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Mar 26, 2011 08:43 AM

Reccomendations in Arlington

I will be in the Ballston-Arlington area for 4 days (right near the Ballston-MU Metro) and any suggestions will be appreciated. I expect 1-2 higher end dinners and a few medium-prced other meals, I enjoy all categories from diner/bakery to all sorts of ethnic. Great low end is also appreciated. Thanks

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    1. Just a warning about Caribbean Breeze: the last time I tried to eat there, the restaurant was turned into a nightclub that evening and it was a ticketed event, (with bouncer), so I'd call before going. It's not really Cuban food, though they have some Cuban selections. It is pan-Latino, and the proprietor is from Puerto Rico, with mnay specialties from there. The slow roasted pork is an abomination (dry and expensive), but the piononos are quite good.

      Caribbean Breeze
      4100 Fairfax Dr Lbby 1, Arlington, VA 22203

      1. re: Steve

        Though I will plug Caribbean Grill up on 29 in North Arlington. It's sort of like eating in some grandmother's kitchen. Check out the cookware on the stove, for instance.

        Good cuban. Good chicken. Good yucca. Oh, and good rice and beans.

        The Caribbean Grill
        5183 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207

    2. Lyon Hall (Alsatian), Chez Manelle (Tunisian), Me Jana (Lebanese), and Ray's Hellburger, area all easily accesible form a Metro station. Ray's is a 4-block walk. If you can get yourself to Taqueria El Charrito Caminante, not near a metro station, then the goat tacos and the papusas de loroco are deeply satisfying and dirt cheap. Eat at the counter.

      El Charrito Caminante
      2710 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

      Me Jana
      2300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 140, Arlington, VA 22201

      1 Reply
      1. re: Steve

        The Taqueria isn't a bad walk from the Clarendon Metro if the weather is nice. Maybe stop at Eat Bar for a drink on the way back.

      2. If you want to stay in the area my suggestions are: Liberty Tavern, classic American food done really well, it is my favorite place near Ballston (I live here), Rustico is more casual pizza, beer, but also some good more composed entrees, I had a great pork shank there a month ago, but liked their grilled pizza and a lot of other things. Tallula is also good and more high end, a walk from the metro, but really short cab ride.

        For more low key I really like El Pollo Rico for some addictive chicken- cash only, but not expensive, Sweet Green by Rustico for good quick salads and wraps. And suprisingly enough Big Buns not only has good burgers, but their grilled mahi is good too, I normally get it in a bowl with lots of the free toppings.

        I second Ray's the Steaks. Their steak is great, so is their crab bisque and key lime pie. If you can go a little further for low key lunches Earl's sandwiches in Clarendon, courthouse is good.

        Minh's and Nam Viet are good Vietnamese.

        If you want high end/high end then you might want to head into DC Willow is ok, Eventide has a new chef, Tallula is probably the best high end in the area. Screwtop Wine Bar is also really nice- they do lunch too, kind of a mix between high end vibe, but also kind of casual.

        Are you going to be restricted to metro or do you have a car? If so I may a few more recommendations. For instance Pupatella, Ravi Kabob, Italian Store, etc.

        2500 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

        Italian Store
        3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

        827 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314

        Nam Viet Restaurant
        3419 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., washington, dc, DC 20008

        The Liberty Tavern
        3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

        Pollo Rico
        7643 New Hampshire Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912

        Screwtop Wine Bar
        1025 N Fillmore St, Clarendon - Courthouse, VA 22201

        5104 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203

        8 Replies
        1. re: ktmoomau

          I would second Lyon Hall. The Alsation French/German menu is interesting and good and I have taken out of town guests there. If you are right at the Ballston metro, you cuold walk to Pupatella. Mapquest tells me it is .8 mile. It is sort of downhill (on the way there) and I think has sidewalks the whole way. Otherwise, there are always cabs crusing Ballston. That would be the low to mid end suggestion. Ravi Kabob is also walkable. I would second the Talula suggestion. If the menu doesn't appeal to you that night, you can get some decent bar food and drinks at eatbar, which is its casual side.

          5104 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203

          1. re: daves_32

            i don't think that hike to "puputella" is very pedestrian friendly, though.

            1. re: alkapal

              There is a sidewalk the whole way on Wilson in front of those cloisters, isn't there?

              1. re: daves_32

                yes, i looked at google satellite. i guess that i don't notice because i don't see people walking on it. ;-).

                1. re: alkapal

                  The last couple of times I had to park in the safeway lot across the street. Maybe walking is becoming the best bet

                  1. re: daves_32

                    parking IS very bad there! hopefully, they can get a better location as they really grow their customer base.

              2. re: alkapal

                Actually, if you want from the Ballston Metro west along Fairfax Drive to the Holiday Inn parking lot, you will come upon the Bluemont Junction Trail. You can take this nice walk to where it hits Wilson Blvd. and George Mason Drive.

                Holiday Inn
                2004 Greenspring Dr, Lutherville Timonium, MD 21093

                1. re: Mulan

                  that sounds much nicer, mulan!

          2. all within walking distance:

            for tex-mex, we like "uncle julio's rio grande cafe," just a block away from ballston mall. they have the *very best* salsa -- so don't fill up on the chips before your entree. (even though i say this, i rarely heed my own advice). the guac is also quite good. we love the beef fajitas, and i'm crazy about the shrimp dish "guadalajara" (grilled shrimp, jalapeƱo and cheese wrapped in bacon -- my favorite food groups, all in one!).

            it gets loud later on,, "lively." if you're alone, there is a bar to eat at, if you like -- but you can sit at a table too, of course.

            the "thai terrace" is pretty good, has a nice atmosphere, and is located there one block from the eastern end of the mall (at quincy street intersection). i like their appetizer sampler, som tum papaya salad, and their seafood noodle dish, "noodle from heaven" although usually my test dish is pad kee mao.

            if you turn left, and walk one block down quincy (heading north) you'll find a stand-alone wooden place in the condo canyons. "sichuan wok" is a super casual eat-in/take-out place, with some great soups and pretty decent chinese. ask for the green tea.

            pakistani kabobs can be found at "ravi kabob" on glebe -- just about three blocks south of the mall. they're the best in the area. there are two outlets, across from each other (well, catercornered), and the "family" one (on the right..or west side of glebe, just past pershing next to CVS drug store) is the quieter of the two.

            1. If you like Vietnamese food, there is a plaza named "Eden Center" about a couple miles from your location. You can find no fewer than a dozen Vietnamese restaurants, ranging from Banh Mi stands to noodle shops to full-menu restaurants.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bagofwater

                Not convenient from Balston if you don't have a car, but soooo worth it!

                1. re: bigskymind

                  well, the bus would go straight out wilson blvd. from ballston...... that's easy. take the bus to "seven corners"