Overall verdict: Good food! Soft opening service should smooth out in weeks to come.
Let’s get the service out of the way first: Staff admitted that they were a little backed up in the kitchen at the late lunch that I attempted; it was the first service of their first day of soft opening. If you know anything about the restaurant biz, you should set your expectations for service in the first few weeks so as to give the place a chance to settle into routine before you judge.
You order at the register, then they bring the food out to you. Ambiance was casual dining with cute but muted kitschy-Western themed decor with some jokey material on the walls if you read it carefully. Not over the top tacky like national chain restaurants.
Now the food… the portions were too big for me dining alone to try more than one entree, even without an appetizer. But very tasty! The smoked and grilled meats on my Texas Hold’Em dish were excellent… 6 sliders of 3 meats (2 each of pulled BBQ brisket, sliced beef, and burgers), plus a big pile of sweet potato fries. Complemented by selection of apparently house-made very good BBQ sauces: Traditional sweet/tangy red Kansas City-stye BBQ sauce, plus a gluten-free version, and a yellow/orange sauce that reminded me a bit of mustard and vinegar-based Carolina-style sauce and had a little kick to it.
Sweet potato fries actually had nice crispness to them when hot; most places serve them limp and soft. I wanted to try the iced tea, but they hadn’t made a batch yet, so I settled for a fountain drink.
Many other interesting and classic style dishes that I want to try on future visits. I suggest going in a group, each ordering different dishes, and sharing/tasting. Salad options, too, for those desiring a lighter meal. Looking forward to my next visit.
Hashgacha by the Vaad of Washington, DC
http://bluestarkosher.com/ in the old space that was Siena's kosher pizza