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Best of Arlington: Food to Go
Arlington has a wealth of ethnic markets, specialty-food shops, and bakeries.
A top-notch wine store, Arrowine also has a small but good charcuterie-and-gourmet-goods department. Dough for the excellent bagels comes from the H&H bagelry in New York City, and the marvelous cheese department carries such unusual picks as Mahón from Menorca, Spain. Two small meat cases with goodies including French-style Madrange ham and D’Artagnan duck confit round out offerings.
4508 Lee Hwy.; 703-525-0990.
At chocolatier Jason Andelman’s tiny storefront, you’ll find ever-changing treats not available at Artisan’s online shop—cashews coated in fresh coconut, chocolate-covered pretzels, orange-and-cardomom-scented bonbons. A rotating roster of candy bars ranges from crispy peanut butter to caramel nougat. Andelman’s standard flavors—preservative-free and made with organic ingredients and Valrhona chocolate—are here, too.
4815-B Lee Highway; 703-239-0616.
Classic Cigars & British Goodies
Have a yen for a Cadbury Flake? The shelves of this cigar shop/grocery are stacked with items for Anglophiles and homesick Brits. You’ll find meat pies and banger rolls in the freezer case and cans of Devon Custard and Tayto Crisps on the shelves along with cookies and canned and packaged goods (think mushy peas) from the mother country. The store also stocks British and Irish beers. And if you’re hankering for English Ovals, it has those.
2907 Wilson Blvd.; 703-525-6510.
The pastries might be eye-catching but bread is the real standout at this bakery, which uses flour imported from Germany in some of its recipes. Besides a dozen or so varieties of rye, the lengthy roster of loaves includes challah, cranberry walnut, and Aachener brot (made with oats and nuts on top). Keep an eye out for the bakery’s house-made dried egg noodles, wursts, and fun-to-try items such as boxed spaetzle.
2150 N. Culpeper St.; 703-527-8394.
India A-1 Grocery
You probably should have a grocery list in hand when shopping at this small store with a dizzying array of seasonings, legumes, and grains: at least half a dozen kinds of lentils, several types of rice, various blends of masala, and all manner of spices and herbs—everything you’ll need for making a flavorful curry or casserole. There’s also a handful of jarred chutneys, beyond the usual mango. In the refrigerator case, look for thumb-size eggplants and unfamiliar items such as the wild-looking spiked green oval known as bitter gourd.
4815 Lee Hwy.; 703-841-9626.
Pick up a white pizza, a well-made sub, or fresh pastas and sauces from the refrigerator case at this pizza parlor/sub shop/gourmet grocery. Specialty items include fresh mozzarella, house-made meat and spinach lasagnas (order in advance), and muffaletta with olive salad. Shelves also hold dried pasta, olive oil, sauces, wine, and produce including tomatoes from Pennsylvania’s Toigo Farms.
3123 Lee Hwy.; 703-528-6266.
You can buy by the pound or the portion at this market that stocks and makes all things Lebanese. There’s an array of cold salads, warm casseroles and stews, savory pastries, and meats. You’ll also find an olive bar, bags of fresh pitas, Middle Eastern cheeses—including halloumi and several varieties of feta—and jams from Lebanon in flavors from apricot to fig.
4400 Old Dominion Dr.; 703-276-8681.
The signature coconut macaroons come in variations such as almond and mocha and can be dipped in white or dark chocolate. Also tops is the bread pudding made with the bakery’s scones. Besides such homey sweets as lemon sugar cookies and pecan-shortbread bars, Mother’s makes iced cookies in the shapes of crabs, elephants, cowboy hats, and stars (the choices change from day to day). If you order in advance, the sky’s the limit, with hundreds of shapes to choose from. (The store is closed August 23 through 31.)
2442 N. Harrison St.; 703-532-6991.