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One meal off 95- what should it be?

Hey all, due to our specific itinerary on an upcoming roadtrip to FL, we'll have to miss most of the BBQ in the South :(. So bad news is, I have to cross off most of the suggestions I've gotten for there. But, it also places us with one dinner in the Baltimore/DC area, which must be close to 95.

Any suggestions? Can be literally any cuisine (great BBQ would be nice, but not necessary), and just not ridiculously expensive. Those are about the only requirements. So, thoughts? What is the one meal you'd say is a must have?

Thanks all!

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  1. Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia - a couple of exits on Rt 100 west. Great beers on tap, and decent pub food.

    Aida Bistro, a couple of exits on Rt 175 west. Tough to find, in an industrial park - but good Italian. NOTE they're moving across the street, and will be closed Nov 25 - Dec 2.

    I'd recommend Grace Garden on Rt 175 east, but that's a bit of a distance from I-95.

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    Victoria Gastro Pub
    8201 Snowden River Parkway, Columbia, MD 21045

    Grace Garden
    1690 Annapolis Rd, Odenton, MD

    3 Replies
    1. re: Zevonista

      I need to hit Victoria. Soon.

      It may just be me, but Grace Garden isn't all that far. Less than 10 minutes. And they could then get on 32 West to go back, being able to see the NSA a bit. With Uncle Liu's rec below, this builds a hard decision for the OP if they wish to have great Chinese.

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      Grace Garden
      1690 Annapolis Rd, Odenton, MD

      1. re: Dennis S

        Also, when you're coming south on 95, it's just as easy (and actually a little bit faster) to use 295 for the Baltimore-to-495 stretch, at which point hopping off the highway to get to Grace Garden is just a detour of a few minutes.

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        Grace Garden
        1690 Annapolis Rd, Odenton, MD

        1. re: sweth

          True.

          And your mention of that 295 brings to mind that using the DC 295 brings one near Little Mexico in Bladensburg, and allows one to get to 395 fairly easily which can deliver you to Hee Been for great Korean.

    2. If you go around the beltway, 495, the opposite side of 95, it'll be about the same distance and that'll give you a lot of options. In Merrifield, right off the beltway near 50, you could go to Four Sisters, Vietnamese, reasonably priced, good food (many reviews here and on the web). A few CH had a chowdown at Uncle Liu's Hot Pot, same area. Both are right off the beltway. Farther south is Annandale, like Little Korea. I like Han Gang but there are quite a few, like Yechon and Honey Pig which are highly recommended here. If you do go this way, stop by Shilla's Bakery for Korean shaved ice, and free cake samples.

      If you stick with the 95 trip, in Lorton, there's Pane e Vino--good American Italian place, nice easy location to find, great dinner rolls. Further south in Woodbridge is Dixie Bones BBQ. It depends on time of day you visit--later, the food can be dry. It's not the best barbecue but it hits the spot.

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      Four Sisters Restaurant
      Strawberry Ln Falls Church VA, Strawberry Ln Falls Church, VA

      2 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        I was thinking Uncle Liu's if going the 495 Western route.

        If just wanting solid American fare, Sweetwater Tavern is near Uncle Liu's.

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        Sweetwater Tavern
        3066 Gate House Plz, Falls Church, VA 22042

        1. re: Dennis S

          Or, either way off 95 for another Great American Restaurant is Mike's in Springfield. It's right off 95 but that area is confusing for anyone just driving through, and unless they have an updated GP, it won't show the latest road.

      2. Tidewater Grille, on the quiet banks of the Susquehanna River just before it meets the Chesapeake Bay, in historic Havre de Grace. Great waterfront location, excellent fare. 410.939.3313. www.thetidewatergrille.com

        1. Just before the tunnels in Baltimore, there are three very goooood Greek restaurants,
          Samos, Ikaros and Zorba's, all reasonable prices and only a stones throw off I-95.
          No Zorba's website but
          http://www.yelp.com/biz/zorbas-bar-an...
          http://www.samosrestaurant.com/
          http://ikarosrestaurant.com/

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          Zorba's
          4710 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

          3 Replies
          1. re: Hue

            Has anyone been to Ikaros recently? Back in the 90s that was my favorite Greek place, but I haven't been there in years and have heard from one or two folks that it has gone downhill.

            1. re: sweth

              A lot of Greek-American places serve huge portions of very bland food. I have to say I found Zorba's to fall pretty much in line with that, despite having followed Chowhound recs. Have not been to the others, but Samos seems to get the best mention. It's a very interesting neighborhood to explore, but it's still no Astoria, and I would hesitate to recommend Zorba's, at least, to a traveler.

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              Zorba's
              4710 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

              1. re: Steve

                We ate at Zorbas probably 4-5 months ago and basically all of the char-grilled food was excellent -- beef, pork, fish, there might have been some octopus too. It's no Astoria (for ex. did not see fried smelts on the menu), but the food at Zorbas is very good.

                Ikaros, on the other hand? I'm afraid its star has fallen.

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                Zorba's
                4710 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

          2. You say you want bbq, and here is an interesting subset: go to Just Jerk in Lanham, MD. A roadside smokehouse with a few seats at a counter. The chicken gets smoked a long time here and it shows. Get the 1/4 dark spicy. A gorgeous mess of food. Right off 95/495, but a bit tricky to find as the road immediately splits in two and you want to reverse direction. Follow directions from facebook:

            http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid...

            9005 Lanham Severn Road
            Lanham, MD 20706
            (301) 459-5375