Posts Tagged ‘Herndon’

5 Random Things that Taste Great Dipped in Chocolate

Sponsored by the Chocolate Chick

It is a dream come true when you walk into a party or event and see the cascading sheet of liquid chocolate on display in a fountain. Our thoughts immediately go to, “what are all the delicious foods I can dip into this chocolate fountain of goodness?” Thanks to our January Dream Wedding sponsor the Chocolate Chick we came up with a list of the random goodies that taste great dipped in chocolate.

Want to make sure you have this 4-foot tower of goodness at your wedding? Enter to win in the link at the bottom of the article.

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Don’t deny it before you try it.


Potato Chips:
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The salt and sweet kick you need.


Hot Peppers:
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For the person that can take the heat.


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It’s bitter sweet.


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You won’t event need a skewer to aid your dipping.


Part Bike Shop, Part Cafe: an Old-School Combo Gaining Modern Momentum

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Coffee and bikes

Veloville USA / Photo courtesy of Nicole Davison

By Nicole Bayne

Veloville USA
“The Tour de France always starts with an espresso,” says Nicole Davison, owner of the Purcellville bicycle and coffee shop Veloville USA“Coffee and biking go together. This is a secret cyclists have known for generations and it is finally becoming mainstream.”

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Get Scared in NoVA

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Take a break from the hayrides and apple picking and tap into your sense of fear at one of these haunted spots for an entertaining and terrifying experience. – Andy Tran


Photo courtesy of Alan Defelice.

601 Catoctin Circle NE, Leesburg
At Shocktober there is one ghastly and frightening haunted house called Paxton Manor with a dreaded country theme. In the basement is the Haunted Well of Souls, dark and creepy with monsters lurking around each cob-webbed corner. There is also a coffin simulator where you are welcomed to climb inside, the deathly experience lasts about three minutes. And finally the vortex tunnel, a 20- to 30-foot long contraption that throws you off balance and into chaos. If sweat-dripping terror isn’t your thing, you can buy a “no-scare” glow necklace at the door for $5, letting the vampires and ghouls know to take it easy on you. / Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October, as well as November 1, from 7-10:30 p.m.; $30 for the Shocktober Package; $25 for Paxton manor; $10 for Haunted Well of Souls.

Bradley Farm Haunted House

Photo courtesy of Alan Defelice.

Bradley Farm Haunted House
13159 New Parkland Drive, Herndon
This dark, menacing house is filled with loud noises and a gloomy stench; witches, ghosts, goblins and crazy clowns can be found in the house, terrorizing people from left to right, in all good fun, of course. This attraction is sure to frighten and satisfy both younger audiences and older teens/adults. At this haunted house, be prepared to be scared. / Oct. 24 from 6-10 p.m. and October 25 from 1-5 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. Tickets are only $5.

Route 29 haunted farm.

Photo courtesy of Route 29 haunted farm.

Route 29 Haunted Farm
4484 Lee Highway, Warrenton
Do not bring young kids or scaredy-cat friends to the Route 29 Haunted Farm unless you want them to have nightmares for months. For twenty minutes, you and your loved ones will get to walk around the haunted farm and experience the terrors in the night. The looming trees and the hard ground will both seem that much more treacherous as you find the ghouls jumping out at you behind bushes and rocks. Not only will you get a great fright, but there’s plenty of food at the concessions stands. / Every Friday and Saturday in October, and November 1 from 7-10:30 p.m.; $15.

Clifton Haunted Trail
Chapel St., Clifton
The Clifton Haunted trail is certain to scare the living daylights out of you and your friends. A long, meandering trail, chock full of banshees, bloody zombies, and creepy skeletons, is an attraction that will not disappoint. As patrons walk down the dim-lit path, your bravery or fear will surely appear once the trail has ended. Started in 2001, the trail has been scaring people for over 13 years and is as entertaining as it is thrilling. / Oct. 25 from 7-10 p.m.; $15, $10 for children 12 and under.

Haunted Hollow
8275 Maple Tree Lane, Warrenton
Enter into the Haunted Hollow, if you dare. This strange establishment has ties to mysterious farm accidents and shocking diary entries. During the walk around the haunted farm there will be strobe lights, fog, and intense noises. The farm itself is shabby and boarded up with rusty nails and rotted wooden planks. Turn back if you’re afraid, for the twenty-minute thrilling journey will take your breath from your lungs and replace it with fear. / Every Friday and Saturday in October starting at 7 p.m.; $15.

Northern Virginia Haunted Houses

Photo courtesy of Alan Defelice.


(October 2014)

September’s 5 Can’t-Miss Family Events

Edited by Jessica Godart


Cirque Dreams– Jungle Fantasy

Photo courtesy of Cirque Productions.

1Cirque Dreams – Jungle Fantasy
Contortionists, gymnasts and jugglers, oh my! What New York magazine calls “the grandest circus spectacle east of Vegas,” is at Wolf Trap for one weekend only. Directed by Neil Goldberg, the all-ages show promises breathtaking settings and memorable acrobatic routines.  / Filene Center / Sept. 5 & 6


Marvel Universe Live

Photo courtesy of Marvel.

2Marvel Universe Live
For the first time ever, beloved superheroes will be appearing for a night of spectacular performances. Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and more Marvel heroes will fight villains and arch enemies in the midst of amazing special effects and pyrotechnics never before seen at a live show.  / Patriot Center, Fairfax / Sept. 12-14 & 19-21


Herndon Triathlon

Photo courtesy of Ann Marie Heiser.

3Herndon Kids Triathlon
For ages 6-16, the triathlon features swimming, biking and running and is designed so that all athletic levels may finish. Each participant will receive a medal as they cross the finish line, and clinics are offered beforehand for training and practice. The triathlon has sold out every year and this year is no different so sign up quickly and start training.  / Herndon / Sept. 21


415th Annual Hartwood Days Festival
Kids of all ages find something to learn at this agricultural fair, even something from the past. From thrill rides to historic tours, delicious foods and a free concert, every festival goer will be entertained. With activities spread out throughout the weekend there’s never a dull moment to be had. / Fredericksburg / Sept. 12-14


Cox Farms’ Preview Weekend

Photo courtesy of Cox Farms.

5Cox Farms’ Preview Weekend
Start fall early at one of the area’s favorite farms. Cox Farm’s preview weekend showcases their haystacked slides, swings, tractor rides and adorable animals. And enjoy the addictive kettle corn and spiced cider. Get there before all the best pumpkins are picked. / Chantilly / Sept. 20-21




(September 2014)

A Promising Novelist

Jake Ziemba, a red-haired, glasses-wearing, 27-year-old novelist, has been writing fiction for the majority of his life. It’s a passion of his that he is determined to follow through with, even as he struggles with two diseases—overcoming one, while battling with another.

A graduate of Herndon High School, he wrote for his school paper and took creative writing classes. During a year-and-a-half stint at Northern Virginia Community College he focused on creative writing, also attending a George Mason University fiction seminar on the weekends. He transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University, and while there he won the Undergraduate Fiction Award in spring 2011 for his story “The Proving Grounds.”

The diverse Herndon neighborhood where he resided influenced Ziemba’s second novel, “7th City,” which is due out in October. The book explores how people from various cultures struggle to work together in an urban environment. An indigenous aborigine tribe is absorbed into a global modern civilization, and three main characters struggle with acclimating to their new environment. The story takes place on a great land mass, back when all seven continents were pieced together, to form Pangea. The antagonist is the ancient technological city that consumes indigenous tribes, and the heroes of the story are in the last tribe that is about to be consumed.


This August, Ziemba has released the graphic novel “MT. OLYPHANT” with Christine Skelly, a fellow artist who illustrated the work. The story follows a mythology scholar who has a nervous breakdown and ends up waking in a mental hospital. The doctors give him shock-therapy and every few hours he sees the patients and staff members as figures from Greek mythology; the doctors appear as the twelve Olympian Gods. (The first issue is free on and there are eight issues total.)

Mt. Olyphant

Photo courtesy of Jake Ziemba

Ziemba’s first novel is “The Yukon Glory,” a post-apocalyptic vampire tale, which was published in Sink/Swim Press by James Moffitt. While Ziemba was writing “The Yukon Glory,” at 17 years old he was diagnosed with PNH (paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria), a bone marrow failure disorder. PNH affects one out of 1.3 million people; the average life expectancy is six to eight years.

Yukon Glory

Photo courtesy of Jake Ziemba

“When I was diagnosed, I was terminally ill and housebound for one year, that’s when I wrote most of “The Yukon Glory.” I had an experimental stem cell transplant at National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. My PNH has been cured for 7 years, but I developed Graft-versus-host disease, (a common complication that occurs from an allogeneic tissue transplant) which I still struggle with.” For every book that was sold of “The Yukon Glory” Ziemba contributed a dollar to the PNH Research and Support Foundation.

A humble and generous individual, he is definitely a novelist to keep an eye on. And for now, he writes, word by word, sentence by sentence, the ink spilling on the pages, his imagination at work for all to see. 

Hungry For Linkage: Eat A Hop, Win A Pint + Port City’s Oktoberfest Brew Releases Today + Restaurant Industry Gender Pay Gap

Posted by Editorial / Friday, August 29th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Supertrooper/

By Susannah Black

Heritage Brewing Company throws a hop eating challenge tomorrow. [FB]

new report reveals the gender pay gap is “particularly pronounced” within the restaurant industry, with some disparities being “nearly three dollars per hour.”  [WaPo]

Port City Brewing Company releases its popular Oktoberfest brew, a traditional German-style lager, in the tasting room today. [Port City]

Sunset Hills Vineyard offers live music between 1:30-4:30 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday and weekend festivities include 40 percent off Sunset’s whites and rosés. [Sunset Hills Vineyard]

Trend alert: healthy fast food. [FirstWeFeast]

Beltway Brewing Company of Sterling hosts the Fidelis Beer Company launch party on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. with the release its first brew: Farmhouse Ale, a rye saison. [Beltway Brewing Company]

Town of Herndon celebrates Labor Day with a festival including live entertainment, wine and microbrewery tastings and cooking demos with O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub, Aanga and Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern. [Town of Herndon]

New on the Block: Restaurant Scouting in Northern Virginia

Posted by Editorial / Monday, August 18th, 2014

Photo by Stefanie Gans

A continuation of new and almost opened restaurants in NoVA.

By Ariel Yong

Europa Restaurant is owned by Humberto Fuentes and is expected to open in Herndon by mid-September. Fuentes currently owns El Manantial in Reston but says he will close it once construction has finished for Europa. His new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant will focus on French cuisine and have a similar menu to the one at El Manantial’s. / 790 Station St., Herndon  


Kobe House in Eden Center opened last month. This family business serves pho Kobe and will add Kobe steak to the menu in the future. / 6763 Wilson Boulevard, Store 6a, Falls Church


Natalie’s is a Vietnamese sandwich shop that is set to open in Fairfax in mid-October. In addition to the banh-mi-inspired sandwiches, it will also serve crepes and beignets. / 10407 Main St., Fairfax

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The Perfect Golf Date for Your Golf-Free Relationship

By Elke Thoms

Golf ball in roses

Photo courtesy of photofriday/

Summertime means freedom from the cold weather dinner-and-a-movie staple, and for golf lovers, it’s an excuse to spend time with the person you love and the sport you love in the same evening. However, unless you happened to meet in the tee box, chances are your partner isn’t as big a golf fan as you are (and maybe that’s putting it nicely). Still, there are several nearby golf courses that promise to let you work on your swing, while providing enough entertainment for your significant other to forget that you’re actually golfing. The challenge is selecting the perfect golf course. 

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For: globally inspired pizza

The Japanese Terimayo with shredded nori from Pizzanese

Photo by Stefanie Gans.

13047 Worldgate Drive, Herndon

Gleaming white subway tile. Funky swirling Edison bulbs. Herbs growing from wall planters. Chrome. Wood. Pizzanese brings all the modern restaurant design trends to a Herndon strip mall. It also collects the world’s flavors for personal pizzas. And with Tuesday’s BOGO promotion it’s easy take in a kimchi-chorizo-tandoori sauce pie. Most customers, says owner David Neal, chose to build their own, though there are set pies hinting at international affiliations. The Japanese Terimayo uses teriyaki-spiked mayo and nori flakes, but mozzarella and diced chicken bring you out of the Pacific. The Indian-themed pizza smells vaguely of the subcontinent’s spices, but it features mozzarella when paneer would continue the charade. The crust holds up well to the oven’s 600-degree heat and can handle multiple proteins and sauces, so best to concoct one yourself. This includes a dessert pie that you can load with peanut butter, Nutella and marshmallows.

(July 2014)

Okra Deconstructed

Forget the slime and Southern stereotypes, there’s more to okra than Ghostbusters references and Paula Deen. —Stefanie Gans

Okra, the misunderstood delicacy.

Photo courtesy of JIANG HONGYAN/


Dr. Peter Venkman’s World
“When you hear okra, for me, you immediately think Southern,” says Brys Stephens. For others, though, they think slime. In his debut cookbook, The New Southern Table,” the Alabama native dedicates his first chapter to the slender green vegetable and shows off okra in worldly preparations: with tomatoes and feta (Greek), cumin and chickpeas (Indian) and shoyu and wasabi (Japanese).

“It’s quirky and misunderstood,” says Stephens, and “there’s the slime thing that people worry about.” To avoid okra’s goo, Stephens recommends buying small pods, using dry, hot cooking methods for a short time (like roasting or grilling), and soaking it in a salt-vinegar solution to maintain a firm texture.

Long and slow recipes, like gumbo, take advantage of okra’s inner mucilage. By adding thinly sliced okra at the beginning of the recipe and “cooking it ‘til it’s literally blasted apart,” says Stephens, the okra will help thicken the stew just as a roux would. Just don’t cook it slow and wet to a pale green, says Stephens: it’ll “taste like canned asparagus.”



Peppered-up classic
It takes seven different types of peppercorns to create the seasoning for Johnny Ray’s fried okra. At his almost year-old Herndon restaurant, Johnny Ray’s Sultry Soul Food, Ray grinds each type of peppercorn to a specific consistency, from extra fine to extra coarse. “I love everything that’s peppery,” says Ray, who bases his cornmeal-battered fried okra on his grandmother’s recipe. “I have to remind myself that not everyone loves pepper as much as I do.”



Like candy
Tim Ma’s Thai okra started on Maple Ave Restaurant’s menu when it opened four years ago. But okra wasn’t Ma’s first attempt at a fried snack. He tried shredded cabbage, but the strands kept slipping through the fry basket. It was, he says, “the biggest fail.” So Ma, and his wife and co-owner Joey Hernandez, brainstormed about what else would caramelize well. They experimented with okra because it turns very sweet—right before it reveals itself as very bitter—when fried. What makes this cult favorite dish something Ma says, “he can’t take off the menu,” is its sugary coating cut with limes, Thai chilies and fish sauce. The dressing is a riff on the sauce served with crispy spring rolls at Ma’s favorite (mostly because of proximity) Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Thang Long. The okra tastes candy-like and, says Ma, “it’s the most surprising dish” at his Vienna restaurant.

(July 2014)

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