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King & Rye (Formerly Jackson 20), King Street in Old Town Alexandria - Chef Peter McCall's American Comfort Food in The Alexandrian Hotel


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We happened upon the now open Monaco Old Town when we couldn't find enough seats to eat at the bar at Eve. The restaurant and bar areas were both packed and it was pretty late so we just picked our way through the bar menu. The shrimp corn dog was lightly breaded and much better than it sounds. The crab cake, fries, fried apple pie/turnover, and vanilla ice cream were not. The space is modern and maybe a little overly hip. They do have 20 bottles of wine at $20 a piece and a couple VA wines (Barboursville) available by the glass. I'm not sure I'll rush back, but it looks like they've already developed a pretty good following. Some more details here.

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I find myself heading to my usual haunts for dinner these days, partly because I am doing my darnedest to lose weight and I want a kick ass meal when I am going to blow it. But I am also craving trying some new joints with my wife, and also with my wine buddies?

What places are really getting your juices flowing now and why? What chef is really surprising you? What chef has kicked it up a notch or two recently?

Come on peeps, give it up. ;)

I love Jackson 20 in Old Town. The sweet potato bread pudding is to die for!!

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I love Jackson 20 in Old Town. The sweet potato bread pudding is to die for!!
If you love Jackson 20 would you please tell us why? And what is it about the sweet potato bread pudding that is so wonderful? The name certainly wouldn't get me to order it, but maybe you can help with that.

And welcome to Don Rockwell.

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If you love Jackson 20 would you please tell us why? And what is it about the sweet potato bread pudding that is so wonderful? The name certainly wouldn't get me to order it, but maybe you can help with that.

And welcome to Don Rockwell.

I visited the restaurant twice within two weeks. The brunch selections were very good. The portions aren’t large, but you will leave satisfied. I love bread, and I must say the biscuits were addictive. Definitely homemade!! They’re offered as an entrée with gravy, but the nice bartender gave me a couple as a side dish. If you love southern food with flair, I highly recommend the restaurant.

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In step one of my "Tour of Treason" (to be followed by meals at Sabores, Guajillo, Sushi Taro, and Cafe Mozu), I had dinner at Jackson 20 this evening.

There's a certain "sunk cost" that lingers in moderately upscale hotels such as the Monaco, even in times of financial woe: the decor, the china, the linens, the stemware, the bathrooms - they're all pretty much the same as they were six months ago, and you'll be glad they are. In a fairly empty dining room such as this evening, Jackson 20 is a comfortable, even impressive, setting to have dinner.

Barboursville Pinot Grigio ($8) has made it's way onto some pretty plonky wine lists of late, and it's becoming a go-to wine by the glass for me. Dry, but fresh and clean with good fruit and healthy, bracing acidity, it worked well enough so that I stuck with it for a second glass, rather than roll the dice on a red, even though I knew I had a steak coming.

The homemade bread basket is a nice surprise, with decent little corn muffins taking a back seat to the "Monticello rolls," which are very similar, perhaps even the same, as Parker House rolls.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($19) is what drew me here this evening, and I wasn't disappointed with it, the battered breast served with lukewarm sweet-potato hash, complete with a grilled marshmallow on top, and also a pile of super kale, with cranberry relish making the whole thing seem like an early Thanksgiving dinner.

Sirloin ($26), ordered and served medium-rare, was a very small amount of medium-quality beef in a pool of roasted-tomato Bearnaise, watercress salad, and potato-wedge fries. Ah, yes, the potato-wedge fries, which were probably 50% of the entree in terms of total weight. Let me stop right here.

Until this point, the meal surpassed my modest expectations, and there was really nothing about it not to like, size of proteins notwithstanding. That is, until I tried to cut one of my enormous wedge-cut fries and met resistance.

Resistance because the potato was uncooked on the inside. A minor detail which I was prepared to live with, because I knew waiting for another order would disrupt the flow of the meal. But when the manager came over and asked if everything was well-cooked, I said yes, very much so, except for the potatoes which were a little raw on the inside.

He apologized, I said 'no problem,' and he then disappeared out the side door into the hotel hallway.

A minute or so later, a server came by and asked if everything was fine. I said yes, except the potatoes weren't quite cooked. She looked unnecessarily stricken with horror, and asked if she could bring another order. I said, sure, if it's not too much trouble.

About five minutes later, another bowl of wedges appeared. I put one on my plate, cut into it, and it was also uncooked. I was with Matt, and he thought they'd boiled the potatoes - fatally undercooking them in the process - and then finished them by frying which couldn't penetrate the middle of the enormous wedges. I'm not quite sure how they cook these, but this hypothesis sounds plausible given that even a second fried batch came out raw inside, but perfectly cooked on the outer perimeter.

A few minutes later, the server came back, asked if everything was okay now, and I sadly smiled and shook my head no - "the potatoes are still raw on the inside," I said.

Just before getting the check, the manager came over again and apologized, and then muttered something about how he would have liked to replace the potatoes the first time he came over, but they were only part of the dish, etc. Okay, whatever, no big deal.

But I have to say that when the check arrived, I was very, very surprised that my second glass of wine wasn't comped, which would have been entirely appropriate and would have alleviated all misgivings I had about the entire potato fiasco. Or maybe we could have been offered "a piece of pie for dessert." Or anything. I wasn't looking for something for free; I just wanted properly cooked food, and they blew it both times and did nothing about it.

The bill was $16 for two glasses of wine, $26 for the steak, $19 for the chicken, and $5.49 for tax, for a total of $66.49 before tip. That is a lot of money for two entrees, two glasses of wine, and a boatload of Kimpton-clueless service on an empty Wednesday evening.

I paid the check and left miffed. Yes, if I had spoken up, they probably would have comped a glass of wine or something, but I really wasn't in the mood to create conflict - they knew exactly what the situation was and chose to do nothing about it. This otherwise enjoyable meal was tainted by managerial incompetence, and my overriding takeaway impression is that I don't want to go back.

Restaurants often think customers can be petty and cheap. Well, here's one case where a customer thinks the restaurant was petty and cheap.

I don't think Jeff Armstrong was on the line tonight, but I want to reiterate that, uneven temperatures aside, the food itself was fine and this meal could have, and should have, been a positive dining experience.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Yes, if I had spoken up, they probably would have comped a glass of wine or something, but I really wasn't in the mood to create conflict - they knew exactly what the situation was and chose to do nothing about it. This otherwise enjoyable meal was tainted by managerial incompetence, and my overriding takeaway impression is that I don't want to go back.
Actually, you did speak up. I'm always reluctant to say something about problems with food unless they're really big, and if I had mentioned three (?) times that two different orders of potatoes were undercooked, I would have felt very uncomfortable about saying something further. You had done all you needed to do on that front.

And, it sounds like Matt made a good call there :lol:.

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Oh well....this used to be the place where you could get the best man-food meal in northern Virginia. When it was 101 Royal, or whatever it was, in the old Holiday Inn, it was the best deal around. All you can eat prime rib, yes, prime rib, plus salad bar and sides, for something like $15.95. I remember one night putting away about three one-inch-thick slabs, and waddling out of there for about $30 including a glass of wine, tax and tip.....

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Stopped by Jackson 20 for a drink on my way elsewhere in Old Town tonight. Sidewalk seating is very pleasant for watching the Old Town beauties walk by, and there is a wide range of $20 bottles of wine available. That's right, the whole bottle for $20. On pleasant weather evenings, this shall be my pre-meal stop in Old Town.

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Stopped by Jackson 20 for a drink on my way elsewhere in Old Town tonight. Sidewalk seating is very pleasant for watching the Old Town beauties walk by, and there is a wide range of $20 bottles of wine available. That's right, the whole bottle for $20. On pleasant weather evenings, this shall be my pre-meal stop in Old Town.

Dare I ask what they are offering for $20/btl?

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Again, met friends last night on the sidewalk at Jackson 20. They offer 20 different $20 bottles of wine, along with free people-watching on King St. Had the $20 Falling Star Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc and it was fine. Also had the Ham Sliders for $6, three little biscuits of thin-sliced Virginia ham topped with a nice slaw. There was a mustardy-sweet sauce underneath each slider, making them sloppier than necessary, but for $6 this was a credible appetizer.

Next stop on the agenda was Landini Brothers, which amazingly enough, I can't find in the Restaurant Guide....

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Dined outside on the courtyard at Jackson 20 Friday night due to being with the dog and hungry. They gave him treats and fresh water. Although a lot of the menu looked really good, the blazing temps really didn't help our appetite. I had the rabbit brunswick stew, which although being a hot dish had a lot of nice veggies and the dumplings were very good in it, so it wasn't too heavy. They are country style dumplings that were biscuit like, and very good. Hubby got the ribs and they were good, oven made as the meat was falling off the bone and not smokey, but good none the less, and their coleslaw is nice.

I like the dinner rolls in the breadbasket they serve, they are like good southern yeast dinner rolls, but in miniature. Also had the ice cream cookies for dessert and we really enjoyed all but the chocolate ice cream, which was just too rich in this heat and the chocolate ice cream was very normal. But it was nice to have ice cream out there in the heat. And the cookies were great. We also had cocktails. I had the Forbidden Fruit made with passionfruit that was nice and refreshing.

All in all it is a really good place to dine with a dog in tow.

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We must have dined a little bit later on Friday than ktmoomau did. We sat in the dining room, but it was still on the warm side. As much as I want to like Jackson 20, it always seems to fall a bit short in the food department. My +1 also ordered the rabbit brunswick stew (Braised Rabbit, Okra, Corn, Stewed and Fresh Tomatoes, Steamed Dumplings) and found it a bit short on the rabbit and thought the tomatoes seemed like they came from a can (maybe just a result of the stewing process). It was also too heavily seasoned, not with salt, but some other herb/spice that was an overpowering flavor.

I ordered the dorado (Grilled Mahi Mahi with Cornbread Pudding, Black-Eyed Pea and Corn Salsa, Asparagus and Tomato Jam). The fish, a much thicker cut of mahi mahi than I've seen before, was woefully overcooked, with only a tiny hint of moistness remaining in the very deepest center of the fish. The cornbread pudding wasn't bad, nor was the salsa. The asparagus had also been cooked to oblivion and the tomato jam was cloyingly sweet. I would have happily brought up the fact that the fish was overcooked, if I had ever been asked or had the server stopped by (or even passed anywhere near) the table during the meal.

We also got the ice cream sandwiches for dessert. They must have been a popular dish that night, as only one of the three sandwiches came with cookies (actually, one cookie, cut in half for the top and bottom of the sandwich); the other two were made with brownies. I was a little disappointed, as I'd seen other orders go by with festive, sprinkle-topped sugar cookies. The brownies were very dense and it was definitely chocolate overload with the chocolate ice cream. I did enjoy the peach and the vanilla ice creams. I would have liked the option to change my order had I known that cookies weren't available (the dish is described as chef's choice cookies - brownies aren't cookies, IMHO).

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We must have dined a little bit later on Friday than ktmoomau did.

Oh goodness seems like things went downhill fast. You wouldn't think you would run low on things on a Friday night. I luckily had tons of rabbit, and real cookies. But we did dine very early as we had just gotten out of work.

Was the spice cilantro? I don't like cilantro I am one of the soap people and know some brunswick stews have it so asked to have it with no cilantro if it had cilantro. I have a mental list of things that may contain cilantro I dislike it so much- I have very nice family friends that make brunswick stew every year in the fall for a big family get together and after the first year it is now cilantro free for me.

I wonder if the extreme heat tainted my taste buds or if they were just wildly inconsistent that night.

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Lady Kibbee and I were strolling through Old Town on a muggy but nice Independence Day. We intended to fortify ourselves with a few piles of mussels at Columbia Firehouse, but alas, it and many other Old Town establishments took Independence Day off.

Granted, Old Town is mostly middlin' eating, save for a few places like Vermilion, Restaurant Eve, Brabo and A La Lucia, so expectations weren't high. We ended up at Jackson 20, mostly because it was nice and cool on the inside. Lady Kibbee had the mussels and clams, and I had the muffalletta sliders. We enjoyed a $20 bottle of Camelot California chardonnay, dipped plenty of bread in the mussels broth, and had a right fine interlude for two for about $50 all told.

This place is not bad in a pinch, but I prefer the part of Old Town north of Washington St.

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I ate here last winter and was impressed with the bar menu, especially the fried green tomatoes and the shrimp fritters. I do mean to return. I like the idea of the $20 wines. The extreme markup on wines at other restaurants really damages my wallet.

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I use Washington St. as the boundary between the touristy part of Old Town and the somewhat nicer restaurants and shops.

East of Washington St. is where the pickings are somewhat slim, but Restaurant Eve, A La Lucia, Landini Brothers and Columbia Firehouse are the ones I enjoy. Jackson 20 is somewhere in there, but not a distinguished entry.

Washington St. towards the metro is where I prefer to stroll -- Vermilion, Brabo, Layla (somehow not in the dining guide, but good Middle Eastern fare), Majestic, Eamonn's and one of the tapas places some of my faves.

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Jackson 20 is one of those places that really doesn't get enough attention. I don't eat here frequently (about 3 or 4 times a year), and yet I can't report a single bad experience. The food is always good, the service is always attentive, the menu changes frequently, and it's loud enough that you can dine with a couple of kids and hardly attract notice.

Last night, I glanced at the menu for all of three seconds. The first dinner entree listed was kielbasa and sauerkraut with pierogis. Sold. Served with a side of sour cream and horseradish, it was great. The kids had chicken fingers and mac and cheese. But these weren't Sysco products, they were homemade and finished promptly.

The brunches here are also a hit. Their hashbrowns are the real deal (none of this home fries crap). And order something with the sausage gravy which has a delicious hit of maple syrup within. I've had it on their Biscuits and Gravy, and their Chicken Fried Steak. You can't go wrong.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014, Jackson 20 had a crab feast.  Reservations in advance, I tried to buy another one at the last minute for my son's girlfriend, it was sold out, so, naturally, I expected to find a place to sit.

It started at 6:00, we got there at 6:30, and there were multiple rectanguar tables stretched out family style, and exactly two empty spaces facing each other but no place to sit.  We stood around for a while and eventually someone brought chairs.  We had missed the oysters Rockefeller, too bad, but at the very end of the meal were brought some, quite nice.

There were big trays with lots of boiled crabs but nothing to eat them with, so I ate some sausage and corn and potato with my fingers.   All perfectly OK. Also very large boiled shrimp, quite succulent, and the cocktail sauce was house made and good, thick with herbs and spices. Eventually we were brought beer and given mallets (no knives) and set in on the crabs.  Which were a singular disappointment.

They were small, which is OK, but of all the ones I tried, only one was meaty.  The rest were so light that I could crush them with my fingers and they went *squish*. I filled up on more shrimp, corn, sausage and potato, and, eventually, the oysters Rockefeller.  At the end of the meal, the manager asked us how it was, and I told him that the chef did a good job but whoever sold him the crabs shafted him.  Actually I used a ruder turn of phrase than shafted, ending with the word "over".  The chef and the staff made a great effort to have everything come out right, and most of it did, but who ever sold them the crabs did them wrong.

They are having two more crab feasts, one in August and one in September, and I really don't know whether we'll give it another try.  Having Green Flash West Coast IPA with your seafood is quite a treat, albeit at $9 a bottle, nothing you can get at Captain Pell's or even crab houses higher up the food chain, but the crabs sucked.  I was still hungry when they brought the oysters Rockefeller, but that filled in the empty places and I left full.

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Four of us chose Jackson 20 on a Wednesday evening because, well, the choices are slim around Old Town, and the weather was gorgeous so Jackson 20's outdoor seating fit the bill. This place is growing on me.

While I didn't dive into the mixed drinks menu, I do note that it seems to be getting some attention. I also enjoy the selections for happy hour, with the $5 pour of house wine, which isn't bad, or the $20 bottles. Hard to beat that deal.

We tucked into a variety of appetizers and mains. I was surprised by the Amish popcorn, having grown up in Amish country and never once eaten anything called Amish popcorn. It had a nice buttery flavor and was supposed to be sourced from Lancaster County. The deviled eggs with a nice kick of habanero and a slice of bacon on top of each were a hit, as were the sliders -- two kinds, melt-in-your-mouth baby back ribs and pulled pork. The entree hit for me was the fried soft-shell crabs on a bed of grits. Some of the best I've had this year -- I've had some disappointments in this dish at various other places, but Jackson 20 hit the bullseye.

What really caught my eye is the fact that there are many items on this menu that I still want to try. That, plus the quality of what I've enjoyed so far, makes we want to go back. On a night with beautiful weather and I need to score sidewalk seating, I'm there.

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A few weeks ago we decided to go out somewhere near home for Happy Hour.  Jackson 20 had been on our radar for a while so we decided to give it a try.  We easily found seats at the bar and ordered drinks, the fried green tomatoes and the pork sliders.   The tomatoes were perfectly cooked and had a nice crispy coating.  The pork sliders were phenomenal.  Three nice sized buns heaped with pork barbeque.  I opted to use a fork and knife to eat mine so I didn't risk it landing on my shirt.  They could easily make for a light dinner on their own.  A cursory look at the dinner menu piqued our interest for future visits.

Having satisfied our thirst and curiosity, we talked about coming back in a couple of weeks for my birthday.

Fast forward two weeks later.  I would recommend making reservations if you go on a weekend.  We had one for 6:30 and shortly after we got there, most of the tables were full.  I was seated facing the front (towards King St).  While I enjoyed looking at Jim across the table from me, I was greatly amused by the large bronze pig on the end of the bank of seats behind him.  When you come in, the pig is facing you.  However, when seated on the back side of the banquette looking towards King St, you have a view of the business end of the pig which I should point out, I discovered was a sow.

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We each ordered a cocktail while we mulled over the appetizers before deciding on the Charcuterie Board consisting of six different meats, house made pickles and onions, whipped pig butter and crispy butter toast.  The meats were Salami Cotto, Porchetta, Brescola, Soppressato and Country Pate.   Everything was good with the porchetta being my favorite.  A bread basket also arrived at the table with decadent buttery, flaky biscuits and slightly sweet corn muffins.

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For entrees, I ordered the Bison Hanger steak served with scarlet Runner Beans, Hunter Sausage, Baby Spinach, and Mole de Colorado.  The steak, done medium-rare, was very tender and full of flavor.  The runner beans were the biggest I've ever seen and very creamy.  The hunter sausage has a nice texture and smoky flavor.  The spinach was simple and what you'd expect from spinach.  The mole sauce had a deep, dark taste with a nice kick of heat.    I had a piece of steak leftover for lunch today and it was just as good reheated the next day.

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Jim got the Charcoal Slow Roasted Goat with Cream Corn, Pimento Cheese Ravioli, Sweet Potato Puree.  The goat was falling apart on the fork and had a nice smoked flavor.  Jim said the smoke masked the gaminess of the goat and unless you knew it was goat, you might think you were eating pork.  Still, it was very good and paired superbly with the merlot we ordered.  Jim felt the pimento cheese ravioli was a little gimmicky (gimmicky or not, I loved them).   The sweet corn played very nicely with the goat and ravioli.

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One of things I really liked was the 20 for $20 wine list. Ten reds, 8 whites and 2 sparkling wines to choose from all $20 each.  We chose one of the La Puerta, Malbec from Argentina.  While it was very nice with the steak, it was damned near perfect with the goat.

I should also mention our server for the evening.  She was very attentive and polished.  She earned points with us when we discussed what wine to have with dinner.  We mentioned the merlot on the $20 list and one from the other wine list that was $40.  She knew her wines and said for the price she said she'd go with the $20 bottle.

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We were surprised at the end of the meal when the server told us dessert was complimentary for my birthday.  It arrived at the table while I was in the restroom.  Another example of how good our server was, she came back to the table after I got back to tell me about the dessert we'd chosen, an apple cake with bourbon caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.

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Our bill came to just over $135 (pre-tip) which was a great value for the quality of both the food and the service we received.

We will be going back to explore more of the menu.

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The Kielbasa was a hit last night. An obscene-looking log of meat, atop levely sauerkraut with lots of mustard and horseradish for dipping. It was smoky and delicious.

My two companions each had the bison hangar, which should have been a hit. They were both a bit disappointed with the flavor, but put quite a dent in each plate.

The place was hopping on a Thursday night. The bar area clearly is not big enough to support the nice happy hour specials, and the dining tables were completely full by 7:00pm. Jackson 20 is turing into one of the hot spots of Old Town.

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On a very temperate August evening, Jackson 20 is one of the very few venues on King Street with outdoor seating by which to enjoy the sights and sounds of Old Town, soak up some uncharacteristic weather, and dine on some decent fare. The only drawback is that the cabbies parked outside the Monaco smoked what seemed like dozens of cartons of cigarettes, and that smoke wafted through the otherwise very pleasant evening air.

Tonight I had the endive salad followed by the Amish roast chicken, and both were very good. The chicken was cooked to perfection, and the skin had a nice crispiness that was irresistable. The salt was a bit heavy-handed, but otherwise, this dish was a hit.

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I'm expressing OUTRAGE on behalf of my mother.  She was at a work conference staying at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria this week.  She ordered a burger from her room to get via room service, and was not noted of any additional charges on the menu or over the phone.  This is a super small hotel.  She didn't get her burger for over an hour, they charged a $5 delivery fee AND a 20% service charge on top of that which wasn't noted as a tip or not a tip.  So my Mom also added gratuity which meant her bill for a $15 burger was over $25, which is just absolutely ridiculous. She could have walked downstairs gotten the burger for less money and more quickly.  They should be advising of at least the $5 delivery fee, which is more than some delivery services that deliver food from across the city charge.  So if you are thinking of staying at the Hotel Monaco, walk your butt down to Jackson 20 and get take out don't ever order room service. 

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Actually the Hotel Monaco is rather large especially for Alexandria. Name 2 hotels bigger than it in Old Town? Not to criticize but hotels dump a lot of extra fees on Room Service.

It sucks what your mom went through and I agree with your assessment on going down to the restaurant initially.

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I'm expressing OUTRAGE on behalf of my mother.  She was at a work conference staying at the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria this week.  She ordered a burger from her room to get via room service, and was not noted of any additional charges on the menu or over the phone.  This is a super small hotel.  She didn't get her burger for over an hour, they charged a $5 delivery fee AND a 20% service charge on top of that which wasn't noted as a tip or not a tip.  So my Mom also added gratuity which meant her bill for a $15 burger was over $25, which is just absolutely ridiculous. She could have walked downstairs gotten the burger for less money and more quickly.  They should be advising of at least the $5 delivery fee, which is more than some delivery services that deliver food from across the city charge.  So if you are thinking of staying at the Hotel Monaco, walk your butt down to Jackson 20 and get take out don't ever order room service. 

How was burger?

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In agreement, I never would get room service unless it is paid by for someone else

On the other hand, honestly, in America .. All this stuff is posted and not really a hidden charge. I've stayed at that hotel. I'm not being hard on your mom. My parents are too cheap to consider room service but they would have had the same reaction

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On the other hand, honestly, in America .. All this stuff is posted and not really a hidden charge. I've stayed at that hotel. I'm not being hard on your mom. My parents are too cheap to consider room service but they would have had the same reaction

So am I. They are such bs charges. I'll do a lot to not pay room service.

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Hmm. Every hotel I know with room service charges gratuity and a fee. Thought that was given

No, it wasn't gratuity, it was two delivery fees, one (I would guess) for packing the food, my Mom asked if it was gratuity and was told no (although maybe delivery staff just wanted two tips).  That is what I find misleading that they have two different delivery fees neither are listed on the menu book (according to my Mom, they I am sure are posted somewhere obscure).  I am not saying this is just Hotel Monaco, but...   It's the whole deal, why can't it just be priced at what it really is going to cost on a menu (minus sales tax) and if you add in gratuity, make it quite clear it is gratuity?  (Because then someone might not order it?) I just feel like tricking someone at hotels "known" for customer service defeats all your positive customer service.  I like Hotel Monaco's we stay at them from time to time because they are doggy friendly.  But when your big tagline is your service, well your service should be on par.

Josh- Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Westin (to name a few off the top of my head) it really isn't a big property, it takes up less than half the street block and has a big open courtyard in the middle of the building.  I only know this because I volunteer with the Junior Friends of the Campagna Center and we struggle to find good event space for the size we need in Alexandria.

Which is why you would think it wouldn't take an hour to make and deliver a burger for a hotel that prides itself in service.  If you are going to charge two delivery fees, I would think one could deliver within a reasonable time period in a less than half a block of space.  An hour may be reasonable for Mr. Delivery to bring me Thai from across the county.  But the fact that it took over an hour AND then the fees that really upset my Mom. If it had been delivered pronto well maybe the service is worth the $10.  I just wanted to post because people around this area do staycations, and we have poster from other areas, and I think it is reasonable to post all dining experiences.

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Okay, so I'm not just nitpicking, but I sort of am...

The "service fee" of 20% and the delivery fee of x dollars.. I think that is standard at nice hotels. Whether or not that service fee is a gratuity - I don't know. I wouldn't tip on top of that. I don't think they are doing something outside the mainstream of a certain level hotel.

I do agree with you that the time it took- that sounds ridiculous.

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Okay, so I'm not just nitpicking, but I sort of am...

The "service fee" of 20% and the delivery fee of x dollars.. I think that is standard at nice hotels. Whether or not that service fee is a gratuity - I don't know. I wouldn't tip on top of that. I don't think they are doing something outside the mainstream of a certain level hotel.

I do agree with you that the time it took- that sounds ridiculous.

The service fee is a gratuity, thinly masked so that unwitting customers might think it's not.

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I worked for Kimpton when they first came into this market. Their is a gratuity added in, not sure which one whether service or delivery fee, but  always has been when I worked for them. Typically Room Service employees make a decent hourly wage so many hotels in order to cover the labor cost tend to add surcharges, like a delivery fee or service fee. I think the person who was bringing the food was looking for an extra tip. That's a shame. The wait for the food, ridiculous.

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This price gouging, if it's transparent or not, is absolute garbage. Even if KT's mom had read it correctly, it would have been a lot of money for a burger. How the hotel can justify that is beyond me. If you do those breakfast slips at these hotels where you pick eggs and toast and fruit and coffee, it can be like $25-30, for a mediocre breakfast. There ought to be some sort of disruption of this gambit.. 

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This price gouging, if it's transparent or not, is absolute garbage. Even if KT's mom had read it correctly, it would have been a lot of money for a burger. How the hotel can justify that is beyond me. If you do those breakfast slips at these hotels where you pick eggs and toast and fruit and coffee, it can be like $25-30, for a mediocre breakfast. There ought to be some sort of disruption of this gambit.. 

There has been - it's called Seamless.

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Two years since the last review...? Last night, 3 old friends got together at Jackson 20. We usually meet there for a drink when we get together, and then head off to another place to have a meal. But the menu caught our eye, and the sidewalk seating was very pleasant on a fair weather night, so we stayed.

I had the double burger, which hit the spot, and was cooked to a perfect medium-to-medium-rare. I chose "Crazy Watermelon" as a side, which is two wedges of watermelon topped with peanuts and crumbled feta. The burger was good, and the watermelon was very good. (Side note -- I have always enjoyed watermelon with a sprinkle of salt, much to the dismay of my children and others. This "Crazy Watermelon" concept was alright by me.)

One friend had the country-fried steak, and cleaned his plate. Another friend had the hand-cut tagliatelle, and only finished half of it.

The menu changes with the season. This meal was substantially better than our previous visit a few months ago, and given the sidewalk seating and the relatively sparse food options within walking distance, Jackson 20 has checked most of the boxes for us.

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I was pleasantly surprised by my last visit to Jackson 20, in the Alexandrian Hotel. The al fresco dining right on King St. is a draw on days when the weather is pleasant, and that adds to the meal. The menu is trying to go seasonal and local. I've had good burgers here and very good Amish chicken, and a recent side of watermelon slices topped with crumbled feta and peanuts was a hit. Happy hour wines and beers are $4, if you pick from a house list.

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I get together infrequently with friends from "an agency" where we worked together in the 1980s and raised all kinds of hell in the name of national security. We typically gather from our various trajectories at Jackson 20 for a drink, and then head off from there to a nice meal. The last few times, maybe because of the effects of the drinks, or our advancing dotage, we remained at Jackson 20 for the evening. And so it was last night, when 5 of us gathered to reminisce on our glory days.

This menu is trying hard to be something....with our first couple of rounds of drinks, we were offered the half-price happy hour libations, although technically we were not actually in the bar. No problem, our happiness was more important to our server than the rules. Next came some delicious biscuits from the kitchen with accompanying apple butter and real butter. We swapped stories, generally caught up on each other's lives, and had a rolling start to the evening.

On to the main event, I had the crispy oysters as a starter, and the Autumn Olive Farm Pork Delmonico with a side of autumn roasted squash as my main. It was a delicious meal, although the oysters were on the barely-too-greasy side, and the pork had quite a bit of fat to cut away. But overall, this was a very good meal.

Companions had anything from the Brown Butter Chestnut Mac n' Cheese, the J20 Double Burger, and the seafood special of Grouper. Plates were cleaned and all was well.

The hostess came to check on us a few times, and playful banter ensued. She comp'd us a round of shots prior to our departure, but urged that we not drive. Most of us took Uber, so that wasn't an issue.

Jackson 20 is what it is, a reasonably good restaurant trying to make seasonal dishes for the Old Town crowd. As far as that part of Old Town is concerned, it's one of the better options.

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Morphing into "King & Rye" starting September 9:

https://www.kingandrye.com/

Quote

King & Rye is the reflection of Executive Chef Peter McCall’s four-generation culinary heritage and the bounty of the mid-Atlantic and Southern regions. We feature seasonal, intentional ingredients sourced through real relationships with farmers, makers and butchers. With humble, refined menus rooted in tradition and authentic flavors that go beyond the expected to offer a deeper exploration of Southern cuisine, we're a place where you can expect slow food, proper whiskeys and genuine hospitality.

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On 9/6/2020 at 4:16 PM, alexandria1 said:

We feature seasonal, intentional ingredients

I am sure that there is some other way to interpret "intentional" as not being the opposite of or contrasted with "unintentional", but I can't get this meaning out of my head!   

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