Monday Morning Notes

Town of Herndon Looks to Simply Cash Donation Process — At a meeting tomorrow, the Herndon Town Council will consider a plan to simplify the way community non-profit organizations receive cash donations. [Town of Herndon]

Zainy’s Flying Grill Swings By Sunrise Valley Drive — The new food truck, which specializes in puffy tacos, will be at Reston Campus (12525 Sunrise Valley Drive) today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Sprint B2B]

Photo via Dario Piparo/Flickr


A Loudoun County couple plans to debut a new food truck that offers a selection of Afghan Tex-Mex in Herndon and Reston later this month.

Zainab Shoja and her husband Yousef plan to serve puffy tacos — a concept created in San Antonio — at the Sprint Campus (12525 Sunrise Valley Drive) on Jan. 27 and at Century Link (2900 Towerview Road) on Jan. 30. The food truck, called “Zainy’s Flyin’ Grill” will be on-site from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Inspired by their Afghan heritage, Shoja says the food truck will also serve “kabobco” — a cross between a taco and kabob roll — bowls — and quesadillas. Meat options include chicken kabob, steak kabob, and gyro.

The food truck, which is registered to run in Loudoun and Fairfax counties, will first debut in Lansdowne at the Camden Apartments from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 25).

Shoja says she hopes the business adds a unique product to the local food scene.

“We grew up eating kabobs. We both love Mexican food,” Shoja said. “We wanted to stand out.”

Customers can track the food truck’s schedule online.

Photo via Zainab Shoja


Updated at 11:35 a.m. — Corrects description of food truck proposal. 

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors is set to hold a public hearing on sign changes.

The proposed changes outlined for the sign ordinance would include new provisions for the regulation of temporary signs and the prohibition of off-site signs.

They would also establish ew regulations for electronic display signs, along with more uniform regulation of signs in all zoning districts.

Last Wednesday (Jan. 30), the Fairfax County Planning Commission voted 12-0 to support the adoption of the zoning ordinance.

The board is also set to vote on a proposed change to the Fairfax County Code that would allow two new locations for food truck vending.

The Herndon location is on Dulles Technology Drive near the Sunrise Valley Drive just south of the Dulles Toll Road, while the second location would be located in the Mount Vernon area.

Photo via Fairfax County Government/Facebook


Updated at 11:35 a.m. on Feb. 5 — Corrects description of food truck proposal. 

After some success in Tysons, Fairfax County’s “mobile food vending zone” program could soon be expanding to the Herndon area.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on a proposed change to the Fairfax County Code that would allow two new locations for food truck vending at its meeting next Tuesday (Feb. 5).

The Herndon location is on Dulles Technology Drive near the Sunrise Valley Drive just south of the Dulles Toll Road. Another vending zone would be located in the Mount Vernon area.

Food trucks in the vending zones are required to meet the county’s permitting requirements. There is also a special agreement required to set up in the vending zones, which will be marked by signs. The cost to install new signs at both locations is estimated at $400.

Each vendor can only set up for a maximum of four hours any given day at any given location.

According to the agreement, food vending operations are prohibited from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and before 9 a.m. on Sundays or federal holidays. The vendors are also responsible for making sure the areas around their truck are free of trash.

File photo


Who’s hungry for more dining options?

As Winter Restaurant Week winds down this weekend, foodies in Reston and Herndon may have noticed some changes to their dining options in an area. Over the last few years, the food scene has seen newcomers pop up and long-established restaurants close.

(For comparison, Winter Restaurant Week in 2016 featured eight Reston-area participants. That’s double the number of participants for this year and 2018.)

Last year alone, several restaurants and two dessert shops shut their doors in Reston Town Center at almost the same rate as new options — HoneygrowBalducci’sMason’s Famous Lobster Rolls and &pizza — popped up.

It’s a new year with new food. Openings already nearing for some of the seven restaurants coming to Reston and Herndon in the first three months of 2019.

Foodies, let us know your thoughts about which dining option the food scenes in Reston and Herndon really need.


Calling all foodies! Keep your eyes (and forks) out for Westmoore’s Taste of Loudoun Food Festival event, May 20 from 12-3 p.m.

Come sample a variety of eclectic cuisine, including Mediterranean, American and Mexican Fusion dishes. Plus, a Kool Zone Truck will be serving up refreshing smoothies and shaved ice. Two large tents will provide additional space for family and friends to gather, no matter the weather. Also featured, sixteen tables and distributed plastic glasses to fill with your festive drink of choice. Don’t miss out on delicious food and the opportunity to tour some of Westmoore’s beautiful residences.

Westmoore is Loudoun County’s hottest new Metro community in the heart of Ashburn, Virginia, attracting buyers with urban-inspired townhomes and private rooftop terraces in an amenity-rich neighborhood just steps away from the Metro. Experience the difference here as luxury features come standard, peace is easily attained, accessibility to local attractions is ideal, and long commutes are a thing of the past.

Additionally, Westmoore’s highly anticipated clubhouse and community pool are steadily progressing, as residents and prospective buyers alike are eager to see the finished “Westmoore Club,” which will only enhance the already exciting and dynamic lifestyle promoted throughout the neighborhood.

Next month, Westmoore is switching gears from a food festival to a four-legged affair. They’re partnering with Lucky Dog Rescue for their “Paws in the Park” adoption event, June 17 from 12-2 p.m. Come out and support the cause to find these sweet pups a forever home! And you never know, you might just meet your new best friend. What a fantastic way to support a local shelter, save a life and attend one of the many events hosted by Westmoore throughout the year.

Westmoore is located at 43393 Ghazwa Square, Ashburn, VA 20148. The sales office is open Mondays from 1 to 6 p.m., Tuesdays – Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. Call 571-707-5090.

The preceding was written and sponsored by Westmoore.

La Brea Truck/Credit: Matthew Petit, Feature Photo Service

La Brea Bakery, a well-known California artisan bread company, is taking it baguettes on the road for an east coast visit.

La Brea’s Breaking Bread Tour will be in Reston today, making two stops:

  • Food Truck Thursday at Reston Town Square Park at Reston Town Center, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Harris Teeter, 11806 Spectrum Drive, 3 to 4 p.m.

La Brea reps say the truck will have a variety of options available, such as Seedless Raspberry Jam and Almond Butter on a French Baguette;  Salami and Sharp Cheddar Cheese on Rosemary Olive Oil bread; Sriracha Aioli and Pepper Jack Cheese on Rosemary Olive Oil bread; and Tomato Herb Bruschetta atop a Tuscan Loaf.

La Brea has been baking in Los Angeles since 1989. The Breaking Bread tour will continue with more stops n the D.C. area, as well as New York, Philadelphia and Boston.

Photo: Matthew Petit/Feature Photo Service


Wolf Antoni, left, and family/Credit: Go Fund Me For four years, Reston’s Wolf Antoni has cooked up bratwurst, wiener schnitzel and other favorites from his native Austria from his food truck, The Bratwurst King.

But run of bad luck this year has put the business in jeopardy, Antoni says. The truck is the main source of income for Antoni and his wife and child. After a job loss and an injury, the family has drained its reserves. It is trying to find the money to replace the broken truck engine (about $15,000) and resume Bratwurst King operations.

The Bratwurst King is often parked among the food trucks on Business Center Drive weekdays in Reston, as well as at local fairs, festivals and other special events.

“We love to cook for you and are enjoying the smiles we are putting on your faces,” Antoni said on his Go Fund Me page. “Sadly, we are at a point, where we cannot go on without some major help from you. “

The Bratwurst King Truck/Bratwurst King via FacebookWhile everyone  experiences tough luck from time to time, we have certainly had our share. We can handle the grief of coping with some personal tragedies in our life, we just can’t handle the bills that are stacking up, regardless if we are on the road or not.”

As of Tuesday, just over $4,000 had been donated to the cause.

Antoni said those who make donations will get something in return. Once the truck is up and running, a $15 donation will get you a free meal and drink (bring proof of donation). For a $50 donation (or multiples), contributors will get a meal, a Bratwurst King T-shirt and a Bratwurst King mug. Donations of $500 and $1,000 get your catering for a private parties.

Photos: Top – Wolf Atoni (left) and family/Credit: Go Fund Me; Bottom – The Bratwurst King truck/The Bratwurst King via Facebook.


Food Trucks on Metro Center DriveEvery weekday in August, Reston Now will be offering suggestions for a Summer Bucket List — things to do, places to check out and activities to try in and around Reston before summer’s end.

Obviously, different ideas will appeal to different residents in different age groups. But we are open for ideas. If you have any “must-dos” of summer (even better: with a photo of you/your family participating in said event), email us at [email protected] and we will consider it.

Reston Summer Bucket List Item No. 3: Lunch at Food Truck

You are not going to wait in line for the empanada in January, are you?

That’s why August is an ideal time to have lunch at a food truck. Reston has a couple of spots where you can do that.

Business Center Drive, off of Sunset Hills Road between Wiehle Avenue and Hunter Mill Road, is a popular spot for food trucks. Each weekday, about a half dozen trucks begin business about 11 a.m. The offerings change daily.

This Thursday is also Reston Town Center’s monthly Food Truck Thursday. The first Thursday of each month during the spring, summer and early fall, trucks are parked by Town Square Park (Explorer and Market Streets) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

August offerings:  Tortuga, BBQ Bus, Doug the Food Dude, Captain cookie & the Milkman, and PassionFish (on their patio).

Photo: Food trucks on Business Center Drive


Kitchen Inferno Judges Michael Ruhlman, Judy Joo and Daniel Green/Credit: Food NetworkReston food truck owner Ed Hardy did not walk away with $25,000 on Food Network’s Kitchen Inferno.

Hardy, a longtime chef and the owner of the recently opened Bacon N Ed’s trailer at Reston Station, competed in the TV contest a few months ago, before he launched his new venture here. The Kitchen Inferno episode aired Wednesday.

His goal on the show was to win the top prize of $25,000 in order to help his wife, Francoise Villeneuve, jumpstart her new confectionary business, Wiggly Leroux.

Here’s the premise of Kitchen Inferno: Contestant is challenged in three timed rounds to create a dish that will go up against well-known chefs creating the same type of dish. Contestant gets $5,000 if he wins the first round, $10,000 for the second round, $25,000 for the third round. After each round, the contestant can step off and go home with his earnings or risk losing it all.

A panel of three food experts tastes each round’s dishes and declares a winner.

Hardy, who has trained with famous New York chef Marcus Samuelsson and at New York’s Gramercy Tavern, won the first two rounds. He opted to go for it in the third round, where he was challenged to “create a dinner that looked like a dessert.” Hardy created a meatball sundae, with mashed potatoes as the whipped cream.

Alas, the judges liked the savory pies created by famed chef Jet Tila better. Hardy, having risked it all, went home empty-handed.

Nonetheless, Villeneuve recently launched her confectionary business, Wiggly Leroux, and Hardy started Bacon N Ed’s. 

You can find both of them on the plaza at Reston Station, above the Wiehle-Reston East Silver Line Station, at morning and evening rush hours on weekdays.

Photo: Kitchen Inferno Judges Michael Ruhlman, Judy Joo and Daniel Green/Credit: Food Network


Bacon 'N Ed's TruckReston Station will be hosting a Thanksgiving food truck mini-market Monday through Wednesday evenings this week.

Two weeks ago, Reston Now told you about Bacon N Eds, the truck offering all things bacon, and Wiggly Leroux, artisinal confections, being sold on the plaza by a husband-and-wife chef team.

This week, the duo will be joined by The Bratwurst King, a Restonian who has been selling Austrian goodies from his truck for several years; Meat Crafters, also offering sausage specialities; and Lobster Maneia, which has been offering its lobster at the Wednesday Smartmarket Farmers Market on Wednesdays.

The trucks will be at the Reston Station plaza on the North side of the Weihle-Reston East Silver Line Station from 4 to 7 p.m. all three days.


Food Truck Wednesday at Reston Town Center/Credit: RTCReston residents and workers can expect to see food trucks in more places.

Food trucks can now do business at shopping centers, office buildings and construction sites, after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved new rules on Tuesday.

The changes dropped the fees for vendors from more than $16,000 to just $100, making it easier for the trucks to do business. Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova said locals will see more of this “complement to Fairfax County’s dining experiences.”

“I expect to see more of them operating at popular destinations such as Tysons, Mosaic District, Reston Town Center and the newly renovated Springfield Mall,” Bulova said in a statement.

The trucks can park at a single location for a maximum of four hours and must have property owners’ written consent to operate there. As many as three trucks can operate at a single location.

Vendors may only set up shop at developed industrial or commercial properties with a minimum of 25,000 square feet of floor area. The trucks are still forbidden from being parked on public roads.


Food trucks on Business Center Drive in RestonFood trucks could soon be able to park in more locations across the county.

The public will have the opportunity to weigh in Tuesday afternoon on a proposal authorized by the county Board of Supervisors that would allow food trucks to operate at commercial and industrial properties, and lower the cost of permits for vendors.

The rules changes would let food trucks operate at shopping centers, office buildings and construction sites with permission from property owners plus a $100 permit, a $35 solicitor’s license and a $40 food establishment permit.

The current rules categorize food trucks as free-standing fast food restaurants and require them to pay a fee of more than $16,000, plus appear at two public hearings.

The Board is considering the proposal in light of the “increasing popularity of food trucks,” county documents show.

The section of the public hearing on food trucks is expected to occur about 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Fairfax County Government Center, at 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. The meetings can be viewed online live or after the session.


Food Truck Wednesdays at Reston Town Center

What are you doing for lunch today?

Starting Wednesday, June 25, Reston Town Square Park will host food trucks the last Wednesday of the month. The event will run through late October.

Here is who will be parked at Town Square Park (at Explorer and Market Streets and Town Square Park in Reston Town Center) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today: Doug the Food Dude, The Big Cheese, DC Empanadas, and That Cheesecake Truck.

Another popular food truck spot in Reston is on Business Center Drive off of Sunset Hills Road. A rotating group of three or four trucks is parked there daily.

Fairfax County is considering new zoning rules that will make it easier and less expensive for food trucks to do business here.


Ducky's Grub food truck/Credit: Ducky'sFairfax County is considering new zoning rules that would make it easier for food trucks to do business here.

The proposal, authorized by the county Board of Supervisors at their meeting on Tuesday, makes it cheaper for vendors to obtain permits and allows the trucks to operate at construction sites and commercial and industrial properties, such as office buildings and shopping centers.

Under the previous rules, food trucks were zoned as free-standing fast food restaurants. This classification required them to obtain a special exception from the Board of Supervisors. To get the exceptions, truck operators have to pay a $16,375-fee and  have two public hearings.

County Supervisor Sharon Bulova says she worked with people in the industry to try and come up with a solution.

“Food trucks are becoming a popular venue as an alternative to traditional sit-down and fast food restaurants,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the food truck industry and Fairfax County’s hospitality industries to find ways to accommodate this use.”

Highlights of the measure:

  • Proposed zoning rules allow food trucks to operate at construction sites, office buildings, shopping centers or other developed commercial and industrial properties.
  • Trucks will need a $100 permit, permission from property owners, plus a $35 Solicitor’s License and $40 Food Establishment Permit.
  • They can stay at any single location for four hours, but they may go to multiple locations. However, trucks still may not park on public roads to sell food. Virginia law prohibits vending on state-maintained roads.
  • Trucks may not be the primary or principal use at a lot. Under the proposed regulations they are considered an accessory use. They may only sell during the regular business hours of the nearby commercial space.
  • Trucks may only sell food at developed industrial or commercial properties that have a minimum of 25,000 to 30,000 square feet in gross floor area.
  • Only three trucks may congregate in one area.

The county gave zoning approvals to 14 trucks last year to vend at primarily commercial locations. It also began allowing food trucks in county parks. The parks currently have 10 locations where trucks are licensed to do business, and separate permits are required.

Food trucks can be found weekdays at various office park locations in Reston. One popular spot is Business Center Drive off of Sunset Hills Road, where several vendors from a rotating lineup can be found.
If the new Fairfax rules pass, it will be cheaper to sell tacos and falafel and other truck fare here than in nearby jurisdictions. The District of Columbia’s fees range from $476 to $1,200 for two years, and Arlington requires an annual $500 vendor fee.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission is slated to hold a public hearing on food trucks on July 30, and the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on Sept. 9.


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