Crystal City Sports Pub is definately one of the best places in the DC area to watch all of your sports. They have three floors with literally hundreds of TVs, several pool tables, plus screens on each floor give you score updates, news headlines, and betting odds. They also have special events like alumni parties, a Halloween party (that I attended in 2008), and golf tournaments. They have daily food specials and some good happy hour discounts, such as half priced burgers every Monday all day.
In a few trips to Crystal City I have been impressed with the food and staff. The employees generally seem to enjoy their jobs, and it shows in the service. I have tried burgers on half price night, and I had chicken wings. I had the smokehouse burger which is topped with bacon, mushrooms, cheese and BBQ sauce and served with their excellent steak fries. I also had the hot wings once, and they were way too hot for my taste, and I generally like very spicy food.
The Halloween party in 2008 was a great time. On the third floor there were maybe 200 people, and almost every one was dressed up for the occasion. The bar had a costume contest and they gave prizes to the winners... my friends dressed up as Osama bin Laden and a one night stand (a night stand -- ha ha) and finish 2nd and 3rd.
Kanpai is a sushi spot, run mostly by Koreans, in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington. I was wandering around looking for dinner one night around 9:45, and stopped in here because most places closed at 10:00pm. Kanpai was open until 10:30, so I decided to stop in.
I was warmly greeted by one of the waitresses and I chose a seat at the sushi bar. They recommended one of the bento-box like dinners, and it sounded good to me. I had the nigiri sushi, with steamed rice, a big piece of teriyaki salmon, about 6 big pieces of mixed tempura, a few vegetable sides, miso soup, and a salad for about $24. The meal was very good and all of the staff was extremely friendly. I chatted with the sushi chef who was from Seoul and well as one of the waitresses quite a bit. The friendly owner and his wife were also present, and they assured me they'd remember when I return next time.
Headquartered in Arlington, VA, Red Hot and Blue has franchised locations across much of the country, centered mainly in the Mid-West and the Mid-Atlantic states. I have eaten at a few locations, notably the Arlington (Rosslyn), VA branch and Annapolis.
The brisket is "to-die-for," the sausage will almost kill you. My last visit I had the three meat combo with pork ribs, brisket, and sausage plus sweet corn bread muffins, beans, and french fries for about $14. The brisket was awesome, but the ribs were a little overdone on the outside and the sausage gave me indigestion and kept me awake all night. Next time I'll stick with just brisket and ribs, hoping the ribs will be improved.
The Rosslyn location of RH&B is deceivingly huge with a dining room that just keeps on going. One of the best things about this restaurant is their excellent selection of tasty bbq sauces: a plain regular sauce, a hot bbq sauce, a vinegar-based sauce, and another that I don't remember off hand! Prices are good, the service was excellent, and they had big 24 ounce Yeungling Lagers!
Favorite Dish: Wilson Blvd
Ted's Montana Grill was founded by my hero and yours Ted Turner. They have about 60 locations nationwide, and it must be a money maker, since they can charge about $10 for a beef burger and more like $15 for a bison burger. Oh did I mention they specialize in bison? Ted likes bison. He decided the best way to save the bison (whose population has recovered form 1,000 to 450,000 in the US) was to start eating them as much as possible. Now ranchers kill 50,000 bison a year to be shipped to restaurants like Ted's.
I had the barbecued bison ribs special for about $20. I don't know where they get their BBQ sauce, but it tastes suspiciously like thick, brown gravy. Odd. They also served mashed potatoes with their ribs which was a first for me. Now that I am looking at the menu online and seeing that I actually had a choice of sides, I'm realizing my Ukrainian or Russian-speaking waitresses probably didn't have the language skills to ask me which sides I wanted.
Nutshell: expensive, trendy, and below average service. The meat was pretty tender and tasty though.
Turner owns more land than any other single American citizen: 2 million acres spread across 27 properties in about 13 states; his Vermejo Park Ranch in New Mexico, at 920 square miles, is the largest privately owned contiguous tract of land in the US. It is also said bis 40,000 bison are the largest herd of bison in the world. He made his fortune by founding CNN, TBS, and TNT, he created the Goodwill Games, and he has given a billion dollars to the United Nations.
He also has a funny little gray mustache.
This restaurant has only about 6 seats total, so don't guy during the lunch rush unless you get your order to go. The food is cheaper than you'd expect considering the prime location next to the Metro. I had a good chirashi dish for just $10 or $11 including a coke. The staff was friendly and quick, though they did disappear for about five minutes just as I was getting ready to pay.
I like this spot for a quick lunch in a busy part of town.
Bailey's is a small chain with about 100 stores in 25 states from New Jersey to Arizona. We went to the location in Chrystal City, VA, on 6 April 2006 and enjoyed a very good meal. Their beer variety was outstanding, and the food pretty good for a chain. I had the Alpine burger with Swiss cheese and mushrooms along with 3 local micro brew beers for about $20.
This is a pretty good vietnamese restaurant that is popular with the local political crowd (lots of pictures of local politicians/military posted around the restaurant. Compared to other Vietnamese food it's slightly above average. There's good variety of both meat and vegetarian dishes.
Site of my first every VT meeting. I am writing this tip more than five years after the fact.
We met up one Saturday during the Washington Sniper shootings to get together and have lunch. Here I was lucky enough to have met some really great VTers. Stephanie was there with some of her family. Skye820 and FrankCanFly arrived late after having met up up the road to caravan in. The hostess was SeagoingJLW. Also we had kathycollins and Kentbein there as well. Quite a great group for my first meeting.
They set us up at a long table in the back where someone could sit on the ends and most of us were across from each other
Favorite Dish: The food was good but I can't remember much of what I had. The restaurant is still there so I should go back and check it out.
I came here for the first time years ago. Circa 1990 something. It is just your basic diner breakfast that has its good days and its bad. They do a fairly good job with turning over the customers and getting everyone in in a timely manner here though.
I have recently returned in November 2007 and it is just as I remember it.
Overall rating, if you're in the area check it out. I wouldn't make a special trip.
Favorite Dish: This last time I had the hash and eggs while she had the waffle. We were also lucky enough to experience the oatmeal, eggs and bacon and pancakes. This time Ava's choice of sugar looking substance was salt. But with the same effect.
I was advised many times to ignore the national restaurant chains in the USA. And mostly, during my second US trip, I followed these suggestions. However my visit to Mexican chain restaurant - the Chili's in Crystal City proved to be the exception to that rule. This restaurant was more than only a good surprise, it was just great experience.
At southern edge of the center of Crystal City just off main Jefferson Davis Hwy (US-1) but... a little bit far from Crystal City metro station (maybe 10 min. on foot) and common lack of place to park a car forces to look for paid garage nearby. If you prefer tapas (delicious) and more company (noise) you may choose nearby Jaleo with a valet parking ($4.00).
A little bit dark (warning for reading fans), nothing fancy, but nicely designed bar desk and confortable seperated boxes, each for four people.
Great, fast, competetive and costumary very nice. Our Asian, thin waitress had hard work about us as we changed our order a few 3 times :-).
Kathy ordered delicious (we shared our meals) CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA ($10.99): sliced Cajun chicken breast on penne pasta with creamy Alfredo sauce, seasoned tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and garlic toast.
Favorite Dish: Urszula and I had FAJITA QUESADILLAS ($9.99) discribed in the menu as "fajita steak or chicken with grilled onions and Jack cheese in buttery toasted tortillas. Served with rice, black beans, sour cream & pico de gallo ". Below it's written: add guacamole ($0.99) and... I added. Haha, as usuall, I didn't understand part of my order: guacamole, Jack cheese and pico de gallo, silly me. Well, in my hometown (pop. 135,000) is only one Mexican restaurant.
Let me explain now:
Jack cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese is a skim milk cheese added to many Mexican dishes I ate in the USA. This one in my fajita dish was similar to the one I had in Tijuana, Mexico and softer than those which I tasted in the West (say, California) where it tasted similar to Cheddar.
Pico de gallo is a garnish made from chopped onion, tomato, and chiles (typically jalapenos or serranos). Other ingredients can also be added. In Chili's cucumber was added (others include lemon, lime, raddish). Chiles (the chile peppers) were cultivated since prehistoric times in Peru and Mexico. They were discovered in the Caribbean by Columbus.
Guacamole is a thick mixture (green in color) of ripe avocado, tomato, onion and spices which is usually eaten cold with bread. There was no bread in Chili's but fajitas.
We chose fajita steak which tasted over-average (maybe should be served a little bit warmer or just... we were talking too lot before eating, it's easy with Kathy, believe me :-), the rice, guacamole and black beans were top class (we say in Polisk: "a sky in a mouth". Sour cream was more decoration of my plate than a thing to eat (I don't like and didn't eat it). Pico de gallo was mild which was great for me - I hate dishes mady so spicy you can't taste anything else.
Rudy's is the restaurant on the Days Inn motel property where we spent first night after horribly long and stressful (delayed flights, lost luggage) jorney from Poland.
6.30 am - 10.30 am on Monday - Friday
7.00 am to 11.00 am on Saturday & Sunday.
Dinner: 6.00 pm to 9.30 pm on Monday - Saturday.
The design was nice, the seats were very comfortable, the tables were large enough. There was not enough light to read small fonts in my travel leaflets at my table but there were tables located by windows.
The service was friendly and prompt although the waiter should offer free coffee to every hotel guest.
I didn't know that coffee is complimentary for hotel guests and I paid for it. Well, shortly I recognised that I am in the USA, they asked me whether I want more coffee. In US restaurants usually you pay for unlimited amount of coffee, great custom never seen in my country, Poland.
After short night's sleep, we wanted very good breakfast and didn't look at prices in the menu :-). Well, we paid relatively much as for breakfast and us: $22.51 with tax and a 15% tip (added on the bill which I personally don't like).
Check up-to-date Rudy's menu here.
Favorite Dish: We ordered a cup of coffee and two orange juices.
Urszula ordered ham & cheese omelet (filled with Cheddar cheese and sliced ham) made with grade A eggs and served with toast, jelly and home fries - on the picture ($6.50 + tax and tip) - it tasted very good.
I ordered surely American Breakfast ($6.45 + tax and tip). Well, is it really American: two eggs served with hash brown potatoes, toasts and my choice of sausage or bacon. I chose scrambled eggs and sausages. It tasted very, very good.
Excuse, this restaurant, located on the last floor of Hyatt Regency Crystal City hotel, called Chesapeake Grill, was too expensive for us. I didn't eat there. I visited the restaurant which was completely empty because of the views through its panoramic windows. Hmm... the view was over the Ronald Reagan National Airport and the Potomac River from the one side and over other hotel buildings in Crystal City from the opposite side. The choice of food was not that wide as the restaurant advertised at hotel leaflet but there was good variety of wines.
1. Restaurants in Crystal City are generally less expensive than those in Washington, DC.
2. Many restaurants in Arlington are located in Crystal City: close intersection of Jefferson Davis Hwy (US-1) and 23rd Street and in Rosslyn, close to metro station and along Wilson Blvd.
3. Crystal city is more oriented for visitors whereas Rosslyn for local commuters (more fast food restaurants there).
4. Hotel restaurants are expensive (except Rudy's at Days Inn). Generally I am not a fan of hotel restaurants, especially in higher ranked hotels, as they often don't offer much more for twice the price than local restaurants and often serve small portions.
5. Remember to add sales tax and costumary 15% tip to price shown in menu.
6. Local restaurants often have menu in Spanish, rarely in other languages.
7. Chain restaurants sometimes (rarely?) can be good option for budget visitors.
8. Meals are served in American size (= 1 dish is often enough for two).
9. Usually you pay for unlimited amount of coffee, not for one small cup like in Poland.
10. What you can't eat will be packed in doggy bag (I would like to see it in Poland :-).
11. Remember to wait to be seated in most restaurants.
12. For budget visitors: eat large breakfast at price, say $10, instead of twice more expensive lunch.
Favorite Dish: 13. If you are going to visit downtown Washington, DC, eat in Arlington. There are only fast food restaurants and street stalls along the Mall. A few restaurants close to the Mall are expensive.
Since we (Urszula, Chris, Kathy, Kristine, Nat, and myself) were all staying in Arlington, we chose restaurant in Crystal City for our VT-meeting. Jaleo is only 10 min. walk from Crystal City metro station, in safe area. But we 5 drove my hired car and met Kristi wating very long time for us. Luckily they have a valet parking ($4.00) for consumers :-).
It was a huge, busy, loud and colorful restaurant. Although it was busy Friday, they were able to seat us right away. We all had great time in Jaleo in the night on 15th October 2004. We enjoyed both our company and food. The food and service were great. The place was right loud on Friday night which forced us to shout and made more difficult for me to understand English of whomever was sitting next to me. Haha, it was good training for both my ears and my English knowledge. I enjoyed those loud conversations a lot. Let's meet there again!
I am not very familiar with tapas, they are not popular in Poland. I surely tasted them in Spain where they were included in the price of drinks served in bars; it's customary to share them. Those in Jaleo where larger ones and in larger variety of both cold, hot and seasonal tapas (over 50 kinds).
Tapas are Spanish snacks, the simplest ones are something like a meat put on crackers :-). Tapa means "a cover" in Spanish. The name originates from the card which was used as a covering on top of a drink to protect it from flies; then it became a habit to top this cover with a snack.
A lot of food, soft drinks and beers for 6 persons and $120.23 on the receive (add customary 15% tip).
Favorite Dish: All tapas and other dishes I tried in Jaleo were delicious - just a great experience.
I enjoyed especially:
- bechamel fritters of ham & chicken (croquetas de Jamón y pollo): simple snack but very good;
- fritters of dates and bacon (Dátiles con tocino como hace todo el mundo): strange combination but extraordinarily good, I almost had to fight Nat so he wouldn't eat them all;
- fried squid with alioli (calamares a la romana): I must admit that it tasted great in Jaleo although I am not a fan of squid and never order it.
We ordered and tried a bunch of different tapas as each of us tasted a little bit and passed a plate around to the next which was my favourite way of eating :-) But I was more concentrated on what we were talking about than remembering what I ate :-). The other dishes included rabbit, fish and crabs. Well, I almost forgot, next time I would follow Nat and order rabbit in a dried fruit sauce (Conejo con frutas secos).
We went on a Saturday afternoon (1:15pm), and it was empty. We asked to be seated outside where there were at least four tables available. We were asked to wait five minutes. Then they seated a table of four before us outside. They don't know how to seat people in order when the place is empty on a Saturday afternoon. It took the a**hole waiter an hour for us to receive our entrees. A club sandwich and pasta. We should have been out in 45 minutes not just receiving our food after an hour. The table that got seated before us - that we showed up before, ordered food, paid for their food and left before we got ours.Utensils were dirty. Had to ask for ketchup at the hostess desk, where the waitstaff was hanging out at instead of working, making fun of other patrons.When the hostess walked by around the hour mark, I asked her how long it took for them to deliver entrees. She shrugged, looked embarassed as if she knew something was up. The server walked by us three times after us asking (delivering food to other tables that ordered AFTER us), and told us our food was on the way. The place is pathetic. He's lucky I didn't give him a knuckle sandwich. No apologies, he thanked us for our patience after asking for the check. I should have given him only a .02 tip and told him to shove his attitude up his a**. He definitely didn't get a 20-25% tip. Food was average at best and the service was horrendous.
After posting up this review on other sites, it's pretty much general consensus that the restaurant in Arlington sucks a big donkey weiner.
Favorite Dish: None. My friend's order was wrong after waiting an hour. Had to ask for bread before our hour wait as well as ketchup.
For those of y'all from Roxboro who might not know what tapas are, they are basically hors d'oeuvres. Still confused down there in Roxboro? It's like potted meat on crackers only better. Wondering what Jaleo means? It is an Andalucian dance or it means a hootin' hollerin' good time, which is what we (Matt, Urszula, Chris, Kathy, Kristine, and myself) all had. See, the folks over in Spain eat supper real late at night and they use tapas as something to tide them over until supper or late at night while bar hopping. Tapas bars are most economical when you get 5 or 6 folks together. We order something, whack off a little bit, and pass it around to the next and divide the cheque by how many are in the group. The food and service were great. If there was one fault to be found, it was right loud and you about had to shout for the lady or gentleman next to you, but it was Friday night and the ceilings are high.
Favorite Dish: I ordered two things: the pato con cerezas (duck comfit with cherry sauce: don't prounce the "t", Roxboro). That was extraordinarily good. I figured I gnawed on Daffy Duck, I'd better give Bugs Bunny equal time, so I ordered Conejo con frutos secos (rabbit in a dried fruit sauce). The rabbit was a little bony, but what meat there was tasted good and the sauce made it even better. I sampled from other folks' plates, cheeses from a platter which includes Murcia a hard goat's milk cheese in red wine; Picón a blue cheese made from cow's milk aged several months; Idiazábal a sharp, smokey sheep's milk cheese; and Manchego a sheep's milk cheese aged for a full year; deep fried soft-shelled crab with tomato and onion confit; ham and chicken fritters (which outwardly looked like a hush puppy); and date and bacon fritters (an unlikely combination, but one which works well, trust me).