American Food

Columbia Firehouse (Alexandria, VA)

The most important meal of the day isn’t breakfast anymore.  It’s eating what you love to eat at any given time.  Breakfast has become so “remixed” that you can argue one can eat dinner food during breakfast time.  Beef, Fish, Pork, and Chicken are food groups that are thought of during dinner time, but who’s to say you can’t eat it before 11 a.m. at any given time?  Steak and Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Pulled Pork Benedicts, and Chicken and Waffles all have given you reasoning to eat foods generally reserved during dinner time, for breakfast.  I was able to find a restaurant in Alexandria, VA close to Old Town Alexandria where a lot of favorite local spots can be found.  This restaurant offers an extensive brunch list that I figured would be right up my alley in regards to foods I’ve eaten and some items I’ve never had before.

The interior of this restaurant definitely has the “Old Town Alexandria” feel to it.  If you’ve never been through Old Town Alexandria, it replicates older modern civilization dining where a cowboy goes through double doors to sit at the counter and order the best whiskey he can find. There are multiple levels of seating but the atrium is where you’d want to sit at.  It has amazing views, perfect lighting,  and provides a relaxation feeling.  The environment during brunch time is very mellow, which is great for foodies and/or families.  The service at this establishment was great as well, as my waitress provided excellent customer service.  I didn’t have to repeat what items I wanted or if I needed extra of anything.  That sounds like it should be a standard at restaurants, but unfortunately it’s not.

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I was able to order around four dishes which consisted of a Southern Benedict, Sausage Biscuits and Gravy, CFH Omelette, and Banana French Toast.  There’s no point in going to a restaurant and just ordering one item, unless your budget constrains you to do so, which I understand.  If you do have the resources to try more than one dish, you definitely should, it’ll give you a better sense of what flavors the restaurant is aiming for and what particular dish you would order consistently.  The Southern Benedict came with Pulled Pork, Poached Eggs, Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuit, Bernaise Sauce, and Mixed Greens.  This dish offered a lot of flavors but wasn’t my favorite as the biscuit tasted as though it was baked too long.  I understand that the chef may not have wanted the biscuits to be soft because it would be topped with sauces, but there’s no excuse for the biscuit to be as hard as it was.  The pulled pork was flavorful and the poached eggs were cooked to perfection.  I honestly believe I enjoyed the mixed green salad more than the actual Benedict itself.  I didn’t taste any Jalapeno’s or Cheese throughout the biscuit which was an even bigger disappointment because I was looking forward to those flavors.

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The second dish that was ordered was the CFH Omelette.  If you’re wondering what CFH means, it’s simply an acronym for Columbia Fire House (how original).  The omelette consisted of roasted mushrooms, tomatoes, caramelized onions, and Gruyere cheese.  The omlette was also accompanied with cut potatoes but you all know how I feel about potatoes so I opted for Brussels sprouts instead.  Have you ever had Brussels sprouts with eggs?  It’ll send your taste buds on a journey they’ve never been.  Something about the creaminess of eggs to go with the hearty vegetable is a well thought of dish by some evil genius.  The omelette was perfectly cooked but it wasn’t outstanding.  The presentation was great, but you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, right?

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The third dish was the Sausage Biscuits & Gravy.  The chef used Housemade Chorizo Sausage Gravy, Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits, and two sunny side up eggs.  The sausage gravy was the best sausage gravy I’ve had in my life.  The flavors were oustanding and it had a hint of spiciness throughout each bite.  Although the presentation looked as though two biscuits were put on a plate and sausage gravy was thrown all over it, it was still a good dish.  I’m not sure if the over easy eggs should’ve been added to this dish or they should’ve done without it.  The way the dish is priced, it looked as though it could’ve been a “side dish” but the restaurant wanted to be more profitable so they added two eggs and put it on the “brunch plate” side.  I wasn’t impressed with the way this meal was thought out but it the flavors were still amazing.

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Last but not least we have the Banana French Toast.  It was made with a bourbon batter, orange zest, cornflake crust, and toasted walnut syrup.  This bread was the hardest piece of bread I’ve ever had in my life.  The bread was crunch on the outside but soft in the inside.  The presentation of this dish wasn’t the best either as if it looked as though two big pieces of bread were stacked on top of one another accompanied with a quarter piece of banana on the side.  I did not enjoy this dish at all.  It was thoughtless, unflavored, and the overall theme didn’t go together.

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Overall, I was disappointed at the flavors of most of these dishes and wasn’t impressed with the presentation of the dishes besides one.  It seems as though if the presentation was good then the food wasn’t, but if the presentation wasn’t good then the food was acceptable.  I’d like if this restaurant was better at providing consistency with it’s presentation and flavors.  If you decide to go, let me know what you think.

OVERALL RATING : MAY I SPEAK TO THE CAPTAIN

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