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Tom Sarris' Orleans House, Rosslyn - Owner Tom Sarri (1924-2014) Operated This From 1965-2007


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Geez, I haven't been there since something like 1983. Every time I drive by I'm surprised to see that it's still in existance, kind of an echo from a simpler time. Do they still have the world's biggest salad bar?

Personally, if I were in search of a prime rib, I'd go to the Prime Rib (or better yet, just make it at home). But, different strokes....

haha yea they still have the old steam boat salad bar. it is a really old place. i remember the first time when my aunt took me when i was a lil kid... yea im gon have to try the Prime Rib..

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I've lived in D.C. and Arlington for almost 20 years, and have never been tempted to check out the Orleans House -- seems too similar to places where I've eaten for countless family occasions in the Southeast and Midwest. It does occupy some prime real estate, though.

2005 City Paper review "As far as family-style throwbacks go, Tom Sarris' Orleans House should be saluted for its resilience."

1996 Washington Post Review "Crowded onto the huge cart of ice are nearly 30 salad fixings, six dressings plus some psychedelic-red vinegar and oil and stacks of bread." (Food-writing gold from Phyllis Richman)

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While not one of my favorites, Orleans House will always hold a special place in my heart as it WAS one of my grandparents' (who've been in the area since 1939) favorites. We took my grandmother for her birthday a year or so ago and it made her very happy. She hadn't been in such a long time and I'm sure the place holds lots of memories for her (my grandfather passed away 20+ years ago) - it was probably a special treat back in the day to head up the 'Shirley Highway' for some prime rib at Tommy Sarris' place!

It certainly must be one of the few places in the area where you can still get Green Goddess dressing (aside from Colorado Kitchen as mentioned - with recipe provided - earlier this week on the Washingtonian 'chog'). And it has a kitsch factor rivaled only by Filomena's IMHO :blink: - gotta love that steamboat salad bar.

This link seems to indicate the imminent demise of anything on that block....no specific schedule mentioned, but this has been in the works since at least 2005.

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I was offered my first job in DC over lunch at Orleans House. Negotiated my first raise there, hired and subsequently fired my first employee there. And later quit my first job there. Never cared for the food, but Orleans House will forever hold a special place in my heart.

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I remember going as a kid, enjoying the Prime rib and the bountiful salad bar. Last time I ventured in was about 9 years ago--not the same unfortunatley. It is now a tour bus haven. The building and property has been owned by Louis Farrakhan and Nation Of Islam--nice little piece of real estate. I miss the old place as well as Hot Shoppes-which had the best damn chicken noodle soup in the world-Off topic but in my mind :blink:

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I remember going as a kid, enjoying the Prime rib and the bountiful salad bar. Last time I ventured in was about 9 years ago--not the same unfortunatley. It is now a tour bus haven. The building and property has been owned by Louis Farrakhan and Nation Of Islam--nice little piece of real estate. I miss the old place as well as Hot Shoppes-which had the best damn chicken noodle soup in the world-Off topic but in my mind :blink:
I don't think that the Sarris family sold the property, especially with the developers circling these past few years. And, for those who collect DC trivia, Tom Sarris used to operate a quasi-jazz club on the premises called the Mardi Gras Room (it may still be there--I haven't in almost thirty years). Some of DC's best musicians, like Danny Gatton and Dick Heintze, used to play the room in tuxedos.
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While not one of my favorites, Orleans House will always hold a special place in my heart as it WAS one of my grandparents' (who've been in the area since 1939) favorites. We took my grandmother for her birthday a year or so ago and it made her very happy. She hadn't been in such a long time and I'm sure the place holds lots of memories for her (my grandfather passed away 20+ years ago) - it was probably a special treat back in the day to head up the 'Shirley Highway' for some prime rib at Tommy Sarris' place!

It certainly must be one of the few places in the area where you can still get Green Goddess dressing (aside from Colorado Kitchen as mentioned - with recipe provided - earlier this week on the Washingtonian 'chog'). And it has a kitsch factor rivaled only by Filomena's IMHO :blink: - gotta love that steamboat salad bar.

This link seems to indicate the imminent demise of anything on that block....no specific schedule mentioned, but this has been in the works since at least 2005.

i love that dressing.. by the way

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I've lived in Washington, D.C./McLean/Arlington all of my life, and as far as I can recall, I've never been to Tom Sarris' Orleans House, oddly enough.

I say "oddly enough" because it seems like just the sort of place my dad would have taken us kids. Dad wasn't terribly adventurous when it came to dining out. We belonged to the Army-Navy Club so we ate there once in a while. Dad took me to the Key Bridge Marriott often. Not sure why, though it was very convenient. He took me to places like the Buckaroo Steakhouse but also the original Duke Ziebert's. Dad was from the mid-west, a real steak and potatoes kind of guy. He wasn't uncultured, he just preferred simple food. He liked Clyde's.

How long has Sarris' had the "tourist-trap" reputation? Maybe that's why dad never took us there. Dad wasn't a snob, but I'm sure that he tried to avoid crowds whenever possible, he really didn't enjoy crowds. He never took us to the seafood places along the Southwest waterfront, either, probably for the same reason.

I have to think that parents of young children are willing to tolerate low-frills (no-frills?) dining, especially if they are on a budget.

I've always wondered at the Orleans House as I've driven through Rosslyn. It's always seemed to me like a dining anachronism. It's the sort of place that I'd guess their menu hasn't changed since the '50's.

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Dad wasn't terribly adventurous when it came to dining out. <snip> Dad took me to the Key Bridge Marriott often. Not sure why, though it was very convenient. <snip> Dad was from the mid-west, a real steak and potatoes kind of guy. He wasn't uncultured, he just preferred simple food. <snip>.

This is a perfect description of my late father-in-law, who grew up in Ohio and also loved the Key Bridge Marriott. In his later years he and my mother-in-law were living in the house we now occupy, which is in the District, between Key Bridge and Chain Bridge. Their big splurge, every couple of weeks was to drive to the Key Bridge Marriott so that he could have a martini and prime rib. If there had been an early bird special, I'm sure they would have taken advantage of it. That was the other thing they liked about the Key Bridge Marriott. It was cheap.

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My one-armed uncle has been a part of The Orleans House for quite some time and said to me that its time forthe place to go. And I am not kidding about the one arm.

I live in the neighborhood and it is interesting to watch your uncle light his cigarettes.

I have been to Sarris's maybe ten times in the 25 years I have lived near there. The food is OK but the service is a bit erratic and the celebrated salad bar wasn't as fabulous as touted. Still, it will be missed in the area, particularly if it is replaced in the new building with more chain fast food places.

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I think Tom Sarris' has a 'no jogging bras or running clothes' sign (or something to that effect) taped to the front door. I walk past the place often and wonder why, but the answer is that a lot of people in jogging gear must go in there or maybe just one guy did something stupid once.

"Ahhh, honey let's bike the GW Parkway path and eat some crap in beautiful Rosslyn at the half way point. I hear they allow spandex at Tom Sarris'."

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