Sunday, September 28, 2014

Early Bird Biscuit Company Pictorial

A couple of Saturdays ago we headed for the Early Bird Biscuit Co. to try out the newest sensation in town. The biscuit gods favored us since there wasn't a line out the door when we arrived. The place is teeny-tiny and we now understand the line. Biscuits are made from scratch and specialty biscuits vary daily. We had traditional ham biscuits. I liked the crunchy top; hubby liked the soft middle. The ham was decent, but tough to chew. I would opt for the buttered version with a bit of jam next time. Upon exiting with our precious cargo, a line had formed. The only change I would make is to have these guys do enough business to open on Sunday.

Enjoy a few photos.

Early Bird Biscuit Company
Early Bird Entrance
The Early Bird...
Cute Vintage Touch
Makin' Biscuits
Making Biscuits - Notice the square design
Ealry Bird Ham Biscuit
Ham Biscuit - Crunchy on top soft in the middle
Early Bird Cards
Early Bird Opens at 7 AM Tues - Sat

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lunch at The Continental Westhampton

I dare you to leave The Continental Westhampton still hungry. Portions are always generous.

The Continental Westhamption
A few Sundays ago we wanted a late lunch with a TV to see how badly the Washington Redskins would be playing on that day. The Continental Westhampton fit the bill. We were escorted to a booth in the back and hubby and I shared a bench to watch the game and become depressed.

I ordered the roasted turkey sandwich with house-made cranberry sauce and Swiss. Satisfying comfort food for me. I like that the offering does not come dressed with the typical lettuce, tomato, and mayo. For the side option I chose the house-made chips. Not bad, but I got tired of the hard crunch after a while.

Roasted Turkey Sandwich
Roasted Turkey Sandwich - Comfort Central
Hubby got his grub on and selected the Cuba Libra Burger - a burger with pork, ham, pickles, mustard, and Swiss. It was supposed to be pressed. Maybe it was, but the thing was so big it needed a second pressing. Tasty and filling. Hubby could not eat all of it.

Cuba Libre Burger
Big-assed meaty burger
For this hearty meal we sipped a Matchbook Tinto Rey.

Matchbook Tinto Rey
A little red wine to help with digestion
After our huge lunch, the waiter had the nerve to ask us about dessert. Sadly, dessert was not an option. Eventually, I will need to visit and just order the Baked Alaska. The last time I had this dessert was in a Home Ec class. Definitely a less-than-stellar experience way back then.

So, if you are up for a game, The Continental Westhamption's got you covered.

Up For A Game?
Condiments at Play

Sunday, September 07, 2014

A Visit to Tazza Kitchen

While it's been around for a while and it's garnered lovely reviews, we had never been out to Tazza Kitchen. Quite frankly, we just don't get out to the Short Pump area very often. And when we do, we almost always regret the traffic and the hassle and the mind-boggling layout of some of the parking lots. We don't need the stress.

Well, last week we were both there and we decided to give TK a try. We went early since we had no reservations. A good thing, too. The place filled up as the evening progressed. It seemed to attract hen parties. There were three in our seating area alone. Later on we saw some cock parties strutting in as well.

Tazza Kitchen has a decent layout. In the front there are small casual tables and a fire place when it's chilly. The bar offers a view of the wood-fired oven and a glimpse into the kitchen. The outdoor patio is extensive with another small bar thrown into the mix. Appealing to both hens and cocks alike.

Tazza Kitchen
Next time we want to enjoy the patio
We ordered a Barbera to enjoy with dinner. The wine list is an eclectic mix, but everyone should find something to satisfy.

Bricco del Conte Barbera
A very nice Italian red
To eat we shared the Meatballs - pork, beef, and veal served with Parmesan, tomato sauce, and "brick oven bread." Neither one of us liked the dish. The tomato sauce had a charred, almost burnt taste. It wasn't that it was bad; it was not to our taste.  I did like the bread, soft and kissed by the wood-fired oven then drizzled with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Here is where our waiter excelled. He asked us about our meal. We told him it did not suit our taste and let him know why after he probed a bit. He apologized and offered us something else. We said we didn't need another starter; we were going to order entrees, and we were fine.

While the meatballs were not to our liking, the service was stellar
We both ordered the Steak and Peppercorn Potatoes - a grilled flat-iron steak with smashed fingerlings, salsa verde, and a sunny-side up egg. This was a very tasty dish. The steak was cooked perfectly, and the egg paired very well. The salsa verde added a little twist, but did not take away from the main attractions.

Steak and Peppercorn Potatoes
A wonderful entree cooked and seasoned perfectly
While we were eating a manager came over to ask about our meal and the meatballs. We repeated our experience with the meatballs and expressed high praise for the steak dish. Kudos to both the waiter and the manager since they took the meatballs off of our tab.

If we are in the Short Pump area, we would definitely consider eating at Tazza Kitchen again. Let's hope the weather cooperates with some mild air so we can experience the patio and sample the pizzas at a future date.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

South of the James Market

Time for another round of South of the James Market photos.


Romano Beans
Romano Beans
Red Pepper
Beautiful Red Pepper
Market Bouquet
Colorful Flowers
Zucchini Blossoms
Squash Blossoms
Eat a Peach
Banh Mi Sandwich
Banh Mi Sandwich from The Hungry Turtle food truck
Market Regulars
Two Market Regulars

Looking forward to seeing you at the market!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Brunch at Pomegranate

I now do a bit of volunteer work on Sundays for the VMFA. Whereas I once praised brunch boites for opening before 11 AM, I now seek out places that remain open after 2 PM. Pomegranate is open until 3 PM. Well done! And most brunch goers had cleared out by the time we arrived.

The first order of business, a '36 Picador cocktail with Espolon tequila, Solerno, and lime juice. A bit more lime than I needed since it hid the taste of the tequila, but probably what most brumchers would want.

'36 Picador

For the eats portion I ordered the Quail and Pancakes. The quail purported to be quail confit and then buttermilk fried. I've had duck confit many times and the quail did not seem to have gone through this process; however, I have never had quail confit. It was nicely fried. And the ricotta pancakes with the maple syrup really hit the spot. A perfect pancake to syrup ratio. Not too dry; not drowning.

Quail and Pancakes

Hubby took the eclectic path with the Goat Ravioli with ricotta and spinach and a sage butter. When it first arrived he was disappointed in the size. Too small. After the first bite he realized why. The ravioli was so rich that it would have been difficult to eat any more.

Goat Ravioli with Spinach

We indulged in an irresistible side: a duck fat biscuit. Yummy, although I was surprised that the biscuit did not come with some kind of condiment - jam, jelly, butter, etc.

Duck Fat Biscuit

Brunch was enjoyable. I would consider going again, but I prefer the dinner menu.

Monday, September 01, 2014

New Restaurants Need to Step Up Their Game

Yesterday we decided to grab a late lunch/brunch at the Southerly. We were efficiently seated. At least half a dozen folks on the wait staff passed by us. We waited. Another couple was seated at the next table. We waited. A waiter came by to take the other couple's order. We waited. We waited another couple of minutes and then left. The dining room was not that busy. Very poor impression for a new restaurant whose theme is Southern hospitality.

By that time it was getting late so we decided to try Travinia Italian Kitchen in Willow Lawn. If they stopped serving lunch, we could at least find something else in the area.

We were efficiently greeted and our waitress promptly took our drink order. Yeah! After our disappointment at the Southerly we rewarded ourselves with a Sidecar. Sugared rim and a tart taste. Yes, an adult SweeTart with a cute lemon curl.

Lemon Curl
Sidecar with a Cute Lemon Curl
For lunch I ordered a Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich (no tomatoes) with Garlic Parmesan Fries. The sandwich was good (decent pesto), but it did come with tomatoes. The kitchen needs a little work. The fries were fries. The garlic was extremely mild. While I could see it, I couldn't really taste it.

Pesto Chicken Sandwich
Chicken Pesto Sandwich After the Removal of the Tomatoes
My hubby ordered Uncle Tony's Pizza. The pizza was supposed to come with pepperoni, Italian sausage, roasted garlic, and onions. There was no sausage in evidence. But there was an extra ingredient, two pieces of blue plastic. The kitchen definitely needs some work. While we did let the waitress know, no one from management addressed the issue. Hubby also said that the crust reminded him of the boxed Chef Boyardee pizzas from the '70's.

Uncle Tony's Favorite Pizza
Is this really Uncle Tony's favorite? No Italian sausage and a couple of blue surprises.
While the service was better than the Southerly, the kitchen requires much more training and supervision.