BY EMILY VERBIEST, STAFF WRITER
_If you’re going for…_
_True Food Kitchen
2910 District Ave., Fairfax, VA 22031_
With high ceilings, an open kitchen and abundant plant life, sunlight pours into the spacious dining area at True Food Kitchen. The restaurant’s interior can be described as a cross between a rustic country kitchen and a swanky Manhattan lounge. The restaurant offers exactly what their title implies—true food. Their menu is based on an anti-inflammatory diet and offers diverse entrees such as spicy Panang curry, Scottish steelhead salmon and wild mushroom pizza.
Often hailed as the In-n-Out of the East Coast, Shake Shack uses perfectly-seasoned meat, warm potato buns and their signature ShackSauce to create ridiculously good burgers. Originally a hot dog cart in New York, Shake Shack has become famous for its simple burgers and crinkle-cut fries. In addition to hot dogs and traditional burgers, Shake Shack offers a mushroom burger, a fried chicken sandwich and, of course, shakes. Although Shake Shack lines can be quite long at times, it’s worth the wait.
_Bepop Korean-Mexican Grill
10730 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax, VA 22030_
If you are in the mood for something different, Bepop offers customizable tacos, bowls and burritos that fuse Korean and Mexican flavors. Given the spectrum of ingredients, which range from sweet galbi and carne asada to Mexican street corn and seasoned kimchi, it’s easy to concoct a combination of your liking.
_Oyamel Cocina Mexicana_
401 Seventh St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Frog legs. Cactus paddles. Grasshopper tacos. Oyamel is a must for those who seek new and exciting culinary experiences. This innovative restaurant aims to elevate classic Mexican flavors by serving up a variety of unusual small plates. Located on the corner of 7th and D Streets in D.C., Oyamel possesses a lively atmosphere with eccentric decor. For those who have an empty stomach and an open mind, Oyamel is the place to go.
1264 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20007_
Opened in 1933 and located on Wisconsin Avenue, Martin’s Tavern is D.C.’s oldest family-owned restaurant. Many U.S. Presidents, including Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush have dined within the warm walls of Martin’s Tavern. In fact, Kennedy proposed to his wife, Jackie, while sitting in Booth 3. The restaurant offers classic American fare like steak and eggs, fried oysters and shepherd’s pie. No matter what you order, you are sure to be pleased, but a personal favorite is their Monte Cristo sandwich.
_Café du Parc
1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004_
If you are seeking a restaurant with a refined menu and an elegant ambience, Café du Parc may be your place. Located inside the Willard InterContinental hotel in D.C., Café du Parc serves respectable French cuisine with friendly service. If given the chance, dine out on the terrace in the evening. As day slips into night, the restaurant courtyard illuminates beautifully, with lights snaking up the trees nearby and the Capitol Building gleaming in the distance.
Originally from Osaka, Japan, Beard Papa’s now has nearly 230 stores around the world, two of which are located about 30 minutes away from Mason’s Fairfax campus. Beard Papa’s is known for baking fresh shells and then injecting them with chilled custard. The base custard flavors include vanilla, chocolate, green tea and dulce de leche. However, they offer seasonal flavors, such as espresso, mango, pineapple, apple cinnamon and caramel pumpkin.
_Baked and Wired
1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20007_
Don’t let the name fool you: Baked and Wired’s treats won’t get you stoned. They’ll give you another type of high: a sugar high. B&W has an array of baked goods such as brownies, buttermilk biscuits, biscottis and “cakecups.” The shop’s inventive cupcakes come in flavors like Razmanian Devil, Dirty Chai, Flapjack and Smurfette. The flavor “y-not,” which is homemade chocolate ice cream between two peanut butter cookies, is particularly memorable.