One of my favorite autumn pastimes is to drive out Route 66 to The Plains, Va., for lunch at the counter at Forlano's Market. Nick Forlano, the owner and chef, does such a good job. He's shy, so don't take his quiet demeanor as reticence. Talk to him about the food and he lights up. That's part of the fun of sitting at the counter.
The chalkboard menu has so many temptations, as you see below:
When I'm feeling thin and as if I can eat anything under the sun I order the BLT, the Steak 'n Cheese, or the Barbecue Sandwich. I try always to have one of his soups, particularly the Kennett Square Mushroom. While he's from Queens, Nick went to restaurant school in Philadelphia and worked in southeastern Philly and knows his mushrooms. He also wears a Phillies hat, but we will try not to hold that against him. He's also a vet, having served in the Air Force.
While lunch is a chalk board menu, in the evening's Forlano's gets dressed up for more formal dining. The menu varies but can include pasta made fresh in-house, short ribs, Osso Bucco, and local beef poached in red wine. All the pertinent info is on the website: Forlano's Market. Read it and go. After lunch, go off road, enjoy the scenery and (soon) autumn leaves.