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Dining in Tysons Corner


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If you don't need alcohol - and given your wild reputation, Ms. Bhide, that's a big if - try Shamshiry for a cornish game hen kabob (served on the bone). If you don't need alcohol or meat, head to Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant in Vienna - one of the few places in town where you can throw a dart at the menu and come up hitting the jackpot (except for the desserts which are awful).

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Here's the deal:

A former colleague slash friend slash mentor is coming to town from CA and wants to meet for drinks reasonably close to his hotel, the Ritz at Tysons. We'll be meeting on a Tuesday night if that matters.

Other than a bar at the hotel itself, what are our options? I live and work in DC so I am not really aware of what's out there.

At least part of our meeting will be casual catching up, but he's also eager to discuss a business opportunity so a place with room to breathe and not much noise would be great.

I appreciate your suggestions!

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I start my new job in the wilds of McLean, VA tomorrow. Wish me luck! More importantly, though, steer me toward good eats. Specifically, I'd love recommendations for:

- Good lunch carryout. I'm familiar with the offerings at Tysons, but what else is out there? Cheap is good for this one. Sandwiches? Ethnic eats? All of it.

- Good places for casual sitdown lunches. The kinds of restaurants I can go to with local friends or new colleagues.

- Interesting happy hour spots. Are there any? Don't say eCitie or whatever it's called.

Thanks!

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Don't say eCitie or whatever it's called.

For the love of all that is good and holy, don't EVER go to eCitie - it's awful. Really awful. We've been once for a happy hour - the food was bad, and the bar crowd was made up of vaguely Eurotrashy used-car salesmen types with their junior Mr. T starter set jewelry, and similarly desperate looking women.

As far as casual/clienty lunch places, other than the regularly scheduled stuff, go with Busara (Watson St. back behind Crate & Barrel/Silver Diner), Bistro 123 (in Tyson's Corner Center, but only accessible from outside), Mr. Smith's (in the shopping center with Tower Records off Rt. 7), or Taste of Saigon (on Greensboro across from the Galleria - good for lunch, seriously empty and a little scary for dinner). Cafe Deluxe might also work, but it's kind of loud and there's not a lot of parking.

For carryout, there's a La Prima deli just off Greensboro Dr that makes pretty good sandwiches. Former coworkers have recommended Pilin Thai in the same shopping center as Mr. Smith's, but I can't vouch for that one personally.

As far as happy hours, Busara or Mr. Smith's are reliably good (at least if you drink beer); On the Border is pretty standard chain Mexican but has decent margaritas and appetizers.

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Don't go to Colvin Run Tavern.

Instead return to DC and drop too much money (by mistake) some place good!

I guess, if you have a budget and a client is paying, go ahead to Colvin Run.

Hooray on you new job!

Lots of Love,

Libby Legal

P.S. Moby Dick's on Old Dominion Drive is a good bet on the way home (for carryout) if you plan on taking Chain Bridge.

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I second Busara's. The bento boxes are more creative at Konami than at other places. I have heard great things about Fleming's Steak House. I am not a fan of Mr. Smith's it was extremely smoky the one night we went there. Pilin Thai is great and cheap, it is in the same shopping center as Mr. Smith's and Gold's Gym. Head a little way down the road to Vienna for Sweet Ginger (Sushi) or Panshjir (Afghan.) I haven't found anything memorable in the mall. Galleria has the usual suspects- Cheesecake Factory, PF Changs, Maggiano's.

I should add I experienced the worst service in my life at On the Border, so bad that the manager personally apologized and comped our entire meal. (The waiter stopped in the middle of taking our order to answer his cell phone, among other things)

I am in the minority, but I like Colvin Run-- i have heard they have a great daily lunch special. I went during Restaurant Week and had excellent service and food- if they can do it that week, they can do it anytime.

Good luck!

Edited by revsmile
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I like Colvin Run too. Nothing earth shattering but it has always been pretty solid when I've been.

Another hole in the wall is Thai Pillin in the strip center with Tower Records. Pretty decent Thai food coming out of this little dump of a place.

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I live in the Tysons side of Vienna and I second Thai Pillin on Rte. 7. It's definitely worth checking out. It's my favorite thai around my house

Shamshiry is good as is Panjshir II (far end of Vienna on 123, so traffic can be a pain).

Songbird on Old Courthouse at 123 is decent Korean with a large Korean clientele (probably as a result of the US/Korean science cooperative building on Old Gallows). In the same set of strip malls is a Lebanese place which serves up pretty good fare.

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...The bento boxes are more creative at Konami than at other places.  ...I should add I experienced the worst service in my life at On the Border, so bad that the manager personally apologized and comped our entire meal. (The waiter stopped in the middle of taking our order to answer his cell phone, among other things)

I'll second Konami. This is within walking distance of my newish job near Tysons and I love it. Extremely fresh fish and reasonable prices. They have a dollar per piece happy hour that I have yet to try, but I will next week with coworkers.

Everyone in the office has had problems with On the Border at one point or another, including misplaced orders, wrong orders, and ridiculously long waits for simple items. It's off everyone's list now.

Congrats on the new job!

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A new place I have really enjoyed recently is Essential Grille. It's in the space where Restaurant 7 used to be. It's all-natural food that is REALLY delicious. It's not very pricey, so it's a great place for lunch. Their roasted parsnips are to die for and they have this Moroccan chicken dish (had it for dinner) that is one of the best chicken dishes I've ever had. www.essentialgrille.com

I also have to second the vote for Thai Pilin. Their 3-Flavor Chicken is my favorite.

Edited by Jill Cheese Lady
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I believe that the relatively new Infusion in Tysons I mall (opened by the former owner of Connaught Place in Fairfax) has a buffet lunch. I've had dinner there twice and found it to be better-than-average Indian food. There is also a Neisha Thai in Tysons I. The Lebanese Taverna in Tysons II mall has a take-out area, so you can call ahead and pick your food up quickly.

For happy hour, the Clyde's at the intersection of Route 7 and Route 123 has a packed house (and is open until at least midnight, I believe).

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I also live in the Tyson’s side of Vienna (Wolf Trap Woods) and I third Thai Pillin on Rte. 7.

Shamshiry is great!

Songbird on Old Courthouse at 123 is decent Korean, nice buffet for lunch.

Silver Diner and Clyde's have their moments, especially if you want breakfast for lunch or a hamburger.

I agree that Tyson's needs a good sandwich and pizza shop.

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Don't go to Colvin Run Tavern.

Instead return to DC and drop too much money (by mistake) some place good! 

I guess, if you have a budget and a client is paying, go ahead to Colvin Run.

Hooray on you new job!

Lots of Love,

Libby Legal

P.S. Moby Dick's on Old Dominion Drive is a good bet on the way home (for carryout) if you plan on taking Chain Bridge.

Amen on Colvin Run...the most overrated restaurant in the entire DC/VA/MD area. DaDomenico is also fairly close and if I remember correctly, on the other side of 123 Mr. Smiths (?) (been a really long time since I've been out that way) was a pretty decent place for lunch (10 years ago), and don't forget the new Woo Lae Oak. It was highly recommended by the Post a couple of weeks ago. Fleming's (near DaDomenico) is pricy but good (a great wine list). Songbird is okay but not great Korean. If you have time to drive to Vienna, there are a number of good places there but that may be a bit far for a lunch time.

Edited by Escoffier
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Thanks to all of you! I'm excited to dig in and try some of these spots once I settle in at work. Monica, check your e-mail. :lol:

Today, my new boss took me plus three colleagues to a "get acquainted" lunch (very nice of him) at Corner Bakery (hmm). It's great to have other suggestions for when it's my turn to choose.

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Thanks to all of you!  I'm excited to dig in and try some of these spots once I settle in at work.  Monica, check your e-mail.   :lol:

Today, my new boss took me plus three colleagues to a "get acquainted" lunch (very nice of him) at Corner Bakery (hmm).  It's great to have other suggestions for when it's my turn to choose.

One place also worth checking out is Paya Thai, in the same strip as Songbird.

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Update: I have been completely and utterly stymied in my attempts to go beyond the chains. My young coworkers, in particular, seem anti anything ethnic and unique. <_< But I will persevere.

Thus far I have been to the Olive Garden, Corner Bakery, Cafe Deluxe and the pretty lousy cafe in my building's lobby. Oy.

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Update:  I have been completely and utterly stymied in my attempts to go beyond the chains.  My young coworkers, in particular, seem anti anything ethnic and unique.  <_<   But I will persevere.

Thus far I have been to the Olive Garden, Corner Bakery, Cafe Deluxe and the pretty lousy cafe in my building's lobby.  Oy.

I hope to god you aren't talking about that cafe deluxe by the mall. You'd be better going to the actual mall and eating at Chipotle. I also forgot that if you want a really good bagel, Tyson's Bagel Station on 7 is really good too.

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I also forgot that if you want a really good bagel, Tyson's Bagel Station on 7 is really good too.

Agreed. Tysons Bagel Market (I think that's the name) is maybe a hair below my local favorite, Bagel Buddies in Fair Lakes, but it's still one of the best in the area.

In case anyone is looking for more good bagels, the only other place I'd recommend in NoVa is Main St. Bagel Deli in Fairfax.

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Today's damage?  Noodles and Company.  <_<   It's time to stop saying yes to having lunch with coworkers.

See, now if you are getting down as far as N&C, you need to start branching out on your own. Bazin's is now open on Church (not sure if it is open for lunch). You passed Aarathi which has decent Indian (although I can't attest to their lunch buffet), a bakery in the same strip mall, Amma's, Jammin Java (again not sure of their lunch hours, if any) and were damn close to Whole Foods, Kabuki sushi, Yuma Sushi, a lebanese cafe/store, and the Italian gourmet. None of these are a revelation, but are a far cry from that crap you ate for lunch. Hell, even a panini from the Safeway next door would have been better.

Next time I'll give you the keys to my house and you can heat up a few kibbe torpedos I have in my freezer.

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Update:  I have been completely and utterly stymied in my attempts to go beyond the chains.  My young coworkers, in particular, seem anti anything ethnic and unique.   <_<   But I will persevere.

Thus far I have been to the Olive Garden, Corner Bakery, Cafe Deluxe and the pretty lousy cafe in my building's lobby.  Oy.

Today's damage?  Noodles and Company.   ;)    It's time to stop saying yes to having lunch with coworkers.

Translation: I've been putting "Kick Me!" signs on my rear end, and then when I get kicked I come online and tell people.

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Today's damage?  Noodles and Company.  <_<   It's time to stop saying yes to having lunch with coworkers.

Finding the food people at a new workplace can be one of the hardest parts of a job switch. It's taken 5 years, but I almost have a few of them ready to go out for Korean with me.

How about Neisha Thai? It's in Tysons Corner Mall (accessible from the outside only) and has brightly colored fruit drinks and a very credible pineapple fried rice served in a pineapple for the children, err, co-workers. The appetizers in particular are presented in more of a high fashion style than in most places. You can get the caffeine addicts buzzed on Thai iced coffee, and rock the worlds of the iced tea crowd with the ginger iced tea.

For you: the hoi obb and the yum eggplant appetizer (smokey sweet tender eggplant, fairly hot marinade). That's plenty for lunch.

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Update:  I have been completely and utterly stymied in my attempts to go beyond the chains.  My young coworkers, in particular, seem anti anything ethnic and unique.   <_<   But I will persevere.

Thus far I have been to the Olive Garden, Corner Bakery, Cafe Deluxe and the pretty lousy cafe in my building's lobby.  Oy.

There are times when it is wiser to dine alone. Ditch the young whippersnappers and get something decent to eat. If you're stuck in the social groove, the all-day-breakfast items at Silver Diner can be pretty good (like the caramel French toast made with challah).

I'll second the recommendation for Neisha Thai. It's a pretty restaurant (with a sort of Polynesian cave motif), and being attached to a mall they're good at being unthreatening. Spicing tends towards the mild side, but they'll punch it up on request. If you're hungry, try the crispy whole flounder with the ginger sauce.

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I love the spicy pork chilli at jammin java. their chicken salad is great too. The chai is awful though.

I will probably be kicked out of Vienna for saying it but Amphora is bad. I don't think I have ever had anything good there other than desserts.

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I love the spicy pork chilli at jammin java. their chicken salad is great too. The chai is awful though.

I will probably be kicked out of Vienna for saying it but Amphora is bad. I don't think I have ever had anything good there other than desserts.

My word for Amphora would not be bad, but ehhh (if that's a word). Plus it's not so cheap, either.

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My word for Amphora would not be bad, but ehhh (if that's a word). Plus it's not so cheap, either.

Mine would. I've never been wowed by the place or even felt the food was a shadow of the diners I grew up with in Jersey. I held hope though, it has everything going for it on the surface: Decor last updated in the 70's, exact layout of a diner, surly waitresses, large menu, greek owners, open 24 hours. Sadly the food doesn't live up. Last trip instead of burgers or meatloaf, I decided to go with Greek food. It was the worst of all!

The desserts are decent though. Their coconut cream pie will forever live in my heart as the dessert my wife and I shared as we timed her contractions to 5 minutes - while the waiter figured out what was going on and promptly gave us our check.

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<_< I have used EXACTLY those words. "Chicken and rice! Come on..."

How intimidating can a chicken kebob and rice be?  Perhaps it's the name of the restaurant but Shamshiry is the best Persian restaurant in the entire D. C. area.  Of course they do have more intimidating things like a salmon kebob....

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I'd also have to agree on Thai Pilin for good quick take-out (there are about 10 tables inside, but hard to get a seat at lunch), and Sushi Yama in Vienna. We've also really enjoyed The Essential Grille (easy to get to from our side of Tysons).

I've been lucky and have at least a couple of adventurous, non-chain eaters in my office, but if we have a large group there are enough "meat & potato-ers" that we have to go chain (think of chicken and cashews as exotic...).

I still have yet to try Konami and Shamshiry, but they are on my list when we can break awy from the chain lunches!

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