Welcome to the Northern Virginia Restaurant Blog.

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

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tequila Grande Mexican Restaurant - Vienna, VA

444 Maple Avenue West
Vienna, VA
(703) 255-5933

Situated on the corner of Vienna’s two main drags Maple Avenue and Nutley Street in a standalone building next to the Wolftrap Motel, Tequila Grande is a cheerful, delicious, down-to-earth dining choice. It is a large restaurant, but the separation of space and difference in decoration among the rooms make it a cozy experience. Soft music in the background - a selection of Latin rhythms - lighten up the atmosphere without being overbearing.

We had a delicious helping of their bottomless chips and salsa, but also ordered their guacamole, which comes in a thick tortilla shell inside a lettuce leaf. The chips are thin and light, absolutely perfect. The salsa was delicious, if a little sweet. But the guacamole was a clear winner - very fresh, the perfect combination of seasonings. The smooth consistency of the guacamole here separate it from the chunky kind served in places like Rosa Mexicano, for instance.  

Entrees did not disappoint. We had a combination fajita – beef, chorizo and chicken. We rarely eat chorizo and found it to be a bit on the greasy side. But the combination of ingredients with the side of sour cream, pico de gallo and shredded cheddar cheese was simply wonderful. Our second entrée was a combination platter – a burrito (chicken), an enchilada (also chicken) and a chile relleno. This entrée came with a side of rice, refried beans, lettuce, sour cream and pico. A definitely worthwhile selection, especially for those who can’t make up their mind which item on the restaurant’s long menu looks most appetizing. All were very good.

Dessert was amazing. We went for their daily special, which was a warm almond bread pudding with vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream and coconut shavings. This is not on their standard menu.

The service couldn’t have been more friendly and more efficient without being intrusive. We wish we could remember our waiter’s name, but it looked like all the staff at Tequila Grande was equally great.

We can’t wait to return.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Amoo’s House of Kebab - Wholesome Persian Food - McLean, Va - Revisited

6271 Old Dominion Dr.
McLean VA 22101 (703) 448-8500

There’s nothing certain in life but death, taxes, AND a great meal at Amoo’s House of Kebab.   So good in fact, that we’re revisiting our earlier posting to update on our experience and reinforce the notion that if you’re seeking great Persian food in Northern Virginia, look no further than Amoo’s. 

We’re not going to run the reader through the many great details of this family run Middle Eastern gem, so please refer to our earlier post on Amoo’s.  We would not be doing justice in describing our most recent visit without first mentioning the charismatic and enthusiastic host, Sebastian.  The owner’s son has the perfect mix of attentive hospitality and boundless energy that speaking with him for a few minutes proves that he is the hub of a family who thoroughly enjoy serving their food from their part of the world to their diners.  For such a young man, he understands the needs of his customers and is willing to stretch the typical kebab house with a more eclectic and energetic vibe.   

So lets get to the meal.  We started by sharing an Ash (pronounced “Ahhsh”) Soup.  Words cannot describe this amazing dish.  Served in a homemade restaurant-baked sourdough bread boule, this wonderful mix of beans, mint, yogurt, and countless other ingredients, was so plentiful, we used the remainder of the bread throughout the rest of the meal.  Sebastian highly recommended the soup and on a cold winter’s day was the perfect beginning to the meal.  We shared the soup--and that was a good thing because if ordered for one, there would be no room left for an entrée.  After the Ash, we were served two different skewered chicken dishes.   Elena had the Tandoori Chicken, a skewer of chicken cooked in a jalapeño marinade.  Bill had a Chicken Breast Fillet.  Both were served with saffron rice and grilled tomatoes.  Elena also ordered a side of Mast-o-Mousir, a creamy yogurt blended with minced shallots and seasoning - the perfect condiment for these chicken dishes.


The soup was so filling, we were able to take home and enjoy half our entrées the next day.  This blog continues to highly recommend Amoo’s over its abundant competitors.  We will surely be returning soon.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Restaurant hygiene study across 10 U.S. states - frightening results

This is scary.  Although testing was not done in the DC metro area, the results of this 10-state study are reason enough to think twice about eating out...  62% of Restaurant Workers Don't Wash Their Hands After Handling Raw Beef.... and vegetarians aren't safe either.  As frequent restaurant patrons, we know that most restaurants take excellent precautions to ensure food is healthy and handling is safe, but nonetheless as a consumer it's important to be vigilant.  The restaurant industry as a whole is highly responsible, it's the few offenders that "spoil the soup."