These locally recommended entrées are also locally sourced, hot, and take you back to a simpler time. If you’re looking for something “like grandma used to make,” one of these will certainly fit the bill. Better yet, take a tour of Virginia to seek out each one. Don’t miss the map below!
— PORK RIBS PLATE | PARKS MILL RESTAURANT | ABINGDON —
Parks Mill is a simple place reflective of a simpler time, and it’s here that you’ll find what just might be “the best BBQ in southern Virginia,” according to owner Lou Holcomb. She and her husband pride themselves with dishing up giant portions to loyal customers. If you order the pork ribs, be ready for a quarter-rack and two nice sides. Lou recommends “the slow-simmered baked beans and the astoundingly good homemade banana pudding.” If you don’t want to take her word for it, how about that of Diane from Bakersfield, California? Her Yelp review reads, “The pulled pork and the ribs were outstanding and the portions were generous. The banana pudding was awesome as was the potato salad.”
— FIVE FAT FRIED CHICKEN | COMFORT | RICHMOND —
You can choose anything on the menu at a place named Comfort and know that you’re getting exactly that: a plate of comfort food. Speaking firsthand, I have a hard time choosing what to order as I would really like to have one of everything, please! Chef Travis Milton crafts his Five Fat Fried Chicken using locally sourced fats (country ham, chicken, bacon, duck, and pork), secret flavoring ingredients (it’s a take on his great-grandma’s recipe), and a hot cast iron skillet. Order it up with house mashed potatoes and greens … and macaroni and cheese … and grits … and fried okra …
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— CHICKEN & WAFFLES | FOODE | FREDERICKSBURG —
FoodE owner and chef Joy Crump carefully guides the hands of her culinary team before they’re allowed to even attempt to recreate her mother’s chicken and waffles. That’s how important the dish and your opinion of it are to her. The fried chicken is beautifully golden and perfectly moist sitting atop a house-made waffle. The only thing to make it all more perfect is the rosemary steeped warm Virginia maple syrup and whipped maple butter. Now that is some comfort.
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— DOUBLE SMOKED FATTY | BOOTLEGGERS CAFE | ROCKY MOUNT —
Owner Bryan Hockstein describes his Double Smoked Fatty as “local ground beef, pork and veal wrapped in applewood smoked bacon and stuffed with house smoked pulled pork, cheddar and jack cheeses, onions and homemade pickled peppers.” If that much beefy deliciousness isn’t enough for you, please know that it’s also smothered in tomato gravy and rests on a bed of smashed potatoes. For sure, that dish is a hungry man’s meal that is so good someone’s poor mama got smacked.
— BOURBON MOLASSES PORTERHOUSE PORK | BISTRO 1888 | SOUTH BOSTON —
Chef Margaret Moorefield is in the top 1% as honored by Best Chefs America, and she’s creating scratch-made goodness with locally available ingredients daily. Take a glance at her menu and you may find that you’re drawn to the Bourbon Molasses Porterhouse Pork. It’s a double-cut, marinated, grilled chop weighing in at a hefty 16 ounces, and it’s plated with honey mashed sweet potatoes and ginger cranberry applesauce. If you’re on the look out for gluten-free options, this dish is!
— APPLEWOOD SMOKED TURKEY | THE HARVEST TABLE | MEADOWVIEW —
Chef Philip Newton prepares his Virginia turkey and vegetables to pair perfectly with bloody butcher cornbread. Not familiar with that? Bloody butcher is a red and black heirloom corn originally from Virginia. Everything – the turkey, vegetables and cornbread – are all smoked for a truly delicious combination that feels and tastes like Thanksgiving in Virginia.
— THE DEVILS MESS | MILLIE’S DINER | RICHMOND —
The Devils Mess is “an omelette with all the right stuff therein … Open-faced omelet of spicy sausage, onions, green peppers, garlic, tomatoes and mild curry, finished with melted white cheddar and avocado,” writes owners Paul Keevil and Lisa Edwards. Even those who don’t reside in Richmond recognize a great dish and a great place to eat … “I live in Reston, VA and make it a point to eat at Millie’s EVERY time I am in Richmond.”
— CHEF’S CUT-BEEF SHOULDER TENDER | GOLDEN LEAF BISTRO | DANVILLE —
A 45-day-old. eight-ounce, wet aged beef shoulder is the centerpiece of this comfort dish at Golden Leaf Bistro. This hunk of beauty is served alongside steaming twice baked potatoes and a house salad, of course, for a well-balanced meal. If you’d like, swap those baked potatoes for bread pudding, sauteed spinach, or macaroni and cheese. It’s a worthy meal, indeed.