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Trummer's On Main: Modern Fare in a Small Town

10 Mar

During our Virginia wine tour last weekend, our first stop led us to Paradise Springs in nearby Clifton. Not only is the winery the closest to the District, but it is also one of the newest. At just 14 months old, Paradise Springs was a great way to kickoff our wine weekend.

What was even more appealing, however, was that Trummer’s on Main was just five minutes down the road.

We have been meaning to go to Trummer’s for what seems like ages now. We first came across the restaurant back in 2009 when they were sampling their outrageously delicious “Chocolate Soup” at the Best of Washingtonian party.

Shrimp Po' Boy

It was always on our list, but its location wasn’t always ideal. Given that we live in Bethesda, we could never muster enough motivation to make the trek. Fortunately, that all changed on Saturday.

Because we were going to the Inn at Little Washington the following evening, we wanted to keep our expenses limited and decided to have dinner in the downstairs lounge. They recently started offering entrees in their bar menu, so the timing could not have been more perfect.

From the outside, you would never imagine that the former Hermitage Inn would house such a modern restaurant based on its historic exteriors. But once you stepped inside, a chic bar was on your left with a contemporary dining space with several lounge tables on the right.


After finding a table for two, Rachel and I started off the night with the restaurant’s renowned cocktails. I ordered the T-Float, an alcoholic take on a root beer float. It was downright terrific. Refreshing and not too sweet, it incorporates homemade peanut foam which gives the drink a nice bite. Definitely one of the better cocktails I’ve had.

Meanwhile, Rachel ordered Trummer’s signature drink – the Titanic. And I thought the T-Float was good! This concoction of champagne and vodka was truly outstanding, and I hadn’t even talked about its witty presentation yet. With a mound of ice floating in the glass with muddled grapes sunk at the bottom, I can see why this cocktail is so popular. Rachel would have ordered two if we had not just come from the winery.

The bar menu at Trummer’s is a great value when compared to their regular dinner menu. For example, the lounge offers a selection of four appetizers to choose from that are priced at only $5 a plate. The thick bourbon glaze that coated the eight or so wings made for a messy albeit enjoyable first course.

Chicken Wings

We decided to split a spinach salad, and for only six bucks, why not? Topped with pistachios and served with pomegranate dressing, it was the thick chunks of bacon that really made this dish worthwhile. It’s hard to envision that a few pieces of meat could make a salad, but I’ve never had bacon like this before.

For our entrees, I went with the pulled pork shoulder sandwich. For $10, it proved to be a very generous portion. Served atop slaw and a homemade bun, the meat was literally falling out of the sandwich while I was trying to eat it. I don’t want to say it was quantity over quality, but I honestly wasn’t too crazy about it. Despite its tenderness, the pork just tasted a little off at times and lacked overall consistency. For the price, it’s hard to complain, but given that everything else leading up to it was solid if not spectacular, it was a tad disappointing.

Spinach Salad

Turns out Rachel had the better of the two sandwiches – the shrimp po’ boy. With a crunchy texture but not overly heavy, this was one of the better po’ boys we’ve had outside of New Orleans. The delicately fried shrimp and fresh roll (the same kind that came with my pork sandwich) proved to be a winning combination

It was a good thing we didn’t order the housemade potato chips as an appetizer. Each of our sandwiches came with at least two handfuls of them, which made it that much harder to try and not every single one. There were actually two varieties found on our plates as some were made with sweet potato while others were made with regular/white. The former were far more addicting than the latter.

Pork Shoulder Sandwich

Midway through dinner, the restaurant’s PA began playing Ariel Pink Haunted Graffiti’s “Round and Round”. Turns out it was the bartender’s iPod, so I complimented him on his musical tastes. Minutes later, the waitress comes over with two shooters, compliments of the indie music-loving mixologist! We made sure to leave him a nice tip for the kind gesture.

Overall, we had a great night at the lounge at Trummer’s. The bar food was very reasonably priced given the quality of ingredients as well as the portion sizes, and the drinks were even better. Meanwhile our waitress could not have been more helpful. And while the Chocolate Soup wasn’t on the menu this time around, it certainly won’t be the last time we make the trip to Clifton.

Trummer’s on Main is located 7134 Main Street in Clifton, Virginia.

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