Foody Newz July 2020

Restaurants are reopening, some only for take out or delivery, patio seating, and/or indoor seating. What's going on in Alexandria's restaurant scene?

Jeff at Taqueria el Poblano is offering all sorts of goodness for patio dining, pickup, or delivery (Photo courtesy of Taqueria el Poblano)

Alexandria, VA – Here we are, July 2020, and still in some stage of limbo. We are now in Phase 3 with more businesses and restaurants reopening. There are strict rules in place and we all hope that everyone follows the requirements. Yet we here of reopenings that resulted in increased infections. With that in mind, I want to remind everyone to respect one another and each other’s space, wear a mask when out in public, keep washing your hands, and stay safe.

So, what’s happening as of right now. Restaurants are reopening, some only for take out or delivery, patio seating, and/or indoor seating. Follow the requirements set by the establishment. Call in your order and pick it up. Delivery services charge 30% or more of the food cost to the restaurant and also charge you for the delivery. They cut the restaurant earnings to practically nothing. I prefer picking up the food myself because I know where both my car and I have been. And, as I’ve said before, tip, tip, and tip some more.

I highly recommend you go to Facebook and log on to Alexandria Curbside Dining. You’ll find postings from all sorts of people with their recommendations of who’s open for dining in, patios, carryout, etc. They usually include pictures and descriptions of items they’ve eaten. It’s a great source of information. Also take a look at the coupons published by the Zebra for local area restaurants offering special discounts when you purchase their food.

Even Mary Wadland from the Zebra can’t resist the BBQ and collard greens from Pork Barrell BBQ (Photo from the Zebra)

Because the landscape is changing minute by minute, I can’t give you an exact list of what’s open and closed around town. Most of the Asian restaurants around town are open. Special favorites include the more recently opened Taste of Asia, 362 S. Pickett, and South China, 1302 Mt. Vernon Ave. Although not in Alexandria, consider a visit to the Eden Plaza for Vietnamese food. These mom and pop food emporiums can use your support too. Try some pho, it’s great in hot weather with all the fresh vegetables. And for a different take on Vietnamese, visit T-Zo, 5774 Dow Ave. where they feature North Vietnam cooking. Try one of their slushes. You’ll never have another ice coffee as good as their Vietnamese Coffee Slush. Mexican/Salvadoran/Peruvian, etc. restaurants abound. Check out Taqueria el Poblano, 2400 Mt. Vernon Ave. for fantastic margaritas and tacos plus a super weekend brunch menu.

A carryout cocktail order of Apple Pie Moonshine! (Photo courtesy of Hops n Shine)
Check out the beautiful patio at Lost Boy Cider while you enjoy a cold one! (Photo courtesy of Lost Boy Cider)

Hops N Shine, 3410 Mt. Vernon Ave., is the backyard patio everyone wishes they had. Get a icy cold beer and one of their incomparable grilled cheese sandwiches. Speaking of patios, be transported at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Tap at 401 E Braddock Rd. Sit under a white tent lit with violet mood lighting and filled with tropical plants while you munch out on Italian food. Or, go a bit more casual with eat in, patio, delivery, or carryout from Delia’s Brick Oven Pizza, 209 Swamp Fox Rd. With a menu of Mediterranean foods from Italy and Greece, you can’t go wrong.

Pretend you’re at the Eastern Shore with crabcakes at Bastille (Photo courtesy of Bastille)

Let us not forget three French/Mediterranean restaurants in Alexandria. Bastille Brasserie & Bar, 606 N. Fayette, has been offering both takeout and delivery and has just opened for patio seating. They are featuring dinners for two including crab cakes, duck confit, and bouillabaisse and other choices weekly. Del Ray Café, 205 E. Howell, is also offering carryout, delivery, and patio dining. This includes their wonderful weekend brunch menu. Be transported to Brittany with a visit to Fontaine Caffe & Creperie at 119 S Royal St. for your choice of savory and sweet crepes with a cup of espresso.

Oyster: Grilled oysters with garlic butter (Photo by Mary Wadland)

Mike Anderson and his Home Grown Restaurant Group have lots of good food for every taste. Get your fill of oysters and other marvelous seafood at Whiskey & Oyster, 301 John Carlyle St. for delivery or carryout. Just a short walk away is Sweet Fire Donna’s, 510 John Carlyle St. and Tequila and Taco, 540 John Carlyle St. Feed your whole family with the multiple choice of menus. Fresh sushi abounds at The Sushi Bar, 2312 Mt. Vernon Ave. It’s right next-door Holy Cow and Pork Barrell BBQ, 2312 Mt. Vernon Ave. You make everyone happy with one stop.

Thanks to the governor, restaurants can now do takeout and delivery of alcoholic beverages. Ask what’s available when placing an order. Aslin Beer Company, 847 S. Pickett is providing their favorites for carryout and delivery. So is Lost Boy Cider at 317 Hooffs Run Dr. You can also swing by Port City Brewing, 3950 Wheeler Ave., for curbside pickup or delivery.

On another note, here are a few interesting tidbits for you. Myron Mixons Pitmaster BBQ, 220 N. Lee St., is going to reopen on July 13th. For those wondering about what will replace Catch on the Avenue, 2419 Mount Vernon Ave., Piece Out LLC of Café Pizzaiolo, St. Elmo’s, and Market2Market will be opening an Italian restaurant featuring pizza and house made pastas. And, unfortunately, Taste of Del Ray has been cancelled.

I apologize if I missed mentioning your restaurant opening, reopening, or closing. It’s difficult to keep up with the ever-changing food environment. Drop me a note if you have something you’d like Alexandria to know about your business.

In the meantime, please stay safe, eat well, and enjoy.

Got a tip or some news about the food scene in and around Alexandria, let me know at debbyc@thezebrapress.com

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