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Thread: Ashburn, Virginia?

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    Default Ashburn, Virginia?

    Me and two of my grad students are going to spend two weeks in Ashburn at the Janelia Farms research complex. It's mainly a work trip but I'm looking for suggestions:

    1. Things to do that aren't a day trip to DC or a trip to the outlet mall. Quick hike maybe?
    2. Local restaurants that aren't too pricey. Our limitation is a university-mandated $50 USD per diem. I'll buy a weekly nice meal though. Mexican food is pretty rare in Canada, so if there's something authentic in the area we'd be in for that.
    3. Coffee shop/brew pub.

    Thanks
    Jonathan Lee
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    Default Re: Ashburn, Virginia?

    Great Falls (VA side) or River Bend parks would be good for a day hike. Or out to Shenandoah if you’re up for the drive- Old Rag, etc.
    Best beer near there is Aslin but they sell cans out the front of a garage, so no ambience, just a place to take away. I have heard great things about Dirt Farm Brewing in terms of a destination.
    Downtown Leesburg is nice to walk around- Lightfoot has good food and is located in a refurbished bank, pretty cool building. There’s a mini-chain of New Mexico-style restaurants called Anita’s. Not sure if there’s one close enough to you to make worthwhile. Taco Bamba is also good, though I’m unsure of locations out that way.
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    Default Re: Ashburn, Virginia?

    Welcome to the neighborhood!

    The Air and Space museum campus at Dulles is 100% worth a trip for anyone, but especially us science geeks.
    The strip malls of Reston, Chantilly, etc., are filled with inexpensive and delicious restaurants run and patronized by recent immigrants. I had some amazing Ethiopian food on the way from DC to Dulles lately.
    Further north and for the historically inclined are Harpers Ferry (30ish min, right on the Appalachian Trail) and Gettysburg (about 1:15). Both worth a visit.
     

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    Default Re: Ashburn, Virginia?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoB View Post
    Welcome to the neighborhood!

    The Air and Space museum campus at Dulles is 100% worth a trip for anyone, but especially us science geeks.
    I completely forgot about the museum. The Enterprise is there! Way, way back I signed the petition to rename it from "Constitution".
    Jonathan Lee
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    Default Re: Ashburn, Virginia?

    Quote Originally Posted by summilux View Post
    2. Local restaurants that aren't too pricey. Our limitation is a university-mandated $50 USD per diem. I'll buy a weekly nice meal though. Mexican food is pretty rare in Canada, so if there's something authentic in the area we'd be in for that.
    3. Coffee shop/brew pub.

    Thanks
    Maybe you already know this, but there is quite good food on site, and if I remember correctly it was remarkably inexpensive. No doubt to encourage people to put in long days and nights in the lab.
     

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    Default Re: Ashburn, Virginia?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmac View Post
    Maybe you already know this, but there is quite good food on site, and if I remember correctly it was remarkably inexpensive. No doubt to encourage people to put in long days and nights in the lab.
    It's good to know that the food there is good. They told us that there's an on-site bar (god bless the HHMI!) and cafeteria but we kinda figured it would be crappy institutional food. I'd planned on making evening burrito and coffee runs to keep the students fed and watered.
    Jonathan Lee
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    Default Re: Ashburn, Virginia?

    I have died and been reborn in science heaven. And of course every visiting scientists' lounge needs a Steinway concert grand. How have I lived without one?
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    Jonathan Lee
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    Default Re: Ashburn, Virginia?

    I had a good time in Ashburn. The Air & Space museum was amazing. We got a tour from a retired Air Force guy and I was impressed by his enthusiasm and his knowledge. I was also pleasantly surprised at the availability of ethnic food in and around Ashburn. And I knew I was in the South because I could get unsweetened, brewed ice tea.

    -Food at Janelia is inexpensive and very high quality. The common lunch cafeteria has multiple ethnic and Western menu choices and a daily changing menu. Bob’s is the breakfast and dinner place. Their $3 Breakfast Burrito was my personal favorite. My students made good use of their per diem by regularly ordering the $17 Filet Mignon, which was expertly cooked the one time I ordered it. I averaged about $30 USD a day eating well at Janelia. Coffee and tea are free from 7am-11pm.
    -Anita’s in Leesburg is meh Mexican but it is open 24h from Thursday to Sunday
    -Outstanding Mideastern kebabs at Moby Dick House of Kebab in Ashburn
    -Outstanding Dosas and South Indian curries at Chopathis
    -Outstanding Ethiopian food at Enatye closer to Dulles.
    -Baker’s Crust is an upscale-ish place for brunch that’s pretty, in a hipster way, inside. Their Eggs Benedict was really good.
    -Trader Joe’s at One Loudon has an excellent selection of inexpensive wines and beers.
    -Payne’s (Downtown Saloon) in Leesburg was cool. Passable BBQ but if you Google “Biker Bar” , pictures of Payne’s show up. Support our Troops regalia. Beer served in plastic cups. Bald men with righteous facial hair and pot bellies at the mirrored bar. Pool tables in the back and the seating there are benches pulled from pickup trucks and vans. Dirty toilets. It must also be the only restaurant left in North America where you can smoke. Thankfully no-one was doing it when we ate. One of my students went back there on a Friday night and said it was amazing.
    Jonathan Lee
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