The newly opened Fanny’s Restaurant has set up shop in Falls Church City where Victor’s Grill once did business on S. Washington Street. The distinct blue-and-white diner-style exterior still remains, changed only by the addition of a new sign.
Fanny’s Restaurant, somewhat like Victor’s Grill (an Argentinean and Bolivian steakhouse) before it, specializes in Bolivian cuisine. From dry-erase board menus fixed in the window and hanging on the dining room wall, both written in Spanish, diners can begin contemplating the various soups and platters available for the day before even taking a seat in the small restaurant. It has a modest dining space, packed with only a few tables and chairs and decorated sparsely, most pieces of art bearing the name of the country from which the restaurant’s cuisine originates.
The menu itself describes the dishes the restaurant cooks up in Spanish and in English, and diners can nibble on large rolls – yeasty, slightly sweet, and warm from the kitchen, served with a bowl of spicy sauce – while making their selections.
Many of the menu’s offerings are only available on Saturdays and Sundays; certain soups and entrees like the Fried Duck ($15.99), it seems, are meant for leisurely weekend dining. The everyday menu, though, lets diners chose from a handful of sandwiches and about a dozen meat-focused entree platters.
On the short sandwiches menu section is the Trankapecho ($6.99), which for the price packs an impressive amount of food in between two slices of bread. Granted, those pieces of bread are sizeable and sturdy, but within them are massive pieces of fried potato, a sprinkling of rice, a fried egg, and a strip of beef. While the beef piece that comes with the sandwich is somewhat thin, its nicely peppered flavor carries through the layers of potato and bread it is stacked upon.
Massive sandwiches seem petite when compared to the entree portions, most plating rice, potatoes and a vegetable salad – at the least – with a hefty helping of meat. Ordering the Picante de Lengua ($9.99) brings big cuts of tender gravy-seasoned stewed beef tongue to the table alongside buttery rice and potatoes, a tomato-onion salad, and a helping of bow-tie noodles. Chicken gets a similar treatment in the Picante de Pollo ($8.99), served with the same sides. The chicken breast and leg served are coated in a flavorful tomato-based sauce which, for the amount of chicken offered, cannot flavor all of the meat, but pleasantly pools beneath the rice and potatoes.
Along with sandwiches and platters, some smaller Bolivian specialty items like the Relleno ($3.99) can be ordered. The Relleno, a softball-sized piece of fried potato packed with beef and assorted vegetables served with a small salad, is surprisingly light and flavorful considering its potato casing, and the fillings inside are just the savory taste the fried potato shell needs.
Sometimes a hard day’s work fosters a craving that can only be satisfied by a big plate of meats and starches to reward a job well done. Fanny’s Restaurant provides a no-frills way to do just that, with bargain prices that belie those hunger-squelching portions.
Fanny’s Restaurant is located at 436 S. Washington St., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-532-4155. Restaurant hours are Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; and Sunday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.