Jump to content
cheezepowder

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

Recommended Posts

by the way, it didn't look open when I walked by yesterday but maybe someone around here will post on when they're opening. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wonder--will they have a dress code or a cover charge?

no dress code.

no cover. ever.

:lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...