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“Slow and over-priced”

Josiah Chowning's Tavern
Ranked #33 of 385 Restaurants in Williamsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $22
Cuisines: American, Bar, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Families with children, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Brunch, Dinner, Highchairs Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Slow and over-priced”
Reviewed January 1, 2012

We were here on New Years Eve touring Williamsburg and decided to stop in for lunch. It was noon when we came and loads of people were waiting, but the hostess told us it would only be 20 minutes so we decided to wait. After 30 minutes, my husband checked and she said it wouldn't be long. Finally, after an hour he checked again and when he gave his first name, she asked if he was so-and-so, that she'd just called to be seated a few minutes before. He had to say, "Noooo, you already called them." When she said, "Not long now," he refused to leave, asking her, "exactly how long is 'not long'" so she finally got the drift and seated us.

So, after an hour of waiting, we're seated and the menu is, well, abysmal. I basically waited an hour to be presented with a menu of over-priced sandwiches. I ordered the peanut soup for $6.50 (which was absolutely terrible, and I LOVE peanut soup from the Wayside Inn) and a salad, which was just a plate of lettuce with a few cherry tomatoes on it for $6.75. My husband and son both got the BBQ sandwiches, which they enjoyed, but which were served with chips that look like they came out of the bottom of a Lay's bag (not a big one in sight) and some nasty coleslaw. My son ate neither the chips nor the slaw. So, we waited an hour and ended up spending $50 for a really cruddy meal. I would NEVER go here again.

The only plus- the on-tap root beer was really tasty. We did enjoy that.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank WincVA1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,343 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lewiston, Michigan
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Back in time!”
Reviewed January 1, 2012

Loved the authenticity of this venue. Felt like we were back in time.Simple menu but excellent taste. Barbecue pork sandwich was tasty and it looked like turkey and ham sandwiches delivered to other tables were other good choices. The staff kept in character and that's always a wonderful experience in Williamsburg.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
Thank Carolyn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Opelika, Alabama
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“very good”
Reviewed January 1, 2012

they were very friendly and the food was great. I am from the south and wondered about the fried chicken.... it was so good. My only suggestion would be smaller portions.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
Thank mvcricket62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duluth, Minnesota
Level Contributor
171 reviews
90 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Christmas dinner”
Reviewed January 1, 2012

We ate at Chowings for our Christmas dinner and to be honest I wasn't expecting much since this is their busiest day of the year, and even with a set menu many places still have average food at best. But this was great food, I had the seasonal greens with Baron's Roasted Rib of Beef, which was cooked to perfection. My husband ordered the Brunswick Stew, something new for both of us and a treat to try, very delicious, and the Salmon with Crab cake. The salmon was slightly over cooked which is common when cooking for a huge turnover like Christmas night, but the crab cake was light and flaky and cooked just right. For dessert we had the peanut pie and the Sweet Potato pie, we had never had peanut pie before and I didn't care for it much, its not as sweet as Pecan pie, the sweet potato pie was very good but the nutmeg cream made it a little bit to much for spice flavors.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GitchSup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Great Dinner!!!”
Reviewed December 29, 2011

Dinner at Chowning's Tavern was a blast!!!! While the menu was limited in its selection, the food was lovely. Definitely go for the homemade root beer on tap (literally, the best I have tasted)! I felt I was in a colonial tavern (save the printed menus and the check, of course!). One thing to try is "Gambols;" it is a there are musicians, magicians and other colonial figures going about the dining room entertaining the guests. In between, the waiters teach everyone at the table to play dice games (my personal favorite: "Ship, Captain, Crew." Simple, yet very competitive!!). Overall, a very fun dining experience the whole family can enjoy! (Note: According to the website, Gambols starts at 9 every night, but the restaurant is packed each night at that point! Make your reservation early so you do not have to wait in the cold for your named to be called at 10:30...trust me, I know!!!!)

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

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