Chit Chaat Café, web site, 200 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA, 703-378-0867 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Reddit | NoVA Mag | Ylp]
To be clear, this place is in the MobilExxon station right across from Whole Foods! Perhaps it is the most mom and pop place on this whole list, and indeed mom and pop are right there when you visit. Punjabi food, with a small number of menu items, but high quality and idiosyncratic in taste in just the way you might expect from a mom and pop. Maybe the best black lentils around? Very good spinach. I very much like the biryani and lamb curry, the samosa I thought was not great, not fresh enough. It is mostly take-out, though there is one table they will let you stand it, quite a comfortable arrangement in my view but YMMV. Definitely recommended, and they mentioned to me they might put another table in. There is a chair for the current table, but arguably it is too low?