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“Small-town Charm”
Review of Del Ray Cafe

Del Ray Cafe
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Ranked #31 of 757 Restaurants in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $40
Cuisines: French, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: From the owners of La Bergerie, a French cafe serving local, natural, and organic products.
McLean, Virginia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Small-town Charm”
Reviewed August 7, 2014

This was my first visit to Del Ray (and the cafe), and it won't be my last. My friend and I came for lunch and were seated on the small screened-in porch of this old frame house, which is utterly charming. If time seemed to pass a little slower, it may have been due to the service, which lagged, but we were relaxed enough that it didn't bother us. My friend started with a delicious cold sweet potato soup, but she wasn't wild about the dry veggie burger. My Angus burger with blue cheese, on the other hand, was excellent. It was cooked through (I had requested medium) but was still perfectly juicy. Sweet potato fries were tasty but limp. We had to tackle the server to get more iced tea, but it was cheerfully provided. All in all, a nice lunch option in Del Ray.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kathy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allison D, Guest Relations Manager at Del Ray Cafe, responded to this review, August 9, 2014
Kathy - thank you, we're very happy your enjoyed your experience (and appreciate the feedback).
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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184 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    94
    64
    17
    4
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Perfect Neighborhood Country French”
Reviewed July 31, 2014

Always a favorite when we want to have good French, but not pay outlandish prices. A great neighborhood restaurant.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ali_1302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allison D, Guest Relations Manager at Del Ray Cafe, responded to this review, August 2, 2014
Thank you!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
578 reviews
230 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 314 helpful votes
“Great local Cafe with French cuisine”
Reviewed July 22, 2014

First, this is just a breakfast review, but I fully intend to go back, especially for dinner when they offer so many French specialties. The breakfast was great and this was a pleasant morning.

The Cafe is installed in an old house with a screen porch on the side, just off Mt. Vernon Avenue on Howell Street. It is a cozy venue with a downstairs and upstairs dining room, as well as the very pleasant screened porch. We rode our bikes here from Crystal City (7 miles) and thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air on a morning with temperatures in the upper 70s. In hot weather, it would probably be better to eat inside. The Farmers Market is 4 blocks north on Mt Vernon so this is a great Saturday breakfast/brunch place.

As for the breakfast, there were a lot of options. You can have 2 eggs anyway you want, with lots of optional ingredients, including salmon, crab, and avocado. The omelet comes with a half croissant and a small fruit salad. French toast, pancakes, Eggs Benedict, chocolate croissants are all on the menu. The croissant definitely taste French. In fact, I understand that their baguettes are shipped from France half baked and then finished here. We paid 1/3 less here than for a similar, but less interesting, breakfast at the Marriott in National Harbor a week ago.

The cafe is known for having French cooking and the dinner menu looks fabulous. We will definitely go back to try the rabbit, veal sweetbreads, or rack of lamb.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank cfuller603
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allison D, Guest Relations Manager at Del Ray Cafe, responded to this review, July 26, 2014
We're so happy you found us! Thank you for the nice review, we appreciate it AND look forward to having you dine with again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
896 reviews
317 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 850 helpful votes
“creative cuisine, favorite with locals”
Reviewed June 12, 2014

I had read the reviews touting this place, so we finally decided to try it out. Three family members went there for a late breakfast. Parking was convenient in the back, the converted house was nicely redecorate, the menu listed so many tempting entrees. Each was a version of an old favorite (like French toast, eggs benedict), but with very creative twists.

Our anticipation was not rewarded, however. None of us were pleased with our meals, all feeling we can do much better either in the Del Ray area or Old Town. This is not a value restaurant; the prices and cuisine cater to a more upscale audience, and there are plenty to fill this place just in the neighborhood.

But...I can't see coming back after the experience we had. I wouldn't recommend making the effort to search this place out unless you come with lower expectations.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Anthony-Susan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“ODM... (Translation: Oh My God)”
Reviewed May 18, 2014 via mobile

Let's start off by saying that you could miss this place if you stay on Mt. Vernon the whole time. Venture off the Main Street!!! We only walked on the Main Street and never noticed the place for a few months. It's a cute home on a side street (Howell). The curb appeal is so cute and welcoming. When you walk into the place you can tell the food is going to be delicious. The open kitchen is to the left and small dining area to the right. The smell and presentation of the plating is appealing to the sense of smell and to the eye.

We were waiting for our food a bit longer than expected. Without mentioning anything to our server, he came over with two croissants. He was apologetic about the delay. Those flaky croissants were heavenly. I honestly did not realize we had waited do long since we were chatting about the view from the window seating.

During our first brunch experience we tried the following dishes:
Maryland's Lump Crabmeat eggs Benedict :ODM (O Dios mío) ((translation: OMG)). The meal was amazing. I going to start with the cup of fruit since usually this item is the least appealing in most cases. It was not this case @ Del Ray Cafe. The fruit was so fresh. I almost want to say it was prepared just for my plate. The spring salad was fresh and crisp. I would not be surprised if someone walked out back to pick the ingredients. Traditional egg Benedict's come on an English muffin, but they placed it on top of a croissant. I have to say it it was perfectly poached. The creaminess of the egg was perfect. They served the right amount of crabmeat on the dish. The crabmeat tasted so fresh as well as all other the other ingredients. I only wish I could prepared something like this at home. I may order this dish every time I come here.

Roasted pork belly stuffed with spicy sausage served with creamy polenta & a roasted tomato sauce: Andrew order this dish. The tomato sauce complimented the meal. It was not over powering by any means. The creamy polenta was so creamy and flavorful from the Parmesan cheese. It gave it the perfect texture and saltiness. Once you combine it with the sausage and pork belly, it is hard to share with a love one. There is no turning back from this dish. I would even venture out to say that a vegetarian would convert back to a meat eater after a taste.

Bloody Mary: comes more like traditional way with a lime wedge and celery stalk.

We will be back to this place. The service and food was impeccable.

Helpful?
Thank TheTexanExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allison D, Guest Relations Manager at Del Ray Cafe, responded to this review, May 21, 2014
Thank you so much!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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