I had been meaning to pay a visit to this place after some time and was able to do so after getting bumped from a flight that I had been waiting around for at the airport all day. Needless to say, myself and my wife were ready to relax and have a few glasses of wine and some food. I'm your typical NoVa guy transplanted from Atlanta. I've had every dining experience under the sun between the 2 locations and all my other travels. In college, I also worked in a few restaurants and know the hard work that it is. Bottom line at Parallel based on one Friday night visit: you will overpay for middling food and mostly overpriced wine ( though, to be sure, some may not be, but most of what I saw in the self serve, I can get at Harris Teeter), and lousy service. We ordered shrimp and grits and it was as if they dropped the entire box of Zatarains in it and covered it with mystery glop. It was laughingly hilarious. Our server really was bad. We had to flag him down EVERY time and he never bothered to really do anything. Typical experience we have all had somewhere along the line but frustrating. I even only tipped 15% (versus the standard 20%), which I never do because I know how hard that job is. The clientele is typical for Ashburn...some normal people, some people sniffing their glasses, some 55+. I don't know. I just walked away feeling like it was sterile and overpriced because it's in Ashburn( right around the corner from my house) and has the word 'bistro' in it. We are too easy to please here in Ashburn and places like this do us a disservice, I think, because the sheeple (of which I am unfortunately a part of) will just frequent them and not really think about the fact that it really isn't that good or unique or filled with any atmosphere. I can't believe I have devoted all this time to this review but my visit left me frustrated; however, I remedied this by a visit next door to the Safeway and picked up a nice bottle of Cabernet and drank it in the comfort of my own home eating Triscuits and cheese in front of the TV and fireplace....a much better experience.
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