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Any info on Clyde's restaurant's?

Have heard good things where is there best store?

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  1. The Gallery Place location has gotten very bad notices, especially for service. Many Hounds will badmouth the mini-chain altogether, but I've had decent luck at the Alexandria location (Clyde's at Mark Center). A dozen oysters, a side of fries and a draft beer is my standard order, but I've also had a nice liver/bacon/onions entree.

    1. On the last thread about Clyde's, another poster summed them up by saying (and I'm not quoting exactly here) "I feel as if I'd been served a big bowl of ok."

      I thought that was a great quote that really sums them up. They don't totally suck, but there are much better places for the money. Clyde's is a place you go to when someone else is paying and insists on going there. I can't imagine seeking them out.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JonParker

        It's also a very safe place for a business lunch for people with very unknown tastes.

        1. re: JonParker

          That's a great description. I've been to the one at Tyson's a handful of times, though not recently. Nothing was terrible but nothing great. After the first time, I only went back because others wanted to go.

          1. re: flavrmeistr

            The people who own Clydes own a number of restaurants. 1789 is by far the best. I am not a fan old Old Ebbit Grill but some like it; it's noisy, crowded with mediocre food. Clyde's itself in its many locations is boring and tired. The best Clyde's is probably the one in Alexandria on Van Dorn Street. The food isn't any better there but it has the best ambiance.

            1. re: Dakota Guy

              Actually, the Willow Creek Farm is a beautiful property, and the food isn't terrible by no means. Not a "foodies Fav" but still good especially for out in Broadlands.
              The property is the draw it is very nice.
              Decent trout, good Wings. and a decent burger, but great atmosphere I give this place
              a thumbs up, even if the others are kind of bland.

              1. re: Dakota Guy

                In terms of decor, the Clyde's at Tower Oaks is pretty cool. Sort of a Rockefeller hunting lodge thing going on. The best thing is the cheese plate, sort of like the best thing at Old Ebbitt are the oysters. 1789 is an over-priced dump. The Tombs has kind of a nostalgic appeal, though. The worst thing about Clyde's is that once you get past the ersatz-wealthy ambience (which wears thin quickly) the food is even less interesting. Not bad...but..just..zzzzz.

                1. re: Dakota Guy

                  Actually, the Alexandria location is on Beuregard Street, off of Seminary Road. I work near there and go for work lunches from time to time. While the food is OK (I like the above quote about being served a 'big bowl of ok."), the restaurant often times smells moldy (or musty, or stuff, or something) and is smoky (at the bars). Overall, if that one's considered the best, something is wrong, wrong, wrong.

              2. I am about as big a food snob as you are ever likely to find, but I can still enjoy Clydes.

                I live near the Tower Oaks location in Rockville. It is beautiful. Certainly most of the furnishings are replications, but it does emote an Adirondack Lodge feel with the old canoes overhead and the stuffed animals all around. The back room has huge windows that look out into a wooded "preserve" and is quite pleasant. It would be a perfect place to take grandma for a birthday brunch gathering.

                Eating there, however, is almost impossible. The hostess stand is a nightmare. The service is inexperienced and largely absent. And the food is dismal. Meat and fish are always overcooked, salads are swimming in dressing, bread is soggy, ingredients are low quality, drinks are weak, and wine is warm. Sound good?

                So we only go at lunch, and mostly in the fall and winter. We sit at the enormous bar. The bartenders are welcoming and accomodating. We eat lots of oysters and clams on the halfshell, which are fantastic - cold, clean and fresh, the cream of crab soup, which is good, and the chili, which is fine (be sure to ask for both hot, otherwise it will come lukewarm). We drink cold beer and we watch half of a football game. Perfect.

                1. I think Clyde's is pretty good for what it is, with "what it is" being the big caveat. Yes, it is a chain...it is also a very successful local business that has devoted a great deal of energy into defining, executing, and evolving a fairly refreshing concept, in which though most of their restaurants share a lot of similarities, each has its own feel and is its own unique eating experience. The food is mostly "safe" and somewhat unoriginal, but in my opinion they execute pretty well on a lot of fronts. They usually run one or more seasonal offerings that tend to be at least worth a try. The oyster service, for example, at Old Ebbitt and Clyde's Mark Center is superb. The bartenders at the Clyde's bars I've been to are all very good. I had a bison burger at the Reston location a couple of months ago that was very nicely done and well-priced. Location-wise, I like Old Ebbitt (note: gets extremely crowded on summer weekends) and Mark Center, but that makes sense since I go mainly for Oysters and beer. I have also been to the Columbia, Reston, and Tysons locations...Tysons being my least favorite. Some of the locations (Reston and Gallery Place) seem to have some trouble maintaining service standards when the crowds are thick, even though they should be used to them by now.