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Spider Kelly's, Wilson Blvd. in Clarendon - GM Nick Freshman in a Huge, Expanded Space


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Hi Everybody,

Sorry I haven't jumped on earlier, but we've been frantically trying to get ourselves ready for primetime. We're shooting for sometime next week. We took over the space at the beginning of May, so the pace has been akin to barreling down a hill with no brakes.

The menu on the web site has been updated to reflect what you will see in person, but the one that some of you may have seen already was very similar. We will be grinding all the burgers daily (including the chicken--trust me, it's good), and just about everything will be made from scratch. We will have two grinds for the beef--one mixed with fatback and one without. Try the one with fatback; it's gooood. The man behind the line is Steve Candler, late of Farrah Olivia and Poste.

We have a list of about 20 beers, and a selection of wine that is reasonable, eclectic and very tasty (in my unbiased opinion). I think you will find that across the board, our drink prices are pretty good.

Our General Manager is my brother, Ben Freshman, and he should be posting on here at some point as well. He is also the man responsible for the photos on the web site and the walls of our space.

I hope that you will all come by and see us to say hi.

Oh, and by the way, for no particular reason I feel compelled to point out so that no ambiguity remains--we do not have a dress code and there is indeed never a cover charge... :lol:

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Nick - thanks for posting. I'm looking forward to stopping by when you open, so keep us posted. Best of luck!

They opened tonight. Stopped by randomly and was very happy with the product. I had the veggie pita which was everything you could ever want in a veggie pita. The veggies were cooked perfectly - just the right amount of crunch - with great goat cheese and a fantastic pita.

The girl got the chicken burger, which was very moist and very flavorful (which was surprising being it was a chicken burger).

The menu is very affordable, and the service was spot on, friendly, and informative.

They didn't have a dessert menu yet, but I'd imagine they will by week's end.

Also it doesn't look like they'll be open for lunch, but they'll be open late (2am-ish)

I'm so glad to see so many independent restaurants not only opening, but really thriving in Clarendon. In another year or two the stretch from Liberty Tavern down to Ray's (which is beyond Courthouse, but still) might be the place to be in NoVA. Makes me really glad I live there.

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Me too but let's not lose any more of the variety then we already have, or perhaps add some more back in. That stretch was filled with independent restaurants of the ethnic variety (Queen Bee, Atami, Little Viet Garden, Curry House, the Chinese place with the menu written on the wall). They might not have been the best, but they were different. I enjoy the Liberty Tavern/Restaurant 3/Spider Kelly/Eleven/Woodgrill/Harry's places just as much as the next guy. And although they have their differences good and bad and small and large, remember when Whitlow's was just about the only place to get "American" food between Ballston and Rosslyn?

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Me too but let's not lose any more of the variety then we already have, or perhaps add some more back in. That stretch was filled with independent restaurants of the ethnic variety (Queen Bee, Atami, Little Viet Garden, Curry House, the Chinese place with the menu written on the wall). They might not have been the best, but they were different. I enjoy the Liberty Tavern/Restaurant 3/Spider Kelly/Eleven/Woodgrill/Harry's places just as much as the next guy. And although they have their differences good and bad and small and large, remember when Whitlow's was just about the only place to get "American" food between Ballston and Rosslyn?
Try Kabob Bazaar, Nam Viet, Tieng Thai, Guarapo, Mexicali Blues, Cafe Asia, Delhi Club, Il Raddichio, Sette Bello or any of the many, many other independent ethnic restaurants in Clarendon. Clarendon is an extremely diverse area as far as restaurants go and it's a great time to be in the area! Spider Kelly's is a fun little American joint that is certainly welcome on the block.

In the interest of full disclosure, Nick & Nick are friends and business partners of mine at Eventide, so I'll refrain from any specific comments on Spider Kelly's. I just wanted to address the "we have enough American restaurants here" thing. I'm not interested however, in starting a debate. :lol:

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I live down the street and while I have been very sad to see some of my favorite delicious, cheap dining options leave, I am SO glad it is not another Irish bar. :lol: I'm hoping this will be a new regular option for me and my friends - and not too much of a scene.

I think I'll be stopping by tonight - will report back tomorrow.

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Try Kabob Bazaar, Nam Viet, Tieng Thai, Guarapo, Mexicali Blues, Cafe Asia, Delhi Club, Il Raddichio, Sette Bello or any of the many, many other independent ethnic restaurants in Clarendon. Clarendon is an extremely diverse area as far as restaurants go and it's a great time to be in the area! Spider Kelly's is a fun little American joint that is certainly welcome on the block.

In the interest of full disclosure, Nick & Nick are friends and business partners of mine at Eventide, so I'll refrain from any specific comments on Spider Kelly's. I just wanted to address the "we have enough American restaurants here" thing. I'm not interested however, in starting a debate. :lol:

Nor am I, just stating a personal observation. I find the options steps from my front door dizzying and that is a fantastic thing. I appreciate and thank all of you for bringing the new places in and making the neighborhood that much better. Bethesda can go pound sand! Perhaps we can all join forces and get rid of "the place that shall not be named" with the gold dome down the street. Think of all the square footage you guys could play with there!

Plan to meet friends at Spider's this evening and very much looking forward to it. Question - is it non-smoking?

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Plan to meet friends at Spider's this evening and very much looking forward to it. Question - is it non-smoking?
Absolutely non-smoking throughout the restaurant. Be sure to ask for Ben, the GM, and give him your opinions about the place. He's really interested in menu feedback at this stage.
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Sat at the bar and tried the "Three Day Chicken." A full meal (half a chicken) for $10. I'm pretty sure the chicken, which is described as being brined for two days and marinated with garlic and cumin for one, is an homage to El Pollo Rico down the street, especially the "zesty rico sauce" that accompanies the dish. I think it also compares very favorably, coming out juicy with a crispy enough, and spicy enough, skin.

The bar is smaller than I thought, and I actually had to wait a bit to grab a seat. But the regular seating in the restaurant is self-service, first-come-first-serve, which is a clever concept. Next time I think I'll try the burger, as it is clearly the centerpiece of the menu. I hope they also plan to serve food late (til midnight at least) -- it is tough to get food late at night in this neighborhood.

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Sat at the bar and tried the "Three Day Chicken." A full meal (half a chicken) for $10. I'm pretty sure the chicken, which is described as being brined for two days and marinated with garlic and cumin for one, is an homage to El Pollo Rico down the street, especially the "zesty rico sauce" that accompanies the dish. I think it also compares very favorably, coming out juicy with a crispy enough, and spicy enough, skin.

The bar is smaller than I thought, and I actually had to wait a bit to grab a seat. But the regular seating in the restaurant is self-service, first-come-first-serve, which is a clever concept. Next time I think I'll try the burger, as it is clearly the centerpiece of the menu. I hope they also plan to serve food late (til midnight at least) -- it is tough to get food late at night in this neighborhood.

You pegged it right. Years of admiring and studying the birds at Pollo Rico led to this product. We think we got it close, and I am really glad that you liked it. We're using four pound birds as well, which puts a lot of food on the plate.

We are planning on staying open until last call every night, and we are planning on serving food every minute that we're open.

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Went last night with 3 friends. I was a bit surprised, the bar was smaller than I expected. I think the impression I had gotten before going was that this was a bar that served food. But it is really a restaurant. The space was nice and the people were friendly.

Our server was sweet, but seemed a bit nervous (which is to be expected having just opened). We ordered a bottle of Chenin Blanc and my boyfriend got a vodka tonic, which he liked. The server brought the bottle to our table having opened the screw top, but didn't pour it. I'm fine with this I think, but since he didn't pour it, he wasn't there when we found out that although the outside of the bottle was chilled, the wine was warm. When he came back, I told him it was warm and asked if he had an ice bath or something he could throw it in to cool it quickly. He said he could take it behind the bar. This was fine, but annoying - especially since we tend to run through a bottle of wine fairly quickly, and don't really want to wait for it to chill. :lol:

My friend got the burger. Her comments was that is was nice, but the bun was way bigger than the burger and the meat itself, while the texture was nice, was bland. I tasted it and agreed. I really like the fridge sauce.

We also got a side order of rosemary and garlic fries. These - not good. And $6! I thought that was a lot of money for a cup of fries. We found them to be mushy and bleh. I love fries, so even average ones are good to me. But not these, at least not this batch.

Overall, we thought it was a nice addition to the neighborhood, although we were all a bit perplexed about what kind of personality/niche it is traying to make for itself. But we all agreed that we would go back, and we want it to succeed.

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We went here the other night and are glad to have another late night dining option. I tried an appetizer and two of the side dishes. The buffalo chicken appetizer came with 3 skewers of chicken chunks, maytag dip, and a garnish of thin celery slices that were battered and deep fried. This was my least favorite dish because the buffalo sauce was sweet and didn't have the vinegar tang of a typical buffalo sauce.

I liked the cardiac mac and cheese. It was pasta spirals with a creamy cheesy sauce with melted cheese on top (with crisp cheese bits).

We also had the French fries which were moderately crispy and ok, but the best part was the deep fried whole garlic cloves that were interspersed with the fries. The garlic cloves were easy to pop out of their papery skins and were soft and like eating roasted garlic. I'll order the fries again just so I can have more of that garlic.

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Our server was sweet, but seemed a bit nervous (which is to be expected having just opened). We ordered a bottle of Chenin Blanc and my boyfriend got a vodka tonic, which he liked. The server brought the bottle to our table having opened the screw top, but didn't pour it. I'm fine with this I think, but since he didn't pour it, he wasn't there when we found out that although the outside of the bottle was chilled, the wine was warm. When he came back, I told him it was warm and asked if he had an ice bath or something he could throw it in to cool it quickly. He said he could take it behind the bar. This was fine, but annoying - especially since we tend to run through a bottle of wine fairly quickly, and don't really want to wait for it to chill. :lol:

My friend got the burger. Her comments was that is was nice, but the bun was way bigger than the burger and the meat itself, while the texture was nice, was bland. I tasted it and agreed. I really like the fridge sauce.

We also got a side order of rosemary and garlic fries. These - not good. And $6! I thought that was a lot of money for a cup of fries. We found them to be mushy and bleh. I love fries, so even average ones are good to me. But not these, at least not this batch.

Thanks so much for coming in the other night. I bought some white wine chillers for the tables, and we have been shuffling cooler space to make sure the bottles are coming out cold. I really like that Chenin Blanc, and it tastes great with a little chill.

Next week we are switching bakeries for our bread to go with something that fits a little better. The challenge is finding a bread that can hold up to the burger and doesn't turn to soggy mush. We keep the patties loose and there are a lot of toppings to choose from, so the bun needs some body. As to the burger itself, we season the grind, but it always helps to have some extra salt and pepper when it hits the grill. We'll iron that out as well.

The fries you got were way smaller than the spec for the portion, and you won't see those again. As far as the consistency, I can only guess they were pulled from their second blanching a little early. Another easy fix.

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I am over the moon to have another late night food option. No disrespect to Bob & Edith's or Kabob Palace, but this excites me much.

Can't wait to stop in.

And we look forward to seeing you.

Seems the Going Out Gurus already made it by. They nailed it as far as the congestion when it gets busy, but it is a problem we are working on diligently.

By the way, we are offering 1/2 price bottles of wine on Sundays and 1/2 price burgers on Mondays in addition to beer specials through the week.

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And we look forward to seeing you.

Seems the Going Out Gurus already made it by. They nailed it as far as the congestion when it gets busy, but it is a problem we are working on diligently.

By the way, we are offering 1/2 price bottles of wine on Sundays and 1/2 price burgers on Mondays in addition to beer specials through the week.

i was really excited about spider kelly's and finally got to stop by last night. our waitress was really nice. my girlfriend had already eaten, but came along for dessert. unfortunately, spider kelly's was out of both of the desserts she wanted to try (chocolate creme brulee and the cookies and milk). so my lady was very disappointed.

after seeing the daily special was half-priced burgers, i ordered the spider kelly burger medium rare with cheddar and the cardiac mac and cheese (i am a mac and cheese ADDICT).

the burger came out VERY well-done, another big disappointment. it was still pretty tasty, the pork fat really helped. but it was extremely crispy, more like breakfast sausage than a burger. the mustard, roasted tomatoes, and the honey-onion marmalade were all awesome.

next the mac and cheese. it completely lacked sauce. the noodles themselves were perfectly done, but it seemed the cook had simply mixed together some cheddar and macaroni and baked it, leaving a bunch of rubbery cheese on top, and a huge pool of yellow grease on the bottom.

after i asked for the check our waitress brought it back promptly, but charged us full price for the burgers. i inqured about what i had assumed was a mix-up and she said 'oh, thats only till 8'. neither my girlfriend or i could remember seeing time restrictions for the special on the menu. this was another big disappointment. especially since we were charged 9 dollars for a burger that didn't even come with french fries. she was very nice and courteous and asked if we liked everything about our meal and i told her the burger was FAR past medium rare, and the mac and cheese was greasy, but she offered no recourse.

i still have a bit of confidence in spider kelly's but i won't be going back often at those prices with that number of issues. 25 dollars for a burger, side dish, and two beers is over the top, especially given the service issues.

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Welcome, kneelconqueso!

she was very nice and courteous and asked if we liked everything about our meal and i told her the burger was FAR past medium rare, and the mac and cheese was greasy, but she offered no recourse.

To clarify, did you let her know about the overcooked burger and the greasy mac and cheese when you were served, or only after you got the check and were ready to leave?

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Welcome, kneelconqueso!

To clarify, did you let her know about the overcooked burger and the greasy mac and cheese when you were served, or only after you got the check and were ready to leave?

i was starving, didn't want to wait on my entire order to be recooked, so i mentioned it at the last minute.

i wasn't expecting to be comped or anything, but it would have been nice to at least have received my burger at the price i expected.

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i was really excited about spider kelly's and finally got to stop by last night. our waitress was really nice. my girlfriend had already eaten, but came along for dessert. unfortunately, spider kelly's was out of both of the desserts she wanted to try (chocolate creme brulee and the cookies and milk). so my lady was very disappointed.

after seeing the daily special was half-priced burgers, i ordered the spider kelly burger medium rare with cheddar and the cardiac mac and cheese (i am a mac and cheese ADDICT).

the burger came out VERY well-done, another big disappointment. it was still pretty tasty, the pork fat really helped. but it was extremely crispy, more like breakfast sausage than a burger. the mustard, roasted tomatoes, and the honey-onion marmalade were all awesome.

next the mac and cheese. it completely lacked sauce. the noodles themselves were perfectly done, but it seemed the cook had simply mixed together some cheddar and macaroni and baked it, leaving a bunch of rubbery cheese on top, and a huge pool of yellow grease on the bottom.

after i asked for the check our waitress brought it back promptly, but charged us full price for the burgers. i inqured about what i had assumed was a mix-up and she said 'oh, thats only till 8'. neither my girlfriend or i could remember seeing time restrictions for the special on the menu. this was another big disappointment. especially since we were charged 9 dollars for a burger that didn't even come with french fries. she was very nice and courteous and asked if we liked everything about our meal and i told her the burger was FAR past medium rare, and the mac and cheese was greasy, but she offered no recourse.

i still have a bit of confidence in spider kelly's but i won't be going back often at those prices with that number of issues. 25 dollars for a burger, side dish, and two beers is over the top, especially given the service issues.

Welcome to Rockwell kneelconqueso! Kind of... :lol:

Joking aside, many of the issues that kneel brought up we are aware of, and I have addressed in the PM I sent to him/her. The fact is, we are having a few growing pains. We opened quickly and are still trying to get ourselves stable--but we make vast strides everyday, and the staff is working very hard.

I just wanted to clarify that the burger special will run ALL NIGHT on Mondays. That was a miscommunication with the staff. Thanks.

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Hang on kids, I'm going invent a meme: the black toilet restaurant.

There's a whole crop of places that wants to be your new neighborhood bar, yet be refined and upscale so they can charge you $8 for a burger. They remind me of a teenager who wants to impress his date. He focuses on wearing a nice tie, presses his shirt, puts on the fancy jeans, but forgets to not wear his gym shoes. Like any teenager, there's maturity problems. Spider has been open two weeks, and cheerfully admits that they're still fine tuning. I see potential, but I'm waiting for another month for a return visit.

Places like this try really, really hard, and under it all, they're really nice. They focus a lot on decor, ambiance, and service, and try to be super cool.

Spider Kelley's is no exception. It's decorated like a hipster lair, with that slate gray on the walls, fancy sparkly marble tables, galvanized fixtures, irridescent tile, and yes, a black toilet to go with the marble sink. The service is very enthusiastic, and they're bending over backward at the front of the house. Still, it's too dark in the dining room, the music is about 20% too loud, and sometimes, your waiter can disappear.

The food is really, really good, except when it is horrible. First the portions are HUGE - sides really will serve 2-3 people; salads are on platters. We started with a lemongrass beef appetizer (wisely deciding to share after seeing it come out of the kitchen). It was a decent 4-5oz cut of nicely cooked medium rare meat, flavored with traditional Vietnamese spices, service with a nice sauce. It reminded me a lot of the departed Cafe Dalat, except more luxurious.

Spider's headlines burgers, including the Spider Burger, featuring a chef's mix of meats, including pork fat (YES!). This is one of the items that seriously needed tweaking - way too heavy on the pork fat, which made the whole thing taste like an old pork rind. The bun was stale, the condiments scanty. I can see how this burger is GOING to be a good idea, but wait til they get the kinks out. All burgers come with astoundingly good homemade-tasting spicy pickles worth a visit on their own.

Spider Burger was sent back to the kitchen, only to be replaced with the hands-down best mac and cheese in DC. Eff your effeminate lobster mac n cheese - the 'cardiac' is super cheesy, creamy, and not in the least floury (you know who you are), served piping hot (you also know who you are) with a good crust of cheddar on top. I know some Velveeta is involved somewhere, in the best possible way. This places me at the gym for another 45 minutes, but it's all worth it.

We also had the fish, which was a mixed bag. It was a generous cut of fish, but a little overcooked and stale tasting. However, it was topped with a really nice lightly pickled asian flavored mix of onions, peppers and cilantro. Grilled asparagus is good quality, fresh produce, grilled in olive oil with salt and pepper, just until tender. Garlic fries are a good first cut, served with cloves of roasted garlic (peels on - ick). The garlic isn't quite mixed in with the flavor of the potatoes, and the fries are a little soggy, but it's still worthy of eating.

Other stuff that looked good were the monster half three day chicken, steak, and all the salads. The burgers look pretty anemic and dry as a whole, but I have hope for the chicken burger. The bar is cozy, and has a small but standard collection of good liquors.

Spider's has a lot of potential, but needs to mature. In the meantime, you can sure do worse in Clarendon than dropping in for dinner and beer. I'm waiting til they grow up a little more for another visit, though.

http://www.spiderkellys.com

monday through friday: 5pm to 2am

saturday through sunday: 10am to 2am

3181 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22201

tel 703.312.8888 | fax 703.312.8884

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I was really excited to try Spider Kelly's because I'm still looking for a neighborhood bar where everyone knows my name. As others have noted, Spider Kelly's has considerable potential, but needs work. My first impressions:

First...the bar area...no beers on tap? seriously? How could any restaurant with a bar area not have even one tap? ouch.

Second...the music. Given the somewhat edgy, minimalist look of the place, I was expecting some indie rock or more undergroundish kind of music...instead, its soft rock. In the time it took to drink one bottle of Dogfish 60 Minute, I heard the Goo Goo Dolls and the Spin Doctors...to me, it felt like a huge mismatch, but that could be more about my expectations than anything else.

Third...the wine glasses. They are goblets. My girlfriend did not care for them, despite how much she enjoyed the wine inside the glass.

The best part, in my mind, is the nightly specials. Their Happy Hour runs an hour later than most in the area, which is great. The night I went (I think on a Tuesday) my Dogfish was only $3...the service was really friendly too.

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Oh I see...Sthitch was saying that Spider Kelly's does not have enough space for a draft beer system by referencing Corduroy as an example.

I suppose a neighborhood bar doesn't require a draft beer system, but I think it helps a lot. At least for me.

I read you loud & clear. The space that Spider Kelly's occupies is quite small in the back of the house and has a small, kinda scary, cramped basement. The only way they could have done drafts was to have a small draft unit under the bar that could house maybe two kegs at a time (one on line and one backup), which just didn't seem like the right answer. If they had put in the keg unit, there would have been virtually no space behind their bar for bottles. The choice came down to 1 draft beer or 15-20 bottles. The answer was easy.
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My first thought after finding a seat in the back corner (under the TV) of Spider Kelly's was turn the F'ing bass down. All I could hear (and my wife as well) was boom boom boom, nothing else. I just wish I could follow that up with but you know the food was great. Unfortunately the only thing resonating was the bass. We both ordered Spider Kelly burgers medium rare, hers arrived medium, mine medium well. Things like that happen (the burgers delivered to the table next to me ordered medium arrived perfectly medium). Well onto the burger, others have mentioned that there was too much pork fat, wow I would have loved that problem. My burger was Jenny Craig lean, no fat, just dry crumbly meat, also absent was even a hint of meat flavor, no pork or beef. The two highlights of the burger were the bun (which contained every ounce of juice the meat once held), and the zesty refrigerator sauce.

I also have to agree and disagree with Cheesepowder about the fries. I found the actual fries to be nothing special (tasted as if they came from a bag - not saying they did, they just tasted that way) so that is where I agree. Where I disagree is concerning the garlic, I thought that it lent nothing to the dish, and neither did the rosemary. I guess if I wanted to fumble with the garlic and eat it from the paper it might have been good, but I wanted fries not sticky roasted garlic, and the whole leaves of rosemary were left untouched so they did not have a chance to let off their aromas.

All-in-all a very disappointing evening. But to be fair, at least the beer was cold.

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Hi Folks,

I wanted to let you all know we have revised and expanded the menu at Spider Kelly's in response to customer feedback. We crossed the six month mark, and we figured it was time for some tweaking. The core items remain--still making the burgers daily, still doing the fries by hand--but we now have more options for appetizers, sandwiches and entrees. Some highlights:

Fried Pickle Appetizer. A bowl of fresh cut dill pickle discs lightly dredged in flour & cornmeal with just a hint of pepper. Served with home made buttermilk ranch dressing

Crump's Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Half a chicken soaked in our special brine before being dredged in our special batter and fried to order

Chicken Noodle Soup. Our own stock is the base for a hearty mix of chunky vegetables, savory pulled chicken and fresh herbs

The rest of the menu is on our web site.

In addition to the menu changes, our bartenders and managers have created some specialty cocktails. A couple examples:

The Kelly Black. Maker’s Mark, Ginger ale, Blackberries

Ad’s Sparkling Sangria. Champagne, White grape juice, Mint, Strawberries

The beer list has been expanded to include some more eclectic selections, seasonal offerings and large format bottles. Right now we have Ommegang's Three Philosophers and Hennepin as well as Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale in big bottles and Blue Moon Full Moon and Magic Hat Roxy Rolles for the winter seasonals.

We also added a digital jukebox which has been a lot of fun. We still offer 1/2 price burgers, but it's now on Tuesday nights. We will be open for business at 8PM on Christmas Day for those of you needing an escape from family, and for New Year's Eve we'll have decorations and specials, but--you guessed it--no cover charge. :P

We hope to see some of you soon, and we wish you the best for the holidays.

Nick

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Dinner last Sat evening at Spider's with my wife and our 2 yr old daughter. Not seemingly an ideal spot for dinner with a kid, a bit bar-like, but the decibel level actually helped in that regard. Service was friendly and prompt, not overly intrusive. We ordered chicken noodle soup and house salad for appetizers. The soup was outstanding, very flavorful broth, though the salad was boring. The dressing and goat cheese were bland and the greens were uninspired, making the whole thing not bad but underwhelming, despite the enormous size. Entrees were po'boy and 3 day chicken, as well as order of fries, mac & cheese, and grilled veggies for sides. Shrimp on the po'boy were fine, bread was very good. Overall, a decent sandwich. Chicken was quite good, juicy and flavorful. Sides were all good, esp the fries. Overall, a fine experience. Not bowled over by the food but certainly a good effort, nice service, and a decent neighborhood place worth supporting.

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I keep coming back to Spider Kelly's for their Grilled Veggie P.E.T.A ($7), which is everything I could ask for in a veggie sandwich. The generous assortment of grilled veggies retain some of their crunchy freshness, they get a light touch of a tangy vinaigrette, some feta crumbles, and are wrapped in a warm, chewy pita. The sandwich comes wrapped in paper which keeps everything in place, and none of the yummy drippings from the veggies drip down my arm.

The fries ($5), which I usually order without the rosemary and garlic, are the right size for two people to share. They have always been crispy and hot, except once, when we notified our server who graciously replaced them with a fresh batch within minutes. Ask for some of their zesty "fridge sauce" on the side if you like a little spice.

I tried the Buffalo-style chicken wings ($9 for ten wings), and thought they were pretty good. The sauce has just enough honey for the sweet-heat effect without being cloyingly sweet. They were plump - bigger and better than the wings at Four Courts or Clarendon Grill.

The service has always been friendly and efficient.

On Mondays all bottles of wine are half price, and on Tuesdays all their burgers are half price. Pretty good deals...for us, it's a nice mid-week, quick night out.

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Last night I decided to make thick cut pork chops that I'd bought from Harris Teeter. After a while cooking them in the oven, they were still really, really rare, so I upped the heat, and next time I checked them they were well done. Oops. However, despite how tough they were, they were still tasty.

Which reminded me of the Dr. Pepper Pork Chop I had at Spider Kelly's on Friday night. Marshall and I hit it for dinner, as he'd never been there sober(-ish). We split an order of the fried pickles, which I thought had a good combination of pickle to batter for the taste, though they got a bit greasy as we went through them. (As a side note, I think that Southside 815's fried pickles are too thin and Clare & Don's Beach Shack's are too thick.)

For dinner I got the pork chop and it took a decent amount of sawing to cut off pieces, often causing my plate to move around the table. Still, it was tasty, and wasn't that chewy - just hard to cut, much like my pork chops last night. My chop at Spider Kelly's was ordered medium rare and was that; next time, I might consider medium, simply because of how thick the pork chop is (that was a LOT of red in the middle).

We split an order of the rosemary garlic fries and they were rather goshdarned tasty, especially when I found one or two of the fried cloves of garlic.

Marshall got the Spider Kelly burger but I'll let him talk about that.

That wasn't the only time I went to SK last week. On Monday night I ended up there and it's not only half price bottles of wine but also half price bottles of beer (not the big ones, just the $6 and under ones). While there's no way in heck I'd pay $11 for a 15.2 ounce Grolsch (Grolsch? Really?) I paid it willingly for a 22 ounce Arrogant Bastard on Friday night and I paid $17 for a Chimay Monday night (after two $3 Anchor Steams).

Monday night I got an order of the onion rings and the three day chicken. The onion rings were tasty - not the best I've ever had (I still leave that for Dave's Taverna in Harrisonburg but that might be a combination of nostalgia and drinking at the time) but better than most in the area. I'd hesitantly put them near #1 that I've had in this area.

The chicken was GREAT. Juicy, delicious, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Now to just find out if I can get all dark meat next time I order it...

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Marshall got the Spider Kelly burger but I'll let him talk about that.

Don't mind if I do.

As Sean stated, I hadn't yet made it to Spider Kelly's on the sober side of life and have been craving a trip to give it another shot. (The last time being after a cocktail class at EatBar with Gina, Sean, Nicole and Vince that was fueled by beer and whiskey shots . . . but I digress.) Being starved and feeling a little decadent, I ordered the Spider Kelly Burger (medium) with american cheese, bacon and the fried egg. I'm a sucker for eggs and putting a fried egg on just about anything makes me happy. I've also discovered the joys of a fried egg with smoked spanish paprika. Oh that's just tasty. Damn tangents.

Anyway, the burger was perfectly cooked, the egg yolk mixed happily with the cheese soaked down into the meat and bun. The bacon was lean and perfectly crisp, as I prefer. The only downside to the burger, for my tastes, was the pork fat. Now don't get me wrong, I love porky goodness as much as the next gentile and the idea of mixing fat with the beef in a burger makes me swoon. However, in this case, it was just too much. It overwhelmed the flavor of the beef to the extent that I felt I was eating more pork than beef. With that said, I polished off 4/5s of the burger. :rolleyes: Next time, I plan on ordering the regular burger just so I can get a baseline.

As Sean stated the accompaniments were spot on great too. In all it was a great meal and I'm very glad I went back. I definitely plan on returning! I may even bring in some smoked spanish paprika to add to the fried egg added onto my bacon cheese burger. Ummmm . . . Lipitor . . .

Cheers!

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I was looking at the topic of Dive Bars and I thought of Spider Kelly's because it definitely not one but is setting itself up to appear to be one. It had the low lighting and booths of many dive bars but the price of the booze and beer is much higher than, say, Jay's or the Tune Inn. The food, slightly above mediocre (although the chicken noodle soup is excellent), is more decently priced. I had the fried chicken with moist meat but over fried.

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Had a very nice dinner the other night with a group. My burger was quite lean, so next time I will try the pork fat version. French fries with rosemary and garlic were delicious, drinks were good, we didn't save room for dessert. The service was outstanding!

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Walking through Clarendon last night we decided to try one of the new places and Spider Kelly's had immediate seating. While dark (they have a fondness for black) and on the louder side we were seated in a booth to review the menu. We ordered the following from the menu and were more than happy with the food.

Three Day Chicken - $10 - A chicken brined for two days, marinated with cumin and garlic for one, then fire roasted; served with our zippy rico sauce.

100% Beef Burger - $7 (with cheese +$1)

Cardiac Mac-n-Cheese - $6

Hand Cut Fries - $5

Chocolate Brownie a la Mode - $5

The half chicken was excellent, full of flavor and not dry at all. Personally I would have preferred a crispier skin, but that did not distract much from this dish. The fries were some of the best that I have had in a long time, crispy with the right amount of salt. The roasted garlic and rosemary did not add much flavor as the roasted cloves are tossed around with the fries. They are however easily mashed to make a tasty spread. The mac-n-cheese was good and according to the waiter is made with a combination of Velveeta®, cheddar, and possibly one other cheese. I has a slight Kraft® taste mixed with a helping of the cheddar. Next time I will ask for some tabasco to give it a little kick. Dessert was decent. How can you go wrong with a warm brownie smothered in ice cream and whipped cream?

Overall an enjoyable meal for a very good price. I only wish the beer list was a bit better.

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100% Beef Burger - $7 (with cheese +$1)

Hand Cut Fries - $5

The fries were some of the best that I have had in a long time, crispy with the right amount of salt. The roasted garlic and rosemary did not add much flavor as the roasted cloves are tossed around with the fries. They are however easily mashed to make a tasty spread.

Overall an enjoyable meal for a very good price. I only wish the beer list was a bit better.

I stopped in last night for a half-price 100% Beef Burger (now $8, discounted to $4 on Tuesday nights, cheddar $1, bacon $2, (condiments not discounted), grilled onions and mushrooms free), and I thought it was one heck of a burger for $7. I agree with mdt that the fries are some of the best I've had in a long time, although I actually liked the rosemary (for scent) and garlic (I don't mind whole cloves if they're thoroughly cooked). The fries are enough for two people, and I took half of them home with a beautiful Flat Iron Steak ($14), ordered rare so it wouldn't overcook when reheated. I agree the beer selection could be better, but it isn't "bad" per se - I enjoyed a Dogfish Head 60 for $6. Thanks also to Ben for allowing me to order off the regular menu after 10 PM (it was about 10:15-10:30, and he did not know who I was) - Spider Kelly's serves a limited, late-night menu until 1 AM every night (hungry revelers, take note), but stops serving the full menu at 10 PM. The bartender was a nice guy, despite pulling for the Penguins, and a short evening of hockey, burger, fries, and beer was everything it could have possibly been.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Never ceases to please. I'm there probably once a month, almost always Tuesday nights, for 1/2 price burgers, rosemary fries (love those fried garlic cloves) and a beer-- or, lately, the dirty golfer cocktail, which is probably overpriced at $9 but is a delicious mix of Firefly sweet tea vodka and lemonade. Wish it had the sugar rim like the bubble drop. In any case, the burgers are always good, the pickled veggies are fantastic (and I get to eat BF's too, which is nice) and the service, while not always the most refined, is efficient, friendly, and comfortable. I vote yes.

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Never ceases to please. I'm there probably once a month, almost always Tuesday nights, for 1/2 price burgers, rosemary fries (love those fried garlic cloves) and a beer-- or, lately, the dirty golfer cocktail, which is probably overpriced at $9 but is a delicious mix of Firefly sweet tea vodka and lemonade. Wish it had the sugar rim like the bubble drop. In any case, the burgers are always good, the pickled veggies are fantastic (and I get to eat BF's too, which is nice) and the service, while not always the most refined, is efficient, friendly, and comfortable. I vote yes.

Interesting that they call it the "dirty golfer". I have seen it many places referred to as a "John Daly".
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Since it's not exactly a "John Daly" because we're using Firely vodka, not a standard vodka and iced tea, I figured it wouldn't be right to use the name and came up with something close. Thanks for commenting and stopping by everyone.

Ben,

GM- Spider Kelly's

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Went to SK's last night after work with a bunch of guys from work. We were glad to grab a table there just before the rain started and the crowd outside looked for cover. Sat in the back with a good view of the TV, though we were soon disappointed by the satellite feed periodically dropping out.

We all ordered various beers, I like the diversity in the beer list here, and a bunch of appetizers. I thought the onion rings and fries were good but the fried shrimp were way too chewy. Entrees were burgers all around. My portobello burger with provolone and grilled onions tasted good but was very hard to eat with the mushrooms slipping out the sides with every bite. Not sure how you alleviate that but the mess i made might give me pause before ordering it again, despite it being rather tasty.

Service was attentive and prompt, as usual. Beer were cold, orders came out of the kitchen in a timely manner, and noise level was actually such that you could hold a conversation. So, a good evening overall.

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