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“My first excursion into Alexandria” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Carlyle

Carlyle
Ranked #1 of 870 Restaurants in Arlington
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions, Business meetings, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Brunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: This Martin Luther King Jr. Day we will be opening at 11:00 AM and serving brunch until 3:00 PM High energy, American bistro with seasonal outside dining and year round classic fare. A perennial brunch favorite.
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“My first excursion into Alexandria”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2014

Carlyle is in the cool Shirlington area, where a lot of good restaurants are located. Parking is way easier once after 6:30. Make sure to call to make reservations, you can be waiting a while if you don't. I sat outside which was very nice. Started out with Arancini which was suggest by my excellent waitress, she mentioned they were going to stop serving them so I had to try them, glad I did, they were "Muy excellente!" I did not see any pasta on the menu so I asked my waitress if they had any, and there was just not on the menu, "the ole secret menu", what I had was very good, sorry can't remember the name. It had red and yellow peppers, excellent spicy sauce, and chicken. I like to end my dinners with a cappuccino, which was well done also. The wait staff was excellent, very attentive.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank robert m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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893 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Estacada, Oregon
Level Contributor
113 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Family dinner”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2014

First off this restaurant is located in a very cute area with an assortment of dining to choose from. If Carlyle's is too busy there are plenty of other restaurants to choose from. We arrived early enough - 6ish and did not need reservations. Menu is American and was told the salmon is very good. I was not in a fish mood and instead had their bacon cheeseburger. While waiting we had a nice bread basket. Our dinner was very good. The burger was cooked to order (with the waiter giving a good explanation, that was spot on, as to how our well our burger would be cooked). French fries are the skinny fries, but plenty and delicious. Dinner was enough to fill us up that we did not have room for dessert. This restaurant is good for couples and families. Note there is street parking, but parking in the garage about a block away is more convenient.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Oregonmsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2014

Great food and good service. If you like fish this is a good place to go. They have other things as well but they had quite a few fish items and the two things we had we great.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Tblasz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenner, Louisiana
Level Contributor
389 reviews
268 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Usually better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2014

Carlyle Grand Cafe is a restaurant owned and operated by the Great American Restaurant Group, which operates many restaurants in the greater Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia/Maryland area. While they are not the most efficient, they are decent so we have frequented many of their restaurants - including Mike's American Grill, Sweetwater Tavern, Silverado, Ozzie's Good Eats, and their bakery Best Buns. Their restaurants are known to be big, able to handle big groups, have good food, great bread, and good customer service.

Carlyle Grand Cafe is located in the Shirlington Area which is a collection of shops, restaurants, library, grocery stores, and other items that make it a nice walkable evening. So we went to the restaurant to enjoy the area and have a nice meal. There is usually a wait and the restaurant does not take reservations (you can call ahead and place yourself on the waiting list but that is about it - only for certain parties and certain period ahead). This Saturday night, the wait was very short so we were shown to our table upstairs. The waiter introduced himself and got our drink order and in the meanwhile we had time to peruse the menu. They are many menu items which appear across all the restaurants and many of the menu items at Carlyle Grand are similar at Mike's and Sweetwater. After we had gotten our drinks and placed our dinner order, I asked for the complimentary bread. Usually the waiters bring them out to you but if not they usually bring it upon request.

The restaurant group opened up a bakery - Best Buns - as their baked goods were so popular. Usually in the restaurant you got a basket of a variety of breads including fresh buns, raisin bread, white bread, and wheat bread. They are very good and very delicious so that is also one of the reason to come to the restaurant.

We asked for the bread and we were told 'we have run out but let me see if there are any back there'. When the waiter comes back for a drink refill, I again ask about the bread and the reply is 'oh, we do not have any left; we have run out'. To put this into context, one the restaurant is located literally right next to the bakery and two we have been to many of their restaurants at busier times and never have any of them ever said we have run out.

The dinner comes pretty quickly the food was standard for the restaurant - decent quality - so we enjoyed our meal. As we were paying the bill, I inquired about the bread and got a long story about how there were so many patrons to the restaurant and they just kept asking for bread so they ran out. We paid the bill and started to leave the restaurant and this is when I noticed...that every other table had bread. Tables that had been there longer than us, and tables that had just sat down all had bread on them. We were sitting upstairs and when we went downstairs, again all the tables had bread on them. I went to the hostess and asked 'did you run out of bread?' to which she replied 'um, no. we never run out of bread!'.

I told the hostess what happened and was directed to speak to the Manager, who was very nice, accommodating, and apologetic and provided us with a gift card to use at any of the restaurants. This one bad instance will not stop us from eating at the restaurant as overall they deliver good, decent food in a good semi-casual ambiance and can cater to large groups

Good -- salads, burgers, and roasted chicken
Really good - - bread!
avoid -- dessert isn't that great and the seafood can vary

  • Visited August 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank 0504Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
110 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Carlyle Cafe Has Great Brunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 13, 2014

For Sunday brunch, the Carlyle Grand Cafe is excellent. Located in the quaint Shirlington Village area of Arlington, Virginia just off the I-395 exit 7, we enjoyed a very nice upscale brunch (there's no buffet, just order off the menu). The crab cakes eggs benedict were really good as were the breads and small donuts in the pastry basket they serve each table. Carlyle owns the Best Buns Bakery next door so visit it after your breakfast. I would encourage you to make reservations. It gets busy early.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Tom H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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