Monday, January 18, 2016

Fun Playing With Food in Richmond, Virginia

The Christmas-New Year's break brought us once again to Virginia Beach, VA with a house-full of friends. Our route took us first to the northern Richmond suburb of Glen Allen, then Richmond proper for breakfast, then on to Virginia Beach.

We managed to get ourselves to the Richmond metropolitan area in time for a late dinner. Didn't matter what time it was, Mill on MacArthur was jammed! Luckily, there was one deuce open; larger parties were waiting up to 30 minutes for a table! Though the bar looked both fun and funky, with craft beer and tempting wine selections, so not a bad place to wait.  

Bob's: the mill burger.
Single-source grass fed VA black Angus ground beef char-grilled & topped with sautéed mushrooms, crisp bacon, melted cheddar, lettuce & tomato on a toasted Kaiser roll, with house made fries (the diner also has other side choices, at up charges of $1 or $2 each). We were both very happy with the house-made fries, which were in the $1 up charge category.

Nancy's: oyster po boy.
Hand-breaded & fried VA farmed Rappahannock River Oysters with VA country ham, lettuce, tomato on a warm baguette finished with a Cajun remoulade, with house made fries. The combination of briny oysters with salty ham made the sandwich a little too salty for my palate. But fresh seafood always makes me happy and this sandwich did!

Vegetable of the Day
Side order of fresh green beans sauteed with garlic, to share. Yummy.

After getting a good night's sleep and checking out of our hotel in Glen Allen, we first headed for a "must try" recommendation: Early Bird Biscuit. Once we found it, we unfortunately discovered that it was take-out only. With rain and gloom all around us, and having already checked out of the hotel, we reluctantly decided to go someplace else, since we didn't feel like eating in the car.

This turned out to be a great decision, because it led us to Saison Market on Adams street near downtown Richmond. Saison sells beer, wines, and coffee and tea beverages, to eat in or to go, and offers an eclectic "made from scratch" menu from 9am to midnight (not be confused with the affiliated Saison restaurant on the corner of Adams and Marshall, which serves dinner and drinks after 5pm). We started out with hot coffee for Bob and a beautiful fresh-brewed ice tea for me. Though everything is "counter service" the staff brought our plates to our table and were friendly and welcoming. 

Bob's: C A R N I T A S   S O P E S    C O N    H U E V O S
Bob's plate consisted of house-made Masa Cakes topped with Carnitas, Salsa Verde, and Sunny Side Up Eggs. My taste was a little spicy, but definitely enjoyable. The eggs on both plates were simply gorgeous. 

Mine: “ F A N C Y ”   C H I C K E N    B I S C U I T
I can count on one hand how many times a year I order chicken in a restaurant. But the description of this dish just hooked me: Nashville-style Fried Chicken Breast, House made Sausage Gravy, Sunny Side Up Egg, Biscuit. The flavors reeled me in.

 Here's another angle on the Chicken Biscuit; you can actually see the chicken in this one.

The chicken was also to the spicier side (though more of a Frank's Hot Sauce than the Mexican flavors on Bob's plate), but I'd have licked the plate any way! Tender yet crispy fried chicken, runny egg yolk, beautiful sausage gravy all over a light and flaky biscuit. 

As I rose from the table, I found myself staring at the sherry display. Looking right back at me, begging to be taken from the shelf, was a bottle of my favorite sherry, Pedro Ximénez. Yes, I answered the call.

Rested and fortified after our long drive from Cleveland, happy to to have played with such delicious food in Richmond, we headed off to Virginia Beach!

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