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Post-funeral lunch near Arlington?

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We will be attending my grandfather's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery this week. My father is having trouble finding an appropriate location for a post-funeral lunch for approximately 50 people. The hotel wanted $2000 for deli platters!

Any suggestions of a restaurant (with or without a private room) that might be worth trying for this? We are looking for a relatively casual restuarant due to varied tastes and a number of families with small children. Since none of us live in the area, I'd appreciate any advice or suggestions!

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  1. Check out Rock Bottom Resturant 4238 Wilson Blvd in Arlington. They have banquet facilities for 175 people. Their web site is www.rockbottomarlington.com. Our group of 25 ate there the night before we buried a fellow Viet Nam vet at Arlington. The food and service was excellent.

    Thre widow had to get a permit from the state of Virginia to have beer and wine at the Comfort Inn after the funeral.

    1. Crystal City is close to Arlington Cemetery and there are lots of restaurants located there. Given your request for a casual restaurant, I recommend you look at Ted's Montana Grille. (2200 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 703-416-8337)Adults would have the choice of steak-house type entrees, beef or bison burgers, grilled chicken burgers, soups, and salad. In addition, there is a kid's menu.

      I don't know anything about a private or semi-private dining facilities and the web site is silent on that subject. The restaurant is certainly large enough to accommodate a party of 50.

      1. There is a Chili's in Crystal City.
        I agree that Crystal City would be convenient enough.
        (easier than Rock Bottom in Ballston)

        1. Ted's is only okay but it does sound like a good idea to me given you parameters. You might also try Cafe Italia on 23rd Street in Crystal City. They have enough space for private/semi-private dinning. So does the (more expensive and not as good) Portofino. The Crystal City Sports Pub--which has a varried men, lots of space, and better-than-it-needs-to-be food might also be worth looking into. Most Crystal City places still rely on the lunch trade and may charge a premium for a noontime event.

          You might also try calling a few more hotels for catering quotes. I hosted a sit-down tea for 50 at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton. The bill came to $3,500. . .unless it's the Ritz or the Hyatt, the quote you've gotten seems out of line to me.

          1. Crystal City is not terribly close to the cemetery and is kind of confusing to find your way around if you're not from the area.

            I recommend the Rosslyn/Courthouse area.
            You might check to see if Rhodeside Grill is open during the time you want to go, I haven't been in a while but they have a varied menu and it's casual. It's just down Wilson Boulevard (at Wilson and Rhodes), pretty close to the cemetery.


            If folks like barbecue, you could try Red Hot and Blue which has a big back dining area and is located on Wilson Boulevard between Rosslyn and Courthouse, very close to the cemetery. Very casual and inexpensive, and I think the barbecue is decent (being from SC, I'm pretty picky about that) plus I think they have burgers and other casual fare too.


            2 Replies
            1. re: strawberryfrog

              you COULD take the metro from Arlington Cemetary to Crystal City.
              I assume your father is from the area though and is aware of the proximity to other places.
              As far as i know - you land right on Jeff Davis Hwy going in the right direction coming out of Arlington Cemetary which leads you right down to Crystal City. It really couldnt be easier, unless I am missing something. Rosslyn parking would be street parking... sometimes difficult.

              1. re: leah

                When I went to a funeral at Arlington Cemetery, we came out of a different gate, so we didn't get dumped right onto 110 (which runs into Jefferson Davis Hwy). We came out onto Lynn Street, right into Rosslyn. Also, I was thinking since Crystal City has some one-way streets while others aren't, it might be confusing for a newcomer.
                You definitely could take metro to Crystal City, but it's a 10-15 minute walk at least to the Crystal City restaurants, or there is a bus you can pay $1.25(?) to ride, called the 9S. It runs a loop around Crystal City. If everyone is up for a walk or bus ride, Crystal City could work ok.

            2. You might want to check out the Shirlington area. It is just a little ways down 395. Capitol City Brewing Company might be able to accomodate you. Also in the Crystal City 23rd Street area, try America - not sure if they would have the space, but it's worth a try. Good luck.

              1. A place I like, that is right in Rosslyn (very close to the cemetery) is "The Orleans House". It is a prime-rib house, with a salad bar. It is a big place, so I bet they might have a private room.

                The place is a little "off-beat", but I really like it. It has a definite old school vibe.

                I would be interested in what other CHers think of the place.

                1. I was at Orleans house years ago and just thought it was really awful. The prime rib sandwich I got was terrible, cold and chewy, so I was glad they had a big salad bar. When I was there, the salad bar is the standard "old school" type with lots of creamy dressings, little corn cobs. I honestly wonder how the place stays in business...am I missing something and I should try it again?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: strawberryfrog

                    How does the Tom Sarris Orleans House stay in business? I always thought it survived on tourist buses and broke college students and recent graduates looking to load up on the all you can eat salad bar. At least, that was the only reason I used to go there. I haven't been in many years. I assume its formula has not changed: basic food, cooked and served like you would imagine June Cleaver (Beaver's mom) would do it, at a moderate price. I suppose there is room for such a beast in the landscape.

                    1. re: dcs

                      I certainly can't (and won't) defend this place. It is certainly basic, and old school.

                      But for some reason, I liked it. When I have been there, it was exactly what I was expecting. Maybe my expectations were low, but the restaurant always met them.

                      BTW, it was busy both times I was there.

                      It is certainly a strange place, so I enjoyed learning what other people thought about it.

                  2. Thank you ALL for suggestions. Actually, no one in the family is from Northern Virginia at all, that's why I was at a loss. I passed all the suggestions to my folks who got there early last Thursday to set things up. They ended up doing lunch at the Rhodeside Grill on Wilson Blvd in Arlington. Several of the other places wanted guarantees of numbers and they just didn't know how many people were staying for lunch. At our off times, it worked out fine with a wide range of tastes and 8 children. Salads, soups, burgers, sandwiches, etc. The staff was very helpful and understanding. We had the whole "upper level" for our group -- so there was room to set up the kids with coloring stuff at another table. It was the beginning of Happy Hour as we were leaving -- the whole atmosphere was changing then. But between lunch and Happy Hour, we were essentially there alone and everyone seemed happy with the food.