6.12.11

williamsburg food: a review

I thought I would share some of the places that dined at while we were in Williamsburg, Virginia in case you were planning to travel there sometime in the future.

AROMAS
431 Prince George Street
Williamsburg, Virginia
On our first morning in Williamsburg, we ate breakfast at Aromas which was recommended to us by Diana from les années folles. They have a pretty extensive breakfast menu considering they are essentially a coffee house. The Hubs ordered one of their scrambles and I got the brie stuffed french toast. It is french toast covered in brie fondue. You order at the counter and then they call you when you food is ready. There are not too many tables and it was completely packed at 9:30 on a Thursday morning so beware of that (although when it is warmer there are tables outside.) All in all, I thought the food was solid and the price was definitely right.

THE CHEESE SHOP
410 W Duke of Gloucester Street
Williamsburg, Virginia
As I have said in previous posts, I have been to Williamsburg many times before when I was younger. One of my favorite memories was going to The Cheese Shop. Actually, I am pretty sure it was the first specialty food store that I fell in love with. For lunch, the Hubs ordered a cornbeef sandwich (although later he regretted that he didn't get ham considering we were in Virginia.) I ordered a turkey sandwich on wheat with havarti cheese, tomato, watercress and, of course, their house dressing. At the shop, you order at the counter and you create your own sandwich. I love that they have a variety of deli cheeses to choose from. After lunch, we headed downstairs to their wine and beer shop and picked up a pretty good Malbec. Then we stood in line at the cheese counter and picked up two cheeses. We used the wine and cheese as a pre-dinner snack during our trip. I also bought a nice thing of grapeseed oil to try out. I highly recommend this spot for lunch or even a light dinner. There isn't much seating inside but there is plenty of seating outside at the café tables. You could even buy some wine and cheese for a picnic. And if you are traveling with kids, it is certainly family friendly.

FAT CANARY
410 W Duke of Gloucester Street
Williamsburg, Virginia
This was also recommended to us by Diana and the Hubs and I agree that this was probably the best meal that we had in Williamsburg. Unfortunately, we couldn't get a reservation for Staurday night since we waited until Thursday, it was Grand Illumination weekend, and this is the type of place that you should probably make a reservation at anyway. So we ended up there on Thursday night. Fat Canary is actually attached to The Cheese Shop. To start, the Hubs ordered the romaine salad and I tried the eggplant soup that they had on special that night. It had chorizo, goat cheese, and roasted tomatoes on top which gave a nice tang and spiciness to the mild and creamy soup. For dinner, the Hubs ordered the pork chop which came with gruyere bread pudding and swiss chard, apples and bacon. I had the seared scallops that came with oyster mushroom freekeh and asparagus with preserved lemon. (I will soon be finding where I can find freekeh and figuring out how to cook it.) We also ordered the best priced bottle of Jordan that we have ever seen in a restaurant. I highly recommend this place, especially for a special date night.

BLUE TALON BISTRO
420 Prince George Street
Williamsburg, Virginia
Diana also recommended Blue Talon Bistro to us and we found it perfect for a nicer lunch, especially we had just spent 4 hours in GoodYear tire. The bistro was super cute and very warm and inviting. To start, they brought water in a bottle and both the water and sodas came without ice. I was in HEAVEN! I highly dislike ice in my drinks but I hate being picky and ordering them without ice. I got the French onion soup and it was huge and super cheesy. For our meal, the Hubs got a hamburger with a fried egg on it. I got the grilled asparagus salad with a poached egg. It was great for a lighter lunch and I plan to recreate the salad in the future. I definitely think you should give this place a try. It is a nice place to take a break from walking around and just relax and enjoy good, non-fussy food. (And, although I didn't see any children in there, it can be family friendly.) My only regret is that we left earlier on Sunday and couldn't try it again for Sunday brunch.

SHIELD'S TAVERN
on Duke of Gloucester Street near the Capitol
Williamsburg, Virginia
I had a really good experience about ten years ago when I went to Shield's Tavern with my aunts. They were running a special where you could get a seven course meal for $30 a person. Apparently, they stopped doing that. The Hubs and I thought we really needed to go to a tavern for the experience. We sat by the fire and had a drink while we waited for a table. I had my first Pimm's Cup! We each ordered a salad which were good but over dressed. The Hubs ordered the ale-potted beef and I ordered the dish of pork. At first I thought the Hub's meal was really good but maybe it was the amount of salt they used. My dish was ok. It was missing the mushrooms it was supposed to come with, the grilled polenta was just a teeny, tiny piece, and the pork was kind of dry. The chocolate pudding was good, though. For the price, the food wasn't worth it. We decided that we would not go back unless we were bringing kids - again, "for the experience."

THE SPOON CAFE
1425 Richmond Road
Williamsburg, Virginia
We passed by The Spoon Cafe and decided we should try it one morning for breakfast. I mainly just loved the name. We both ordered the complete colonial breakfast where you basically build your own breakfast. My scrambled eggs were a little overdone for me (I like my light and fluffy) but my pancakes were pretty good, especially with the cinnamon apples on top. The price is definitely right as well - for $7.99 I got two pancakes with topping, two scrambled eggs, two slices of bacon, half of a grapefruit, and a cup of tea. And this is certainly a family friendly place.

GABRIEL ARCHER TAVERN at the Williamsburg Winery
5800 Wessex Hundred
Williamsburg, Virginia
We figured that it would be fun to have lunch at the winery at Gabriel Archer Tavern before our tour and tasting. We were both highly disappointed. We ordered crab bisque and there really wasn't much too it. The Hubs got the Italian sandwich but for the price it should have been much better than an okay sandwich. I was so excited for my duck confit salad but, honestly, it kind of grossed me out. Now I am not an expert chef but I did eat duck confit almost once every two weeks while living in France. Duck confit is supposed to be crispy and a salty and this was just fatty. The skin hadn't been crisped at all - it still had a yellow color to it. I just ate my salad greens and my mediocre piece of baguette. We both agree that we should have just gone to The Cheese Shop for lunch before we headed to the winery.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
1647 Richmond Road
Williamsburg, Virginia
The Hub's parents suggested Food for Thought as a great casual, family restaurant. I think sometimes it is hard to find a family restaurant that isn't the mediocre chain but this place was great. We had a drink at the bar while we waited for our table. The restaurant has quotes and pictures of famous people throughout American history. The menu is extensive and has a variety of different foods as well as a decent amount of vegetarian and gluten-free options. The Hubs and I got mussels to start off and we liked how it was mixed in with mushrooms, tomatoes, and basil to put on top of the bread with the sauce. The Hubs got the meatloaf and asked if he could the end pieces which they gladly brought him. He said that it rivaled his mom's. I got baked panko breaded flounder with creamed spinach and fries. All of it was really good. The Hubs and I couldn't get over the creamed spinach though. It was the best we had ever had. It wasn't overdone with cream. Instead, it had a great parmesan flavor. Although we were pretty much full after our mussels, we made sure we saved room to try the hot apple nachos. They were delicious! I would highly recommend this place, especially for a family. (Also, they do not take reservations but they do priority seating.)

What kind of places do you like to eat when you travel? Any places you can recommend in Williamsburg?

2 comments:

  1. mmmmmm cinnamon apples on a pancake!?!?!!? THAT LOOKS HEAVENLY!

    http://jimpricute.blogspot.com/

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  2. Yum...this just made me SO hungry at work :)

    Annie
    The Other Side of Gray

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