Sunday, March 18, 2012

Colombia Firehouse in Old Town Alexandria

We underestimated Colombia Firehouse's popularity one Friday back in winter. Without a reservation the wait was over 2 hours. Fortunately, we went on a Wednesday evening and there were tables inside available. One strange thing, the hostess greeted us and there was an empty table, but she made us wait until her younger sidekick came back to show us to the table. 
 Caesar salad with pickled onions and a dozen oysters.
Fantastic, tangy dressing and the pickled onions worked. We shared a platter with four types of oysters from the East Coast. However, the platter was delivered without anyone telling us what types they were. Apparently this is not Hank's Oyster Bar where they give you a print out of the names of oysters and order.
 My fiance ordered the bison shortrib stroganoff, but they ran out. Instead he had the cider-brined pork chop with housemade sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. The plate was a wash of browns, and needed a pop of color.
Steamed PEI Mussels with Green Curry, sides of fried and green beans
The curry sauce was surprisingly spicy and flavorful. Fries were crispy, and the green beans provided the needed vegetable side. I put aside table manners and thoroughly enjoyed dipping the bread into the sauce. 
We both remembered underwhelming dining experiences at Portners, which was the former restaurant in the Colombia Firehouse space. Colombia Firehouse is a huge improvement. It has a nice, varied menu, and I liked the atmosphere with the old wooden floors and beams. Another nice touch, they have some lovely nonalcoholic beverages including a sparkling pomegranate lemonade that was incredibly refreshing. I would like to got back and have a cheese and charcuterie platter and try another type of mussels. 

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