The weather is getting beautiful outside and it’s the perfect time to enjoy Old Town. You may have friends staying over, you might have things to do with the kids, or you might be in the mood for a casual, no hassle morning to start things off right. This is where the Founder’s Restaurant and Brewing Company comes in handy. Unless you’re flipping flapjacks yourself, you can’t beat the $12.95 price. And the location! Founder’s is on King Street right off of Washington, in the crosshairs of Old Town’s action. This is the site of the previous Virginia Beverage Company; Founder’s has been in business since 2003.You don’t need reservations and there’s ample room for larger crowds. Also, though you wouldn’t normally think of a pub as being “kid friendly”, Founder’s brunch scene is. The decor has a balance of airy and more intimate areas and is proudly smoke-free. Dress is casual and there’s adult rock and folk playing in the background. You can catch the game from televisions above the bar.
Founder’s brunch is a tightly edited buffet. There’s an omelet station, where a cook will fix up your choice of bacon, ham, spinach or onion. You can also get a fresh waffle made to order — Founder’s sets out butter, whipped cream and syrup to doll it up. Dining Companion and I split one — he’s watching his figure. Carnivores aren’t left out either: there’s bacon, little sausage links, along with biscuits and hot sausage gravy for that Southern touch. If you are like I am and can eat these things all day, you’re either in luck or waist-line trouble! The buffet also had freshly cut-up melons.
The buffet serves a few noon-type offerings as well: the Caesar salad was good, with lots of grated Parmesan. You can finish with some traditional Danish pastries or blueberry muffins.
If you like a beer with brunch — who doesn’t remember that classic Doors’ refrain, “Woke up this morning, got myself a beer,” — then Founder’s is the spot for you. They pride themselves on their freshly brewed German styled beers, named after founders and prominent folks in Alexandria. There’s a wide variety, too: everything from lighter ales to fruity beers to dark stouts are available. There’s a huge chalkboard listing all the current beers, along with when they were brewed and when they were first poured.
If you like a little wine with brunch, Founder’s boasts an all-Virginia wine selection. Such well-known and highly rated vintages, such as those from Prince Michel’s vineyards in Charlottesville would make for a decadent morning.
Chef and Owner Stephen Winterling has been cooking since he was 16 — with a four year “break” in the Marine Corps, including evacuating the Liberian Embassy. With stints at some of the Williamsburg’s fanciest restaurants, as well as some Northern Virginia restaurant experience, Winterling has a lot of promise. His lunch and dinner menus incorporate his beers into the cuisine; it would be great to see some of those innovative items on the buffet.
Founders Restaurant and Brew Pub
607 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sunday Brunch 10-2