Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hometown Glory: Virginia

Happy Holidays!

I'm visiting my mom and family for the holidays, mainly between northern VA and NYC. I love travelling between the two, it's a nice balance between the bustling city and rolling greenery of the suburbs. My family lives in Fairfax County, which is just outside of DC. When I was younger, I couldn't wait to leave behind the shopping malls and multiplex cinemas, but now having been separated for awhile, I appreciate the convenience of Potomac Mills and donuts and dinner salads at one of the Great American Grills

My cousin recently raved about a new culinary expedition, which got me thinking. Northern VA has come a long way since my high school days and there are some amazing eats to be had. So if you plan on driving through the state of dogwoods and bald eagles, here are few places to check out. 

Co Co Sala

Chocolate lounge and boutique. Yum. Check out the AZTEC CHEESE ENCHILADA with pepper cheese & guava, cocoa nib cheese stuffed jalapeno beignet and guava & lime sauce (um hello?!) and the Scotch and Chocolate Flight for dessert. 

This local Greek diner has been a family staple for years, we use to always go on Christmas Day cuz it's open every day of the year. The food is hearty and homey and the fresh baked pies are to die for. My favorite is banana cream. 

Wood-only BBQ. Most of VA is considered the South and so good southern influences are everywhere. This place is authentic and they make honey jalapeno cornbread. 

My parents took us here for special occasions like their birthdays growing up. It's in historic Old Town, which is beautiful especially in the spring and summer time. 

And this seafood place is just down the road in Old Town. I've always loved crab legs, drove my mom nuts ordering them as a kid. They also have a great raw bar. I use to hate raw oysters, now I absolutely love them. 

This place reminds me of Thomas Jefferson's House and trips to Virginia plantations. It dates back to the late 1700s and makes me think of Fleet Street in London. It also has a haunting feel to it, which I like. I have a thing for being spooked. They make Baked Brie en Croute with raspberry coulis and Shellfish Newberg.
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