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Have motorcycle. Will travel for good food. (DC, MD, VA and WVA)

It's Spring/Summer here in DC and we like to take long motorcycle rides around the area. Most of the rides are on the smaller roads (not so keen on highway exits) and we're looking for delicious food that isn't too fancy within an hour or two of the city.

Some place we can walk in wearing jeans, boots and carrying helmets. Not interested in places that just have chicken wings and the same old tired chicken sandwiches. Love places with views and a point of view when it comes to the food.

Thoughts? Recommendations? Suggestions?

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  1. Tall Oaks Restaurant in Pasadena, MD. Go for the Golomkis (stuffed cabbage). A throwback to the Eastern European heritage of Maryland. The fried hard shell crab is probably worth ordering once in your life as it is a uniquely Maryland dish, and not a bad deal for $10.

    http://talloaksdining.com

    Virginia is mostly a wasteland for food outisde of the suburbs.

    And since you included DC, let me say that Pimento Grill in extreme SE DC (right next to Fort Dupont Park) has a limited menu of exceptional Jamaican food and homemade juices. The oxtail brown stew and the curry (chicken, or goat) are made with the kind of love that few places attain, but it's little more than a carryout with a couple of tables and a counter. I love the carrot lime juice,but you can get much better jerk chicken elsewhere. Fort Dupont Park is a great place for a picnic.

    http://www.nps.gov/fodu/index.htm
    www.pimento-grill.com

    5 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      "Virginia is mostly a wasteland for food outside of the suburbs."

      That statement is absolutely, totally uninformed and incorrect. Within two hours of the Metro DC area one can ride through some of the most beautiful countryside in Virginia on non-major highways and stop to eat at wonderfully good small town restaurants.

      Consider rides into Faquier, Rappahanock, Loudoun, and Warren Counties. There are great places to eat in Aldie, Middleburg, The Plains, Warrenton, Sperryville, Flint Hill, Paris, and Upperville. There are wineries that serve snacks with tastings near Linden and throughout Loudoun and Faquier Counties.

      In fact, Rappahanock County probably has more fine dining establishments per capita than any other Virginia county, and I realize those are not the places you are looking for. But I believe that it demonstrates that Virginia is hardly a food wasteland outside of the Northern Virginia suburbs.

      1. re: Virginian

        I really know nothing about Virginia food (only lived here about a yr and half), but you just listed off a bunch of places but no actual restaurants or recommendations.

        1. re: Virginian

          Yes, I was discounting fine dining, since that is not what the OP is looking for.

          1. re: Virginian

            OK, here you go. And each one of the following is a recommendation:

            Aldie -- On spring and summer weekends there are smokers set up on the south side of Route 50 near the restored Aldie Mill where one can purchase barbeque and sides.

            Middleburg -- Red Fox Inn; Market Salamander

            The Plains -- Girasole; The Rail Stop

            Warrenton -- Black Bear Bistro; Clare's at the Depot

            Sperryville -- Thornton River Grille; Cafe Indigo

            Flint Hill -- Griffin Tavern; Flint Hill Public House

            Paris -- Ashby Inn

            Upperville -- Hunter's Head Tavern

            Purcellville -- Magnolia's at the Mill

            Wineries: Linden Vineyards; Hume Vineyards; Rappahanock Cellars; Naked Mountain Vineyard; Pearmund Cellars; Piedmont Vineyards and Winery.

            1. re: Virginian

              In keeping with this area, I'll add Market Table Bistro in Lovettsville. They've redone their website since we went, and while it looks kinda fancy, if you go to "gallery" you can see that it decidedly is not. Very casual, and just very good simple and fresh food.

              Also Pomme in Gordonsville, although that might be slightly outside your distance criterion.

        2. Love your plans, reminds me of the recently aired Hairy Bikers' Bakeation series where they rode all over Europe.

          I would recommend Sue Island Crab House at the edge of Essex, MD but only for the crabs (not crabcakes or anything else.) They go pretty heavy on the seasoning in my opinion, I ask for very light seasoning. Good view, plenty of outdoor seating, great atmosphere.

          1. Take 15 up to the PA border and go to Chubbies for their smoked fried chicken. Their other bbq is sort of mediocre but it's worth the trip for the smoked fried chicken.

            1. Thanks, everyone! Keep em coming. I promise reviews as we check them off the list this summer.
              Thank you!

              1. If you haven't ridden Corridor H it is a highway, but beautiful and not crowded yet. I would recommend taking it up towards Davis, WV and eating at Siriani's. A stop at Blackwater Falls or listening to music at the Purple Fiddle there might be fun too. There is also a little farm stand before you cross into WVA that has some good stuff for snacking.

                A ride down through VA wine country towards, with a stop to get some BBQ in Gordonsville at the BBQ exchange would be fun.

                You would also love Crozet- Three Notch'd Grill, Cocina Del Sol or Crozet Pizza are all worthwhile, as in the Greenwood Grocery.

                While it's a little upscale I don't think the Ashby Inn would put up it's nose at biker gear.

                A trip to Galesville and the Inn at Pirate's Cove might not be a bad way to spend a day.

                It's too bad the Staunton Grocery is closed.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ktmoomau

                  I need to try Crozet at some point. Used to go near that area a lot, but not since having kids....

                  Maybe it's time to get back on the proverbial horse.

                2. I'd ride that hog up to Chubby's in Emmitsburg and show it some REAL hog! (plus amazing brisket)

                  Also, ride up (or down) Falls Road just north of Padonia Road to Jake's from amazing ribs, pit beef and general bbq-on-a-picnic-table awesomeness. Not just a general wings and sandwich place. A real, genuine homecooked roadside joint run by a great guy

                  1. Oh, I would add Rt 5 in So. MD. There's Thompson's Seafood Corner, for soft shells and other things to eat there; crabcakes to bring back and cook at home.

                    Randy's BBQ has been mentioned a few times, though I haven't been myself.

                    Clarke's Landing was great a few years ago - I need to go back.

                    C&D at Solomon's Island is a very nice place. Sort of a "niece" to the Dry Dock (owners of C&D used to work at Dry Dock for a long time.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Dennis S

                      A ride down Rt. 5 in Southern Maryland could be continued back up the east side of the Patuxent River on Rt. 2/4. This would make a stop at Vera's White Sands Beach Club in Lusby mandatory. Not so much for great food, but for the atmosphere and drinks on the deck overlooking St. Leonard's Creek. This place is a kitschy monument to the chanteuse who built it in the 1950s.

                    2. Leesburg and the mighty midget kitchen (now a doner kabob shop). And then when you are done, the pie shop at the split in the road. You can take back roads.

                      The Crab Deck at Kent Narrows or Kentmoor Marina- both across the bay bridge, both for the view. Ditto on back roads- 214 is pretty from DC and then hop onto 50 at Annapolis.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sallibee

                        I stopped by the Doner shop today in Leesburg (now called Doner Bistro), and I really liked the place. It's got a nice outdoor seating area with umbrellas and even a TV against one wall for sports. Wasn't looking for anything alcoholic, but they appeared to have a lot of German beers. The doner was good, but I wasn't a big fan of their (flat)bread they used. It reminded me of panini bread (crunchy with ridges). They also had a currywursts and bratwursts and falafel. Next time your in the area (outlet shopping anyone?), stop by.