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Ben and Mary's Steakhouse, Roadside Steakhouse on Route 17 Just North of Warrenton - Closed


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Ben & Mary's Steakhouse

U.S. Rt. 17, southbound side, 1.5 mi north of RT 211intersection/downtown Warrenton, VA

540-347-4100

Home of the "Fabulous Filet Mignon"

Where to go after a long day of hiking in the mountains and hanging out by the swimming holes and waterfalls on White Oak Canyon? Pack a decent shirt and pair of pants and let the traffick on I-66 subside at Ben and Mary's, about 2/3 of the way from Skyline Drive to Mt. Pleasant

We had always taken 66 to 29 (to 211 to Sperryville...) if we wanted to intersect the Blue Ridge further south than Front Royal the traffic is so screwed that we went the "long way" last time, heading south on U.S. 17, and were rewarded with a savings of many minutes and a glimpse (worth remembering if you're going to the Inn at Little Washington, too) of a homey-looking steakhouse just north of downtown Warrenton.

The sad truth is that too many of these charming little spots turn out reprehensible food but Ben and Mary's is exactly the kind of place you're looking for when you decide to blow off chain dining for a little uncertainty and delight. Pretty good steaks ($13-25 with 2 sides) surprisingly excellent shrimp, delivered fresh every Friday night, wonderful staff and -- despite the paucity of what might be called "decor" -- an indisputable charm.

In addition to the steaks, the menu strikes several southern notes that we look forward to exploring, including honey fried chicken and fried oysters (I'll bet their iced tea is good, too -- the tables are set with iced tea spoons); and a selection of sandwiches for a more casual meal.

This ain't Ray's or Charlie Palmers, and the wines come from a jug. But Ben and Mary's makes a decent martini (although the place is so Southern that I almost felt guilty drinking gin on a Sunday) and by the time it arrived, our waitress had us feeling as though we'd been regulars almost as long she's been working there: 29 years.

All in all, a nice little place to unwind after a long day in the woods.

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Ben & Mary's Steakhouse

U.S. Rt. 17, southbound side, 1.5 mi north of RT 211intersection/downtown Warrenton, VA

540-347-4100

Home of the "Fabulous Filet Mignon"

Where to go after a long day of hiking in the mountains and hanging out by the swimming holes and waterfalls on White Oak Canyon? Pack a decent shirt and pair of pants and let the traffick on I-66 subside at Ben and Mary's, about 2/3 of the way from Skyline to Mt. Pleasant

We had always taken 66 to 29 (to 211 to Sperryville...) if we wanted to intersect the Blue Ridge further south than Front Royal the traffic is so screwed that we went the "long way last time, geading south on 17 and were rewarded with a savings of many minutes and a glimpse (worth remembering if you're going to the Inn at Little Washington, too) of a homey-looking steakhouse just north of downtown Warrneton.

The sad truth is that too many of these charming little spots turn out reprehensible food but Ben and Mary's is exactly the kind of place you're looking for when you decide to blow off chain dining for a little uncertaintly and delight. Pretty good steaks ($13-25 with 2 sides) surprisingly excellent shrimp, delivered fresh every Friday night, wonderful staff and -- despite the paucity of what might be called "decor," an indisputable charm.

In addition to the steaks, the menu strikes several southern notes that we look forward to exploring, including honey fried chicken and fried oysters (I'll bet their iced tea is good, too -- the tables are set with iced tea spoons); and a selection of sandwiches for a more casual meal.

This ain't Ray's or Charlie Palmers, and the wines come from a jug. But Ben and Mary's makes a decent martini (although the place is so Southern that I almost felt guilty drinking gin on a Sunday) and by the time it arrived, our waitress had us feeling as though we'd been regulars almost as long she's been working there: 29 years.

All in all, a nice little place to unwind after a long day in the woods.

I am so pissed at you! ;) You were a stones throw from my holler and you ignored this fact and did not visit or call!

I thought I was reading wrong when I saw Ben and Mary's! That IS the steakhouse for the horsey set around here. There is a "genteelness" to the gentry around here and that guy in the jeans at the next table may have been one of the Mellons' themselves. I have never been, but my son took our Brazilian exchange students there when he took them to homecoming this past year.

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I am so pissed at you! ;) You were a stones throw from my holler and you ignored this fact and did not visit or call!

I thought I was reading wrong when I saw Ben and Mary's! That IS the steakhouse for the horsey set around here. There is a "genteelness" to the gentry around here and that guy in the jeans at the next table may have been one of the Mellons' themselves. I have never been, but my son took our Brazilian exchange students there when he took them to homecoming this past year.

If I'd only known I woulda hollered at your holler.

I was hoping we'd run into the horsey set, but no luck. If the Melns hang out there, though, I'm going to have my daughter get a job in hopes her charming one of them into a brief but lucrative marriage.

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Joe H said:
My mother actually worked as a waitress at Ben and Mary's in the mid 1960's.

Really? The first restaurant meal I remember was from there, maybe from 1960 or '61 when I was 6 or 7. I went to school for a few years with Terry Golightly, Ben and Mary's younger son, before he went off to Massanutten..

Very good steaks, great sporting photos on the wall by the noted equine photographer Marshall Hawkins, a regular...believe the menu was illustrated by Wesley Dennis, the Misty of Chincoteague illustrator, also a regular....it's where one went, once a week. (we had a couple horses but were far below the income level one usually associates with "horsey"--but it was an affordable luxury.)

They always hyped that "Fabulous Filet Mignon" but IIRC it was the Porterhouse that rocked.

JoeH, you may remember the Blue Parrot, another great local joint that fell under the developers bulldozer in 1964 or '65, so that we could have the blessing of an Esso at the intersection of 17 and 29-211...this was right across the street from the stone dance hall Patsy Cline used to sing in, which still stands but not in the same use....

I had heard Ben & Mary's was not doing so well after a string of post-Ben & Mary owners (But the first one, a long time employee, did a very good job). A couple of years ago Waitman might have found at least a few "reprehensible" menu items, to use his words. I'm glad to hear it's making a comeback, which is also consistent with our observation that there were a BUNCH of cars in the parking lot, last time I was home.

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Reprehensible = deep fried potato skins with cheddar and bacon that tasted of fried catfish left over from a bit back.

Not reprehensible = the best steamed shrimp I have had outside of those I make myself freshly caught.

The steaks were okay to very good, the fries were tasty and suprisingly un-fishy given the potato skin flavor, the service was a delight because it is always nice to have your server ask you if everthing is all right and know that she really means it, as was the company and it was a very fine way to spend the twilight hours on the way home from a great day in the country after enjoying a mountain dew day at the swimming hole(s).

I will be an endless bitch about the suburbs (not because the suburbs are bad but because I would rather chew my {insert whatever here} off than get in a car to go there) but I love the country, and rural Virginia and Maryland are just lovely.

Ed: I am looking at the menu and I think it is full of landmines and so it's possible to get a not so great meal here. I would suggest/imagine that you all know what to order and if you order wrong - for example I don't think that ordering the "Chicken & Brocolli over Pasta in Alfredo Sauce" or the "Shrimp Artichoke Dip" is going to make you view this place fondly you will not have a pleasant memory of this place. I side stepped the Seafood "Combo" though after eating the shrimp I may reconsider on my next visit.

The server seemed really proud of the filet mignon and I would love to hear feedback from anyone that has tried it. It is not my favored cut but I have a friend that would be floored by me taking her out to such a "joint" for a good filet if it is worth the trip.

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Well....I haven't eaten at Ben and Mary's in more than 40 years so whatever opinion I might have of it is somewhat....outdated (if you will). But, today, there are restaurants that my wife and I dearly love, restaurants that we pack a change of clothes for when we walk the Appalachian trail or when we just explore curious clumps of trees in patches of dense forest, ideally with a nearby waterfall. Sadly, perhaps for us, Ben and Mary's is not among the restaurants that we sneak into gas stations and change into starched shirts and clean jeans to have dinner at. Often, after a half dozen or more stops at native wineries, we look forward to Four and Twenty Blackbirds, the Flint Hill Public House, Foti's, L'Auberge Provencial or more local outposts of Virginia's own Tuscan ambience in the nearby countryside. Much could be said about Palladio near Charlottesville or the Clifton Inn, perhaps even a nearby pizza joint that has a cult following among those from UVA. Still, despite my mother's one time employment and my forty year abstinence, Ben and Mary's is not on our radar today.

Our loss.

But the Virginia countryside is one of the reasons why so many of us absolutely and dearly love living here. It is special. As many of its local outposts are of brew, of a sip and of indulgence...

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Well....I haven't eaten at Ben and Mary's in more than 40 years so whatever opinion I might have of it is somewhat....outdated (if you will). But, today, there are restaurants that my wife and I dearly love, restaurants that we pack a change of clothes for when we walk the Appalachian trail or when we just explore curious clumps of trees in patches of dense forest, ideally with a nearby waterfall. Sadly, perhaps for us, Ben and Mary's is not among the restaurants that we sneak into gas stations and change into starched shirts and clean jeans to have dinner at. Often, after a half dozen or more stops at native wineries, we look forward to Four and Twenty Blackbirds, the Flint Hill Public House, Foti's, L'Auberge Provencial or more local outposts of Virginia's own Tuscan ambience in the nearby countryside. Much could be said about Palladio near Charlottesville or the Clifton Inn, perhaps even a nearby pizza joint that has a cult following among those from UVA. Still, despite my mother's one time employment and my forty year abstinence, Ben and Mary's is not on our radar today.

Our loss.

But the Virginia countryside is one of the reasons why so many of us absolutely and dearly love living here. It is special. As many of its local outposts are of brew, of a sip and of indulgence...

To me, the point of Ben & Mary's is that it isn't L'Auberge Provencel or Foti's. It's a pleasant roadside stop, half-way between a diner and a tablecloth place, half-way between the Blue Ridge and downtown. I have neither the will nor the wallet to take every meal at a restaurant with frisee and day boat scallops on the menu. And, given the grass and its tendency to be greener on the other side of the fence, us city kids like to eat someplace that's definitely anti-urban every now and again. Ben & Mary's was a great change of pace.

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On 6/26/2007 at 9:23 AM, Waitman said:

Ben & Mary's was a great change of pace.

Unfortunately, emphasis on "was" - Ben & Mary's closed (under new owners) in 2010::Ben&Marys1.jpg Ben&Marys2.jpg

It was replaced by a seafood restaurant, Twisted Sister, in Oct, 2011, which closed in early 2013.

For now, Twisted Sisters' Facebook page remainsScreenshot 2016-06-26 at 14.49.33.png

Oct 8, 2011 - "Twisted Sister Offers Fresh Seafood" on fauquier.com

Feb 8, 2012 - "Fauquier Foodie Reviews Twisted Sisters Seafood" on fauquierweekly.com

Jul 18, 2013 - "Wanted: Someone to Fill Local Restaurant Void" by Todd Middleton on fauquiernow.com

I see nothing else about who, if anyone, is doing business at 6806 James Madison Highway in Warrenton.

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