Monday, June 17, 2013

The Crab Dump

4412 West Hundred Rd
Chester, VA 23831

            I met my brother for lunch last week and we decided to check out the Crab Dump in Chester. While the name leaves a good bit to be desired, the place was actually pretty good. Located in a dinky little shopping center on Rt. 10, the Crab Dump is a small hole in the wall with nautical decoartions, brightly colored walls, and two huge crab claws hanging over the doorway, which actually look a lot cooler than I can describe here. There are maybe 10 tables inside with 4 chairs at each. The menu is exactly what you would expect at a place called the Crab Dump, Seafood.

            While the places specializes in “crab dumps”, steam pots filled with whatever type of seafood you want with corn, sausage and potatoes, we decided to stick to the much less expensive lunch and sandwich menu. Before I saw the daily specials I was torn between the Surf and Turf Crab Burger and the Oyster Po’ Boy.  But after my brother mentioned the lunch specials written on a board on the wall I decided on the less expensive Crabby Patties, 4 miniature crab cakes served with house made remoulade sauce for $5.99 and Alex ordered the $5.99 Scallops and fries. We also started out with Fried Mozzarella Sticks for $3.99.

            In no time we had 4 Mozzarella Sticks served on a paper plate in front of us which disappointingly did not come served with marinara sauce. Even though they probably came from a bag, they were freshly fried and actually tasted very good.  Not long after we finished up the mozzarella sticks our meals were brought out.  Together my 4 broiled Crabby Patties made up at least one decent sized crab cake and $5.99 is a pretty good deal for a crab cake. Alex’s meal came with 4 huge sea scallops that were fried to perfection perched atop a basket of French fries.

            I really enjoyed my little Crabby Patties. They were delicious and perfectly cooked and had more crab in them than filler with a nice blend of seasoning and spices. The remoulade sauce was also very good with just a little bite to it. For some reason, Alex did not care for my Crabby Patties but he and I both loved his scallops.  They were fatty and juicy and fried just enough to keep the moister in. My Crabby Patties were great but the scallops were perfect!

            The Crab Dump has a horrible name and no ambiance at all but the food was pretty dang good and at least for lunch was extremely reasonably priced. You might not want to take a girl here on a first date but if you find yourself in Chester craving a cheap and tasty seafood lunch skip Captain D’s and head straight to The Crab Dump.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wendy’s Flatbread Grilled Chicken Sandwich

        Slathered in sauce with large chunks of what I assume was some sort of "grilled" chicken.  The chicken may have been "grilled" but the flatbread was it. it was cold and limp.  The tomato and greens on the sandwich were practically non-existant and any flavor that they may have had was totally overwelmed by the globs of sauce.

         There were no redeeming qualities to this sandwich other than the fact that I had a free coupon for it.  I suugest getting a $1 McChicken from McDonalds before you think about getting this.  I honestly like Wendy's, but this flatbread monstrousity was the worst.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tasty Treat

658 N County Dr  
Wakefield, VA 23888


               On Rt. 460, right as you enter Wakefield is one of the best food secrets of Central Virginia. While everyone else traveling up and down 460 stops at Virginia Diner, (which by the way if you do go there, order the stewed tomatoes and carrot soufflĂ©. You’re welcome!) the ones in the know stop at Tasty Treat for the one and only Fatback Burger. 

            Tasty Treat is by no means hidden nor do people not eat that, it’s just that the vast majority of people only know Wakefield for Virginia Diner. But if they would stop at Tasty Treat just a quarter of a mile earlier, they might add a new reason to talk about Wakefield.  Unlike Virginia Diner, you have to order at the window at Tasty Treat and the only place to sit is at picnic tables under a large tent out front. Even though it doesn’t have wait staff and air conditioning, Tasty Treat has one thing that nowhere else has… The Fatback Burger! 2 1/3 lb all beef patties, topped with Swiss cheese, chili, bacon, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, mustard, and jalapenos. The jalapenos are the only optional item.

            This burger is amazing. The 2 1/3 lb patties are well seasoned and extremely thick and juicy. The rest of the condiments only add to the deliciousness of the burger. They also flow perfectly together with no one item over powering the others. One would originally think that Swiss is a weird choice of cheese but it goes perfectly and goes to show the amount of thought that went into creating this crowning achievement of taste.

Once you figure out a way to fit the burger into your mouth you then have to keep at least a dozen napkins handy to clean your face as the on slot of delicious juices run down your chin. But incredibly, the burger usually stays intact until the last couple of bites which is in and of itself a marvel of engineering. With this being said, DO NOT EAT THE FATBACK WHILE TRYING TO DRIVE!  It is impossible without getting your clothes and the entire driver’s side of the car filthy and very possibly causing you to crash on this already treacherous road.

I will not waste your time reviewing anything else on the menu because unless you are a woman or a child there is no reason in the world to even considered ordering anything other than the Fatback Burger.

So the next time you’re on your way to the beach or Suffolk, stop by Tasty Treat and order a Fatback Burger, You (but not your waist line) will thank me.

Oh ya, by the way, they also have clean restrooms!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Croaker’s Spot

39 River St
Petersburg, VA 23803

            The much anticipated Croaker’s Spot finally opened in Downtown Petersburg a couple of month ago.

Located on a cobblestone street, Croaker’s Spot is situated on the bottom floor of a newly renovated apartment building. Inside, it is dark, rustic, and beautiful. Just about everything is wood with old timey decorations and pictures on the walls that truly appreciates and utilizes Petersburg’s rich heritage and history.

Because it is usually packed to the rafters (for good reason), we went for an early dinner on a Wednesday.  As we walked in, we were warmly greeted and quickly seated.  Our waitress showed up immediately to take a drink orders. As we awaited our drinks, we browsed the expansive menu. While I am usually leery of a large menu, Croaker’s Spot’s menu stayed focused on southern soul food with an emphasis on seafood. Everything on the menu sounded amazing, from the seafood chili and oyster po’ boy to the crab cakes and fried fish but I stuck to my favorite dish in the whole world, Shrimp and Grits.

            It was not long after we ordered that our very generous portions of food arrived all served with a brick of corn bread.  My shrimp and grits were delicious, large plump shrimp on top of ranch grits and topped in a creamy sauce. The flavors blended perfectly and the sweet but not too sweet corn bread brought the meal full circle. Amanda’s fried fish with peppers and their secret sauce was also delicious and perfectly cooked. The peppers and sauce added a flavor that I’ve never experienced with fried fish and it was awesome.
            Croaker’s Spot is now unarguably the best restaurant in Downtown Petersburg and it will hopefully be a game changer for Petersburg. Bringing people into the city and revitalizing the once magnificent Cockade City.  The food is impeccable, probably the best in the Tri-Cities area, the prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is great.
            I strongly recommend checking out Croaker’s Spot and actually all of the other restaurants in Petersburg. From Italian and Greek to Soul Food and Barbecue, Petersburg now has something for everyone.