My friends and I went to Chart House for a birthday celebration, and overall I thought it was a very corporate experience – kind of like a high-end Red Lobster.
Even though I live in DC, I don't really go out in Alexandria that often, so we purposely chose something down there. Before I went, I didn't realize how much of a tourist destination this restaurant is. It is a massive restaurant, one of the biggest I've ever been in. For whatever reason, it wasn't busy at all when we were there, so it felt almost cavernous. Luckily, we were able to get a table right by the window, so that was nice to be right by the water. Now, it's not directly on the water because you still have to look at the pedestrians and boats showboats that block the view of the river, but it's at least somewhat of a view.
The food was…fine. As I said above, Chart House is just a high-end Red Lobster, with steak as well. It had a good selection of all types of fish, so that's good. The salad bar was also very expansive, and even had some Californian caviar. I personally had the flounder stuffed with crab meat, and while there was a generous portion of flavorful crab meat inside, the flounder kind of fell flat for me. To be honest, for the price that's charged, I expected better than I've got. The service was inoffensive, but the fact that I don't remember anything about it says all you need to know.
Overall, I don't think I would recommend Chart House over any other restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. The restaurant is just one of a massive national chain, so there's no real "something special" about this restaurant that you can't get in Los Angeles or Cincinnati or wherever.
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