Victor's Grille II Nightmare.
I'm very disappointed. I had a great burger at Ray's Hell Burger and looked into Ray's the Steaks when someone suggested on this board Victor's as a good steak alternative to the hassle caused by the popularity at Ray's. Being a good chowhound, I jumped at the opportunity to try a good steak off the beaten path.
The website and menu bills Victor's as a Argentinian and Bolivian steakhouse with pretty pictures and nice words. The recommendation of a fellow hound and the marketing set us for up for terrible disappointment.
Our Cebiche de Camarones, shrimp ceviche, came cooked, not by vinegar but with heat. It was warm and obviously cooked over heat:
"chunks of shrimp marinated with vinegar
served with lettuce tomatoes and lemon"
not. not only was it heat cooked, it was not acidic!
Our Chateaubriand came rare when we asked for medium rare. Instead of pink in the middle it was all rare inside:
"A very thick piece of Tender loin, served with fries, vegetables, and
salad on the side."
Small piece but very thick, Tenderloin?? We sent it back and my guest worried that they would overcook it to compensate. Sure enough, it came back shrunk, dry and cooked well. We complained.
Ten minutes later came out another jello jiggly piece of meat, seared on the outside but thoroughly rare inside. We asked the waiter to take the meat of the bill.
I suspect that had we ordered a thinner cut of meat that the grill master could have handled it. But this thickness required pan basting or oven finishing and apparently he didn't know to do either. We ordered the big piece of meat to share, figuring that we could indulge on the appetizers. Again, the shrimp ceviche was heat cooked, and they didn't have any saltenas.
Unless you know your way around the menu, avoid this place like the plaque.
(Now I know why a steakhouse like Ray's is mobbed all the time. I will get my next steak there!)
There is some confusion here:
I have been to Victor's Cafe (grille?) in Falls Church City quite a few times and have recommended it on this board. I have only been to Victor's II (the churrascaria, where you went) in Merrifield once. I also didn't like it.
The places are quite different, though I am not familiar enough with Victor's II. Victor's in Falls Church City is a complete dive with several good steaks on the menu - also costilla de res - ribs which are big enough to be a steak, false conejo, VERY good tongue here, chicken stew. Victor's Two is a fairly nice place that serves big macho meat dishes. When I went there I ordered a piece of beef that was cut WAY too thick for a chewy piece of meat.
Both places seem to be quite close to one another. When I Googled, I could only find Victor's II on the web, so I went there with my guest. I called earlier in the day to find out their hours and the woman called for Victor to answer my query, so the owner is obviously around his second restaurant.
I suspect there are many standard dishes they do well by repetition, and comfortably within a narrow range of competence; some others, like the thick "Chateaubriand," supposedly a tenderloin, which I seriously doubt, is something far outside those standards and range of competence.
I am willing to try VG (I) on a weekend for their specialty dishes, like kidney soup? What would you recommend? I will never try to order a steak again at either place.
Last time I was there, I had a very good dish of tongue. If you don't normally like tongue, this is a very good place to try it.Victor's is located on the north side of 29 west of Broad St right after Foxes music and next to a bicycle shop.
Below is a link to a Jim Leff article when he visited Victor's two years ago. He gives more suggestions.
I thought II was the place by the pollo place - white building. Do I have this wrong and have been recommending the wrong place?
The Argentinean steak at the small one on 29 (by the pollo place) has always been very good for me, though it's not a Ray's or anything. It is Bolivian, though, I believe.