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Old 03-28-2012, 09:44 AM
111 posts, read 262,072 times
Reputation: 42



This is my first post to City-Data.com. Wife and I just ratified a contract on a house in West Springfield/Burke. We move in at the end of May. We are coming from Ballston in Arlington, VA and wanted to know what places there are to eat and things to do in Springfield. Not a fan of chain restaurant and stuff, so anything that is a hole in the wall and good is great to us. I know Ballston is only 35 mins away up 395, but we wanted to get to know the neighborhood more. Going from a city feel to a suburbia feel is different but wanted/needed.

It is going to be nice to move from a 705 to 2300+ sqft place.

Any suggestions would be great. We are 1.1 mile west of Rolling Road off of Old Keene Mill.

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Old 03-28-2012, 10:46 AM
5,121 posts, read 5,518,307 times
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Lack of variety in restaurants is one of the biggest disadvantages of the West Springfield area (IMO). Granted, I am still learning the area, so maybe I will learn more from your thread . To me, most seem to be chains (fast food and sandwiches). My favorite in the area is Mikes American... but technically it's part of a mini local chain (Great American Restaurants). I like BRG for burgers too and Austin Grill for Tex Mex, but again, I am pretty sure both are chains as well.

This isn't directed to you OP (although feel free to answer it). I never understood the animosity towards chains. Why don't a lot of people like chains? I like the mom and pop places for some of the uniqueness for sure, but I also like chains for consistency (and their ability to provide nutritional info)
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:53 AM
111 posts, read 262,072 times
Reputation: 42
I have no problem with chains, for me it is just to try something different. There is a Panera near my place in Ballston but if I want to try something new... I cant try something new with Panera, I just want something different when it comes to type of food and options IMO.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:12 AM
Location: Orange Hunt Estates, W. Springfield
628 posts, read 1,721,210 times
Reputation: 231
You are wrong about the lack of restaurants. I live in the Orange Hunt neighborhood, probably close to you. Springfield/Burke has a large number of restaurants. Many are national or area chains, but that doesn't make them bad. Many others are not chains, with a fair number of ethnic eateries. For example, within a mile of us are: Glory Days (sports bar; excellent food), Milano's (Greek-Italian), Afghan Kabob, Sichaun Cafe, and Thai, Lebanese, and Japanese restaurants, which names escape me. This barely scratches the surface. Go out a few more miles and the number increases many fold. Here's a start: Springfield Restaurants | Urbanspoon
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:46 PM
5,121 posts, read 5,518,307 times
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Oh, I understand 7. I know a few people (not on this forum) that refuse to go to anything that is a chain and I don't get it. I thought it would be an interesting discussion.

That is a great link State! Thanks!

Funny thing (well, maybe not funny), but I love Sichaun Cafe's food, but every time I go there they are so rude to me. It's like they are annoyed that I am in their restaurant.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:20 PM
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I agree with Jillabean's comments about the lack of good restaurants in the area. The best I have tried are Villa Bella and Panisa Thai in Burke. Caribbean Corner in City of Fairfax is on my list to try because a few friends have said it's very good.

ETA: We tried an Afghan restaurant that has gotten good reviews and were very disappointed. It was a far cry from Kabob Palace in Arlington--one of my favorites.

Last edited by mlv311; 03-28-2012 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:28 PM
Location: Springfield VA
4,037 posts, read 8,049,249 times
Reputation: 1499
I know its a chain but my favorite Springfield restaurant is Hard Times Cafe. I always get the exact same thing, the chilli mac, when I go but its good comfort food.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:48 PM
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 3,633,331 times
Reputation: 1495
I lived in Burke/Springfield for 20 years... food options are limited. Which is a shame. Its going to take an entrepreneur to fix some of that bad commercial regions that exist, namely cardinal plaza, huntsman plaza, rolling valley mall. All of these are a complete waste of what they could be given the number of people who live near them.

In the old days, areas near commerce drive used to have good restaurants like Chesapeake Seafood House, unfortunately the advent of the mixing bowl drove out any semblance of restaurants in that corridor, and replaced them with commuter/lunchtime restaurants like those named above.

I have nothing against Austin Grill, or Panera, etc. But there is something to be said about a place that relies on a real chef that is either the owner or directly under a real owner who is involved. Thats what this country was built on, not efficiently created marketing and business models for creating food based on good supply demand dynamics.

If I won the lotto tomorrow, I would take 25 million of that, buy Cardinal Plaza and Rolling Valley Mall and begin phasing out the strip malls and bringing in nice walkable and relaxing 3 story towncenter developments which will encourage nice retail, restaurants, and small 3rd level offices and loft condos. Burke and Springfield deserve to have good family friendly developments like that, not just vast underused parking lots.

Just my thought, I think 1) it will help the community 2) encourage more 20 and 30 somethings to live there 3) make whoever does do this eventually a lot of money in much better revenue.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:05 PM
Location: Virginia
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We also like Villa Bella in Burke. We've given BGR a few tries and really found little to like. Milano's is decent.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:20 PM
2,879 posts, read 6,809,299 times
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Shannon Station? I almost bought there in 1988. Pretty nice, but no natural gas...
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