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Found 69 results

  1. Please see the post here. If anyone wants to use the picnic as a springboard to prime this pump, please do.
  2. I worked in Springfield for almost 8 years--until June 2005, when SouthPaws picked up and moved to Merrifield. It didn't take me long to realize what we'd lost in terms of sources for lunch. We were right next door to Kate's Irish Pub, which was convenient, if inconsistent. I used to always order their liver and onions lunch special to share with the dog who went to work with me every day. Their food could range from pretty good pub grub to eeeww, depending on the day. A bakery down at the other end of that shopping center had wonderful cookies and other baked goods, as well as great home-cooked Hispanic specialties for breakfast and lunch. I don't remember the name, but it's near the mattress store and the day spa. Dragon Sea Buffet was very popular, and often crowded. For steam table food, it was pretty good, and they had sushi, dim sum, and some exotic soups at times. I really miss Delia's. I never set foot in the place, but their long and varied delivery menu kept us all very happy. Their entree salads, their sandwiches and subs, and even their barbecue were decent, filling, and reasonably priced. Malek's also had decent delivery, but we generally liked Delia's better. I think they made at least one delivery, and sometimes several, to our hospital every day. Saigon City opened a couple of years ago, and offered good pho and chai gio and other Vietnamese specialties. A few blocks away, TK Thai produced decent carry out and delivery. I'm writing this in the past tense, because I haven't eaten at any of these places since May 2005. A new kabob place was opening even as our moving vans pulled away last year, and I never got to try it. The El Paso Tex Mex place on Commerce was good, but too slow for our short lunch breaks. I write this with a great deal of nostalgia. I have not found the lunch choices in and around Merrifield to come anywhere close to what we had in Springfield.
  3. I tried out this new Afghan restaurant for lunch today with a friend & had an excellent meal. Tucked in a small strip mall, near Bozzellis & a giant Puppy Palace (the Olde Towne Pet Resort), there were 2 tables seated when we arrived & it was full when we left, with several people coming in for takeout orders. My friend & I split an order of the spicy beef dumplings, mantu ($4.95) & we both ended up getting the chicken kebab ($9.95) which came with basmati, salate, avocado chutney (I thought it was more of a green yogurt sauce & delicious) & they very kindly subbed out the potatoes it came with, for eggplant. It was all delicious, great service, & I look forward to going back & trying some other dishes. It looked like quite a few people were going for the beef shank qabuli or the lamb shanks. It's an excellent choice for dining near Ft. Belvoir or the Newington area.
  4. Rolling Cooking is a restaurant that has only been open since 2016 on Rolling Road near Old Keene Mill Road in Springfield. It's in the same plaza as Afghan Kabob and TCS Computer, behind Einstein Bagels. However, this version of Rolling Cooking is only 4 weeks old, according to the hostess, meaning it changed ownership at the end of January 2018. In the past 3 days I've ordered delivery and carry out, and right now, this is the best of Springfield's Americanized Chinese restaurants. What strikes me is how greaseless the fried dishes are -- the shrimp tempura has a heavier crust than I'm used to, but the greaseless crunch on the outside gives way to soft shrimp on the inside, and the salt-and-pepper flounder filet are delightful pillows of deliciousness. And I had this latter dish after delivery and carry out, both, and in both cases, it was delectable. In my delivery order a few days ago came shredded pork with chili peppers and General Tso's chicken. The pork was OK, not spectacular, but tasty. The General Tso's chicken was a nice rendition, with perfectly portioned chicken cubes bathed in a not-overly-sweet sauce that had a nice kick. In my take-out order tonight, I repeated the salt-and-pepper flounder to prove I wasn't imaging its goodness a few days -- I wasn't -- and I added the whole fried rockfish. The rockfish was a bit over-fried, so it had some dryness, and when the dryness co-mingled with the bony fish, it was as pleasant as I would have liked. This appears to be a dish to be eaten in the restaurant as soon as it comes out of the fryer. As I was waiting for my carry-out order, the hostess brought me a plate of warm, salty peanuts, followed by a cup of hot and sour soup, and a nice tumbler of hot tea. These treats were gratis, but inspired me to add a nice tip to the carry-out check. I also noticed a six-top occupied by a Hispanic family, and a beautiful dish of chicken fried rice in the middle of that table. A four-top with an Asian family speaking Chinese to the hostess is always a sign that the indigenous population enjoys the food here too. I'll keep an eye on Rolling Cooking to make sure that it stays consistent, but it ranks at least a nose ahead of Springfield's other Chinese offerings at this point.
  5. For the sake of completeness, Moe's deserves a place in the Springfield section of the Dining Guide. It also deserves a place on the oldest restaurant list, having opened in 1971. Moe's is named for Mohammed Traish, who passed away in 2014. The restaurant opens at 7:00am, when it offers a hearty breakfast of everything from eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, scrapple, short stack, you name it. The restaurant closes at whatever time the crowd thins, maybe 11:00pm or midnight. If there is a central Springfield, and it's certainly not the hideous "town center" that occupies what was once Springfield Mall, then it's the complicated swath of roads and overpasses on the other side of the mixing bowl that encompasses JW's, Moe's, the Paper Moon strip club, and Mike's....more or less on a jagged line up Backlick Road. And Moe's is an anchor in that area, feeding the hungry workers at the start of the day and sopping up the JW's and Paper Moon's booze at the end of the day. Moe's burger has been my standard, topped with a fried egg and a few squirts of hot sauce. Keep your expectations in check -- it is what it is -- and you won't be disappointed or impressed.
  6. I just realized this little gem of a Vietnamese place did not have its own listing in the Dining Guide, just a few passing mentions in other categories. Because the establishments that dot this plaza apparently are all closing as part of a construction project, I figured now was a good time to pay tribute. Coming in the door, the first thing you see is the bakery. A wide assortment of cakes and sweets are on display, and a book of cake decorations is available to order from. To the right are prepared foods, and I scored some rolls with pork sausage and a fine dipping sauce from the table. The case and the refrigerator have a goodly assortment of pork buns and jars of various vegetables and pickles. To the left is the seating area, with a nice looking buffet of about 8 options, including Don't favorite everything meatballs, pork cutlets, pig belly in sauce and a few other tempting delights. I noticed that most of the diners were indigenous, always a good sign, and a noticed quite a few polished-off bowls of pho with some deeply brown broth left in the bottom of one bowl. I had the combination banh mi, which for $2.75 included ham, head cheese and pate, along with maybe the least industrial bun I've had with banh mi in memory. This was an overall better combination banh mi than the dozen or more I've eaten at DC Sandwich. The aforementioned pork spring rolls were 3 to a pack, loaded with vermicelli, lettuce, shredded veggies and disks of pork sausage, with a tangy-sweet peanut dipping sauce. The pack was about $4.50, and the total with the banh mi and tax was $7.61. I'm stuffed to the gills. Out of fear that it may close or relocated sometime soon, I will put it in my near term rotation and make sure it gets a steady flow of revenue. But as long as it's open, there is absolutely no need to run to Falls Church for my banh mi fix.
  7. I remember going into Saigon City a few years ago when it was mostly lunch-counter pho, where you place the order at the counter and wait for your number to be called, then take your tray to a set. I don't know why I haven't been back in a few years -- it wasn't bad but it wasn't great -- and I don't know what compelled me to try it again today. But I'm really glad I did. Saigon City Restaurant is now a real restaurant, with a full Vietnamese menu and table service. And on a Friday afternoon, of the 25-30 patrons in the place, at least two-thirds were Vietnamese. That's always a good sign when an ethnic restuarant draws its peeps. Although there are many dishes I want to return for on what appears to be the most complete Vietnamese menu in Springfield (yes, I realize that's not saying much, and you can throw in Burke, Lorton and Occoquan as well!), I went with the cha gio and the meat combo pho today. (Note to self -- whenever writing about pho, taste it before you squeeze in the lime, dump in the basil and sprouts, and squirt in the hoisin and sriracha...) Anyway, it was good enough to return for. The cha gio scored high on taste, but they were a little smaller than the many Falls Church versions I've had. I will return and sample my way through the menu -- Shaky Beef and Lemon Grass Chicken, here I come! -- but I wanted to post this so that those of you with a hankering for Vietnamese in the Springfield area would have this place on your radar. http://www.saigoncityrestaurant.com/
  8. Chef Feliciano in Springfield was a catering business until about a month and half ago, when it opened a weekday lunch counter. I'm thankful for that decision, because these are the best sandwiches in our area. The first thing you see when you walk in the door are empanadas, and trays of fresh baked goods....so one empanada and 3 chocolate chip cookies went home with me. I haven't tried the chocolate chip cookies yet, but they are large and dotted with half-inch chunks of chocolate all over. The empanada was delicious, just as I would imagine a good empanada to be. On to the sandwiches, and I took home the triple club and the Cubano. I only ate half of each one so far, but they were both excellent. The slabs of sliced pork on the Cubano made the sandwich almost perfect. The club sandwich on a sub roll was really good. Chef Feliciano tells me he orders his buns fresh-baked every day from the International Gourmet baker, about a mile away. They were indeed very fresh. Bread snobs would be impressed. He also showed me the beef for the special sandwich today -- beautiful slices of raw sirloin steak in a tub, marinating in herbs and garlic, to be blackened on the flat top and served on a fresh bun. Can't wait to try that one sometime soon. Oh, and sandwiches come with rice and beans (or chips). The bad news is that it's only open from Monday through Friday for lunch. The good news is that we have a genuine family-run business serving up very nice quality sandwiches (with a few salads and soups thrown in).
  9. And now with Village Chicken open at the southern end of the shopping center (4 doors down from Delia's) it's becoming a chicken's worst nightmare .
  10. Replacing the BBQ Delight outpost in Hechinger Plaza (next to Saigon Quan), is a new Yemeni restaurant: Marib Restaurant. I think it's been open a couple of months now. After waiting for the Verizon tech to fix a screeching box in my closet, I decided to head on over and get some lunch. Seeing as my entire knowledge of Yemeni cuisine is saltah and chicken mandi, and I've had neither, I figured now is as good a time to try it! I picked saltah and paired it with a Vimto...mainly because I'd never actually tried Vimto as well. I must say, it was quite good. The saltah was pretty much every vegetable in a roiling stew with some sahawiq (spicy condiment, it seems) and a very yummy fenugreek foam around the edge. Couple that with some just perfect bread for dipping and a great lunch was had. And, lucky me, I couldn't eat it all so I have some leftovers tonight/tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be back to get some chicken mandi and, maybe someday when I'm with about 7 others, get the bint al-sahn. The picture of it on Yelp helps one understand why it's $40. Not a slice...the whole thing!
  11. We had takeout from Aabshaar Restaurant last night and it was amazing! Pakora came off the steam table of the buffet, but was delicious and crispy nonetheless. Keema was the best version I've tried (out of 3). Daal Mahani was full of wonderful flavors. Tandoori chicken was moist and flavorful, although some pieces were more bone than meat. This is really good cooking and we are so glad we tried it!
  12. Fine dining has apparently arrived in Springfield! Monty's Steakhouse recently opened in the Whole Foods plaza on Old Keene Mill and Rolling Roads in Springfield. I haven't yet eaten there, but I stopped in today for a look-see. It's a nicely appointed dining room with white table cloths on the tables and a tidy bar in the front corner. Monty's is independently owned and touts itself as "best value" upscale, casual dining. The owner is Springfield native Donna Montazami, with a Cafe LaRuche and Vapiano pedigree, and the executive chef is CIA graduate Marco Camacho, who worked at the Woodmore Country Club and the Mayflower. I glanced at the menu and was impressed by the reasonable prices -- dry aged, locally sourced beef and lamb chops in the mostly $25- $40 range, plus fresh seafood options and specialty burgers. Lady Kibbee and I will likely drop in for a meal in a few days. http://montyssteakhouse.com/
  13. Tried Dera Restaurant today after a previous visit earlier in the week to Thai Ghang Waan which I liked albiet I don't know if it was a clear first in the DMV. Nevertheless, I digress, the mall Thai is in is mostly South Asian and boy is it huge. Out of all the strip malls I've visited this is one of the biggest conflagrations. I knew I had to come back and do more work on some of these restos which I finally got to tonight! I went to Dera Restaurant as I had previously read about it and it seems to be the most "renowned" of the Pakistani fare at this mall. It's a funny place as the dining room is cavernous but doesn't have quite enough tables. Next door they have a wedding hall party place kinda thing. Anyway, I had a nice meal here, not quite as good as Khan Kabob but still worth a visit as I expand my restaurant holdings (I'm at 120 as of now). I got the Chicken Karahi and the Beef Boti Kabob. Both were respectable indeed the kabobs were better then I thought they would be being nicely spiced with a good flavor. Usually I find ordering kabobs at a non dedicated kabob Pakistani restaurant isn't the best move as an aside. The Karahi was not the absolute best I've had but also a respectable attempt. I would recommend coming here especially if your in the area but if your not I would trek to Khan Kabob over Dera.
  14. Jayson Werth, organic farmer (article from The Washington Post sports bog) Don, you might want to move this somewhere else, but it's a fascinating article.
  15. I have mentioned before that the national dish of Springfield is rotisserie chicken. Jacalito is in the same little strip mall as Bozzelli's, and therefore I never tried it because of my typical beeline to Bozzelli's. Now I am culinarily conflicted, because Jacalito is not only good, it's damned good. Two mentions up front -- it is a mom-n-pop single restaurant, and it is honest enough to put "Tex-Mex" on its window and in its title. That's a good start. I ordered carry out today, and the order was two whole chickens, sides of Mexican rice, a la charra beans and house salads. Plus an order of guacamole. Oh, and enough of the green and white sauces to drown in. Total tab was about $32. When I got home, I had a few things to do as I walked in the door, so I didn't tuck in until about 30 minutes after leaving Jacalito. The time lag didn't have a negative effect on the food at all. The chicken was juicy and succulent, the rice and the beans were really good and the salad was fresh and crispy. The guacamole was also fresh and chunky, not as spicy as I would normally like, but quite tasty. Three adults ate, or overate, until full, and lots of good food is left over for tomorrow. There may be a dozen or more of these places in and around Springfield right now, but Jacalito is second to none. I can't wait to try their soft tacos or huevos rancheros in the near future. www.jacalitogrill.com
  16. On the advice of my Vietnamese barber, who knows a thing or two about Vietnamese food, I tried Pho 495 today for lunch. Emblazoned on the menu is "Best Vietnamese Noodle Soup in Northern Virginia' (or words to that effect) and I am inclined to accept that assertion. I had the No. 1 beef combo with added meatballs, and I was very impressed. This was a deeply rich and hearty broth, easily simmered for a very long time based on how much deep flavor and complexity it displayed. It was loaded with all the basic bits and pieces -- tripe, tendon, cartilage, beef pieces and the added meatballs. I can't say that I've had any better at all the various places I've tasted pho in northern Virginia, and I'm not stretching the truth. Too bad we're nearing the kind of weather where I tend to avoid hot soups, but I know I'll be back often in the autumn, or the next time we have a raw, rainy day. 7215 Commerce Street, Springfield www.pho495.com
  17. I've also eaten lunch at Kumo Asian Bistro, across the street, w/ the same friend (who is NOT an adventurous diner)- she had a Chinese dish, I had Thai basil chicken (not terrible, not outstanding), & a couple of rolls (Tokyo & eel avocado, if I remember correctly). It's an attractive place, service was just fine, but there are so many alternatives in the Springfield area (Thai Gang Waan, Bangkok Noodle, Le Bledo, Delia's, Gamasot) & so many that I haven't tried yet (Sampan Cafe, Mediterranean Gourmet Market), I just want to keep trying new places...
  18. There is a one-post thread on Wood Ranch BBQ Grill in another geographical section. It is noteworthy that the only outpost of Wood Ranch BBQ Grill outside of California was in Springfield, and is now closed. Can't really say I'll miss it because I never ate there. It's a large space, so another restaurant is probably going in there....
  19. Osteria Marzano is going to be opening in Kingstowne very soon, story here. It is going to be in he office plex where the NOVA Urgent Care place is located. The Executive Chef is Carmine Marzano. A quick Google search indicates that he was at Luigino downtown.
  20. If the Thai place is any good it will be the first place in that shopping center. Not holding my breath.
  21. Up front admission -- I'm not a fan of GAR. I think their restaurants are too loud, and the food is just not that creative. There has to be a central kitchen behind all of that ubiquitous short-smoked salmon and garlic mashed potatoes. No real chef can be in those individual kitchens, pouring out all those dry pork chops and too-salty ribeyes. Tried Mike's tonight for what might be the 15th time. Never my choice, but I get invited out a lot. First of all, I like the decor. I'm a big baseball fan. But who the heck decided that the sun-dried cranberries are a good addition to every salad? You get the same cloyingly sweet sensation and texture of Gummi Bears. I thought I finally found something on the menu worth ordering -- breaded chicken cutlets over pasta with a brown butter sauce and mushrooms. Sounded good, bit I wish I tasted more than salt. The food is consistently dreadful, which makes it consistent with Coastal Flats and Sweetwater. You can consistently count on these places to be incredibly loud, have consistently mediocre food and consistently perky wait staff. They are, uh, consistent. The GAR restaurants are, in my humble opinion, a waste of a good opportunity to eat well at another restaurant.
  22. Ravensworth Shopping Center is managed by Stewart Commercial Realty Services, LLC. Restaurateurs: See below (*). Smith & Clarkson's, whose website is no longer accessible, has closed along with the Safeway next door, and apparently several other shops in the Ravensworth Shopping Center in Springfield (on Braddock Road, immediately outside the Beltway) These are becoming a Lotte (which I'm just now finding out is pronounced with a long "o" after about fifteen years). Rest assured, this is an indirect consequence of the 495 Express Lanes, which have a Braddock Road exit. Many people will be coming locally from Little River Turnpike, but the Express Lanes will encourage others to arrive as well. It's remarkable (literally, worthy of remark) that this new Lotte is opening so close to the one at Fairfax Circle. Demographically, it makes perfect sense, but I wonder if this is an addition, or a replacement. According to this post on fairfaxunderground.com (where there is some, um, "lively" discussion), Don McIlvaine, GM of Ravensworth Properties, LLC, tried to get Whole Foods to move in, but failed - presumably because they're resting comfortably down Rolling Road, in the heart of Springfield (I agree that switching locations would have been a bad demographic decision for Whole Foods; it seems like an excellent one for Lotte, assuming they'll be closing in Fairfax Circle (I have no knowledge about this one way or the other - it's just that the two locations would be very close together if Fairfax was to remain open)). Of key importance: The Swiss Bakery remains, for now - I pulled up just as they were closing on Wednesday, and a girl was locking the door, so I didn't get a chance to ask them what the future held. Despite the domination of Lotte (it's in that corner close to Braddock Road (**), and The Swiss Bakery will be even more invisible than it is now), I think this new anchor might help their business, and it might even help them tremendously (I can also see someone with the exact opposite initial instinct, and who knows what's going to happen to their rent in the future). Well, you can kiss parking at Ravensworth Shopping Center goodbye. Furthermore, an already-terrible intersection is about to become a Lotte more terrible - if you're coming up the outer loop of the Beltway (which many Koreans will be doing), you're going to *need* a Latte to stay awake while you wait for that single-lane stoplight. They're going to have to change things up a bit - I'm glad Matt's going to college. So long to Smith & Clarkson's, which has been under its current ownership since 2002 (but was open long before that under another owner). So long also to one of the Oldest Restaurants in the Washington, DC Area that you've probably never even heard of: Pizza Bazzano, which opened in 1967, and is also closing due to the advent (encroachment?) of Lotte. Of note: According to this article from October 18, 2014, on annandaleva.blogspot.com (who was the first source to report on the October 16 Town Hall meeting), Smith & Clarkson's is expanding into the Pizza Bazzano space. That said, I haven't seen any other, more recent, sources that verify this, so I can't confirm it; in fact, Ravensworth Shopping Center's website lists both Lotte and The Swiss Bakery as "Current Tenants," along with Kilroy's, but there's no mention of either Smith & Clarkson's or Pizza Bazzano. In fact, if you click on the picture immediately below, you can see that both Smith & Clarkson's and Pizza Bazzano's spaces appear to be vacant, whereas The Swiss Bakery's is still there. It's a wise move for Ravensworth Shopping Center to be keeping The Swiss Bakery - they are a *huge* asset, and if they were my tenant, I'd do everything I could to retain them and keep them happy. To The Swiss Bakery: Not accounting for any rent increases, my gut feel is that this is going to help your business going forward, quite a bit, once you get beyond construction. In fact, if you have a long-term lease, I'd say you've just won the lottery - I hope to hell you got it for 20 instead of 10. Regardless, I'll follow you wherever you go, and given how little space you inhabit, I'd even consider you a mini-anchor and cut you a deal - this *should* be a win-win for both you and your landlord, but I've seen money do really bad things to people, all too often. To the landlords: I know you don't know who I am, but I assure you I don't know a soul who is associated with The Swiss Bakery. Based on merit alone, I have them ranked in my Dining Guide ahead of Georgetown Cupcake as the #1 Bakery in the Washington, DC area that has Multiple Locations (since you haven't posted ten times, you won't be able to see it, so you'll either need to find someone that has, or just trust me on this one). (*) Note: 1618 7th St. NW is for lease: (**) It sure seems like the ideal placement for Lotte would be at the back end of that shopping center, doesn't it? Well, it's not a perfect world - this is going to be one serious bottleneck unless they force drivers to take the rear entrance.
  23. I'm glad to hear this, Kibbee - I made a mistake with Kilroy's, mistaking it for Brion's Grille up by Ox Road before I realized that I have never been to this restaurant, not even once.
  24. Sushi Taiko is now open....it does not appear to be a chain and it has a Japanese menu, including Taiko Omakase Supreme. I haven't tried it yet, but it's on my short list. Same plaza as Delia's and El Sabor Boliviano, across from Brookfield Plaza.
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