kabab place - it's for a nicer sit-down meal.

        By taking Lawyers, you can get to Reston fairly easily - Mayuri for Indian is on the "Vienna side" of Reston.

        1. re: Dennis S

          Shamshiry is trash that makes anyone raised with Persian food want to cry. Unfortunately, Iran is not much of a restaurant culture, and ergo, there's not much better in the area.

          They used to be good, but now all their cooks are Salvadoran (and have no idea how to make good Persian food. The rice tastes particularly bad)

          1. re: spahbod

            Shamshiry used to be excellent.. Now it still has good torshi and doogh, but the kabobs are pretty bad.

            What do you think of Rose?

      2. Rose Restaurant in Vienna is fabulous for Persian. Aside form the kabobs, they have great stews, especially the beef and chickpea. Add the eggplant to this for a great dish. Ask for the tah-deeg (bottom of the rice pot) in advance. Pickles, roast garlic in balsamic, yogurt with shallots, it's all good.

        You may have to forego all nearby bbq choices.

        For Sichuan you have two very good choice:
        Hong Kong Palace (Seven Corners). On the wall there is a special of chicken with crunchy peppers that is out of this world. Written in Chinese only, it is "Mouth, mouth, good-smellling crispy chicken."
        China Star in Fairfax. Go for the lamb in sizzling wok, eggplant in garlic sauce, and the dried tofu with shredded pork.

        1. While none of my list is in Vienna, it's atleast in NoVa
          Thai Luang in Herndon. Their Tom Yum as well as their crispy chicken/duck with basil and garlic is awesome.
          Four sisters in Merryfield (I'm sure you know they moved from Eden center)
          Raaga in Arlington (next to Dungrats Thai place someone else mentioned) has good Indian.

          1. You might want to try Sunflower Vegetarian restaurant in Vienna. Although veggie, most of the dishes appear to be variations of Thai food.

            1. For Pollo A la Brasa, try Guapo's in Herndon. Their yucca frita is the best!

              6 Replies
              1. re: tombrata

                I do agree that they have some of the best yucca I've ever had, but they are so stingy on portion size. I don't really think the drive from Vienna is worth it, but when in the area, it's an option.

                Actually, if the OP could be a little more specific about where she is, that might help. With the looseness of geographical terms around here - and Vienna being one of the top violators, we could be talking quite a range!

                1. re: Dennis S

                  I believe I saw they opened a Guapo's in Fair Lakes, Fairfax.

                  1. re: wineos

                    The one in Herndon is a slight variation on the usual Guapo's (though now on their site they treat them equal but different). The Herndon one is the "not full restaurant" take. They're not yet listing anything in Fair Lakes - do you know if it's the restaurant for the lighter version?

                  2. re: Dennis S

                    Thanks for all these great recs!

                    We're in Town of Vienna proper, near Maple Ave (the Vienna Inn would be a good point of reference geographically). So I'm looking for good eats around the town center. I realize now I'll have to head to Falls Church for a lot of the ethnic stuff.

                    Another question: We've tried a lot on the main drag, but haven't tried the newish Maplewood Grill. We're at Norm's all the time, so we've been intrigued. Anyone been there recently?

                    1. re: marianna trench

                      Good restaurants near the Vienna town center:
                      Rose Kabob - Persian
                      Tigris - Persian (more of a takeout place than restaurant)
                      Sakana Sushi - Sushi
                      Bazin's on Church - American (former chef of Occidental in DC)
                      Nizam's - Turkish (same mall as Pie Gourmet and Italian Gourmet)

                      By the way, as an alternative to Falls Church for ethnic restuarants, try nearby Fairfax City, including:
                      Minerva - Indian
                      Jairpur - Indian
                      China Star - Chinese
                      Cee Fine Thai Dining - Thai
                      Pad Thai - Thai
                      Temel - Middle Eastern/Turkish
                      Sfizi Cafe - Italian

                      1. re: marianna trench

                        We also live in the Town of Vienna.
                        Some of our local (i.e. walking distance) favorites that have yet to be mentioned in this tread are Plaka Grill for Greek and Sushi Yoshi,.
                        If you do a search, there is a thread about this awhile ago.

                        We've often driven to MD for Chinese food but if you like Cantonese, there's a new place in Fair lakes that we just tried this Friday which shares the space with Malibu Grill (can't remember the name). Anyways, the food was pretty decent and literally every patron in there was Chinese. Take it for what's it's worth but that's one of the few Chinese restaurants in VA that I'll be going back to. I haven't tried XO taste yet however.