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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Last month I introduced 5 Bites and Sips I’ve Been Loving Lately, saying I’d be back every so often with recommendations for a few dishes around RVA that are definitely worth checking out. As promised, I’m back again today with February’s edition. If you missed the first post, you can check it out here!

Spicy Thai Fried Green Beans at Boulevard Burger & Brew

These spicy Thai fried green beans from Boulevard Burger & Brew are a perfect happy hour snack, and the large portion size means they are great for sharing with a group of friends. Priced at $5.95, this is an appetizer that won’t set you back too much. I recommend ordering them with some kind of dipping sauce — I go with ranch — but Boulevard Burger & Brew offers a number of dipping sauces on their menu, including bbq, honey mustard, chipotle mayo, boulevard secret sauce and horseradish mustard, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Oh yeah, the restaurant definitely isn’t kidding when they call this snack spicy. The batter on these green beans has an interesting kick that might take a minute to hit you, but before you know it you’ll be reaching for your water glass before your next green bean, which you will do on repeat until these are gone — these green beans are addictive. If you plan to visit, Boulevard Burger & Brew is located at 1300 North Boulevard, just down the street from the newest location of Gelati Celesti.

Matzoh Ball Soup at Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen

Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s winter or there’s been a sickness going around town, but I’ve been craving the matzoh ball soup from Perly’s Restaurant & Delicatessen, located at 111 East Grace Street, on an almost daily basis. The soup is made with herbs, chicken, vegetables, schmaltz, and of course, a matzoh ball. The soup comes in two sizes — a cup for $5 and a bowl for $9 — and like most things served up at Perly’s, the portion sizes are quite generous, enough so that I’ve been able to take home leftover soup on several occasions. I speak from experience when I tell you this soup is just as good the next day.

Every spoonful of this soup is comforting and soothing, perfect for a cold or rainy day, a weekend morning — or really any day at all when soup is calling your name.

Number 52 at The Fancy Biscuit


No question, my favorite item on just about any brunch menu is the eggs benedict. Sure, sometimes I go for a sweet option like pancakes or french toast, but there’s just something about poached eggs and hollandaise sauce that gets me every time. So when I saw that The Fancy Biscuit basically had a biscuit version of eggs benedict on the menu, I was sold and there was no questioning what I was going to order on my first visit to the restaurant, which is located at 1831 West Cary Street.

The Number 52 is one of the signature biscuits on the menu, and the dish includes country ham, pepper jack cheese, a poached egg and siracha hollandaise, all on top of a perfectly buttery biscuit. The dish is priced at $7.59, and in my opinion, it’s the perfect portion – not too big and not too small. I left feeling content but not overly full — and like I wanted to go back sometime to do it all over again.

Sausage & Black Pepper Honey Pizza at Tazza Kitchen

Confession: I tried the sausage & black pepper honey pizza at Tazza Kitchen as a first time visitor to the restaurant for brunch with friends. Tazza has been on my list of places to try for quite some time, but for some reason or another, I just hadn’t made it to either of the restaurant’s Richmond locations.

Let’s just say I’m glad I righted my wrong and visited Tazza, because this pizza is not only one of my favorite bites I’m loving lately, but one of the best pizzas — if not foods — I’ve ever had. The pizza is made with aged provolone and fresh mozzarella cheese, and at $13 it’s the perfect size for one really hungry person or for two people to share. It’s available on the brunch AND dinner menu, so you can get your fill of this pizza no matter what time of day you visit Tazza. Tazza Kitchen has two locations in the Richmond area, one in Short Pump and the other in Midlothian, so no matter where you live, this pizza shouldn’t be but so far from your stomping grounds. Which is a really, really good thing.

Just about any smoothie (or smoothie bowl) from North End Juice Co.

Smoothie bowls Richmond va

If you saw our recent post on North End Juice Co., you know Kelsey and I are both big fans of the new spot in the Museum District. The walk-up window and juice bar located at 718 N. Cleveland Street offers a wide array of items on their menu, including a number of smoothies and smoothie bowls. I’d recommend every single one I’ve tried so far, and one of my new goals is to try them all. It’s the perfect place to grab a healthy breakfast or a quick snack during the day.

What are some dishes you’ve been loving lately around Richmond? I’m still on the hunt for the best Caesar salad in town. Would love to hear your recommendations (or what you’re in search of!) in the comments below!

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Gelati Celesti Boulevard Richmond

Ice cream lovers, get excited, because the Scott’s Addition location of Gelati Celesti opens to the public today at noon! And if you stop by on opening day, you might be treated to something special… 😉

The new shop is located at 1400 N. Boulevard, at the corner of Boulevard and Norfolk Street. It has all the ice cream you’ve come to know and love, along with industrial, yet inviting feel we’ve come to expect in Scott’s Addition. This is the fourth and largest location to date.

We had a chance to check out the sweet new digs at a preview event last night, and even Governor Terry McAuliffe was there to celebrate the success and growth that Gelati Celesti has experienced since opening in 1984.

We couldn’t resist doing an ice cream taste test so we could share a few of our favorite flavors with you from the menu. We’re also pretty excited about the retractable garage door, which was open on this unseasonably warm February night.

Most Popular Gelati Celesti Flavors

1. Chocolate Decadence. The number one best seller for the past 30 years, comparable to brownie batter.

2. Just Ask. White Chocolate-based ice cream mixed with creamy peanut butter and oreo chunks.

3. Salted Caramel. It’s just like it sounds!

Meg’s Favorite Gelati Celesti Flavors

My favorite Gelati Celesti flavor of all time is Just Ask, but I decided to branch out for the purpose of this taste test – M

1. Mango Sorbetto. Straight up mango, as fresh as it gets! As delicious as this tasted in February, I know it will taste even better on a hot summer day.

2. Buskey Hard Cider. I love hard cider so much I had to try this flavor, and it’s amazing how much the flavor came through! If you’re a cider fan, give this one a try.

3. Baklava. I thought I would like this one, I just didn’t know how much! Now if we can just get the Richmond Greek Festival to serve it at this year’s festival.

Kelsey’s Favorite Gelati Celesti Flavors

1. Don’t Ask. When I saw this on the menu, I couldn’t help but ask about it. Made with chocolate decadence ice cream, Golden Oreos and peanut butter, it’s basically the opposite of Meg’s all-time favorite Just Ask.

2. Praline and Cream. My all-time favorite Gelati Celesti flavor is cinnamon, but it’s seasonal and wasn’t on the menu. This was the closest flavor they had to cinnamon and I loved the added crunch from the praline.

3. Coffee and Cream. This coffee ice cream is for the latte lovers out there. It is not nearly as strong as the Dark and Dark Blanchard’s flavor ice cream or the Ironclad coffee flavor — although both are also delicious.

You can visit the new Scottt’s Addition location of Gelati Celesti Monday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

What’s your favorite ice cream from Gelati Celesti? Tell us in the comments below!

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Smoothie bowls Richmond va

Sometimes, you don’t know a dining scene is missing something until that something comes along. That seems to have been the case with North End Juice Co. where even in the cold February weather, things are Busy with a capital B — and they’ve been that way ever since this walk up window opened up to customers just two months ago on December 3.

Located at 718 N. Cleveland Street between West Franklin Street and Park Avenue in the Museum District, this small but mighty juice bar and restaurant is cranking out an impressive assortment of empanadas, smoothies, smoothie bowls and you guessed it, juice (plus about a million other tasty items)!

Seven days a week you’ll find brothers Cliff and Channing Miller — and sometimes a few more smiling faces — behind the counter, taking customer orders, and juicing and blending every drink to order. The restaurant itself is very family friendly and accommodating to kids of all ages. And they’re keeping things in the family with the space next door, too. Their mom, Debra Miller bought the space that formerly housed Cakes by Graham, to open her Richmond location of Incredible Edibles Bakery which specializes in wedding cakes. We were even told that they’ll soon be serving up ice cream out of the Incredible Edibles Bakery space, once the weather warms up!

If you plan to visit, North End Juice Co. is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Select menu items are available at markets throughout town including Cleveland Market and Outpost Richmond.

North End Juice Co. Vegan Ceviche

North End Juice Co. Richmond

The Dish

Everything at North End Juice Co. is made in house and made to order, and it shows through in the quality of every single item on the menu. Specials are offered every single day, so even if you’re a regular to this Museum District spot, there will always be something new for you to try. And everything on the menu is reasonably priced, too, with offerings ranging from $1.50 to $8.

My favorite thing I’ve had the chance to taste at North End is the Butch Trucks smoothie (yes, named after the drummer from The Allman Brothers Band) made with peaches, strawberries and fresh pressed apples. I already have my eye on the pimento cheese and baked empanadas for my next visit. And as someone who’s currently battling a cold, I’m thinking about stopping by ASAP for The Medicine Man shot, 1.5 oz of ginger, lemon, orange juice, honey and apple cider vinegar.

The best advice I can give you about North End Juice Co. doesn’t have to do with what’s on the menu —  because it’s all good — but with the timing of your visit. Get there early, and you’ll have the best chance at everything on the menu being available. No matter when you go, the service from the Miller brothers will be top notch, exactly what you would hope for from your walk up neighborhood spot.

-M

I’ve visited North End Juice Co. on a few cold mornings — thankfully they have heaters to keep you warm while you wait — and I cannot get over how big the ham, egg and cheese croissant is. The flaky buttery croissant dough paired with the warm egg, melted cheese and salty ham makes for the perfect hand-held comfort food. And even though it is huge, it’s really hard not to eat the whole thing in one sitting. It’s just that good. It’s too bad it isn’t good for you. To balance things out I like to wash the croissant down with the Bee’s Knees smoothie (mango, almond milk and honey) or the Greengo, a fresh pressed juice comprised of cucumber, kale, spinach, apple, celery, lemon and ginger.

Stuffed croissant at North End Juice Co. richmond

I’m also partial to the cajun chicken salad, which is not a sandwich but a tub of chicken salad that you can take home with you. The cajun spices definitely give it a kick. It is very peppery (in a good way) and almost reminds me of a few buffalo chicken salad recipes without the blue cheese. I love the added crunch from the crisp the celery and red onion.

Cajun chicken salad
If I’m attempting to be somewhat healthy, I’ll pick up a tub and use it in my salads at home or just eat it like a dip with some everything pretzel chips.

Oh and Hazel loves North End Juice Co. too! She’s trying to step up her model game so she can be featured as NorthEndJuiceCo’s Instagram #Dogoftheday.

-K

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gearharts fine chocolates

We love any excuse to enjoy good chocolate, but we thought Valentine’s Day would be an especially good time of year to sit down with Tim Gearhart, owner of Gearharts Fine Chocolates to learn more about Gearharts and the chocolate they offer.

A pastry chef by trade, Tim Gearhart started Gearharts back in 2001 — and he hasn’t looked back since. Gearharts has two locations, one in Richmond and one in Charlottesville. Both locations serve as retail locations, but Charlottesville is also the home to Gearharts’ production kitchen and a chocolate cafe. We’re hoping to check out that location soon — because who can resist a chocolate cafe? — but on this visit we stayed in Richmond and visited the shop at Libbie and Grove.

Valentine’s Day is one of the single busiest days of the year for Gearharts, if not the busiest day, and in years past they’ve made 60,000 pieces of chocolate for just one day. Gearhart’s offers a number of gift options that would be good for Valentine’s Day, from wrapped assortments to specialty treats like Peanut Butter Pups, Whisky Truffles or Malt Caramels (which we love). They even have handmade caramels for those who don’t love chocolate.

One of the most popular things that Gearharts offers, though, is the single pieces of chocolate that customers can use to create their own personalized assortment. According to Gearhart, the single pieces fly out the door all day long. He calls the individual pieces ($1.90 a pop) an affordable luxury, something that customers can enjoy without feeling overly indulgent.

In case you’re looking to make your own box of chocolates from the glass case at Gearharts this Valentine’s Day, we’ve listed some of our favorite chocolates that we tried on our visit to Gearharts below. And if you don’t live in Richmond or Charlottesville, you can shop online and Gearharts will ship your order directly to you!

Meg’s Picks

Raspberry-Zin

Semi-sweet chocolate ganache with raspberry-zinfandel conserves, dipped in dark chocolate. 

This selection was one of the simpler chocolates we tried, but I appreciated how much the raspberry flavor was able to shine through. I usually prefer milk chocolate over dark chocolate, but the semi-sweet chocolate ganache provided the perfect balance alongside the dark chocolate in the Raspberry-Zin.

Apricot-Brandy

Milk chocolate ganache with dried apricots soaked in French cognac, finished in both white and milk chocolates.

The first thing I noticed about this chocolate was its smell, which is very fresh and sweet. The apricot flavor really comes through in this chocolate and it was probably my very favorite of all the chocolates we had a chance to taste. I’ll be honest, this isn’t one I would have tried from the description alone so I encourage you to try it, even if it at first look you don’t feel like it would be up your alley.

Maya

Rich, bittersweet chocolate ganache flavored with cinnamon, Ancho chili and orange, dusted with cocoa.

Have you ever had candied orange peels dipped in chocolate? It makes sense that the flavors would be similar given the ingredients that are a part of the Maya chocolate, but that’s the first thing I thought of when I bit into this one. You can really taste the orange zest, and as someone who enjoys fruit flavors, I really liked that about this chocolate.

Almond Mocha

Espresso ganache and marzipan with a whole roasted almond, glazed with milk chocolate.

Call me a lady who loves marzipan, it’s an ingredient I’m always drawn to, no matter the dish. This chocolate was super creamy and the whole roasted almond added the perfect element of crunch to it. The espresso flavor throughout was subtle but definitely present, which was perfect for my taste buds.

Kelsey’s Picks

Mint Julep

Creamy milk chocolate ganache infused with fresh mint, spiked with aged Kentucky bourbon and dipped in milk chocolate.

Mint and chocolate can be wonderful when paired together, it can also taste like chocolatey toothpaste. Thankfully, Gearharts’ Mint Julep does not fit the latter description. This smooth chocolate has just a hint of bourbon and the subtle mint flavor compliments the creamy milk chocolate.

Vanilla Bean Brulee

White chocolate ganache with vanilla bean and “torched” sugar caramel dipped in white chocolate.

The name of this chocolate alone had me intrigued, and the presentation was just beautiful. I was a little confused as to how a piece of chocolate would end up tasting like creme brulee, but Gearharts has made magic happen. And I really liked the texture from the crispy torched sugar caramel.

Brown Butter Caramel

Classic rich caramel made with browned butter, fresh cream and a hint of sea salt, encased in milk chocolate.

I’m a sucker for a good caramel, and when you mix caramel and chocolate you’ve got a winning combination. I was worried that the caramel might stick to my teeth, but was pleasantly surprised when it didn’t. The caramel did have a very deep, rich flavor and the hint of sea salt balanced out the very sweet treat.

Malted Milk Hazelnut

Whipped Gianduja, malted milk and toasted hazelnuts, dipped in creamy milk chocolate.

Gianduja is a chocolate spread that contains hazelnut paste (think Nutella). This chocolate instantly reminded me of a Ferrero Rocher, in the best kind of way, like a fancier version of it. The toasted hazelnuts gave each bite a bit of a crunch, something I appreciated after tasting what seemed like dozens of soft, creamy chocolates. This option would be perfect for someone who doesn’t like any bitterness in their chocolate.


P.S. Stop by both Gearharts locations today between 4 – 6 p.m. for Chocolate Happy Hour. Single priced chocolates are half priced (limit 4 per person) and select beverages and pastry items will also be half off at the Charlottesville location.

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westwood fountain chicken salad club

Today’s post is the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series on Let’s Share A Dish. The game plan? I’ll check in every month or so with a list of a few dishes from different spots around town that have really hit the spot.

My hope is that these posts will serve as a helpful guide as you’re mapping out your weekend adventures, planning how to entertain out of town guests or simply trying to treat yourself with a delicious meal from a local restaurant. Without further ado, here are 5 bites (well, 4 bites and 1 sip) that I’ve been enjoyed lately around RVA!

Chicken Salad Club at Westwood Fountain

When I first moved to Richmond, I was happily surprised that there were little breakfast and lunch spots located within both Westwood and Westbury Pharamacy. I found something about it to be so cute and southern, and then it was just a extra bonus when their food was pretty good, too. I’ve been to Westwood Fountain, located at 5823 Patterson Avenue, a number of times, and I head there whenever I’m craving an inexpensive breakfast or my favorite item on the menu, the chicken salad club. This sandwich is made with homemade white breast chicken salad, lettuce, tomato, bacon and provolone – I order mine sans tomato –  and it comes served with chip or your choice of another side for a small upcharge. This sandwich will only set you back $7.59, and it’s big enough that you’ll likely find yourself with some leftovers to enjoy the next day.

Szechuan Cold Mixed Noodles at Peter Chang in Scott’s Addition

peter chang noodles
I’ve raved about these noodles before on Let’s Share A Dish, and I’m sure I’ll rave about them again. They’re just that good. And even better, these babies are cheap, as an order only costs $3. It’s not a tiny portion either, you could order this and one other thing from the Dim Sum & Snack portion of the menu at Peter Chang’s in Scott’s Addition and be quite content for a light meal. (Disclaimer: this photo is from an event where the noodles were being served family style, so I can’t promise your order will be quite this big!)

Be warned, these noodles definitely have a bit of a kick but if you like spice, you’ll be a big fan of these. And so will your wallet. If this has changed your mind on your lunch plans for today, you can head on over to Peter Chang in Scott’s Addition which is located at 2816 West Broad Street.

Italian Grinder at Pop’s Market on Grace

Confession: I don’t have a photo of my own because I couldn’t wait to bite into this sandwich as soon it made it’s way to the table, so instead I’ll share with you the picture that made me want one in the first place.

Food envy is real, my friends, and within days of seeing the above post from Tim Vidra on Instagram, I had lunch plans at Pop’s Market on Grace. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

I’ll say it, this was the best Italian sandwich I’ve had in quite some time if not ever. From the freshly made bread to the just right ingredients, this grinder really is a perfect combination. It’s not a cheap sandwich at $12, but it IS a huge sandwich, and it could easily be shared with a friend or enjoyed for leftovers the next day. I’m already planning my next visit, and I might just have to check out the Cuban on my next visit to this downtown spot located at 415 East Grace Street.

Just about any cocktail at Sabai

cocktail at sabi
Maybe it’s the friendly bartenders, or the effort they put into carefully crafting every cocktail on the menu, but I’ve never had a cocktail I haven’t liked at Sabai, a Thai restaurant located at 2727 W Broad Street. They offer 10 or so cocktails on their rotating drink menu, and the variety is enough that most palates can find something that they’ll enjoy. If you ever visit and you see that the Mr. Chuvez cocktail on back on the menu, please let me know! It’s my favorite.

It’s worth noting that many of the cocktails are served with fun “extras” like little umbrellas or fun straws, so if you’re looking for a place to leave the winter weather behind for a little while, one drink at Sabai and you’ll feel like you’re sitting on a beach. The cocktails at Sabai range in price from $8 to $12, a little bit more than you might pay for your average cocktail — but then again, these aren’t your average cocktails.

Greek Salad at Joe’s Inn

If I had to guess, Joe’s Inn, located at 205 North Shields Avenue in the Fan is probably the restaurant I’ve been to more than any other in Richmond. (Apparently, it’s also one of the few restaurants where I’ve never taken a picture of my food.) There’s the cozy factor, the breakfast served all day, the massive beer list…there’s just something about Joe’s Inn. One of my favorite things about this spot is the delicious Greek salads they offer. And let’s be honest, it would be untruthful if I said this is just something I’ve been loving lately, because I’ve been loving the Greek salad at Joe’s Inn since the first time I stepped into this restaurant in 2011.

The greek salads are on the menu in three different sizes – mini, small and large – but in my mind the mini is really a small, the small is pretty big and the large is huge, a salad that’s big enough to serve a whole family. The salads come with with onions, feta cheese, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, tomatoes, and Joe’s housemade vinaigrette dressing, which is hands down my favorite Greek dressing in all the land. Bonus: if you want to add some protein to your salad, the grilled chicken is out of this world.

Are there any dishes that you’ve been loving lately that I should check out before my next post? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

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