When I think of Herndon, I do not think of American food. As much as Annandale or Centreville is a destination for Korean fare, Herndon is synonymous in my mind with South Asian cuisines. But it’s diverse, with great options from Thailand to El Salvador. Yet a visit to Virginia Kitchen will have anyone saluting the good ol’ US of A.
The all-day breakfast joint is in my favorite shopping center in town, Herndon Centre, where it shares space with businesses including Madina Market, Russian Gourmet, and Lotte Plaza. But those have all sprung up around the warhorse restaurant, which has been serving locals since 1977.
Even on a busy Sunday, I felt like waitstaff were practically fighting each other to serve us. The eager team was beyond attentive, and the kitchen turned out plates at a dizzying pace.
With 16 plate-filling combinations, it’s not easy to select just one. I was nearly compelled to order Ham Scramblies based on the cute name alone. But I felt like I would be going about matters incorrectly at a place called “Virginia Kitchen” if I didn’t order biscuits and gravy. The Country Boy breakfast was my best bet.
The centerpiece of the plate is the housemade biscuit. Don’t expect the flaky, slightly crisp catheads served at say, Buford’s Biscuits in Leesburg. These are so cloudlike that they barely withstand the flood of peppery gravy on the plate.
That gravy contains less sausage than I had hoped, but it doesn’t really matter when there are two other kinds of it on the plate, a petite puck of a patty and a juicy link. I requested my two eggs scrambled, and was impressed with the thin layers of egg that fused together in a moist unit, something like an egg croissant. Home fries are prepared with green peppers and onions, and are crisp and well-seasoned.
I was too full to end my breakfast with dessert (not that there’s anything wrong with breakfast dessert), but will in the future be sure to save room for the gorgeous-looking chocolate meringue pie. But returning to to Virginia Kitchen for another heaping plate of breakfast food? Well, that’s just the American thing to do. // 450 Elden St., Herndon
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