Tysons Corner, VA

Best Bacon Around Tysons

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

It’s poll time!

I need to know, what’s the best bacon you’ve found around town? I have a few vote getters, but now I need your input.

When you’re in the mood for bacon, where do you go?

An honorable mention from Fava Pot added. The Basterma isn’t pork, it’s beef but it’s salty, spicy and a good bacon alternative!

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Where Kids Eat Free Around Tysons

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

So this fall schedule of back to school, fall sports and oh yeah, the fall real estate market, has begun to really mess with my ability to plan for dinner!

I don’t own an instant pot, and I barely use our crockpot, so I’ve been looking for other ways to feed my boys (well, okay, one of them survives on air somehow but the other kid actually eats). I’ve put together some deals around town that offer a “kids eat free” option or a cheap incentive to bring you in. As always, if I have left something off the list, please drop it in the comments to share with other readers!

Falls Church

  • Pizzeria Orso, Falls Church — Kids eat free Tuesday for lunch and dinner kids 10 and under get one free item from the children’s menu for each traditional or house specialty pizza ordered. Dine in only.
  • Chevy’s Fresh Mex, Falls Church — Kids eat free all day Tuesday. Two free kids meals per regular priced adult entrée. Dine in only.
  • Pizzeria Uno, Falls Church — Kids eat free on Tuesday.
  • Liberty BBQ, Falls Church — Kids 3 and under free at Bottomless Brunch on the weekends AND on Monday nights, kids 12 and under eat free (Pulled Pork Sandwich, Pulled Chicken Sandwich, or a Hot Dog with a side of fries, fruit or tomato soup).
  • Jason’s Deli, Falls Church — Kids eat free on Tuesday from 5-10 p.m. Dine in only, 1 kid’s meal per each adult entrée for kids 12 and under.

Vienna/Oakton

  • IHOP — Kids eat free from the children’s menu everyday, 4-9 p.m. with the purchase of 1 adult entrée.
  • Anita’s Mexican Grill, Vienna — Kids under 10 eat free all day on Tuesdays.
  • Foster’s Grille, Vienna — Kid’s meals for 10 and under are 1/3 off the regular price with the purchase of an adult entrée. Dine in only.
  • Ledo’s Pizza, Vienna — Kids eat free on Thursdays with 1 adult entrée.
  • Dickey’s BBQ, Vienna — Sundays, kids eat free 12 and under if an adult spends at least $10.
  • California Tortilla, Oakton — Free kid’s meal with adult entrée purchase.

McLean

  • Lebanese Taverna, McLean — Kids age 12 and under eat free off the kid’s menu with adult entrée purchase on Thursdays 11 a.m. to close.
  • Silver Diner, McLean — Kids eat free on Tuesday.
  • Rocco’s Italian Restaurant, McLean — Kids eat free (1 per adult entrée), or 1 free kid’s meal with a medium pizza, or 2 kid’s meal with a large pizza over 25. Dine in only. Mondays and Tuesdays.
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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Pumpkin Spice is back, so that officially makes it fall, right? I know, I rolled my eyes too.

Despite the pumpkin spice craze, September does mean the beginning of my favorite time of year — Fall Festivals Around Northern Virginia. Whether you’re a family with children or a group of friends going out for some fun, you’ll find a little bit of everything.

Here’s a list of some favorites during the month of September. More to follow in October!

Cox Farms — Centreville, VA
September 14-15, September 21-November 5
Live music, cow milking, farm chores, hayride, tunnels, slides, swings, corn maze, goats, cider, donuts and their market! This is my favorite event all year and I actually hold my client appreciation event here in the fall. You really can’t beat a day in cooler weather walking around their farm!

Great County Farms — Bluemont, VA
September 30-October 31
Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival featuring pick your own pumpkins (also apples), wagon rides, pig races, Dino shows, Marshmallow roasting, cider pressing, live music, 5-acre play area, donuts and their market. Adult pro tip: Bluemont Vineyard and Dirt Farm Brewing are across the street and the views can NOT be beat.

Falls Church Festival — Falls Church, VA
September 14
Held rain or shine from 10-4 p.m., this is also the “Taste of Falls Church” with a beer garden, live entertainment, pony rides, child amusements, local crafters and sales.

Merrifield Fall Festival — Fairfax, VA
September 28
Held from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., the event combines a farmers market, beer garden, live music, kids activities and more at Mosaic. This event also includes an appearance by the Vienna Singing Princesses!

Vienna Cops and Kids Fun Run — Vienna, VA
September 22
A kids fun run with the local town police. The event runs from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and includes many fun things after the race. Usually a police helicopter will land on the field next to Vienna Elementary, there’s a dunk-a-cop dunk tank, face painting, bounce house, music, obstacle course, food, police motorcycles and car tours.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

The majority of the original Vienna homes were built during the 1950s-1960s. The same is true for McLean.

Most of those original homes were red brick ramblers or split levels. Although some have gotten torn down in the recent years, many still remain. If you’re looking to spruce up your home, increase curb appeal and maybe even do some DIY projects, here are some ideas to update your home:

Paint! You won’t believe what a little paint can do. Obviously interior walls are the most obvious place to paint, but I have a few more tricks up my sleeve.

  • For instant curb appeal paint your front door a pop of color. Try yellow, red, or even a slick coat of black. Same with shutters if you have them.
  • If you’re tired of the red brick look, make sure all the brick is tuckpointed and paint the entire exterior. It’s an immediate way to get a brand new look. I personally love white, blue, or even gray. White houses with colorful front doors and sharp shutters — instant pop!
  • Another trick: if you still have a bathroom with the old pink, green, blue, or yellow tile — did you know you can paint that tile? Oh yes! There’s an epoxy they can do to essentially paint the tiles and make it look brand new. Mostly I’ve seen white with a reglazed white tub. It’ll last for a while, but not forever, and I wouldn’t do it on the floor of the bathroom since that’ll fade quickly and might even make it slippery. This is a DIY opportunity but if you hate the way it looks, call in a pro to finish.
  • Here’s an example of exterior paint before & after (they also added a garage but you can see the main house is the same).

Light fixtures! They make some really cheap light fixtures now that instantly make a new impression.

  • Depending on the finish you want, you can use this $30 LED ceiling light to replace those old gold dome lights throughout your house.
  • Or pick a modern dining light to make that old room look new. This one is just $34. It doesn’t have to be expensive to make a big impact. Just make sure you get one that’s big enough for the space.

Many of these ideas have come over the years from selling these homes and staging them. But truthfully if you plan on selling in the next few years, you might as well enjoy the fruits of your labor for a while. You don’t need to do it at all. Make a list of what’s most important to you and tackle it bit by bit. Over time, a little goes a long way.

Looking for more ideas? Or want an opinion on doing something for resale? Feel free to email me — I love a good before and after and don’t mind at all!

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

I meet a lot of people who want a large piece of land with their house in the Tyson’s Corner area.

For many, a quarter acre lot (about 10,000 sq. ft.) isn’t enough. But did you know the larger the lot size in Vienna and McLean, the higher probability the house is on well water and/or a septic system instead of public utilities? That’s the funny thing about land, once you get over about a half acre, you’re leaving behind Fairfax County water/sewer.

If you’re looking for land or already own a house with land, don’t forget about these maintenance items and some pros and cons.

Well Water

Pro: Water is free! Many people say it also tastes better.

You should check your pH level regularly, along with other possible contaminates. There’s a small cost associated with maintenance on a well — neutralizer, water filtration system, water softener, etc. If the well ever gets contaminated past the point of safe usage, you may have to drill new one. Learn more about Wells.

Septic System

Septic systems are in place of public sewer, which handles all water and organic matter that runs down the plumbing system. The septic tank is buried in the yard and flows to a drainfield.

Maintenance: The septic tank should be pumped every 3-5 years. When you’re buying a home, you should be doing a septic tank inspection where they check to make sure the size of the system is adequate for the house (usually this is measured by the number of bedrooms).

To learn more about septic systems, read here.

My go to contractors for each are Bell Pump and Well and Five Star Septic.

If you have more questions on this topic or others related to home care, buying or selling, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

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End of Summer Fun!

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

The clock is ticking on our summer fun!

Just 2 weeks to go until the kids go back to school and the adults go back to our regular schedules. But before that happens, there’s actually a lot going on around the area for some late summer fun.

You’ve got 3 weeks left at the pool, but if you’re looking for something else to do, try one of these things this week:

  • Restaurant Week all over D.C. and NoVA! Find a full list of restaurant participants here. Some of my favorites include Ambar, Ford’s Fish Shack, Lyon Hall and TenPenh
  • Arlington County Fair: August 14-18, see the full schedule here. Pretend you’re reliving ViVa Vienna or McLean Day!
  • Kids on the Green: 10 a.m. at the Town Green, kids performers
  • Chillin’ on Church: 6:30 p.m. on the Town Green with a live band, food trucks, activities for kids and beer truck!
  • Kids Obstacle Course at McLean Central Park: Saturday, August 17 at 9:30 a.m. Buy $10 tickets here. The Vienna Kids Adventure Race was last weekend and so much fun! If you’ve never done this, I highly recommend for the under 10 crowd.
  • Cirque du Soleil: Volta Under The Big Top; Definitely not too dark for the whole family but a great excuse for a date night!

Also I’d love some reader input! If you have a favorite getaway for a day, drop it in the comments below.

Do you like going to Sandy Point for a beach day? Know a better spot? Let me know!

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

So maybe the Vienna Dad’s group didn’t take off, or the non-existent McLean Dad’s group is a bust. How else are adults suppose to make new friends while getting some exercise? Join an adult league for sports!

Imagine creating your team name, a new t-shirt with your favorite nickname on it, getting embarrassed as you pull a muscle the first time you go to run (oh wait, that’s not supposed to happen), and then you go grab some beers and joke around with new (or old) friends.

Grab your friends and join one of these teams:

Softball/Baseball not your thing? What about a bowling or basketball league?

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

If you’re looking to try something new, and into the idea of customized pasta dishes, you should try Dal Grano in the Langley Shopping Center in McLean.

They have over 50 pasta combinations that you can create and eat in, take out or cook at home! In addition to just pasta, they have salads, sandwiches, desserts (the gelato!) and veggie side dishes.

Another reason to support Dal Grano is their involvement in the community. They sponsor the Fish swim team and McLean Little League.

Follow their Facebook page for daily specials. You can also use GrubHub to order for delivery.

Dal Grano is open Monday — Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday 12-8 p.m.

Located at 1386 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Virginia 22101.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

In case you don’t know, today and tomorrow are the big Amazon Prime sale days with daily deals on various items.

If you don’t have a Prime account, you can sign up today for a free 30-day trial and use the deals without commitment. If you download the app or spend $10 at Whole Foods, they’ll give you a free $10 account credit.

But we all know Amazon is sort of like Target, how can you spend just $10 when the sales are crazy good?

If you feel the need for some retail therapy, why not do it for a cause?

First, you can help donate money without doing a thing. Amazon Smile is a program that’ll donate a percentage of your regular purchase to a charity of your choosing on eligible purchases. All you have to do is pick one. You can search for the organizations (think your local school PTA, BRAWS, Cho Inc, SHARE of McLean, etc.)

Second, you can call and find out what your favorite organization might be in need of for supplies and search the Prime Day Deals and ship it right to the organization. You can search for Bras and Tampons and send them to BRAWS (114 Courthouse Road SW, Vienna, Virginia 22180).

SHARE of McLean is in need of baby wipes, diapers, snacks, toilet paper and more. You can fill up on some of those items and ship them right to Share at 1367 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Virginia 22101.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

There’s a small brown “house” located on Dominion Road NE (parallel to the W&OD trail), which is a great disguise for the world of tiny trains hidden inside.

The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders club is over 65 years old and has been in this spot for over 30 years. The club built a “large and permanent model railroad layout” and they have open houses 12 times a year. (Pro tip: It’s air conditioned in there!)

You’ll find many cool trains at this exhibit, but if you have little ones who are Thomas & Friends fans, make sure you stop by. Their next open house is Saturday, July 13 from 1-5 p.m. and admission is free. Consider leaving a donation during your visit.

You can read more about the club and see the full list of open house dates here.

If you’re looking to join, they’re currently accepting new members. Find the information here.

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