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basics in pentagon/crystal city?

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  • csp84 Sep 4, 2010 05:42 AM
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I posted a few months ago when my husband and I moved to pentagon city, asking for suggestions. Now that we've been here a little while, I'm realizing that what I need most are just everyday "basic" places that were all over the place in NYC, where we came from.

-Bagel place. Seriously, do they exist around here? I really just want t decent bagel place where I can get an egg on my bagel (and not the fake kind). I have heard good things about Manhattan Bagel in Ballston (or is it Clarendon?) but either way, I'd really like to find a place within a 5 minute drive.

-Fast places for dinner in the neighborhood where I can bring takeout home. Cheaper but not McDonalds type of fast food. I have been going to Chipotle more times than I should admit and am DYING for Chick Fil A to open. I've also been going to Sandella's Flatbread Cafe a lot and am sick of it now, same with CPK. Corner Bakery seems really processed and I didn't like it when I went.

-Pizza place- anything decent? We had two terrible experiences with Cafe Pizzaiolo and I am never trying it again!

-Chinese takeout? We tried tasteful delight and it was terrible.

I know I have to leave this area to get good food, but come on, there has to be some decent weeknight options, right?

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Cafe Pizzaiolo
507 23rd St S, Arlington, VA 22202

Chipotle
14925 Shady Grove Rd Unit L, Rockville, MD 20850

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  1. NYC quality bagels don't exist close to you; Brooklyn Bagel at Courthouse is probably the best you'll do and it's better than Manhattan or Bruegger's at Ballston. Have you tried Kabob Palace at Eads & 23rd?

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    Kabob Palace
    2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

    4 Replies
    1. re: Henry Spencer

      Kabob Palace is a seriously good place, though I prefer the original and not the family one on the same block.

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      Kabob Palace
      2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

      1. re: ChewFun

        Make sure you go to the family one- closest to the corner. It is much better (and a bit more informal) than the one closer to CVS, IMHO.

        1. re: ClevelandDave

          Just to clarify, the Kabob Palace Family is the one closer to the CVS, with nicer seating; the more downscale one further north on that block is the original one. I think ClevelandDave was recommending the original one, as was ChewFun.

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          Kabob Palace
          2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

          1. re: sweth

            Yes, that is my opinion, having tried them both.

    2. if you have a car, you're super close to columbia pike. bangkok 54 has great thai. lost dog has great sandwiches and good pizza. bob & edith's has reliable diner food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: littlew1ng

        Actually, I kind of like Ceasar's Diner on 23rd. And another equally good Thai place that is about the same distance is Mai Thai in Old Town on King Street near the water. This raises a whole other point- if you are willing to drive about 15 minutes to Old Town you'll find lots of good food choices (but you still have to go to at least Calvert Woodly (par baked NYC) to get decent bagels.

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        Mai Thai
        6 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

        King Street Cafe
        1018 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

      2. Tagolio coal oven pizza on 23rd st. is very good, not far form the top echelon in the area, and if you like your pizza less wet than Pupatella and Orso, it is better than the Neapolitan pies so hip these days...they use ingredients on par with the the boutique places and the crust has great char and smokieness..and you can pick it up without destruction. other sides their are also quite good...the swordfish and salmon burger standout.

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        Pupatella
        5104 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203

        1. Thanks for all of the tips. I will probably pass on Kabob Palace (my husband is Persian and I always get stuck eating kabobs, much more often than I would like.. the last thing he needs is another kabob place to choose from!), but I will definitely try some of the other places that you all mentioned! And yes, we do have a car, so Columbia Pike is fine - i just wanted to try to keep it to a really close drive! Thanks again.

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          Kabob Palace
          2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

          3 Replies
          1. re: csp84

            Lol u are in the DC area now. Crepes, cupcakes and thai is all the rage.

            An egg and cheese sandwich is more popular than a bagel.

            Half Smokes are preferred to hot dogs.

            We eat mambo sauce on our chicken.

            Amish people sell second hand produce and people ASSUME its organic

            The McDonald's sells oatmeal, what else do you want lol?

            But tbh, the type of stuff ur looking for, u should have moved to dc/md...because VA is all about being pretty and not functional.

            1. re: LostToken

              I don't understand -- "pretty and not functional." I didn't know food had to be functional other than serving as fuel... VA certainly has delicious food, though -- from Korean to dim sum to fried chicken to a myriad of other items.

              1. re: LostToken

                I wouldn't rule all of VA out. Old Town has a really good food scene. I use to live in Pentagon City though and I'm sorry to break it to you but it's not exactly foodie paradise.

                But don't worry about Chipotle. I use to eat at the Noodles and Co waaaay too much. I think it's gone but there use to be a Wolfgang Puck "fast food" style restaurant that was pretty good.

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                Chipotle
                14925 Shady Grove Rd Unit L, Rockville, MD 20850

            2. Here my favorite places in the hood: Kabob Palace (either one), The Indian restaurant on S. Eads and Fort Scott, I actually like the seafood dishes from Tasteful Delight, and I love the Thai place (smaller one near Eads) on 23rd.
              If you have a car, the best Mexican is El Charito on Washington Blvd, the best Ethiopian is Dama Cafe on Columbia Pike near the Sheraton (also they make the BEST cakes) and I love the pupusas at Acucena on Glebe.
              We lack a good breakfast/bagel place, the bagel place in courthouse is great - but cash only!

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              Kabob Palace
              2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

              Tasteful Delight
              1301 S Joyce St, Arlington, VA 22202

              Dama Restaurant
              1503 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204

              2 Replies
              1. re: LPGourmet

                IMHO one of the Kabobs- the closest one to 23rd-- is far better than the other though it is less formal (almost just takeout, though there are maybe 20-30 seats)...

                1. re: LPGourmet

                  Just thought I'd throw in a shout out for Kohinoor Dhaba (the Indian place on Eads that LPG mentioned); it gets overlooked a lot w/ Kabob Palace so close, but it's pretty good; their buffet is typical for an Indian buffet, so less good than ordering off the menu, but still a good value for the money.

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                  Kabob Palace
                  2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

                  Kabob Palace
                  2333 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

                  Kohinoor Dhaba
                  2800 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202