The Iconic Bob & Edith’s Diner
By the Gastronomes
Here we are getting a running start at the holiday season and thinking about what dining option we could give you all for the month of November. A few specifics came to mind while we were brainstorming said options – has to be close to home, have a reasonable price tag, a no muss no fuss menu and be open 24 hours. Hey, hey, we hit the jackpot with our very own Old Town Bob and Edith’s Diner (B&E).
Although the Bob & Edith’s on King Street near the metro station is relatively new, their reputation has been around Virginia since 1969. I know this to be true, since I discovered the Diner when I first came to Alexandria in 1977. The original Bob & Edith’s is located on Columbia Pike. After closing some of the popular pubs in Old Town, we would head to Arlington for some late-night food and coffee. It was always a treat as we were very hungry and the food was great and very affordable.
Today, B&E has six locations with the latest in Old Town. Ideally located near the metro and several hotels, the restaurant is accessible to lots of visitors as well as locals and has the potential to be busy 24 hours a day.
It is most well-known for breakfast – which is served 24 hours a day. The fare is traditional down home breakfast staples with a couple of specials tossed in and, trust us, it gets packed on the weekends in the mornings. There is a line out of the door and during these rushes they have a 30-minute dining timeframe that they impose so there’s no time to lollygag at a table with people waiting.
This popular eatery is well lit with décor reminiscent of the diners of days gone by. There is a “modern” aka TouchTune juke box that you afford you the opportunity to play your favorites. There is a long rotating stool counter at the back of the restaurant and two smaller ones in the windows on each side of the entrance. Next time we are there, we are going to belly up to one of the counters. We did a random count the night we were here and came up with seating for 80-plus people.
Just because breakfast is what they are known for, they serve up pretty decent downhome diner lunches and dinners. We decided to test those waters and I ordered the Signature Country Fried Steak. The steak was as advertised…chicken fried…coated in seasoned flour and batter fried. It was light and very tasty especially as it was smothered in sausage gravy. The mashed potatoes were creamy and came with the brown gravy. Being the gravy fan that I am, this meal really did the trick. The green beans and corn really rounded out this country meal and left no room for dessert. All of this for only $13.99. It really hit the spot for an early dinner.
The other half channeled her craving for the upcoming Thanksgiving mainstay, turkey, and ordered the open-faced turkey sandwich. It was everything a traditional diner serves. White bread, topped with sliced pressed turkey and a substantial amount of brown gravy with mashed potatoes and more gravy and a veg on the side. Another deal at $12.49.
The lunch and dinner entrée menu offerings range from 10oz. New York Strip for 19.99 to a fish platter at $9.99. In between they offer a hamburger steak, homemade meatloaf, grilled fish, liver and onions, fried chicken…a dining favorite. There are several sandwich, sub and burger options along with soups and salads.
They are also known for their milkshakes and an amazing dessert menu including a banana split – you don’t see that a lot – along with a nice selection of fresh pies and other ice cream options. In fact, B&E would be a good choice to just hit up for an afternoon treat and a cup of coffee.
Bob & Edith’s is Diner food at its best. No candle lit tables but there is the “juke box” if you want to dial up some romantic tunes. This is “Comfort Food” at its best. The service is impeccable and very friendly. Our waitress, Sara, was a delight and tried her best to serve me a second cup of coffee.
As you have probably guessed, B&E does not serve alcohol, but if you are interested in an after-dinner drink, Joe Theismann’s restaurant is on the other side of the intersection. You could always get one of their milkshakes to go, head over to Theismann’s and get your favorite shot added to it for a Big Boy/Girl Shake.
If you end up with a house full of Thanksgiving company and don’t want to break the bank but still treat them to a great sit-down dinner…check out Bob & Edith’s. Our tab was only $35.71 for two.
Bob and Edith’s Diner
1743 King Street
Old Town Alexandria