Five Places to Find Great Tacos in Richmond

We put our taco taste-testing skills to good use to share with you some of the best tacos in Richmond. It’s worth noting that there are many other great taco spots in Richmond that didn’t make this list, but hey, we could only eat so many tacos –we’re seriously considering doing a part two. The places we picked are worth a visit and as you’ll read below — offer much more than just tacos. From pupusas to fresh guacamole to sopes, we were in heaven checking these places out.

Best Tacos in Richmond

Don’t Look Back

Located in Carytown, Don’t Look Back is a great place to visit whether you’re craving a taco or a margarita. The menu is simple, mostly focused on tacos with a few other offerings including burritos, quesadillas, nachos and Frito pie. With summer quickly approaching, you’ll be happy to know that Don’t Look Back has a patio located behind the restaurant. Even better? They offer brunch – which means on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. you can enjoy everything from a breakfast burrito to huevos rancheros. In all of my visits to this neighborhood spot,  the main thing that has always stood out to me is how fresh everything is. This visit was no different.

Don't look back sauces

Don't look back taco
Don't look back tacos

The Dish: We found ourselves at Don’t Look Back on a Saturday afternoon, which meant we had to access to the brunch menu and the lunch menu. We took full advantage and ordered the chorizo taco, pulled chicken taco, breakfast taco and some chips and guacamole. Their guacamole is definitely some of the best I’ve had in Richmond and I can never resist ordering it when I go. Let’s be real: I always want the black bean nachos and the guacamole, but I’ve learned my eyes are often bigger than my stomach. When ordering tacos at Don’t Look Back, you choose whether you want a corn or flour tortilla and whether you want your taco traditional style (cilantro, red onion & lime) or gringo style (cheese, lettuce, sour cream & salsa). I usually mix it up depending on what kind of tacos I get, but both options are delicious. My favorite taco at Don’t Look Back? Hands down, the chicken skin taco. It’s not on the regular menu, but if you’re lucky enough to go at a time when it is on the specials board, order it. I promise you won’t be sorry.

– M

En Su Boca

Patio, check. Margaritas on happy hour, check. Delicious tacos, check. En Su Boca, located on the Boulevard in what is technically Scott’s Addition, is a great place to enjoy a meal outside. The food is described as San Francisco Mission District Inspired Mexican Cuisine, and I’d have to agree — out of all of the spots on our list, the food here definitely has a California twist.

En su boca overheadEn su boca tacosEn Su Boca fish tacos

The Dish: If you just try one thing, try the southern fried fish tacos. Crispy, flaky and fried, I don’t even really like fish and I could eat these everyday for the rest of my life. The Pacific cod is perfectly seasoned and complimented by chipotle crema and a cabbage slaw. On several visits, I’ve tried the carnitas, chorizo and carne asada. Oh and, if you are a vegetarian you’re in luck, En Su Boca has three vegetarian taco options! Happy hour is Monday through Friday and only lasts until 6 p.m. If you can beat rush hour traffic and make it in time after work, you’ll be rewarded with $2 tacos and a few other food and drink specials.

– K

La Milpa

I’m not sure what I was waiting for but it took me 25 years and a Richmond Times-Dispatch review to finally try La Milpa. And now, I’m kicking myself because I waited 25 years TOO long. The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into La Milpa is the eccentric decor; to the left you’ll find the restaurant and dining room and to the right you’ll find the market/grocery store.

La Milpa OverheadLa Milpa Al Pastor TacoLa Milpa chorizo sope

The Dish: Meg and I might be small people, but together we are an unstoppable eating force. At La Milpa we tried an al pastor taco, grilled chicken taco, carne asada sope, chorizo sope, cebollitas (grilled green onions) and a side of beans – keep in mind this was stop numero uno of the evening. Never had a sope? It’s sort of like a fried tortilla topped with refried beans, meat and melted cheese. Once you place your order you can head over to the salsa bar and stock up on as many brightly colored sauces as your little heart desires. We tried them all and I don’t know if we could even try to pick a favorite. Everything we tried was so flavorful, I can’t wait to go back to have another carne asada sope and an al pastor taco.

-K

Shelly’s Food, Comida Latina

Located at 7304 Staples Mill Road, Shelly’s Food is tucked away in a shopping center where you could easily miss it if you didn’t know what you were looking for. We went on a Sunday right around lunchtime and the place was filled with what appeared to be regulars. We sat down and perused the menu for a few minutes and quickly decided we wanted to share a taco platter and two pupusas, which was the perfect amount of food for sharing.

The entire meal and only cost $12, making Shelly’s a great option for dining out on a budget. And so eaking of cheap eats, Tuesdays are for $1 tacos at Shelly’s Food and Wednesdays are for $1 pupusas. (Stephanie Breijo at Richmond Magazine recently did a web piece entirely devoted to the pupusas at Shelly’s Food.)



The Dish: The taco platter we ordered came with three tacos — chicken, steak and pork — and while we enjoyed each variety we both agreed the pork was our favorite, with a rich flavor that left you wanting to take another bite. The pupusas were delicious, too, and we ordered one with beans and cheese and one with pork and cheese, which was our favorite of the two options. Shelly’s Food is a great place for authentic Mexican cuisine at any time, but especially convenient if you don’t feel like taking a trip south of the river to one of the other options on our list.

– M

Taqueria Panchito

Taqueria Panchito is located on Midlothian Turnpike in a small but comfortable space with a sign outside advertising “authentic Mexican”, and that’s exactly what you’ll find here. We visited on a Monday evening and had no trouble grabbing a table for two. In case you’re following along – with our visit here, we crossed another place off of our “Where to Dish Next” list.

Taqueria panchito overheadTaqueria panchito guacamoleTaqueria panchito chicken taco

The Dish: The first thing that caught my eye when looking at the menu wasn’t the food selection, but the drink selection. Taqueria Panchito serves a variety of aguas frescas, beverages that are a refreshing combination of fruit, sugar and water that I find myself making during the warm summer months here in Richmond. I ordered a watermelon agua fresca and with a squeeze of lime juice, it was so good. We both ordered tacos and I also got an order of chips, salsa and guacamole, which ended up being a highlight of our visit – the jalapeños in the guacamole provided just the right amount of heat and the portion size was more than generous. The tacos were delicious and topped with cebollitas, which was the perfect touch. Like La Milpa, Taqueria Panchito has a self-serve salsa bar which we obviously took full advantage of. Looking for a deal? Taqueria Panchito offers $1 tacos on Wednesdays.

-M

What are your favorite tacos in Richmond? We certainly are not opposed to doing another taco crawl, and we’d love to hear about them!

 

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Brunch at Shagbark

Richmond was recently named to Travel and Leisure’s list of America’s Favorite Cities for Brunch. In fact, RVA ranked number six on the list and I’m in full agreement — Richmond is a great town for brunch. But Travel and Leisure (and its readers) failed to mention one of the best brunches in town. Don’t get me wrong Metzger and Southbound deservedly made the list — I’ve been to brunch at both restaurants and was extremely impressed. But, Shagbark is also doing something special. (Note: Lucy’s is probably also deserving of its mention, I just haven’t had a chance to make it over there for brunch yet.)

On a recent trip (aka on Easter Sunday — which was a date chosen accidentally), I was smitten with everything that came out of the kitchen at Shagbark. And it didn’t hurt that the weather was beautiful and we were given the option of sitting outside on the shaded patio.

You’ll notice a common thread in my brunch adventures — sharing is caring — and my friend Nicky and I shared three dishes on this trip to Shagbark.

Our meal started where every good brunch meal starts: cocktails. I enjoyed the brunch punch while Nicky went a little more traditional and sipped on the classic mimosa. The brunch punch was sweet, but not overly so, and made for easy drinking — a good choice for a warm spring day.

Making decisions on what to drink was easy, making decisions on what to eat was a very, very hard. Everything on the menu sounded delicious, so we had a difficult time choosing between these four options:

BBQ spiced duck confit hash with roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, soft egg, buttered almonds and Highland County maple creme fraîche.

Dill pickle-brined chicken & waffles with Hubs peanut crumble and bourbon-maple butter.

Sub Rosa polenta bread french toast with local strawberries, lemon mascarpone and oat streusel.

The Old Virginia — Edward’s country ham steak, Byrd Mill grits, SSU hen egg, red eye gravy and a buttermilk biscuit.

Ultimately we went with one sweet and one savory dish. We couldn’t say no to the duck hash — (1) because I wanted to see how it compared to Metzger’s and Southbound’s versions and (2) because it is freaking duck hash. Always. order. the. duck. hash. For our sweet entree, we went all in with the french toast made with Sub Rosa bread.

What a pair. We cleaned both plates and we were dying for more. The Sub Rosa polenta bread french toast was less sweet than I expected, definitely less sweet than most french toasts, but I wasn’t mad about it. I mean, let’s be real, it is pretty hard to mess a dish up that starts with bread from Sub Rosa. The strawberries tasted so fresh and bright, and the lemon mascarpone was to die for. My only complaint was that the crust of the bread was a little hard to cut with the not so sharp knives we were given, but if that’s the worst part of the meal I’ll take it.

I’m honestly not even sure where to start with the duck hash. It was plated beautifully, and the soft egg was poached to perfection. The roasted sweet potatoes balanced well with the salty, rich duck and the toasted almonds gave the dish the crunch that it needed. And that sauce, I could eat that Highland County maple creme fraiche by the spoonful. I love the duck hash at Metzger and Southbound, but Shagbark’s version blew those out of the water. Let’s just say our server was impressed at the speed at which we consumed this plate of food. I promise I’m not exaggerating, it really was that good.

To wrap things up we split the coffee cake for dessert. The roasted banana brown butter coffee cake came topped with honey chantilly, fresh blackberries and toasted malt powder. I don’t know what honey chantilly or toasted malt powder is, but what I do know is that they taste great on top of this coffee cake. Similarly to the french toast, this dish was not overly sweet and it was a lot lighter than expected.

Overall the brunch experience at Shagbark is top notch. The service was lovely, the drinks were refreshing and the food was incredible. This meal for two came out to about $70 (including tip), which might seem a little spendy for brunch but when you factor in the fact that we both had drinks, shared a dessert, and we were at Shagbark, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive our meal was.

The cost of brunch at Shagbark is much more approachable than dinner is there but they are both equally delicious.

Shagbark is located at Libbie Mill-Midtown (4901 Libbie Mill East Boulevard, Suite 175) and they serve brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They do take reservations, and you can browse a sample menu here. P.S. There is plenty of free parking around the restaurant so you won’t have to worry about parallel parking.

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5 Bites and Sips I’ve Been Loving Lately

After a brief hiatus, the latest 5 Bites and Sips post is up on the blog today featuring items from some of my favorite recent dining adventures!

If you missed the first or second post in this series, don’t fret, you can give them a read here and here.

The Taft at Secret Sandwich Society

I first sang the praises of The Taft when we had the chance to get a sneak peek of Secret Sandwich Society before the restaurant opened to the public back in November — you could say this sandwich had me at hello. But, this menu item is one I’m not planning to part with anytime soon. Why is this sandwich so darn good? Made up of slow roasted pork shoulder, rosemary mayo, braised kale and provolone on a toasted baguette, every individual element of this sandwich is done to perfection and perfectly complements the other ingredients.

I could eat the braised kale by the spoonful and the slow roasted pork shoulder is so flavorful and tender, you can tell with every bite the care that went into preparing it. The only bad thing about this sandwich? I don’t know if I’ll be able to bring myself to try anything else on the menu at Secret Sandwich Society.

Fried Chicken at Tanglewood Ordinary

I’ve been wanting to try Tanglewood Ordinary ever since reading the restaurant’s wonderful review in the Richmond Times-Dispatch this past summer. I made a reservation for a recent Saturday night and Taylor and I headed out for some homestyle cooking.


We opted for the family-style dining option, where for $15.99 a person we enjoyed an all you can eat meal that included fried chicken, pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, collared greens, green beans, macaroni and cheese, cornbread and biscuits. Everything was delicious, but the fried chicken was the most memorable part of the meal. Even if it seems a bit off the beaten path, you won’t regret a trip to Tanglewood Ordinary.

Just about anything on the menu at Cava

I know I’m not the only one excited that Cava is finally in Richmond, with a first location open near VCU and a few more locations on the way. I love Mediterranean food in general but there is just something so satisfying about being able to build my own mini pitas or bowl with greens and grains and whatever toppings my heart desires. Speaking of toppings, my order at Cava usually goes something like this no matter what protein or base I’m getting that day: ALL of the pickled red onions, feta and olives topped off with some combination of crazy feta and tzatziki.

Oh yeah, and I can’t go to Cava and not get one of their specialty juices. Usually drinks on a restaurant menu are an afterthought, especially when they are non-alcoholic, but these juices are just another thing that make Cava’s menu shine. I haven’t visited since they launched their spring juice menu (they switch out seasonally) but I already have my eyes on two I want to try: the strawberry mint lime juice and the grapefruit + mint raspberry shrub.

Donuts from Mrs. Yoder’s

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans on Mrs. Yoder’s donuts (and donuts in general) here at Let’s Share A Dish. I only have one of these donuts every so often – which is probably a good thing for my health — but every time I do, I am reminded of JUST how good they are.


I enjoyed one recently on the day that the donuts returned to the South of the James farmers’ market for the season, splitting the donut with a friend who had never had one of these special donuts before. We each took a bite and just looked at eachother, acknowledging without saying a thing that we were eating one of the best things we might ever taste. Warm and dripping with icing, nothing beats a fresh Mrs. Yoder’s donut. Lucky you, you can get one every Saturday at the South of the James farmers’ market.

Stiegl Radler

As much as I love visiting vineyards and breweries and enjoying their ambience, I’m not someone who drinks beer or wine all too often. I much prefer a cocktail or cider, opting for something a little bit fruitier or sweeter. My preference quickly changes, though, if a Stiegl Radler is on the menu.


This grapefruit beer brewed in Austria is my beer of choice most anytime of the year, but especially in the spring and summer months once warm weather hits. It’s not too sweet OR too tart and the grapefruit flavor is totally natural. It’s just a refreshing drink that goes down (almost too!) easy. If you’re like me and don’t think there’s a beer out there you’ll like as much as you like cider, I encourage you to give this one a try if you see it on a menu or spot it in a store. Richmonders, Stiegl Radler can be somewhat hard to find though its local availability seems to be increasing in the last year or two. I’ve always had luck finding it at Total Wine!

What’s the best thing drink or dish you’ve enjoyed lately? Would love to hear in the comments below!

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#cook90… is it over yet?

I hate that I am saying this but I have been counting down the days to April 1 — aka the end of my #cook90 challenge. The cooking part hasn’t been too bad but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this experience it’s that my next kitchen needs to have a dishwasher. Who knew one person could create so many dirty dishes? I want to say I’ve spent at least a half an hour every single day in March washing dishes, and I’m #overit.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed #cook90. I tried my best to cook things that were outside of my comfort zone and I’m excited that I’ve added a few more recipes to my repertoire. I’ve learned that making pasta from scratch isn’t really all that hard, but you do need a decent amount of counter space. And apparently, I like baking a lot less than I thought I did — probably because I don’t have a stand mixer or a normal sized food processor. Sadly, I’ll never make it as a baker on The Great British Baking Show, in fact, I cracked under pressure when my store bought pie crust wouldn’t cooperate.

I’ve had a bunch of people ask me if this challenge helped me save money on food and the answer is a resounding… no. I found myself more willing to splurge on higher quality ingredients from the grocery store to replace the instant gratification that I typically get from going out to eat. I think you could easily save money doing this challenge if you stuck to more budget friendly recipes than I did, but my goal wasn’t to save money, it was to learn more about cooking. And I don’t think anyone wants to read a blog post with 10 different ways to make chicken sausage pasta.

I missed last week’s recap— I was busy cooking my little heart out— so this post is on the longer side, but hopefully that means you’ll find at least one recipe to try! I’ll also be sharing a recipe next week for a mostly homemade roasted vegetable and sausage tart with an everything bagel crust, so stay tuned.

#cook90 Breakfast Recipes

Carrot cake smoothie

Smoothies // I’ve been drinking a whole lot of smoothies lately and my current favorite is this Almond Brothers Carrot Cake Smoothie from RVA Fit Foodie, it legit tastes like carrot cake in a cup and it has been a nice change of pace from my berry filled smoothies. The hardest ingredient to find was carrot juice that didn’t contain anything other than carrots juice and lemon juice, but I found an affordable option in the natural foods section of Kroger.

 

Lecker Baking Company // Knowing the limitations of my kitchen and available kitchen tools, I did not attempt to make any bread on my own — I’ll save that for my next #cook90 challenge. With that said, I did come across a gem of a bakery when I was looking for new bread options to try in Richmond. Lecker Baking Company is conveniently located in the Fan and if you are looking to pick up a loaf or two on your commute home, I highly recommend making a stop there. This month I stuck to the tried and true Billy Bread to step up my toast and breakfast sandwich game, but I’m pumped to try more of Lecker’s offerings.

Fried banana overnight oats

Overnight Oats // I mentioned my love of overnight oats in my last #cook90 post and the prospect of warmer weather means I’ll be eating my oatmeal cold for the foreseeable future. I keep my recipe simple using a 1 to 1 to 1 ratio of oats, yogurt and milk (I use unsweetened coconut milk) and then I add in a scoop of protein powder and a shake of cinnamon. Recently I’ve been adding “fried” banana slices to jazz things up — heat a small amount of coconut oil or ghee in a small pan and add your banana slices, flip them once they’re golden brown and finish with a drizzle of honey.

 

Sinless Samoas // If you follow Let’s Share a Dish on Instagram you might’ve seen my Instagram Story making these delicious sweet treats. They aren’t really for breakfast but could work as a small snack between breakfast and lunch. The recipe from Eating Bird Food is super simple and in total takes less than 30 minutes to make. My tip: add the toasted coconut to your food processor before it has completely cooled and it will melt the chocolate chips a little bit.

#cook90 Lunch Recipes

Chicken salad

Chicken Salad // I only recently started eating chicken salad and I love it as an easy and satisfying topping for salads. I found this easy chicken salad recipe by Ina Garten and it turned out wonderfully. My old modification was replacing half of the mayo the recipe called for with Greek yogurt to try and make it a little more healthy. This super simple recipe contains just six ingredients: chicken, olive oil, mayo, green grapes, celery and tarragon (not including salt and pepper).

 

Sweet Potato Bowls // These colorful bowls are super easy to throw together during the week. My bases for my bowls this month included roasted sweet potato, a tomato, cucumber and pickled onion salad, rice, tzatziki sauce and Cava Harissa. For proteins, I used Trader Joe’s Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and shrimp sauteed in ghee and garlic. Throw all the components in a bowl and you’re good to go.

 

Mumbai Toastie // A Lodge Cast Iron Skillet wasn’t the only “kitchen tool” I bought during #cook90, I also purchased a new cookbook — Simple by Diana Henry. The key feature of this cookbook is that all recipes must fit onto one page. Some are easy, some might take you all day and all sound delicious. The Mumbai Toastie is the first thing I’ve made from my new cookbook and grilled cheese may never be the same. Indian spices and a fresh mint and garlic chutney give this simple meal a big flavor upgrade. And it didn’t hurt that I used Billy Bread for this recipe too.

#cook90 Dinner Recipes

Pierogies

Pierogies // The most challenging (re: annoying) recipe that I made during this entire experience were these potato and cheese pierogies *RIP Lucky Peach*. I naively tried to take on this feat on a weeknight, #neveragain. In the first five minutes of peeling potatoes I sliced my thumb which almost derailed me completely; nevertheless, I persisted and four hours later these pillows of doughy, cheesy, starchy goodness were ready. If you pack your patience for this adventure you’ll be handsomely rewarded with a comforting and delicious meal. I recommend serving these with some fancy sausage from Stock Provisions.

 


Egg Roll in a Bowl // There really was only one point during the challenge where I almost gave up. After a long and stressful week, including a 24 hour period with no water in my apartment, I was craving Chinese take out. With no food in my fridge, the prospect of ordering in was sounding more and more appealing but I took a deep breath and searched the internet for an easy recipe that would satisfy my craving. I came across this beef and cabbage stir fry recipe on Budget Bytes and was sold. I used pork instead of beef, and whipped together this dish in less than an hour, including time spent driving to and from the grocery store. To make it more filling, I served the stir fry over rice.

 

I feel like I learned a lot from the challenge and it really forced me to meal plan a little bit more than I typically do. #cook90 also reinforced my love for grocery shopping, and I’ll be a little sad that I won’t be spending as much time in the grocery store in April as I did in March. If you want to do your own #cook90 challenge, sign up for the newsletter and they’ll send you weekly updates based on how far along you are. And if you’re wondering what my first not home cooked meal will be tomorrow, its a toss up between a Stroops backdoor dog and Peter Chang’s Noodle and Dumpling!

If you missed my first two posts on #cook90 you can read them here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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One Year of Sharing Dishes

I don’t know if you’ll believe it — we can’t — but it’s March 14th and that means we’ve been doing this whole blogging thing for a full year now! One-hundred and twenty-six blog posts later and a million calories later (OK, we don’t know how many calories, but its a lot), we haven’t killed each other yet and we can’t wait to see where the Richmond food scene will take our taste buds in year two.

It seems like just yesterday we decided to pull the trigger and claim our little piece of the internet and we’ve had a blast, in large part due to all of you. Can you believe we’ve had readers from ALL fifty states?! We love hearing your suggestions and feedback for more places for us to try. We hear you and we can’t wait to visit some of your favorite spots and try some of your favorite foods!

It’s been so much fun telling you all about our favorite spots around Richmond, our travel adventures and our random musings on our favorite recipes, cute dog pictures, podcasts, shopping finds and more. We love sharing our weekly dose of food news with you every Wednesday in our What’s Happenin’ Wednesday posts, and we’re thankful to the Richmond restaurant community that has welcomed our many questions with open arms.

In just one year, there have been too many memorable moments to name — from getting a behind the scenes look at Mrs. Yoder’s to taste testing at Gearhart’s to trying all of the things on the menu at East Coast Provisions thanks to the generous Mike Ledesma. If Kelsey wasn’t doing the #Cook90 challenge, we could celebrate today with a glorious dinner somewhere, but instead we’re going to tell you the 10 most memorable meals we’ve had in the past year, in Richmond and beyond.

La Barbecue

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I would fly to Austin, Texas just to have La Barbecue for lunch. Texas folks aren’t kidding when they say barbecue is the real deal there. Just one visit to La Barbecue was enough to convince me of that. After waiting in line for a few hours it felt like we ordered just about everything on the menu, and 11 months later I’m STILL thinking about the brisket and sausage and the bobby sauce I dipped my bread in. It was an added bonus that one of the employees gave me a behind the scenes look at the brisket smoking, a 14 to 16 hour process that is worth every minute. – M

merroir angels on horseback

Merroir

Let’s just say there’s a reason Merroir is featured prominently in the new Virginia Tourism video promoting some of the best things in Virginia. Picture perfect location on the water, delicious food, great drink list…Merroir has just about everything I want in a restaurant. I only make it to this spot in Topping, Virginia two or three times a year, but vacation mode starts the minute we hit the gravel parking lot. Everything on the menu is delicious, but I go back time and time ago for – no surprise here – the oysters of all varieties. They are delicious whether they are served raw, roasted or all “dressed up” like these Angels on Horseback baked with herb butter and Edwards Ham. – M

the clam shack 48 hours in maine

The Clam Shack

Apparently I have a thing for restaurants on the water, but The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Maine is another spot that made it into my top meals of the year. The lobster rolls here were so incredible and warranted every ounce of publicity and attention this restaurant has racked up over the years. Lobster rolls here come served up with mayonnaise and butter and are perfectly enjoyed with the fresh squeezed lemonade that’s available for sale in front of the restaurant. – M

Tompkins Square Bagels NYC

Tompkins Square Bagels

New Yorkers know how to make a darn good breakfast sandwich, and Tompkins Square Bagels makes one of the best. We stopped here for breakfast on the first day of our visit to New York City back in September, and I’ve been craving this breakfast sandwich ever since. We ordered an everything bagel that came stuffed to the brim with with bacon, egg and cheese and it was so simple but so, so heavenly. A well-executed breakfast sandwich on a New York bagel is the stuff food dreams are made of, my friends. – M

Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen

The matzoh ball soup, the schlubby fries, the blintzes, what isn’t there to love about Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen located in the heart of downtown Richmond. This cozy spot feels like an old friend every time I slide into a booth here (which isn’t quite as often as I would like!) and I’m usually thinking of when my next visit can be before I’ve even left. I spend forever looking at the menu whenever I come here because I want just about everything on it, but whatever you choose, you really can’t go wrong at Perly’s. Unless you don’t order the matzoh ball soup. – M

La taqueria carnitas burrito - San Francisco

La Taqueria

I am still dreaming of this carnitas burrito at La Taqueria more than eight months after visiting San Francisco. If you’re planning on visiting the Mission District anytime soon, do yourself a favor and add this to your must visit list. The melty cheese, creamy refried beans, and salty carnitas, omg I am salivating just thinking about it. And even better this meal cost less than $10, which is hard to come by for lunch in SF. Pro tip: order it dorado style and they’ll toast it on the flat top for you. – K

Plow brunch

Plow

The Plow at Plow in San Francisco is everything you could want for brunch and more. Everything on the plate was outstanding, but for me two things really stood out. The pancakes and the Nueske’s bacon. These might be the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten and if I could eat Plow’s lemon ricotta pancakes all day I would. The Nueske’s bacon had a smokey flavor unlike any bacon I had ever had and I’ve been craving it ever since. If you plan on going, get their early. It gets packed, quick. Be patient, enjoy the cool San Francisco breeze and keep reminding yourself it will definitely be worth the wait – K

Xi'an Famous Foods Beef Noodle

Xi’an Famous Foods

Confession: I love spicy food. I also love noodles (I will eat ALL of the pastas). Xi’an Famous Foods had been on my radar for quite a while and I was giddy when Meg and I ate here together in September when we made a quick trip to New York. We came, we saw and we conquered this plate of spicy & tingly beef hand-ripped noodles. This dish was the kind of spicy that gets you addicted, and I just kept eating and eating. My only regret is that after a marathon day of eating, we weren’t members of the clean plate club at Xi’an Famous Foods. – K

L’opossum

Waiting and anticipation can either be your friend or your foe. In the case of L’opossum it is your friend because good god the food there is good. I can count on one hand the number of meals I’ve had in Richmond that hold a candle to the experience that I had at L’opossum. Everything from the cocktails to the appetizers (we had escargot btw) to the entrees were incredible. Filet Mignon of Beef “Swellington” was probably my favorite dish of the evening, and I think I would’ve licked the plate if I knew no one was watching. – K

Southbound brunch duck hash

Brunch at Southbound

You had me at duck hash. It is so hard to pick just one thing to eat at Southbound brunch, so just do what I did and pick three things to eat (and share — if you have too). #Firstworldproblem, solved. The common thread to successful dishes during Southbound’s brunch service: bacon hollandaise, which is probably something you didn’t know you needed in your life, but the more you know. You can thank me now for showing you the light. Oh, and do yourself a favor and order a cinnamon roll or two for the table, I promise you won’t regret it. -K

As you can tell, it’s been one delicious year and we’re looking forward to the next one! If you enjoy following along with us here, don’t forget we’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

Here’s to year two!

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My Favorite Recipes From #cook90 Week Two

As I write this post, I’m 12 days into the #cook90 challenge, meaning I’m almost halfway there (if you missed my recipes from week one, check them out here)! And I have to say, cooking this much is kind of exhausting, especially when you do not have a dishwasher. There are always so. many. dishes.

During week two of the challenge, I tried to eat healthy during the week (keyword: tried) and saved indulging for the weekend. I also added a cast iron skillet to my cabinets full of cheap pots and pans and so far I am loving it. I’ve used it almost every day since it came in the mail (thanks, Amazon).

#Cook90 Week Two: My Favorite Recipes

The Beyond Burger. One of my coworkers had recently been raving about the veggie burger that isn’t a veggie burger and after hearing the founder’s story on a podcast (oh the power of marketing) I set out to find the Beyond Burger at my local Whole Foods. If you’re used to the typically veggie burger — the kind that’s made out of well, vegetables — this burger might have you confused. It looks, cooks and (almost) tastes like real meat. It even left behind grease in the pan. It even stays pink in the middle thanks to beets! I would definitely eat again. Also the key to a good burger — Martin’s Potato Rolls.

Overnight Oats with Tahini

Overnight Oats with Banana, Maple Syrup and Tahini. I bought a jar of tahini at Trader Joe’s months ago with every intention of making a tahini vinaigrette with it and never got around to it. So when I ran out of peanut butter last week and was craving some overnight oats I knew I had hit the jackpot with this recipe from Bon Appétit. I didn’t follow their instructions for overnight oats because I typically stick to a 1 to 1 to 1 ratio of oats, greek yogurt and almond-coconut milk. This combo makes super think oats, but you can always add extra milk when you’re ready to eat to get it to the consistency of your liking. I also added a scoop of protein powder for some added nutrition. The maple syrup tahini sauce was super easy to make and perfect for a creamy bowl of cold oats. Add this one to your breakfast rotation and you won’t be disappointed.

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma. This recipe from the New York Times was super simple and packed with flavor. I used this chicken to top my salads for lunch for the week and chicken pitas. This will make your house smell delightful, if roast chicken is your kind of thing. And the turmeric gives the chicken a lovely bright yellow color. I paired this with a chickpea, tomato, cucumber, feta and pickled onion salad over a bed of mixed greens. For the dressing I made another batch of the honey balsamic vinaigrette I mentioned last week. Full disclosure for the chicken pitas I cheated and purchased Sabra cucumber dill yogurt sauce instead of making my own tzatziki sauce, and surprisingly it was really good.

Cheesy Monkey Bread. You can probably tell but the healthy recipe portion of this post is over and we’re onto the good stuff. This was honestly the easiest recipe I’ve made so far and I want to share it with the world because it was so good. Not healthy, but perfect for any upcoming March Madness parties you might be attending. All you need is pizza dough (I used my favorite Idle Hands dough), cheese, butter, spices, garlic and shallots. I highly recommend cooking this recipe in a cast iron skillet so that the sides and bottom of the bread gets all crunch and crusty. Yum.

Mushroom Cheese Ravioli with Rosemary Butter Sauce. This is by far one of the most ambitious recipes I’ve made in recent memory. Thankfully I had a partner in crime in the kitchen (thanks Nicky!) that made making this time intensive recipe all the more enjoyable. We even got a little crazy and made our own ravioli dough. None of the steps for this mushroom, cheese ravioli recipe were particularly hard, but it did take us two hours from start to finish. We added bacon to the rosemary butter sauce because why not, and used some flour to thicken the sauce a bit. I would not recommend making this on a week night, if you’re going to make your own dough. Totally worth it though to put the time into this dish, there was so much flavor in this dish and the fresh herbs really made a difference. I cannot wait to finish eating the leftovers.

Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies. When I came across this recipe from Broma Bakery mentioned on Food Network’s Snapchat channel (yes, I’m one of those people who actually uses Discover), I just about squealed with excitement. The cookies from Levain are my all time favorite, I’d probably make the trip up to New York City just for a bite of these gooey cookies, but now I don’t have to! I whipped up a batch of these and froze about half of the dough for safe keeping. These babies are massive, but it is hard to tell in photos so that’s why I included the photo with the champagne cork for scale. I think the only thing that’s missing are the walnuts which you could always add if you wanted that extra crunch.

Here’s to the next 18 (17 by the time this post goes up) days!

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