Friday, June 24, 2011

Beach Shack Fare in the FC

Clare and Don's Fried Pickles

While the name made much more sense when the restaurant was located in Clarendon (get it?!), Clare and Don's still delivers a ramshackle beach-inspired experience right outside of DC.  Yes, now you do have to drive to get to it, but the sprawling fenced in patio in Falls Church feels much closer the coast! The spacious patio is decorated with garlands of flip flops and the picnic tables are shellacked and brightly painted.  And if you don't already feel the ocean breezes, order a draught Kona Longboard Lager and you will soon forget that Tyson's Corner is only moments up the road.

The food is definitively not gourmet, but fun, with most items either grilled or fried.  The cornmeal crusted appetizer of silver dollar-sized fried dill pickles is ample for sharing--the best of this gratuitously caloric treat I have had in the area.  The buffalo shrimp are every bit as good as I remember from the restaurant's Clarendon days years ago.

Clare and Don's seems as consistent in their delicious takes on snack shack fare as they are on terrible service.  The waiters and waitresses, called Dons and Clares, respectively, seem to be everywhere, but inhabit a different world.  So expect uneven wait times and to ask for most things twice, BUT if you assume a Caribbean island mindset, the slower pace is much easier to handle.  And with prices hovering around $10 for a wide array of beach fare, this is an affordable escape!

Clare and Don's Beach Shack on Urbanspoon

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