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Found 33 results

  1. Ididos Coffee and Social House opened just south of the Rite-Aid Pharmacy at the intersection of Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike. This is the best coffee house I know of in South Arlington, which itself isn't saying much, but this gets ranked in Italic in the Dining Guide. I'm not sure offhand about the quality of La Colombe beans, but the coffee they serve is worth the trip - parking is easy, and smiles are plentiful. Ididos is a definite asset to South Arlington.
  2. "New Beer Garden Coming to Old Building on Columbia Pike" by ARLnow.com on wtop.com Located on the corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed, a new beer garden is in the works.
  3. I stopped by with a friend for a late (8:30) dinner last week and noticed that no one's written about this place in quite a while...so here's my $.02. Up entering the restaurant, I noticed two things. First of all, like our beloved DonRocks' experience, there were very few Asians in the restaurant. As one myself, my "authenticity meter" tends to ping a bit when I initially walk into a restaurant serving ethnic food without people of that ethnicity dining there. Secondly, I was taken aback as to how full the restaurant was (over 80%) despite given the late hour and it being a weeknight. Business is still going strong, so they must be doing at least something right! To the food...For apps, we had the Green Papaya Salad and Larb. The salad was darn good. Crispy papaya, accentuated by the peanuts, combined with the saltiness of the fish sauce and the spiciness of the chillis; a definite winner. The larb was just as good with similar complex flavors and provided the most heat for the evening (and it proved to be quite a delicious snack the next day with toast as well). We both were far less adventurous with our entrees as we ordered the Simple Beef Fried Rice and their special 54 Fried Rice. Well-flavored ingredients (shrimp, chicken, and beef) mixed with equally well-flavored rice made these dishes particularly satisfying as well. The friend who I was dining with (who happened to be Thai) was impressed with the authenticity of the food and said that it was just like mom used to make (blowing my initial snap judgement out of the water). Service on our visit was very good. Our waitress was particularly attentive, but certainly not in an overbearing way. I was most impressed with her (and the other servers') enthusiasm in delivering birthday cakes and singing that dreaded song to the three tables that were celebrating that evening! Definitely looking forward to returning and diving deeper into the menu...perhaps it may even unseat my current Thai favorite, Sawatadee.
  4. I searched for a thread on Thai Square, but I couldn't find one, so I apologize if I'm search-function impaired, but I thought this place deserved its own space. I'm glad that Tom S. isn't hyping it anymore, because it's now safe to go back! While they are still busy, it's possible to get seated at some point in the evening, and they are now willing and able to fill takeout orders in a reasonable length of time. When I eat here, I'm reminded of how much I enjoy eating simple, homey, Thai food. None of this bland, oversauced, and terribly underspiced poor excuses that they've been serving up at some of the many, many random Thai joints that have popped up (I do appreciate the attempts to use clever names, though I've wondered why no one has yet tried Thai Me Up!) as Thai food has increased significantly in popularity with the masses. Last night we had three dishes: pad see ew with beef, eggplant with chicken and basil, and catfish with chilies and eggplant. The noodles were dry-fried, with just enough sauce and grease to caramelize the noodle edges. Yum! I like that they use Chinese broccoli, as is right and proper, instead of regular broccoli. We had told the server, "spicy is good," in response to her concerned query about our choices. However, the (chunks of asian) eggplant and basil chicken dish, while bursting with basil goodness, was not exactly searing to the palate. (But how do I justify deep-frying my vegetables, if I don't get a restaurant to do it??!!) The dish was delicious, but mild. Maybe next time I'll tell them that "spicy is necessary." The catfish was fried (thin steak slices) and served with thin slices of those cute, green, baby (Thai?) eggplants, a lot of basil, and the same basic brown sauce, with the crucial addition of a generous amount of chilies. While the flavor was excellent (and definitely needed rice to ensure consumer comfort), I have to say that my enjoyment of the dish was reduced somewhat because of the effort involved in finding and removing the spine and other bones. Each bite required rather delicate chewing to avoid stabby little points of fishy revenge. I understand, though, that this might not be a problem for others. Great service - friendly but unobtrusive. My water glass barely had time to dip below full (key for me when chilies are involved) before it was refilled. So that's me. I love this place! Anyone else want to cop to eating Thai comfort food? I'm curious if others have suggestions on dishes to try...
  5. Pay no attention to anything you've read or heard about Mazagan; go here and get the Bastilla ($9.50, get the one with chicken) and Moroccan Couscous ($18) with caramelized onions and raisins. The couscous would make a perfect carryout dish - it will retain its heat for at least 30 minutes. If you don't want to invest your time, at least get this to take home. Don't let the Hookah room scare you away - that's late-night stuff; the bar is a great place to dine, the food is made from scratch, and the interior reminds me of Monty's Steakhouse in Springfield - it's a very nice-looking restaurant ... and there were *no* diners in the main restaurant when I went. None. The *last* thing I felt like doing right now is posting about a restaurant; it would have been immoral if I hadn't. Trust me - we could be in danger of wrongly losing yet another restaurant if you don't. Comfortably placed in Italic, and ranked as the #1 restaurant in South Arlington in the Dining Guide with no serious challenger in sight.
  6. District Dumplings: Jun 6, 2018 - "District Dumplings Set To Open New Location in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center" by Alex Koma on arlnow.com
  7. Takohachi opened on December 11 in the Westmont Shopping Center at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. My wife and I decided to eat lunch there today to test this new dining option after reading several positive comments from our neighbors on the Douglas Park community bulletin board. Owned and run by a Japanese chef, the space is simple and open (in the good Japanese way), with plenty of space between the tables and contemporary Japanese music playing softly in the room. We ordered from the lunch menu, which offered everything from Nigiri Shushi (at $1 per piece), to a number of Udons, Donburis and a large selection of Bento Boxes. We each ordered a Bento - Marianne had the California Roll and Spiced Tuna, I ordered the Sukiyaki. Both came with Tea, Miso Soup, Salad and a Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura portion in addition to the aforementioned Mains. All I can say is that if the quality of our lunch is the baseline for the other items on their menu, this is now our go-to spot for Japanese in South Arlington. They don't have an active social media profile, or a website yet. Here's hoping they can grow thru word of mouth - I want to be able to come back often. TSchaad
  8. Website They are on Amazon delivery, so I am a bit surprised the only mention is on a thread for another restaurant. We ordered one of the spiciest chicken vindaloos I have ever eaten from here. I like spicy food, normally food has to be pretty spicy for me to even register it- this was spicy. Not bad at all. We also got chicken kadai - which I really liked, it had a nice mix of chicken and veggies. We got a side of spinach- fine not special, but I like a little more veg- and some veggie samosas, which were very large, and had a nice filling. We also got some naan and kulcha- to be honest, I couldn't tell a difference and I think maybe we just got 3 naan, they weren't super light, more dense, but not bad. They delivered via Amazon very quickly inside Arlington. I would order from them again.
  9. I drove by this shopping center yesterday, and saw signage for Delia's, which will be opening soon. (They're hiring, so if you're looking for work, they have an email address on the sign which I didn't notice - if you blow this picture up, you might be able to see it.) Dec 18, 2017 - "Mediterranean Restaurant Delia's To Replace Tazza Kitchen in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center" by Chris Teale on arlnow.com
  10. It looks like another new spot is in the works on Columbia Pike - Mongol Nomads Asian Fusion. It's located in between the psychic and City Kabob Curry House. I couldn't find anything online about them yet.
  11. This place has been changed to Toscana Grill. The organic bent is gone. I was not a fan of the old place so hadn't paid much attention to it to notice the change despite walking past it everyday. It is now more of a red-checkered tablecloth neighborhood Italian place (that is they would be if they had tablecloths). They've had people out on the plaza handing out samples and trying to let people know about the change. I went tonight and it was ok. I had penne with sausage and meatball in marinara sauce. The sauce was good but a tad sweet and the meatball didn't have much flavor and a fluffy texture (yeah, I know fluffy isn't really a meatball description but it is what comes to mind). The sausage was the highlight -- nicely seasoned and not too fatty or too dry. The serving was on the smaller side compared to the oversized portions you see so often, but was definitely enough for me for dinner. I was given a sad looking basket of garlic bread where a few small pieces were lost in a too-large basket. It was made of pizza dough and nicely charred and very garlicky. Made me think it would be worth it to try their pizza. They had a very limited menu of pastas with assorted sauces and you could add your choice of protein and pizza. Online shows a far more extensive menu. The service was attentive with several people checking in on me throughout the meal who seemed genuinely interested in how I was enjoying my meal. They are offering several specials and gave me a $5 discount on my $14 dish. I think they are still working through their opening kinks. I won't be rushing back, but I will go back after they have some time to settle in.
  12. Marble and Rye is opening tonight where Red Rocks was in Penrose Square, Columbia Pike, Arlington. From the ArlNow article linked above: "While still majority owned by the owners of RedRocks, it will be run under the leadership of [Chef Kate] Bennett and a new management team."
  13. Former denizens of backwater Texas towns, like me, search for the comforting grease, spice and meatiness of Tex Mex all over town, only to be confronted by tribes of well-meaning El Savadorian families claiming to be Tex Mex. But, no. They try to somehow bend the food of their home country into something that they think might be more palatable for their american audiences. They churn out tamales, carne asada, fish and white rice like crazy, and it's all pretty good. Guajillo, Taqueria National, los Tipos - I hate them. I do. I hate them because they claim to have Tex Mex food. They taunt me with visions of rat trap cheese, tamales without the abhorrent little bits of vegetables stuck in the masa, refried beans the texture of putty, big greasy chimichangas, and a certain exoticness without threat that is reminiscent of Old El Paso products and the Patio burrito, if only it were good. Tex Mex is about Ro-Tel tomatoes, chili powder, pinto beans, and always garnished with a slice of bell pepper. It does not challenge - it is the all-inclusive family resort of ethnic food. It is not threatening, it is tacos, enchiladas, chalupas, and the rare chile relleno. It comforts, its says 'Buenas Dias, y'all' Oh my darlings. I have found the sole outpost of the TexMex family in Restaurant Row. It is not for those of you who crave the authentic experience of other people, but it is soulful, caring, and soothing. It also has margaritas the size of your head - a $10 margarita at La Cantina will come out in a glass the size of a cookie tin, more booze than mix, and nicely salted. It does not care about fresh lime juice or fancy salt - its is all mix out of a bottle. But it is a good quality mix from somewhere, the bartender is kind, and they will call you a cab if you drink too many. Like the TexMex of my youth, they cultivate excess at a bargain price. For $11, I got the Special Combination, which came with a beef taco (greasy, crispy shell, spiced ground beef, cheese, chopped iceberg lettuce and tomato on the top), a tamale (stuffed with shredded beef and not a single damn vegetable in sight), two cheese enchiladas (a good red enchilada sauce, filled with some kind of delicious, yet synthetic cheese), and the ubiquitous bean s and spanish rice (a nice shade of orange. and topped with a slice of bell pepper. As it should be.) Mr. Beezy ordered a chicken chimichanga, lightly fried, and stuffed with a nice quality of chicken. Other tables had fajitas with great big shrimp the size of my thumb (I have great big mitts), with a good ration of meat to vegetable. They even have the not tex-mex option of fried yucca, crispy, light and served with a great slaw and juicy yet crispy fried pork. This is Mexican food that does not care for being authentic food that any self-respecting Mexican would actually eat. This is the cuisine that Bubba heads out to eat on Friday night with a cervezo, letting out a polite burp and sigh of satisfaction before hitching up his belt and waddling out to the car. This is where you can drink margaritas and eat nachos with the girls during happy hour until you are tipsy, without anyone judging or implying that you should be at the gym. It is so greasy and creamy and only mildly spiced, and I love it so. I hope you do too.
  14. Signage just went up for Takohachi, a Japanese Restaurant opening in the place of the rowdy Sports House Grill on the Northeast corner of South Glebe Road and Columbia Pike in South Arlington's Westmont Shopping Center:
  15. Ah, yes, I've been to their food truck - they had a tasty Chicken Milanese. I even found a couple of pictures - I'm not 100% sure this is them, but I'm 90% sure (there were two food trucks that parked in that shopping center, but I'm pretty sure La Chiquita furnished these, or at least one of them).
  16. Old Arlington Grill - which is on the opposite side of the entrance to Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse as the underrated Mazagan, is closed, and there's a banner up for a new restaurant which is coming. For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the restaurant (it caught me off-guard), but it's something ethnic - maybe Thai. If anyone is driving by on Columbia Pike, take a peak at the sign and let us know?
  17. The Top Jewelers is a small, family run jewelry store on South Arlington on Columbia Pike and S. Barton Street. It is across from Penrose next to Celtic House (and not to be confused with the Tops China on the backside of the strip mall). They have a surprisingly large and beautiful selection and are just the nicest people ever. Michael is the gentleman who runs the store now. They are excellent on repairs as well. Did a better job repairing my Tissot watch than the manufacturer. If they don’t have what you are looking for, they often will let you go through catalogs and order for you – think silver baby cups and the like. Keep them in mind when you are shopping small businesses! Liz Gill
  18. They really aren't all that far off. Damn it, I don't feel like writing a review, but ... click.
  19. We stumbled upon a wine bar/cafe called Cafe Caturra this weekend. It is in the parking lot of the Giant Shopping Center on (West? South? East?) Glebe down by Four Mile Run. We were on our way to Evening Star but decided to give it a try. It has been open about a month. Interesting concept. You order food from a counter but then sit at a table with your number and get full wait service for drinks. There are about 25 wines "on tap" - and the best part - you can try ANY AND/OR ALL of them for free before you order. There is also a large bar in the center that has about 15 seats where you can order food directly from the bartender, which is what we did. Wines come in 3, 6 or 9 oz pours or you can order by the bottle. I forgot to check if they have beer too. We had tomato basil soup that was quiet decent and 2 "stone hearth" pizzas. I have to say, I was very impressed with the pizza. The bartender said they get the crust from NY. I am indifferent to where it came from but it was awesome. I normally don't eat pizza crust ends but housed this one. There are lots of options on the foods such as small plates, sandwiches, salads and cheeses. Overall, I was very impressed. Very friendly bartenders. I will definitely go back. I just googled it and it appears that it is actually a mini-chain out of Richmond area - http://www.cafecaturra.com/ Oh, and there is a fire pit out front and outdoor seating. You stare at the ABC store and the Gold's Gym but a fire pit is cool nonetheless. (I searched for a thread - sorry if this is a repeat)
  20. *Really excited to share this!* According to the internet we have a new Mongolian restaurant!!!! Not Mongolian BBQ (Which was invented by a Taiwanese business person) but the real deal. In my talking with members of the Mongolian community I was told they had tried their hand at the restaurant game before but no one went soooooo lets make sure that doesn't happen again!!! I have yet to go but will do so today or tomorrow and really curious to hear what people think. Just as a warning Mongolian food is very very tough for Americans to take back in my experience. The tastes and flavors are incredibly unusual often soooo just be warned.
  21. I don't mean to post so much but as I've said in previous posts WE GOTZZZZ A BACKLOG to clear. This is a very very unknown store and one of the only Mongolian stores in the United States. Yes Northern Virginia is home to one of the largest Mongolian communities in the United States and actually many of them work on M street in Georgetown. That Ms. Saigon place on m has a bunch of Mongolian people working there for example. Anywhoooo this community has a few legit well hidden outposts. When I say well hidden I mean you won't see them on the street nor are they on google for the most part. SOOOOO Amex.... AMEx or American Mongolian Express doubles as a grocery store and a shipping center. Both of the Mongolian outposts I know of are shipping centers/something else so THIS IS A TREND YO!!!! Anyway AMEX is an extremely small store that is underneath a computer store (the basement practically) that happens to be facing out to the parking lot of this store. It is hidden so you can't see it but at the end of this I'll give the directions. They have Mongolian products one literally can't find elsewhere. In fact I was told that this is the ONLY Mongolian store in America sooooo I literally mean this lol. They have the Mongolian tea and they also have some other goods and knick knacks from Mongolia/also Russia cuz of the historical ties of the two from the communist era and the fact they are neighbors (I've been to Mongolia as well so I've first hand felt the Eastern Europeaness of Mongolia). Here is the REALLY SPECIAL PART THOUGH: Sometimes they have ultra hard to find Mongolian food such as horse milk or aarul which is dried cheese curds. This stuff is very potent and most Americans have a really hard time trying it. Sour and Milky are two words to describe this stuff. My friends did not believe I enjoyed the horse milk or the aarul etc BUT I DO!!!! They only have this sometimes as they get it from the Mongolian "network." Essentially someone in the community decides to make it and give it to them through a process I don't know BUT this only happens sometimes. The shortage can last MONTHS!!! FUCKING MONTHS!!! What I have also been told is that there is like a Mongolian community website (name I have lost BUT will ask around again) where they exchange food amongst each other which also contributes to why they don't necessarily go to the store to get it me thinks. Anyway go to this place if your craving something different to try and something most Americans can't find!!! DIRECTIONS: So here is the hard part.....finding this place This is what you do Type in Bob and Ediths Diner in Arlington on Columbia Pike Park your car as close to that as you can Walk down the street past the CITGO station and keep walking till you see an inclined down sloped street towards a parking lot. There should be a place called like LA NAILS there but there is also a laptop repair type of place THOSE ARE YOUR MARKERS. You should go down the parking lot and turn right stop and look for a sign that says AMEX in blue and red colors go inside and EUREKA YOU'VE FOUND IT The above is a google map view that should show what I am talking about Here is an article about the Mongolian community in Arlington by the way May 1, 2012 - "Mongolian Students Thrive in Arlington Ex-Pat Community" by Rachael Marcus on washingtonpost.com and actually just looking after writing this there seems to be a new MONGOLIAN RESTAURANT!!!! Which I'll post separately!!!
  22. You could have knocked me over with a feather. After having done this, happily discovering a U-turn back into DC on I-395 shortly after crossing the Potomac River, I decided to take the left fork in the road - the one that's marked "Long Bridge Drive." You will simply not believe there is a place this barren and rubble-strewn so close to downtown DC - it reminds me of the time a few years ago when I took a drive through the parking lot of what used to be Landover Mall. But then, I went around a turn, and before my very eyes, on the left of the road, was a huge hill leading up to what appeared to be some sort of park. There were lots of people there, and some were wearing batting helmets. Could it be? Yes! Yes it was! It was a park - Long Bridge Park to be exact - the most unlikely thing I've seen in quite awhile. Amidst the rubble-strewn road seemed to be some really nice athletic fields (inside of a 30-acre park, it turns out, with plenty of parking), and it's less than five minutes from the Washington, DC line. The website doesn't mention any batting cages, but this looks like the type of place that would have them. Although I didn't park and walk up to look, this place looked like it was really nice, and *if* there's a batting cage, it's probably the closest one to several neighborhoods in Washington, DC. Remember this - go to this post about making a U-turn on I-395, but don't make the U-turn - take the left fork in the road, and you'll be right at the batting cage within seconds. If you keep going, past the park, you'll end up in the heart of Crystal City - it's the fastest route to Jaleo, Kabob Palace (open 24 hours), etc. And then to get back into DC, just reverse course - it couldn't be any closer, and nobody knows about this exit off of I-395.
  23. First, let me say that there are two El Rancho restaurants in Northern Virginia: One in Backlick Plaza in Springfield, and a second on Columbia Pike in South Arlington. They used to be under the same umbrella, but as you can see, that is no longer the case: The website for the South Arlington restaurant is here, and the website for the Springfield restaurant is here. To put into perspective just how similar the two restaurants are, the South Arlington restaurant still uses a menu that refers to Springfield's website - the ownership change must be fairly recent. Anyway, this thread is about the South Arlington El Rancho on Columbia Pike. I've been here several times, and it is definitely a working-man's restaurant (and I say "man" with a purpose, because you do see a lot of Latino workers here, refueling after a long day on the job). The Pollo a la Brasa is decent, but on my most recent visit, I got Carne Asada ($11.69), a grilled steak platter with choice of two sides - I ordered Yuca Fries and Black Beans and Rice, and it came with a tiny plastic tub of pico de gallo and some of the pink dipping sauce for the yuca (*) If you've been to area Salvadoran-owned restaurants (**), you can probably picture pretty much exactly how this food was, except that the portion sizes are more modest than you'll often see (a lot of times when you order Carne Asada, you have leftovers for the next day; not so in this case). The steak is invariably cooked to well-done, the yuca is often somewhat mushy in the center, and the black beans and rice are always good. And so it was. I'm really straining to come up with something interesting to say about this meal, but this was food that you eat; not food that you dine on. It's tasty, satisfying, filling, and (fried yuca aside) not at all unhealthy. The problem, of course, being that other than beans and rice, most other sides at these restaurants are either "fried" or "saucy" or both, so you'd have to double up on the rice and beans in order to make this a healthy meal, and even then the beef was pretty darned salty. Well, I managed to write a few paragraphs about not a whole lot. El Rancho is a perfectly decent Pan-Latino restaurant that's clean (not always the case, mainly due to age), and has very polite employees who don't speak a lot of English. For me, if I'm hungry, and in the area, and don't feel like analyzing what I'm eating, it's a repeat. (*) I was busy looking at my computer screen while eating, and dunked a yuca strip into the little tub of pink sauce. The sauce was viscous enough where the entire thing (tub and all) clung to the yuca, and I put it in my mouth. (I mean, I caught it right at the entry point, but it was heading in that direction.) (**) I believe the owners here are from Ecuador.
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