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Review: McLean Family Restaurant

March 6, 2010

Located in downtown McLean in Northern VA, the McLean Family Restaurant is known as THE local hang-out spot (hence its “MFR” bumper stickers and other paraphernalia).  The restaurant was founded by the tennis player Pete Sampras’s family and is still owned and run by his uncle.  Although the curb appeal and cuisine are not spectacular by any means, they have steadfast and loyal customers who are known to frequent it several times  a week for both breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  It’s not uncommon to even spy some of McLean’s notable residents and politicians enjoying this cozy and family-oriented local gem.

We recommend hitting up the MFR for breakfast or brunch, particularly on the weekend.  Though you might have to wait 5-10 minutes for a table (depending on party size), several weekend specials, as well as a more lively atmosphere, make this the ideal time to visit.

Highly Recommended:

Spaghetti with Meatsauce

While the pasta could be of better quality, I (Laura) am always satisfied by this dish.  This is saying a lot considering I’m known to be one of the world’s most picky restaurant-pasta-sauce critics.  The dish lends a greek twist on the classic Italian bolognese sauce and is just the right consistency, without being too meaty or thick. TIP: Ask for the “Children’s Size” –you will save 2-3 dollars and the serving size is still huge!

Eggs Benedict

A weekend special that you should not miss out on!  The hollandaise sauce is light and lemony and makes the hashbrowns on the side taste extra good.  This is Caroline‘s all-time favorite meal offered, and her one complaint about the MFR is that they only offer it on weekends!

Multigrain Toast

Hidden within the menu and known only by frequent customers, this is a great substitute for the traditional and boring wheat, rye, white toast optionsMore healthy, fiber-full, and generally better tasting alternative, this toast adds an extra $.60 but is worth every penny!

Hot Chocolate

It’s just basic Swiss Miss, but they serve it with whipped cream on top, and it is sure to make any kid’s day (or Caroline’s day too, for that matter.)


Super casual–jeans and sneakers are fine.

Getting There:

Located in the Salona shopping center at 1321 Chain Bridge Road off Dolley Madison Boulevard in McLean, VA.  Great stores available in vicinity, including a local wine shop, jewelry, paint, and thrift store!

Price Point:

Cheap, Cheap, Cheap!  You hardly ever find food that’s this good and this cheap anymore.

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