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Dining near Mount Vernon


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When my teenager came home, ravenous, after lax practice, & suggested we get food, we tried to decide on the optimal lunch for both of us (DD is at a sleepover). I dropped him off at Tubby's, & popped across the street to Su Pollo. This place always smells fabulous-picked up the half chicken, w/ fries & salad ($8.10). Fries are average krinkle-cuts, should have gotten rice or yuca, salad-just iceberg & carrot shreds, but the sauces-green & white, are amazing. Chicken was nice & moist, skin not particularly crisp, but I'm not a skin person (I siip it to the pups). I also got a small cup of chicken soup, aguadito de pollo ($1.90), faintly green, w/ the top half of a drumstick, a little rice , served w/ half of a lime & more of that green sauce-it was quite restorative. I think someone should do a local roast chicken challenge, like this one exile kiss-I'd volunteer, but I don't cover enough territory & don't think I could adequately judge the skin.

When I picked Tom up at Tubby's (which he is growing increasingly fond of), he brought home a chili cheeseburger & chili cheese half-smoke. His fries were better than mine, & he says their frozen custard & milkshakes are awesome...

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This is almost a word for word post of my previous post-didn't get my meats on the smoker this morning (I'm ready for tomorrow, although it's supposed to rain) so for lunch, I went to Su Pollo & got the 1/2 chicken w/ rice & a small soup. Their soup is excellent, although my son said, "that soup is very green", & it's even better if you stir in a little green sauce (that they give you to dip the chicken in). He went to Tubby's again, & got a steak sandwich, & wasn't totally happy w/ it (I gave him some of my chicken, rice, & salad).

I threw the stripped chicken bones in the crockpot, & covered w/ water, the puppies will have chicken broth over their food tonight...

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This is based on a conversation with Don, and covers the Beltway/Route 1 interchange to Fort Belvoir. It's a combination of places I've been and others I know about:

Beltway interchange to the WalMart in the 7900 block (intersection with Sherwood Hall Lane):

To Be Thai: Really close to where I live. Slogan is "healthy Thai cuisine." It's been hit-or-miss in terms of quality but if I need Thai in a hurry and don't want to go to Thai Royal in Old Town this does the trick

Euro Restaurant and Bistro: It's nearby, but I've never been because the motel attached to it has a so-so reputation. They seem to be making a go of it, though.

La Mexicana: Love, love, love the fish tacos and if I spend $30 I can eat for 3-4 days. But expect to wait for 20-30 minutes if you do carryout. Zero ambiance.

Cosmopolitan Grill: On the list of places to visit.

Peking Duck: Sister restaurant of Duck Chang. Reliable Chinese and they also serve Peking duck. The wine list is Sutter Home and the like plus plum wine, but they can do cocktails too based on the liquors they have on the shelf. They have a Sunday buffet from 11:30-3:30.

Big Panda: Chinese. You can eat in but it's a mainly carryout place. I'd get takeout from Peking Duck instead, but the latter is closed on Monday while the former is open 7 days a week.

There is a chicken place along this strip that Cathal Armstrong loves, but I can' remember which one.

Off of Route 1 along Beacon Hill Road (which turns into Belle View Blvd) is the Belle View Shopping Center. Dishes of India is the only Indian place for miles that I know of after My Karma in Lorton switched to Mexican. Does the job for an Indian fix.

WalMart to Fort Belvoir. It's a bit of a wasteland. But there are some places here and there:

Taco Lucas: Near the SO's place and if I need a papusa and basic Mexican-Salvadoran I'll go here. It's cheap, and if I keep to the standards it works.

Thai Herbs: If I don't cook Thai and we need to visit a Thai place, it's nearby. If you want it spicy they'll give it to you spicy. Wine selection is minimal, but they also have a Thai-related cocktail list They advertise lunch specials.

Kimchi House: See that thread, but it's reliable Korean with slow service.

El Paso: Went a couple years ago after discovering I needed to have surgery and wanted comfort food. Did the job at a decent price.

Thai Nakorn: I introduced my mom to Thai here and when I asked for mild, mild, mild they delivered. My mom was thrilled. I've never had anything spicy from there at this point. But I like to support them if I want takeout.

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I'm liking the potential for some fine dining with a great view, in that vast culinary emptiness south of (Old Town) Alexandria....

Well, there's Dishes of India, Su Pollo, Kimchi House, Tacos El Costalilla, and Rahama for Ghanaian food. They're definitely not upscale, but it's hardly a "wasteland" anymore.

Have you tried River Bend Bistro in Hollin Hall? Nice upscale eatery using local ingredients and decent wine pours. I just wish half their menu didn't give me gout attacks.

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Well, there's Dishes of India, Su Pollo, Kimchi House, Tacos El Costalilla, and Rahama for Ghanaian food. They're definitely not upscale, but it's hardly a "wasteland" anymore.

Have you tried River Bend Bistro in Hollin Hall? Nice upscale eatery using local ingredients and decent wine pours. I just wish half their menu didn't give me gout attacks.

I can't say that I've visited the Route 1 corridor much in the last decade, and when I do, it's usually a Central American rotisserie chicken place for me.

Back in the day, I used to frequent Mike's [Closed Jun 30, 2011] for reasonable Italian fare and good drinks. It was a throwback, with lots of veal dishes and heavily=poured drinks, sort of like Marco Polo in Vienna or Pine's of Italy in Arlington. Mike's closed in 2011, I believe....

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La Mexicana (DonRocks)

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We used to go to Mike's ages ago when I first started working at Fort Belvoir. It was a regular spot for promotion/retirement luncheons. Pema's and Via Veneto are very much in the same sauce-heavy, "spaghetti garden" vein.

After trying all the brick oven pizzerias in Old Town, we always end up back at Faccia Luna. Nothing great, nothing terrible, nothing ridonkulously expensive, but consistent.

For sweets, we're regulars at Hollin Hall Pastry Shop. La Mexicana also does excellent baked goods; my kids love their elephant ears.

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Tango Pastry (Rufo Tabayoyong)

Mike's Italian (DonRocks)

Mamma's Kitchen (JSnake)

Del Ray Pizzeria (ktmoomau)

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When I picked Tom up at Tubby's (which he is growing increasingly fond of), he brought home a chili cheeseburger & chili cheese half-smoke. His fries were better than mine, & he says their frozen custard & milkshakes are awesome...

Tubby's folded a year or so ago. It's yet another car loan place.

Johnny Mac's Rib Shack up Route 1 does really good soft serve, milkshakes, and concretes. The place looks like a retrofitted Tastee Freeze. The Carolina bbq is just okay (zero smoke flavor), but they do some solid breakfasts, cheeseburger subs, and chili dogs.

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Yes, Tubby's has folded, I should write a piece on Rt. 1 revitalization (& car title places & motels). It's still a better place to get good food than where I spent my early years- we have Thai Nakorn, El Paso, Su Pollo, Kimchi House, Tacos El Costalilla, ThaiBox, & Afghan Bistro- my DH likes Cosmopolitan Grill, & I'm just happy that I live in the middle of an area where I have choices for good food (& I'm lucky in many other ways, none of which I control). My SIL hit up Johnny Macs for milkshakes the last time they visited, they said it was great.

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