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sandynva

Vegetarian Lunch in Courthouse or Clarendon

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Hi there! I would appreciate your help in planning a family event in april. As part of the lead-up to a wedding, we wanted to have a lunch on friday for about 40 people, most of whom are vegetarian.  The engaged couple like La Sandia in Tyson's, so that's the default option, but, because everyone is staying in hotels at the courthouse metro, i'm hoping for something more convenient. it by no means has to be as formal a place as you'd have for a wedding brunch--it's just a casual family lunch--but it should be reasonably nice. people do have cars and can drive, but the place would need to have convenient parking.

I thought of Me Jana, which is right by the hotel, and the last time i went the food was good and the decor appropriate, but i haven't been there in like 3 years so things might have changed.

from the post website i found fireworks pizza and cafe asia, but i've never been to the former and don't know if it's nice enough, and i've only been to the latter for dinner, when it was too loud, but i don't know how it is at lunch.

I also thought of sawatdee, but there are apparently some people in the party who really don't like thai, so that's won't work.

Do any of you have any other suggestions? thank you!

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My first thought was Willow Restaurant.  Several vegetarian and gluten free items on their menu, and they might make up a special with a crowd of 40 coming

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Before I got to your second paragraph, Me Jana was my first thought. I was there for a group lunch less than a month ago and thought it was just as good as always. Based on my experiences over the past several years, they do a great job with groups, and obviously have a wide variety of vegetarian options.

I believe that Fireworks has a private room, but not sure how many it will accommodate. Choices for vegetarians might be a bit more limited, but still available.

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I think Me Jana is still a good choice.  I think Willow would be a good place to check out.  I would also contact Water and Wall, while their current menu isn't heavy vegetarian I think this would be something they could easily accommodate and the space inside would be super cute for this sort of thing. People could metro two stops, although parking on Fairfax Drive during the day isn't too bad in that section either.    

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Funny, my first thought was Cava Mezze in Clarendon, but I haven't been inside to know the size. But Me Jana makes sense. The other option is Cheesecake Factory or Fuego (like La Sandia), which is also in Clarendon, but not a bad, short walk from Courthouse....

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Me Jana would be great, no reason to Metro or drive to Water and Wall or Willow (though both are also excellent choices if people were in those neighborhoods - but your group can walk to Me Jana, so why do that?).  Food is still lovely, tons of vegetarian choices (among many other things, get the cheese rolls, and the salad with really nice goat cheese and dates and oranges and nigella seeds, and the lentil soup unless it turns out to have a meat-based broth, I'm not sure), the space is pretty and comfortable, and the manager is so warm and welcoming.  Service has always been good.  Set this up early, since you'd be nearly or entirely filling the restaurant, I think.

While Fireworks Pizza is tasty and has pretty good service, it's loud and wouldn't have the same casual-yet-attractive-and-a-little-festive feel you'll get at Me Jana. If hotel guests ask for a recommendation for a meal that isn't planned as part of the weekend, it's a good option - but can be very busy Friday and Saturday nights.  Takeout from them is usually super-quick (10 or 15 minutes after you call, your pizza is ready).

If as part of the wedding weekend, you do anything that would involve gathering at the hotels in Court House and wanted to bring in food (i.e. Sunday morning breakfast), I highly recommend Brooklyn Bagel Bakery.  You can place an order in advance (note: if you do this, DON'T call during breakfast or lunch - call at a slow time like 2 or 3 p.m. and place an order) and pick up and bring back to wherever you are.  It's a small place and gets crowded weekend mornings, so I wouldn't tell your 40 guests to go eat breakfast there, but if any small groups ask you where to go eat, it's a good option.  Excellent bagels, several types of cream cheese, very good rugelach, pickles, whitefish salad for the non-vegetarians, etc.

If wedding guests ask you where to get lunch at Court House when no events are on (again, this is for a small group, not all 40 people), Earl's is great for a single party (better for the non-vegetarians, though) or people doing takeout and bringing lunch back to the hotel -- terrific sandwiches (a couple veggie options, but best on the meats - fresh roasted turkey etc.). Good breakfast food too.

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Funny, my first thought was Cava Mezze in Clarendon, but I haven't been inside to know the size. But Me Jana makes sense. The other option is Cheesecake Factory or Fuego (like La Sandia), which is also in Clarendon, but not a bad, short walk from Courthouse....

Cava Mezze is big enough for your group - I'd stick with Me Jana, but if they can't do it on that date, try Cava Mezze, and it's also a good place to recommend to people for meals that aren't covered by the festivities planned.  Fuego is also a good place you could send people for meals on their own, but with the caveat that there are only a few vegetarian options (I think there's one main dish that's vegetarian - they're pretty meat-centric - and a couple appetizers - but the veggie empanada appetizer is terrific and unusual).

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Don't forget Delhi Club, where I haven't been in a few years now, but it has always outperformed its little environs. They have eight items on the vegetarian portion of their menu.

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