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Tazza Kitchen (Formerly Cafe Caturra) - Arlington Ridge Shopping Center on S. Glebe Road, South Arlington - Closed


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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)

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I've been about a half dozen times, most of them with my 4 yr old since it's close to the house and quick. It's been consistently good. Nothing spectacular, but the bar down there is set very low which allows it to shine. Good food, interesting menu, excellent service and they really spent a lot on the space. There is a steady crowd, but if they opened one in North Arlington, they would crush it.

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Cafe Caturra is now closed. I drove past it today and a sign for "Tazza Kitchen" indicates what is opening soon in that space.

Tazza Kitchen appears to be a small chain, with locations in Richmond, Charleston SC and Raliegh NC, plus Arlington in the near future. It features wood oven cooking, and a modestly interesting menu that varies by location because it sources locally.

Despite my usual aversion to chains, this one looks worth a try when it opens.

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Café Caturra has been gone for several weeks now.  We went in once, took a peek at the menu, and asked the hostess about gluten free options (Mr. lperry has celiac.)  She said she didn't know what GF was, and she then just looked at us kind of blankly and didn't offer to go check, so we left and never went back.  FWIW, the little Greek diner by the Starbucks has a solid breakfast, and I like their eggplant sandwich, too.  It's one of those places where there's a set menu, but the daily specials are hand-written on a 3 by 5 card.  They also did a beautiful job of taking care of throngs of people from our neighborhood during an enormous power outage last year.  Diner food, yes, but good diner food, and the wait staff is really friendly, so that's an option if you're in the mood for it. 

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I met a couple of girlfriends for dinner at Tazza Kitchen a week ago Friday and have since been back twice in less than two weeks. I hadn't heard of the spot before and didn't have high hopes for a chain restaurant in the middle of a strip center but I was completely enamored with it almost from the moment I walked in. The margarita is excellent, fresh lime juice and no sour mix! We started with the brick oven nachos which were made with chorizo that was flavorful and cooked perfectly. I followed up with the Kale & Chilies salad and grilled shrimp. Maybe it was the chilies or the lemon vinaigrette but it was hands down the best kale salad I've ever had. I know that might be a low bar but this really was excellent. A friend had the five spice chicken tacos, which I gladly had a bite of and loved. The five spice was smoky and paired perfectly with the chicken. Other friends ordered the pizza, brusslesprouts and beets but I didn't try those. I hardly ever order dessert but this was a friend's birthday so we tried the olive oil cake as well as the salted caramel gelato. I'm no expert on olive oil cake but it was just so so. The gelato however was nearly addicting!

The very next day I drug my husband and two kids to Tazza to try out their brunch. If dinner was outstanding brunch was even better. Their drop biscuits were crunchy on the outside and perfectly fluffy on the inside. They have several different butters to try. Don't get sucked in to the bacon butter, its not worth it but the pecan maple butter was delicious and next time I'm going to try the black pepper honey butter. I had the huevos rancheros which were the best I've had outside of Texas. My husband had the five spice chicken burrito and my kids had the breakfast pizza (béchamel, bacon, caramelized onion, mozzarella, grans padano and two baked eggs on top) and french toast. I was a little worried that the pizza it would be too rich but it wasn't at all, absolutely delicious! Did I mention they have a wood burning oven? Yep. The crust was light and crispy and delicious!

I went back again today with another friend and enjoyed another great brunch. I also have to commend the staff. They were all very friendly with out being overly attentive. The worst thing I can say about Tazza is the parking situation. Despite the size of the lot its a nightmare to find a  spot.

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We have friends that just moved into Arlandria and we wanted to take them to dinner.  I had a week long debate on whether I wanted to take them to Kaizen and go into Del Ray or try out Tazza.  The reviews on here swayed us to Tazza.  First off no-reservations, but there were plenty of seats on a Sunday night at 7pm, but there was a crowd.  We actually saw some people we knew.  Second the girl who took our order at the bar took years to get to us, then didn't tell the bartender I ordered a cocktail.  They ended up giving it to me on the house after a long time of me waiting and giving him looks and him probably wondering why I was giving him looks.

We sat outside and our biggest problem was figuring out what to order because a lot of stuff looked really good.  We ended up ordering guacamole and nachos for starters and then I had the proscuitto and arugula pizza, MK had the pasta, friends had another pizza and fish tacos.  Everyone really liked the nachos which were ground beef, sauce and cheese, the guac was good too (the boys don't like guac and the extra chips were used to scoop up extra nacho goodness.  Not anything really super exciting but good.  My pizza and the greens on top were really good and I really liked the lightly dressed greens.  Pizza had a really thin crust, a tiny bit soggier in the center, but not soggy.  MK really liked his pasta and our friends liked their meals too.  We all agreed this was a great neighborhood place, it's about 5 mins for them and 10 for us, and we all agreed that could be a regular place for all of us.  Always good to find a place MK really likes that I am happy going back to, as well.  I wouldn't drive far out of my way for this place, but it is a great addition to that neighborhood.

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On 11/4/2016 at 7:38 PM, DonRocks said:

Tazza Kitchen closed this week - it was one of the better restaurants South Arlington had going for it. 

This bums me out. I think it was a solid concept, and they invested a ton into the place. I think the location, while extremely convenient for my neighborhood, is just never going to be great--if you don't live down there, it is hard to even explain where that stretch of Glebe Road is.

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