By Susannah Black
“I want to provide comfort food, food that hugs you,” says Joe Goetze, executive chef for Farmers Restaurant Group, the company opening the first Virginia location (and third total) of Founding Farmers in Tysons Corner tomorrow.
Founding Farmers Tysons has a unique-to-Virginia theme but perpetuates the original Founding Farmers’ dedication to farm-to-table, scratch-kitchen dining. “The inside has a fun, whimsical layout,” says Goetze. The decor resembles a modern farmhouse.
Patrons can expect to see some flagship dishes such as the meatloaf and chicken pot pie, but the Tysons menu will differ slightly. “We don’t want sister/sister restaurants; we want sister/big brother restaurants,” says Goetze. “We’re adjusting enough to be like: ‘Wow, that’s different from the other two.'”
Dishes unique to Founding Farmers Tysons will include collard, pancetta-stuffed pork tenderloin and fried eggplant marinara. Sandwiches include a turkey, arugula and aged provolone combination and the Butcher Burger: a griddled, double-ground burger with house seasoning, caramelized red onions, barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese. Goetze recommends it be prepared medium rare in order to preserve the full flavor of the beef.
Virginia oysters are available in three ways: raw, as a shooter with optional liquor chasers or baked with a variety of sauces.
Goetze is excited to work with Virginia hams in his butcher program, a project that includes in-house butchery and using as much of the animal as possible. Goetze also plans on using sassafras root as a braising component for pork and short ribs to add a root beer-esque flavor to the prime cuts.
A buffet brunch menu at Tysons includes a spin on a classic eggs Benedict with hollowed corn bread instead of an English muffin. Goetze’s adaptation of a cronut, called a Jefferson Donut and made of fried, homemade croissant dough stuffed with different flavors like vanilla custard, bacon or maple squash, is also expected to be popular.
The beverage program includes 12 Virginia draft beers, craft cocktails, locally roasted coffee, scratch soda and a cold-pressed juice program with choices like the Green Day, a blended combination of romaine, kale, celery, chard, cucumber and apple.
Reflecting on the restaurant’s name, Goetze is serious about sourcing: “I want to understand how the items we buy end up on our table. I want to know about the cows … what they’re fed and how they’re treated.” / Opening Feb. 5: Founding Farmers Tysons; 1800 Tysons Blvd., McLean