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Vola's Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge, Casual Seafood and Bar on 101 N. Union Street, Old Town Alexandria


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I didn't see a thread for Vola's so I thought I would start one.

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Vola's is located in the old Waterfront Market space.  They have both the restaurant and outside seating on the boardwalk at the waterfront currently open.  I went for lunch yesterday.  The inside has that seaside casual seafood joint vibe to it, and I thought it was nice for this location.  The outside seating really hasn't changed at all from Waterfront Market.  I would suspect that it will do really well.  The space is laid out similarly to Waterfront Market with the bar where the service counters were located.  I thought the menu had a nice selection of items and will go back and try other things, especially as my office is next door.  I don't think they are near as good as Drift, but after one meal, it is not a bad option in Old Town.  My server was Donovan, I would go back alone for the service.  He was just genuinely nice and warm, but was very professional at the same time.  I really enjoyed having him as my server.  The food came out in a reasonable time for my lunch break, which is more than can be said for Blackwall Hitch.  I had the grouper sandwich.  It tasted to me like the grouper was done via sous vide then seared off, but I am not sure, and I don't care if it was as it kept the fish very moist, but also appropriately flavored, but the texture of the fish didn't fall apart, like the salmon I must have sous vide for too long the other night.  I really like the sandwich, I thought it had a good bread, sauce, lettuce ratio and nice seasoning.  The fries with old bay were delicious and I ate way more than I needed to- although I am quite partial to Old Bay on about anything.  The coleslaw was also pretty darn good.  It was on the sweet side, but not real sugary like they serve some places down south, I thought it had a nice balance to it and I like the thinness of the sauce. I thought the prices were in line with this part of town for what you got.  I am hoping they have a fish taco special every now and then.  But I definitely will go try more of the menu.   Same photo from the Where did I Dine thread of the sandwich.

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I have now had the conch fritters- I could pass these up, the fried chicken sandwich- very good version of the fried chicken sandwich and I like their slaw, and the mahi sandwich again.  I think this place is pretty darn solid for what it is.  I would like to try some dinner entrees, but I mainly go here for lunch because it's by my office.

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Went for hh this week with my Mom.  We got the lobster deviled eggs and split an order of fish tacos.  The lobster on the deviled eggs was a little tough, and it needed to have a little more sauce to it in some way, maybe it is that the yolk topping needs to be creamier.  The fish tacos are good, fried fish, nice slaw.  They knew my Mom and I were splitting them, and they brought them out on two little trays (like they use for the apps) with a taco and some slaw and fries on each tray.  I thought this was a nice attention to detail. Anyway, my Mom liked the feel of the place.  I assume the patio will open up soon with the nice weather. 

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Wow, apparently I really like Vola's and/or it is right next to my office before it moved up the street.  Met up with some friends who had a babysitter at Hi-Tide lounge right before the deluge started in Old Town.  Man that spot if great people watching during a flash rain storm.  Watching people try to get across the flooded street, the cars roll through, people taking cover, the dogs, it was hilarious.  I had a strawberry daquiri and was pretending it was a nicer day than it was.  I like the music selection they play in here, it reminds me of yacht rock.  We then moved over to the restaurant.  I had fish and chips- it wasn't bad, but it wasn't my favorite version of the dish and they have stronger menu items.  I really wanted shrimp but we have so much shrimp at home because I purchased a big bag at RD.  My bestie's fried chicken looked really good, I should have stolen a piece and hubby had to po-boy which I like.  Anyway, I think you have better fish and chip options, but there is other stuff here worth eating and on either a nice day when you can sit on the dock, or a flash flood when you can watch people try to cross King St, great.

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I keep saying 'such-and-such will have been my final Al Fresco meal of 2019' - such-and-such continued today at Vola's Dockside Grill for brunch - we were told we'd be texted after about a 20-minute wait, and that's just-about exactly how long it took - we were seated closest to the dock, and had a lovely view (the dock itself concealed all the plastic and garbage floating in the water):

Volas.jpgScreenshot 2019-10-12 at 16.30.49.png

The Fried Oyster Po' Boy ($15) with "local oysters," lettuce, tomato, and remoulade Russian dressing came with 4-5 seemingly frozen, deep-fried oysters, placed on the top of a large, dense, way-too-heavy roll that was oversauced - The oysters were edible, and rather than waste the calories eating the roll, I ended up picking off the remaining oysters, probably saving 500-700 calories in the process. The "Old Bay Fries" as my side were exactly what you'd expect - I asked if it was possible to get them without Old Bay, and was told, 'Sure, no problem' (hence my 15% tip instead of my standard 20% tip when the bill arrived - there was no attempt to remove the Old Bay).

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The Lobster Roll ($26) was expensive, but if you're going to sink $16, it's worth the extra $10 to get this - served with frozen-tasting chunks of lobster on a decently presented roll, it was at least an average lobster roll, about as good as what you'd find at Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck, which was parked a couple blocks to the south.I didn't try the side order of "Southern Rice," which came in a separate bowl, but was told it was 'okay,' with not a lot going on.

LobsterRoll.jpg

Just as he has been for nearly thirty-years, Jamey Turner was out on the street, playing his Glass Harmonica (Jamey is a serious and talented musician). He doesn't know me personally, but I know him - I threw him a softball in front of a gathering crowd, and asked if he took requests. "Yes," he said. "Do you know the Adagio by Mozart?" (knowing full-well that he did). He played it beautifully, the crowd burst into applause, and I gave him $5 on my way back to the car.

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