Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sullivan's Restaurant & Tavern

100 North Main Street  
Blackstone, VA 23824

            I know that Blackstone is not in the Tri-City area but the meal that I had there a couple of weeks ago was so good there was no way that I couldn’t do a post about it.

            Located on Main Street on the Second floor above a drug store, Sullivan’s Tavern has been serving up good food and good times since my dad was a boy. We were in Blackstone to see their Christmas parade and while the parade left a bit to be desired the meal was awesome. Practically hidden from the road and up a practically vertical flight of stairs Sullivan’s has the look and feel of an old time tavern, wooden everything and large bench seating at the tables. The place is not very big and the dining area probably can’t hold more than 30 people. Its menu is not very large and consists of sandwiches, burgers, BBQ and steaks. I ordered the prime rib sandwich and onion rings for $9.99.

            Because of a large group that came in right before us our food took FOREVER to come out but when it did all of my anguish quickly vanished.  Placed in front of me was a piece of prime rib that would cost at least $20.00 at any other steak house, on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and a side of au jus. Next to the sandwich and almost falling off the plate from lake of room were 5 huge onion rings.  Not only was the prime rib huge it was also incredibly delicious, perfectly cooked, so nice and bloody with just enough fat to make it flavorful.  Covered in au jus sauce that thing was awesome.  It melted in my mouth. The onion rings were also nothing that shake a stick out fried up nice and crispy with a soft and tender onion inside they were a perfect complement to the prime rib.

            To top it all off we ran into my dad’s best friend from grade school and went and had a few drinks in the tavern (a large room behind the restaurant). I would love to go into detail but I have been sworn to secrecy about the events that unfolded that night but needless to say I’ll never look at my dad the same way. Just playing.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Venus de Milo

Venus de Milo
635 Boulevard  
Colonial Heights, VA 23834

                I don’t really know much about Greek food and until just recently I really didn’t care for it but something clicked and I’ve really grown to enjoy it and not just hummus and Greek salads. 

                Amanda and I were looking for a place to eat one night after work  and being tired of the same old same old we decided to grab some Greek food at Venus d Milo right off of the Boulevard in Colonial Heights.  We walked and we literally were the only people in the place. Our waitress quickly greeted us and took our drink orders.  Amanda loves Melitzanosalata, a hummus like dip made with eggplant, so we started out with an order of that. It was very good with a much smoother and creamier consistency than hummus. As we munched on the dip and pita bread and browsed over the menus we realized that our waitress, while nice, did not know very much about Greek food and had to ask the chef for answers to the few questions we had.

                I decided on the Mixed Greek Plate which came with Mousaka, Pastichio, Dolmades, Spanikopita and a Greek salad for $12.95. Mousaka is a dish of layered ground beef, fried eggplant and potatoes topped with a creamy b├ęchamel sauce. Pastichio is layered ground beef and greek noodles topped with a creamy b├ęchamel sauce.  Dolmades are grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs.  Spanikopita is a spinach pie with a flakey crust.  I know that these things are sound weird but they were actually all extremely delicious and a whole lot for under $13.  The Mousaka and Pastichio were pretty similar and reminded me a lot of lasagna.  The Spanikopita was really out of this world with creamy spinach and cheese covered in a light and flakey crust it was probably my favorite thing on the plate.  The Dolmades were good but they’re not my favorite because they have a weird minty flavor that to me seems a little odd.  But over all this plate was freakin’ awesome, a lot of different flavors and textures that really gave a full experience of Greek cuisine.

                I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Venus de Milo. I think that it is a great restaurant, extremely clean and inviting and it serves some darn good Greek food for a great price. I wish that more people would go there because every time I eat there it is completely empty.   Please do yourself a favor, step out of your comfort zone, of burgers, pizza and fries and check out Venus de Milo; I guarantee that you will enjoy it.

Elephant Thai

The Crossings Center
5230 Oaklawn Boulevard
Hopewell, VA 23860
             When it comes to exotic food or heck even good food Hopewell is far from the first place to come to mind. But I recently went to a restaurant in Hopewell that fits into both of these categories, Elephant Thai in the Crossings Shopping Center.  It serves traditional Tai food and has a pretty wicked lunch buffet. 

Inside the place is really done up well and clean. It is very “themed” but is not really too gaudy.  It is decorated in the Taiwanese fashion which is a lot of red and gold and very intricate, not anything that you would expect in Hopewell.  The buffet area was not huge but it really packed in a lot of interesting Thai dishes of varying spiciness. Thai food is traditionally very spicy but also light and refreshing, so it is not for everyone.  I tried everything with the exception of a couple dishes that had three red peppers next to the name; I like to experiment but I’m no fool. 

Everything I had was actually very good and did not burn my tongue off. I cannot possibly begin to really explain the different dishes or their names but there was a great variety of Thai dishes as well as tradition Asian dishes that even the most cautious eater would enjoy.  The buffet cost under $8 and was a very good change of pace.  If you’re willing to try something different I would suggest checking out Elephant Thai in the Crossings Shopping Center.