I love small, charming, out of the way restaurants. Often they provide some of the best food available. I’m not sure if that is the case for the “FDR Restaurant.” My husband and I are split on this one.
FDR stands for Food Done Right. My husband agrees with that. I don’t; at least with regard to their liver and onions dinner. It was passable, but nothing really special. I question that it is worth the price tag of $8.95. I’ve had better dinners in that price range all over the Virginia Peninsula. On the other hand, I will admit that the meatloaf that my husband ordered was pretty good.
FDR is located at 341 Chatham Drive in Newport News, Virginia; in a strip mall that includes stores such as Linens and Things, Farm Fresh, Lowes, Home Depot, and Michael’s Arts & Crafts. It is located near a Blimpie’s Subs, Golden Corral, and White Castle Italian Restaurant. I have to admit I’m not certain why anyone would choose FDR’s food over any of those other choices. However, they apparently do as the place was reasonably busy.
I will admit that the atmosphere is very charming. Recently repainted with a lovely shade of soft green, the wall décor consisted of casual prints done in a quasi farm style. Lovely oak booths with a peach faux leather provide comfortable seating and a high backrest for support.
Those who prefer tables have their choice of beautiful round oak tables adorned with freshly laundered white linen and lace cloths or darker oak rectangles that seat between six and eight people. A variety of chairs from wooden to tapestry provide seating options. Different types of pretty vases and floral arrangements are placed around the room to give it a homey feel.
The staff was moderately pleasant at best. Our waitress appeared to be angry at having to wait on new patrons with no knowledge of the menu. However, she warmed greatly to those customers that she already knew. The hostess was a little more friendly, but I’ve certainly felt more welcome in any number of fast food chains then I did at FDR.
The eatery is open from breakfast to dinner, Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Here is a cross section of food items on their menu which is primarily focused on home cooking.
Breakfast – ranging in price from $1.25 to $6.95:
- Western Omelet with ham, peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and cheddar cheese served with a choice of home fries or grits and toast or biscuits;
- Ham & Cheese Omelet loaded with ham and cheese served with a choice of home fries or grits and toast or biscuits;
- Vegetable Omelet with onions, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and feat cheese served with a choice of home fries or grits and toast or biscuits;
- Buttermilk Pancakes (3), light and fluffy served with a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham and a fruit topping if you so desire;
- French Toast (3) dipped in a special egg batter served with a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham;
- Two Eggs, Any Style served with a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham with home fries or grits and toast or biscuit;
- Homemade Biscuits & Gravy with homemade biscuits smothered in a country sausage gravy with scrambled egg on top (if you so desire);
- Breakfast Sandwiches with two eggs and a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham served on toast or biscuit with home fires or grits; and a
- Kid’s Breakfast (for 12 and under or seniors over 65) with one egg, one pancake, and a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham.
Breakfast sides include toast, biscuit, bacon, sausage, ham, corn beef has, home fries, grits, eggs, pancakes, and fruit topping.
Luncheon specials are offered daily. Regular lunch items range in price from $3.95 to $8.95:
- Barbecue Sandwich;
- Turkey Club;
- Bacon Cheeseburger;
- Crabcake Sandwich;
- Boneless Chicken Breast;
- The FDR Burger;
- The FDR Grilled Cheese; and
- A Regular Grilled Cheese.
Soups and Salads include:
- Chef Salad;
- Soup & Salad Combo; and
- Soup & Sandwich Combo.
Homestyle Entrees, served with a choice of two sides unless otherwise indicated:
- North Carolina Style Barbecue;
- Boneless Chicken Breast;
- Meatloaf with either red sauce or gravy;
- Liver and Onions;
- Ham and Cabbage (only one side);
- Hamburger Steak; and
- Country Fried Steak.
- Shrimp Basket;
- Trout Basket;
- FDR Crabcake;
- Flounder (grilled or fried); and
- Scallops (grilled or fried).
- Macaroni & Cheese;
- Chicken Tenders (grilled or fried); and
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
Dinners range in price from $8.95 to $15.95:
- North Carolina Barbecue with pulled pork in a vinegar base;
- Boneless Chicken Breast (fried or grilled);
- Meatloaf, thickly sliced with a choice or red sauce or brown gravy;
- Liver and Onions cooked in brown gravy;
- Ham and Cabbage, a generous portion of boiled cabbage and sliced ham with one side;
- Hamburger Steak with onions and gravy;
- Country Fried Steak served with Homestyle white gravy.
- FDR Crabcake (2) made with backfin and lump crabmeat mixed with special spices and just enough breading to hold it together (served grilled or fried);
- Oysters hand-breaded and lightly fried to a golden brown;
- Flounder Filet (2) tasty, flaky, and delicious founder served either fried or grilled;
- Trout Filet (3) fried to a golden brown; and
- Scallops, a generous portion of fresh scallops served fried or grilled.
FDR also offers daily dessert specials from a variety of homemade cakes and cobblers at $3.95 each.
Beverages include soft drinks, ice tea, lemonade, coffee, hot tea, and hot chocolate at $1.75 each.
My verdict remains out on this restaurant. My husband is positively convinced that we should give it another try. I’ve no problem with that. I’ll give anything a second try. However, I hope that one or the other – – food or service – – or both improve. Otherwise, I just can’t say it is worth the money and effort.