It was not a matter of macho, sexism or sneakiness that my son and I would up at Joe Theismann's Restaurant in Falls Church the other Sunday afternoon. It just happened that one half of our family was otherwise occupied in that vicinity - and hunger had befallen the half that eats three-quarters of the family intake, anyway.
Add to that the sports fansticism of a 10-year-old boy and the curiosity of a paunchy skeptic and there was no way we wouldn't try out a quarterback-owned eatery.
So much for context, on to perspective: The place is easily passable by car, for it's sandwiched between an electronics supply store and a furniture place in the middle of something called the Glen Forest Shopping Center on Rte. 7
It is not fomidable inside, either. It's small, informal and terribly friendly. When we walked in, it wasn't the least bit crowded; it was pick-your-own-table time. No, Joe wasn't there, fans, and we didn't ask. My son was content to wander about checking the Redskin memorabilia along the walls. (My attention zeroed in on a fine-looking older-model juke box and gee, dad, it was a Wurlitzer!)
On each table was salute to two kinds of taste: a fresh flower in a wine carafe - and a bottle of ketchup. With a large goblet of cola and a glass of draft Stroh's, we ran down the menu. Sunday's soup du jour is lobster bisque ($1.50), and there's French onion ($1.25) or clam chowder Chesapeake ($1). Looking ahead, however, we decided nuts to soup.
Sunday brunchniks should know of two other midday specials (from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 or so; they kept changing the time on the green blackboard in the front window.) For $2.95, you may have eggs benedict (two of them, poached, with Canadian bacon, muffin and asparagus with hollandaise sauce) or quiche, which may be either loraine, ham, onion, mushroom or crabmeat.
We were content with somewhat more pedestrian choices, however.Bobby went for a bancheeseburger (yes, that's all one word, at $2.55). It was rotund, rare and rated G (as in "Grrreat, Dad!"). There's an even longer-word burger, by the way, the baconbluecheeseburger ($2.65). From the omelette list (3 eggs, with cheese, ham or mushroom, $2.75; combinations, 50 cents more), I tried ham and cheese. Both of our dishes came with the good, thick-sliced french fries.
Then came the bonus for a sports freak. There's one of those giant TV screens, which they lit up for a pro basketball game (and, we later learned, for just about any other game on the tube). On this screen, Dr. J and Bill Walton are tall, all right; but Sarah, our first-string waitress, was able to work around then.
Before moving to dessert, some excepts from the nonbrunch midday menu. There's the No. 7 Sandwich, billed as Joe's personal favorite: roast beef, melted Swiss cheese, lettuce, cole slaw and Russian dressing ($2.75), and other sandwiches at lower prices. For appetizers, there is escargot, clams casino or jumbo shrimp, each $2.95, and breaded mushrooms ($1.95). For entrees, there is London broil ($3.75), butterfly shrimp ($4.95), flounder stuffed with clams and bread cubes ($3.95) and breaded and fried jumbo oysters, in season, ($3.95). Salads range from $1.50 to $3.
Enter chocolate mousse ($1.50) for my son. Huge mousse - mousse for two, easily.
Meanwhile, people of all ages were dropping in - couples, infants, a young, slightly soiled soccer player, and so on. Still, nobody ever rushed us. I had coffee, refilled at least twice (and they just don't do that everywhere these days). Our total bill cme to $9.32 plus tip.
Open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Shopping center parking. Accessible to people in wheelchairs. American Express, BankAmericard, Master Charge, Bank of Virginia Charge. Reservations not necessary.