The first week of eating out has taken us to the following restaurants:
Chu-Cho’s on Monday for margaritas and beer, along with some fairly decent fajitas and tacos. Probably the best Mexican-style restaurant in the area, because it’s not just fifty combinations of the same 5 or 6 items with either beef, chicken, or beans. The tableside guacamole is fresh and delicious. Their margaritas are ridiculously huge.
On Tuesday we hit the Rivermill for bar fare for lunch and Gillies for dinner for some healthier options. While Gillies can be hit-or-miss and very inconsistent, we have some perennial favorites there for lunch or dinner. Julia really dug the spinach-artichoke dip with both the pitas and the vegan peanut butter oatmeal cookies that we ordered for dessert. They used to have a decent selection of wines by the glass, which I would welcome back, because while I love beer, I would prefer wine with dinner there.
We tried Bull and Bones on Wednesday, and while I appreciate the site-brewed beers, the food there is decidedly lacking. The dinner salad I got paled in comparison to the one I’d had at Gillies the night before, and the mac and cheese on the children’s menu was clearly not made with actual cheese (more like a “cheese product” – it stayed orange and creamy after refrigeration – that’s trans-fats at work!). We stopped at The Chocolate Spike afterwards; their Mint Julep truffle tasted exactly like an After-Eight mint.
We went to a favorite spot for lunch on Thursday, Our Daily Bread. The bean salad and the beet salad there were both delicious. We also picked up some of their fabulous breads to have with cheese and chorizo for dinner at home. Wine would be an excellent addition to their menu.
After catching the end of a concert on Henderson Lawn Friday evening we headed to the Cellar for a great beer selection and mediocre pasta. We were glad to see that they were now serving drinks outside.
Both Saturday and Sunday mornings started at Bollos for coffee and pastries. Saturday we had brunch at Gillies, which was horrible. The eggs were over-cooked, the grits were gluey and flavorless, and part of the order didn’t make it to the table until we finally flagged down the waiter toward the end of the meal. It had been a while since we’d been there for brunch, and I remembered why I used to order off the griddle instead.
We had a great afternoon at the Summer Solstice Fest listening to the Panjammers under the shade of the beer tent and having Red Stripes on the Cabo beach while Julia played in the sand. We sought shelter at Awful Arthur’s well-protected covered outdoor patio during the storm and grabbed some appetizers – huge portions of greasy bar food.
After a trip to Roanoke on Sunday to visit the Roanoke Star, the Mill Mountain Zoo, and the Taubman Museum, we found ourselves at back in Blacksburg at Sake House for snacks and drinks. A couple of appetizers (fabulous fried tofu and teriyaki mushrooms) and sushi rolls later we found ourselves ordering more sushi and calling it dinner. We hadn’t been to Sake House in a while, but it quickly moved up the list to one of my favorite NRV restaurants.