Saturday, May 21, 2016
Date of Visit: May 18, 2016
After Mik somewhat enjoyed the Carrie Underwood concert, I convinced him to try out my favorite venue, The Birchmere. I figured even if he didn't like the show he would at least enjoy the dinner part.
The way seating works at The Birchmere is at 5pm they open and you get a line number at the box office when you come in. We always aim to get there about 4:45pm and the line outside really varies in the length depending on the show, such as we were like 100 last month for Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers and last year for Brandy Clark we were in the first 10. Also, the first time we went we didn't know to arrive before it opened and were near the end of the numbers for The Oak Ridge Boys and really there isn't a bad place to sit.
After you have your line number you can hang out in the bar area that they use for Flex Stage shows. There are some tables to sit at, but depending on the show they can end up all claimed quickly. From the bar you can order drinks and chips and salsa while waiting for them to start calling line numbers to go in for the show around 6pm.
This time we were about 30 from the front, but they ended up waving us over to go in right before they started calling numbers. As someone who has experience with the line numbers, I find this a little unfair considering most of the seating is accessible since you just have to move a chair from the table. However, it does make sense that it is less disruptive to just have you go in first and have your spot before it gets crowded and harder to maneuver.
I usually go for one of the tables on the raised areas to the side, but since we've never tried the center area, we decided to try one the end of one of the front long tables right in the center. The view was probably better than some of the side places I've ended up choosing before, but those side spots right next to the bars mean no heads in the way. Mik found the lighting to be too bright, so next time I think he'd probably like the raised areas on the side better, too.
This time he went with the shrimp tempura on the specials menu. He also enjoyed the soft pretzels and crab dip appetizer that I order almost every time we come. His favorite was probably the chocolate lava cake he had for dessert, though.
Mik ended up enjoying the music, especially the opener Aubrie Sellers (I had been excited she was added after we had tickets because I had chosen Brandy Clark's show over another Aubrie Sellers was opening because I prefer The Bichmere over other venues). However, even before the show he had declared he had to come back because there were at least four headliners (the entree part of the menu) he wanted to try. I guess I'll be getting tickets for him to go with to see The Oak Ridge Boys and Chip.
3701 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22305