Open daily, 4 to 10 p.m. Lunch, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Casual clothes. American Express, Visa, Master Charge and Diners Club credit cards accepted. Accessible by wheelchair. High chairs available for children. Reservations necessary for fondue party.
At the Cedar Inn in Vienna, we found a friendly, comfortable atmosphere that made us feel at home. Maurice Piller, the owner and proprieter, a handsome Swiss, greeted us individually - my husband, our two sons, and me - with warm hand shakes. He selected a table for us and distributed the menus - big, handsome folders that belied the low prices we found inside.
Roast pirme ribs, for example, are $6.95, half a fried chicken is $4.75, and breaded veal cutlet is $5.25. Italian foods are available, including manicotti, $3.50, Isagne with meat balls, $4.45, and spaghetti with meat sauce, $3.85.
A special menu for children under 12 offers fried chicken for $2.85 and a charbroiled steak for $3.50, both with French fries. Several less expensive spaghetti dishes are also available for the kids and the salad bar is included.
For a real Swiss evening, four or more guests may order the cheese fondue, prepared by Maurice himself, at $5 per person. You must, however, make a 24-hour advance reservation for this treat.
We studied the menu, gave our order to the waitress, and proceeded to the salad bar which, along with the price of the entree.
The salad was delicious with most of the usual makings plus chopped olives and chopped boiled eggs. And dear to my heart was a special low-cal dressing with only two calories per teaspoon.
While we ate our salad, Maurice checked into our welfare, and we discovered that his hometown in Switzerland was Fribourg, the same town where one of our sons had gone to school. To celebrate the coindence, we ordered a bottle of white Neuchatel wine form the environs of Fribourg, $6. It was served icy cold from a big champagne cooler near our table. The wine was delicious.
My husband's beef Burgundy bits, for $4.95, a specialty of the house and served on tender rice, was very good. I tasted a mouthful and wished I had ordered it instead of the red snapper stuffed with crab-mmeat for $5.25. The fish was beautifully served, garnished with lemon slices, plus tomato and lettuce, and was quite tasty. But it was a trifle overcooked.
Our sons had each ordered the broiled rib lamb chops, three of them for $5.25, and opinions were divided. One son found them "wonderful," the other felt they were just "good."
While we were dining, a pianist played all our favorite show tunes, new and old.
Desserts looked superb - pecan pie and cheese cake, each for 90 cents, chocolate eclair, 70 cents, and a selection of home-backed pies, 75 cents. We all passed, however, and my husband and one son had coffee, at 40 cents.
We finished off the evening with a few butterscotch candies brought to our table as lagniappe.
One feature many people will like about the Cedar Inn are the chess games Maurice and his guests play there nightly. A chess enthusiast Maurice keeps a board close by and is happy to take on all comers.
Our check for dinner wasa low $21.50, including tax, butn not bar bill or tip.
Cedar INN. 276 Cedar Lane, Vienna, Va. Telephone 560-9813. Open daily, 4 to 10 p.m. Lunch, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Casual clothes. American Express, Visa, Master Charge and Diners Club credit cards accepted. Accessible by wheel chair. High chairs available for children. Reservations necessary for fondue party. 560-9813.