It’s easy to get overwhelmed at Founding Farmers, the new restaurant in Tysons at the corner of Galleria Drive and Tysons Boulevard. The local, mini-chain (additional locations are in D.C. and Rockville) is barely a month old but it’s already jam-packed on a daily basis, with reservations a commodity be it lunch, dinner or breakfast. And not only are the crowds intimidating, but so is the space itself – it’s quite expansive – and its myriad of menus. Yes, menus. There are six of them.
My first visit to Founding Farmers was on a Sunday morning for brunch, and when I walked in the door at 9:30 a.m., it was already filled to capacity. Now, Falls Church has its share of quality brunch options but nothing in The Little City can compare to this production just up Route 7.
Combining dinner, breakfast and dessert into one, big well-oiled smorgasbord, the Farmers Market Brunch ($30) is a sight to behold. On one corner, there’s a made-to-order pancake bar slinging buttermilk and blueberry flapjacks and on the other, a butcher’s table with pot roast, ham, baskets of fried chicken and all the usual sides including mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, shrimp and grits and more. Between the pancake-and-meat bookends, there’s typical breakfast options of scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon and sausage but also more unique items like maple-burnt oranges, poached egg hashes and even a make-your-own parfait bar filled with yogurt, berries and granola.
Along with the get-it-yourself lineup, servers also cruise the dining room with passed hors d’oeuvres like fried green tomatoes and fried shrimp.
Last but not least, a fantastic dessert station that looks like something out of a movie. Towers of cookies, pastries and doughnuts line the table and this is one case where, without an exception, everything tastes as good as it looks. Standouts included an amazingly light vanilla cream-filled chocolate iced doughnut, wonderfully soft snickerdoodles and a key lime pie-in-a-jar creation.
What’s particularly impressive is that despite the variety and sheer volume of food presented in the buffet, nothing gets overlooked or neglected. The restaurant staff is on point with its upkeep, resupplying each station without delay.
For lunch and dinner, Founding Farmers goes a la carte, with some of same dishes found at brunch but also a whole hell of a lot more. For starters, there’s more than ten varieties of bread baskets, three different types of deviled eggs, two types of raw oysters, three kinds of baked oysters and six different oyster shooters. And we haven’t even gotten to the entrees. Our favorite app of the bunch was a creamy corn crab dip ($15) served with fresh toasted bread.
The variety continues with entrees with six types of chicken dishes (everything from beer can chicken to pot pie) as well as a signature dish that marries two pieces of spicy fried chicken with a doughnut ($16) and throws in some mac and cheese and green beans for good measure.
Sandwiches include six burgers, a lineup of hot dogs, turkey, grilled cheese, pit beef and even a Uruguayan chivito. Plus, there’s seafood, 10 different salads, pasta, meatloaf, ribs, pot roast and a whole meatless section, too. Like I said, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Adding to the near-endless list of options, Founding Farmers opens at 7 a.m. during the week for breakfast including special grab-and-go options for those on the run.
Founding Farmers | 1800 Tysons Boulevard | Tysons | wearefoundingfarmers.com