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“Great food and beer” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Matchbox

2911 District Avenue, Fairfax, VA
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Ranked #10 of 349 Restaurants in Fairfax
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Havant, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great food and beer”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013 via mobile

Visited here twice last week as staying at the Hyatt House nearby. The first was for a quick meal on arriving in the US, the second was with work colleagues, as the first was so good. The restaurant is in a new building but styled on a brick built warehouse. The menu is limited if you don't want pizza, but you could always double up on appetizers; the crab soup and the meatball roll are two of my favourites. I recommend the cast iron rib eye as a main, the steak is great and and cooked to perfection; a good match with their Legend dark beer. The devils backbone Lager is also very good and there are a number of other beers on draft to choose from. They a have a good selection of main course salads and good selection of wines. The service is good, but can become a little slow in their peak times. Prices are average for this area.

Visited September 2013
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90 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Leesburg, Virginia
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Date and Prosciutto Pizza - BEST EVER”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

We recently went to Matchbox to celebrate a friends' 25th birthday and the food was AMAZING!! The lobster soup was heaped with lobster meat and the prosciutto/date pizza is the thing of foodie dreams....i'm still daydreaming 2 weeks later about that pizza. Our server was amazing (bless his heart dealing with my group of rambunctious Moms) and we were seated immediately (it was on a Thurs). I would go back in a heartbeat! Great food great service GREAT time!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakton, Virginia, United States
1 review
“bad experience”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

The Rye whiskey ordered was not available; the recommended wine for me was available for one glass, but ran out for further glasses. The appetizer came about 20 minutes before our drinks arrived. The pizza we ordered for entry was extremely greasy; we couldn't even save the extra slices to bring home because of this.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manassas, Virginia
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Calling all Foodies!!!!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

What an amazing restaurant! The food was exceptional and the waiters were actually doing what they should always be doing, connecting with customers not bussing tables or setting up. This restaurant worked like a well oiled machine.

As a self taught chef, it is VERY diffucult to find a restaurant that impresses me. This is the one! I personally have been back twice and sent several excutives there for business lunches. All said the same. Great food, great experience will return again!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Vienna, Virginia
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
132 helpful votes 132 helpful votes
“Good food, high prices, long wait”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

We won't be going back. The food was great--don't get me wrong--but we ended up standing outside for nearly an hour--despite using their "call ahead seating" system. It's not called a reservations system because it's not a reservation--instead they tell you when they think a table will be available and if they guess wrong then you end up standing, And standing. And standing. Which pretty much takes the fun out of a dining experience.

The interior is drop-dead gorgeous, the wait staff is incredibly knowledgeable, and the menu is inventive and extensive. We sampled several choices, including the house-specialty 3-6-9 sliders, the cream of crab soup, the scallops entree and one of their house-specialty pizzas. The pizzas and scallops were *very* good, the sliders were OK, and the cream of crab soup was ... well, let's just say that they're not known for their cream of crab soup.

The prices really surprised me. I guess I can't blame Matchbox--they're popular, there's a line out the door, there's clearly a trendy-chic-we-moved-out-to-the-suburbs-for-you vibe going on. So the high prices fit with trendy downtown DC. I guess I'm not the glow-in-the-dark-margaritas demographic.

Service was great for taking our order. And the minute we finished a beer, the waiter was right there to ask if we needed another. But the rest of the time, service just wasn't very good. Our waiter was nowhere to be found (well, except when the beer glass was empty), and although we were doing that neck-craning thing nobody else came to our rescue. Definitely not a team-service concept--they went and tracked our waiter down when we stopped someone to ask.

And I suppose the call-ahead-seating process needs to be counted as part of the overall service. It was incredibly frustrating to be told to be there at one time, and then when you show up you get told it'll be a half-hour after that, and then discover that the half-hour surprise wait has turned into a full hour surprise wait--especially as you see other people getting seated before you.

So what we got was the trendy DC vibe at every turn--great food, high prices, long wait, and not-my-table service. I would *love* to go back for the food. But standing for an hour? When they told us to be there at a particular time? Again, not my demographic.

Hints? I notice that the web site now says they take reservations. But when I click on it, nothing happens. When we went, they were pretty emphatic about the no reservations policy, so the web site matches that policy. But who knows--maybe if you call 'em on the phone they'll take reservations now. If you don't have a reservation, and you see a line of people at the door--turn around. There are a zillion other great places to eat in that Mosaic walking neighborhood.

Hope this helps.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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