Travel Ideas and Stories - Virginia's Travel Blog

    Where is the LOVE?

    Click for a map of the LOVEwork locations.

    Take a photo with LOVE.
    Tag it #LOVEVA and share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

    See LOVEwork Photos

  • Create your own digital photo reel. 

  • Instagram

    Latest Posts
    Here's a beautiful shot of @castlehillcider in Keswick posted by @merchcolony_cville. This is currently the only #cidery in the world to be fermenting and aging in buried terra cotta amphorae called kvevri. Plan a trip to try some of the world's finest right here in #Virginia. #loveva #vacider #drinklocal #cville #vatravel #castlehillcider #vaweddings
    A #bushel of #bluecrabs for the pot! @aklshnkovj and her #Virginia self-caught #seatotable meal courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay. 👍 #loveva #seafood #crabs #vafood #eatlocal #vacrabs
    #Demon Street at Busch Garden's Howl O' Scream! Walk with me... #loveva #halloween #skull #demonstreet #buschgardens #howloscream #virginia #haunted #hyperlapse @buschgardensva
    Here was yesterday's breathtaking #sunrise yesterday over #JoelSalatin's #farmhouse on #PolyfaceFarm in Swoope, #Virginia. Polyface is a family-owned, multi-generational, pasture-based, organic farm open for tours and visitors. They also supply many local farm-to-table restaurants with #Shenandoah's finest. The outreach done by these loving people is truly moving and admirable. #loveva #goodmorning #photooftheday #vatravel #farmlife
  • Pork-fect places to celebrate International Bacon Day (or any day)

    by Patrick Evans-Hylton | Posted on August 29th, 2014

    Virginia has always loved its pork; look no further than the country ham, one of the state’s culinary calling cards, for evidence of that.

    But it was more than ham that was eaten. In the first salvo of the Snout To Tail movement in English-speaking America, colonists ate just about every part of the pig they could, and what wasn’t eaten fresh was salted and smoked to preserve for a future meal.

    Like bacon.

    Bacon was no stranger to early Virginians; the cut is one of the oldest in meat history, and the English who came here in 1607 (pigs came to the Jamestown Colony, too) were already intimately knowledgeable with it. Bacon was meat for the masses as it was easy to produce and affordable.

    And it is still loved today. In fact, since 2000 the Saturday before Labor Day has been observed as International Bacon Day.

    We can’t think of a better occasion than to plan a trip across the commonwealth to try some bacon-centric dishes (some of our favorites are listed below) and grab a rasher or two from folks who cure their own to take back home and enjoy.

    —   —   —


    Looking for a bacon fix? Here are some of our favorite dishes which incorporate that sinful, sultry, salty flavor in the mix:



    A creamy concoction of complimentary flavors like rich and complex apple butter and salty, savory bacon

    3Way Café
    216 Plume St., Norfolk


    Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots from The Public House!

    Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots from The Public House!


    Cheesey housemade tater tots are wrapped in bacon and served up sizzling hot with housemade chili ketchup.

    Want to try these at home? Still chef/owner Mike Farrell shares his recipe with us below.

    Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas
    50 Court St., Portsmouth

    also offered at Still’s sister restaurant, The Public House:

    The Public House Victuals & Libations
    1112 Colley Ave., Norfolk


    This pig fits in nicely at Jackson 20.

    This pig fits in nicely at Jackson 20.

    B. E. L. T.

    This bountiful brunch sandwich features bacon, an over-easy egg, lettuce, and a fried green tomato on toasted brioche

    Jackson 20
    480 King St., Alexandria



    Crispy fried chicken topped with a fried egg adorns a bacon-studded waffle and a dressed bed of salad greens, then served with Kim Kim Hot Sauce (a Virginia’s Finest product) and maple syrup

    Brookville Restaurant
    25 W. Main St., Charlottesville



    A rich bisque made with grilled corn, crab and hickory-smoked bacon from Virginia artisan butchery The Rock Barn

    Zynodoa Restaurant
    115 E. Beverley St., Staunton


    Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint

    Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint


    Decadent is an understatement; burger topped with peanut butter, mayonnaise, applewood-smoked bacon and cheese

    Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint
    80 S. Main St., Harrisonburg


    210 Market St. Roanoke



    This fiery sandwich features bang bang bacon, fried mac-and-cheese, Thai dragon pepper salad and ghost pepper sauce

    BBQ Exchange
    102 Martinsburg Ave., Gordonsville



    Bacon-wrapped jumbo beef hot dog, deep fried, and topped with hand-pulled pork, barbecue sauce and cole slaw

    HogsHead Café
    9503 West Broad St., Richmond



    A brothy dish of housemade noodles with house-cured bacon lardons, mustard greens and a potlikker broth comprised of greens, vinegar and pork; topped with freshly-grated pecorino cheese.

    Pasture Restaurant
    416 E. Grace St., Richmond



    Oven baked mac-and-cheese topped with cheddar and bacon and olive oil parmesan sauce

    Fork in the Market
    32 Market Square, Roanoke



    This tall, cylindrical sweet is comprised of a Virginia maple syrup cake stuffed with a maple cream filing and topped with milk chocolate icing and bits of caramelized brown sugar-pepper bacon. It is available on Saturdays and Sundays.

    Extraordinary Cupcakes
    1220-C Richmond Rd., Williamsburg



    A classic rendition of the venerable favorite: oysters in the half-shell topped with a rich mixture of bacon, cheese and spinach then baked until golden crowned and bubbling

    Rockafeller’s Restaurant on Rudee Inlet
    308 Mediterranean Ave., Virginia Beach



    A sweet and savory addictive snack of bacon coated and cooked in maple syrup, cayenne and raw sugar

    2000 Busted Rock Rd., Meadows of Dan

    Station 2

    Station 2


    This wonderfully crafted burger starts with 100 percent Virginia-grown beef from Buffalo Creek Beef in Lexington chargrilled to order and placed atop an artisan bun baked with spent grain from Virginia brewer Devils Backbone. Garnished with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle chips and a choice of cheese, the icing on the cake is – you guessed it, crispy bacon.

    Station 2
    2016 East Main St., Richmond

    —   —   —


    Here’s a list of places to bring home the bacon; the Virginia bacon, in fact.

    These smaller producers craft their edible works of art right here in the Old Dominion.

    Some places you may just have to go in and order right from the counter, while others ship. Some produce a good amount of quantity, while others do so on a smaller scale, meaning supplies may be limited.


    Belmont Butchery
    15 N. Belmont Ave., Richmond

    From this artisan butchery comes –

    BB Bacon: house-cured and slow smoked over hickory

    Beef Bacon: house-cured, slow smoked boneless rib plate

    Canadian Bacon: a brined and smoked cut from ham


    Blue Ridge Meats of Front Royal
    2391 Guard Hill Rd., Middletown

    Using no-hormone meat locally-grown and house processed comes –

    House smoked bacon


    Crabill’s Meats
    3149 Riverview Dr., Toms Brook

    Producing meats in the Shenandoah Valley since 1962 comes –

    Crabill’s bacon


    Edward's Virginia Ham Shoppe

    Edward’s Virginia Ham Shoppe

    Edwards of Surry
    11381 Rolfe Hwy., Surry
    800-222-4267 | 757-294-3688

    A number of bacons in various cuts and styles are offered, including –

    Sliced Berkshire Bacon: dry-cured by hand from pasture-raised, Berkshire hogs

    Bacon Steak: extra-thick hickory smoked bacon

    Jowciale: smoked and peppered hog jowl

    Assortment boxes: The Big Bacon Box, Virginia Bacon Sampler


    RM Felts Packing Company
    35497 General Mahone Blvd., Ivor

    Under the brand name Felts Genuine Southampton comes –

    Country-cured bacon


    Kite’s Hams
    3957 Wolftown-Hood Rd., Wolftown

    From this Blue Ridge meat packer comes –

    Thicker-sliced country-cured bacon


    The Rock Barn
    2387 Oak Ridge Rd., Arrington

    From this field-to-fork artisan butchery comes –

    Hickory-smoked bacon

    —   —   —

    Bonus Recipe:

    Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots with Chili Ketchup

    Are you licking the computer screen yet? We thought so.

    Sate your Virginia bacon desire immediately with this pork-fect recipe from Executive Chef Michael Farrell of Still Worldly Eclectic Eats in Portsmouth; they are a staple on his menu.


    4 medium-to-large potatoes

    2 cups grated cheddar cheese

    1 tablespoon granulated garlic

    1 tablespoon salt

    1 tablespoon white pepper

    16 strips bacon


    Preheat oven to 425F. Thoroughly wash potatoes and prick with the tines of a fork.

    Place potatoes on a baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, or until tender. Set aside to cool completely.

    Once cool, grate them using a medium grater and mix in cheese, garlic, salt and pepper.

    Lay out a long piece of plastic film wrap and place potato mixture in the middle and press to form a log. Roll the film over the log tightly to form a cylinder. Let the mixture set and rest about 45 minutes.

    Unwrap the potato cylinder and cut into 1-inch pieces about an inch or so in diameter.

    Lay out the bacon and cut each strip in half. Place one tot on the bacon and wrap, then secure with a skewer.

    Cook tots in a fryer with oil at 350F (or in hot oil in a skillet on the stove top) until the bacon is crispy and the potatoes are golden, about 3-5 minutes. Serve with Chili Ketchup.

    Makes about 32 pieces.

    Chili Ketchup: in a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup Asian chili garlic paste (like Sambal), 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Asian chili hot sauce (like Sriracha), 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Let chill in the refrigerator about an hour before serving. Makes about 1 cup.

    Patrick Evans-HyltonPatrick Evans-Hylton, a Johnson & Wales University trained chef, is a Norfolk, Va.-based food journalist, historian and educator. His work has appeared in print, television, radio and social media since 1995. Evans-Hylton calls his cookbook, Dishing Up Virginia, his love letter to the state’s foods and foodways. He blogs at







    Food | 0 Comments

    Leave a Reply