Welcome to the Northern Virginia Restaurant Blog.

Restaurant reviews in Tyson's and surrounding area... mostly

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Viet Royale - Vietnamese Restaurant - Falls Church, VA

6767 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044
(703) 533-8388

(This restaurant does not seem to have a website.  If you would like to see the menu, go to Northern Virginia Magazine)

If this were not a blog about our dining experiences in local area restaurants, we could do a better job adhering to the age-old good advice “if you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything at all.” In the case of Viet Royale, we would be all mum. But this is a forum where we offer to readers our views, and as we have done on numerous occasions in this blog, we can only relay our own experiences, so here goes.

Viet Royale is located inside the famous Eden Center, which is the Vietnamese community’s dining hub in Falls Church. Apparently, this particular restaurant has been around for 20 years and in 2007 band 2008 even made it to the Washingtonian Magazine several times. Maybe something has changed since then, or maybe we just went on a bad night. Granted, it was very crowded, so we may be in the minority of not having had a good experience.

We called in advance to reserve a table for the time we planned to arrive, but were told they only reserve on the half-hour. When we arrived at the time we planned, which was 6:45pm, the 5 of us were seated at a huge round table that would have comfortably sat 12 people. Requests for a smaller table were futile. The man told us that had we told them we were coming earlier he would have made the table available earlier. Duh!!!

Our order was messed up so many times that we lost count. Almost every person in our party had something wrong with their order. We kept having to ask for our water to be refilled every single time. We were then charged for a dish that was never even brought out! Good thing someone in our party caught the mistake, since the bill was all in Vietnamese. It was indeed a busy night at the restaurant, so we can understand that the staff was running around, but we just felt unwelcomed.

Warning to anyone who likes spicy dishes – the dishes they call spicy in this restaurant are definitely not. But they were not even mild, they were bland.

We really think that if we had ordered the Pho we would have been less disappointed with the food, but we will not return to Viet Royale to find out. There are lots of other great Vietnamese restaurants in this area where we would rather go. This place was a “royale” disappointment.

Friday, November 22, 2013

21 Awesome McDonald's Dishes That You Can't Get In America

Although I rarely eat in McDonald's in the U.S., when I travel abroad I sometimes visit McDonald's.  Usually in other countries, particularly so-called transitional or developing economies, where I usually travel, places like TGI Friday's or McDonald's offer a familiar American environment for me.  These restaurants are dependably clean and friendly, and give me a chance to watch local families enjoying a meal together in an American chain establishment.  Also, it's fun to see what the different sandwiches are called in the local language and whether there is any food that is tailored to the local tastes.  This is why I found this link particularly interesting - https://socialreader.com/me/content/lVWLz?chid=27443&_p=trending&utm_source=wp&utm_medium=Widgets&utm_campaign=wpsrTrendingExternal-1-opt

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Artisans Grill

2 East Main Street
Luray, Virginia 22835


After years of searching for a decent place for lunch near Luray caverns in beautiful Shenandoah Valley, we are glad to report that we found it!  ArtisansGrill is a low-key sandwich place with two dining floors where wait staff rush around to accommodate the constant buzz of customers. This is a popular destination on the otherwise desolate (at least it was desolate Saturday afternoon) old-city intersection of Main and Broad Streets, about a 3-minute drive from the caverns.  Prices are cheap, for us Washington metro area dwellers, and the sandwiches are just the perfect size, especially for those who worked up an appetite at the hour-long tour of the magnificent Luray caverns.  My friend and I both ordered turkey sandwiches that came with a reasonable assortment of toppings and sides.  Parking was pretty easy to find, again a novelty for visitors from the DC metro area.  For those who are interested, they serve a nice variety of Virginia wine.  While Artisans Grill offers nothing fancy or out of the ordinary in terms of cuisine or ambience, it is a good wholesome diner that hits the spot.