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McLean Family Restaurant - The Kapetanakis Family's Diner-Style American in Downtown McLean, Serving Breakfast Until 3PM


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Continuing our tour through spectacularly divey, if culinarily mediocre McLean restaurants, the boy and I had breakfast at MFR on Sunday. We ordered basic items and the food was quite good, actually. We each ordered 2 eggs, over easy, and they were perfectly cooked, with nary a botched yolk. The two pancakes we large, plate-sized, striking a good balance between fluff and heft. Accouterments of bacon and sausage were good, with the bacon nicely cooked to personal preference (I like it brittle). The only miss were the homefries that just didn't have anything to it, and weren't prepared with any real thought.

As with Rocco's, the ambiance was spot on and the service was friendly and attentive, particularly concerning drink refills.

[i'm guessing this place also qualifies for the "oldest restaurants" thread, tho I didn't take notice of the date and they don't have a website.]

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Continuing our tour through spectacularly divey, if culinarily mediocre McLean restaurants, the boy and I had breakfast at MFR on Sunday. We ordered basic items and the food was quite good, actually. We each ordered 2 eggs, over easy, and they were perfectly cooked, with nary a botched yolk. The two pancakes we large, plate-sized, striking a good balance between fluff and heft. Accouterments of bacon and sausage were good, with the bacon nicely cooked to personal preference (I like it brittle). The only miss were the homefries that just didn't have anything to it, and weren't prepared with any real thought.

As with Rocco's, the ambiance was spot on and the service was friendly and attentive, particularly concerning drink refills.

[i'm guessing this place also qualifies for the "oldest restaurants" thread, tho I didn't take notice of the date and they don't have a website.]

A seldom used Facebook page that appears to be owned by the McLean Family Restaurant pegs the opening date in 1969.  I agree this is a solid place for breakfast.  I have never been for lunch or dinner.

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Solid place for breakfast is an understatement....there is an underground of not-too-intuitive breakfast spots frequented by the IT community in our area. Setting aside the higher The Tower Club, the Ritz Carltons at Tysons and Pentagon, mostly used to be seen rather than to conduct business. Business is conducted, deals are made, teaming agreements reached and the IT world hums at the many Silver Diners from Herndon to Tysons to Fair Oaks....and places like the McLean Restaurant. It would be safe to say that billions of dollars of business has been transacted over its omelets.

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I have to admit, looking over a 'bootlegged' copy of the McLean menu on Menupages, I like the look of it better than the other 'Family Restaurants' in the area, and the simplicity of it is a hell of a lot better than Amphora's at the moment.  I do *not* envy the Amphora cooks.  I also hate occasionally getting roped into going to the Pan Am Family Restaurant with my parents because it's ~convenient~ for those "how are you doing" dinners.  The place is always filled with disturbingly old people - I call it the Retirement Home Restaurant.

If I hadn't found Ford's Fish Shack out in South Riding for my fried scallop fix, those might've gotten my attention, but I'm very leery about ordering the most expensive items at a mid-tier diner (or 'complex' seafood like scallops outside of a proper seafood restaurant) - you just never know how long they've had them in their freezer waiting for some gullible schmuck to come along and lay Food Poisoning Roulette.

In fact, just to illustrate the catastrophe that is Amphora's menu right now: http://amphoragroup.com/Restaurant/Menu/tabid/830/Default.aspx

Their breakfast menu is ten PDF pages alone.  TEN.  "Grand Plates" and "Sandwiches?"  Six pages each.  It'd *help* if most of the stuff was worthy of being on the menu, but something like 80% of it is slightly-modified 'fluff' just there to make you overwhelmed when they drop that Dr. Seuss-sized activity book of food choices on your table.

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May I add Thursday's lentil soup special is delicious & Greek salad with grilled chicken a perennial favorite of mine.  If you want to people watch in downtown M-town, the choices are anemic save for here.  Various muckety mucks of national repute drift in for breakfast and lunch - Powell, Begala, Newt, Keating and gents from that guarded complex up the road on 123.

This is diner food but one is seated & served quickly, service is friendly & attentive, prices reasonable and there are a number of daily specials with a Greek accent worth considering (aside from the usual gyro meat concoctions).

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My first post on DonRockwell.com, and I'm commenting on a thread from five years ago. But here goes. MFR is an institution. We took our son there 27 years ago when he was less than 36 hours old on the way home from the hospital. The servers--several of whom still work there--almost didn't let us sit down, worried that such a little baby shouldn't be there. He still eats at MFR every time he is at home. MFR is not "fine dining" but the food is good and the service exceptional. It is the closest restaurant to CIA headquarters. Once I had breakfast there with a former senior Agency person. He noted that he recognized many of the older diners from his early days at work. Apparently lots of them retire nearby. On other occasions, former Speakers of the House, and the current and past CEOs of General Dynamics have been at adjoining tables. Best, though, is the holidays when the restaurant is crowded with local college students revisiting where their moms took them after soccer games. There are not many truly local places like this left in northern Virginia.

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22 minutes ago, rms said:

My first post on DonRockwell.com, and I'm commenting on a thread from five years ago. But here goes. MFR is an institution. We took our son there 27 years ago when he was less than 36 hours old on the way home from the hospital. The servers--several of whom still work there--almost didn't let us sit down, worried that such a little baby shouldn't be there. He still eats at MFR every time he is at home. MFR is not "fine dining" but the food is good and the service exceptional. It is the closest restaurant to CIA headquarters. Once I had breakfast there with a former senior Agency person. He noted that he recognized many of the older diners from his early days at work. Apparently lots of them retire nearby. On other occasions, former Speakers of the House, and the current and past CEOs of General Dynamics have been at adjoining tables. Best, though, is the holidays when the restaurant is crowded with local college students revisiting where their moms took them after soccer games. There are not many truly local places like this left in northern Virginia.

Welcome, rms. Did you know that this restaurant is owned and run by the uncle of Pete Sampras? Sam Sampras, Pete's father, was one of the three original founders!

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I have not noticed the photo of Sampras of late but it might be "reconfigured" elsewhere on the walls. I am a regular patron - have been for many years - and totally agree with RMS' lovely assessment.  There is a misconception that MFR is "cheap" in its pricing - not so.  But the service, friendliness and offerings more than compensate for the higher than expected cost.

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