Fresh culinary flair in Franconia

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Entertainment,Food and Drink,Joana Suleiman
With the full force of spring weather comes the appetite for lighter and brighter flavors. It's why Walker's Grille in Alexandria is such a delightful addition to Northern Virginia's culinary scene.

Tucked away in the historic Franconia district, known for landmarks that date to the 1880s, Walker's Grille offers diners a vibrant menu, friendly service and a laid-back atmosphere.

The restaurant is also committed to green practices. Recycled materials were used in its design and construction. All produce, dairy and meats are hormone-, antibiotic- and pesticide-free. The chefs work with local farmers to keep their ingredients seasonal and fresh.

Walker's Grille
6908 Metro Park Drive,
» Hours: 11 a.m to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, brunch until 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
» Info: 703-922-6200;

Whether you're a vegetarian, seafood lover or carnivore, you'll have a hard time choosing from the menu's many delicious offerings. For starters, the trio of hummus, which includes red pepper, cilantro-lime and roasted beet varieties, is packed with flavor. Another thing to keep in mind is that Walker's has the best french fries in Virginia. They are hand-cut in-house, dusted with sea salt and herbs, and served with roasted tomato ketchup and two other great dipping sauces.

The filet mignon sliders, served with grilled onions and AmaBlu cheese-horseradish butter, were juicy and perfectly cooked both times I tried them. You can also build your own burger with toppings ranging from fried egg to truffle aioli. For a light lunch that will keep you full with healthy protein, go for the blackened salmon nicoise salad, made with grilled asparagus, fingerling potatoes, kalamata olives, mixed greens and hardboiled egg. In the mood for a decadent pasta course? Try the chicken scaloppini francaise, served with fresh linguine, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted artichoke and creamy white wine garlic butter.

Regardless of what you order, make room for a side. The truffle mac and cheese, and organic quinoa with roasted corn and black beans, are both worth every bite.

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Joana Suleiman

Production Editor
The Washington Examiner