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“A really off day for the Bistro”

American Girl Bistro
Ranked #68 of 96 Restaurants in Tysons Corner
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Took my 8 year old, a friend and her mom to the Bistro. We both have been before. For what ever reason we had a HORRIBLE meal there. Our food took forever, it was cold or burned and it was just a mess. I will say that this has NOT been my experience at other visits in either the NYC or the Tyson's store.
All of that being said, the staff, particularly the dining room manager handled it very well. She took 50% off our bill, brought the girls each a goodie bag (telling them that she wanted to reward them for being so patient and polite). It went from a horrible lunch to a great teachable moment.
I will say that in the past we have had great experiences and will go again.

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1  Thank BaltoGal333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 - 74 of 93 reviews

Reviewed March 28, 2013

After reading all the previous reviews, I did not expect much form the bistro. However, the staff was friendly. The waitress told us we didn't have to order the prefixed two course meal. Therefore, based on what i read, i knew what to order. My husband, daughter and myself ordered two cheeseburgers which came with sweet potato fries and the spinach artichoke appetizer. The food was pretty good. Most importantly, my daughter enjoyed it.

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Thank CCB_Vacationer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

The bistro is VERY loud inside making dining feel stressful instead of fun and relaxing. The tables are VERY close together which made me feel like we were part of the party at the table next to us. I could certainly hear all of their "table talk" conversations. The staff was friendly with my daughter and her doll, which my daughter loved. It seemed that EVERYONE was there for a birthday party except us, which got to be a little distracting and annoying with all of the shouting and group singing of Happy Birthday (cha-cha-cha), though I love a good birthday celebration. Our waitress was nice, but not very attentive. She took our order, brought our drinks, dessert menu, and check. Nobody asked me how my food was or offered to refill my drink. Our food was delivered by a completely different person who asked, "Now who ordered the chicken sandwich?" though I am at a table for two and the other in my party is four-years-old and ordered a kid-sized meal off of a kid menu. The food was ok, at best. I liked the smaller portion sizes. However, my appetizer was partially frozen and my chicken sandwich was cold and on soggy ciabata. The price was competitve for any other restaurant in the mall, but this one made my daughter feel special, so sadly I am sure if given the opportunity we will be back. It would be nice if they could offer experiences other than birthday parties like a "birthday" party for dolls only or celebrations of academic milestones or other achievements in a girl's life.

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Thank Kellermeyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2013 via mobile

When a friend suggested lunch at American Girl in Tysons with my 2.5 year old daughter and I, it sounded like fun. I had heard of friends trekking to AG, even to Chicago and NY, for the experience from our hometown near NC and couldn't understand why. After touring/shopping the two floors of the store and having lunch in the bistro, I now get it.

As per usual, after plans were made, I immediately went to reviews to see what was good to order, what to avoid, tips with the kids, etc. I was sad to see the place and particularly the food and service get ripped apart. I braced for a Chuck E Cheese (another review) kind of day.

I am glad to say that those harsh critiques weren't valid. THE STAFF WAS WONDERFUL!!! Everyone very naturally and kindly made my daughter and her very important new Bitty Baby feel just as important as the adults. Not in a cartoonish way but in a mature, respectful, age appropriate, fun girls' lunch kind of way. I don't know if this is just at the DC/Tysons store or across AG but their hiring and training of staff is right on track.

Everything at AG is clean and pink and the bistro is bright with natural light. (The cheery and clean restrooms even have a place to hold baby. Stalls are a bit tight for adults though.) My daughter loved the attention given to her new baby with a seat at the table and a teeny tiny tea cup of baby's own. A game was provided on the table which we played in creative fashion as it is more geared to school age kids and the napkin rings were quickly turned into bracelets, crowns, a playpen for bitty baby's bear, etc. Some kids at other tables had sturdy paper crowns - perhaps from one of the special packages? I noted that the doll chair, game and maybe also the teeny tiny tea cup were available for purchase just outside the bistro in the store but there was never any attempt at cross sell.

Lunch cost $17 per adult for two courses with drinks and desserts extra. Kids were $7 or 7.50 for one course, a drink and later an ice cream sundae. Kid food came with the adult first course. My friend's appetizer, spinach artichoke dip, was good. My fruit, yogurt and muffin plate wasn't the best tasting but did look cute with the melon cut into fun shapes. Side salads at the table next to us looked fresh. Next time I'll either order the side salad or the artichoke dip. Based on the reviews, I was prepared to order a hamburger for my main course, but instead ordered an Asian Chicken Salad. Since appetizers are mandatory, I had expected the main course to be small however my plate easily contained two lunch portions. My daughter enjoyed her grilled cheese, did not dunk it into her tomato soup and ate some of her fruit - which appeared to be the ends of my shapes. (Come on AG... give the kids the shapes and adults the scraps even though the scraps are automatically cut small for small mouths. Also, real veggies need to be included on each kid plate. The kabob I saw on top of a side salad would have been fun or even just cucumber or carrot circles). The drink menu for adults was surprisingly extensive with more alcoholic beverages offered than non alcoholic. Maybe they could increase the number of mocktails and creative non-alcoholic drinks to appear more balanced. Sure a mimosa is fun during girls' lunch but not so much with my own bitty baby sitting to my left. Yes, my yogurt was not homemade (the bain on another review) and the fruit was not off of the vine but it was decent and made more special by the overall experience.

We were pleased with our meal, service and surroundings in the bistro. There is room for improvement as well as for creativity in the menu (maybe dishes that tied to different dolls, seasonal offerings) but it more than fit the bill for our day. More importantly, the KIND-HEARTED, KID EMPOWERING STAFF is alone worth the trip. We will be trying afternoon tea as well as dessert and who knows what else in the future as I am sure this was the first of many trips to come for us!

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1  Thank VAKSP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

we took our 5 and 8 year old for my 5 year olds birthday. it was very nice and the girls really enjoyed having their AG dolls eating with them. the food was good but the need to have REGULAR fries on their menu! the birthday cake was really good as well! it was a great time there!!

1  Thank mandyed66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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