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MetroRail-Friendly Ethnic Eats in the DC 'Burbs

I'm always hearing here how great ethnic eats are in the outer boroughs. But I live in Adams Morgan and don't have a car. I searched some older threads but there don't appear to address the question of accessibility for those traveling via rail.

What's worth a long trip on the Red/Green/Orange/Blue/Yellow Line and I can walk to it from the metro stop?

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  1. Ruan Thai was the first that came to mind.
    Masala Art (haven't been, but have heard good things).
    Eden Center (Falls Church) for Vietnamese (again, haven't been, but most say this is the place for it - I am not a big fan of Vietnamese. Hai Duoung and Saigon Cafe come recommended).
    Joe's Noodle House.
    Puapatella is supposed to have good pizza.

    1. The first thing that screams out at me is Wheaton. A couple of blocks from the Wheaton station are two of my top favorite places in this area: Ruan Thai and Ren's Ramen, which are next door to each other. Both of these are a must-go! Time it so that you can have lunch at Ren's, and pick up take-out from Ruan Thai for dinner! Also in that neighborhood is Irene's Pupusas (the best pupusas I've had in this area, and Max's, which is said to have great falafel (I haven't tried it yet).

      Also, Joe's Noodle House is not far from the Twinbrook station.

      1. Take a look at Wheaton, Maryland, right on the Red Line. Many interesting places to eat within a 10 to 15 minute walk (if that) of the Metro station.

        Ruan Thai and Nava Thai
        Ren's Ramen
        New Kam Fong
        Full Key
        Mi La Cay (Vietnamese)
        Saigonese (for banh mi)
        Max's Kosher Deli (falafel and shawarma are the way to go)
        And so many excellent pollo ala brasa places it's hard to count...

        Good hunting!

        1. Not ethnic, but another Metro trip well worth making is to head to Court House, walk downhill to Ray's Hellburger, then continue walking downhill to Rosslyn to come back home.

          2 Replies
          1. re: woodleyparkhound

            I'm big on Wheaton for all the places mentioned. There's also Hollywood East, Marchione's and Moby Dick sushi, but of you're headed to Ray's Hellburger consider a trip to Cafe Assorti too. for Kazakh/Russian food. A decadent day would be a Hellburger with their amazing cakes for dessert ... although the full dinner at Assorti is awesome.

            1. re: repete

              opps ... to edit: the decadent day would be a Hellburger with an Assorti Cake. For me, though, I like the whole meal at Assorti .... unless I've in a huge burger mood.

          2. My favorite Indian places besides Rasika: Passage to India (Bethesda). Not sure if it's sister Spice X-ing is metro friendly.

            Agree on the Wheaton suggestions, El Pollo Rico is in Wheaton also, as well as, Virginia Square. And the Eden Center.

            Nam Viet and Minh's in Clarendon and Courthouse, respectively, are very good. Mala Tang in Virginia Square for hot pot.
            Are any of the good Chinese spots in Rockville metro friendly? Joe's or A&J??

            4 Replies
            1. re: ktmoomau

              As mentioned above, Joe's is within walking distance of Twinbrook.

              1. re: ktmoomau

                Sichuan Pavillion is probably only a 10-minute walk from the Rockville Metro station.

                1. re: MDBBQFiend

                  Second Sichuan Pavillion in Rockville, a very short walk from the Rockville metro station (my currant favorite), Joe's Noodles, a small hike from the Twibrook station, and Ruan Thai which is a small hike from the Wheaton station.

                  1. re: MDBBQFiend

                    Yes, Sichuan Pavilion is an easy walk from Rockville metro and worth the ride! Also very close to that are Bob's Noodle 66 (mmm, rice cakes) and Mama's Dumplings.

                    The Wheaton and Eden Center spots are both also worth the metro trip.

                2. Second Nam Viet (and a few others here including Joe's).

                  Also second Wheaton in general.

                  Wanted to add the lamb curry wagon across the street from Ballston Mall.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Dennis S

                    Does the lamb curry food truck have a name? Do you know the hours of operation and is it Indian? If I could know the name of the truck, I can look up particulars under Food Truck Fiesta. thanks . . .

                    1. re: comestibles

                      Just tried searching the board but came up nada. It's a halal cart, been there for a long time, and is directly across from the mall. It's associated with some sit down place on 29 in North Arlington, though I've never been to that location myself.

                      I just had it the other day again and it was superb. I went there b/c Jose @ El Charro is on vacation right now (coming back today or tomorrow).

                  2. Joe's Noodle House is a long-time standard bearer for Sichuan cuisine. The H21 with fish (see menu link) was my first meal there and was a revelation. Not sure what your experience with Sichuan food is, though. It is a potent dish that will take some fortitude to get through if you are not used to spicy food. But it is ever so worth it. Other menu highlight include:

                    Wontons in red hot sauce, peanuts with fried baby smelt, shredded radish in hot sauce, pressed bean curd in hot sauce, spicy and sour vegetables, date mash with taro cake, homemade bacon and leeks, rice cakes with pork, szechuan beef jerky, and in winter there is usually a sausage special posted behind the cash register.


                    Second choice is Ruan Thai for the boneless spicy duck and watercress appetizer with cashews, shrimp, and squid.

                    I sometimes head up to Rockville via metro after work, and I live in Arlington. JNH will be a fifteen minute walk from the Twinbrook metro. Everyone has to travel for great food at least some of the time.

                    1. On the Orange Line in North Arlington that hasn't already been mentioned:

                      Rosslyn station: Pho 75, Cafe Assorti

                      Courthouse station: Bayou Bakery (don't know if it counts as "ethnic," but worth a stop).

                      And, to comment on Steve's post - please try the hot and sour wontons at Joe's Noodle House sometime; IMHO, even better than the wontons in red hot sauce.

                      1. I'll also add Passage to India in Bethesda. Two dishes I had recently are totally killer: spinach with buttermilk and peanuts and the dish with baby gourds and seeds. Order both the pickles and the spices on the last page. You can add these to your dishes - or for dipping bread - as you like.

                        The black dal on the last page is also very special - my God this is all way too much food for one person!

                        1. Awesome! Thanks!
                          I've never even been to Wheaton, and I would have assumed if I'd gotten off the train there, I'd find only a giant Metro garage and a life-shortening six-lane super highway with no sidewalks. Will definitely make my next food excursion there first!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: emcentar

                            Please report back after you go! Would love to know what you think!

                            1. re: emcentar

                              Passage to India is my favorite non-Rasika after Saravana Palace.

                              There needs to be a Chow dinner at Saravana Palace - the menu is so huge that a large group could taste a bit of a lot of things.