WHETHER LOOKING FOR A BEVERAGE OR A BURGER, WE ALL HAVE OUR TRIED AND- TRUE GO TO PLACES FOR OUR CRAVINGS. BUT CONSIDER SHAKING UP YOUR ROUTINE AND VISIT ONE OF THESE NEW LOCATIONS TO HIT THE MAP – YOUR TASTE BUDS WON’T REGRET IT!
While they tout themselves as the “anti-steakhouse,” have no doubts that Eddie Merlot’s is the place for a carnivore searching for a great cut of beef. Serving only USDA Prime beef, their steaks are aged for a minimum of 21 days and cut by Chef Duane Keller in-house. Warm champagne tones and elevated artwork creates an environment where anyone will feel comfortable, whether it’s for happy hour or to enjoy some live music on the weekend. Whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner with a significant other, a private dining area for your next function or just a relaxing time at the bar, Eddie Merlot’s has you covered. Popular to the Loudoun diners is the Wagyu Bone-in New York Strip, with a high marbling for maximum flavor – or try another of their Platinum Cuts, the Wylarah filets, the closest cut to Kobe beef outside of Japan. Vegetarians, don’t worry, you won’t go hungry – try the Roasted Beet Salad or consider their family sized sides which feature tons of veggie options.
Nestled in the new Cascades Overlook shopping center, Colada Shop brings Cuban culture to Virginia in the form of handcrafted espresso, cocktails and delicious bites. A colada is an espresso drink that is meant to be shared, to the point a true Cuban will give you a side eye if you order one for yourself. “It’s from a time that doesn’t exist anymore,” explains Mario Monte, Food & Beverage Director. “This has always been for the Cuban community, the one thing they could go to that would always be the same.” At Colada Shop the colors, flavors, and drinks are vibrant and full of life. If you’re looking for a hot beverage, try a Cortadito espresso with a splash of steamed evaporated milk and whipped sugar. If you’re looking to cool off, El Juanito is a fresh and light beverage, almost akin to a fruity ice tea, made with cold brew coffee, tamarind, lime with a garnish of lime and orange peel. If you stop by in the evening to enjoy the live music, why not indulge in a mojito or pina colada? Hungry? Grab a Pastelito (try guava!) or a Media Noche, a sandwich that hits all the right sweet/savory notes.
Travel to a country of flavor and spice, of hospitality and elegance – Turkey! Anatolian Bistro features an expansive menu of traditional Turkish food, including some dishes that owner Cemal Kulak knows can only be found on his menu. Along with wife Esen, Cemal has created an exotic yet comfortable dining experience for his guests, where attention to detail is top notch and the cuisine is fresh, plentiful and truly authentic. Swing in for breakfast and try a simit – a bagel-like bread with sesame seeds and Turkish tea. For lunch or dinner, try the mercimek çorbası, a simple yet delicious lentil soup, served in Turkish soup bowls all the way from Istanbul. Delicate flavors of thyme and mint marry well with the brightness of fresh lemon, and don’t forget to add a scoop of the Turkish chili on top for an additional layer of flavor! Don’t miss the Adana Kebab, which has two skewers of char grilled, chopped beef and lamb, served over Turkish Lavash bread with sides of bright red onion and incredibly fluffy rice. There’s a moderate amount of heat between the red onion and kebabs, but if you’re looking to kick it up a notch, bite into the grilled Turkish green pepper to intensify the heat! For dessert, look no further than the baklava on their menu – layer upon layer of flaky phyllo, crunchy pistachios all bathed in a sweet syrup to tie the flavors together.
Ridgetop Coffee & Tea
RIDGETOP DRIVE IN STERLING
Whether you’re looking for a space to be a #girlboss and get some work done or you want to catch up with a friend, consider Ridgetop Coffee & Tea for your next day out. Ridgetop Coffee & Tea is a coffee shop devoted to fostering conversation, building relationships and encouraging community. Moms can let their little ones play in the enclosed play area while keeping an eye on them through the glass wall, and any organization can submit a request to reserve their small conference room at no cost. As a part of their dedication to community, many of their menu items are from local companies. Caffe Amouri in Vienna supplies their beans. Fun and creative tea leaves come from Dominion Tea in Purcellville – check out the Ginger Biscuits blend or the Lemon Cake! And don’t forget to grab a treat to accompany your drink – their muffins, cookies and scones are from the Boutique Bakeshop in Herndon.
Crooked Run Brewing & Señor Ramon Taqueria
DAVIS DRIVE IN STERLING
While many breweries pull in food trucks to provide snacks for hungry hopheads, Leesburg brewery Crooked Run Brewing upped the ante and brought in an entire restaurant when planning their expansion. Senor Ramon Taqueria, whose first location was also in Leesburg and was already serving Crooked Run beers at that location, is now roommates with Crooked Run Brewing in both companies’ second home located in Sterling, Va. Grab a beer while you munch on any number of delicious snacks (all handmade in house) from Senor Ramon’s side of the building. The Senor Ramon taco features carne asada, chorizo, onions, guac, sour cream and a “hot lava jelly.” If you’re feeling shrimp – try the TS 478 has crispy shrimp, corn, salsa and a poblano cream. Wash down either of those with a Verdant Force double IPA or for dessert, try the Valhalla coffee cream ale. If you’re in a lighter mood, the Mexican street corn-on-the-cob is not to be missed, paired with the Saving Light saison.
PHOTOS BY TRACI J. MEDLOCK