Gadsby's Tavern

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by two cruisers on November 28, 2007

Saturday morning we checked out of our timeshare in Williamsburg, VA and drove to Alexandria, VA, where we were to meet my relatives for lunch. What was amazing was we arrived at the same off ramp intersection, from different directions, at the same time. Beep! Beep! Together, following different sets of directions we wandered the streets of this delightful Old Town and amazingly found two empty metered parking spots in front of Gadsby’s Tavern. We did have to stop people walking along the street to clarify the directions. They were most helpful. A word of caution, the parking meters only go up to two hours (insert six quarters). That was exactly how long we were in the restaurant. There are nearby parking ramps, one on Cameron Street and another between Cameron and King Streets. They cost more than street parking ($6/hour and $8/two hours) but it is easier to find an empty spot. A call ahead to the manager for directions to the handicapped entrance paid off. Not only did he give us good directions, he came out to the street and greeted us and led the way into the historic tavern. Such service is extraordinary.

Gadsby’s is really two buildings, the original tavern (circa 1770) and The City Hotel (Circa 1792). The older building now houses the museum and the newer one serves as the restaurant. I wanted to eat here because this is one of those special places where our founding fathers, G. Washington, T. Jefferson, J. Adams, J. Madison and J. Monroe visited. For nearly a century this tavern was a center of the political and cultural activity.

Our waiter was dressed in colonial garb and if you check out their website you can see he was very cute in his knee breeches. I regret that we missed out on a conversation with him about the history of the tavern. We were so excited to see our family after many years that we accidentally shut him out when he tried to greet us. The elegantly appointed colonial dining rooms were dark by today’s standards. That and the creaky floors gave it lots of atmosphere. We took a long time studying the menu as there were many good choices. At our table we sampled the Surrey County Peanut Soup, Tavern salad, Beef Sauerbraten, sauerkraut and rhotekraut, Meatloaf a la Daube (beef/pork/veal), Apple Gingerbread and Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake. Everything was presented beautifully and tasted great. I would definitely return here and next time make a visit to the museum next door. Lunch for four, with three beverages, three desserts, and tip was $89.52.

Gadsby's Tavern
138 North Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia, 22314
(703) 548-1288

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