Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bernie's Delicatessen & Gourmet Market

Bernie’s Delicatessen & Gourmet Market brings back the excitement and genuineness of the good old fashion, New York style delis, but without the five hour commute. Bernie’s is located two blocks away from the George Mason campus, beside the Field House, making it ideal for students to break from the mundane campus food and grab a quick bite between classes. In fact, it has already been recognized by George Mason students as their go-to deli. The following video is a segment of GMU The Loop and demonstrates the deli’s popularity among students. 
Bernie’s Deli launched in 2009 and offers a diverse menu of items for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Satisfy your craving with Bernie’s specialty sandwiches, homemade soups, deli salads, New York style bagels and much more. There is also the option of designing your own sandwich, with over 10 different choices of meats, breads, cheeses and toppings. One of the deli’s specialties, according supervisor Leslie Ragland, is the corned beef sandwich, with creamy coleslaw and Russian dressing served on marble rye bread. Another favorite is the beer canned chicken, a whole chicken coated with herbs and spices and roasted over a can of beer. In addition to the deli menu, Bernie’s offers a catering menu of fruit trays, sandwich and dessert platters for large parties of a dozen or more. In-house deli prices range from $2.99 to $9.49 with most dishes under $10. 
          Stop by Bernie's Delicatessen & Gourmet Market, located on Chain Bridge Road. Choose from a variety of sandwiches made from gourmet breads, meats and cheeses, at a location and price within means, especially for college students!
For more information, please visit

Corned Beef Sandwich with slaw and Russian dressing, Price: $6.99

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dolce Vita

In the heart of Fairfax lies its very own “Little Italy” with Dolce Vita, home to authentic Italian cuisine with an elegant backdrop depicting the Tuscan countryside. Restaurant owner Giuseppe (Joe) Ricciardi opened Dolce Vita in 1994 with a vision to serve food with flavors and ingredients that are true to its traditional Italian roots, and has been doing so for over 17 years. During its lifespan, Dolce Vita has earned praise locally from Fairfax residents and on a national level, being recognized in America’s Top 1,000 Italian Restaurants in the USA by dining guide Zagat Survey in 2009.The Italian eatery sets itself apart from other local restaurants by having two separate buildings. The first building, the Trattoria, offers an elegant, yet casual and family friendly environment, while adjacent building, the Catina was added in 2004 and serves as a private space, which may be reserved for meetings and larger parties. The Catina can accommodate up to 30 guests and offers the same elegant atmosphere in a more intimate setting.
Stop by for lunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for a lighter fare of the Italian favorites such as lasagna, baked ziti, manicotti, cheese ravioli, chicken parmigiana and much more. Lunch prices range from $6.99 to $11.99 per dish. Or, treat yourself to a larger selection of more refined, traditional Italian entrées. Dinner prices range from $9.99 to $25.99. Dolce Vita is located in the City of Fairfax on Lee Highway.    
Visit for details. 

Dolce Vita (Interior)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ford's Fish Shack

          If you are craving classic, New England style cuisine, consider taking a bite out of fresh-off-the-hook seafood at Ford’s Fish Shack. This restaurant is fairly new, with its debut in 2010, and offers a wide selection of New England classics, from entrées such as Maine salmon and lobster tail to hand-held crab cakes and fish tacos. “Since we started back in 2010, I have noticed that our most popular dish is the fish & chips. We do our best to recreate a New England classic, and people seem to like what we do," says restaurant manager Stafford. Another house favorite is the lobster roll, which consists of lobster meat tossed in a creamy mayonnaise dressing and served on a hot dog bun. Its contents may be simple, but the taste goes a long way according to diners. Townsend, a regular customer at Ford’s Fish Shack, said, “Lobster rolls are my absolute favorite. It’s my first and only choice.” Another classic, and my personal favorite, is the whoopie pie, a sweet cream cheese filling sandwiched between two round pieces of moist chocolate or red velvet cake. Whoopie pies are a tasty conclusion to a New England meal, served with a splash of chocolate ganache and a cold glass of milk. 
          Ford’s Fish Shack offers a colorful ambiance with flavorful food and a bright staff of servers. Prices range from about $8 to $25 per entrée. Ford’s Fish Shack is located in Ashburn, VA, in Ice Rink Plaza.
          Please visit for details. 

Chocolate whoopie pie, Price: $5.00
Fish & chips, Price: $15.00

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

La Chocita Grill

“For a taste of home away from home, try Leesburg’s La Chocita.” That is the motto of this small family restaurant, which is dedicated to serving customers with a real taste of Mexican, Central and South American food. Start your meal with a taste of a common Salvadorian snack, pupusas, which are made from corn tortillas and stuffed with either pork, cheese or beans. Then, choose from an abundance of traditional Latino dishes originating from Mexico, Honduras, Venezuela, El Salvador, Columbia, Peru and much more. Or, stick with one of the Mexican classics such as enchiladas, tacos, burritos or sizziling fajitas. La Chocita specializes in its rotisserie charcoal chicken, which is marinated in advance for 24 hours in a blend of Peruvian spices. This creation comes from an original Peruvian recipe from restaurant owner Julio Fuentes. This small scale restaurant is arranged to welcome its customers to dine in a friendly, home style environment, infused with a blending of traditional Latin American culture. At La Chocita, one can enjoy a generous portioned family meal for a very generous price, with all dishes under $18. The restaurant also caters for larger parties and offers free delivery to any office or home within five miles.
La Chocita Grill is located in Old Town Leesburg on Loudoun Street. For more information, visit

Crispy beef tacos with rice & beans, Price: $6.95
Cheese pupusa, Price: $1.95

Monday, November 28, 2011

Charcoal Kabob

          For an exotic taste of South Asian culture and cuisine in a family friendly setting, Charcoal Kabob is your next stop. The restaurant features common Afghani favorites, with choices of chicken, lamb, beef, fish or vegetable kabobs grilled over fiery charcoal and served with spicy vegetable side dishes, yogurt dipping sauce and fresh baked tandoori bread. This establishment has been serving customers with authentic South Asian flavors for over 17 years and is located in the center of Herndon, among a large population of South Asian and Middle Eastern descent. Despite its small size, Charcoal Kabob captures the essence of Afghanistan culture with splashes of Afghani paintings, handmade rugs and artifacts across the walls. The restaurant caters to native and foreign tastes, serving only halal meats with a balance of exotic spices. According to customer reviews and testimonials from family friends, a collective favorite is the chicken karahi, which is mutton chicken cooked in a deep cooking pot, similar to a wok, and infused with ginger, chilies, tomatoes and select spices. The tandoori bread is also heavily praised by customers, often referred to as “the best in the area.” The prices for main dishes are mostly under $10 and no dish is over $25.
          For a more appetizing cultural experience, enjoy a meal at Charcoal Kabob. Visit for details. 
Chicken karahi (serves two), Price: $19.99

Combo #3: Lamb & chicken kabob, Price: $12.99

Pho Royal

Pho Royal Vietnamese Noodle Restaurant welcomes its guests to dine in a friendly environment, with a variety of authentic Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant is known for its noodle soup, or pho, which consists of soup with rice noodles, choice of meat and onion. Pho is a common dish in Vietnamese culture and is heavily influenced by Chinese and French cooking methods, with Chinese spices and rice noodles and the inclusion of red meat added by the French. The soup is generally served with basil, mint leaves, bean sprouts and lime.
At Pho Royal, customers can play with a variety pho dishes, choosing from round steak, brisket, meatballs, chicken, shrimp, seafood or vegetarian. A local favorite is Pho Tai Chin, served with thinly sliced, eye round steak and well done brisket. Server Tony Le says, “I mostly recommend Pho Tai Chin to our first time customers. It’s a simple, delicious dish and is made from lean cut meats.” Other menu specialties include spring rolls, chicken, beef and rice dishes. Prices for general dishes range from $3.50 to $10.95, while prices for pho noodle soups are fixed at $7.45 for a small bowl and $8.45 for a large bowl.
So stop by at Pho Royal, located in Leesburg, VA, at Fort Evans Plaza, for a warm and tasty afternoon meal at an affordable price!
For more information, please visit

Pho Chin: pho with well done brisket, Price: $7.45