1510 Cherry Hill Rd.
To paraphrase the great Hank Williams, Jr., “Send me to hell or Northern Virginia, it would be about the same to me.”
Hank was actually singing about New York City, but to me, this place is even worse.
I’ve literally been everywhere in this great country of ours, but the LAST PLACE I would choose to live is in the suburbia hell that lies just south of our nation’s capital.
Too many cars. Too many strip malls. Too many medians. Too many people.
And those people?
The most reprehensible of the human species — bureaucrats.
Surrounding you in eight lanes of traffic gridlock are all varieties of bureaucrats — the liberty robbers at the TSA, EPA, and IRS.
The people who get paid with my tax money to tell me how much toothpaste I can pack in my carry-on, what I am allowed to build on my own property, and how
much of my money I have to hand over to pay for all this raping of my freedom.
And don’t even get me going about all those self-important people who work for Congress crafting new laws to tell me how to live my life.
Or the millions of federal contractors feeding at the federal trough and self-righteously proclaim, “I don’t work for the government — I’m a private contractor.”
Yeah, okay, Edward Snowden, same difference.
So where do these uptight, self-important bureaucrats go to let off steam on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Northern Virginia?
Tim’s Rivershore on the Potomac River. That’s where.
Now, the online reviews of Tim’s Rivershore weren’t that great.
But it was clear that most of the negative reviews were from uppity bureaucrats who said the service was too slow, the music too loud, and the drunken crowds and girls in skimpy bikinis stumbling off the boats too trashy.
THIS PLACE SOUNDS FREAKING AWESOME!!
Tim’s didn’t disappoint.
This place is a pre-bureaucracy anomaly.
There is no way the bureaucrats at the Army Corp of Engineers would allow this place to be built right on the sandy shores of the Potomac today.
And where are the bureaucrats to shut down the fun-loving sounds of people drinking, laughing, and having a good time?
And isn’t there some sort of noise ordinance in Prince William County to prevent a live band from performing from a makeshift stage out on the dock?
And who is going to regulate the blood alcohol content of all those drunken boaters stumbling up the dock to feast on crabs and pitchers of beer?
Worst of all, there’s GOT TO BE some sort of law to stop people from crossing the extremely active Amtrak and CSX railroad tracks that separates Tim’s from the dirt parking lot in the woods.
Someone could get hurt.
Or splattered, even.
That’s the irony of Tim’s.
It’s a Northern Virginia oasis of bureaucracy-free bliss patronized by nothing but fun-loving bureaucrats.
The reviews were spot on.
Tim’s is loud and crowded. And the service is slow as hell.
But that’s okay.
This isn’t the kind of place you come for a quick bite.
You come here to drink beer, pick crabs, then kick off those flip-flops and stick your toes in the sand. It’s an all-day event spent hanging out with good friends.
Even if they are a bunch of damn bureaucrats.
The slow service can’t be blamed on our waitress. Amid the chaos, she was efficient, friendly and apologetic for the disorganization in the various kitchens, bars, and steamers producing our beer and crab feast.
Appetizers came after entrées. Entrees before side dishes. Pitchers of beer came sporadically when needed.
One of our friends didn’t get her crab cakes until an hour after the rest of us had started devouring a mountain of steamed crab carcasses.
But somehow we all got what we wanted (eventually) and had a good time wiling away the afternoon as the sun set behind the railroad tracks.
The crabs were somewhat of a let-down though.
Our waitress informed us that all Tim’s had left were “medium” crabs.
That’s not good.
Picking crabs is hard enough work as it is. You want some actual crabmeat for all that effort.
I always order the large or jumbo, no matter the astronomical cost. (I’ve coughed up $10 bucks per crab before, believe it or not.)
Unfortunately, a few moments after placing our order, our waitress reappeared and apologetically informed us that the mediums were all gone too.
Now we were relegated to the small crabs.
It was basically the amount of meat you’d get from an overgrown crawfish.
I think I burned more calories than I actually consumed.
But they seemed to be properly steamed and well-seasoned.
To compensate, we ordered various trays of steamed clams, mussels, and bacon-wrapped scallops, all of which were good — but a poor substitute for a crab feast.
Thank goodness for the hush puppies, beer, and waterfront views because my attempts to extract much sustenance from these puny critters was mostly futile.
The hush puppies were crispy and sweet — just the way they should be. We ordered several baskets over the course of the evening.
$16 dollar pitchers of Kona Big Wave Golden Ale were the popular choice among the lackluster selection of drafts.
Kona started on the Big Island in Hawaii, but is now owned by Anheuser-Busch, which explains why bottles of Kona say they are brewed in New Hampshire, of all places.
Ironically, this was actually my first chance to try Kona’s Big Wave.
A little fruitier and tartier than the more ubiquitous Kona Long Board Lager, this ale was a perfectly acceptable compromise for a table of disparate beer drinkers.
That is until our one “Bud Light only” dork (there’s always one in every crowd of bureaucrats) insisted on having his way.
At that point, the law of diminishing returns had long since set in, so I didn’t even put up a fight.
Besides, who could argue in such a sudsy, blissful state of mind as the sky turned pink above the shimmering waters of the Potomac?
Tim’s Rivershore makes you forget all that…
…the sporadic service…
…the tiny crabs…
…the tyranny of the “Bud Light only” guy…
…the Nanny State bureaucrats surrounding me.
As we stumbled back across the railroad tracks and snapped pictures of the Amtrak train bellowing past, I thought Tim’s just might be the only oasis to be found in the hell that is Northern Virginia.
Rating: Seriously Thought About Buying Shirt.