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Monday, February 20, 2012

real richmond food tours – part 1

A food tour is kind of like a bar/restaurant crawl except you get to meet the Chef and Owners of most restaurants, you are sampled on some of the signature menu items and there is no drinking….I know what you are thinking, but even without the booze, we had a blast on the “Both Sides of Broad” Real Richmond Food Tour lead by the exceptionally full of great knowledge Maureen Eagen.

We hit five restaurants, two galleries and one theater on the three hour walking tour. I was pumped that I had never been to any of the places that we stopped with the exception of Lemaire. We ate things that I would never regularly order off a menu. I loved everything and was able to collect a lot of fun facts about all the placed we stopped.

I am going to break this in to two posts since this could be too long for most attention spans....

We met at Quirk Gallery (311 W Broad St), which is adorable and the perfect place for gift shopping. Then we stopped at 1708 Gallery (319 W Broad St), known for putting on the annual Inlight Festival. Both stops made me really interested in going to the next First Fridays Art Walk. I can’t believe I have never been.

Just as I was starting to get hungry we hit our first food stop, Lift Coffee Shop (218 W Broad St). At Lift we heard of tales of celebrity sightings during the filming of the movie Lincoln and sampled two paninis, a Vegetarian Panini and a Turkey and Brie Panini with sliced apple. I burnt my mouth for the first time on the tour with their coffee.

Before our next stop we walked past the famous/infamous Gallery 5 and then on to Ettamae’s Café (522 N. 2nd Street). I have heard nothing but great things about this spot. We had a sample of their Grilled Reuben on marble rye, something I would never think of eating. I was seriously drooling over their dinner menu and made Evan promise to bring me back.

Fun facts about Ettamae’s:
  • It is named after the owners’ grandmother who didn’t cook, but rather stayed up late drinking and smoking (love).
  • They were written up in the New York Times.
  • They bake all their own bread daily!

We didn’t have to walk too far to hit my favorite spot of the day, Thai Corner (327 North 2nd St). Here we had Crab Wontons and Tofu Lettuce Wraps. I burnt my mouth for the second time on the tour on a second helping of Crab Wonton. Again, these are two things I would never think to order and both were fantastic. Evan and I both agreed, we must go back for lunch very soon.

Fun facts about Thai Corner
  • The space that is now their restaurant used to be the space the owner and chef, Michael, used for mixed martial arts practice.
  • They are only open for lunch because the owners have young twins at home (so cute).
  • They deliver all over the city through Quickness RVA, bicycle food delivery.

I was thrilled with everything that we sampled and all the places we visited in just a couple of blocks. Next up was another local favorite…..

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