We all know the oppressive dog days when we can’t bear to heat up the oven or stove. But sometimes we go all Kiss Me, Kate and say “It’s Too Darn Hot” to eat anything as high in temperature as the thermometer has risen. At those times, we head out to a favorite restaurant for a dish or two that will nourish us while keeping us cool.
It would be folly to recommend just one of the ceviches at this pair of high-energy restaurants. With more than 10 options, it’s best to just shrug and say, “You’ll be happy whatever you order.” And that doesn’t even include the Japanese-inflected tiraditos. Just know that these citrus-cooked dishes aren’t limited to seafood. There’s also a vegetarian version that includes a mélange of fruits and vegetables in passion fruit sauce. 2670 Avenir Plz., Vienna; 1776 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
The Battlefield Country Store
“Make yourself a sandwich!” rings in your head, though you can barely peel yourself off the couch. So get in the air-conditioned car and head to the deli at the back of this country store and get a gigantic sandwich with anything you want on it. There are four different varieties of ham alone, as well as everything from PB&J to chicken strips. Stack it on freshly baked sourdough with all the condiments, cheeses, and toppings — like banana peppers and Old Bay — that you can handle. 6150 Plank Rd., Fredericksburg
Fight heat with heat at this family-run warehouse of all things fiery. Liang pi, known as “cold skin noodles” in English, are ultrathin, slippery, and refreshingly chilly. Though the steamed strands originated in the Shaanxi province, here they get a Sichuan treatment that’s appealingly heavy on the chile sauce. 1313 Dolly Madison Blvd., Ste. 103, McLean
Parc de Ville
Chopped filet mignon is what’s behind the exceptionally tender texture of this circle of raw beef. The succulent creation is dotted with mustard, bien sur, but it’s the capers, quail egg, fried shallots, and thin slices of chive that bring both visual and gustatory character to the appetizer. Spread it on the toast provided, et voila! Cool deal. 8296 Glass Alley, Fairfax
Taste of Korea
This icy noodle soup is made with deeply beefy broth, but a tangy edge offsets the round flavors, helping it to suit the chill. Chewy buckwheat noodles stretch from the bowl along with crunchy cucumber and thin slices of radish. Add in the cool hardboiled egg that crowns the concoction and you’ve got a varied feast for a scorching night. 13904 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy., Chantilly
Want black tiger shrimp, or feeling more like Chinese sausage? Either way, there’s a rice-wrapped roll for you at this Vietnamese restaurant. We especially like the latter, which combines the sweet meat with jicama, carrots, basil, and peanuts. Squeeze a bit of Sriracha into your peanut sauce before dipping in and you’ve got a complex blend of flavors that will stir cravings all summer long. 8102 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church
This story originally ran in our July issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.