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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.

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Hi

Another tidbit about Forno Italian Oven and Grill:

The first is from chef Febbraro Enzo, who is opening Forno Italian Oven & Grill, a casual Italian eatery, at 43150 Broadland Center Plaza in Ashburn. The restaurant will serve two types of pizzas, thin crust and Neopolitan, as well as salads, appetizers and pastas.

“Because of today’s economy, you need to diversify, and this is something we’ve always wanted to do,” says Enzo, who also co-owns D’Acqua Ristorante in downtown D.C. He has been testing the Forno concept at D’Acqua Cafe in Verizon Center, a scaled-down version of his flagship restaurant.

The Original Steakhouse is a local chain (3 in VA, 2 in MD). But the prime rib was divine.

Thai - I haven't been to all of them, but Burapa Thai is really good. For Indian, I really like Mirchi, which incidentally is very close to Anita's - a local Mexican chain - i.e. not nationwide that I'm aware of but several VA locations.

Don't forget the American Flatbread reco above.

In that same plaza is another Thai place, Anothai, which is also good and will deliver (no idea if Burapa will, I'm just a tad too far away even if it did). Burapa's Tom Kha Gai is better than Anothai's TKG.

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Mr. H on Todd Kliman's chat recommended Burapa Thai (mentioned by flygirl upthread). This menu below sounds awesome. Has anyone else tried the secret Thai menu?

Here's the menu Seng put together for us (she apologized because she could only get small tree ant eggs due to the recent flooding in Laos):

Kaonom Yad Sai Kali- Lao curry puff curried potato and chicken wrapped with pastry dough

Sai Oua - Lao spicy sausage (pork), stuffed with lemongrass, herbs & fresh dill

Tum Marg Huong (Lao hot) - Salad with julienned green papaya, tomato, lime juice, and a Laotian spicy sauce (very very hot)

Larb Seen (cooked, sour)-

Beef larb (minced), cooked, sour taste, with kaffir lime leaves, rice powder, shallots, garlic, green onion, cilantro & mint. Larb Seen (raw, bitter) -

Beef larb (minced), raw, bitter taste (marinated in bile), with kaffir lime leaves, rice powder, shallots, garlic, green onion, cilantro & mint.

Koi Pah (medium rare) -Minced fish, texture similar to ceviche, with kaffir lime leaves, rice powder, shallots, garlic, green onion, cilantro & mint.

Koi Tub - Minced beef liver, with kaffir lime leaves, rice powder, shallots, garlic, green onion, cilantro & mint.

Ping Kai - Grilled chicken breast, with dipping sauce and broccoli Ping Seen - Grilled beef, lightly marinated, with dipping sauce and broccoli

Moak Pha -Steamed fish in fresh banana leaf, with lemongrass and fresh dill

Orm (beef)-Beef stew with chili paste, lemongrass, galangal, Asian eggplant & fresh dill

Kao Piak Sen (chicken)- Vermicelli rice noodles with chicken, ginger, scallion, cilantro, coconut milk, lemon grass, ginger, chili, cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, crispy garlic, and shallots

Nam Khao- Crispy rice salad, with herbs and shredded coconut, seasoned with lime juice, onion, and ham. Eaten wrapped in lettuce leaves

Mieng Muang Luang- Wrap with savory ground rice paste & lemongrass, ginger, tomato, chili & peanuts Som Pah- Fermented/pickled tilapia

Ob Hum Ngua- Bull penis stew

Pon Pah - Pounded fish Yum Marg Pee- Banana flower salad Ping Lin - Grilled beef tongue Kang kee lek - Cassia fistula with tree ant eggs & cow skin Jeo Bong- Spicy dipping sauce made with chilis, galangal, pork & cow skin

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Burapa Thai seemed to lead to some inevitable distress later in the afternoon at work for me, which is why I stopped going there.

Though it did help me play a lot of levels of Angry Birds, or BrickBreaker, or whatever smartphone game I had at the time was.

(Actually I think it was Armored Strike Online...)

ANYWAYS

I'm a big fan of Chin Chin Cafe, in the strip mall with Bloom, Manhattan Pizzeria, Taco Bell/KFC, etc. I go there usually at least once a week and always get the hot and sour soup. When I first started, everything was styrofoam and plastic - nowadays they've made it nicer. The egg rolls stink, but it's one of my favorite places for kung pao chicken.

Also, there's Pho Bistro over by the Goodyear. That might be a smallish chain, but I enjoy it. If only I could figure out how to eat pho without getting it on the book I'm reading...

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Very likely we will be moving to Ashburn in a few months. I'm not really that thrilled about it, but it's one of the few affordable places left in the area, and as a renter, I'm getting crushed by taxes, so I need to buy a home.

Are there any promising places to eat/grocery shop in the area? 

 

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On 2/20/2017 at 5:53 PM, reedm said:

Very likely we will be moving to Ashburn in a few months. I'm not really that thrilled about it, but it's one of the few affordable places left in the area, and as a renter, I'm getting crushed by taxes, so I need to buy a home.

Are there any promising places to eat/grocery shop in the area? 

MoKoMandy used to be very good, and may still be - it's one of the strangest combinations of cuisines I've ever come across: Korean and Cajun, but *not* fusion.

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Welcome to LoCo!

Great Wegmans just east of Ashburn off 28. There's a Lotte Plaza at Waxpool and Asburn Farm Blvd.

Need to get back to MoKoMandy. Strange combo indeed (owners' heritage, birthplace, something like that) but it works or at least it did on our one visit a couple years ago. NB: It's in Sterling off 7, not too far from Ashburn but at that radius you can also include Leesburg on your radar.

Definitely plenty of wineries, breweries, and even cideries not too far.

For Ashburn itself, everything is in plazas, I've seen tons of non-chain eateries that may or not be any good -- Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern etc. There's also a barbecue place right where the W&OD bike path crosses Ashburn Road. Could be a nice find too.

Ford's Fish Shack in the Ice House plaza is definitely worth a look.

For a short drive Gilbert's Corner (15 at 50) is most certainly worth a look on the weekends. World-class (seriously) french pastry from Arnaud "Arno" Herodet, and outstanding barbecue from the Pit Stop. There's a great fruit guy later in the season. Just west of GC is the village of Aldie, where there's a cute little bakery called Little Apple Pasty Shop and an eatery called Brassicas specializing in fresh local foods that people seem to like a lot.

Enjoy

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8 minutes ago, Bob Wells said:

Welcome to LoCo!

Great Wegmans just east of Ashburn off 28. There's a Lotte Plaza at Waxpool and Asburn Farm Blvd.

Need to get back to MoKoMandy. Strange combo indeed (owners' heritage, birthplace, something like that) but it works or at least it did on our one visit a couple years ago. NB: It's in Sterling off 7, not too far from Ashburn but at that radius you can also include Leesburg on your radar.

Definitely plenty of wineries, breweries, and even cideries not too far.

For Ashburn itself, everything is in plazas, I've seen tons of non-chain eateries that may or not be any good -- Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern etc. There's also a barbecue place right where the W&OD bike path crosses Ashburn Road. Could be a nice find too.

Ford's Fish Shack in the Ice House plaza is definitely worth a look.

For a short drive Gilbert's Corner (15 at 50) is most certainly worth a look on the weekends. World-class (seriously) french pastry from Arnaud "Arno" Herodet, and outstanding barbecue from the Pit Stop. There's a great fruit guy later in the season. Just west of GC is the village of Aldie, where there's a cute little bakery called Little Apple Pasty Shop and an eatery called Brassicas specializing in fresh local foods that people seem to like a lot.

Enjoy

It don't matter who's in Ashburn,
Bob Wells is still the king.

As long as Leesburg enters the conversation, don't forget about the potential of Jason Maddens and Ah-So.

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There's a donut place in Leesburg called B Doughnuts that has been getting a lot of hype but there are some naysayers and apparently the owner tore into one of them on facebook with a defensive rant about how hard he works that started "Dear Hater..." Not a good look. :lol:

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On 2/20/2017 at 5:53 PM, reedm said:

Very likely we will be moving to Ashburn in a few months. I'm not really that thrilled about it, but it's one of the few affordable places left in the area, and as a renter, I'm getting crushed by taxes, so I need to buy a home.

Are there any promising places to eat/grocery shop in the area? 

Welcome to the area!  Even more than most places, I feel like whether you like Ashburn is all in the neighborhood.  If you have great neighbors you'll love it, if not you may find it a bit 'detached' out here.  Just in case you're still looking at houses...

For food... Opa! Mezze Grill is good greek food, I second Bob Wells' rec of Ford's Fish Shack.  At One Loudoun there is an interesting Thai place called Streets of Siam that has a solid cocktail program.  Parallel Wine Bistro is a place I can love and hate at the same time, but the patio is a nice place to hang out on a warm evening.  Next to Parallel is Johnny's Italian - other Johnny's have received raves for their cheesesteaks in other threads on this site, but I find its the best pizza in the area.  It's been awhile since I've been to the Wine Kitchen in Leesburg since the no-res policy doesn't work well with little ones, but the last brunch I had there was solid.  Magnolia's and WK Hearth in Purcellville (15 min) are good, and then you have Potowmack Farm up in Lovettsville.  We eat most often at Clydes Willow Creek and Coopers Hawk but I'm afraid that is more due to convenience (and their bars) than them being really solid choices.  Sadly I've not found too many of the small, non-chain places at the 'centers' to be worth a second visit, but Mali Thai is decent enough and Sakura is ok for hibachi/sushi.

I tend to shop at the Whole Foods at Belmont Chase... honestly the options out here are somewhat limited in that area unless you love Harris Teeter or have the mental toughness for Wegmans on a weekend.

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We put money down on a new place that's about a mile from the future Ashburn metro station, so we are committed. I appreciate the feedback, and since I consider myself to be an optimist, the area has much to offer.

While the Ashburn Whole Foods probably won't compare to the Fair Lakes location, few locations would, so I'll just have to accept that. :-). Glad to hear Lotte Plaza is close. 

Thanks again for the great suggestions!

BTW, we did have lunch at Burger 21 about a week ago. It's a franchise spot, and while it's new to me, I'd wager someone here has heard of it. There's not much atmosphere, but I didn't expect an. The burger choices were plentiful, and you can get them cooked to your temperature preference. I don't recall exactly what we ordered, but the burgers were delicious

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Any recommendations for dining out in Ashburn or even Leesburg and elsewhere in Loudon County? @MichaelBDC and I have decamped to Ashburn for the month while our condo undergoes a bathroom/kitchen renovation. We have had two dining excursions -- one take out and one dine in -- and both were subpar. All recommendations are welcome!

 

 

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I would second Ahso.  Honestly the tough dining scene in the area has gotten tougher lately - the few hidden (or not so hidden) gems we loved have either closed or changed ownership.  Opa! recently sold and, while I want the new owners to be successful, my latest experiences suggest it has lost a step or two.  

Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg is reliable if you want something similar to Clyde's but a little bit better.  Ford's Fish Shack is also a good choice.  Greek Unique has an interesting menu in the fast/casual department, and Passion Fin is still reliably good sushi.  Sense of Thai in One Loudoun is also solid for some quirky fusion dishes.  Roots 657 in Lucketts is a good casual cafe/take out option - barbeque, burgers, soups, though I was saddened to see they've replaced their excellent black bean burger with an Impossible Burger.

And I'll say it - the kebab place in the food court at Dulles Town Center (yes, the food court) cooks to order and is really good.  Fair warning - haven't visited since Covid, unsure of status.

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Ahso remains our runaway favorite in the Ashburn area. In addition to their regular menu, they offer ramen on Mondays, Tacos on Tuesdays, and burgers on Wednesday (the Ahso burger, which is available every night, is a great choice). They remained very creative throughout the pandemic, and I believe they were able to retain all of their staff. Wonderful people.

While the regular menu is excellent, I think the microwine dinner, which consists of four courses and wine pairings, is a great value at $85. We have enjoyed the chef's counter a couple of times for special occasions, which consists of 6 courses + pairings for about $130.

There are a plethora of Indian spots in the area--Saffron and Rupa Vira top our lists.

@Genericeric's suggestions are quite good as well.

Which places let you down?

 

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8 hours ago, genericeric said:

Ford's Fish Shack is also a good choice. 

Sad to report that the mother-ship Ford's in Ashburn will be closing due to landlord-tenant issues but the other Ford's are alive and well.

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1 hour ago, reedm said:

Ahso remains our runaway favorite in the Ashburn area. In addition to their regular menu, they offer ramen on Mondays, Tacos on Tuesdays, and burgers on Wednesday (the Ahso burger, which is available every night, is a great choice). They remained very creative throughout the pandemic, and I believe they were able to retain all of their staff. Wonderful people.

While the regular menu is excellent, I think the microwine dinner, which consists of four courses and wine pairings, is a great value at $85. We have enjoyed the chef's counter a couple of times for special occasions, which consists of 6 courses + pairings for about $130.

There are a plethora of Indian spots in the area--Saffron and Rupa Vira top our lists.

@Genericeric's suggestions are quite good as well.

Which places let you down?

 

The big caveat that I should have mentioned is that we are staying with family who are not particularly adventurous, though I think we can convince them to go to Ahso. We did take out from Parrando's Tex-Mex Grill which was bad across the board. We then did brunch at Blue Ridge Grill which was fine but not a place I would consider going back to. 

Thank you all for the recommendations. We will likely eat in more than out at restaurants, but want to have some places to recommend when the in-laws ask if there's anywhere we want to eat. 

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We are finally back in DC after nearly a month in Ashburn. There were some rough stretches but we were able to have some enjoyable dining experiences during out time in the 'burbs. 

Ford's Fish Shack (Landsdowne): Some of the very best crab cakes I have had in a while. A lot of crab meat, very little filler. Shoe string fries were okay, wish I had substituted a side salad or vegetable instead. But the crab cakes were amazing. @MichaelBDC had the swordfish special which he liked a lot. Sister-in-law and niece had the chicken sandwich, which they thought was one of the best they've had in a while. 

King Street Oyster Bar: Decent, but limited, brunch, but stick to the lunch menu. Good selection of oysters and I enjoyed my half dozen. Oyster po'boy for me was good with three large oysters. Fries were fine, nothing special. @MichaelBDChad the steak breakfast burrito and said it was not good.

Sense of Thai: Nice atmosphere, good food, if a touch too sweet. Som Tum was very good but super spicy. I had the Chumphon Pad Thai which included shrimp and crab meat. It had a good amount of shrimp, but a touch too sweet for my taste. The PAT Pad Thai @MichaelBDCordered was even sweeter than mine and he only ate half. I ate the other half for lunch the next day. 

First Watch: Decent brunch option for non brunch people like us. Would go again.

Pho Nomenal: Got delivery from here one night. Pretty legit Vietnamese food although I think they hold back on the fish sauce  a little too much for my taste. Bun Bo Hue for @MichaelBDC was very good. I had the Vermicelli with grilled pork and a spring roll. Grilled pork was super good, both flavorful and tender. As mentioned earlier, the nuoc cham needed more fish sauce, lime, and spice.

Thanks all for the recommendations!

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Forgot to mention that we did manage to go to AhSo one evening with my friend who works in Manassas. The meal was very good with some slight executions errors such as undercooked octopus and my under salted gnocchi and PEI mussels. Otherwise, flavors were really nice and fresh and it was a lovely evening overall. 

 

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I wish that AhSo was open for lunch since that is when I am usually in Ashburn.

Yesterday I tried the chicken bahn mi at Pho Nomenal. While the fillings were ok the bread was horrible — they served my sandwich on a soft sub roll. Their website features bahn mi on proper bread. Hopefully,  yesterday was a fluke but I don’t know if I’ll return. Also, rather expensive… $7.50 for the bahn mi… next time I’m going to Eden Center.

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