Len Adler likes the Viet House in Fairfax so much, he asked the owner, Kiet Bowie, if he wanted to rent space in his new property recently built at the Adler Shopping Center on Richmond Highway. When they open in May, Mount Vernon residents will find out what people in Fairfax have known for quite awhile. That is, a very good meal can be made out of noodle soup.
"It's the greatest noodle soup you can imagine," said Adler. "I eat lunch out almost every day and this is the only place that calls me back twice a week."
Bowie was looking for an opportunity in this area and said, "This was a lucky break for me. I hope we will give residents of Alexandria and people who work here good service and good food. We will carry our experience from our other stores [both located in Fairfax]."
Noodle soup is available with beef or chicken and comes in small or large bowls. The beef or chicken topping with rice noodles is served in a bowl with hot boiling soup and garnished with sprouts, green peppers, slices of lemon and fresh sweet basil.
Viet House serves spring and summer rolls as appetizers and three special rice dishes: pork BBQ on rice dish; chicken BBQ on rice dish; and pork shredded, house cake and pork BBQ. They also serve grilled pork & spring rolls on vermicelli bowl.
There is no alcohol served here, but there are a variety of interesting drinks available for purchase. They include different coffees; fresh lemonade; ice tea; dried longan in light syrup with ice; soy bean milk; young coconut juice; soft drinks; salted lemon and salted prune.
Fruit drinks come in mango, strawberry, jack fruit, kiwi and banana, and custard & apple. Save room for one of the two desserts — colored jello and coconut milk or three colored sweetened dessert.
DOWN THE ROAD, Green Olive is getting ready to open in the former Captain John's Seafood location. The Captain John's name will actually remain on the side of the building, but the new restaurant will be called Green Olive. Captain John's owner John Charalambous said that he closed his restaurant after having a financial problem with his former attorney.
Thinking that he had a lease with Wawa locked in, he went ahead and auctioned off all his restaurant equipment. Plans for Wawa fell through and Charalambous started looking for another tenant. Konqcwang Wang came to look at the space. Wang currently owns four Chinese restaurants in North Carolina and was looking to expand. Charalambous said that Wang liked the concept of what he was doing with the seafood buffet and asked if he would be willing to stay involved in the restaurant.
Charalambous, who had planned to retire, agreed, and the result will be a combination seafood and Oriental buffet. Wang will manage one side of the business, while Charalambous will cover the other. The seafood buffet will be served from new granite buffet servers in the center of the restaurant. Surrounding that will be a sushi bar and hibachi bar; this is where customers select their ingredients and then the chef cooks them.
"He wanted to keep my knowledge of seafood and American restaurants," said Charalambous. "This concept has never been done before."
Charalambous said that they are also building a lounge area and bar with direct TV. To keep the prices lower, the Alaskan snow crab legs will be removed from the buffet; they will be available for sale by the pound. Cost of the new buffet will be $6.95 during the week for lunch, and $12.95 for lunch and dinner on weekends. During holiday weekends, the price will be $17.95.
"We want to accommodate everybody," said Charalambous.