2300 N. Pershing St.
Arlington, VA 22201
CUISINE Middle Eastern, Pizza
PRICE Under $12
HOURS Open for lunch, dinner and late-night dining daily.
NVM AWARDS Best New Restaurant 2009
NEARBY METRO None
By Warren Rojas
Catering to clients is job No. 1 in the hospitality industry. But Arlington’s Astor takes accommodation to a whole new level.
The predominantly carryout operation mimics its Adams Morgan parent, serving up the requisite kebabs and Mediterranean staples (spicy hummus, chill tabbouleh) dished out by its many contemporaries.
But where others might scale back the menu or overreach (hookah lounge? Internet cafe?) during these trying economic times, Astor continues to build upon that which its patrons actually desire.
Pining for made-to-order steak? Half-pound (at least) rib eyes are now available daily for less than $12. Craving fresh seafood? Baked salmon and tilapia (another customer request-cum-menu standard) ride in on fragrant chickpeas and rice.
Their Greek salad is defined more by its crunchtacular core (robust beets, refreshing cucumber) than the avalanche of cured cheeses favored by less imaginative kitchens, while the option to add a skewered meat of your choice ups the protein ante. Egyptian pizza drops zesty jalapenos, tender eggplant and juicy tomatoes into a minefield of tangy feta (this flatbread is head and shoulders above your average garden pie).
Fred Flintstone-sized beef ribs are familiarly spiced (rubbed with sumac and cinnamon), but get finished with sweet barbecue sauce (dramatic change-up).