What’s whetting your whistle? Where do you head first when your head spins with hunger?
By Vanessa LaFaso Stolarski
STONEYBROOK ORGANIC FARM
37091 Charlestown Pike, Hillsboro; www.stoneybrookfarm.org
Along rural Route 7 West in the small town of Hillsboro, commuters catch a glimpse of heaping baskets of veggies. What’s special about Stoneybrook Organic Farm lies in its daily availability. Unlike weekend farmers markets, whose agriculturalists transport their produce, Stoneybrook’s farm is located right next to the stand. A fresh idea in a time when eco-conscious folks are being picky about where they get their food.
Coffee Shop That’s Not Starbucks
8433 Lee Highway, Merrifield; 703-677-8290; www.coffihouse.com
Return to the way it once was before coffee houses turned corporate. This java joint always has live music or poetry brewing along with its quality beans. Kick back in a comfy chair and get your go-juice on.
Vintage 50; 50 Catoctin Circle, Leesburg; 703-777-2169; www.restaurantbreweryloudoun.com
The burgeoning pursuit of wine knowledge has yielded a large crop of sommelier classes. But a sensory evaluation course on beer? A master brewers program at the collegiate level? Bill Madden has both under his belt. His current repertoire at Vintage 50, in fact, is just the beginning of what’s brewing for Madden. He and his wife will soon be opening their own pub in Falls Church. But Madden says the new venture will not interfere with the quality of beer at Vintage 50, and that he will continue working with the chef on menus that best highlight his brews. The verdict on wine verus beer in a head-to-head food pairing? “Beer is a good accompaniment to food,” Madden says, but at the end of one tasting where the two libations were matched to the same menu items, “Wine won even on my own turf.”
What should a new student of Northern Virginia 101 be taught first?
“It’s a vibrant area in and of itself, and though we are in proximity to Washington, D.C., we have a very strong identity of our own.”
Multiple NoVA locations; www.silverdiner.com
13648 Tarara Lane; Leesburg; 703-771-7100; www.tarara.com
Multiple NoVA locations; www.fiveguys.com
Multiple NoVA locations; www.zpizza.com
EDIBLES INCREDIBLE, RESTON
Reston Town Center, 11919-A Freedom Drive, Reston; 703-709-8200; www.ediblesincredible.com
DIY Bar, Whitlow’s On Wilson
2854 Wilson Blvd.; Arlington; 703-276- 9693; www.whitlows.com
“Not the spot for novice Bloody Mary drinkers and mixers. But if you know what you’re doing, elbow your way through to their well-stocked make-your-own bar. Olive-per-two-ice-cubes mix ratio? Yes, please,” says assignments editor, Susan Anspach.
607 King St., Alexandria; 703-299-9810; www.latascausa.com
Mixed with Aqua de Valencia, rather than orange juice, designer Elisa Glass says, “It reminds me of being in Spain.”