Enjoying ‘Patriotic Food’ in Fairfax

Enjoying ‘Patriotic Food’ in Fairfax

Review: Dogfish Head Alehouse

As Americans spend the first part of July celebrating America and shooting off fireworks, probably the best way to be a patriot is… to enjoy American food. Of course, plenty of local restaurants claim to serve American fare — and surely they do — but a Chantilly (and Falls Church) destination takes American eats to another level: awesome.

That is Dogfish Head Alehouse, where patrons can stroll in for quick indoor seating, an outdoor table, or a chance to hunker down to scroll through the list of brews and ales, many on tap. And all this can take place while enjoying one of the occasional live-music events, such as Split Spring Soup’s event held in mid-July.

Even if you only want to eat and not delve into the brews menu, there’s plenty here to satisfy. To start off, staff will hand you the local specials, and these might include as starter Buffalo chicken eggrolls (delish!), Porky’s peach barbecue, and the sandwich Virginia chicken and cheese.

On the standard menu, starters include Alehouse chili nachos, a jumbo soft pretzel, and spicy fried calamari tossed with banana peppers and Cajun spices. If you are into peppery eats, this platter to share (unless you are super hungry) sets off the meal with great flare.

Of course, one of the big-deal categories on its menu is “Dogfish Burgers” with four different burger options. Naturally, there’s a bacon-fueled burger, and an Alehouse burger with BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and Applewood-smoked bacon. But for patrons longing for an extra kick, Dave’s Border burger is the answer. It comes topped with pepper jack cheese, ripe avocado, pico de gallo and fried jalapenos. Yum…

The balance of the menu scrolls through soups, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and entrées. The last choice includes crab cakes, half racks of baby back ribs, mahi mahi tacos, and jambalaya. Each of these dishes comes with ale pairing suggestions.

All this leads to their abbreviated dessert menu. But as short as it is, the kitchen wisely includes three American faves: apple crisp with ice cream (suggested ale: Indian Brown Ale), Riley’s bread pudding with chocolate chips and chocolate drizzle; and the Dogfish brownie sundae. This comes with a warm homemade brownie topped with vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.

Dogfish Head Alehouse, 13041 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy., Fairfax. 703-961-1140. Hours: Lunch and dinner daily.