Restaurant Review – The Rail Stop

My friends and family, and especially Tyler, are sick to death of hearing me complain about living in Bristow. Its a beautiful city, wonderful schools, great neighbors – the absolute dream little suburbia.  I’m within minutes from two Super Targets, a Wegmans and a Harris Teeter.  But I get bored here, and miss DC.  Unfortunately, if we drive out to DC for an event, we either need to get a hotel or not drink – no cabbie would ever take me back here.

As a compromise, Tyler and I are trying more restaurants and events closer to home.  And as the “Local Bloggers” folder in my Blog Reader keeps growing, I thought I’d start sharing our experiences for anyone also looking for something new to try.  Sorry for the  other 98% of you 😉

I demand that we celebrate our dating anniversary every year, so October 14th was our “12 year” dinner date, and we headed out to The Plains for dinner at a place called The Rail Stop.  I wouldn’t normally have thought of The Plains as close, but it actually only took 10-15 minutes to get there.  It was dark when we pulled up and most shops were closed, but it felt very “Old Town Leesburg” – tiny art galleries and darling shops.  Street parking, and lots of it, thank goodness for me and my stilettos 😉

My opinion?  Delicious.  Absolutely fantastic food.  Decor was casual.  Luckily I knew that from googling reviews, so we came dressed appropriately.  Most guests were in jeans, and there were even some kids there (although nothing I saw on the menu looked very kid friendly, and I definitely wouldn’t take Guinevere there).    The server was competent, but maintained the slow pace that a fancy restaurant would encourage, despite the casual environment, which was perplexing.  I’d almost prefer that they pick a niche and stick with it.  I noticed the back room had vinyl tablecloths – yuck.  Luckily our table just was a wood top.  (Snob, much?!)

Only major con?  The beer selection.  They had five beers, and not even cool crafty ones – Stella, Guiness, Miller Lite, Oktoberfest, and something else.  Their online menu says Budweiser, but I guess they were out when we went. 

I’m a carb girl, and the bread was AWESOME.  Plus they brought more after we devoured the first basket, without asking me (to which I would have reluctantly responded no).  

Crab cake appetizer.  No filler, probably one of the better crab cakes I’ve eaten.  However?  Very, very small.  Thank goodness for two baskets of bread.  I was disappointed we didn’t at least get two cakes.

My dinner, Pan Seared Scallops.  I thought these were amazing.  Scallops can so easily be overcooked, and these were perfectly tender and seared.  The sauce was really mild, and while I would have appreciated more kick, it went really well with the scallops and potato cake (under the garnish).

Tyler’s dinner, which must have been a special since I don’t see it on the online menu – pork tenderloin with rice and beans.  This was AMAZING, and quite frankly, it ruined my dinner for me since his was infinitely better.  When we go back, I’ll definitely be ordering this dish.

Dessert was a no brainer – Creme Brulee.  This is pretty hard to mess up, and tasted delicious, although I think it would have been better with more caramelization on top.  

Bottom line?  If you’re west of Fairfax and are looking for a change from a chain steakhouse, this is definitely one to try.  

For price reference, our tab, including 4 beers, was $80-something, and I thought that was super reasonable for the quality of the food – I expected the bill to be more in the $120 range.  Always nice to have a cheaper price than expected 😉

The Rail Stop Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. says

    The scallops look amazing! I’m a big scallop fan – as in I’d rather have scallops than lobster, but I find I’m more dissapointed than impressed most times I order unless I’m on the east coast.

  2. says

    Local reviews are awesome! My husband and I live in Woodbridge, so “going out” in DC is a bit of a stretch for us, too – this is still a bit far for us to go for dinner, but still nice to see what great things are around us that get forgotten about :)

  3. says

    Looks amazing! We have a steakhouse place here that LUNCH is $80 that’s just two steaks, potatoes, and one salad lol. I was like WHEW pricey. However the best steak I’ve ever eaten so worth it.

    Love the review and the pictures are great!

  4. says

    Holy cow this looks good, and as for the beer selection it was indeed lacking but at least they had Stella!
    Make sure to stop by and check out my giveaway!

  5. says

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  6. says

    Yum! Jon and I went there a few years ago when he surprised me with a weekend away at a B&B just down the street. We’ve been wanting to go back I still think about the delicious steak I had!

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