Alexandria, VA – As most of you know, I am the self-designated driver. But, I’m sitting in a lovely food coma while my friend drives us home from Manassas Park. We took a day trip to Manassas Park and Old Town Manassas so that we could partake in one of her favorite places, Preston’s Pub, 910s Andrew Drive. I must tell you; it is worth the drive! Preston’s is a family-owned restaurant and pub featuring both Irish and pub food. There’s a full bar and plenty of well-spaced-out seating. In addition to a wide variety of beers and alcoholic, there’s that good Southern choice of sweet tea and unsweetened.
Given many choices for appetizers, I suggest you try anything with the house-made corned beef. The Irish eggrolls are spectacular – made in house with a crispy shell stuff with lots of that corned beef, melted swiss cheese, and sauerkraut and served with a signature mustard dipping sauce. This is not a dish you want to share! But, share you must because you want to be able to try some of the many other great dishes. The Jalapeño Boats provide a jolt of heat with fire grilled jalapenos boats stuffed with a cream and cheddar cheese blend with bacon on top. The only reason not to order the Jalapeño Boats is to try the Jalapeño Boats burger, but more on that later. The Mac & Cheese Wedges are great way to start too. Imagine creamy cheddar cheese mixed with macaroni and coated with a cheddar batter then lightly fried. Dipped into a side chipotle ranch, it’s a keeper. By the way, you can warm up after walking the nearby battlefields with a traditional bowl of French onion soup made with beef broth filled with onions and croutons, and smothered with aged Swiss cheese. The chunky homemade chile is another good choice topped with red onion and melted cheese.
Hopefully, you didn’t fill up on appetizers or soups because the best is yet to come. I had heard of Sweet Tea Fried Chicken but had never tried it. This is one entrée you must order. The secret recipe is composed of a fresh chicken breast that is marinated for at least 12 hours in their sweet tea marinade, then breaded and fried to a crispy finish. It’s served topped with a dollop of honey butter. Served with any amazing, lightly dressed fresh coleslaw and homemade chips, it is an unbelievable plate of joyous eating. I would not have shared it but I knew there was more to try! Another well-made entrée is the Chesapeake Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes which features two jumbo lump crab cakes that are lightly dusted then fried, then drizzled with the homemade crab sauce and served with beer battered French fries and that amazing cole slaw. These cakes are everything you’d want in a crab cake. Just the least amount of binder and filler are seasoned perfectly and the sauce is just right. Let me mention the beer battered French fries again. They are soooo good. Ask for a side of the house-made ranch dressing and go to town!
There are lots of burger, wrap, and sandwich choices on the menu too. We shared the Rodeo Burger, a 7 oz. patty of fresh ground beef (turkey or veggie burgers are available) and topped with two crispy onion rings, bacon, and cheddar cheese on a brioche roll and a side of BBQ sauce. With your choice of sides, it’s a meal in itself. Another great burger is the aforementioned Jalapeño Boats Burger. Imagine that 7 oz. burger topped with pepper jack cheese, bacon, and 3 jalapeno boats. I believe the phrase ‘Oh My God’ is appropriate. Vegetarians and meat lovers would both love the Caprese Burger topped with a slice of fresh mozzarella and tomato, Arcadian lettuce, and drizzled with pesto and balsamic dressing.
Try a Reuben sandwich made with that luscious corned beef, melted Swiss cheese, topped with sauerkraut and Russian dressing and all served on grilled seeded rye bread. Want a fish choice? Try the Kickin’ Tuna Melt made with homemade tuna salad, melted cheddar cheese with lettuce, tomato, and jalapeños served on grilled seeded rye. Next time, I want to try the Greek Chicken wrap composed of grilled, blackened chicken, romaine lettuce, feta cheese, red onion, cucumbers, and a touch of balsamic vinaigrette and wrapped in a flour tortilla.
There are several well thought out salads that can be topped with chicken, shrimp, salmon, or a crab cake. Pizzas are made on an artisan crust and topped with homemade sauce. Vegetarians can order the Margherita pizza topped with, fresh tomato, chopped basil, whole milk fresh mozzarella, all piled on top of their artisan pizza crust. The kiddos will be pleased to find a choice of a grilled cheese sandwich, cheeseburger, chicken tenders, hot dog, or PB&J. All come with French fries.
Preston’s has a lovely patio with both umbrellas and heaters, depending on the weather. Thursday’s special offers $5 off that scrumptious Sweet Tea Chicken. And, if you decide to make an early start to your trip to Manassas, stop by for their Saturday breakfast. Featured on the menu is that same amazing corned beef in corned beef hash that will make you wishing for more. Topped with two fried eggs, it will keep you energized as walk around Old Town Manassas or the battlefields.
Take a drive, enjoy walking the battlefields, visit the wonderful shops of Old Town Manassas, and make sure you plan your meal at Preston’s Pub.