1133 E North Sycamore St.
Petersburg, VA 23803
Today I had the distinct pleasure of eating at one awesome new little southern restaurant and bakery in downtown Petersburg, Bistro 23:1. For you heathens out there, 23:1 refers to the first line of the 23rd psalm, “The Lord is my Sheppard, I shall not want”. It is located a block or two up from the main down town area but it is still in a pretty good and safe area of Petersburg. It is small and quaint with only five or six little tables but it extremely clean and welcoming with their large front windows letting in the warm sunlight. The walls were sparsely decorated except for a few little pictures of recipes and a large chalkboard over the counter telling the prices of their bakery items. On the counter behind glass is all of their baked goods, a wide variety of cakes, muffins, brownies and cookies.
I sat myself and my waitress, who was extremely pleasant, appeared quickly to take my drink order. Like any good southern boy I started off with a sweet tea. While she fixed my tea I scanned over the lunch and dinner menu, they also serve breakfast. The menu was not very big and consisted of sandwiches, burgers and a few southern dinner entrees like chicken, fish, and country fried steak. Everything on the menu looked good but I wanted to try something different and exciting so I ordered the harvest chicken sandwich. It is a grilled chicken breast, topped with bacon and fried apples on a croissant served with seasoned french fries for $7.99. To be honest I was not completely sure about how much I would like this sandwich but it ended up being out of this world. The chicken breast was huge and had a nice grilled flavor and the slices of bacon were thick and crisp but the part that made the sandwich amazing were the fried apples. They were probably the best tasting fried apples I’ve ever had. They were soft and mushy with a sweet cinnamon flavor that perfectly complemented the salty bacon and grilled chicken. It would have been good on any bun but on the croissant it was to die for. The croissant was freshly baked that morning and was airy and flakey. Even the thick cut steak fries were great. Usually, I do not go for thick fries but these were seasoned with parsley and I do not know what else but they were very tasty especially with a little ketchup and mayo. My waitress frequently checked on me to make sure that I was doing alright but not too often as to be annoying. I wanted to try one of their freshly baked deserts but I was way too full after my sandwich.
I really enjoyed my whole experience at Bistro 23:1. The place was lovely and the food and service was excellent. I think that it will make an excellent addition to downtown Petersburg and will hopefully bring new life to the block that its on. I will certainly be going back to Bistro 23:1 and recommend that you do so as well either for a meal or just to pick up something from its bakery.