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Found 18 results

  1. Ashburn area restaurants? Does anyone have any recent ideas for restaurants serving good, fresh food--other than the usual chains in Ashburn/Dulles/Sterling area? Need something that is not more than $15. an entree (moderately priced and not too fancy). Thank you.
  2. In the ice rink plaza over in Ashburn, Ford's Fish Shack is the third restaurant in the same space. Food-wise, of my first try, it's already blown the previous two out of the water. One of my coworkers had gone on and on about how much he liked the fish and chips. A buddy of mine and I went there for lunch. I had the lobster roll ($17), and if you use Mark Slater's definition of how trite it may be from another thread, well, this one is NOT trite. It was DELICIOUS. The lobster was nice and firm, the roll buttery, the combination with the just right amount of dressing fantastic. It came with shoestring fries that I could've eaten pounds of. My friend got a fried fish sandwich ($9.50) - it was huge, and his only complaint a bit too heavy to combine with a beer and then go back to work on a Friday afternoon. I'm going to have to go back here a few more times to, uh, make sure the quality stays up...yeah, that's it....
  3. There has been an awning up for Saffron for a couple of weeks now. Given that they already have a restaurant in Broadlands, and that Curry Mantra 2 was in nearly turnkey shape, there shouldn't be much of a wait. Haandi can't catch a break, and maybe this time around, the competition will keep prices down: Both Haandi and Curry Mantra 2 were two of the most expensive Indian restaurants in the DC area despite being almost across the street from one another. "Curry Mantra 2 Is Now Saffron Indian Cuisine" by Sally Cole on fcnp.com
  4. Copperwood Tavern Website I didn't see a thread... Hubby and I wanted to go to Texas Jack's for July 4th, but they were out of bbq. So we kept going to Shirlington, which I was a bit hesitant about, but at that point I knew so little was open in VA and Hubby wasn't crossing the border into DC and wouldn't agree to go to Old Town. He had a decent brunch at Copperwood Tavern the other weekend, and wanted to go there. I didn't love the menu, I felt it was very heavy for the summertime, and really struggled on what to order. I settled on a Caesar salad and mussels. We were brought small corn muffins, on a plate that lacked any character and just made them look like they came from a carton from Giant, the taste wasn't anything special. My Caesar salad came to the table and was soggy and obviously either made earlier OR the lettuce was not in a condition I would use, it was supposed to have kale in it, but it seemed to have baby greens, which didn't appear to be any type of kale I am familiar with, which added no texture. It didn't have anything to make it interesting- no capers, no anchovies, no texture. I ate some of it only because I was starving at that point, and Hubby had a long day working and I just didn't want to make a fuss, he saw that it wasn't great so he gave me a bunch of his brussel sprouts to eat instead, those were better, although I think they needed to be roasted at a slightly higher heat. My mussels were an appetizer portion, but were good. The menu didn't note that there was cream in the dish, but it appeared there was and I normally can tolerate a small amount of blue cheese with a pill, but definitely had a reaction to lactose that appeared to be more than just that, I wish that would have been noted, I wouldn't have ordered it. The bread served with the mussels was burnt and hard even where it wasn't burnt. Hubby got a venison steak which was really good, but for $34 I would have expected some side on the plate, I mean, no offense, but it is deer meat. Anyway, I am sure some people think this place was fine, and July 4 certainly isn't a prime night for a restaurant to be on, but I really would be hard pressed to go back. I wish we had gone to Carlyle instead.
  5. There's a spot in a Centreville where restaurants go to die. After two Indian places met their maker comes a new contender. Frito Chicken. The place has an interesting story: Mar 15, 2018 - "Frito Chicken Gives Ashburn New Fried Chicken Option" by Chris Wadsworth on theburn.com My wife met the owner yesterday who invited us to give it a try. She was very nice and we didn't feel like making dinner tonight so we gave it a try. "Frito Chicken is the brain child of Amina Khan. She’s was born in Pakistan, raised in Canada and has collected a wealth of recipes. Over the years, friends have told Khan that her chicken recipes — both fried and roasted — are some of the best they’ve ever had." We got the strips which were spicy and an 8 piece chicken. The yuca was all done perfectly. The potatoes and corn were fine. The fried chicken is the star here and I urge everyone to give it a try. Remember, it takes 20 minutes for it to cook so be patient. It is worth it.
  6. Don, Not sure if you'd prefer to place this in the former "Family Meal" thread, but I didn't find another thread for Aggio in Ashburn. I've been to Aggio three times now. We first visited before we moved to Ashburn, and I thought it would be fun to check the place out. We sat next to the open kitchen to celebrate a birthday. Everything was great, but the place was empty and the service was a bit off. Oddly enough, there was little interaction with the chefs despite the fact the place was nearly empty. We moved to Ashburn in July, and our second visit was a couple of of weeks ago. Here's what I posted to yelp (hoping to give a little boost to their business). I'm finally getting around to providing a mention here, in hopes that some of Rock's readers will give it a try. **************************** If you enjoy fresh house-made pasta and delicious drinks that are fairly priced, do yourself a favor and go to Aggio. The food certainly stands up to some of the best in the DC metro area, and the prices make the establishment an absolute bargain. Our server was excellent, and she was friendly and attentive during the entire meal. We enjoyed a couple of wonderful cocktails, that thanks to happy hour pricing they were also an incredible value. All drinks are half price during happy hour. $4.50 for a well-made boulevardier? Yes, please. The warm focaccia arrived with whipped ricotta with accented with lemon zest and pepper, as well as a whipped mortadella spread that was plated on a *pesto reduction. Both were wonderful. We chose the Burrata and the Brussels for appetizers. Both were delicious; the burrata dish featured beautiful and tasty heirloom tomatoes, and interestingly was topped with olive oil "soil". We both ordered pasta for our entrees; the Cacio e Pepe was a creamy, silky version topped with a 63 degree egg (think lightly cooked yolk). (No picture of that dish) The lasagna consisted of several layers of tender pasta that was crisp around the edges, and enveloping an incredible lamb bolognese. The dish was both light and rich and rich at the same time, and its certainly one of the best versions of lasagna I've tasted. ******************************************** We paid another visit a week later, and the food remained excellent. I enjoyed a short rib dish, served with fresh corn polenta, glazed carrots, and gremolata, that was superb. It had an interesting texture--very similar to pastrami-but the flavor was rich and the meat was tender. I asked about the preparation, and was told that the beef is marinated and then prepared sous-vide. We ordered a goat cheese ravioli that was described as "Ravioli, goat cheese, garlic scapes, corn" but when the dish arrived, it was prepared much differently, and served with roasted beets. Hmmm. During this visit, our server was pleasant and worked hard, but it was very apparent she had not received nearly enough training. I'm not saying this to be harsh, but she knew almost nothing about the menu, and didn't know anything about wine basics. Fortunately, the manager, who we thought was just the bartender, visited our table when we asked about wine pairings. He recommended a red for the ravioli, which I thought was odd until he explained the change to the preparation. As it turns out, he has worked with Voltaggio for some time, and he had been brought in to help with the front of the house. I realize Ashburn does not have the server "bench" that's available to DC restaurants, but I really hope Aggio will devote some time to improving the service by educating their staff about the basics. They made changes to simplify their menu, so it certainly appears they are making changes to drive their business. Prices are reasonable, and I don't know of another place in this area that features homemade pasta.
  7. Spurred by my failure to obtain reservations for a birthday dinner for 4 during "prime time" in DC (despite starting my search two weeks out), as well as a desire to stay closer to the homestead and avoid a 45 minute drive, I've decided to narrow my search to the Leesburg/Ashburn area. I've been to AhSho and Aggio several times, so I'm looking for a new spot. Does anyone have recent experience with Casa Nostra, Lightfoot, or possibly French Hound Brasserie? I'm looking forward to sage advice from a group I trust. Thanks!
  8. Pizza has always been a source of contention in our household. I don't love pizza but can tolerate a good pie with fresh ingredients. My wife does love pizza and is perfectly happy with a Dominoes thin crust that leave me feeling both hungry and like I swallowed a bowling ball at the same time. But finding good pizza with fresh ingredients that has convenient takeout (that is highly subjective based on where you live and what you consider convenient) has always been a challenge. Pair this disagreement with the fact that my wife is pregnant (which means she wins almost any disagreement) - we end up doing takeout 5-6 nights a week instead of dining out, and our decent takeout options in Ashburn are limited means I've been branching out some lately - cue SpinFire. I've tried Custom Fuel a few times and was never a fan. It really seemed like a pizza that only took 2 minutes to make - lower quality ingredients and a bit undercooked and soupy for my tastes. So I walked into SpitFire with a mixture of trepidation and desperation, but the Post ranked it above average in their recent fast casual pizza article, so I figured why not. I was pleasantly surprised. Ingredient choices are solid and seem quite fresh, the crust was nicely chewy and had some flavor, and most importantly - it was fully cooked. They even tend to hold them up high in the oven at the end of cooking to get a nice browning on the cheese. The 'spicy' red sauce could use more than its current non-existent kick, but other than that, its a solid option for a 90-second pizza and has moved into the regular rotation. One word of caution - any time I've been to the Ashburn location its been very quiet (typically later in the evenings) - I'm not sure how the process would hold up during a busy lunch rush at the Rosslyn outpost.
  9. With all of the chatter about the Isabella Galleria deal, as well as the regrettable (already) deal that the Nationals struck to rename the Red Porch as the Budweiser Whatever, it seems that the news this week that was overlooked is that the Redskins have partnered with some restaurant group to open a Redskin-themed restaurant at One Loudoun. You sub-50 year olds will be able to find and post links easily, so help me out. Interesting that the Redskin name itself is not part of the branding. Will not be going unless I see 10+ favorable reviews on this forum...
  10. Location: 20575 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn, VA 20147 (Right off of the Loudoun County Parkway exit on Rt. 7) Website: http://drafthouse.com/northern_virginia/one_loudoun Menu (PDF): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/30900543/menu_loudoun2013_web_reduced.pdf EDIT : there may be a 'bug' in reading the menu in a browser window - if things look bad or parts look as if they're missing, save it as a file and open it in the PDF viewer you use manually - that should fix it. ...or just click here and look at the image files: http://drafthouse.com/northern_virginia/one_loudoun/one_loudoun_our_menu/ For those who don't know, Alamo Drafthouse is a first-run movie theater with a twist. The 'twist' being that they actually serve halfway-decent food that kicks the hell out of anything you could ever buy at an AMC concession stand. Each show has reserved seating, and they only sell tickets one week in advance, so no long-term reservations are possible, which is a bit of a pain, but you get over it rather quickly. Also, if you want the promptest service by the ushers, pick the middle row - they 'hover' near the exit, and it's easiest for them to see the upturned order cards on the seats overlooking the center crosswalk - it's also got the most room for them to maneuver. They suggest you get to the theater ~30 minutes before your showtime, to have ample time to order food. The food itself is, as you can see on the menu, not *insanely* priced, but still a bit steep. The best value is the 'bottomless' soda and popcorn, which for ten dollars means you could get yourself and a friend a drink and still not total the price of a single 'combo' at one of the AMCs around here. The other reason to show up early is that if you show up after the movie has already started, they won't let you in the theater due to their 'no-latecomers' policy. You will be refunded, though. The caveat is that each time you want a 'refill' of either, you need to fill out another order card and stick it in the metal slat, and hope one of the ushers sees it. Turnaround time is anywhere from ~5-15 minutes based on my experience. Filling out 1-3 refill cards beforehand while the house lights are up is a good idea, for reasons you'll see in the next paragraph. Now, since this is a restaurant review site, I might as well talk about the food itself, of which my experience is limited. The only entree I've had there is their 'Royale With Cheese' burger, and while it's far from the best burger I've ever had, it's certainly by no means the worst. You do experience a certain amount of paranoia eating something that involves meat juices (if you put 'medium' on your card, they'll listen) and ketchup in the dark, and one difficulty in eating something complex at Alamo is that the 'table' they give you is an inconvenient distance from your seat. I'm 6'1" and *I* have to hunch forward or make the distasteful move of holding my metal 'meal tin' up close to my face as I gnosh on my burger. Also, though they do give you lights to peruse the menu during the movie, they're super-dim, which makes not only viewing the menu difficult, it makes filling out an order card doubly difficult unless something bright is playing on-screen to provide ambient light. Or you can take a risk and pull your cellphone out and use the screen with a cupped hand (they have rather strict 'don't be a nuisance' guidelines). Other than that, the other thing I decided to fish for was their 'cookie trio,' which is very worth it a la mode. I think I enjoyed the PB&Banana one the most simply because I knew what to expect from the chocolate varieties, and was pleasantly surprised by the 'outlier' of the bunch. Also, Alamo doesn't show *just* first-run movies. Going to see "This is the End" there (verdict: funny, yet don't bring a woman to it - there's nothing for her), they advertised an upcoming event where they'd be showing Silence of the Lambs complete with a four course dinner attached to it based on the cuisine from the movie (human-flesh-free) matched with specially-commissioned wines, the boxes of which you can see if you visit the website (or if you just click here: http://www.personalwine.com/silenceofthelambswine ). They also have 'quote-a-longs' where I believe the 'absolutely no talking ever' rule is circumvented so the audience can fill in the line, 'sing-a-longs,' which sound like a fresh kind of hell, and last but not least, they're at the tail-end of their "Summer of '83" promo, which showcases movies like WarGames, Risky Business, and National Lampoon's Vacation. If Loudoun's too far out for you, you'll be happy to hear that the One Loudoun location is just their 'pilot' spot, and they're already looking for places to set up closer to and inside the Beltway, especially in Fairfax County itself. I wish them luck in that regard, since I can't think of many places where they could drop a building as large as the Loudoun location without buying up and demolishing something that already exists. It's exceptionally easy to drop 30 bucks just on just yourself at this place, and they certainly know it. But unlike other places where they badger you into the upsell, Alamo doesn't. You don't get an evil eye from the ushers if you go cheap (if anything, it just means less walking for them), and everyone seems to be happy, which reflects on what I've heard that it's a positive working environment (which means less chance of spit in your food).
  11. Address (Sterling): 21305 Windmill Parc Dr #160, Sterling, VA 20166 - https://www.burger21.com/locations/sterling/ Address (Ashburn): 43800 Central Station Dr #100, Ashburn, VA 20147 - https://www.burger21.com/locations/ashburn/ Menu: https://www.burger21.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Sterling-2sided-Menu.pdf Yes, Rockwellians, another burger place (and a smallish multi-state chain one at that). I ate here tonight (the Sterling location) after a particularly shitty Saturday and not-much-better Sunday morning and afternoon, because well, why not. Also, I feel like I'm cultivating a ~rep~ of being our resident "Local Grubgradian" since I tend to review very casual and cheap places. Rest assured, I spend enough time around ~haute cuisine~ as well, but sometimes the only cure for a shitty mood is a big dose of carbs, fat, and protein. Okay, before you visit this place, be sure to download their app off your phone's particular store. Registering on it earns you your first *basic* burger free (~$6.49), and signing up for their email club nets you a free side of fries ($2.49). First impressions: Whoever laid out this space earned their degree in design. The dining room feels like an IKEA cafeteria without the horse meat, but they didn't jam the place full of tables to the point where everything feels claustrophobic like at any Five Guys. The condiment station and drink machines are sufficiently separated and well-laid-out, and even though it was pitch dark at the time (a stark contrast to the smart use of lighting indoors), they've got a really nice outdoor seating area. Downsides include: limited amount of booths, tiny area for a line (arguably worse than the Fairfax Smashburger), use of those highly-questionable tablet-based POS systems, and Top 40 ~muzak~ on loop. What I had, and did I like it: Well, shitty moods call for shitty life choices, so I decided to indulge and get both a "Bacon Cheesy" ($7.49) *and* a "Philly Cheese" ($7.99) with the free side of fries and I splurged and tried their "Cheese and Ale Sauce." I also asked for my patties to be medium and...I got them cooked *medium*! That in and of itself is a minor miracle - though I was there at ~8pm, and it was by no means busy. Despite the pictures you might see on Yelp, the burgers did not come out looking like Leaning Towers of Empty Calories. They were actually pretty compact and neat, about the size of a Quarter Pounder and/or one of their ~designer~ QPCs. The burgers looked like the ones a culinary Ph.D. makes for fast food commercials, and the buns were amongst the best I've seen at a fast casual burger joint, which was important for one very specific reason... ...the juice. Oh dear sweet Jesus, Buddha, Shiva, Vishnu, and "Bob," the *juices*. Do not get a double-patty burger here. Just don't. The patties practically bleed boiling-hot cow juice and with a *single* patty you will find your fingers getting mildly scalded. Two of them atop one another would probably give you second-degree burn blisters. That being said, there's a nice touch in the form of a communal sink at the end of the condiment station complete with hand soap for the aftermath, which I highly recommend using. This is definitely a three-napkin/lean-over-the-table joint. So, did I like it? Yeah...as much as one can be enthusiastic about ~just another burger joint~ in this area that's positively goddamned lousy with them even after the first few rounds of 'culling.' The Philly Cheese really stood out - it really tastes like you're eating a...very small cheesesteak. The Djion Chive Mayo really gave this thing a tasty kick. The Bacon Cheesy was good, but it didn't exactly stand out after the really good grilled onions and aforementioned Djion Chive mayo - it seems this place shines when you order one of the more *atypical* burgers. Don't get me wrong, it was a really good burger, it was just 'predictable.' The beef on its own was falling apart errantly into small specks that'd periodically drop on the tray, which is a good sign they don't use pre-packed patties from Costco. The miss(es)? The Cheese and Ale sauce. It just wasn't worth the buck forty-nine (even with a few extra flecks of bacon in it), and when you see the condiment station you'll know why. They've got a ton of free/better alternatives available. That also being said, the fries were nothing really special - standard shoestring fare, but the condiment station I believe had Toasted Marshmallow Cream for the Sweet Potato Fries. I've a feeling that will not stick around for long once enough kids find it. Verdict? I got a FAR better burger here than I did at the Tilted Kilt, and it's easily the best current semi-cheap option burger-wise in the vicinity of the Dulles Town Center (Bungalow Lakehouse probably gets the nod for a pricey *froo froo* burger), save the Sterling BGR and *maybe* The Habit Grill in Landsdowne, but you go there for a designer version of a Whopper - you come to this place for the variety. There's also The Counter at Reston Town Center if you feel like ~$15 per person plus parking. Oh, and since it wasn't that busy, their ~Chef du Cuisine~ would occasionally come out and keep an eye out and generally survey the dining area and ask you how everything is. It's a nice touch that makes this place feel a bit more 'homey' than a Five Guys or Smashburger. Check it out if you're in the area. P.S. If I hadn't gotten my fries for free and hadn't splurged on the Cheese and Ale sauce, I'd have paid ~$25. That being said, Quarter Pounders are something like $4.19 now, so spend the extra $3 and eat this burger instead. Oh, and at least at the Sterling location, you have to take a picture of your receipt to use their digital punchcard which, after buying seven burgers (a minimum of $45), nets you...*drumroll*...$5 in credit, and multiple burgers on one ticket doesn't net you extra 'punches.'
  12. Habit Burger is my favorite chain burger in the country. I'm apparently not alone in this assessment. It will soon be in Ashburn, and I predict it will expand all over our metropolitan area. I love Habit Burger. I've eaten there often, all over Southern California, and I would choose it 9 times out of 10 over In-N-Out Burger. This is great news, indeed.
  13. So, a little birdy tells me that this past week, a couple of ex-telecom guys opened a scoop shop in Ashburn that specializes in some kind of Hawaiian ice cream that's supposed to be less sweet, but more fruity. "Hawaiian Scoop" is located at 20937 Ashburn Rd., north of Rt 640 (Waxpool Rd/Farmwell Rd). The ice cream is from Lappert's (in California?). Separately, they're also bringing in some kind of Dole fruit freeze that's supposedly only available in Hawaii and at Disney World. A friend of mine who used to live in Hawaii went to a pre-opening event and came back raving about it. That's all I know so far. Anybody care to take a recon pass?
  14. Kapao is located off Waxpool Road, in the same complex as Five Guys, V Restaurant & Bar, and a few other places. I've been meaning to write about them for a while, and I'm kind of glad I waited, as they just changed their menu. They do both take-out and sit-down and it's kind of set up like many take-out joints - you order right at the front, and then there's an aisle to walk down by the side of the open kitchen, and you pick up your own silverware and fill your own drink if you eat in. I tend to go in a bit late, so there's never really been a line. They're very big on being "fresh" and "natural". Whatever their marketing pitch is, I've become a huge fan of their food. It tastes much lighter than almost any other Asian food I've had in the area, even when it's something like their version of General Tso's chicken (General Kapao). You can pick a 1-5 rating of spiciness when you order. The last time I picked 3 it about killed me, but I think I'm ready to try it again. It's a bit pricier than my other usual Asian sit-down place (I average under $10 before tip at Chin Chin Cafe down the street, and here it's usually just under $14) but to be honest, I feel better after eating here. It's good stuff.
  15. To continue the journey though Loudoun.... Carolina Brothers Pit Barbeque is a pretty solid rendition of Eastern North Carolina style barbeque. That is typically, whole hog, with a thin vinager-based sauce. I am not sure if it is whole hog, but it is definitely sauced with the vinager based sauce. In the past I remembered thinking it tasted watered down from being on the steam table too long. Today it seemed pretty fresh. In fact it was quite good, not as good as the better places in NC, but at least in the same ballpark. Super casual place good for lunch. I didn't try the ribs or beef bbq, but from past visits (granted 2 years ago) I think you would be best to stick to the pork. Sides, the baked beans and mac and cheese, were solid on this visit. This place is also right off the W&OD trail, for any bicyclists.
  16. I just posted this review on Chowhound and am reposting it here as a PSA so as few people as possible get suckered into wasting money at this joint. Mrs. W. and I tried this place last night, before catching a movie next door at the Fox Theater. One of the worst meals we have had in a long time. Based on the name and the beautiful contemporary decor, we were expecting a menu full of interesting seafood dishes. What we got was a skimpy menu that looked like a Cliff Notes version of the menu at On the Border, Chili's, or a similar craphouse: burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas. I had to look closely to see any sign of seafood whatsoever. There were fish tacos, shrimp in some of the dishes, and that's about it. Chips: ordinary. Salsa: virtually tasteless. Arnold Palmer: terrible. Entrees (fish tacos and quesadillas): high school cafeteria-level quality. Bland and dull. Service: amateurish. The fried calamari app was decent but the remoulade was served in tiny plastic cups. Really tacky. You could get much better food for much less money at California Tortilla around the corner. Seriously. There is a serious disconnect here between what the place looks like and the food served. Blue Ridge Grill across the way is a far better choice for a pre-movie meal. This place is a pretty lively bar with a pretty rotten restaurant attached to it. We suspect it will be gone before year-end. We hope.
  17. When I got home from work last night, I found that my basement was starting to flood and had about an inch of water on the floor, soaking the carpeting and starting to creep up the baseboards. Google pointed me in the direction of Flood Doctor. I called them around 10 PM and talked to Frank. He was extremely helpful and efficient during the call and assured me that he would have somebody out to the house around 2 AM. I was nicely surprised when Frank himself showed up with two other guys at 11:15. They went about their business very quickly, cleaning up the water, ripping up the carpet, disposing of the ruined padding and setting out dehumidifiers and floor blowers. I was assured that they'd be back in 4 days to collect the equipment, replace the padding, lay the carpet back down and sanitize/steam clean the entire basement. We knocked out the insurance paperwork and they were out the door around midnight. Total pros. As much as it sucks having to deal with a flooded basement, these guys took a lot of the hassle out of it. Highly recommend. http://www.flooddoctorva.com/ Dave Pressley
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