This week, July 12-19, is Restaurant Week at the newly renovated Springfield Town Center in Springfield, VA. You can check out the menus for the 5 participating restaurants here. As a member of the NoVA Yelp Elite Squad, I was invited to try out the restaurants ahead of time. We had such a fun time and ate SO MUCH FOOD, it was insane. Check out what we were served below, and make sure to stop by Springfield Town Center this week for great deals on yummy food!
Our first stop was Yard House, an American restaurant with a huge menu including a big vegetarian section, and tons of beers on tap.
They served us an Ahi tuna salad, mac and cheese, and a Moscow Mule. The tuna was really well seasoned and perfectly cooked, but I didn't care for the greens. The mac and cheese was AWESOME - the pasta was the perfect texture and it was loaded with chicken, bacon, mushrooms, and truffle oil. So good - I definitely recommend it. The Moscow mule was light and refreshing, and really lovely on a hot day.
Next up was Chuy's - OMG CHUY'S!!! Words cannot express my excitement. You see, I am from Texas and this Austin based chain is my jam. The fact that it has migrated with me to VA is just the best. The manager here was super on point and spent a lot of time talking about how they make everything fresh in house. And yes, that is a giant strawberry margarita and pina colada swirl you see there.
We got to try all of their sauces (made fresh every day) - my favorite is the creamy jalapeno, I must have eaten gallons of it in college. I would never have thought to order tortilla soup, as I usually find it to be boring. But the soup they gave us was SO GOOD - so many different ingredients in there and so much flavor, wow. They also gave us the Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken - which is topped with chile sauce, potato chips, and cheese - so yummy! I liked that it wasn't too spicy, since I am a total wuss. Just when we thought we couldn't eat any more (and still had 3 more restaurants to try), they brought out the Tres Leches. Seriously, so perfect - it comes with a creme fraiche so that it isn't overly sweet like some.
Next up was &pizza, a local pizza chain that I enjoy. You walk down a counter to order one of their signatures or a custom, and they cook it in a little oven right there. It's pretty cool, and the pizza is surprisingly high quality for the fast-casual style set-up. They brought us a number of their signatures to try, my favorite of which was the Gnarlic. I also really liked the dessert pizza with berries. I wasn't very impressed with the salads, but I'm not coming to a pizza joint to get a salad, right? They also had craft sodas that were super delish - especially the root beer.
By the time we got to Nando's Peri Peri, I was totally stuffed. But that was okay, because we were all served the medium spicy chicken which was too spicy for me! I would like to go back and customize my order to my liking, because the chicken was nicely cooked. I did enjoy my sangria quite a bit, though. I want to point out that their dinner deal includes an entire bottle of wine, so... yeah. Get on that!
Oh yeah, and these little custard tarts? They are the bomb dot com.
Our last stop was Maggiano's, a chain which I had visited before and thought to be average. The food they brought out here was way better than I remember from other locations. And you have to remember that I had just eaten 4 full meals, so I had no hunger bias AT ALL. Kudos to the chef and his team here, I was impressed. He came around to talk to us and told us how everything was made in house, fresh (except for the bread and the dry pasta, which is Barilla). We had the fried zucchini and it was perfectly crispy and hot. It was served with what they called a lemon aioli, but was more like a ranch dip. It was delicious, but obviously not an aioli. We also had a fantastic 7-layer chocolate cake that I loved, even though I am not a big chocolate person! And, of course, the frozen peach bellini - YUM. I am excited to see that their restaurant week menu includes the lobster carbonara, because that is my favorite dish from Maggiano's!
So, that wraps up my experience. Please go visit the very new, very clean Springfield Town Center this week for some great restaurant deals!