Calling all Deadhead locavore herpetologists! Here’s your restaurant! Owner/executive chef Rodney Einhorn named his restaurant after the Dead’s Terrapin Station while also paying tribute to the local diamond-back terrapins. Terrapin has long been “the best restaurant in town,” but they recently underwent a makeover so that today’s edition is a more casual and accessible place, while retaining the uncompromisingly fresh and creative food. Continue reading
Porter Hardy, former home brewer and attorney, began Smartmouth in Norfolk’s Chelsea district, on the west side, in 2012. It’s still their home base today, and it’s there you can learn more on a Saturday tour. They call the branch in Virginia Beach, which opened three blocks from the ocean at the end of 2017, the Pilot House. While most of the brewing is still done in Norfolk, the Pilot House is set up with a small-scale brewing system to produce experimental and limited edition brews. Continue reading
The omelets are fluffy, the neighborhood is vibrant, and the restaurant has character. Reasons enough for Charlie’s Cafe’s success. How do they get those omelets to billow as they do? They run the eggs through a milkshake blender. It’s not clear who originally thought of doing that, although some think it may have been Charley himself, three owners ago.
If you spend some time in Virginia Beach, and local cuisine interests you, you’ll probably do a little research. The name Steinhilber’s will come up repeatedly, touted for their fried shrimp. So you do a little more digging on Steinhilber’s and discover this is no beachside fried seafood shack. Rather, it’s an expansive, old-school restaurant from 1939, on the grounds of a former country club, popular for weddings and anniversaries. If that dissuades you from paying Steiny’s a visit, you will have made a huge mistake. Continue reading
Microbreweries tend to produce ales. Many brewpubs begin as home brewing hobbies, and the exacting requirements and cold temperatures required for the brewing of quality lagers are just not for beginners. This means that craft breweries rarely specialize in German brews. Oh, sure they’ll mix a few hefeweizens, weissbiers, and the occasional gose and kolsch in with their IPAs, but you can’t really be said to specialize in German beer without including some lagers. Continue reading
When you’re in Smithfield, Virginia you’re in the heart of ham and peanut country. Sure, times have changed, as they always do – the giant pork processor in town, Smithfield Foods, is now Chinese-owned, and the last Smithfield ham smokehouse in town was shut down last year. Hogs no longer graze on harvested peanut fields to fatten up, but the law still requires the hams to be produced, and smoked, within the town limits to be called Genuine Smithfield Hams. (What Smithfield Foods plans to do is still up in the air; they have a large backlog of aging Smithfield hams available to carry them for a while.) Continue reading
The Smithfield Inn was built as a residence in 1752. Seven years later it was converted to a restaurant and inn. Like any restaurant over 250 years old, it’s obviously gone through many owners and had its ups and downs. For a long time in the 20th century it was well-known for traditional home-style Southern cooking. It was eventually even owned by Smithfield Foods, the giant pork processor and home of the world-renowned Smithfield Ham. Continue reading
The local brewers love to combine fruits with beer, and nowhere is that more apparent than at Commonwealth Brewing in the Chic’s Beach neighborhood of Virginia Beach (just a minute or two off the south end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel). There are brews with peaches, apples, lemons, blackberries, black currants, pineapple, apricots, limes, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, oranges, yuzu, Buddha’s Hand, prickly pear, and pomelo. And those are just the fruits that showed up on today’s menu of 22 beers! Check the website and you’ll find well over a hundred brews listed. Continue reading
There are food festivals and then there are FOOD festivals. What we mean is, the celebrated food at many festivals often makes something of an honorary appearance, while the entertainment and carnival atmosphere become the primary attractions. And then there’s the Virginia Pork Festival in Emporia, where the focus is on pork, pork, and more pork! The 2016 edition, which takes place this Wednesday, June 8th, from 4 until 8 p.m., will mark the 43rd annual celebration of the Virginia pork industry. Continue reading
The Ali family, longtime owners of Washington, D.C.’s famous Ben’s Chili Bowl, has maintained a steadfast public loyalty to entertainer Bill Cosby, who has been something of a mascot to the restaurant for decades. He famously eats free at Ben’s, his giant portrait adorns the mural on the outside of the original U Street location, he cut the ribbon at the opening of their Arlington restaurant in 2014 — the Alis say he is family and one does not turn their back on family when the going gets tough. There have been recent signs, however, that the Alis are having second thoughts. Continue reading
They were named the makers of the nation’s best ice cream in 2008 by Good Morning America; they were chosen as Michigan’s second best ice cream parlor by MLive in 2012; and now, in 2016, USAToday’s 10Best poll has crowned Moomers Homemade Ice Cream of Traverse City, MI as the king of America’s ice cream parlors. Are you starting to get the idea that Moomers makes some pretty good ice cream? Third place Doumar’s of Norfolk, VA is famous for the invention of the ice cream cone. Coming in tenth (out of 20 finalists chosen by a team of experts) is our personal favorite ice cream spot, Woodside Farm Creamery of Hockessin, DE, where you can gaze upon the herd of Jerseys that produced the ice cream you are at that moment licking.
Gotta admit, when we first started making regular visits to Tony Luke’s in South Philly in the early ’90s, we never imagined it would ever expand to a second Philadelphia outlet much less become franchised up and down the east coast. The roast pork Italian and Uncle Mike sandwiches had us thoroughly seduced, as did the very scruffy, bare-bones location, alongside a barbed wire encircled “parking area” beneath rumbling Interstate 95 next door. Continue reading
CaramelCrisp is making its Washington D.C. arrival soon as Garrett Popcorn Shops is opening their first area store in Arlington, VA, in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The most delicious caramel corn on earth, originally made in Chicago, can now be found in the U.S. in Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, and New York, as well as across Asia and the Middle East. No Garrett near your home? Not a problem; they deliver!
Ben’s Chili Bowl of Washington, D.C. will be opening a new location in D.C., at 1001 H Street NE, on July 8th. This will be their third “regular” restaurant — the others are the original on U Street and one in Arlington, VA. Ben’s is also available at the two area ballparks and the airport. So you should never be without a chili-topped half-smoke!
Demolition Coffee opened in the Old Towne section of Petersburg, Virginia in 2010. As the Historic District name suggests, this is the oldest part of Petersburg, with many buildings remaining from the 18th and 19th centuries. Today’s Old Towne features boutiques and restaurants and is populated with young adults residing in warehouses-turned-lofts. The building Demolition sits in was built in 1879 for Southern Railway Express. The owner/developer has left much of the old brick exposed, lending the coffee house that classic urban adaptive reuse vibe. Continue reading
Port City in Alexandria, Virginia served as our rest stop on a drive from Petersburg, VA to Glen Burnie, MD. It’s a brewery, not a brewpub, located along a commercial stretch of light industry. As we parked and strolled in we expected a typical, sleepy little tasting room. We were confronted by a packed, loud party of twenty-somethings. For a moment we thought we must have entered a private party (one where we could blend in and score some free beer!). In actuality, this was just a popular spot for imbibing. Port City was recently voted Best Local Brewery in a Washington City Paper poll. Continue reading
Let’s start with doughnuts. Maple doughnuts. As fried and glazed by the Mill Gap Ruritans. These pastries are a passion among Highland Maple Festival veterans. You’ll see a long line of folks waiting for their chance to purchase a pair, or a dozen, or multiple dozens. If it’s you first time at Virginia’s Highland Maple Festival (this is the 57th annual edition), which is going on this weekend and next weekend, you might want to make those maple doughnuts your first priority, as they stop selling at 1 p.m. Or would you rather begin your day with a stack of plain or buckwheat pancakes topped with local syrup? Choices… Continue reading