First Dish of the Year: Mayo Grilled Cheese from Barrel & Bushel in Tysons Corner, Va.

2018 was a great year for me as a food blogger. I tried new restaurants, classic local staples and hidden gems across coastal Virginia and everywhere else I traveled. To kick off 2019, after a little retail therapy at Tysons Corner Center, I enjoyed a cozy lunch and a cold brew at Barrel & Bushel before heading back to Virginia Beach.

Growing up, my mom and I would often go to Tysons Corner for a shopping spree. After several hours of shopping, she would reward me with a comic book and dinner at Coastal Flats. Since I was on my own, it didn’t feel right going to Coastal Flats without my mom so I set out to find a restaurant that was new to me.

Barrel & Bushel is located in the Hyatt Hotel. The hotel and the mall are conveniently connected so shoppers won’t need to find new parking or go outside. It was a brisk day on January 1 so I appreciated the easy access. I took a seat at the bar and was immediately greeted by a bartender.


The innovative restaurant offers pairings for food and beer, as well as bourbon. Ingredients are often sourced locally and made in-house. While the cuisine is American fare, it’s far from standard, serving modern dishes and takes on classic ones too.

Barrel & Bushel showcases over 30 regional craft beers and 65 bourbons. I began my lunch with a glass of 3 Stars Brewing Company’s Nectar of the Bogs. This cranberry saison was perfect for the holiday season. I loved that it was more fruit-forward and had a clean dry finish.

For lunch, I knew I wanted some kind of sandwich or burger. My eyes first locked in on the Pimento Cheeseburger but the Mayo Grilled Cheese won me over since it was served with tomato soup. There are few duos better than grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Barrel & Bushel’s Mayo Grilled Cheese uses both Cooper American and pimento cheese. Cooper is a premium brand of cheese based out of the Northeast. The brand prides themselves in creating cheeses that are creamy and sharp in flavor. Combined with the rich pimento cheese and mayo, the Mayo Grilled Cheese was the creamiest, gooiest grilled cheese I’ve ever had. When the rich, creamy flavors of the cheeses became too much, I dunked the buttery, toasted sandwich in the tomato soup.

The roasted tomato soup was very straightforward and refreshing with a slightly sweet finish from the basil. When I used my spoon to eat the soup, I was able to scoop up the chunks of tomato. The fantastic comfort food combination of grilled cheese and tomato soup was exactly what I needed to take on the road following my holiday vacation.

Barrel & Bushel is located at 7901 Tysons One Place, Tysons Corner, Va.

Stay tuned to read about where I eat next!