To begin, just as sort of a disclaimer, some of the restaurants I’ll be reviewing will be from Northern Virginia. Since there’s a ton of NOVAians here at UMW, you’ve probably heard of these places, and maybe already even visited yourself. For those of you who aren’t from NOVA, if you ever find yourself feeling kind of adventurous and have an extra couple of hours with nothing to do, I encourage you to venture north for some of the fine cuisine i’ll be blogging about- oh, and don’t worry because the majority of these posts will be local places.


Alright, so I went to Big Bowl for dinner tonight (ok, not so adventurous and definitely not “fine dining”) but the food was overall very good. To start, I decided to try the hibiscus iced tea , which provided a nice alternative to a green or black iced tea. I think i’d describe the taste as kind of tart and sweet at the same time (they sweeten it somehow-i’d guess naturally though i’m not sure) and it was pretty comparable to the Tazo Passion flavor tea you can get at Starbucks.

For an appetizer, we ordered the potstickers, and these were pretty much your average restaurant-grade potsticker, but the sauces they provided- a spicy mustard, soy-ginger dip (my favorite), and spicy plum sauce (which reminded me of a sweeter version of duck sauce) were what made the dish. Plus, it took maybe 10 minutes for them to bring them out, and the kind management staff decided 10 minutes was too long of a wait for potstickers and made them on the house.

For my entree I ordered the  Thai hot pepper chicken, which was suggested by the waiter. I would personally consider myself as having a high tolerance for spicy foods, so I didn’t find this dish quite as spicy as it was described on the menu (though i’d say that this is pretty typical for big-box chain restaurants), but the chicken was otherwise excellent. The quality of the chicken (which the restaurant describes as “all natural” was good (no weird stringy parts or other un-identifiables), the chili sauce added a lot of good flavor and was “infused” into the chicken, so it wasn’t just a layer of sauce, but the whole pieces of chicken that had flavor. Finally, the chicken was topped off with crushed peanuts for a nice crunchy texture.

I was also able to try the yellow curry chicken they serve, and this is what i’d recommend. Since it was a Thai curry, there was coconut milk added to the sauce, which I normally don’t like because I typically find it to add too much sweetness. However, in this case I could definitely taste the coconut milk flavor, and a mild sweetness, without it being too strong for my personal taste. I would say 30% sweet flavor and 70% curry flavor.

Overall, a great dining experience, and one of the better ones i’ve had at Big Bowl. I think location played a key role here, because there are so many restaurants in the Reston Town Center they each have to maintain a level of good quality to stay competitive and stay in business.