The owner of Eastwind restaurant in downtown Fairfax came to the United States from Vietnam on his own in 1979.
Dong Dang started out as a busboy and dishwasher, eventually making his way up the food chain to start a new business in Old Town Alexandria 14 years ago. The restaurant, also named Eastwind, offered Vietnamese cuisine. Now Dang hopes to replicate his success with a location on Main Street near the corner of Chain Bridge Road.
"It's fun to work and meet new people everyday," Dang said. "I work long hours and it's hard, but it's fun."
His restaurant, located in the former T.T Reynold's building, offers authentic vietnamese cuisine at affordable prices. Lunch specials at $6.95 boast a choice of pho spicy soup, fried rice, lemon grass sauted and grilled vermicelli.
The menu now provides a sandwich special option, grilled beef, pork or chicken, at $4.50.
Eastwind's popular dishes include a spicy lemongrass beef or chicken entree, shaky beef, grilled shrimp or pork and crispy spring roll with vermicelli.
"The chicken white meat pho is to die for," said Rick Dickson of the Dickson Company. "Everything is reasonably priced and the food is great."
Much of the restaurant's clientele comes from word of mouth. Eastwind provides catering services for events, including one of council member Ellie Schmidt's campaign gatherings during the 2012 election season. Quite a few of those at Schmidt's campaign event came back on their own, Dang said.
Dang and his family, his wife of 15 years and two children, a 13-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, live in Falls Church.
"The [Fairfax] environment, the neighborhood is very nice and friendly," he added. "The people who come to our restaurant are nice. We have new friends."
Want to try Eastwind? Parking is available on the street and in municipal lots within a block of the restaurant. It's open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. through 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Mention this Patch article when you stop by!