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Alexandria Appetite: 2 Restaurants Hidden in Plain Sight

Finding these gems requires a bit of searching, but the result is worth it.

Tucked away amid retail shops, barbershops, and numerous other storefronts, some of the city’s restaurant gems are a bit tricky to uncover. But the result is worth the search. Here are two of Alexandria’s best strip-mall selections.

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Homecoming at Chantilly

Chantilly Homecoming Court: (Back row, from left) Zach Cummins, TJ Walter, Ken Roberts, Karim Shoorbajee, (middle row, from left) Caroline Barnes, Siobhan Reardon, Jill Cymerman, Alexis Weeren, (front row, from left) Colton Anderson, Lindsay Barnes, Claire Jones, Pierre Johnson, and Kate Wozniak.

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Chantilly: Running on the Runway

Dulles Day began with a “Run on the Runway” at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17. About 2,500 runners gathered behind the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center. The course took runners onto Dulles Runway 1-Right and past a widebody United Airlines aircraft.

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Chantilly: One, Two, Three … Pull

The Dulles Day Festival and Plane Pull at Washington Dulles International Airport attracted thousands of visitors for the airport’s annual free open house on Saturday, Sept. 17. This year’s event featured nearly 100 teams pulling two jet aircraft in a competition to support Special Olympics Virginia that originated at Dulles more than 20 years ago.

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Potomac: Creating a Conservation Garden

Backyard tour offers suggestions.

Linda Rieger of River Falls Drive gave a tour of her conservation garden on Monday, Sept. 12. Run-off difficulties were solved with terracing, rocks, grasses, ground cover and ferns.

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Potomac: Preparing for 33rd Annual Middle Eastern Bazaar

Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church members gather to bake.

Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church is holding its 33rd annual Middle Eastern Bazaar Sept. 23-25. Hours are Friday 4-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 12-7 p.m. Traditional music and dance will be performed Friday and Saturday night. There is free parking and admission.

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Arlington Snapshot: Bike Rodeo

The Woman's Club of Arlington held a Bike Rodeo Aug. 20 after a 30-plus year break in what used to be an annual event sponsored by the club. Bike Arlington and Phoenix Bikes, provided the cone courses and, the expertise. The four youngsters, ages 3 -5 1/2 years had fun following the Bike Arlington volunteer.

Arlington Snapshot: ‘Little Library’

High School student Markarius Nealis makes a book selection on his first visit to the Woman's Club of Arlington's new "Little Library" at 700 S. Buchanan St.

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Alexandria: Musical Enhances Historical Romantic Mystery

MetroStage stages "Blackberry Daze."

MetroStage in Alexandria is staging the world premiere musical of "Blackberry Daze" now through Oct. 9.

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Alexandria: An Ode to ‘Steel Magnolias’

LTA’s play centers on Louisiana women who bond and gossip at local beauty shop.

The Little Theatre of Alexandria (LTA) is staging "Steel Magnolias" now to Oct. 1. The play features a group of Louisiana women as they bond and gossip at a local beauty shop while following the marriage and motherhood of one of the customer's daughters.

Reston: Award-winning Silver Line Sculptor Kicks off IPAR Artist Talks Sept. 21

Award-winning sculptor Barbara Grygutis, who has created more than 75 large-scale public artworks across the United States and Canada, including the Silver Line’s Spring Hill metro station, will kick off the Initiative for Public Art-Reston’s (IPAR) Artist Talk Series on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

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Burke, Fairfax, Springfield: Local Authors Create a Space in Burke to Sell, Sign Their Books

Eric Gardner of Springfield and John B. Wren of Fairfax set a tent at Burke Centre Festival.

Springfield author Eric Gardner has learned writing his book is easy. So is getting it published.

Alexandria Snapshot: Grand Opening

Mayor Allison Silberberg joints the Sifakis family for the grand opening of The Italian Place at 621 Wythe St. The market, owned by Adrianna Penachio Sifakis, opened in North Old Town on Sept. 8. The Italian Place is a gourmet Italian market serving sub sandwiches, pastas, Italian wines, gift baskets and other Italian themed foods and gifts.

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Alexandria People At Work: Listening to Her Patrons

Talking Books librarian provides concierge-style service.

The green caterpillar inches along a tree branch toward a juicy looking leaf.

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Amazon ‘Lockers’ Come to Springfield Town Center

Springfield Town Center is one of 15 mall locations across the east coast now offering Amazon’s “Locker” service as a quicker alternative to home delivery of items.