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Best of NoVA 2009: Appetite

APPETITE
What’s whetting your whistle? Where do you head first when your head spins with hunger?
By Vanessa LaFaso Stolarski


Farmer’s Stand
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
COFFI HOUSE
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.


Brew Master
BILL MADDEN
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.”


Breakfast
SILVER DINER
Multiple NoVA locations; www.silverdiner.com


Winery
TARARA
13648 Tarara Lane; Leesburg; 703-771-7100; www.tarara.com


Burger

FIVE GUYS
Multiple NoVA locations; www.fiveguys.com


Pizza
Z PIZZA
Multiple NoVA locations; www.zpizza.com


Bakery
EDIBLES INCREDIBLE, RESTON
Reston Town Center, 11919-A Freedom Drive, Reston; 703-709-8200; www.ediblesincredible.com




Staff Picks

Bloody Mary
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.


Mimosa
La Tasca
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.”