It is impossible to drive down Temple Avenue and not see a Sylvia’s Grill sign these days. Since taking it over the need owners are doing everything they can to bring business down a road that 99% of people will never drive down. Recently, I drove down that road and I am very glad that I did.
I pulled up at about 6pm and found the owner Jimmy Jackson inside cleaning up and preparing for the next day. When I asked him if he was still serving food, because the place looked closed, he said that as long as someone’s there and a customer is hungry, they are open. The place is barebones and appears to be part bait and tackle shop but it is equally welcoming. The menu at Sylvia’s is very simple but more often than not that’s the sign of a great place. They serve hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese and BBQ with cole slaw, onion rings and fries as sides. The prices are very good and the food is definitely homemade. I ordered onion rings and a chili dog. As I sat down and talked to Jimmy I found out that the BBQ was homemade so I had him fix me up one of those as well.
We talked for a while and Jimmy is quite a character and a very nice guy. I’d honestly go just to talk with him and give him some patronage. Even with him having to turn everything back on, I had my food in no time and it was all very fresh and delicious. The onion rings were nice and crispy. The hot dog was plump and juicy and covered in delicious homemade chili. The BBQ sandwich with cole slaw was also very good especially with Jimmy’s homemade BBQ sauce. While I don’t typically like very minced BBQ and cole slaw I really liked this sandwich. I got all of that for $8, talk about a deal.
After I was done Jimmy took me out back to show me his smokers and the baby back ribs that he was boiling in coke, getting them ready to smoke the next day. I can’t wait to go and try them out, only on Fridays and Saturdays though. Jimmy was more than hospitable, extremely nice and fun to talk with.
Don’t judge a book by its cover fits perfectly for Sylvia’s Grill. From the outside and the inside for that matter Sylvia’s is not much to look at. The building is old, dumpy and is part bait and tackle shop but it is filled with great food and friendly people. There are not many places that I would go to just to give patronage to the owners but Sylvia’s is that place but it also serves very simple very good food. The next time you’re looking for a bite to eat in Colonial Heights skip the fast food and the large chain restaurants and see if Sylvia’s is open, even if it’s not they might still serve you if they’re there.