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Velocity Five, Sports Bar in Merrifield and Sterling


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This used to be called "The Shark Club".

Basically, it's a giant sports bar with lots of TVs. A good friend of mine lives about a mile away from it and was excited to see that they have a variety of different wings. He finally convinced me to Metro out past the Beltway ("But Roy, there are BEARS and stuff out in that wilderness!") to give it a shot.

It's a huge place but was pretty empty when we got there. We sat at the bar and ordered a couple of drinks - I stuck with Pilsner Urquell as it was happy hour on drinks until 8:30 (food happy hour ends at 7), while Roy stuck with his usual (Jack and diet Coke).

Of course, we had to give the wings a shot. The menu describes them as "our signature crispy Southern fried wings". We got the All Pro Sampler Platter ($15.95) which is 16 wings in four styles. We went with Kentucky Derby Bleu Cheese, Georgia Peanut, Island, and Buffalo Bill's Spicy. Roy insisted that we get them boneless. If you want all drumettes (the way I make mine at home) it costs $2 per 6 extra. So the wings were a bit pricey.

They weren't bad. The Bleu Cheese ones were interesting, though I'm not certain if I'd like to eat many more than the two I ate last night - an entire order might get to you. The Georgia Peanut were quite tasty, I thought, with some crushed peanuts on top. The Island had the seasoning beneath the fried batter, which was interesting but not bad - I could've gone with a bit of a sauce of some sort on them. The spicy ones, well, really weren't that spicy. They weren't awful, but I probably wouldn't order them again (today, thinking of them, I'm realizing I'm getting their spicy level right around some vegetarian buffalo chicken nuggets I used to get, if that gives you any sort of hint...they were just quite "eh").

The problem overall with my lack of enthusiasm towards them might be the fact that they were boneless and resembled anything in between chicken mcnuggets or large pieces of General Tso's chicken.

Since we were still hungry, I got an order of the Nachos Grande ($9.95) and Roy got the Maryland Crab Cake Sliders ($10.95).

The sliders came with a side of shoestring fries that were quite tasty. The sliders themselves were nothing to write home about - they weren't as good, I thought, as Dogwood Tavern's crab sliders, though they weren't as "gloopy" either. The bun did nothing for them and they definitely improved with a bit of remoulade sauce on them. The big thing is they need a dash more of spice and a different bun.

The nachos were perfectly fine. They hit the spot very well, they resisted getting soggy, they were huge, well balanced, and honestly, a step above most "nachos grande" I've had in a long while. I wouldn't hesitate to get them again, they really hit the spot.

The website (http://www.velocityfiverestaurant.com/) has their menus, which includes a sushi bar and a raw bar. Other than that, it's fairly typical sports bar fare.

It's not some place I'd go out of my way to go to - but it's not some place I'd avoid. I'd definitely go with the "regular" wings next time I give them a shot, and I could wish they had a larger tap selection. For game days it's probably a hoot to hang out there, particularly with the sheer number of TVs they have and the setup they have with some of their "suites" and couches. I'd go there over Grevey's, but that's not saying much.

Given that it's the closest "decent" restaurant to my buddy's house, though, I'll probably end up there occasionally in the future. (Though I'll continue to try to convince him to come into EFC or Arlington, I don't want to get eaten by a bear!)

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Jack and Diet Coke and insisted on boneless wings?!? I have a friend like that, I just refuse to go out to eat with him, because he always wants to go somewhere similar to what you have described here (or someplace with naked women dancing), and people try and say that you should always follow a cops advice about food.

Thanks for taking one for the team.

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Given that it's the closest "decent" restaurant to my buddy's house, though, I'll probably end up there occasionally in the future. (Though I'll continue to try to convince him to come into EFC or Arlington, I don't want to get eaten by a bear!)
There's a Panera, Noodles & Co and a Chipotle across the street with Peking Village and Five Guys just a bit further down the road. Next time, excuse yourself to the bathroom, run out & get something edible and make your way back in time to watch the second half of whatever game's on. If nothing else, there's tasty Korean at the bar in the left corner of H Mart next door. :lol:

Anyone ever tried the Lebanese place in that same shopping center?

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Jack and Diet Coke and insisted on boneless wings?!? I have a friend like that, I just refuse to go out to eat with him, because he always wants to go somewhere similar to what you have described here (or someplace with naked women dancing), and people try and say that you should always follow a cops advice about food.

Is his name Roy?! :lol:

Ahhh, he's one of my best friends. I can't not go out to eat with him! (Me love grammar...)

There's a Panera, Noodles & Co and a Chipotle across the street with Peking Village and Five Guys just a bit further down the road. Next time, excuse yourself to the bathroom, run out & get something edible and make your way back in time to watch the second half of whatever game's on. If nothing else, there's tasty Korean at the bar in the left corner of H Mart next door. smile.gif

Anyone ever tried the Lebanese place in that same shopping center?

It's not really I thought the food was THAT bad...it's just not anything special. I wouldn't go out of my way to replace it with most of those as it doesn't really bother me, though that Korean sounds good.

And sometimes a guy just needs a plain ole cheesesteak or some (non-boneless) wings.

I always say that just because you like the good things in life doesn't mean you have to give up the not-as-good things. :lol: (Thus my propensity for cheap ramen with chicken from a can or finding myself eating carry out from CuCu once again today...)

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Is his name Roy?! :lol:

Yes. Oh . . . wait . . .

I still want to give this place a shot, even if it's only a middle of the road spot culinarily speaking.

Do you know if the regular wings are breaded or as Hooter's calls them, naked? And these nachoes you speak of . . . gooey melted cheeze sauce or melted shredded cheese?

Inquiring minds and all . . .

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They are more like fried chicken than any other wing I've had in a long while. I do not have good memories of Hooters wings, either in quantity or quality, other than what's stuck with me throughout the ages which was: "I absolutely despise Hooters wings."

The cheese on the nachos was melted shredded cheese. There was enough on there - there wasn't a ton, but it wasn't sparse, it was just right. Honestly, I think the nachos were close to perfect for "sports bar food". Then again, I was a few beers in at that point and famished...

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There's an article in this week's Washington Business Journal noting the owner's plans to Open a Velocity Five in the Courthouse Area of Arlington... anybody know where that may be going in? It would have to be a large space...

I just posted this in the King Street Blues thread. The Courthouse location of King Street Blues is closed, and the sign says it's going to be Velocity Grill Sports Pub and Restaurant. So the new location for Velocity Five?

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But is it worth going to?

I did not eat there, but for drinking/sports, the answer is no. $4.50 for a bottle of domestic beer and, while there were many HD flat panel TVs showing the games this evening, the crowd was much more interested in how awesome they thought they were than basketball. Pass.

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I've been there a couple of times, and they've ranged from "look how awesome we are" crowds to waitresses attired like they should be at Hooters. Never really impressed when I've gone there, especially by myself - I eat out a lot by myself and it feels, well, judgmental there.

Had a wings craving tonight so I decided to hit V5. Sat at a table for nearly 10 minutes with no service, even after later-arriving tables were served, and said "you know what? Screw this place" and left.

My dinner next door at Tosca Organic Grill was much better, cheaper, and friendlier than V5 has ever been, and that was with me walking basically at the end of their service.

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There is a Velocity 5 now in Centreville in the old Catbo/Austin Grill place. I wonder what restaurant will go there next since I don't think Velocity 5 will be there long. We went for Sunday Brunch yesterday because we had a coupon. For most of our meal we were the only customers there. Well, the only customers if you didn't include the flies which were swarming around us while we tried to eat. When we mentioned that the flies seemed a little excessive the waitress blamed it on the pond that is nearby. Strangely enough we never had fly issues at Catbo or Red Rock (copper Canyon) or Carabbas for that matter.

The food was decidedly average but seemed pricey. Two of us got burgers which were completely adequate but did not really justify their $10 + pricetag. The 6 dollar side salad we got seemed excessive as well. Even with a coupon, I doubt we will return.

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Had never been in any of their locations, but satisfied a recent Thursday night wings craving with a takeout order in Merrifield. Although it was approximately kickoff time when I arrived, a surprising amount of the activity was concentrated around the games area rather than watching the game. A very dark interior makes for promising viewing, but also makes me wonder if the atmosphere turns to "dance club" at some point.

In any event, I was pleasantly surprised by the wings, given the generally-mediocre reviews. Large, meaty, and crispy -- generously sauced but not soggy. And served with a large portion of both carrots and celery on the side -- the sports bar trend seems to be to give only one or the other in a parsimonious helping these days, but that wasn't the case here. A reasonable array of gametime beer specials -- although the beer list looks to be "basic American sports bar" with a handful of Virginia beers tossed in.

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