Monday, February 24, 2014

Matsutake at Worldgate Centre (Herndon)

Matsutaki in Herndon is spotless... No surprise. But I (the germaphobe gourmand) especially love SEEING my food prepared... That's the only way I can really know that they aren't spitting in it... Of course, who knows what they did to it before they rolled it out from the back on that food gurney. So, go... And save room for the sliced oranges at the end of the meal. They are very refreshing.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ted's Bulletin (Reston Town Center)

Adult milkshakes: YES! Burgers with fried eggs on top: YES! House made pop tarts: YES! Notice how I shout YES! in response to all of those things? That's because this restaurant is so loud! The only thing wrong with Ted's Bulletin is the noise... But it's a doozy. I really can't handle the volume. My suggestion, eat somewhere else and stop by the bar for a "Dirty Girl Scout" adult milkshake! Yum!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Clyde's at Reston Towncenter

Not bad, not bad. And the food is ALWAYS good, so I say "go, man, go!" And get the Poinsettia Martini. And get the finger food platter for the kids. And get the Thai Hot Pot. And get... And get... You get the idea!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Glory Days (Sterling)

This is what happens when you can't move the furniture to clean. ATTENTION ALL RESTAURANTS: Stop bolting in your booths! It makes your restaurant dirty, sticky, and all kinds of other GROSS. And that's all I have to say about that. Glory Days has standard chain restaurant fare, but I'm not coming back. Maybe I'll try them again when they get their North Point location open.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Mellow Mushroom (Herndon)

I have to admit, I was surprised to see so many crumbs under the table at this NEW chain restaurant. I mean, it only opened a few months ago and they've already given up on the vacuuming! 
Another negative about this place is that the high-alcohol beer servings are small... But neither of these is a reason to forego Mellow Mushroom. The food is great and the environment is pleasant. I like the people that they tend to hire and I LOVE the gluten-free menu for all of my buds with allergies and/or Celiacs! Also, people, this place has one of my favorite features: an open kitchen. Put me at a booth near the kitchen so I can stalk the preparation of my meal, and I'm a happy (chubby) camper! See you there!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jimmy's Old Town Tavern (Herndon)

Not spotless but it ain't dirty either... And if it was, it would still be worth it! We walked in and there was an amazing musician playing LOUD (15 year old prodigy named TheycallmePiano). The food is standard and yummy, and the atmosphere can't be beat. This might be my new favorite joint!!!! LOVE it... And check out TheycallmePiano cuz she might be my new favorite too :-)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Busara (Reston Towncenter)

Busara was a pleasant surprise! I had never been to this restaurant and although the decor seemed to be leftovers from the '80s, the food was great! Get the crispy spring rolls as an appetizer and you won't be disappointed!  I had a very nice dish of pad Thai and the bar mixed me two great drinks. The food comes fast and the booths are comfy... Best of all, the floor was spotless (and I took this photo BEFORE the bus boy came around with his pan and brush). Yay for Busara!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Starbucks (North Point Village Center)

Clean is an achievement at 8:30 on a Friday morning! There was a consistent crowd coming, going, sitting, talking... And the staff was really attentive. We were in the establishment for less than 20 minutes and I saw them wipe down the counters at least 3 times. I christen thee WORTHY... Of making my Venti Mocha Frappuccino Light and my egg white and turkey bacon sandwich. Yum!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

McCormick & Schmick's (Reston)

SPOTLESS! We hit McCormick & Schmick's happy hour and had a wonderful time! I was quick to relax and enjoy the food once I had my photo evidence of the restaurant's cleanliness. My husband and I ate and drank till our bellies were content and the bill at this nice (high-end) restaurant was still under $80. Amazing experience... But come early. It gets crowded around dinner time!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Joe's Crab Shack (Fair Lakes Shopping Center)

It's clean. We had to sit at a picnic table... but better simple and clean than ornate and filthy! The food is primarily fried but there is some variety. The steam pots offer a healthier alternative... But I suspect a lot of butter-dippers are ordering these which isn't a gift for anyone's heart. If you go, the crab nachos are worth trying and I have an affinity for a drink so strong that I can't remember it's name... But I know they will only serve you two of them before they cut you off!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

SweetWater Tavern (Sterling)

Ummm... I don't even know what to say about this. My favorite appetizer in the whole wide world is the Blue Crab Fritters here at SweetWater but this photo could be a deal breaker. The ozzie rolls are great but I can get those at Jackson's (another Great American Restaurant) so I think this is the end for SweetWater and me. Goodbye my lovely crab fritters :-(

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Silver Diner (Reston) Update

I don't know how I got talked back into this place but the picture speaks for itself and needless to say, if you see me at Silver Diner, I'm probably either having a psychotic episode or possessed by a demon...either way, save me!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gordon Biersch at Tyson's... Again.

So, I'm going to try and convince you that I returned to this restaurant in order to do a "follow up" review but I truly just LOVE Gordon Biersch. And when I looked around at my other choices in mall eateries, none of them seemed as appetizing as Gordon Biersch. So I return to GB (as the waiter calls it) and I report this back to you, my loyal fan (AKA mom)... Good food, good service, good beer, and my daughter says good bathroom. As for under the table, well I would advise you not to look. It is not spotless under there and your appetite could suffer. As for me, my love of GB garlic fries outweighs my fear of germs.

Virginia Kitchen (Waffle King's Virginia Kitchen)

Now, if you want a REAL diner experience, Virginia Kitchen (in the Kmart shopping center, Herndon) is it. Just think traditional 70's rather than 50's root beer floats. 
No problems under these tables, the place may seem outdated but they know how to clean, cook, and serve. This place makes fresh squeezed orange juice and in-house biscuits and if you come in often enough, maybe you'll get your picture on the menu! Of course, I'm a regular but the staff has yet to notice... So no photo of the germaphobe gourmand... Yet!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Il Fornaio (Reston Towncenter)

Clean, clean, clean in Il Fornaio even under the dark, dark table but my germy senses were heightened by the temperature in the restaurant. I am notorious for bringing a sweater to a restaurant in the dead of summer but I never complain about AC because I love knowing that the air is circulating. At Il Fornaio I felt like I was sitting in a sauna, breathing in stale, germy air throughout the meal. The food was good enough (difficult to enjoy a meal when you are sweating) and the restaurant has one feature that us germaphobes love... an exposed kitchen! Nobody is spitting on your food or feeding you floor steaks when they are working within the customers line of sight. Don't bother telling me how ridiculous I am for believing that waiters serve "sneezers". I know I'm nuts :-)

The Counter (aka Counter Burger)

So... This might be the healthiest restaurant in Reston (if you don't order the fries) and it is pretty darn clean. There IS a stain on the wall (ew) but the floor has obviously been scrubbed. I love the food and I ordered the chicken in an organic salad with chipotle aioli.  Where I take issue with the restaurant is in seating. NO BOOTHS. But go anyway. And a tip for parents: my daughter pretends to be a goat and eats tons of lettuce, sprouts, and spinach. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mama Lucia's

Mama Lucia's at North Point maintains a dark atmosphere however, my camera's flash reveals all! And all that was under our table was a single dropped sugar packet. The corners were clean, the carpet was vacuumed and I was pleased! The garlic knots are AMAZING and the fried mozzarella is the best I've ever had! The pizza is great (but I've yet to try the new Naked Pizza joint, so I can't say for sure that it is the best pizza in north Reston) and my father-in-law ordered one of the daily specials which he was happy with (although it did take them ten extra minutes to get his meal to the table). So, all in all, Mama Lucia's is a win. Just don't sit in the raised rounded booths... that's MY spot!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ben & Jerry's (Reston Town Center)

Ok, so I had to take a little creative licence with my "don't look under the table" photo for this tiny shop because there are only two tables inside the restaurant and both were occupied when we arrived. I enlisted my daughter, code name: Restaurant Spy 009, to take a picture of a low corner while we ordered from the counter. The photo above is her evidence and I think it speaks for itself.
I recommend that you forego this particular location (remembering that each franchise is independantly operated) and pick up a pint of Ben & Jerry's at the grocery store on your way home. Of course, if you do find yourself inside this particular shop, braving the germs and risking your health, then order a milkshake made with skim milk and the ice cream of your choice. It is really good... and I didn't die!

Jackson's Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge (Reston Town Center)

Things that I love about Jackson's... #1. It is all booths (no stand alone tables) in the dining room. #2. There is enough seating for a flash mob so you hardly ever have to wait for a table. #3. Instead of mints, there are hard candies upon exit. #4. The bathrooms are super mod, clean, and way cool. #5. The kitchen is exposed which means no funny business. #6. The service is great. #7. My under the table photo revealed... extreme cleanliness, yay!
Needless to say, I love and endorse Jackson's Might Fine Food (part of the Great American Restaurants chain) and I expect to be invited when you go! Food Recommendations for Jackson's: I love the crab imperial dip appetizer (which is occasionally available and never appears on the menu) and my standard entree is the salmon filet. It comes with asparagus spears and the best wild rice salad that I have ever eaten... ever... really... I love it, yummy! The Lucky Lounge Lemonade is a dangerously yummy bar drink which can certainly put me in a better mood, and for dessert, the flourless waffle is great and big enough for a couple to enjoy together.
One added note about Jackson's: There is both an outdoor and an indoor bar and both of these areas are loaded with singles (which appear to be in the thirty something and up range). I avoid this area at all costs but if you are a single and shopping for a companion in that age range... have at it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gordon Biersch (Tyson's Corner Mall)

I am quite conflicted about this review because I LOVE GORDON BIERSCH. But if my review is based on cleanliness (as the title of the Blog suggests), then this place gets an ewww for "Ewwww better not touch anything". Under the table, my camera found a small collection of dried up macaroni resting on top of a dusty perimeter that bordered the wall. I have come to realize that restaurants with this type of scum line in the creases probably do not know how to use the attachments that come with most vacuum cleaners. And if they knew how to use the attachments, then there probably would not be a bunch of trash and gunk jammed between the booth and the wall. With tears in my eyes (because remember, I love this place) I again say EWWW.
But if you do decide to pack a travel container of antibacterial wipes and venture into Gordon Biersch, I do have some food recommendations. Everyone raves about the garlic fries here and I also really enjoyed them, however they are not a good decision whilst on a date. The crab and artichoke appetizer is one of the best I have ever had and easily serves four or more people. And my husband, well go figure, he recommends the beer. Gordon Biersch is also a brewery and therefore seasonal selections are available as well as a sampler which you can order and have a little tasting party right at your table... just remember: don't look under the table!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Anita's (Herndon)

I have to admit that I went to Anita's with the intention of finding another filthy restaurant (I am still trying to find competition for Silver Diner in the the "Dirtiest Restaurant" category). But, alas, it was pretty darn clean! Not only that, but there was a Purell dispenser on the wall (something I love to see). There was a certain amount of stickiness to the tables, but we chocked that up to the lack of air conditioning paired with the humidity. Our food was excellent (we went for breakfast) and there was quite a bit of local commraderie amongst the patrons which gave us a sense of Herndon as a small town. All in all, it was a pleasant experience.
Food recommendations for Anita's in Herndon: The refried beans are a great side dish and the chips are incredible. I also have a certain sister-in-law (which I will leave unnamed to protect her anonymity), that I believe has a deep and unwavering addiction to the breakfast burritos that Anita's serves. We are trying to get her the help that she needs but I believe this is a lost cause.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Amphora Diner (Herndon)

So, I suggested The Amphora Diner in Herndon as an alternative to Silver Diner and I stand by that decision. They missed a few crumbs in the creases of the baseboard but some of those marks are chips in the wood (probably from hardcore cleaning). I wouldn't eat off of the floor here, but if I had to, I would probably survive.
As for how the food compares to Silver Diner... it doesn't. The food at Amphora is soooooo much better! I have never had a bad meal at The Amphora Diner (although their soda fountains seem to be on the fritz more often than other restaurants) and I highly recommend the diner for breakfast.
Food recommendations for The Amphora Diner: The salmon omelette is incredible and my breakfast companions love to order the huevos rancheros. My daughter gets the pancakes (surprise, surprise).

Friday, August 5, 2011

Chili's (Reston)

I think this is what you would expect to find under the tables at Chili's. It's not terribly clean but it's not too dirty either. I think that the most telling thing about this photo is the dated tiles, walls, and booth. It reminds me of the food. Dated. If you want 90's style fried entrees with huge side dishes (that come in every color but green), than this is for you!
There are some new, contemporary choices on the menu (but it is still not the place to go when you are dieting) and one of my all time favorite desserts is there. So here is my advice for customers at Chili's...
Order something off the grill, get the broccoli (without the yummy butter seasoning if you are watching your weight), and if you can afford the calories: Molten Chocolate Cake (but only if you have at least two other committed eaters at the table)!

Chuck E Cheese's (Herndon)

This is a place after my own heart! Everywhere you look... CLEAN! Here is the photo from under our table. Notice the clean carpet, the clean baseboards, and the clean walls. It looks to me like they move EVERYTHING when they clean. There isn't a corner in the place that has collected restaurant scum!
Bonus: Purell dispensers on the walls, super clean restrooms, and I have even witnessed an employee crawling through the hamster-like child tunnels and cleaning! ahhh, I love it.
Food recommendations for Chuck E Cheese: The pizza is suspiciously sweet (yum), and the salad bar is simple but fresh if you go early in the day. I would also recommend that you sit next to the "Deal or no Deal" game, but then you would be sitting in my seat, so don't you dare!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Silver Diner (Reston)

You have heard the saying, a picture says a thousand words. Well, I could say a thousand disgusting words to accompany this picture but I will keep my review as brief as possible (because I know you are already in the parking lot debating whether or not to go inside). This dark corner under our table was illuminated only by the flash of my camera but there were many (not so dark) corners that looked super nasty as well. Notice the apparent mold on the wall and the way that dirt has been forced into the corners over repeated attempts to mop. My guess is that the facility's poor design impacts the staff's ability to clean satisfactorily.
Our food was only slightly greasier than it would have been if we had cooked at home, and no one got sick. But I will say that there is nothing on the menu that is worth braving these conditions...if I were you, I would drive an extra mile and go to the Amphora Diner in Herndon.
Food Recommendation for Silver Diner: My daughter likes the kid's pancakes and the Kickin' Crab Chowder is a spicy treat.