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“Didn't Live up to the Hype !”
Review of Columbia Firehouse

Columbia Firehouse
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Ranked #49 of 759 Restaurants in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $60
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Old Town
Cross street: King St.
Alexandria, VA
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Didn't Live up to the Hype !”
Reviewed June 11, 2011

We had been to the location when it was called Portners previously. The interior isn't all that different than before, but from reading the reviews we were expecting a fantastic meal. At best it was just mediocre. With old town being such a big draw for people, it still amazes us how many bad restaurants continue to stay afloat. We can only guess it's one time tourists that keep these establishments open, because it's certainly not food for locals who have better options in Del Ray & DC. If you're a foodie, we'd recommend you go there for drinks but go for good tasting food to nearby Del Ray & DC.

  • Visited June 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LoreleiOfAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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379 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    132
    148
    77
    17
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Charlotte, NC
Level 6 Contributor
206 reviews
102 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Great Restaurant went back again”
Reviewed May 11, 2011

Saw a review of Columbia Firehouse on the Food Channel and were not disappointed. Enjoyed it so much we went back again the next night. Manager comped us a free apetizer. Serve locally grown organic food. Wonderful meals both nights. Really enjoyed their low country boullabaise the second night. Not overly priced and great value. Service excellent and manager stopped several times to see how were doing. Highly recommend if you are in Alexandria. Had bottles of wine both nights.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank rfenton231
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Great brunch, great atmosphere”
Reviewed May 2, 2011

My husband and I live up the street and are always looking for new brunch places in Old Town. We've been here twice now for Sunday brunch - once we were able to sit outside on their lovely patio and once we sat inside in a gorgeous wood paneled room. The three-egg omelet with goat cheese is very good, as is the Belgian waffle with a side of fruit and yogurt. For lunch food, the mussels are a generous portion and come with enough crusty bread to mop up the yummy broth and also a little portion of their very yummy fries.

The atmosphere is great and the service has been spot on. Looking forward to trying it for dinner sometime soon! A great Old Town find!

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tuffy0317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
253 reviews
148 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 437 helpful votes
“More than a flame but less than a roaring fire”
Reviewed April 19, 2011

Visited for Friday night dinner. The bar was crowded and lively but there were plenty of tables available. We went early and were seated immediately. Seated upstairs in a spacious, lovely room - but it was very chilly and everyone sat with their coats on. They did turn up the thermostat but this is something they should have done BEFORE dinner guests started to arrive so that it would be cozy - not cold. Menu is not very extensive, look on their website. The service was great and waiter was informative and friendly. They are amenable about substitutions, if you want them. The drinks were good, but not outstanding. Reuben "eggroll" was a unique and tasty appetiser. The entrees were good, especially the meat quality - tender, flavorful and perfectly cooked - but have to say the servings were on the small side. We are not fans of the HUGE portions at many restaurants but it seems that Columbia goes a bit too far in the other direction. Both of us were actually members of the "clean plate" club, finishing every morsel - which we never do! So we had room for dessert which was a disappointment. They have a unique idea of a plate of many small homemade desserts - which we opted for and was recommended by our server. Unfortunately, many of them fell flat - the donut was dry and flavorless, the cupcake also on the dry side, the oatmeal cookie was soggy and bland and the homemade "Snickers" bar was tasty but was extremely hard. Overall, it was an average dining experience made better by the nice atmosphere and good service but at a stiffer price. Since the prices are on the high side, not sure if we will opt for the Firehouse again anytime in the near future.

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TwoTravelersToG... A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
129 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Fun atmosphere, small portions”
Reviewed March 30, 2011

We went to this restaurant in a quest for oyster poorboys. As we were just ordering sandwiches, we also ordered an assortment of appetizers. They have a "pick 3 for $15" - we had the pate, and some cheeses. What came was good, but there wasn't much of it. Tiny piece of cheese and a little slice of pate. It came nicely presented on a huge wooden platter, which made the portion look even smaller. The oyster poorboys were also stingy. Three medium size oysters on bread too tough to actually eat as a sandwich. What was there was good, but we certainly didn't have any leftovers!

  • Visited March 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank hobbes63069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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