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Sep 10, 2008 06:20 PM

Scrambledeggs' Culinary Travails in Alexandria, VA & Environs

Well I use this board to find recommendations, so I thought that I would share my experiences from my current trip to the DC Beltway (starting specifically the Alexandria Area and up the line to the Pentagon). To my surprise, the recommendations I've gotten from here haven't quite met my expectations.

Lebanese Taverna (Pentagon Row) -- Horrible service, only time in my life the waitstaff didn't ask me if i wanted a drink or appetizer, or dessert. I had to initiate all such requests. While the food was good, it was not as good as the white tablecloth or prices would have made me think it would be. More like a good immigrant run foodstand. Waitress also brought me their bread without the dipping oil, which again I had to specifically request. No refills. Maitre D pointed me to a bad table squeezed between two loudmouth parties (I was alone), again I had to request a much better spot still within the same area. BAD.

Tavernak Greek (Old Town) -- Garden was nice. But my order of the "special", portions of their main four entrees ($16) was a shock in a bad way. Tasted like a good whole foods like deli, well made but sitting under heat lamps for awhile. They brought it all out within 10 minutes, and there is no way they could have made fresh spanikopita that quickly. I can taste the lack of freshness. Lazy, cheap cookery, hiding behind ethnically authentic owners and white tablecloths. Avoid.

Bumblefish (Old Town) -- Went for 'Tart Frozen Yogurt'. Never had it before. They couldn't speak English well, eventually the manager (who still had a thick accent) came to the rescue to answer my question that they were out of the fruit toppings. Oh well--but you have granola? Yippee. To my surprise, even the untopped Tart Fro-Yo was fantastic, finally something for dessert that isn't childishly sweet. Loved it.

Murphy's Grand Irish Pub (Old Town): Ordered Corn beef and cabbage, knowing by experience that simple places make simple things better. A bit unseasoned and bland; Carrots look like they were frozen and then steamed? Desperate for seasoning, I had to request the old salt & pepper shakers, a sign of lackadaisical kitchen work on their part. Despite this it still wasn't bad considering it was cheap. Ok.

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  1. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy some of the food recommendations (I actually haven't been to any of the places you've mentioned...). I don't know what you originally requested, but if you are ever in Alexandria again, for a truly excellent dining experience you must go to Restaurant Eve. Incredible food, drinks, and service.

    1. Agree about Lebanese Taverna at Pentagon Row, as well as the Woodley Park location. The food is just meh, but at those prices, I expect a little better than meh.

      Do you mean Taverna Cretekou? If so, been there twice and thought it was fine. Nothing like what you'd find in Greektown in Baltimore, but alright. I prefer the Greek place that's in the old Dixie Pig building, Vaso's, even though they tend to run out of everything.

      The only Irish place I eat at in Old Town is Eammon's Dublin Chipper. They do a couple things very well. Most Irish pubs in and around DC tend to do LOTS of things poorly, particularly the oddball stuff like "irish nachos."

      Definitely try Eve if you have the cash.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monkeyrotica

        Have you been to Daniel O'Connell and tried their Guinness braised short ribs? We've been to dinner there once and didn't order it because it was only on their bar menu.

      2. Murphy's is for drinking, not eating!!

        1. I'm not sure where you got these recommendations from, as you've avoided most Alexandria recommendations on this board! Restaraunt Eve, Eamon's, the Majestic, Vermillion, the Dairy Godmother, Cheesetique...these are the places to go in Alexandria. The places you named are the places to go if you were reading an advertising supplement review.

          1. Yes I meant Cretekou -- food was deli quality, like they made giant portions and just keep it under heatlamps. Not up to restaurant standard.

            I'm not done with my tour, the first post was just the beginning.

            Oh yeah, I did go to Lebanese Taverna in Tyson's a few months ago on vacation, and it was FANTASTIC. I think they overexpanded.

            I did in fact get these recommendations from the board--by searching past messages of "where should I dine out in Alexandria Old Town", etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: scrambledeggs

              Thanks for your reports. I hope your next round of restos leaves you a bit happier!! Stick with the newer suggestions here-or perhaps list your itinerary so we can give up to date feedback.
              As far as TC, yes, I totally agree. Authentic Greek family and gorgeous setting. Food is.....well....touristy.