I’m back with our second post in the Local Eats series! 🙂 Today I am featuring Founding Farmers! We have loved Founding Farmers ever since our friend Min introduced it to us a few years ago. It has been one of our go-to’s for special occasions over the years, but we also love it for a casual meal after shopping in Tysons Corner. Since Manuel’s birthday was this week, and it happened to be Restaurant Week, we decided to stop by again for a good meal!
Disclaimer: Manuel and I are definitely not food critics and we probably don’t even qualify as foodies. We’re just two hungry people who love good food! 😉 My goal is to share fun and straightforward reviews of some of the local restaurants we have tried and loved.
Founding Farmers has an amazing story: they are majority-owned by 47,000 American family farmers, and they make all of their food and drinks from scratch, with ingredients sourced from those same farmers. They are also committed to responsible farming methods, sustainability, and sourcing locally as much as possible. The name “Founding Farmers” comes from the fact that many of our Founding Fathers were actually farmers before they were involved in politics and government! You can learn more about their story and mission statement here.
Founding Farmers has a pretty eclectic mix of interior design! The restaurant is subdivided into several sections with their own unique flair, but overall I would describe the space as rustic, warm, and inviting. Oh, and they even have their own bakery, First Bake Cafe, that makes pastries, coffee, and breakfast foods every morning! Yum!!
(Since it was Restaurant Week, the restaurant was pretty booked up, and we weren’t able to nab a window seat. I apologize in advance for the poor lighting in these next photos!)
For his birthday drink, Manuel chose a unique “Bourbon Colada” which was basically just a Piña Colada made with bourbon instead of rum. It came in the most adorable little tiki cup, haha! Manuel really enjoyed it – doesn’t he look so cute in his tropical monstera shirt? 😉
We don’t normally get appetizers at Founding Farmers, since the main entrees fill us right up, but the Restaurant Week menu let us try one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert for just $35 (normally almost $50!). We decided to be stereotypical millennials and get the avocado toast. SO. GOOD. YOU. GUYS! The avocado was the perfect consistency: creamy enough that it stuck to the toast without slipping around, and chunky enough that it didn’t just feel like eating guac. And it was perfectly seasoned with lime and freshly ground pepper. We might have to get it again even without the Restaurant Week special!
For his entree, Manuel had the Southern Carbonara Bucatini (pictured above). By now you must know we are pasta freaks, lol. If you aren’t familiar with bucatini, it’s basically like a tubular spaghetti (with a hollow interior). It was cooked to al dente perfection, and I appreciated that the sauce wasn’t overly creamy.
Meanwhile, I decided to try the Herb-Crusted Prime Rib (note that this is only available after 5pm). Oh man, it was amazing! The meat was juicy and tender and perfectly complemented by the au jus. Also, call me crazy, but I really appreciated the fact that my fries came in their own cute little basket! That way the fries don’t get all soggy in the juice, and you can enjoy them at your own pace (and if we’re talking about my pace, let’s just say that most people could eat two meals in the time it takes me to eat one!). Founding Farmers makes their fries fresh every day, and you can absolutely taste the freshness!
Some other entrees we’ve tried and loved are the Center-Cut Ribeye, Impossible Burger, and Chicken Bolognese Bucatini.
For dessert, we shared the Chocolate Sinful Devil’s Food, which came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll love this rich, decadent cake. I feel full just looking at it! 😉
Service this time was admittedly a bit more rushed and a bit less friendly than we’re used to at Founding Farmers. However, it was pretty busy due to Restaurant Week, and we’ve always had excellent service for previous meals, so we are happy to give them a pass this time. If you’re here for Restaurant Week, make sure you request the Restaurant Week menu, because we were only given the normal menu in the beginning, and had to specifically request the special menu!
Again, a very necessary category! 😉 The restrooms remind me of office restrooms: lots of stalls and sinks, extremely clean, and minimally decorated.
There is a large garage conveniently right next to Founding Farmers (less than a minute’s walk away). Parking is free after 3pm (with validation), and you can also get up to two hours free (with validation) for breakfast/lunch hours.
We love Founding Farmers, and there’s a reason we’ve been back again and again. The food is amazing, and I really love their mission of supporting farmers and promoting sustainability. The portion sizes are also pretty substantial, and I’ve never disliked anything I’ve eaten here! It’s one of our top recommended restaurants in Northern Virginia, and I absolutely recommend giving them a try if you are in the area!
two happy diners 🙂
Jocelyn Bravo is a Northern VA family photographer who specializes in creating joyful and luminous images for families and couples. She is based in Alexandria, VA and loves working with clients all across Virginia and the DMV.