Recs along Geo Wash Mem Pkwy
Planning a weeklong family trip along the Geo Wash Mem Pkwy over the 4th. Looking for great food in a casual setting. We will be based in Arlington. Willing to try new cuisines, but like German, Chinese, Thai, Mexican and Spanish. Also looking for great places for breakfast and ice cream/dessert. Looking at Fire Works, Firehook, Good Stuff Eatery, Pupatella, Bangkok 54, Bayou Bakery, Del Ray Cafe and Northside Social. Also, Jaleo or Pepe food truck when in DC. Thanks for any help.
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who posted suggestions. Unfortunately, we were unable to try a lot of the suggestions due to the heat and crankiness of my traveling companions. When you are hangry, you don't want to wait, especially if you are 7 and male.
That said, we did get to a few places. Found a parking place on July 4th directly in front of Society Fair right before the kitchen closed. The kids weren't too sure about eating there and I'm not sure my husband was. But in the end, my DS raved about the homemade hot dog, my DD practically licked the bowl of tomato soup clean after dipping her grilled cheese into it. My DH enjoyed a braised beef sandwich and I had the Pope's lunch prosciutto sandwich. Wonderful. The waitress even gave us a bag of chocolate chip cookies to take home. I don't like cookies but these were incredible.
We also went to Bayou Bakery. The gumbo was wonderful, not overly spicy but with plenty of flavor. My DD had the armdrip and said it was very good. My DH chose the chicken salad sandwich. His only complaint was too many sprouts. My DS ate nothing. :)
Took my DD to Lyon Hall. Although she is a properly behaved teenager, there were still some looks as it was evening. Still, she had the bratwurst and I had the kraut garni, pommes frites and the pretzel. Enjoyed the bratwurst and the kraut and the pretzel. Pommes frites were good. Didn't need the sweetness from the sauces with the pretzel or bratwurst.
Also took an afternoon snack break with my DD at Paul across from NARA. My red fruit slice was good but not quite as good as a similar Italian tart I used to get at home. She enjoyed her nutella waffle.
The burgers at Good Stuff Eatery were not as good as even Five Guys. The chocolate and salty caramel shakes were incredible. My favorite place for burgers and shakes, though, is still Todd Jurich's in Virginia Beach.
We also ate at Silver Diner (great breakfasts), Pomodoro's (decent enough pizza) out by the Air and Space in Chantilly, and a disastrous visit to get out of the rain at Chipotle. Plus a couple visits to museum cafeterias because of the rain.
And a couple visits to Toby's Homemade Ice Cream. Decent ice cream but coming from Lancaster County nowhere near what we get at home.
pupatella is excellent neapolitan style pizza. also get their burratta platter. mr. alka loves their arancini.
bangkok 54 is fine, and i also like thai square. better option: bangkok golden at seven corners -- their crispy rice salad (with lao sausage) is delicious!
bayou bakery is very good. lovely coffee, and terrific food. check out their brunch offerings. yummy!
in arlington also, THE best bakery to get morning treats and sit on a patio: pastries by randolph. superb offerings.
If you're headed towards Mount Vernon, it's a short jump off the parkway to La Mexicana Bakery and Tacqueria for tortas, sopes, and carne asada, and Tacos El Costalilla. Further south, 5-10 Food Mart does excellent pho, Kimchi House for Korean at a fraction of what you'd pay in Annandale, and closer to Mount Vernon, Su Pollo for the best Peruvian chicken in the area. Cooked over real charcoal, not gas.
If you're in this area (Rt 1 near Mt Vernon), and you want some great Chinese, hit up "Peking Duck". It's a little north of the places monkeyrotica mentioned, but very close.
Excellent dumplings, Peking Duck and most other dishes too. It's a low key, family owned joint, but the duck (carved tableside) can't be beat.
Dairy Godmother in Del Ray for great frozen custard and treats. I do like the sweet treats at Northside Social, Bayou Bakery, and there's also Leonora (close to Northside Social) for French pastries. Oh wait, don't miss Buzz Bakery for desserts as well - two locations, Ballston I think has more variety. Awesome, destination dessert place.
Firehook is indeed nothing special. A bit further but still not terribly far from the National Building Museum is Paul bakery (Archives metro stop, among other locations) which has great French pastries and sandwiches.
Good Stuff Eatery is inconsistent, but I have enjoyed the Blazin Barn (banh mi burger) there. We the Pizza may be a safer choice, and it's next door (both on Pennsylvania near the Capitol).
Bayou Bakery for sweets or the Arm Drip sandwich.
Lyon Hall in Arlington for Alsatian cusine. Get the kraut garnie, pickled vegetables, warm pretzels.
Taqueria El Charrito Caminante (a few stools only) for the goat taco, chorizo, and papusas
Gharer Khabar, Bangladeshi
Hunan Gate (ask for the Dongbei manu): pork belly, five spice tofu, chicken with seaweed hotpot.
Pupatella, get the burrata pizza.
Arlington is mostly surrounded by Falls Church where you are at ground zero for great eating from all corners:
Jerusalem, palestinian specialties
Luzmilla's, Bolivian food
Bangkok Golden (Lao menu)
Rice Paper (Vietnamese)
Hong Kong Palace (Sichuan)
Fairfax Inn (Filipino)
Mirage (Combo restaurant serving both Peruvian and Persian food plus Lebanese sweets)
Of the other places you listed:
FireWorks - go to Pupatella instead
Firehook - nothing remarkable
Good Stuff Eatery - highly recommended for the sunnyside burger, village fries, and the toasted marshmallow milkshake
Northside Social, nothing special except for the home made goat cheese available in the wine bar after 5pm, same as Lyon Hall.
Thank you. These look great. We have very good Vietnamese and Peruvian at home, but the rest are intriguing.
Will definitely go to Pupatella over FireWorks with your rec.
Firehook and Northside Social were more pastry places on the run (Nutella poptart at Northside Social would appeal to my children and the coffee would have to be better than hotel coffee).
Good Stuff Eatery I tagged for the milkshakes especially.
Bangkok Golden has my favorites of Larb and Nam Khao. Not sure if the Sai Oua is like the sour sausages in Nam Khao Tod but they sound delicious.
Thanks. I'm getting excited about this trip now!
Chef Seng at Bangkok golden does both regular Sai oua and a ferrmented version. In addition to the printed Lao menu, there is a sheet of paper they keep near the cash register with more specials and chef has other dishes she can prepare or has special ingredients for which change from day to day. I beleive she has begun regularly smoking the bamboo shoot for the moak normai which is now one of her best dishes.
My cheat sheet for stellar dishes is getting longer by the second:
Sai oua, beef jerky, grilled pork neck (paper menu), moak normai, dried pounded fish (paper menu), nam khao, mieng muang luang, there is probably a larger BG thread on this board with even more recs. She can prepare some very nice sour soups as well.
Look up her facebook page for more ideas of what specials she has cooked in the past. This is a place where if you see something interesting you can special order it.
Dont' expect too much from the poptarts at NS except to amuse the kids.
Rustico is just off the Parkway on Slaters Lane.
Tallulah and EatBar in Arlington is a good bet.
Don't know why Firehook is on your list?
Check out Society Fair!! For breakfast, they do egg sandwiches on the best biscuits you'll find north of the South. For lunch, artisan sandwiches and for dinner, there's the Demo Kitchen and Bistro. You can pick up breads, cheeses, charcuterie, sweet treats and wine. Great if you plan to picnic on the Potomac.
Thanks. I've added them all to my list. Society Fair looks perfect. I wouldn't have known about their egg sandwiches from their website. Love biscuits, charcuterie and sweets. Perfect!
Firehook was on my list because we have a possible visit to the National Building Museum on the list and that was listed as nearby for pastries.
Oh, then Firehook will fit the bill for something nearby.
I also recommend Del Ray Cafe for breakfast/brunch. It's really a lovely spot. Love their crab cake benedict!
If you're in Del Ray later in the day, you might want to grab some Milwaukie frozen custard at The Dairy Godmother (closed Tuesdays), and Market to Market is a perfect place for sandwiches and beer.
Bayou has great sandwiches. I happen to love their take on the New Orleans classic muffelata, and the "arm dripper". Check out the daily specials when you plan your visit.
You may also want to try any of the Ray's establishments. The now famous for a couple POTUS visits Ray's Hell Burger, and Ray's the Steaks and Retro Rays. The best steaks at really good prices. Make a rezzie, because it's a popular place.