Water Park Cafe is a little kiosk (closed in the winter) located in the Water Park in Crystal City (1750 Crystal Dr, Arlington), which is a plaza with fountains. At first glance, you might think that this is just a regular food stand, but you would be very wrong. In fact, the friendly owner is Egyptian, so alongside hotdogs you can order falafel, fuul medammes, hummus, shawarma, labneh, dolma, and other Middle Eastern classics. The house specialty, however, is koshary, a uniquely Egyptian pasta-like dish that is a mix of rice, macaroni and lentils topped with a tomato-vinegar sauce, chickpeas, and crispy fried onions. It is a simple dish, albeit very tasty and satisfying. On a nice day, you can sit in the park at one of the tables overlooking the fountains, making for a tranquil and unique al-fresco dining experience (if you can overlook the styrofoam containers).
This could even make for an out of the box date option (especially if it’s a first date and you’re not looking to shell out much). For dessert, I ordered basbousa, a sweet semolina cake, which was also tasty, though pretty simple. They also serve Egyptian coffee (basically Turkish coffee) and I plan to go back to sit by the fountains for a bit with a coffee and a basbousa or baklava.