Taste the Differences: Guapos, Lena’s Pizza, & Momo Sushi

Lane Lambeth ‘21, Adair Edwards ‘22, and Liv Cooper ‘22

 Why has the experience of eating out changed so much? Why is going to restaurants such an adventure these days? Despite the strict restrictions Covid has put in our world, they have been cut down slightly to finally allow a certain amount of people to eat out at restaurants! This has been a huge deal to the foodies out there, especially because everyone is getting tired of making their own food at home. Several restaurants around the DMV have done a great job of being creative with their restrictions. They have built igloos for families to sit outside, and have separated their tables by 10 ft inside. SSSAS students have responded to us with their top favorite restaurants and meals, allowing us to review them for everyone. Read along to learn more about these three fantastic restaurants! PSA.. This will make you hungry... 

 

First Body Paragraph (Lane, Guapos) :

The casual but famous Mexican restaurant, Guapos, was one of the top restaurants the students recommended. With its several different locations all around the DMV area, it makes it so much more popular. Guapos is a very delicious and affordable Mexican Restaurant known for its amazing Guacamole and Chips. As said by one of the many chefs, “The guacamole is very popular here, especially because our chips are always fresh out the oven. Actually, we recently changed the guacamole recipe in hopes of our customers to be even more satisfied. Adding more lime and spice gave it more of a kick, which is what we were going for. The customers love it.” Cleary the change has been a hit! The chips come out warm and freshly salted right to your table. The waiters are very friendly and quick to take your order. The service is great. After ordering the Guacamole, it comes out in less than 5 minutes. The strong spice and fresh avocado taste get your tastebuds fired up for your entree. Guapos Mexican restaurant is for sure a hit. Make sure to bring your friends for an easy and cheap dinner on a Friday night! 

 

Second Body Paragraph (Liv, Lenas) :

Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Tap located on E. Braddock Road in Alexandria, VA provides a family-friendly environment and a diverse menu. Not only have they maintained a hospitable reputation, but they have also adjusted to the Covid-19 pandemic better than many restaurants in the area. To provide a safe space for friends and family with social distancing, Lena’s has utilized all of their property by creating three unique settings: Lena’s Oasis, Lena’s Beer Garden, and The Loft at Lena’s. According to the restaurant's website, at Lena’s Oasis, “Guests will be enchanted by the glowing Moroccan-style lanterns, colorful tables and myriad greenery all highlighted by market lighting and colored LED uplighting that grows in intensity as the sun sets.” At Lena’s Beer Garden, you can “relax under the lights and umbrellas and among the hedges with a glass of wine, cocktail or your favorite Port City brew!” As for The Loft at Lena’s, the “Yates family has converted a beautiful, second story space above the main restaurant into an upscale, Aspen-lodge-inspired winter haven. The 4,500 sq. ft loft has been transformed into a unique and socially distant experience channeling a picturesque winter lodge vibe with spacious ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and expansive views.”   All three provide different scenery but the same menu that customers have been enjoying since 2015. They also offer an efficient curb-side pick up in which they deliver your food right to your car. As recommended by students, I ordered the margherita pizza. The pizza here is Neapolitan-style and comes right out of the custom built Marra Forni wood-burning ovens. The pizza was delicious and very filling! All in all, the service here is great and they have created a very covid-catious atmosphere. It is definitely worth the visit with your friends and family!

 

Third Body Paragraph (Adair, Momo):

Momo Sushi & Cafe is a well-known restaurant in Old town, Alexandria near the waterfront on Queen Street. Due to Covid-19, there is no current indoor or outdoor seating at the restaurant. All orders are pick-up only. This February, I had the opportunity to order dinner from Momo Sushi & Cafe after reviewing the results of a SSSAS survey. The restaurant accepts call ahead orders and in-person orders through the sliding window in the front of the cafe. The menu at Momo Sushi & Cafe offers a variety of options such as gluten free, vegan, and lunch specials. While the name suggests sushi, customers have other options such as salads, noodles, and rice dishes. While I cannot review the restaurant atmosphere and overall service, I enjoyed my take-out experience as the food was flavorful and the restaurant’s precautions made me feel safe.

 

When placing my order over the phone, the employee confirmed my order with accuracy and gave me a 25 minute time window for my food to be ready. I followed the recommendations from other students and ordered two sets of California rolls and one order of miso soup. I started with the miso soup. It was warm and perfect for a chilly evening - a silky broth with mushrooms. I then sampled the California rolls. The sushi was well-presented and stayed together, which is not always the case with sushi! It was the perfect ratio of fish, rice, and avocado. After reviewing my trip to Momo Cafe & Sushi, I looked up the restaurant on Yelp. 

 

Momo Cafe & Sushi has a four-star rating. It’s obvious other customers agree with my positive experience. The menu has variety and my sushi and appetizer were filling and fresh. The restaurant puts customers at ease with the options to order both over the phone and in-person through a small window. Lastly, the price was reasonable as I was able to get my full dinner for under twenty dollars. I highly recommend students and teachers check out Momo Sushi & Cafe for a quick and delicious lunch or dinner.