Kilroy’s Restaurant and Sports Bar
5250-A Port Royal Rd.
Springfield Virginia 22151
“Kilroy was here.” It’s the stuff of a legend.
In World War II, shipyard worker James Kilroy was tasked with writing those words after he had inspected the riveting on newly-constructed ships.
However to the troops on those ships, it was a total mystery – all they knew for sure was that Kilroy had been there first.
As a joke, troops began writing “Kilroy Was Here” wherever U.S. forces went, claiming it had already been written there when they arrived.
It became a challenge to write those words in the most unlikely of places.
Legend even has it that when an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Truman, Stalin, and Churchill during the 1945 Potsdam conference, Stalin was the first to use it.
When Stalin emerged, the commie asked his aide in Russian, “Who is Kilroy?”
Well, it turns out that Kilroy is a restaurant owner right outside of Washington, D.C. in Springfield, Virginia – an Irish pub-style bar and grill I rolled up to one evening in search of sustenance.
It’s a happening place.
By the time I arrived around 8pm on a Thursday, the bar area was packed, so I had to sit in the dining room.
I was a tad disappointed. When I’m traveling alone, often the highlight of the day is downing a beer and watching whatever game is on at the bar.
I was happy to see there were a couple of TV’s in the dining room. But that wasn’t what caught my eye.
Perhaps not surprisingly – this is “Kilroy’s” after all – every inch of the entire restaurant is plastered with government war propaganda asking folks to “buy war bonds” or otherwise join U.S. military efforts in World War I and World War II.
Nothing like thinking of people shot up and mangled by bombs to work up an appetite!
In fact, normally something like this would send me off on a rant about how Woodrow Wilson and FDR maneuvered the United States into war, killing hundreds of . . .
Eh . . . I decided to take a pass and focus on something more important . . . like ordering a beer . . .
I asked the waiter what they had on tap, and he listed off about 12 very impressive beers, along with a couple of American puke beers like Budweiser and Coors Light.
I asked for a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and took a look at the menu.
That’s how I learned about the story of Kilroy—while perusing his list of appetizers, burgers, salads, and sandwiches.
But I was there for steak.
I settled on the largest they offered – the 16oz “Owners Cut” Prime Rib cooked rare with a side of broccoli.
It also came with biscuits – which I hadn’t expected – and a garden salad.
The biscuits had good flavor, but they were more suited for sausage gravy than butter. It crumbled into 100 pieces when I tried to pick one up.
The salad was… a salad. It kept me from going hungry while I waited on my steak.
While I was waiting, I couldn’t help but notice the creepy Uncle Sam magazine cover, looking down as if He in His Good Providence was bestowing liberty upon us poor citizens instead of . . .
… instead of finishing that thought, I just ordered another beer.
And soon the meat came.
My steak was cooked perfectly – bloody and dark pink. Like most Prime Rib, the edges were where the flavor was at. Very nicely seasoned, but the middle was a little bland. It needed some salt and au jus to dress it up.
Fortunately, Kilroy’s au jus and horseradish cream sauce did the job.
Two more Dogfish Heads later, my steak was gone.
It wasn’t the best I’ve ever had.
But every Prime Rib is special, and a few beers and a steak later, I was feeling pretty good.
As I sat there, I couldn’t help but notice all the kitschy old posters urging American citizens of today to face down the monsters of the past.
The posters nowadays tell us to remove our laptops from our bags and remove our shoes.
Something tells me we could solve a lot of problems by just not paying any attention to those posters.
So that’s what I did. And then I ordered another beer.
Rating: Would Wear a Free Shirt