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Make Mine a Double! 12 Virginia Burger Favorites

by Tom | Posted on April 14th, 2014

Virginia has all your top-of-mind hamburgers, from the billion-served chains to the newer class of corporate-run, “gourmet” burger restaurants. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll run across some of the most unique patty places in the Mid-Atlantic, combining the best of Virginia with everything an experienced meat eater has come to expect in their ground sirloin sandwich. Check out the list below (in no particular order) and plan a visit if your travels take you nearby.

1. The Station Burger, aptly named for its home at Smithfield Station, compliments Angus beef with a slice of Smithfield ham and bacon, cheddar cheese, and jumbo lump crab meat. It’s the closest you’ll get to surf and turf on one bun.

The Wagyu Burger

2. The description of the Wagyu Burger from The Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg reads like a who’s who of exotic ingredients. From Wagyu beef to house-made focaccia and truffle cheese, this masterpiece certainly wasn’t on the menu in Colonial times. Don’t forget the duck fat fries!

3. The Joel Lunchpail from George Bowers Grocery in Staunton was named for Virginia permaculture farmer Joel Salatin, and features grass-fed beef and bacon from his Polyface Farm in nearby Swoope, Virginia.

4. Crafted with local Timbercreek Organic beef and McClure Swiss cheese, The Citizen from Citizen Burger Bar in Charlottesville is topped with black onion, garlic aioli, iceberg lettuce, tomato, fried pickle, and served on house brioche.

5.From classic burger joint the Burger Bar in Bristol comes the Howlin’ at the Moon Chili Cheeseburger – a half pound slab with homemade chili and enough meat to satisfy the wolf in all of us.

6. The Apple Jack Burger at BabyCakes Unique Eats in Abingdon pairs fresh local grass-fed Angus beef with grilled Granny Smith apples, an Old Dominion staple.

7.For the adventurous burger fan, the Bison Burger at the Horseshoe Diner in South Hill might scratch that itch for something completely different. For starters, it’s locally-sourced Bison, but it’s topped with homemade pimento cheese, a house favorite at the Horseshoe.

8. If you’re near Smith Mountain Lake, stop in at Mango’s Bar and Grill in Moneta for the 8 oz cheeseburger topped with bacon, fried egg and chipotle mayonnaise. It’s an all-day burger to satisfy your breakfast, lunch and dinner cravings at one sitting.

9. The Fredericksburger from FOODE restaurant in, where else, Fredericksburg, certainly lives up to its lengthy name. It boasts local organic beef, sharp cheddar cheese, bacon aioli, and organic lettuce all on a freshly-baked Brioche bun. You’ll need a knife (or hinged jaw) for this one.

The Fredericksburger

10. The exotic sounding Wood-Grilled Teriyaki-Swiss Mushroom Burger brings together wide-ranging elements to down-home restaurant  Northern Neck Burger in Kilmarnock. Whether Italian, Swiss, or Japanese, these ingredients make for a distinctly Virginian take on a distinctly American food.

11. Harrisonburg’s Cuban Burger serves up the flavorful El Vaquero, A Burger topped with Vaca Frita (seared, crispy steak with citrus and garlic), rum-caramelized onions, swiss cheese and a house-made smokey aioli.

12. Last but not least, and in honor of all the meat-eaters who have reached the end of this list, is the Double BLT at the Barbecue Exchange in Gordonsville. This monster features bacon, pork belly and baconnaise on a homemade roll. Though this sandwich might be better suited for our 17 barbecue favorites list, it’s fair to say this is the only true ham-burger on the list (sorry – couldn’t resist).

A few of these burgers are still alive in the Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Madness challenge. Go to http://www.virginia.org/culinarymadness/ and VOTE for your favorite Virginia dish.

Each entry above was suggested by a loyal local fan. Leave a comment below in support of your favorite (and its restaurant home) and we’ll compile a list of some of the best nominations during Burger month in May.

 

 



Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thanksgiving Family Feasts

by Tom | Posted on October 22nd, 2012

Virginia has baskets of tradition for harvest season, but for those who crave amazing food experiences paired with a dose of history, the Thanksgiving season is an absolute bonanza.

Whether it’s an original feast at Berkeley Plantation, a meal fit for a king at the classic Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, or a lavish buffet to make Santa’s belly jiggle like mad at the Homestead Resort, turkey lovers and pumpkin pie fans won’t be disappointed.

Find your feast and bring the whole family along. Traditions have to start somewhere – make one today where you don’t have to do the cooking.

 

 

 



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Giant LOVE Corn Maze Opens Saturday

by Tom | Posted on September 28th, 2012

Fall in Virginia is all about LOVE – of the outdoors, the traditional Autumn harvest, and unique family-friendly experiences. So it’s no surprise that this year Virginia’s larger-than-life LOVE comes to Natural Bridge, with a massive corn maze nearly as wide as a football field that opens this Saturday, September 29th.

Natural Bridge Corn Maze

If you’ve never been corn “mazing” in the Fall in Virginia, you’ve missed out on an exciting experience. The Natural Bridge Corn Maze adds even more intrigue, with a unique interactive scarecrow game and the chance to win valuable vacation and admission prizes. Tickets also include hay-rides, a corn-kernel sand box, a hay-bale slide and beanbag toss.

Once you’ve navigated your way out of the maze, you and your family can marvel at The Natural Bridge, one of the country’s most iconic and historic natural attractions, just a short distance away.

And if distance makes it hard to get all the way to the Lexington area and Natural Bridge, you can easily find a Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch or Orchard near your home. Put your town or zip code into our interactive activity map and instantly find a Fall activity near you. Or if you’re really excited to try a maze or pick a pumpkin, visit our Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch page for a complete rundown of where to go.

When you conquer that maze too, don’t forget to share your snapshots of triumph on www.Facebook.com/VirginiaisforLovers or on Twitter with the hashtag #LOVEVA.



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Earth Day Weekend

by Tom | Posted on April 17th, 2012

It’s hard to believe Earth Day is over 40 years old, but since 1970 people all around the country have been celebrating the environment and inspiring others to conserve and recycle.

Museum of Natural HistoryVirginia has such a great variety of outdoor assets, it’s no surprise that we celebrate Earth Day with gusto. Visitors and locals will find this year’s Earth Day weekend (April 21-22) honored in every kind of environment, from beach to river to lake to mountain.

No one does outdoor better than our Virginia State Parks, and this year every state park in the Commonwealth will host special activities and programs, including shore-line clean-ups, wagon rides, educational opportunities and more. Find the closest state park to you on our state park page.

For a more commercial but still festive atmosphere, there are any number of celebrations, festivals, and events designed to support our environment while also giving families a great weekend of fun and entertainment. Here are a few:

• Newport News – Apr 21 – Earth Day Celebration at the Virginia Living Museum
• Broadlands – Apr 22 – EarthDay@ Loudoun Family Festival
• Virginia Beach – Apr 22 – Earth Day Celebration at Mount Trashmore
• Richmond – Apr 21 – Richmond Earth Day Festival
• Abingdon – Apr 21 – Abingdon Earth Day Celebration
• Martinsville – Apr 28 – Earth Day Celebration

Earth Day LogosAttending an Earth Day event will hopefully inspire you to think green more often in the coming year too. And if you want to be a great earth-friendly traveler, Virginia has taken up the cause with its innovative Virginia Green program. From hotels to restaurants, golf Virginia-Green Logocourses to wineries, engaged travel-related businesses are signing up to track their carbon footprint, increase their recycling, better manage their energy usage and generally become better stewards of the environment. If you’re looking to get green or greener as you travel, check out the Virginia Green page with links to earth-friendly lodging, dining, attractions, events, and even meeting space.

 



Events, Family, Outdoors | 1 Comment

Celebrating Virginia’s Naval History

by Tom | Posted on March 30th, 2012

Virginia’s sailing history goes back as far as its founding, so when an opportunity comes to showcase that sailing heritage, we’re all in.

Opsail Virginia 2012 logoThis summer visitors can get on board for OpSail 2012 Virginia™, a week long commemoration of the War of 1812 and celebration of the world’s great tall ships. From June 1st to June 12th, numerous sailing vessels, including current U.S. Navy ships, will ply the waters around Norfolk and Hampton Roads. Many of these ships hail from foreign ports and will bring with them their cultures and international experience to share with guests.

Piggybacking on Norfolk’s annual Harborfest®, events will include the traditional Parades of Sail, ship tours, fireworks, concerts and festivals, educational events and even more programs.

Here’s just a sampling of some of the major events in and around the Hampton Roads/Eastern Shore of Virginia:

Norfolk – June 9 – Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers will play a free concert at Town Point Park on the waterfront.

Hampton – June 1-3 – Blackbeard Pirate Festival

Virginia Beach – June 1-3 – Blue Angels Air Show – Patriotic Festival

Yorktown – June 1-3 – Yorktown Maritime Weekend

Norfolk – June 6 – Virginia Arts Festival Finale & OpSail 2012 Opening Night Gala

Norfolk – June 8-11 – Norfolk Harborfest®

Cape Charles – June 8-12 – Tall Ships Cape Charles

Tall Ship Sunset

 

 



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