I am not much for the "chain" restaurants but the Great American Restaurants bring a different flavor.

The story of Great American Restaurants began in 1974 when Randy Norton and Jim Farley opened a pizza place in Fairfax City, Virginia. Mike Ranney joined them a year later, and with the opening of Fantastic Fritzbe’s Flying Food Factory (now Silverado) in 1976, Great American Restaurants was born. Over the past 36 years their partnership has thrived with their enthusiasm for hospitality and great food. Great American Restaurants is fun because the people take pride and love what they do.

Fresh bread and rolls that arrive on premises daily are from their own bakery, Best Buns in Arlington, VA. The bread is amazing and you must try their rolls- they are similar to doughnuts and come with a honey spread butter that melts inside of the hot roll!!

Great American Restaurants now has eleven restaurants in Northern Virginia:

Ozzie’s Corner Italian and Artie’s restaurants are located in Fairfax, VA. Artie's is always packed and parking can be tight as it shares a strip mall with a large bowling alley.

Coastal Flats has two locations: Fairfax and Tyson’s Corner in McLean, VA. Great food and a local/fun atmosphere. The Fairfax location is in the heart of Fairfax Corner with the large plaza and movie theatre.

Mike’s American Grill is located in Springfield, VA and Silverado is on Columbia Pike in Annandale, VA. These are 2 of their "flagship" restaurants that many of the locals know about.

The Carlyle Restaurant in Arlington, VA. Is a little more "upscale" than the others in the chain.

Sweetwater Tavern has three locations: Centreville, Merrifield, and Sterling, VA. Sweetwater is well-known for its pork chop dinner.

Story by Carol French with The Nellis Group

Image Courtesy of GAR website