Posts Tagged ‘Fairfax’

Eagle’s Acho accepts Purcellville prom date; Sitting Rising Test could predict your lifespan

Emails: Fairfax prosecutor requested state police to investigate Fairfax police shooting
(The Washington Post)

Sitting Rising Test could predict your lifespan
(USA Today)

Eagles’ Emmanuel Acho accepts Purcellville high schooler’s prom request

Metro fare hike proposal killed

Cell service in Metro tunnels may not happen by deadline

Fairfax Band His Dream of Lions Makes Dreams Come True

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Photo courtesy of Seth Coggeshall.

(From left to right) Guitarist Nick Jones, drummer Jack Dunigan, singer Seth Coggeshall, keyboardist Colby Witko, bassist Blair Kilner. Photo courtesy of Seth Coggeshall.

By Matthew Tracy

Fairfax may be a great place to settle down, but it’s also a hotbed for rock music. Take it from alternative rock band His Dream of Lions, whose five members came together through the local Fairfax music scene in February 2012.

“There were quite a few pop, punk, pop rock kind of bands (in the area), and it was difficult to make yourself known any other way than to just play shows,” says the band’s singer, Seth Coggeshall.

His Dream of Lions’ first show was at Vienna‘s Jammin’ Java, where they’ll return this Saturday, Feb. 28, alongside fellow Fairfax band The Project.

“My first time ever singing in front of people was at Jammin’ Java, which was huge for me,” Coggeshall says. “So we just have a lot of history with them. We have a lot of good memories there, and we played with a lot of incredible bands at Jammin’ Java.”

The band continued playing at venues like Jammin’ Java, determinedly captivating more and more locals with their energetic performances.

“It took a while for people to be like, ‘maybe these guys are different,’” says Coggeshall. “(Now) we have a lot of friends that we still have today and we will always have just from coming up in this area and doing it the way that all bands start out doing it, just playing a ton of shows.”

Photo by Tyler Mazza, courtesy of Seth Coggeshall.

Photo by Tyler Mazza, courtesy of Seth Coggeshall.

His Dream of Lions have accomplished a lot in the three years since they started playing together. They released their debut record, “Part One,” last March. Its opening track, “Novel,”  climbed to number seven on both the New Music Weekly Top 40 and Hot 100 Singles charts.

More recently the band has released their second record,”Part Two,” as well as a number of music videos.

“It’s a lot of work, but when it pays off, it really pays off,” says Coggeshall.

His Dream of Lions have tailored the story of their determination and success into their music’s message. They use their music to inspire all of their fans to follow their dreams.

“Really when it comes down to it, your life is truly your own,” says Coggeshall. “Whatever that one thing is that you’ve always wanted, there’s no better time to go for it than right now.”

Now the band is tracking a new single, with an accompanying music video coming out later this spring. After that, they plan to continue touring and spreading their hopeful message to all of their fans.

Local audiences will have a chance to see His Dream of Lions when they perform at Jammin’ Java this Saturday at 8 p.m.

Visit Jammin’ Java’s webpage for show and ticket information.

For more information on the band, visit His Dream of Lions’ Facebook page.

Review: A Taste of Vacation at Saba in Fairfax

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Get deliciously lost in translation at Saba.

Saba in Fairfax

One of many foreign combinations, areekah is a dessert combining bread, cream, cheddar cheese and bananas. Photo by Jonathan Timmes.

Words by Stefanie Gans  Photos by Jonathan Timmes

There’s a saying that food tastes better on vacation. It’s the cliche of warm breezes and palm trees, fresh fruits and exotic flavors. But that’s not all vacations.

Vacation meals can also be hard won. There’s little signage and big language barriers. There’s vague menu descriptions, but clear hope for a fantastic meal.

Dining at Saba can be like this. Assuming you’ve never been to Yemen and do not speak Arabic, you may have to work for your dinner.

Saba in Fairfax

A dish of rice and roasted meat topped with fried onions. Photo by Jonathan Timmes.

While the menu is in both English and Arabic and most of the servers speak fairly fluent English, there can be questions misunderstood or requests unfulfilled. But there’s a charm in this too, just like that big smile from the server who brought out a $40, 16-inch croissant-like cake when we asked for a slice. They graciously comp’d us the dessert when we explained our surprise to find a layered, honey-sweetened bready dessert, bulbous like a balloon, quickly deflating. Around the table we took video and Snapchatted the delicious mistake to friends.

I tell this story with the heart of a vacationer happy to bring home a lost-in-translation tale of delicious, foreign food.

The restaurant is in a strip mall off Little River Turnpike in Fairfax. The first floor has long tables. To the right, a few steps to a second landing where there’s couches, plus room for people to sit on the floor and eat with their hands. It’s called majalis, or living room, and is reminiscent of how families eat at home in Yemen. We saw little kids running around and women dressed in niqab.

To start, there’s excellent sambusas, chunky triangles of fried pastry with vegetables embracing warm spices. Fried pieces of pleasingly chewy lamb, qullaba, is a bit like the American-Chinese dish pepper steak, or as a friend who lived in China said, it reminded her of a Uyghur stew, laghman, and carries the same flavors of cumin and peppers. In Yemen, this is a breakfast dish, but at Saba—which refers to the ancient kingdom where the Queen of Sheeba is from, which is considered to be in modern day Yemen—it’s available all day.

Shakshukah, eggs with tomatoes, jalapenos and caramelized onions, turns scrambles into a full meal that’s savory, hearty and spicy. A less recognizable pre-noon dish on American tables is a stew, foul, of fava beans pureed with tomatoes and onions. It’s like a warm lentil salad, subtle and comforting and to be scooped up with bread. Right now the kitchen purchases its naan-like bread, but owner Taha Alhoraivi, ordered a tandoori-like oven which should be installed in his restructured and expanded kitchen in the spring, promising housemade carbohydrates.

Saba in Fairfax.

Photo by Jonathan Timmes.

For a sweet take on the morning, fatah bil-at-tamr wa asl is a bit like chewy bread pudding, flakes of bread, rashoush, sticky with honey and dotted with dates. The portion is large; take leftovers with you for an afternoon snack break.

But why you’re here is for the fragrant rice and soft meats. There’s three sizes available for these meat-and-one plates and even the individual portion is enough to easily share. The roasted chicken mandi is gorgeous and tender, both familiar and exotic (the lamb is tougher). Named for the eponymous spice blend, Alhoraivi, 38, asks friends to bring mandi, and other herbs, back to the United States from their travels to Yemen.

Saba in Fairfax

Fried lamb, often served for breakfast. Photo by Jonathan Timmes.

Large cubes of beef are served stew-like in fahsa. Instead of feeling heavy, weighed down with fat or cream, it’s fresh and bright; it’s more like the Korean bibimbap. Most dishes are served with a salad that is a bit like a salsa fresca, chopped tomatoes and onion with loads of garlic greased together with oil.

In other countries of the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa there’s flaky, honey-drenched pastry cakes, at Saba there’s similar dishes. But there’s nothing in the family of baklva that will prepare you for the combination that is areekah. It uses the same chewy bread pieces, rashoush, with bananas, cream, honey, nigella (black seeds tasting of onion) and shredded cheddar cheese. It’s not a sharp, interestingly granular cheddar cheese we’re used to. The cheese is soft and almost tasteless. It adds volume and a little salt and easily blends into the cream. Together, it’s creamy and a bit chewy from the bread. It forms a bowl of sweetness, a comfort I never knew before.


There’s a few interesting sweet drinks and sludgy Turkish coffee, but no alcohol here.

Appetizers: $1.50 – $8.95; Entrees: $12.95 – $18.95

Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily

3900 Pickett Road, Fairfax

(February 2015)

When Lady Gaga meets Falls Church folk

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

From left to right: Julie Ann Greene, Lea Mae Rice Camarda, Larry Rice. Photo courtesy of Larry Rice.

From left to right: Julie Ann Greene, Lea Mae Rice Carda, Larry Rice. Photo by Tim Camarda.

By Matthew Tracy

Most people know “Poker Face.” They know that Lady Gaga wants to “hold ‘em like they do in Texas, please.” And in Falls Church, folk band The Big Cheese holds ‘em like they do in Virginia.

The Big Cheese’s tagline is “‘Cripple Creek’ meets Lady Gaga.” Using old time folk tunes, they put a special twist on pop classics such as “Poker Face.”

Bandleader Larry Rice gives the lowdown on their music: “The oldest tune that we play is from the 1500s,” he says. “It’s a really old folk tune, but it’s a cool melody. It’s timeless. We take old songs, and we sort of mash them up.”

Rice’s music career began in a band with his brother when he was growing up in Falls Church. He then went on to cofound country rock band Flatbush in Cleveland and made a name for himself in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

Flatbush released two 45s and an LP during its time together. One tune, “Snug as a Bug in a Rug,” became a Cleveland radio hit in 1979, yet Flatbush broke up soon after this success. Rice chose to continue with music, making a part-time gig as a music teacher in Falls Church his full-time passion.

The Big Cheese performing at Epicurean Café. Photo courtesy of Larry Rice.

The Big Cheese performing at Epicurean Café. Lea Mae Carda (middle) on the mountain dulcimer. Photo courtesy of Larry Rice.

Just eight years ago Rice formed The Big Cheese with his former mandolin student Julie Anne Greene and his daughters Lea Mae Camarda and Shannon Rice, who is on performance hiatus while serving in the Navy.

“I’d have to say it’s just as fun (as Flatbush); it’s just different,” says Larry Rice.

Fans can tell they have a fun time from the humor of recent novelty tunes like “Redneck Cappuccino,” a song about Mountain Dew, and “Harvey,” which is about what Rice calls a fierce “ninja cat.” And one thing that makes The Big Cheese different is its members’ variety of tastes.

“Shannon is a little more modern. Julie’s into traditional; she’s into bluegrass in particular as a mandolin player,” Rice says. “And it’s sort of a democratic band. Everybody picks the song they want to do.”

The band also stands out in its choice of instruments. “(Lea Mae Carda) plays the (mountain) dulcimer, and literally a crowd gathers round because most people have never seen one,” Rice says. “It’s a very traditional sound, but when you put it into some newer music, it’s kind of a cool tune.”

The Big Cheese uses ten different acoustic instruments, giving them vibrancy other local bands lack.

“All our instruments are acoustic,” Rice says. “But mixed together with more modern approaches, it’s really neat music.”

Audiences can see Larry Rice perform with Lea Mae Carda and three of his fiddle students Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Epicure Cafe in Fairfax in anticipation of the band’s “Live Culture” CD release party on March 28.

To learn more, visit Larry Rice’s site or The Big Cheese’s Facebook page.


Maureen McDonnell faces sentencing for corruption; #CloseFCPS makes a comeback

By Sophia Rutti

Maureen McDonnell faces sentencing for corruption

DC Metro area faces coldest weather in two decades

Va. flags ordered to half mast in honor of World War II Vet

Teen rescued after falling through ice in Burke

Fairfax County students use social media to call for a snow day

NY Times media columnist David Carr dead at 58; Middleburg among globe’s most romantic

By Carten Cordell

New York Times media columnist David Carr is dead at 58
(The Washington Post)

A second set of possible human remains found in Fairfax County
(The Washington Post)

Fairfax Woman Who Died After Being Tasered Suffered From Mental Illness

Middleburg makes CNN’s romantic getaway list
(Loudoun Times)

Northern Virginian Hikes Pacific Crest Trail for Charity

Nicholas Guzek  enjoying the view on  McAfee's Knob. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Guzek

Nicholas Guzek enjoying the view on McAfee’s Knob near Catawba Valley. Photo courtesy of Nicholas Guzek

By Matthew Tracy

Heating blanket. Check. Climbing rope. Check.

As he surveys the spread of provisions on his bed, Nicholas Guzek contemplates the places these items will travel with him on his journey of the Pacific Crest Trail, a wilderness many only saw on the big screen in 2014′s Oscar-nominated “Wild.”

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Driss Zahidi Is Back at Evo Bistro; Will Continue at Le Mediterranean Bistro

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Chef Driss Zahidi  / Photo Courtesy of Driss Zahidi

Chef Driss Zahidi / Photo Courtesy of Driss Zahidi

By Stefanie Gans

“It was too fast,” says Driss Zahidi of the sudden deal that led him back to Evo Bistro.

From 2007 to 2011, Zahidi was chef and majority partner in the McLean restaurant, but he left to start Le Mediterranean Bistro in Fairfax in April 2013.

After being approached three weeks ago by the current owners of Evo Bistro, Zahidi agreed to take over the restaurant. His first shift in the kitchen was last night. 

On Monday, Zahidi, a Moroccan native, will release his new menu, which shifts Evo Bistro from its current emphasis on American-Italian food to pan-Mediterranean cuisine pulling from Spain, Italy and Morocco. Dishes will include lobster ravioli — “House-made, of course,” says Zahidi — Mediterranean rockfish with saffron risotto, an appetizer of boquerones and a lobster and foie gras croquette, which debuts as a special tonight for $9.

Zahidi will continue cooking at Le Mediterranean Bistro, but he is already wary of being able to keep both restaurants afloat. “I’m trying to make it work,” says Zahidi. But if he had to sacrifice one, it’d be Le Mediterranean Bistro. Says Zahidi, “Evo Bistro was my little baby.”


Investing 101 is Not for Dummies

For millionaires or wage slaves, the rules are the same.

Investing 101

Photo courtesy of annt/

By Darrell Delamaide

With algorithms determining what books we purchase and what films we watch, it was only a matter of time before these mathematical formulas programmed into software would tell us what stocks and bonds to buy.

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1 dead, 80 treated after Metro car fills with smoke

By Carten Cordell

1 dead, 80 treated after Metro car fills with smoke
(The Washington Post)

Yellow Line rider recounts ‘scary experience’ on L’Enfant train

Police search Joe Morrissey’s office ahead of special election
(The Washington Post)

Fairfax man charged in child porn case connected to youth hockey

Freedom of Information Exemption Proposals Pile Up In Virginia

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