A short visit to my parents in Arlington last week....
**Layalina on Wilson Blvd. Two things really stood out:
-- The foul m'damas ("Simmered fava beans with garlic, lemon juice, and topped with parsley and tomato, sprinkled with olive oil") was really delicious. The Lebanese mother of a good friend used to make this for me when I was growing up, but the Layalina version was nothing like I've had before. I'm not sure what kind of favas these were (foul is usually made with dried favas, right?). The beans were pinkish-brown and fat, about 2/3" long and perfectly tender. The thick, smoky, creamy broth they were in was delicious. Sadly, the pita at Layalina leaves much to be desired; it's not any better than standard grocery store fare.
-- We also enjoyed the Lamb Shish Kabob -- great flavor, but just beyond tender. Tasty with the yogurt and cucumber salad (which seemed to match better than the sweet yogurt-mint sauce that came on the kabob plate).
Service was great. The place has such a nice family feel, and we loved the decor.
**Market Lunch. I went hoping to get a soft shell crab sandwich, but none was to be had. I got a fried oyster plate ("last week") instead, which was quite tasty. The french fries and cole slaw were adequate. My dad enjoyed his usual -- crab cake sandwich. The Hill was looking really beautiful this time of year. (I usually try to visit when the weather is most similar to what we get out here in the Bay Area).
**Afternoon Tea at the Hillwood Museum. Nothing special here -- a decent scone, overly thick clotted cream, a standard fruit assortment, a cookie and a portion of a mozzarella sandwich on focaccia. Fairly generous for $12 with a large pot of decent Earl Grey. I had never been here before, and went to see the (small) Eva Zeisel exhibit. The gardens were lovely and the collection has some fascinating pieces. Recommended destination! (Just not for food.)
All of our other meals were home-cooked, so there's not much else to report.
Oh, except a sinfully bad/good fast food experience at Sheetz (yes, the gas station!) in Leesburg. My dad claims this is a secret location, but it appears that any franchise that has hot food would offer burgers, etc. You order from a touch-screen at which you select everything you want on your burger (horseradish sauce and cheddar for me, thank you.) This was really good for a fast food burger, and might satisfy those souls desperate for a California style fast-food burger fix (in the vein of In-and-Out, etc.).