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One Arlington restaurant made the Washington Post’s Fall Dining Guide

The prestigious Washington Post Fall Dining Guide is out and Arlington avoided the shut out of past years.

As is usually the case, the vast majority of the 40 restaurants on critic Tom Sietsema’s list are located in D.C. But one Arlington eatery made it: Ruthie’s All-Day (3411 5th Street S.).

Chef Matt Hill’s spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner was praised by Sietsema for its tasty Southern cuisine and for being both kid- and dog-friendly.

From the Post:

Restaurateurs can plan all they want, but not until after a business is born do they know how customers will use it. Take this all-American hot spot in Arlington, going on three years. Co-owner Todd Salvadore says he and chef Matt Hill envisioned Ruthie’s as “a parents’ date night place.” Instead, it became a magnet for young households. “We’re watching all the kids grow up!” says Salvadore.

There’s no children’s menu, but the regular list includes a roll call of dishes (chicken tenders, mac and cheese) that appeal to little ones and their minders. Want a one-patty burger or a single pancake at brunch? The kitchen can honor both requests. Ruthie’s, named for Hill’s grandmother, also stocks a score of high-chairs and a patio that welcomes four-legged companions and accepts reservations.

Ease in with some songs of the South: pink folds of rich Surryano ham arranged with craggy buttermilk biscuits, pimento cheese and red onion jam on what looks like a slice of tree trunk. The bestseller is brisket, smoked overnight and seasoned with paprika, garlic and onion powder, what the kitchen knows as TCB, or Taking Care of Business. The meaty delight comes with tender milk bread, house-made pickles and a choice of two or three sides. Make sure one of them is dirty rice tossed with charred kimchi.

Arlington has seen some banner years for its food scene in the Fall Dining Guide, such as in 2019 when Thai Square on Columbia Pike, Sfoglina in Rosslyn and Buena Vida in Clarendon all made the cut.

Notable Arlington-adjacent restaurants on the 2023 list are the Bethesda outpost of The Salt Line, which also has a Ballston location, and Rice Paper, located in the Eden Center, just across the county line in Falls Church.

Despite Arlington’s meager showing this year, it could have been worse: no restaurants from Alexandria made Sietsema’s latest list.

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