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I had thought about this previously. That can't possibly be the Wendy's they refer to - it has no drive-thru, virtually no parking, and even Kreskin wouldn't know to turn onto Veitch Street, much less to follow it all the way to Courthouse.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Yeah, there's a drive-thru. And there's also always skanky fogged windows on the joint. Yuck! I comment on how filthy the place looks everytime I pass by.

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... skanky fogged windows on the joint...
I think they're just too lazy to wash off the spray can snow from the holiday season.

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I think they're just too lazy to wash off the spray can snow from the holiday season.

Or there's something really hot and juicy going on in there.

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Yeah, there's a drive-thru. And there's also always skanky fogged windows on the joint. Yuck! I comment on how filthy the place looks everytime I pass by.

I didn't believe there was a drive-thru here, but I saw it with my own eyes today. I also realized why I've never noticed it before: It's because the entire trip up/down Wilson/Clarendon Boulevards between N. Rhodes Street and Courthouse Road is marred by a gigantic, uninterrupted island of blight, the Dreaderal Triangle, with Rhodeside Grill, Il Radicchio, and Wendy's at its vertices, and a Taco Bell and Dr. Dremo in the center (don't tell me how cool Dr. Dremo is; from the outside, it looks like a junkyard run by Ed Gein). Right across from Wendy's is a little stone-statue thing of a mother and child in consolatory anguish, probably because they just finished eating at one of these joints. On a more upbeat note, TNR Café has just opened right next to the post office (TNR stands for Tea Noodles Rice). This place probably won't be worth anything more than neighborhood take-out (the menu is mostly unadventurous strip-mall Chinese) but the interior has some charm, and the woks are still new enough where they haven't had a chance to fester.

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. The following posts have been split into separate threads:

TNR Cafe (DLB)

Me Jana (Demvtr)

Mr. Hibachi (SeanMike)

Euro Market Cafe (Mark Slater)

Ragtime (goodeats)

Chez Manelle (goldenticket)

Ireland's Four Courts (SeanMike)

Hikaru (goldenticket)

The Corner Bakery (daveo)

Sawatdee (daveo)

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I didn't believe there was a drive-thru here, but I saw it with my own eyes today. I also realized why I've never noticed it before: It's because the entire trip up/down Wilson/Clarendon Boulevards between N. Rhodes Street and Courthouse Road is marred by a gigantic, uninterrupted island of blight, the Dreaderal Triangle, with Rhodeside Grill, Il Radicchio, and Wendy's at its vertices, and a Taco Bell and Dr. Dremo in the center (don't tell me how cool Dr. Dremo is; from the outside, it looks like a junkyard run by Ed Gein). Right across from Wendy's is a little stone-statue thing of a mother and child in consolatory anguish, probably because they just finished eating at one of these joints.

The inevitable "In its Defense" post follows...

Most of that area is probably not much longer for this earth regardless, as you simply can't pull enough profit out of fast food and a dive bar to keep from selling the land. I know the land under the taco bell and dremos has been sold. It was briefly fun to imagine the poor folk who had just purchased condos for half a million dollars in the Odyssey across the street waking up, looking out their windows, and seeing Ed Gein's rumpus room. I imagine the Wendy's and Il Radicchio will stay around for a bit longer. The Wendy's has been done to death already and the less said about the fogged up windows, the better for us all. Il Radicchio is worth keeping around; I can't speak about the wine selection, but the food is quite good. The sauces that are described as spicy actually are and the all you can eat pasta is a good deal. The carbonara isn't too heavy and the bologhnese has that authentic Italian bite that you can only get if you've used a little horse meat (I kid, I kid). The pizza dough is the right kind of yeasty and the list of toppings is extensive and fresh.

Mr. Rocks, I can't convince you to try Dr. Dremo. There is nothing good there that is not also gimmicky (Chocolate Doughnut Stout) or purely experiential (roof leaking while playing pool). However, there was apparently a time (I'm new to the area) when all of Arlington was filled with the sort of people who would put a dumptruck full of sand onto their outdoor patio in order to recreate a broken glass strewn, cigarette butt laden ocean paradise and then neglect to wonder what would happen if it rained and the sand buried the Hollywood Video parking lot down the hill. I go to pay homage to that lost age; also, they let you top your burgers with guacamole.

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I have to admit I have a soft spot for Il Raddichio's lasagna.

Dr. Dremo's use to serve up a superb hummus at least until the roof fell in a couple years back.

Emily

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I'm meeting out of town relatives tomorrow night for dinner. They're staying at the Holiday Inn in Courthouse. (They're in town for an interment at Arlington National Cemetery.) I'd appreciate any recommendations or cautions for eateries in that area. I may suggest Ray's, but it might be too big a group to get in there. I don't know most of these folks, so I'm not aware of cuisine preferences or aversions.

Thanks for any info!

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I'm meeting out of town relatives tomorrow night for dinner. They're staying at the Holiday Inn in Courthouse. (They're in town for an interment at Arlington National Cemetery.) I'd appreciate any recommendations or cautions for eateries in that area. I may suggest Ray's, but it might be too big a group to get in there. I don't know most of these folks, so I'm not aware of cuisine preferences or aversions.

Thanks for any info!

What is too big a group? How far do you want to walk as you can head up to Clarendon for more options. Nearby is Sawatadee (Thai) or Minh's (Vietnamese). Clarendon has Liberty Tavern or Boulevard Wood Grill that could possibly seat larger parties.

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What is too big a group? How far do you want to walk as you can head up to Clarendon for more options. Nearby is Sawatadee (Thai) or Minh's (Vietnamese). Clarendon has Liberty Tavern or Boulevard Wood Grill that could possibly seat larger parties.
Thanks for those suggestions!

I have no idea how large a group it will be. And I think the hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn, but I'm trying to confirm that.

I don't handle uncertainty well--this is very frustrating for me.

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What is too big a group? How far do you want to walk as you can head up to Clarendon for more options. Nearby is Sawatadee (Thai) or Minh's (Vietnamese). Clarendon has Liberty Tavern or Boulevard Wood Grill that could possibly seat larger parties.

I like the suggestion of Minh's - it's spacious, quiet, exotic but not too exotic, and might be perfect for a large group of motleys.

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I like the suggestion of Minh's - it's spacious, quiet, exotic but not too exotic, and might be perfect for a large group of motleys.

Take them all down to Pho 75 - always a great option for a great cheap meal for a lot of people.

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Would Liberty Tavern be close enough for you? We had brunch there on Sunday with a group of 14...the service was great, and food was good. I can't comment on anything other than the breakfast food, however it seems there have been some good reports here.

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The restaurant guide has a section for Courthouse which omits Ray's and Guajillo to Rosslyn, which is just wacky, but the good places are included there. Honestly, the only places to avoid like the plague would be Attila's (the food is all right, they just happen to be a little surly), Summers, and Larry's Cookies. I haven't eaten at the Italian place across from Sawatdee or at Ragtime, but I haven't heard raves about them.

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The restaurant guide has a section for Courthouse which omits Ray's and Guajillo to Rosslyn, which is just wacky, but the good places are included there. Honestly, the only places to avoid like the plague would be Attila's (the food is all right, they just happen to be a little surly), Summers, and Larry's Cookies. I haven't eaten at the Italian place across from Sawatdee or at Ragtime, but I haven't heard raves about them.

Right, well, I've driven up-and-down the Clarendon Blvd / Wilson Blvd corridor endlessly, looking for logical borders to Rosslyn, Courthouse, and Clarendon. Here is what I've decided to do for the dining guide, in principle:

The Rosslyn-Courthouse border is at Rhodes Street (meaning Ray's The Steaks is Rosslyn, but Rhodeside Grill is Courthouse).

The Courthouse-Clarendon border is at Danville Street (meaning Minh's is Courthouse, but Whole Foods is Clarendon).

Reasonable? This is a tough one, with no "official" answers to be found.

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Honestly, the only places to avoid like the plague would be ... Summers...

Unless you like to watch football on the telly - Summers is routinely voted as one of the top few bars in the COUNTRY to watch a proper match at. They even open at odd hours for breakfast when European or Asian tournaments are on.

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Sure, will you chip in for 1/2 of my rent? ;)

BTW, they sell our chocolates at Biagio Fine Chocolate at 18th and T. They are open until 8 PM as well. However, if you do come across the river, please come by and introduce yourself....

Have you thought about opening a store in one of the small spaces in Clarendon? I know the rents are sky high but with those demographics I think you could charge a fortune for your products if you marketed them right.

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Have you thought about opening a store in one of the small spaces in Clarendon? I know the rents are sky high but with those demographics I think you could charge a fortune for your products if you marketed them right.

What small spaces?

Believe me, we have been trying VERY hard to move our shop down to the Clarendon/Courthouse area for sometime. The problem is there is nothing really available. The problem is not really with the lease rates (even though they are pretty high in Arlington) but finding the right size place in the right location. Hopefully that will change soon......

I guess we are really off topic now, sorry to all who are looking for more cupcake info.

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What small spaces?

Believe me, we have been trying VERY hard to move our shop down to the Clarendon/Courthouse area for sometime. The problem is there is nothing really available. The problem is not really with the lease rates (even though they are pretty high in Arlington) but finding the right size place in the right location. Hopefully that will change soon......

I guess we are really off topic now, sorry to all who are looking for more cupcake info.

I'm not sure what I'm thinking about exactly but I know that there is a new gelato shop opening up in a small space next to whole foods, for example.

And I agree on the right location--you would need foot traffic--obviously as close to Clarendon ballroom as possible...

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My go-to spots for a quick lunch (usually grabbing something and taking it back to the office) seem to all be Asian-themed.

Mr. Hibachi has a selection of rice bowls and noodle soups topped with chicken or beef and your choice of sauces (peanut mustard, spicy, and teriyaki). The regular size rice bowls are filling and seem to be relatively healthy, not oversauced and with carefully placed pieces of broccoli, cabbage, and carrots underneath the meat. The chicken with peanut mustard is the one I usually choose along with the Maewoon (spicy) beef. They are generous with the meats and both chicken and beef are tender and not overcooked. The noodle bowls offer similar toppings (minus the sauce) and are a good choice on a chilly day.

TNR has some more authentic dishes available (see the Chinese language section on the back of the menu) and the staff is always willing to help translate if you ask. I've enjoyed the ja jian mein lately - a chili-mac of sorts - ground beef and minced tofu in a brown sauce atop lo mein (I think) noodles and sprouts. Comfort food of sorts - not too exciting, but also hits the spot on days when I'm looking for something simple.

The former Kopan House, which was recently Yami-Yami, has now turned in to Hikaru Japanese cuisine/sushi. I had enoyed the decent by the pound sushi (mostly rolls) at the previous incarnation, but they no longer offer their buffet. They've just opened this week so there were some hitches in my carryout order of chicken noodle (udon) soup. It almost seemed as if I'd been served the sauteed noodle version of the dish with a side of miso thrown in - not quite what I was expecting. They also offer the usual sushi lunch choices and bento boxes - all at about twice the $5 I could get away with at the buffet, but still comparable in price to the sushi options down the road at Whole Foods- and at Hikaru they include miso soup and salad.

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My partners and I hope to open a restaurant in the Courthouse area, but are puzzled by the fact that most restaurants there except for Ray's the Steaks don't do much business. Me Jana is busy at times, but many other places are slow even at peak times. Does anyone have insights as to why? Is it that people find restaurants in Clarendon more appealing & go there to eat out? We feel we can be a draw even if that market isn't known as a good place to eat, but we're curious why our surveys show so many empty seats there.

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I think the restaurants in Courthouse don't do as much business because alot of them aren't that good or worth seeking out and there's much less foot traffic than in Clarendon because it doesn't have the stores or as many bars that Clarendon has to draw people to the neighborhood. The restaurants in Courthouse Plaza like Sawatdee and Asahi are also hidden from the street.

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I was thinking what cheezepowder expressed. As a Clarendon resident, I would happily go to Courthouse if there were better options. I think the lack of customers has more to do with what is being offered than location.

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I think the restaurants in Courthouse don't do as much business because alot of them aren't that good or worth seeking out and there's much less foot traffic than in Clarendon because it doesn't have the stores or as many bars that Clarendon has to draw people to the neighborhood. The restaurants in Courthouse Plaza like Sawatdee and Asahi are also hidden from the street.

Agree with the above.

GuaRapo is ok for happy hour, Rays is great, it's also a recent newcomer and doesn't have a bar so doesn't help the bar scene, Me Janna is good but more expensive than many places with similar dishes. We go to Satwadee when we go to the movies there. But it isn't a place you would go bar hoping at, or just drive to and say well meet here and pick some place to go or that you would want to walk around after dinner and explore. Also there is the courthouse parking lot but it is kind of hidden and most people if they don't know about the Highland garage go to the one at the shopping plaza which isn't too expensive and highly visible in Clarendon.

They have more lunch options because of the courthouse that just aren't exactly what you want for dinner, but serve their purpose. But also because of the times of the Arlington dockets I never am there at lunch time.

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