As the weather gets warmer in the Washington, D.C. area, I have found myself exploring more of the neighborhoods surrounding the District. Last weekend, in lieu of a traditional college spring break, my roommates and I ventured out to Old Town Alexandria for an afternoon out.
Old Town is Alexandria’s historically recognized downtown situated on the Potomac River, and the commute is a mere 20 minute drive from Georgetown. With its charming, federal-style buildings, cobblestone streets and quaint shops, Old Town evinces an aura similar to that of Georgetown.
My roommates and I ventured to Old Town’s renowned waterfront for dinner where there are a plethora of good seafood restaurants. Although we all knew we wanted to eat by the waterfront, we took advantage of the spontaneity of the day and chose our restaurant based on what caught our eyes.
What caught our attention was one particular mint-colored building with large glass windows overlooking the boats. At the entrance of the building was a large white plaque with “Chart House” written in black block letters. Upon doing a quick Google review search and examining Chart House’s menu, which consisted of featured items such as kimchi calamari and a wide spread of seafood and steak offerings, we decided to dine in.
Chart House is the only restaurant with its very own private waterfront, though it is a little on the expensive side. We were seated at a luxe black table with an aesthetic blue table umbrella. The weather was perfect for an early dinner — sunny with a slight breeze and clear blue skies. The scenic view of the Potomac and the docked boats enhanced our dining experience.
Being swayed by Chart House’s speciality in seafood, I opted to start with an order of the cream of crab soup. The creamy soup had shredded lumps of fresh crab meat and a hint of spice for a little kick. I followed my order with a grilled shrimp caesar salad. The salad was likewise delicious with fresh lettuce, garlicky flavored, crunchy croutons, shards of parmesan cheese and flavorful, well-seasoned grilled shrimp. This was one of the best meals I had in a while, and Chart House was my highlight of the day. After leaving the restaurant, we took a quick stroll down the boardwalk to return to King Street.
We ended our afternoon with a stop into The Creamery, a town favorite homemade ice cream and frozen custard spot. Though there were various other ice cream shops in the area, we were charmed by The Creamery’s vintage storefront and historic feel and enticed by the handmade ice cream. The inside of the shop was composed of antique furnishings, similar to what one would see in a movie from the 20th century. I ordered the coffee oreo flavor that was creamy and rich in coffee bean flavor.
As we meandered through the cobblestone streets back toward our car, I was able to reflect on the eventful day we had. The afternoon, however short, was one that I will remember for a long time. If you are looking for a change of scenery or a leisurely, picturesque day out for good food, shopping and views, Old Town is the place to be. On my next visit, I hope to explore the town further. I want to try the dining options at the Union Street Public House, Vola’s Dockside Grill or Blackwall Hitch and try ice cream from Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Co. for a change!