FOOD REVIEWS BY ADAM FISCHER '19
"I eat a lot and trust me, I know good food... and really bad food."
On this page, Adam shares his perspective on all types of restaurants and food. He states his pros and cons of each one and gives generally commentary.
Questions? Email Adam: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 26, 2019
What’s good Saint Stephen’s and Saint Agnes School. Once again, I am doing the most exquisite food reviews from my ice cold journalism classroom.
The Chart House; not Good 4/10
Old Town Alexandria, Va
For Easter my family went to the Chart House on the waterfront. I’d heard many good things about it, and as
we were brought to our table we were told that many congressmen and women eat there. I was expecting A1 food as it is a special occasion. If you know me well, you know that I am a very straightforward person. The salad bar was sub par, and my steak was not good, with an emphasis on the not. I normally don’t eat salad to begin with, but if I wanted to go to a large salad bar that most people get then I would go to a Golden Corral. If I’m eating an expensive meal I want the waiter to bring the food to me. Also, there was a very limited selection. I tend to get balsamic vinaigrette on my salad as well, but the taste was way too bitter and the dressing looked like a cat had diarrhea on some leaves. It truly looked organic. My brother and I split calamari as we usually do, and this was my favorite part. The kimchi calamari was fantastic and this sauce it was drizzled with was scrumptious. The steak on the other hand was very, VERY not good. This piece of meat was so overcooked I could’ve done a better job, and I’ve never prepared meat, let alone been allowed to make things in my own kitchen. You know it’s overcooked when the waitress says, “wow, that looks really overdone.” My whole family had finished by the time I had gotten another piece of meat so I had to wolf it down. Not only did I have to go through the awkward process of asking for practically another meal, but even the better cooked piece seemed bland. If there was any consolation to my entrée, at least the mashed potatoes were good. On the plus side, the dessert was really good. We shared a chocolate lava cake that was made in-house, topped with vanilla or strawberry ice cream. Not only was it perfectly rich, but the ice cream mixed with the warm cake was fantastic. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend eating here, regardless of its popularity.
March 25, 2019
What’s good Saint Stephen’s and Saint Agnes School. I'm back with a good one.
Landini Brothers 9/10
Old Town Alexandria, Va
This past weekend I ate at Landini Brothers in Old Town. It seems to be a favorite for fine dining in Alexandria, as it always seems to be very busy. The restaurant sits in a prime location on King Street. It’s been open since 1979 and has been very successful ever since.
I had eaten at this place previously, but since I write my very comprehensive and serious food reviews now, I decided to try something new. I started the meal with a plate of calamari which came with an amazing red sauce that burst in flavor. Generally, I order the filet as my main dish because I’m quite vanilla, but this time I ordered the piccatine al limone, which consisted of veal drizzled in a light, butter, fresh lemon and white wine sauce. The food itself could’ve had better presentation, and at first I was envious of my father’s boring penne marinara with sausage. I took my first bite silently praying I made the right decision, and boy did I. I hadn’t had veal that tasted so well done before, that I was ready to order a second, until my mother barked at me that if I did, and was going to start packing on the pounds again. Needless to say, I did not order a second plate, although I did try my father’s dish called the Penne Alla Romana. I was reassured once again that I made the right decision, because I felt that the noodles seemed a little off as if they need to be boiled for maybe a minute longer. Also, I thought the sauce was a tiny bit too creamy, considering it was a red sauce. If I were to pick any of the pastas off the menu there it would be the agnolotti alla fiorentina. It is a a pasta filled with spinach and cheese, sautéed in cream and parmesan cheese. I did have one major issue with this place, even though it’s pretty ridiculous; I don’t know how to pronounce anything on the menu. And as many of us do when we can’t pronounce things we just point to the menu and make a confused face until the waiter helps us out. The waiter did not help me out though, and we all ended up sitting there for a very long and awkward 5 seconds of silence. This restaurant may be on the pricier side, but if you have the bands to spend, I would highly recommend eating here.
March 11, 2019
What’s good Saint Stephen’s and Saint Agnes School. I’m back for another intense food review and this one was some good eatin’.
Gadsby's Tavern 6.5/10
Old Town Alexandria, Va
This past weekend my family celebrated my brother’s birthday, so we decided to go somewhere we haven’t ever been before. We ended up at Gadsby's Tavern in Old Town. It’s an old establishment that has been around since 1770 and prides itself for being a preferred spot for some of the founders of our country.
This may sound like a weird thing to like about a restaurant but, the door going into the restaurant is amazing. Not only is it massive, but it has good weight. It’s perfect for the overall mood of the place which continues to hold it’s colonial style dinner. The staff are dressed up in a old fashioned clothes as well, which normally drives me nuts, but in this scenario it was superbly fitted with the candle lighting and the rustic furniture. I started dinner with a French Onion soup that had an amazing texture and flavor that was not too overwhelming. I had the filet as my entrée with a side of mashed potatoes. The meat was cooked well, but I had hoped for a tiny more spice, because it felt like it was missing something. My mother had complained about her steak being overdone, but she had also asked for it to be “dead, and buried” and yes she actually says that. I did have a couple of issues with the restaurant, one being the tables, and the other being the price. I wouldn’t consider myself a giant, but I could not get my legs under the table for the life of me. Also, the price of the meal was expensive, like don’t go there unless you’re not the one paying, expensive. Overall, we all had a great time, accompanied with an even better meal.
February 22, 2019
What’s good Saint Stephen’s and Saint Agnes School? I’m back with another food review. I know this one has had much anticipation, so here it is I guess.
Vim & VIctor 8/10
New Restaurant AT THE ST. JAMES IN Springfield, VA
Recently I had my senior night for swimming at the St. James, and afterward my parents noticed there was a restaurant that had just opened up inside their facility called Vim & Victor. For the record, this is not the type of place where you sit under a flickering light and order a slice of pizza that might’ve been made last week. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in and it was actually nice. The furniture, including the lighting was all very modern with and set a tone similar to a place like Founding Farmers. I expected the menu to have sub par food like a cheeseburger on one of those wrinkly buns that makes you lose your appetite. Instead, they serve a festive caribbean barbeque with loads of different choices like seared salmon filet and a blackened grouper sandwich. I had the Jamaican chicken sandwich, which is made with a special jerk barbeque sauce that is known as a delicacy in Jamaica. The presentation of the dish was great making the meal that much better. The one thing that I absolutely loved was how authentic it tasted. It captured both the tang and spice of jerk chicken you would eat in Jamaica. But then, the chicken actually slid out of my sandwich and nearly on to the floor. Luckily I was able to catch it between my legs, but the damage had been done; I had BBQ sauce all over my legs, but at least I got to finish the sandwich.
February 1, 2019
This past weekend, I was supposed to go to a nice restaurant and write my first review on, “how succulent the meat was” or how, “you could taste the endless flavor” in whatever meal I ate. Instead I ended up eating an absurd amount of unhealthy food, and I enjoyed every second of it. Because I ate so much food with a disturbing amount of calories, I decided I could at least choose which foods would make a good cheat day and give them an overall rating.
Pros: The food is consistently good, and the service is spectacular. On top of that, the cleanliness of the whole restaurant is as clean as a doctor’s office without the gross smell.
CONS: It’s possibly because I order a lot of food (I say that to make myself feel better) but my meal came out to be over $20, which was more than I was expecting. Not only did I leave with severe heartburn, but my wallet did as well. Also, where the heck is the nearest Chick-Fil-A?
I feel like I have to start with one of the absolute best fast food restaurants on the planet, Chick-Fil-A. When you first walk in you notice how clean the tables and chairs are at all times. The employees speak to you as if they’ve known you for years, and never once have they judged me for ordering enough food for a family of four. Not only are they nice to the customer, they are just as kind to their co-workers, which sets a nice upbeat tone throughout the restaurant. The food is just as good as the people, too. If you haven’t had the chance to eat their nuggets with their famed Chick-Fil-A sauce, then there must be something wrong with you.
Pros: It’s generally pretty healthy, and good quality food.
CONS: It doesn’t always taste as good as hoped for, nor is the cleanliness of the restaurant great.
To be honest with you, Chipotle is overhyped and we all know it, but none of us are willing admit it. Obviously, it is one of the preferred foods that’s, at the very least, less fattening than some other options. I actually eat at Chipotle quite often, but sometimes I walk out feeling disappointed with the food. It will be really good one time and then when I go back again, the chips will taste unbelievably stale and the chicken tastes like it’s been sitting out all day. Also, don’t forget that there is almost always one ingredient they don’t have because of E. coli. Another thing that is wrong with Chipotle is the lines and the cleanliness. I don’t feel like I should wait in a thirty-minute line just to get a burrito that might be good. When I finally finish ordering, I get to look around for a table that has the least amount of rice and guacamole on it. The service is good enough for a place such as Chipotle, but their idea of “double chicken” is blasphemous. Who in their right mind thinks four extra chunks of meat constitutes as two scoops?
NOODLES & COMPANY 7/10
Pros: Includes lots of different options, including healthier, lower calorie ones like the zucchini noodles.
CONS: Buy some measuring cups and stop putting rogue noodles into my meal!!!
From what I know, many people seem to go to Noodles from our school, and there is a pretty good reason why. It’s close to school, and their mac and cheese is fantastic. The prices are relatively cheap, and as a senior, you can make it back to your next class with much better food than the school lunch. Personally, I’m a diehard noodles fan. I eat there so often that I constantly get free meals. There have been countless times where I order a bowl of their mac, and then end up using my coupon for another bowl. Something most people don’t know is how good the shareables are. The potstickers and cheesy garlic bread might be the most slept on dishes I’ve ever seen. Before I tried them I expected them to be as bad as a “hotdog” from 7-11, but to my astonishment they tasted better than some appetizers that I’ve had a nice restaurant. Well, maybe they’re not that good, but at the very least try them once. As a germaphobe though, there are a couple of things that drive me nuts. First of all, I cannot stand it when I find a noodle that does not match the noodles I am eating. Whenever I see it I start asking myself how it ended up there and that is a question I don’t really want answered. Another thing that is somewhat bothersome is the amount of cheese that is put onto the noodles. If I wanted plain noodles, then I would’ve ordered plain noodles, but sometimes it seems like they put a whole wheel of cheese onto my noodles. To whomever it may concern, please stop doing both of those things for the love of all that is holy.