Downtown Fairfax, just one block over from Main Street on University Blvd., scored a grand slam with the opening of a few weeks ago.
The casual, family-friendly sports bar serves up juicy burgers, unique wraps and sandwiches and has an expansive list of beers. It is clearly the place to be when the NBA Playoffs begin to wrap up, or the Nationals continue their impressive winning streak.
With 28 “Turtles” open in a three-state area, and one at the Verizon Center in downtown D.C., this location was the first venture into Fairfax (the other ones are located in Leesburg, Arlington, Dulles Towne Center, Hampton and Fredericksburg). It is a successful upscale chain, and this location is a visual feast for the big-screen sports fanatic. The Fairfax City locations boasts over 90 flat-screen televisions and private flat-screens at each perimeter table, where you can select what sports program you want to watch and adjust your own volume.
The crowd we saw was a mix of professionals, families and students. With a warm night, the outdoor seating was popular; but we headed inside to watch a baseball game in progress. Dark wood furniture and flooring make this a classy-looking restaurant.
Happy Hour is weekdays from 4 to 8 p.m., and there are 20 beers to choose from. My college-graduate son chimed in on their extensive beer and ale selection.
“It is not a place for a beer geek, but, what they do offer is pretty impressive,” he said. All 16 oz. domestic brands are $2 and rail drinks are $2.50 during Happy Hour.
I chose the Philly Cheesesteak Burger, which is a classic half-pound Angus burger (with lettuce, tomato) piled with tender steak-sandwich meat, caramelized onions and melted provolone. The sweet potato fries were crispy and tender, perfect with a little honey mustard dipping sauce on the side. This burger was so juicy I had to keep a napkin handy, and the flavor was incredible. I made a good choice in paired Fat Tire Amber Ale with the burger.
Kids 12 and under eat free on Tuesdays with a paying adult ordering a full-priced meal. That is a huge savings for families.
Our other favorite was the Raspberry Turkey Flatbread, which contained jerk-seasoned turkey on a warm flatbread with melted cheddar jack cheese, sliced tomato and red onion, with a slather of raspberry sauce. It is the hint of the sweet raspberry sauce that makes this sandwich simply delicious.
The best part of the meal was the dessert. Be sure to order their Warm Cookie Sundae. It is served in a small black skillet and can be easily shared with four persons. This delicious dessert features a thick warm chocolate chip cookie on the bottom that is heated, topped with a mountain of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, chopped pecans and whipped cream on top. It is every bit as outrageous as it sounds. Your table-guests will be competing for the last spoonful of this dessert!
Next time I return, I plan to order my own Warm Cookie Sundae so I do not have to share!