The End of the Road

April 16, 2010 by · 15 Comments 

Falls Church Times Staff

April 16, 2010

This will be the last installment of my weekly food column for the Falls Church Times.  No more obsessive Farmers Market taste tests.  No more waxing poetic about the Eden Center.  No more bashing Pie-Tanza and Elevation Burger.  It’s all over.  I’m off to graduate school to begin the next chapter in my life.

To say that I’ll miss the Times is a gross understatement.  Food and writing are two passions of mine that I was able to indulge simultaneously with this gig, which also allowed me to work with some of the nicest, most down-to-earth people I’ve met—the Falls Church Times Staff.

Stan Fendley has backed me up no matter what I’ve written.  I’ve gotten words of encouragement and advice from Dave Witzel, Scott Taylor, Annette Hennessey, George Bromley, Gina Caceci, and Stephen Siegel on numerous occasions.  And Man About Town Columnist George Southern, well, he’s been about the best editor a writer could ever have—helping me along every step of the way with uncommon thoughtfulness.  I can’t imagine a more supportive group of people.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my columns as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.  For the most part, I’ve avoided writing about the City’s most popular places, which I don’t see the point in reviewing.  Instead I’ve focused on lesser known ethnic places and foods available here that aren’t available elsewhere.   There are many places I didn’t get a chance to profile and many dishes I didn’t get a chance to try, but I had a blast exploring new restaurants, shopping at ethnic grocers, and expanding my horizons at the Farmers Market.

I’ll leave you with one last labor of love—a list of the “Top 10 Food-Related Things I’ll Miss the Most in and Around the City of Falls Church.”  It’s a long title for a list but I can’t think of a better name.  I’ve tried to cover all the bases, from markets to restaurants to places in the City and outside of it but not too far away.  At best I think it’s a useful tool for any City resident interested in getting the most of the unique food offerings around the Little City.  I call it a list of things I’ll miss, but from your perspective it’s really just my list of the “Top 10 Food-Related Things to Take Advantage of in and Around the City of Falls Church.”

If I mention a place that I’ve written a story about in the past then I’ve included a link to that story to give you some more information about it. If I mention a place that I didn’t get a chance to write a story about I’ve included the address in parentheses.  And if I don’t mention a place you think I should’ve mentioned, well, I’m sorry about that.  So here’s the list, beginning with the place I’ll miss the very most…

Top 10 Food-Related Things I’ll Miss the Most in and Around the City of Falls Church

The gateway to deliciousness.

  1. The Eden Center- I’ve probably written more about this City gem than anything else.  The Eden Center is a food paradise with over 30 Vietnamese restaurants and bakeries that I’ve only scratched the surface of even though I’ve been there dozens of times.  I’ll miss Huong Viet—Eden’s oldest and most often crowded restaurant- the most.  Its spring rolls, smoky grilled meats, and gutsy lemongrass-centric stir fries are a terrific introduction to a great cuisine.  If you haven’t been to Eden you simply must go.  If you only go occasionally then you should go more often.  And if you just don’t feel like dealing with the notoriously bad parking at least head down to Present Restaurant in Falls Church to enjoy some just-as-good Vietnamese cooking- its the cuisine this area specializes in better than any other.
  2. The Farmers Market- There are Farmers Markets everywhere.  But it’s going to be hard for me to find one better than the one the City is so blessed to have.  I’ll miss the tomatoes at Tree and Leaf and Potomac Vegetable Farms.  I’ll miss the glorious fruit at Toigo and Black Rock Orchard.  I’ll miss Mike Musachio’s sweet corn and spring peas.  Most of all, though, I’ll miss the market experience as a whole.  The hustle and bustle of a Saturday morning at the Farmers Market is invigorating. Read more