Make Your Way to Sister Restaurants Carmello’s and Monza in Downtown Manassas!

Our new favorite sister restaurants are Carmello’s and Monza Italian in downtown Manassas.

Located a short drive away from Arcadia Run, these two restaurants are ideal for a night out. And while they each offer a distinct menu and atmosphere, both are guaranteed to be a hit; these restaurants know authentic European food.

Carmello’s specializes in find Portugese food, which includes an extensive, and irresistible, list of Portugese wines. So whether you’re a wine snob or just looking for a delicious vino, Carmello’s has you covered.

The food at Carmello’s is bright, fresh and made with meticulous attention to detail. And since the meals are crafted with local food made at its peak season in mind, Carmello’s menu changes seasonally. We love the Lambo de Porco – a mouthwatering combination of prosciutto, risotto, pork tenderloin, shittake mushrooms and golden raisins in a delicious wine sauce. If you’re feeling particularly authentic, don’t miss the Mussels Portuguesas, mussels made to perfection (but warning: you just might start scoffing at the dish at other restaurants!). And for dessert? You must try the mascarpone mousse.


And the best part about having sister restaurants is that you can go to both in one night, if you want! Waiting for your table at Carmello’s? Head over for a pre-dinner drink at Monza. When it’s time, it’s no problem bringing your drink over to the Portugese restaurant. And the same goes for the opposite.

We love Monza Italian and their diverse selection of pastas, salads and sausages. And one of the best parts about Monza is that you’ll sit down to a delicious meal without feeling overstuffed at the end; the food is decadent without being overbearing. And Monza boasts an impressive beer menu; few fine restaurants have such a variety of bottled brews! From brick oven pizzas to creative pastas – we strongly suggest the Jack’s Special, a Monza favorite, and every time you order the entree Monza donates $1 to the Wounded Warrior Project and Oral History Fund! – the food at Monza is affordable and delicious. And the flavors you get here are hard to find anywhere else, so look no further than Monza!

We don’t know many sister resturants that have such different menus but share such similar dedication to only serving up the best possible dish. But that’s what you’ll find at Monza Italian and Carmello’s Portugese Restaurant, and you’ll be glad you came.

For more information on the sister restaurants, “like” them both on Facebook! Monza | Carmello’s

Image: Carmello’s

Get A Taste of New Orleans at Okra’s Cajun Creole!

Whether you’re craving some hearty, Southern comfort food or are just looking for a new place to grab a meal in Manassas, look no further than Okra’s Cajun Creole.

This casual restaurant, located at the corner of Center and Battle Streets, has gone beyond simply serving up hearty and flavorful Cajun food, it’s a true Manassas community fixture.

Okra's Exterior
Image: Yelp

Okra’s first came to Manassas in 1998 with humble beginnings. A small restaurant that hoped to bring New Orleans to Northern Virginia quickly drew the vibrance of Louisiana and Mardis Gras to Manassas! Okra’s hosts a Mardis Gras parade in Manassas yearly, that includes marching bands, bright costumes, Nawlins music and tons of Cajun food. Okra’s has brought a few other Louisiana traditions up to Manassas as well, including crawfish boils and smaller festivals for the community.

Since Okra’s start in Manassas, it’s grown to become a large staffed restaurant, but it continues to serve community members with the same inviting and warm atmosphere it had 15 years ago.

And it’s that atmosphere will make you nostalgic for New Orleans – whether you’ve been before or not. Jazz music plays throughout the restaurant and the decor is as colorful and eclectic as what you’d find in the South. Sip on an Abita beer – a Louisiana favorite that is always on draft at Okra’s –  and get transported to New Orleans. The bar atmosphere at Okra’s is consistently complimented for its welcoming feel, variety of Louisiana drinks and creative bartenders.

But of course, Okra’s is most memorable for its incredible Cajun food.

Okra's Cooking
Image: Okra’s

The food at Okra’s is totally fresh and made based on what’s best that season. In fact, Okra’s redoes its menu every season to include only the freshest ingredients. Our favorite dishes are the crawfish and the fried oysters, two Louisiana staples that Okra’s has truly mastered. Grab a side of their flavorful corn bread and you’ll be drowning in delicious food! The fried oyster po’ boys are also a great way to maximize your New Orleans experience at Okra’s.

Oh, and if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t forget to try the gator bites.

Come to Okra’s during Mardi Gras and the restaurant has even more specials and offerings than usual. From a traditional Nawlins “King Cake” to the beads and music, you’ll feel as though you’re in Louisiana! And since it’s located so close to Arcadia Run, New Orleans never feels too far from home.

Head over to Okra’s for an Abita and appetizer at Happy Hour or bring friends and dive into their varied and tempting menu for dinner. Between the atmosphere and food, you’ll be sure to have a great time.

For more information on Okra’s Cajun Creole, “like” them on Facebook!

Enjoy $500 Off Rent and Delicious Gelato at Arcadia Run

We know it’s sweltering, so come to Arcadia Run‘s Beat The Heat Open House Saturday, June 15 from 11 am to 3 pm and explore our community while enjoying a treat from our gelato cart. In addition, a representative from Comcast will be giving out pizza from Gainville’s Vocelli Pizza! So whether you are craving a sweet treat or something a bit heartier, Arcadia Run has you covered.

And among the range of creative offerings at our open house is a Blue Moon flavored gelato! Adults with proper ID can try this unique flavor, a certain cure for the heat.

Arcadia Run is where you get used to getting more, and our Beat The Heat event is just one of the many ways we want you to get to know what makes this community so luxurious. And as a new apartment community in Manassas, this public event is so that we can get to know the neighborhood! As if that wasn’t enough, you can get $500 off your first month’s rent on select units if you move in by July 31st!

And if you like what you see, you’ll be happy to know Arcadia Run will be waiving application fees on June 15! So head over to the Beat The Heat Open House and enjoy some Arcadia Run with a side of refreshing gelato. We’ll see you there!

For more information on Arcadia Run, visit our website.


Image: OC Foodies


Make Your Own Canvas Art and Liven Up Your Walls!

Who said owning beautiful wall art means breaking the bank?

In fact, you’ll save money and take pride in the work you display at home if you make it yourself.
And with these easy DIY ways to create canvas art and simple wall hangings, you’ll surprise your guests when they find out your stunning artwork is the product of a couple dollars, a little elbow grease and a burst of your own creativity.

Canvas art and DIY wall hangings have been popular these days, particularly type-heavy pieces. Pick a quote you adore, choose a font that vibes with you (dafont offers a great, categorized guide to different fonts) and turn it into a stencil. From there, grab a little paint and you’re off!

 Coffee Canvas - Bungalow Classic

Image: Bungalow Classic

If you’re interested in creating something a bit more abstract, we suggest heading to a local craft store and purchasing a canvas or three. Made2Style has an excellent guide for creating beautiful canvas art at a low cost.

Canvas Made2Style

Image: Made2Style

If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, your canvas work can take on multiple layers and hues. We love this canvas art, created merely with painters tape and a palette of paints. It’s vibrant, striking and the pattern adds an artistic edge to any wall.


Canvas - Home of Bambou

Image: Home of Bambou

Once again, a bit of painters tape and a spectrum of color can go a long way.

Tape Painting Canvas

Image: Maria Teorien 

Want to create your own artwork, but don’t want to paint it yourself? We love these canvases from Style Lush Blog. She took scrapbook paper and, using spray adhesive, transferred the sheet’s design onto a blank canvas. The result is ordered, gorgeous and pain-free!

scrapbook paper style lush

Image: Style Lush Blog

 No matter how you choose to put it together, the beauty of DIY canvas art is that you can make it entirely yours.

And that is a beautiful thing.