Funny you mention that. We had our Rehearsal Dinner at the Anita's in Vienna (where Maple Ave Restaurant is today) precisely for that reason. Our reception was at the Ritz Carlton and we wanted a completely opposite experience for the rehearsal dinner. When I told them our plans, they tried to steer us to the Anita's up the road, which had a large catering room. We declined, and rented the whole restaurant because we loved the character of the place!
Good choice. I shoulda done that as I got married at a similarly fancy place. Meanwhile between chicken enchiladas, spanish rice, refried beans and the breakfast burritos I'd eaten at Anita's probably a 100 plus times over so many years.
Not my choice, but I went to the Anita's in Herndon last night. I had a platter with what appeared to be a tamale, enchilada, and rice drowning in thin re-fried beans and cheese with a beef taco on the side. The food would be fantastic if I had smoked a Cheech & Chong sized joint beforehand. My dinner would have been just as "good" if they dumped it all in a blender and served it in a tall glass with a straw.
You'd be surprised how many people I've met that say they "miss" food like this.
Ate there at least over 100 times over the years. Ate the types of meals described above. I have to admit to being one of those described by Don and Al Dente. What can I say? It hit the spot. Admittedly it is anything but high quality food, but in my experience it was infinitely better than fast food, unknown dives or restaurants, etc. I'm glad I got to know Anita's a couple of decades ago.
Come to think of it for about 2 decades I went to various meetings all over the region in every county, sometimes with colleagues, sometimes on my own. At some point I discovered Anita's. It was probably my favorite local medium priced chain of restaurants. If I had an end of the day type meeting in Virginia, and for one reason or another I wasn't going to eat at home or had a dinner arrangement I'd probably stop for a meal at Anita's. Being from the NorthEast it was probably my main first introduction to SouthWest styled cooking. My usual choice was an enchilada meal w/ rice and refried beans. It did have a "blender" quality to it. Regardless, I liked it and it introduced me to a new style of cooking and better alternatives.
In fact I can recall ending the work day in Northern Montgomery County or Southern PG or elsewhere in Md and being disappointed there wasn't a nearby or accessible Anita's. As the afternoon hours rolled on toward evening and issues with regard to my stomach took precedence over other issues, my mind often wandered toward Anita's. I guess I'm one of those "blender" kind of people.