Clare and Don’s Beach Shack, Falls Church, VA

I hadn’t been to Clare and Don’s Beach Shack in a couple years, and I remember the last time I went, I ordered the exact same thing. It was “Grouper Tuesday,” and a Blackened Grouper Sandwich ($7.50) is on special all day long (you can also order it grilled, fried, Buffalo-style, etc.). It comes with crummy frozen french fries, and this time around was much smaller than it was two years ago. I was starving when I finished it.

But I was consoled by the usual friendly service here, as well as a Longboard Island Lager ($5) from Kona Brewing Companay (the same beer I started off with Saturday night at Hook).

I guess more than any other place I’ve been to recently, Clare and Don’s reminds me of Lost Dog Cafe, although both the atmosphere and the food at Clare and Don’s is one (small) notch higher. If it’s possible to like a restaurant while not liking the food, then this is the one for me – I always have a good time here. Now that I think about it, it sort of reminds me of Quarterdeck.

Clare and Don’s is also very conscientious about serving vegetarian entrees, so if you’re a vegetarian looking for something different in Falls Church, don’t forget about this place. They also play live music a few evenings a week (it is, after all, right next to the State theater, so that seems like a natural fit).

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