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Ramen and Rice Restaurant Coming to Herndon Centre

Updated 10:45 a.m. – Ramen and Rice will be opening in Herndon (482 Elden St) early next year.

Sirinda Liw, owner of Ramen and Rice, said despite the company name being Oki Bowl of Herndon the restaurant shares no connection to the chain located in Washington, D.C.

“It’s going to be fusion ramen,” said Liw, “much tastier than regular ramen.”

Ramen and Rice will be located in Herndon Centre between The Deli and the Nail Villa. Additionally, the ABC permit in the window indicates the location will be serving wine and beer.

Liw said the construction process is still in discussion with a planned opening in January or beginning February. The interior is still vacant and decorated as Tipicos Gloria, a closed Central American eatery.

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Cafe Rio Coming Soon to Former McDonalds Space

Cafe Rio, a Mexican grill, will take up space in the former location of McDonald’s in Herndon. The fast food restaurant closed earlier this year.

According to Town of Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel, the restaurant will occupy space near the Virginia Kitchen at 330 Elden Street.

The opening date of the new restaurant is not yet known, Merkel said.

The restaurant offers burritos, salads, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos and other Mexican staples. Cafe Rio has multiple locations in Virginia, including Falls Church, Burke and Fairfax.

Photo via Yelp/Cindy K.

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With New Cooking Classes, South Lakes High School’s Food Pantry Charts New Future

The food pantry at South Lakes High School is moving beyond the typical scope of community pantries that give students in need a chance to discreetely shop for food and toiletries. In the coming weeks, the pantry, which currently caters to students in the SLHS pyramid and is run by the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association, will begin offering cooking skills classes.

The after-school cooking workshops will give students a chance to learn more about healthy eating. Through eight sessions during the school year on Wednesday afternoons, students will learn how to make one recipe using healthy ingredients and meal kits that do not rely on processed ingredients, according to Roberta Gosling, one of the founders of the pantry.  The initiative is made possible by a $7,000 grant from the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation.

The idea began to take root when Alana Pudner, a Girl Scout, approached pantry organizers with a three-meal pack she prepared to earn her Silver Award. Students began ordering the meal kit, which includes ingredients for veggie chili, lentil stew, and a tuna pasta casserole, as part of their weekly orders.

To take that further, we also looked at some of the broader trends and felt that if we could help students learn to cook healthy, budget-friendly recipes that it would equip a broad group of people with life skills and take students a step closer to nutritious choices,” Gosling said.

Recipes will contain ingredients available in the pantry and through SNAP and WIC benefits. At the end of each session, students will get bags with recipes and ingredients, including a kitchen starter kit with basic tools like a cutting board, measuring cup, a pan, and spices used in multiple cuisines. Although the classes are open to all students at the school, organizers plan to market the class through the pantry to reach students most in need.  Each session will accommodate about 20 students.

Organizers are also making an effort to focus on foods from around the world. Shopping lists are available in English, Spanish and Arabic and participants will get a chance to try different cuisines in the classes.

Roughly 30 percent of all SLHS students experience food insecurity, according to pantry organizers and volunteers. Every Thursday, students in need turn in their shopping list for the week. Volunteers pack shopping bags and distribute them to students as they head out on Fridays. Students can also shop at the pantry on Thursdays from 3-6 p.m. and on Friday from noon to 3 p.m. The pantry is also open in the summer on Thursdays from 3-6 p.m.

Since April 2017, the pantry has filled more than 2,500 orders and weekly order averages are also increasing.

Now, pantry organizers and volunteers are looking for new ways to make the initiative more sustainable and comprehensive. On September 30, the school’s PTSA will partner with Lake Anne Brew House to present the “Do It Your Way 0.5K.” All proceeds from the event, which is set for 4-6 p.m. at Lake Anne Brew House, will go to the food pantry.

The pantry is led by Gosling, Abbe Pascal, Andy Sigle, Amy Shaw, and Sherri Pudner. Items in high demand include rice, beans, jelly, canned fruit, shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. Monetary donations are also accepted online.

Photos via Roberta Gosling

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South Lakes High School Food Pantry Receives Award from Washington Nationals Dream Foundation

The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and Delta Airlines presented South Lakes High School’s food pantry with a “2018 Delta Dream Grant.”

The $7,000 award was given during an on-field ceremony at Nationals Park on August 21. Grants support nonprofits that provide services for children and teens in the Washington, D.C. area. Ten other recipients received awards in the program, including Martha’s Table, Capitol City Little League and Kid Power, Inc.

This year’s grants are dedicated to improving local programming focused on healthful nutrition, as well as the refurbishment of youth baseball fields and/or the purchase of substantial baseball equipment. We are confident that the 2018 Delta Dream Grants will go a long way to improve the lives of children and teens in the Washington, D.C. region,” said Tal Alter, Vice President, Nationals Dream Foundation & Youth Baseball Academy. 

The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation is a nonprofit organization created in 2005 to improve the lives of children and teens in the region.

The pantry at SLHS accepts toiletries, canned goods, boxed and dry goods, cooking oil, laundry detergent, and dish soap. Donations can be dropped off at the school’s main office during school hours.

Since March 2017, the pantry has distributed more than 4,500 bags of groceries to about 50 families per week. Students in the South Lakes High School Pyramid can shop for food and toiletries at the pantry.

 

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Celebrate the Summer Season at Exo Apartments’ First Annual Pool Party

Join Exo Apartments on Wednesday, August 22nd from 4-7 p.m. and dive into summer.

Enjoy summer sips from local brewery Lake Ann Brew House. Snack on fresh baked pretzels and local food truck bites. Explore all that Exo has to offer, and snag summer essential giveaways along the way.

DJ Alkimist will be supplying the sounds of summer while you relax poolside. Swimsuits not required, but highly recommended. Grab your free ticket to the first annual pool party here!

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Reston Eateries Take Part in Summer Restaurant Week Beginning Monday

Several Reston restaurants will participate in this year’s Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Summer Week, which begins on Monday (August 13).

Restaurants throughout the greater Washington region will offer three-course lunch and brunch menus for $22 and a three-course dinner for $35 at fixed prices. The annual event is sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, a regional trade association that represents restaurants and the foodservice industry in the DC-area.

Restaurants in Reston that are participated are:

Special menus for the week, which runs from Monday through Aug. 19, are available online.

File photo

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Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls to Open Next Month in Reston Town Center

Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, an Annapolis-based restaurant, will open in late September, according to the company’s founder.

The 800-square-foot restaurant will be located at 11939 Democracy Drive, the former location of Red Velvet Cupcakery.

The restaurant would be the first Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls branch in Virginia. The company has four locations in Maryland, one in Delaware and another in South Carolina. The Reston location’s menu is modeled after the Delaware location.

An exact opening date has not been set yet.

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Save the Date: ‘Flavors of Fall’ Returns to Reston Town Center in October

It’s not too early to begin planning for the fall. Flavors of Fall, a free annual festival that includes live entertainment, dancing and family activities, returns to Reston Town Center on October 6.

Admission and parking are free for the event. Restaurants will serve up samplings of their favorite falls menus. Tickets are $1 each or $20 for 24 tickets. Most food tastings require between one and five tickets.

Beer prices are five tickets for a 16-ounce, mainstream beer, six tickets for a 12-ounce craft beer and three tickets for a five-ounce craft beer.  Wine is six tickets for a five-ounce poor and one ticket per wine tasting.

More information on the event will be released soon. The event is produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

Photo via Facebook

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Taste of Reston Festival Brings Food and Fun to Reston Town Center

Taste of Reston, Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor festival, took place on Friday and Saturday, bringing food and visitors to Market Street.

The 28th annual event is a fundraiser for Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce‘s INCspire Education Foundation, which aims to help businesses grow by providing educational opportunities.

“This is the best-attended ‘Taste’ we’ve had in five years, thanks to our participating organizations, community turnout, and great weather,” said Mark Ingrao, CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s Best of Taste restaurant winners are as follows:

  • First Place: Choolah Indian BBQ
  • Second Place: Agora
  • Third Place: Guapo’s Restaurant

Organizers plan to conduct a debrief on the event to determine how to enhance the festival.

Photos by Don Renner

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This Weekend: Taste of Reston Food Festival Returns to Reston Town Center

Foodies can enjoy food from more than 20 restaurants during Taste of Reston, a two-day festival in Reston Town Center (11900 Market Street) tomorrow and Saturday.

The event is produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

Taste of Reston is the largest outdoor food festival in Northern Virginia and has been voted “Northern Virginia’s Best Food Festival” by Virginia living magazine for the past six years.

A family carnival, which includes games and food, will also be held at Lake Fairfax on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A free shuttle will transport attendees to and from the tasting event throughout the day. Carnival tickets are available online.

Garage parking is free during the event. Food vendors will compete in the “Best of Taste” competition. Last year’s winners were M&S Grill, Agora Restaurant and Tavern 64.

The festival will take place from 3-11 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets are needed to purchase food, beer, and wine at the event. They are $1 each or $20 for $24. Beer prices require five tickets for mainstream beer and six tickets for craft beer. Wine costs six tickets for five ounces pour and one ticket per wine tasting.

File photo

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Save the Date: ‘Taste of Reston’ Set for June 15 and 16

Attention, food lovers: Taste of Reston, the area’s largest outdoor food festival, is coming to Reston Town Center on June 15 and 16.

The event features samplings from the region’s eateries, live music, beer and wine gardens and a family fun zone. Admission is free, but tickets for tastings can be purchased online or on the day of the event.

Garage parking will remain free throughout the event, which runs from Friday, June 15 from 3-11 p.m. and on Saturday, June 16 from noon to 11 p.m.

The event is produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and was voted as the best food festival of Northern Virginia by Virginia Living last year.

Participating restaurants include Agora Restaurant, Choolah Indian BBQ, Founding Farmers Reston, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant and Trader Joe’s.

Live entertainment will take place in several areas: the main pavilion, which will include regional bands; Library Street stage, which offers interactive entertainment for kids; and the Explorer Street Local & Live Lounge, which will feature acoustic artists.

Volunteers can sign-up online.

Photo by Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

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Friday Morning Notes

A little extra planning for the weekend — Not planning to dine out? Carrabba’s Italian Grill (12192 Sunset Hills Road) is launching its own food delivery service. [Reston Patch]

And a little early planning for Easter — Frying Pan Park and Lake Fairfax Park are hosting several events in late March, including an eggspectular “Eggstravaganza.” [Fairfax County Government]

Chimney causes Reston townhouse fire — Heat escaping from gaps in a chimney caused a townhouse fire over the weekend. No injuries were reported, but damages are estimated at around $65,000.  [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

In rumor mill this week — Restonians have asked us if Reston Association plans to close Lake Thoreau. Their head spokesman says Reston Association’s staff plan to discuss details of a future demand analysis of RA pools at the board’s May 7 meeting.

(Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 9:50 a.m. to clarify the subject of discussion by RA staff at the board’s May meeting)

Flickr pool photo via vantagehill

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New ‘Dessert Lounge’ Coming to Herndon

A new dessert spot is coming to Herndon Centre, according to signs posted in the storefront of 348 Elden St.

The tenant, Dessert Lounge, will offer ice cream, coffee and falooda, a cold dessert popular in the Indian subcontinent that is traditionally made with rose syrup, jelly, milk, ice cream and vermicelli.

A.J. Dwoskin & Associates, Inc., the real estate development and management firm involved with the site, did not immediately return a request for more information.

Signs indicate Dessert Lounge is coming soon. The new spot will join a center with tenants like Popeye’s , McDonald’s and Mom’s Organic Market. The vacant site was previously home to a nail salon. The shopping center also has jewelry stores, medical offices and other restaurants

Four sites in the center are currently available for lease, according to the center’s website.

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Afghan Restaurant Coming to Plaza America in Reston

Plaza America, will welcome Grill Kabob, an Afghan restaurant with other locations in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, soon. A sign announcing the arrival of the chain, which serves made-to-order kabobs and other authentic specialities, was posted in the vacant storefront yesterday.

Grill Kabob will replace Primo Italiano at 11888 Plaza America Drive. The pizza and sub restaurant, which had called the shopping center home since it opened in the 1990s, left in May 2015.

Since then, the location has remained vacant. Staples, which was located in the same shopping center at 11620 Plaza America Drive, also closed on Oct. 7. Total Wine & More, a beer, wine and spirit purveyor, plans to open by the end of the year.

A restaurant representative said it was unclear when Grill Kabob will open. The owner was unavailable for comment. The restaurant launched in 1998 with its first location in the food court at Springfield Mall and has since opened in 14 locations, including stand-alone restaurants.

Mahmoud Mahdjoub, a journalist in Afghanistan, immigrated to the United States, joining his two cousins who fled Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war in 1980. The chain’s website describes Grill Kabob as one of the largest kabob chains in the country.

The restaurant in Reston is just under 4 miles away from another location in Herndon. Other nearby restaurants are located in Dulles Town Center,  Tysons Corner Mall and Manassas Mall. Its menu includes an assortment of kabobs, sandwiches, gyros, salads, falafel platters and more.

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Nando’s Peri-Peri Restaurant to Open in Mid-November at RTC West

Management has begun hiring for all positions as Nando’s Peri-Peri (12120 Sunset Hills Road) as the Portuguese-style chicken restaurants gears up for its opening day on Nov. 13, according to a company representative.

Nando’s has about 1,200 restaurants in 23 countries on five continents. It was founded in 1987 in South Africa, with its first location debuting in the United States in D.C. nearly nine years ago. Other restaurants are located at One Loudoun and the Mosaic District.

The business will open a little over a month after a Starbucks opened next door. The Starbucks is the fifth in Reston and progress continues at Mezeh Mediterranean Grill, which will also sit next to Nando’s.

The company is hiring for all positions. Company representatives dispersed information outside the location early this week.

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