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May 14, 2013 04:44 PM

Dinner between Dulles and Annapolis?

I'm flying into Dulles, arriving around dinner time, en route to Annapolis for my son's graduation. I'll be alone, but want to eat before it gets too late. Anything good near the Dulles Access or 495? Diner, southern food preferred, but anything casual and good is appreciated. Don't need Mexican, I'm coming from California! Thank you!

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  1. The 60+ miles from Dulles to Annapolis at rush hour is going to be a tough slog, and (as I'm sure you know) Commissioning Week in Annapolis will have the town booked up pretty solidly. Eating first while traffic clears out is a good idea. You will be landing in ground zero for great Southeast Asian cuisine (especially Vietnamese and Korean), as well as Indian, Middle Eastern and Persian. Having said that, there are a few places that might satisfy your southern food craving, although not near the Beltway (495). Your best bet is probably Sweet Basil's Cafe in Herndon.

    There's Mokomandy in Sterling (north of the airport) that's a mashup of Korean and Cajun

    And two more that are a bit out of the way for your trip to Annapolis, but a good GPS will get you on the right highways:

    Flavors Soul Food in Falls Church

    and Clare and Don's Beach Shack

    For other non-southern/diner suggestions - try Thai Basil in Chantilly
    or Paradise Indian Cuisine in Herndon

    1 Reply
    1. re: crackers

      > Clare and Don's Beach Shack

      This sounds like an authentic Florida experience, what with the Mackerel Dip and Grouper Fingers.

    2. Agree with crackers on the timing/drive/etc.

      A couple of options based on casual/good statement:

      - Jimmy's in oldtown Herndon has a good atmosphere and above average bar food. If you're coming on a Friday then they do a very good fish fry. The cheesesteak is also very good as is the beef on weck and the open faced sandwiches.

      - Across the street from Jimmy's is Ice House Cafe, which is just to the North of casual. Weekend nights they usually have a good jazz band going as well.

      - Don't worry on Mexican, we don't really have much at all in the whole area, but we do have a lot of Central and South American. Peruvian is big, especially when it comes to Pollo a la brasa. My new fave place for this is the same exit as Sweet Basil, but going North on Elden instead of South. Just after the Kohl's on the left is a Giant grocery store. To the left of it by a few doors is the location to which I'm referring, but I can't remember the name. Extremely casual and they usually have a game or two of soccer on the big screens.