Kid's lunch in NoVa
June 22, 2006 8:40 AM   Subscribe

Where should I take my daughter to lunch this Saturday in Northern Virginia?

My daughter turns 11 this Saturday, and I'm taking her to lunch. In the past, we've gone to Rain Forest Cafe, but it's now defunct. I'd planned on taking her to Melting Pot, but it's not open for lunch on Saturday.

She's a picky, non-adventurous eater, and time limits us to the Northern Virginia area, the closer to Falls Church, the better. Our past outings to Generous George have been disappointing, and we are too old for Chuck E. Cheese.

What to do?
posted by MrMoonPie to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What about Noodles (on Main Street in Fairfax)? It's not really fancy, but has a nice atmosphere, and they serve delicious mac and cheese.

Incidentally, my only trip to Generous George's was before a male friend took me to a movie. At Foxchase.

It wasn't THAT kind of movie, but still.
posted by timetoevolve at 8:46 AM on June 22, 2006

What about hibatchi? I think there's a Benihana in NOVA. It might be a tad on the adventurous side, but I'm a picky eater and enjoy eating there. They make the food in front of you on a hot grill and do all sort of neat tricks with the chopping and stuff. It's like a little show. It's mostly just chicken (or meat or shrimp, depending on what you order) with some fried rice and veggies like zucchini. That doesn't seem too out there in terms of adventure, but you know her best. If you truly are under time limits, it might not work for you. Dinner there tends to take a while, and I can't speak to lunch. Sidenote: if you tell them its her birthday she gets a little dessert and they sing to her and they'll take a picture as well.

p.s. Noodles is really good. They have this policy where if you don't like what you create, you can get something else. Perfect for a picky eater. It's fast-foody though, so it may not work for you if that's not what you're going for.
posted by ml98tu at 8:55 AM on June 22, 2006

Not sure if ethnic food qualifies as adventurous but Tyler Cowen (economist) has a huge ethnic dining guide. The new blog format has restaurants organized by region including Virginia and even specifically Falls Church/Seven Corners.
posted by junesix at 9:03 AM on June 22, 2006

La Madeleine has a location at Tyson's Corner (next to Circuity City) and in Bailey's Crossroads. Their food is good--not great, but easily on par with Rainforest Cafe--and they have a wide variety of menu items to choose from.

Plus, they have excellent desserts, which would seem ideal for an 11-year-old's birthday.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:05 AM on June 22, 2006

(next to Circuity City)

"Circuit City," that is.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:06 AM on June 22, 2006

Five Guys.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:06 AM on June 22, 2006

Maybe Woo Lae Oak Korean BBQ in Pentagon City. Fun for meat-eaters since the food is grilled right in front of you, and the food there is excellent.
posted by exogenous at 9:13 AM on June 22, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far, all.

I've used Tyler Cowen's guide before, and usually agree with his assesments. If the lunch choice were mine, believe me, we'd be hitting some funky, small ethnic place. I've taken my girl to Korean BBQ before, to less-than-entusiastic reviews on her part. I think a hibatchi place would get a similar reaction, though, for some reason, she's happy to do Indian. Go figure.

Right now, it's between Noodles and La Madeleine, I think. We've been to Noodles before, and the menu at La Madeleine seems to be about right. I know where both places are, too.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:23 AM on June 22, 2006

Want to spend a little bit more cash? I know these suggestions aren't exactly 'kid stuff', but good food is good food!!

Magianno's in Tysons II is excellent - and you'll get plenty of food.

Nora's off of Dupont is great - and organic!!! (and expensive)

Mike's American Grill in Springfield is suprisingly nice, although the menu is basically the same as SweetWater Tavern and the rest of that chain.

I LOVE Olives, Georgia Browns, and Red Sage downtown.

When all else fails - go to Metrocurean... a blog of DC area restaurants.
posted by matty at 9:31 AM on June 22, 2006

The Lost Dog.
posted by ewkpates at 9:53 AM on June 22, 2006

Look no further than Taco Bell... in Virginia you have the extremely rair privledge of eating both french fries and breakfast burritos...
posted by matimer at 10:51 AM on June 22, 2006

The Lost Dog is pretty good, but she might prefer The Stray Cat, which is just down the strip from the Lost Dog. It's mostly grilled sandwiches and so forth, in a friendly low-key atmosphere. Plus there's the local ice cream shop across the street.
posted by NortonDC at 1:03 PM on June 22, 2006

My dad and I ate at the Silver Diner last time I was up in NoVA with him. Fun atmosphere, and lots of good food for your buck.
posted by geeky at 1:45 PM on June 22, 2006

Bob & Edith's
posted by JekPorkins at 1:57 PM on June 22, 2006

I'll second Bob & Ediths.
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:39 PM on June 22, 2006

And afterwards, take her for dessert (sorbet, frozen custard, cookies) at Dairy Godmother in Alexandria. It's an astounding place.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:06 PM on June 22, 2006

Wait until she gets really hungry and she'll like any place.
Try to get her to skip brackfast and put lunch off until 3 or 4. On the drive talk about starving children that have to eat rocks and drink water with flies in it.
posted by zackdog at 2:09 AM on June 23, 2006

Response by poster: We ended up at Silverado, in Annandale. It was as good as I remember (which is to say, not very), but my girl liked it, and she got a "Happy Birthday" chocolate waffle for dessert.

After I dropped her off at her mother's, the MrsMoonPie and I dropped by Dairy Godmother. Fabulous. It'll be a regular stop from now on.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:08 AM on June 26, 2006

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