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Dining in Tysons Corner Malls


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The headline restaurant is Pauli Moto's Asian Bistro ( http://paulimotos.net/ ) with a second outpost of the enormously popular Coastal Flats, the first DC area location of the Columbus, OH based Brio Tuscan Grille ( http://www.brioitalian.com/ ) , Gordon Biersch Brewery and disappointingly (for me) another TGIFriday's.

A year or so ago Lettuce Entertain You was going to open their upscale Shaw's Crab House and Wildfire joining Coastal Flats and Pauli Moto's. Both of these would have been good additions to Tyson's yet for whatever reason are not part of the expansion. While I look forward to Morimoto's new "concept" restaurant and Coastal Flats, neither Brio nor TGIFriday's is particularly exciting for me.

Sooner or later Houston's Pappas Bros. will discover Tyson's Corner and bring Pappasito's or Pappadeux there, both concepts that are missing in the Tyson's area.

Does anyone from Lerner read this board?

Edited by Joe H
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The headline restaurant is Pauli Moto's Asian Bistro ( http://paulimotos.net/ ) with a second outpost of the enormously popular Coastal Flats, the first DC area location of the Columbus, OH based Brio Tuscan Grille ( http://www.brioitalian.com/ ) , Gordon Biersch Brewery and disappointingly (for me) another TGIFriday's.

A year or so ago Lettuce Entertain You was going to open their upscale Shaw's Crab House and Wildfire joining Coastal Flats and Pauli Moto's. Both of these would have been good additions to Tyson's yet for whatever reason are not part of the expansion. While I look forward to Morimoto's new "concept" restaurant and Coastal Flats, neither Brio nor TGIFriday's is particularly exciting for me.

Sooner or later Houston's Pappas Bros. will discover Tyson's Corner and bring Pappasito's or Pappadeux there, both concepts that are missing in the Tyson's area.

Does anyone from Lerner read this board?

Based on experiences at the one across from the spy museum, I'd avoid Gordon Biersch, too.

Poor beer

Poorer service

Poorerer food

Edit to add -- It's a shame, because I love the space.

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Based on experiences at the one across from the spy museum, I'd avoid Gordon Biersch, too.

Poor beer

Poorer service

Poorerer food

Edit to add -- It's a shame, because I love the space.

I had the same experience at their location in San Diego (a business outing took me there, so it was not my choice to go).

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Based on experiences at the one across from the spy museum, I'd avoid Gordon Biersch, too.

Poor beer

Poorer service

Poorerer food

Edit to add -- It's a shame, because I love the space.

Yeah GB sucks ventworm malt...I'm sure the Morimoto joint will do stellar business, but not sure I can get that excited about it :P

oh well, just more reasons to avoid the whole Tyson Corner area. :lol:

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I just returned from Tysons. It is a HUGE disappointment in absolutely every way.

1. The overall feeling is vanilla. This could just as easily be an expansion of Wheaton Plaza or Golden Ring Mall as it is Tysons. There is no sense of drama, no sense of spectacle, no sense of a special place.

2. Where Tysons upper level in the existing mall has sloping glass skylights 25 feet above the mall this has 12-14 foot ceilings of plain drywall on its second floor. The feeling of luxury and upscale comfort gives way in the expansion to a big box setting with no attempt to create a themed environment.

3. Wegmans has a themed environment for its newer stores with the ambience of a European market. On the lower level of the expansion there are four restaurants which all open to a central area. There is no attempt to have a town square in this open area. Pauli Moto's (which was NOT open and looks disappointingly like a variation of P. F. Chang's with a Japanese bent-yes, you will still have to drive to Philadelphia to experience Morimoto-we did NOT get what some of us thought Washington was worthy of), Gordon Biersch, Brio and Coastal Flats (which really suffers without the plantation appearance the freestanding building has at Fairfax Towne Center) are on four sides with the lower level of a Barnes and Noble in the rear. Much more could have been done with this. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was in the site plan and lack of any attempt at ambience. Of course to create an escapist or themed environment costs money and this is exactly what seems to be lacking in the expansion: the budget to design and execute the design in a way that would justify driving past Springfield and Montgomery Mall to go to Tysons.

4. Someone thought it was enough to build a huge box with three floors (theatres and ten outlet food court ((two were not open yet)) on the top floor with only ONE set of escalators on the side for access.

5. There is nothing spectacular, nothing to say "wow" about this. There is no sense of a special place or a feeling that this is a great place to be on a friday night. Or a monday night. What this really says to me is that I appreciate Reston Town Center and Fairfax Towne Center even more for their European town center ambience whose streetscapes are just wonderful places to spend time. I cannot imagine anything wonderful about Tyson's expansion other that the utilitarian function of eating or watching a movie and then quickly leaving.

6. Comparing this to West Edmonton Mall or the Mall of America puts it in even worse perspective. Both of these are designed to involve guests in an extended stay that is more than just shopping. They are downtowns for shopping, entertainment, just hanging out. They also demonstrate lynchpins of successful design: creating an ambience that suggests to a guest that he or she should stay a bit longer than they may have planned. With every minute that someone spends in a mall or a themepark there is a direct correlation to what they spend. This is a primary justification for the themed environment.

There is nothing about Tysons expansion that makes me want to spend one minute more than I have to there. I cannot remember a single fountain, nor significant architectural feature that stood out; I cannot remember a single sight line that was striking. While I liked the "presentation" of the TGIFriday's on the third floor and felt that Gordon Biersch was acceptible I really thought Brio, Coastal Flats and Pauli Moto's failed in this: for me they just were not "inviting." They just weren't different enough from each other-they looked like what they are, restaurants in a suburban shopping mall. Just having a large bookstore, food court, theatres and some restaurants are not enough: it is how these are packaged and presented to the public. My criticism is of this packaging or the lack of.

Tysons has had a number of owners over the past years. I suspect the new owner does not have the same commitment to Fairfax county that past ones have had; certainly they didn't invest money or imagination in this. There is so much that could have been done-I would have loved to see what Disney's Imagineers or Busch Entertainment or Universal would have done with this. Or Danny Wegman.

For all those in D. C. who disdainfully look down on homogonized suburbia and all that is wrong about this you may be the only ones who are not disappointed. This will live down to every expectation you had about life outside the beltway. For me the values and priorities and budget that went into this project were more appropriate for, say, Wichita than they were for Fairfax County, Virginia. Perhaps the senior designer on this project and those who approved it have not really looked beyond Wichita for inspiration.

We deserved better.

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They just weren't different enough from each other-they looked like what they are, restaurants in a suburban shopping mall. 

As I am in the process of buying a newer, overpriced house in Loudoun County I am becoming even more committed to being a lifetime suburban, so this is is all disappointing but not a big surprise. Tyson's 1 is a pretty generic big mall in general.

At least the restaurants at Tyson's Galleria (Daily Grille, Legal Seafood, PF Chang's, Lebanese Taverna, Maggiano's and Cheesecake Factory) have some style to them, and when inside you feel like you are actually not in a mall, regardless of the type of food they are turning out at. Unfortunately, they seem to have a hard time coming up with the right mix of stores to sustain the type of business needed to keep the rest of the mall full.

Joe, did you have a chance to eat anywhere while there?

Edited by bilrus
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Actually, no. I'd wanted to go to Morimoto's new restaurant but we decided to postpone it not knowing at the time that it was not open yet. (Bill, they had a sign in front of it advertising for help!) This visit was part of a late walk (I walk about 25-30 miles a week) and it seemed a good excuse to check out the expansion. I probably spent 45 minutes or so wandering around, increasingly losing interest in returning. Walking by Brio several times I looked at what people were eating and nothing really looked that interesting. Their menu which seemed to focus on bistca fiorentina was intriguing but I can't imagine that it's anywhere near as good as some places in Italy. In truth it's really difficult to find good bisteca even in Tuscany since finding chiannina (sp?) is rare. At its best this is awesome steak. Somehow, Brio, with tables in the middle of a shopping mall didn't grab my interest. If someone else goes and raves about it I'll give it a try. Same with Pauli Moto's. Even Coastal Flats didn't seem too appealing in this setting. And I like Coastal Flats. Maybe I expected too much or expected something different.

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A year or so ago Lettuce Entertain You was going to open their upscale Shaw's Crab House and  Wildfire joining Coastal Flats and Pauli Moto's.  Both of these would have been good additions to Tyson's yet for whatever reason are not part of the expansion.  While I look forward to Morimoto's new "concept" restaurant and Coastal Flats, neither Brio nor TGIFriday's is particularly exciting for me....

Does anyone know what happened to those plans? I have to admit I was puzzled when I walked in and saw Gordon Biersch and Brio alongside Coastal and the not-yet-open Pauli Moto's. Did Lerner tell them they'd kick Maggiano's out of the Galleria if they moved into Tysons?

The place was a Zoo From Hell on Friday night. I was there with a group of friends to see Serenity at the new AMC, and we did not even try to get into any of the sit-down joints. I was gratified to see that the Thank God It's Food seemed to be the least crowded place there - including any of the food court stops.

My +1 and I ended up back there on Saturday evening, and at that point all of the food court units had opened except for Grill Kabob, which appears not to have had any of its build-out done yet (perhaps they were a last-minute replacement?).

The Gordon Biersch was not bad for bar food, although the salads were thoroughly uninteresting. While the wait was theoretically 1.5 hours (!), GB has the good sense to make their bar/patio area self-seating, so we were able to eat immediately.

There were some really weird choices the builders made, and I think the structure is going to confuse people for a while. Although I'm sure some of our male denizens might enjoy strolling past the new bondage-themed Victoria's Secret that is quite near the escalators one is forced to trek to. :lol:

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We're talking about a mall, right?

Given the major entertainment component of the expansion (i.e. food court, five restaurants, multiplex, etc.) they could have done something in the spirit of a Universal Citywalk, Downtown Disney or the examples I noted above. For me they built exactly what you noted: an expansion of a mall. Considering Tysons' stature and image both locally and nationally I had expected something that would become the "must see," "must be" place that television stations and the Post among others would have given a great deal of free press and airtime to. National publications, too, for when D. C.'s 16 million + tourists come here. (Remember, Tysons Corner AND Tysons II now have almost four million square feet of space with 9 anchor stores; I believe that this is second only to the Mall of America's 5.5 million ahead of Chicago's Woodfield, Orange County's South Coast Plaza and two adjacent North Dallas malls. All four of these are trumpeted nationally by the cities/counties they are in.) The expansion has received some press but I couldn't help but notice the teenager quoted in the Post's weekend article that noted something like it's a nice mall. The perspective of this article was that Tysons had built something for teens. I just can't help but remember when Georgetown Park opened or Harborplace or even the mall in Union Station or the Old Post Office. Essentially all four of those are malls or variations of yet they have their own personality. The Mills companies are doing some really exciting things in places like Southern CA's Ontario Mills and the upcoming development near the Meadowlands.

I imagine that Lerner must have partied long into Friday night after walking through the expansion. I also imagine that Fairfax County will take a much closer look at the detail of Tysons' future expansion which is extremely ambitious. If this had been a home run that might have been an easier go for them. Now, I believe it will require a huge leap of faith that I am certain local homeowners and the County will not readily take

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I imagine that Lerner must have partied long into Friday night after walking through the expansion.  I also imagine that Fairfax County will take a much closer look at the detail of Tysons' future expansion which is extremely ambitious.  If this had been a home run that might have been an easier go for them.

Who says that, according to the general public, it won't be a smash hit? My bet is that these restaurants will not lack for customers.

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Who says that, according to the general public, it won't be a smash hit?  My bet is that these restaurants will not lack for customers.

I am sure that it will be a success from a customer standpoint. I personally think the last thing this area, especially Tyson's Corner, needs is more mall space.

As far as new coverage goes, they were present on opening day so they did get their free advertising.

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It' not just the success of the new restaurants, etc. it's supporting the entire mall and maintaining their $600+ sales per square foot for retail. If the expansion cannibalizes the existing stores and restaurants (which to an extent it will) then it has not succeeded. To avoid this Tysons will have to expand its base drawing from a larger area or pull a greater number of visits from its existing base.

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On a mission for Five Guys, I thought I'd check out the expansion Saturday afternoon.

Uh-uh. Nope. Five seconds after walking in and seeing the teeming crowds and the porn store...er...new Victoria's Secret location, I walked out with a headache.

My friend and I drove to the Reston Five Guys and had a great evening.

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I do think that Lerner is happy. One of the reasons why this expansion to Tyson's was first proposed was to try and compete with the more upscale Galleria. The tenants in a property play only part of the role of being upscale, the other important factor is the ambiance. If it is as pedestrian as Joe wrote, they have taken a step backwards, not a forward in competing with Galleria.

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Someone told me yesterday that Rainforest Cafe has left Tysons in the last few weeks. Could it be that this new addition has moved rents up to such an extent that the old restaurants can't succeed? And is this a foreshadowing of how the new places will fare in a couple of years. Of course, Rainforest wasn't ANY sort of culinary destination....but they did a hell of a business with the under-10 crowd.

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Just to take this discussion waaaaaayyyyyyy off topic, I thought the Galleria (with the Maggiano's, Sax, Neimans, etc.) and the Tysons Corner (Bloomies, Lord and Taylor, etc) were both owned by the same folks. No?

No, Galleria is owned by GGP, while Tysons Corner Center is owned by Macerich. If they were owned by the same company, they would have connected the two with a tram, or at least a elevated walkway.

Edited by Sthitch
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Just to take this discussion waaaaaayyyyyyy off topic, I thought the Galleria (with the Maggiano's, Sax, Neimans, etc.) and the Tysons Corner (Bloomies, Lord and Taylor, etc) were both owned by the same folks. No?

lil more off topic

I heard they are owned by different companies. I found this out on Saturday when I was talking to the Coca Cola account exec. for Tyson's Corner I. He said that they have a partnership with Tyson's I and not Tyson's II (Galleria). Why was I talking to this guy? hehe. :lol: Written in next lines.

Why I like the expansion:

Anyone see the Coca Cola promotional booth in Tyson's I on Saturday?

Well I participated in the Ticket Tank and I won the grand prize. The Lance Armstrong autrographed Trek bike. THANK YOU EXPANSION! hehe.

Anyways I really hope Morimoto's restaurant opens soon. Anybody know exactly when? Been waiting for that place to open for a long time. Has anybody been to his restaurant in Philly?

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Just to take this discussion waaaaaayyyyyyy off topic, I thought the Galleria (with the Maggiano's, Sax, Neimans, etc.) and the Tysons Corner (Bloomies, Lord and Taylor, etc) were both owned by the same folks. No?

Nope, they're definitely competitors. That's why Tysons got in such a snit when folks in the beginning referred to Tysons Galleria as Tysons II (and some of us still do).

I've always found Tysons Galleria to be superfluous, between its ladies-who-lunch hours, duplication of Tysons Corner stores (although that's improved in recent years), and constant churning of stores/excessive vacancy rate.

I'll be interested to see what Federated decides to do with the Hecht's in Tysons, given its proximity to TG... I would imagine they won't turn them into a Macy's, but since there are also already a Bloomingdale's and a Lord & Taylor in the same mall, that doesn't leave them with much of a choice but to either close the Hecht's or make it a Macy's and close the one at the Galleria instead.

I think both malls might do well to take a look at the dynamic between Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, or what was once two separate malls up in King of Prussia.

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Someone told me yesterday that Rainforest Cafe has left Tysons in the last few weeks. Could it be that this new addition has moved rents up to such an extent that the old restaurants can't succeed? And is this a foreshadowing of how the new places will fare in a couple of years. Of course, Rainforest wasn't ANY sort of culinary destination....but they did a hell of a business with the under-10 crowd.

I just hit the Rainforest Cafe site, and they indeed no longer have Virginia highlighted as a state that contains one of their locations.

Good riddance, I say. I just hope they replace it with a real restaurant and not another paean to crapitude.

Say, there's a thought - is it possible that one of the Lettuce Entertain You restaurants might take over the space?

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Principia,

Comparing the two Tyson’s Corner malls to King of Prussia and the two examples in Atlanta are like apples and oranges. In both cases the two neighboring malls are managed by Simon Properties. Since the Tyson's malls are owned by different companies, to do what you suggest is collusion, and would only cause legal headaches for both owners.

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lil more off topic

Anyways I really hope Morimoto's restaurant opens soon. Anybody know exactly when? Been waiting for that place to open for a long time. Has anybody been to his restaurant in Philly?

I've eaten at Morimoto's in Philly. From a physical design point of view, it's the coolest space I've ever been in, restaurant or otherwise. It's really a well-designed place.

The food there is good... nothing particularly outstanding though. I felt it was a case of doing lots of things ok, but nothing REALLY well. The live lobster sashimi was somewhat cool, though, if you are in to that sort of thing. It was still moving when they brought it to the table.

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To me, this all seems a bit of an overreaction. Tysons I is a plain vanilla mall and in plain vanilla part of the DC area. So, the expansion was bound to be boring for a variety of reasons. One is that your not going to want to alienate the existing Tysons I businesses who would now be in the "inferior" part of the mall. Second is that there needs to be some continuity in the total mall itself.

I'm pretty much a media junkie and there was very little press about this expansion until it pretty much opened last week. That says something about how much of a splash was to be expected.

The new stores and restaurants seem to fit in well with the Tysons surroundings. I'd bet the new restaurants and entertainment venues will bring in incremental money to the existing and new stores. The calls for the downfall of future expansion and the negative effects on Fairfax County seem way premature.

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Who says that, according to the general public, it won't be a smash hit? My bet is that these restaurants will not lack for customers.

If you build it they will come.

Comment from my daughter (17 yrs.): "Daddy they have a Five Guys!" "Mommy they have Sephora!"

She has my wife down cold, and is completely clueless about me. :lol:

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One aspect which has been left out of the culinary comments on the extension is the new AMC cinema.

I found the beverages to be particularly wet. The ice was satisfactorily cold and not too pointy.

The popcorn, Orville Redenbacher's, had the benefit of being free and tasty. Since this was the cinema's first evening of business I believe that the popcorn oil was fresh. Only time, and oil changing schedule, will tell if the popcorn maintains this standard.

Seats very comfy. sound stunning and Serenity gets two thumbs up

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Principia,

Comparing the two Tyson’s Corner malls to King of Prussia and the two examples in Atlanta are like apples and oranges.  In both cases the two neighboring malls are managed by Simon Properties.  Since the Tyson's malls are owned by different companies, to do what you suggest is collusion, and would only cause legal headaches for both owners.

My point was that I believe that they're eventually going to be owned by the same company (probably Macerich), and that we're either going to see them combined (like KoP) or see the owner successfully cultivate distinctive personalities for the two locations.

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My point was that I believe that they're eventually going to be owned by the same company (probably Macerich), and that we're either going to see them combined (like KoP) or see the owner successfully cultivate distinctive personalities for the two locations.

As long as it is not Westfield Group or The Mills Corporation buying them. I just couldn't imagine going to Shoppingtown Tyson's, or Tyson's Mills.

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It' not just the success of the new restaurants, etc. it's supporting the entire mall and maintaining their $600+ sales per square foot for retail.  If the expansion cannibalizes the existing stores and restaurants (which to an extent it will) then it has not succeeded.  To avoid this Tysons will have to expand its base drawing from a larger area or pull a greater number of visits from its existing base.

The calls for the downfall of future expansion and the negative effects on Fairfax County seem way premature.

I agree that the calls for downfall may be premature but I also think that Joe hit the nail on the head. Tysons needs to expand its base by drawing from a larger area and I am not sure there is enough to do so.

Theoretically, I am exactly who they want to schlep out there. I am supposed to have disposable income (although I can't seem to find it :lol: ), am interested in the local food scene and I fit into the age bracket that most are the stores are hoping to draw in.

Is that enough to cause me to cross the river and drive all the way out there? Nope. Especially not with these gas prices. Most of the stores have locations much closer to my home, the food doesn't sound great and the lines alone would keep me away. After reading this thread I asked a couple of my peers and all agreed that it would take a lot for us to decide to spend a Saturday night out there.

The other base they could pull from are the tourist, but how are they going to get there and why? Those interested in food who schlep out there will probably head to Maestro and with good reason. Why would they go out to the burbs, where they come from, to shop in a mall? Yes, people go to Minnesota to see Mall of America but this is no Mall of America.

I actually wanted to have a reason to see good in Northern Va. I wanted Morimoto's restaurant to be worth the gas. Doesn't sound like it has happened.

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Yes, people go to Minnesota to see Mall of America but this is no Mall of America.

Having been to Mall of America when out in Minneapolis for a friend's wedding a few years ago, I have to note that MoA gets a lot of its size from having a miniature Knott's Berry Farm amusement park occupying the middle of the place. In terms of its actual stores, it wasn't all that different from Tysons. I would say that both the aforementioned Atlanta-area shopping venues are better than MoA - not to mention Palisades Center up in West Nyack, NY.

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As the Post articles mentioned last week, the owner's strategy in doing the expansion was: to attract a younger clientele, to create more entertainment options and thus more spending, to bring workers in the area over for dinner so as to not have to battle traffic and to get current cutomers to stay in the mall longer.

It seems to me that all of these goals can be achieved with the existing geographical base by getting business from close in younger people, those who work in the Tysons area and existing Tysons customers who will linger longer for movies and food. I'm sure they'd love brand new customers to come as a destination mall but it does not appear to be part of the business model.

I've got faith in the company that owns Tysons I---they have done quite well with what they've had and I'm confident the business reasons to do the expansion were well thought out.

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1. No one has forced you to leave your square cube from D.C. to come down to

Virginia.

2. There is a reason behind Paulimoto's opening up at the end of the month.

3. If you have such resources and talent, then open one your self, you seem to be up on useing big terminology.

4. This is not the Mall of America or nor does it present itself to be.

5. if your so much a "D.C." fan, why talk so much about Reston and Fairfax.

6. If you feel that you deserve so much better, sit in on a meeting with the McClean city chamber of commerce and express your disappointment because your sad life is ruined because Tyson's did not put the resteraunts that "You feel are to your likeing"...

7. i'm gald to see that your so attentive with the structural detail of the locations...

8. For what its worth, keep your lame comments and stay in Fairfax and Reston...

9. always have to have someone cry'n about something on these boards

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1.  No one has forced you to leave your square cube from D.C. to come down to   

    Virginia.

2.  There is a reason behind Paulimoto's opening up at the end of the month.   

3.  If you have such resources and talent, then open one your self, you seem to be up on useing big terminology.   

4.  This is not the Mall of America or nor does it present itself to be.

5. if your so much a "D.C." fan, why talk so much about Reston and Fairfax.

6.  If you feel that you deserve so much better, sit in on a meeting with the McClean city chamber of commerce and express your disappointment because your sad life is ruined because Tyson's did not put the resteraunts that "You feel are to your likeing"...

7. i'm gald to see that your so attentive with the structural detail of the locations...

8. For what its worth, keep your lame comments and stay in Fairfax and Reston...

9. always have to have someone cry'n about something on these boards...

[hillside,

Would you mind updating your signature file with any professional affiliations you might have?

Thanks!

Rocks.]

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Before deleting this post:

1. No one has forced you to leave your square cube from D.C. to come down to

Virginia.

2. There is a reason behind Paulimoto's opening up at the end of the month.

3. If you have such resources and talent, then open one your self, you seem to be up on useing big terminology.

4. This is not the Mall of America or nor does it present itself to be.

5. if your so much a "D.C." fan, why talk so much about Reston and Fairfax.

6. If you feel that you deserve so much better, sit in on a meeting with the McClean city chamber of commerce and express your disappointment because your sad life is ruined because Tyson's did not put the resteraunts that "You feel are to your likeing"...

7. i'm gald to see that your so attentive with the structural detail of the locations...

8. For what its worth, keep your lame comments and stay in Fairfax and Reston...

9. always have to have someone cry'n about something on these boards

Rocks will either,

A) Go to the gym

:lol: Order a pizza

C) Masturbate vigorously

D) All of the above

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Seeing as how no one's addressing whether the food's any good at all...

Food court: So far, we've tried Five Guys and Taka Grill. Five Guys is a little slow for the food-court style service mode, so there's generally a significant line, but the quality seems equivalent to the other franchised locations. Taka Grill's bulgogi is acceptable-to-good as bulgogi, and remarkably good for food-court food. Will report on the other options once we've tried them.

Sit-down places: Coastal Flats does a lovely lobster roll, and the beef short ribs were falling off the bone with a nice mustardy sauce. Plus they have the Best Buns crack-filled donut-like rolls, which is never a bad thing. Paulimoto's is still not open, but there was a managerial powwow taking place in their mall-courtyard seating area yesterday evening. The menu, which is posted, is a combination of Morimoto's greatest hits (hamachi and jalapeno, miso black cod, various robata dishes) plus some Chinese. Haven't yet tried Gordon Biersch or TGIMcscratchy's (not that I would expect it to be any better or worse than every other TGIMcscratchy's in the known universe. Except possibly the one in London, but that's another story. :lol: )

Other than that - it's a mall. It looks like a mall. It has shops. They have stuff some people want and some don't. If you were expecting some sort of major shift in the consumer paradigm, look somewhere else. If you just wished on occasion that there were better food options at Tyson's I, then you should be pleased, because this expansion improves the selection considerably.

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My wife and I went to Tysons last Saturday and found it to be an unpleasant experience of cosmic proportions. First, it took us a half-hour of patrolling the parking structure to find a spot. It was like Lord of the Flies in there; social niceties did not exist. Every open space was like the last morsel of food in an arena of starving people. You just had to hope you were in right place at the right time, and further that no one bullied you out of their way with a giant SUV.

Once inside, we fought our way through slow-moving, meandering crowds to the new wing. Whoever decided to put the food court and movie theater on a level accessible by only three escalators (and no stairs) was stupendously stupid. When we were there, two escalators were going up -- so getting up to that level wasn't so bad. But only one escalator was going down. There was a line probably 50 yards long just to get on the one frickin' escalator.

The food court was absolutely mobbed. We wanted to go Five Guys, but it was surrounded by less of a line and more of a throbbing mass of sweaty humanity. So we left.

Yuck. I might go back at a less popular time, but man, did that experience turn us off.

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More evidence that the Tysons expansion is much more likely to be a roaring financial success versus what some of the naysayers were hinting at at the beginning of this thread.

Unfortunately, financial success comes with the traffic and crowds experienced by Spiral Stairs. Seems like a fairly common story from all around the DC area these days.

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Seeing as how no one's addressing whether the food's any good at all...

Haven't yet tried Gordon Biersch or TGIMcscratchy's (not that I would expect it to be any better or worse than every other TGIMcscratchy's in the known universe. Except possibly the one in London, but that's another story. :lol: )

Other than that - it's a mall. It looks like a mall. It has shops. They have stuff some people want and some don't. If you were expecting some sort of major shift in the consumer paradigm, look somewhere else. If you just wished on occasion that there were better food options at Tyson's I, then you should be pleased, because this expansion improves the selection considerably.

I'm afraid I can't offer any opinions on the The GIF, but I've now hit the Gordon Biersch and the Brio Tuscan Grille - the former twice and the latter once.

The GB was tasty, although the kitchen is still working out some issues: to their credit, they've held off on adding brunch to the repertoire until they consider their lunch and dinner fare to be consistently up to snuff (according to their managerial types). I would suggest avoiding their truly boring caesar salad.

Brio was surprisingly good, although they suffer from the same excuse me miss, I believe I ordered the large over-portioning that plagues so many chain restaurants these days.

I have to wonder if the delay in the opening of the Pauli Moto's has to do with staffing difficulties. They were still taking applications each time I've been by; I imagine they're going to expect rather more of their waitstaff than the aforementioned McScratchy's. :D

As for the Food Court, I've only hit the Famous Famiglia thus far. It's certainly no Two Amys, but it was good, fresh, and not greasy. Plus they have these evil little garlic rolls-cum-gutbombs that can be had in packets of 5 or 10... quite well suited to, ahem, supplementing one's theatrical food purchases should one be so inclined. A bit of comedy on that point: the coupon book which was being distributed during the expansion's opening days had a coupon from CVS advertising its "theatre packs" of candy. :P

The AMC popcorn - which I had free on opening night while there to see Serenity - was indeed fresh, and impressively ungreasy. However, it was way oversalted. I miss the old UA airpopped popcorn. le sigh

I concur that they need to improve the entrances to the 3rd floor area - the placement and configuration of the escalators is just bizarre. Since our first time there, we've avoided the problem by coming in at the Food Court level.

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Unfortunately, financial success comes with the traffic and crowds experienced by Spiral Stairs.  Seems like a fairly common story from all around the DC area these days.

Didn't P.T. Barnum have a an explanation for this back in 1869?

Edited to add: OK, he actually didn't, but someone did.

Edited further to add: Too choppy?

Edited by Stretch
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From people on the Board of the Tower Club, they are dreading the traffic snarl that the Metro construction will create, in an already too-congested Tysons, but they're not entirely certain what that will mean for restaurant traffic. For those who work in the Tysons area, it will probably mean hunkering down at local bars and restaurants until the traffic dies down at rush hour. For those outside of Tysons, it will probably mean avoiding Tysons like the plague for a few years....just passing along the Tower Club concerns....

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