Adventures in Northern Virginia Dining

Hello friends and happy Christmas Eve eve! :)

Isn’t this Amaryllis blooming in my parent’s kitchen beautiful?


I so miss this awesome window ledge — it’s perfect for food photography!


Anyway! I’m continuing to enjoy my winter break and having nothing to do besides go running and meet friends to eat delicious food :)

First up — after a hilly 3.5 mile run around my neighborhood — lunch with my friend Michelle at Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon, VA yesterday!



Michelle and I became friends over the summer when we both took Microbiology at the Northern Virginia Community College. I was finishing up my dietetics prerequisites, she was finishing up nursing prerequisites! We worked together for a group project on The Plague and totally rocked it. No big deal ;)

She’s wonderful and I’m so glad we’ve been able to keep in touch :)


Here I am holding the super cute Christmas gift she brought me — a reusable cup!


LOVE these things! Thanks again Michelle :)

I actually almost bought one the other day so I’m glad I didn’t! Michelle said that me and my blog have been a big part in helping her finally kick her soda habit and drink more water instead, and that now she always brings one of these cups around with her filled with ice water.


She said her biggest problems with kicking the soda habit were that a) she really likes straws, and b) the car — she never had anything with her, would get thirsty, and then resort to buying a soda somewhere. This cup = both problems solved! Now she can refill it for free with water anywhere that has a water fountain. I’m so proud of her :) All it takes is a little preparation, right? It’s the same with me and food — if I don’t have snacks on hand, I’m way more tempted to buy something junky.

Anyway! Like I said, we met for lunch at Boulevard Woodgrill, which is one of my favorite restaurants in Clarendon. Great seafood in particular!

(picture from their website)

I ordered the Tandoori Chicken Pita, which is a warm pita stuffed with tomato, lettuce, feta, cucumber, grilled chicken, and a garlicky mint yogurt sauce. It was delicious and reminded me a lot of my beloved Chicken Shawarma Pita Pitza!


With fries on the side. Yum! Normally I will sub out fries for salad or fruit, but I was in the mood for them yesterday. Fries are one of my major loves, so I treat myself to them every once in awhile. :) (With lots of ketchup! The ketchup is key.)


I nearly finished the sandwich and made it about half way through the fries. Deeeelish!

After a few hours with the fam, it was off to the next adventure — dinner with my best friend Jenny from high school! She lives in Maryland now with her hubby but is back in town for Christmas.


Jenny and I met on the first day of 10th grade (we’d both just moved to town — we went to high school near here in Falls Church, VA) and have been best friends ever since :) It was wonderful to catch up a bit more. She ran the Jingle All the Way 10k with me last weekend, too!

Jenny is a vegetarian, so we hit up one of our favorite vegetarian spots in the area — Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant in Falls Church!


Yum! I had the “Adventure of Tempeh Land” (lol, love the titles), which is organic marinated baked five grain tempeh sautéed with red pepper, snow peas, asparagus, baby corn, and white mushrooms in a Thai curry sauce. Plus brown rice!


Yum! I’ve had this before so I already knew I liked it. My only complaint about Sunflower is that they add MASSIVE amounts of sauce to each dish for some reason. Too much!

Jenny (who goes by Jen now that we are grown up (kind of), but I will forever call her Jenny) ordered the Orange Imagination.


Pretty, huh? It’s soy protein marinated in orange juice with fresh orange slices, pine nuts, snow peas, and Thai basil, garnished with pine nuts and steamed broccoli.

I sampled it and it was very yummy :)

Such a wonderful day with great friends. Now I’m off to go for a nice, long, hilly walk with my mom around our neighborhood. We’re meeting a foodie friend for lunch afterward — stay tuned for some epic photos!


  1. 1

    Isn’t break wonderful!? I’m meeting with friends today too and we’re making lunch together. yum! Enjoy the holiday :)

  2. 2

    Beautiful Amaryllis and terrific window ledge. Merry Christmas Eve eve to you and yours also.

  3. 3

    You girls look amazing!
    Delicious eats, as always.
    Happy Holidays, Anne!

  4. 4

    So much fun! I love seeing friends over winter break. :-)

  5. 5

    I LOVE Sunflower! I think I went like 80 times last year. I’ve asked for sauce on the side before and they’ve honored my request. Not sure if it was the specific dish that was doable but it’s worth a try.

    AHHHHH I need to go back soon.

  6. 6

    You’re from Falls Church?! I lived in Falls Church for about six months and loved it! Also, what high school did you go to? One of my good friends from college teaches at George Mason. I loved living there, it was such a great town and was the perfect balance between the ‘burbs and city (or at least I thought) since downtown DC was only a few short stops away.

    • 7

      Yeah! Well, not really “from” there, but I was in Falls Church for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade :) I went to George Mason! How funny your friend is teaching there! I love FC.

  7. 8

    1. I have that cup! It’s also a great iced coffee cup.
    2. I heart and miss Boulevard Woodgrill. It’s such a fun brunch place, too!

  8. 9

    Oh that crazy vegetarian sister of mine… I will admit though, I love Sunflower! I need to go back there – it’s been too long. And I don’t think I’ve ever had the Tempeh dish you ordered, but it looks amaaazing! Anything curry = deliciousness. Glad you’re having fun being back in town, AnnieBananie!

  9. 10

    The food looks great!!!! :)

  10. 11

    Wow, I’ve lived in Alexandria all my life and haven’t tried either place! I’ve seen Sunflower but can’t picture where the Boulevard Woodgrill is. I will have to Google it as I love going to Clarendon.

  11. 12

    I’ve heard good things about Sunflower restaurant, but despite living not all that far from there, I never make it out! One of these days I’ll have to make the trip.

  12. 13

    Love the names of those dinner dishes. I’m generally not a fan of cutesy names when I’m naming my own recipes, but I love them when out. They always suck me into trying something new.

  13. 14

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and have never commented, but finding out you’re from Falls Church, I had to say hello! I went to O’Connell HS and am home from college on winter break- it’s so cool seeing places I know on your blog! Sunflower looked delish- I’ve been meaning to try that place forever and now it’s at the top of my ‘go-to’ list!

  14. 16

    THat food looks delish! I’m already craving thai so that just encourages the craving. :)

  15. 17

    I’m a sucker from pretty flowers and that flower is gorgeous. Love the picture you took of it.

    Anne, I have the same black/white peacoat :)

  16. 20

    Awesome! Hi to Jenny :) Glad your friend busted her soda habit- that takes willpower! way to go!

  17. 21

    So much fun to be back in DC with good friends I’m sure. Oh I wanted to ask you, I know that you are running the 1/2 marathon the weekend before, but are you planning to do the Cherry Blossom Race this year? My boss told me she just registered me again to represent our company. I was hoping to get to see you again this year. ;)

    • 22

      Aww I’m jealous! Sadly I didn’t sign up this year… I just wasn’t sure what my school schedule would be and you have to sign up SO far in advance… boo.

  18. 23

    Yum, all the food looks delicious! I wonder if I can try to re-create that tempeh dish with the Trader Joe’s bottled curry!

  19. 24

    Good fun in a great place with wonderful friends — and begun with a nice, hilly run! Doesn’t get better than that…

  20. 25

    I have a cup like that and I love it! I used to be Jenny, but now, just Jen or Jennifer please :) Enjoy the rest of your break!


  21. 26

    Hmm, maybe I need to try Michelle’s trick to kicking soda. :) I’ve seen those cups EVERYWHERE but never gotten around to buying one!

  22. 27

    both your meals look delicious!!! i really need to find a veggie restaurant around me.

  23. 28

    I LOVE Sunflower … it’s one of my favorite vegetarian spots. I usually go to the original location in Vienna – I think their food is a little bit better and its a really cozy random place. I agree about the sauce … but sometimes it can be so darn good!! :)

  24. 29

    That is some seriously tasty looking food. The “Adventures in Tempeh Land” looks delicious, though I have to say, all of that sauce looks really, really good.

    I also love your new cup. So cute! I have a great reusable cup for when I’m at home but I need to get one for the office. Do you know where she got that one?

  25. 32

    Funny, there is also a vegetarian restaurant in Atlanta called Sunflower Cafe. I guess it’s a popular name for a restaurant! Enjoy your Christmas!


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