Thursday, August 4, 2011

Uncle Sam Wants You -- To Eat Here!

Kilroy’s Restaurant and Sports Bar
5250-A Port Royal Rd.
Springfield Virginia 22151

“Kilroy was here.” It’s the stuff of legend.

In World War II, shipyard worker James Kilroy was tasked with writing those words to show that he had inspected the riveting on newly-constructed ships.

To the troops in those ships, however, it was a complete mystery -- all they knew for sure was that Kilroy had been there first.

As a joke, troops began placing “Kilroy Was Here” wherever U.S. forces went, claiming it was already there when they arrived.

It became a challenge to place the note in the most unlikely places.

Legend has it that an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Truman, Stalin, and Churchill at the 1945 Potsdam conference. The first person to use it was Stalin.

When the commie turd emerged from the outhouse, Stalin asked his aide in Russian, "Who is Kilroy?"

Well, it turns out that Kilroy is a restaurant owner right outside Washington, D.C. in Springfield, Virginia – an Irish pub-style bar and grill I rolled up to one evening in search of sustenance.

It’s a happening place, apparently.

By the time I arrived around 8:00 on a Thursday, the bar area was packed, so I had to sit in the dining room.

I was a tad disappointed. When I’m traveling alone, often the highlight of the day is downing a beer and watching “the game” in a restaurant’s bar.

I was happy to see there was a couple of TV’s in the dining room. But that wasn’t what caught my eye.

Perhaps not surprisingly – this is “Kilroy’s” after all – every inch of the entire restaurant is plastered with government war propaganda asking folks to “buy war bonds” or otherwise join the U.S. military effort in World War I and World War II.

Nothing like thinking of people shot up and mangled by bombs to work up an appetite!

In fact, normally something like this would send Suit 69 off on a rant about how Woodrow Wilson and FDR maneuvered the United States into war killing hundreds of . . .

Eh . . . I just decided to take a pass and focus on something more important . . . like ordering a beer . . .

I asked the waiter what they had on tap, and listed off 10 or 12 very impressive beers along with a couple of American puke beers like Budweiser and Coors Light.

I asked for a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and took a look the menu.

That’s where I learned the story of Kilroy while perusing their list of appetizers, burgers, salads and sandwiches.

But I was there for a steak.

I settled on the largest they offered – the 16 Ounce “Owners Cut” Prime Rib cooked rare with garden vegetables to fill up the small portion of the plate not inhabited by meat.

It came with biscuits – which I hadn’t expected -- and a garden salad.

The biscuits had good flavor, but they were more suited for sausage gravy than butter. They crumbled into 100 pieces when I tried to pick one up.

The salad was a salad. It served to keep me from going hungry while I waited on my steak.

While I was waiting, I couldn’t help but notice the creepy Uncle Sam magazine cover, looking as if He in His Good Providence was bestowing liberty on us poor citizens instead of . . .

But instead of finishing that thought, I just ordered another beer.

And soon the meat came.

My steak was cooked perfectly – bloody and dark pink. Like most prime ribs, the edges were where the flavor action was.

It was very nicely seasoned, but the interior of the meat was a little bland. It needed some salt and perhaps a nice au jus bath to dress up the flesh flavor.

Fortunately, Kilroy’s au jus and horseradish cream sauce worked nicely.

Two more Dogfish Heads later, my steak was gone.

It wasn’t the best I’ve ever had.

But every prime rib is special, and a few beers and a steak later, I was feeling pretty good.

As I sat there, I couldn’t help but notice all the kitschy old posters urging American citizens to face down the monsters of the past.

The posters nowadays tell us to remove our laptops from our bags and remove our shoes.

Something tells me we could solve a lot of problems just by not paying any attention to the dadgum posters.

So I did.  And I ordered another beer.

Rating: Would Wear a Free Shirt

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