I just had my first S’Mores this summer! It’s hard to believe I have lived in the States for five years now and never had this all-American treat!
I love going to museums by myself.
Steaks and burgers are not unique to Arlington. What we do have in Arlington is what I believe to be the region’s best steaks and burgers. Those are the product of a local restaurateur, Michael “Ray” Landrum. He currently has three different restaurants in Arlington where you can get his signature steaks, fantastic burgers, or both. His initial opening, Ray’s the Steaks, was so popular it had to move to a larger space. They serve prime, dry aged, and other premium steaks, including the fantastic and hard to find hanger steak. Unlike other premium steakhouses, Ray’s includes unlimited creamed spinach and mashed potatoes with your order (if you go in a small group ask for the garlic mashed potatoes as they bring out regular by default).
The other side of this is Ray’s burgers. They are available at Ray’s to the Third and were formerly available at Ray’s Hellburger. While there are other options, the standard burger is a ten ounce offering, that includes a blend of ground prime cuts from steak trimmings and is available with toppings that range from fourteen kinds of cheese to foie gras and roasted bone marrow. The burgers are so good that the president once came by to grab burgers and share some fries with his pal Dmitry Medvedev (before kicking Medvedev’s spies out of the country). I have never had anything but great food and great service at all of the Ray’s locations.
Pho is something I grew up eating; my mother has been making it for as long as I can remember. Pho is a beef noodle soup that originated in Northern Vietnam. It is made from slow simmered beef bones with roasted onion and warming spices. It is prepared by placing various cuts of beef over rice noodles and then pouring the boiling broth over top. This can be the cooking process if thin cuts of raw beef are chosen as a topping. This is all presented with leafy greens, mung bean sprouts, fresh lime wedges, and flavorful sauces including sriracha hot sauce. There are a lot of places to get pho in the area; my biggest recommendation is to go to a place that almost exclusively serves it as opposed to a place that has a variety of Vietnamese food. Their depth of broth will almost always be better and with pho soup the best broth is king.
The DC metro area is one of the country’s largest concentrations of Salvadoran Americans. These people brought a lot of great food. The area is sprinkled with Salvadorian, Salvadorian-Mexican, and Salvadoran-Tex-Mex restaurants, though they are not always billed that way. Whichever of the restaurants you go to, look out for pupusas. Pupusas are thick corn tortillas that are filled with meat, cheese, beans, and other flavorful additions and are normally served with a tangy cabbage slaw called curtido. You could get one as a starter or get a few different kinds and make a meal of them. The whole package is a low cost way to a delicious fill up and is best washed down with a couple of cold ones.