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Primary Care & Family Medicine Plus Integrated Holistic Wellness Center Innovative Philosophy and Physician-led Culture “We offer a perfect blend of Allopathic and Complementary Alternative Medicine”

• Primary Care Physician • Open Access Schedule • Walk-in for Acute Care • Electronic Health Records • Patient Portal • On-Site Blood Draw • In-House Labs • Wellness Care Rumki Banerjee, MD, ABIHM MEDICAL DIRECTOR


• Chronic Inflammation • Autoimmune Disease • Allergy Testing • Skin Care • Personalized Labs

Holistic Skin Care

Doctor Developed + Clinically Proven + Natural Solutions

Board Certified Family Medicine and Integrated Holistic Medicine

• 3D Skin Analysis

• Women’s Health • Men’s Health • Bioidentical Hormones • Anti-Aging Medicine • Pain Management

Intravenous (IV) Nutritional Therapy


• Dermal Infusion Therapy • Organic Medifacial, Peels and Masks • Microcurrent •Osmosis MD products

Our Team

• Family Nurse Practitioner • Registered Dietician • Pathology Consultant • Registered Nurse • Ayurveda Practitioner • Medical Massage Therapist • Certified Nutritional Specialist • Licensed Master Esthetician • Acupuncturist

Focus on the Whole You

Benefit for: • Allergies • Chronic Fatigue • Fibromyalgia

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• Healing, Balancing & Cleansing • Special Diets, Oil, Steam & Herbal Therapy • Customized Programs at Affordable Prices

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• Aging

• Healthy Weight Loss • Lifestyle Modification • Nutritional Education • Prescription Medications

• Menopausal and Peri-Menopausal Symptoms • Increase Libido and Energy • Improve Memory and Mood

Pain Management



Proud recipient of the Family Practice and Integrated Holistic Practice Best of Glen Allen award for 2015 and 2017.

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ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS EVERY DAY We accept ALL major health insurance plans. Use your FSA/HSA account N ot all ser v ices are covered by insurance.

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he foundation of Hallsley is the dramatic architecture of the homes. Authentic. Well proportioned. Detailed. That in itself has made Hallsley America’s 2017 Master Planned Community of the Year. But this is just the beginning. Stop by our NEW model court to tour 8 stunning custom homes designed by our signature builders. |

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Let us make yours a Home Sweet Home. Become one of our more than 20,000 satissed customers. We offer a complete range of quality remodeling products for your home. Fiber Cement Siding

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We specialize in exterior products that meet both the high standards of building professionals and the ever-increasing expectations of homeowners. We stock, sell, install and service a comprehensive line of products for residential homeowners.

FREE Estimate




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When a stroke strikes, seconds count. Doctors, nurses and health care professionals on the front lines encounter just about everything. When a stroke strikes, doctors understand that Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital is a Joint Commission Comprehensive Stroke Center, recognized for the highest level of care for the most complex stroke cases. In fact, every Bon Secours hospital in Richmond is a Joint Commission Primary Stroke Care Center.

When patients require stroke care, physicians choose Bon Secours. We believe in our local physicians. And you can believe in Bon Secours.

Memorial Regional | Rappahannock General | Richmond Community | St. Francis St. Mary’s | Westchester Emergency Center | Bon Secours Medical Group


Meet Dr. Tina Ressler. A fitness and nutrition enthusiast, Dr. Ressler has been serving her patients in the West End for 22 years. And with our new office now open in Short Pump, she’s providing friendly, compassionate care in a facility with more space, new technology and ample parking. Our team of dentists & specialists can care for all of your family’s dental needs – from routine cleanings to braces, whitening and dental implants. And with 13 locations, you’ll find it all in one practice!

Short Pump Dental Office 12040 W. Broad Street


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NEW PATIENT VISIT New Patients Only. Discount does not apply to PPO Insurance Plans. Visit includes X-ray, Cleaning and Exam. New Patient Visit $126 - $302. Midlothian - 288 | Ironbridge | Staples Mill | Mechanicsville | Powhatan | Patterson - Parham | Tri-Cities | Huguenot - Bon Air Atlee - Ashland | Short Pump | Brandermill - Woodlake | Chester | West End Orthodontic and Pediatric Specialty Center Cosmetic Dentistry - Dental Implants - Endodontics - General Dentistry - Orthodontics - Pediatric Dentistry - Periodontics - Prosthodontics - Sedation Dentistry WE ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING INSURANCE Aetna - Ameritas - Anthem - Assurant - Cigna PPO - Delta Dental Premier - Dominion Dental - Guardian - Humana - Metlife PDP - United Concordia - UHC (United Healthcare)

“Hey honey, gone fishing. Love ya.�

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Trinity Renovations specializes in remodeling bathrooms and kitchens.

We love the details. Our skilled craftsmen take pride in their work and it shows! Our custom remodeling projects are competitively priced and our “hands on� owner personally oversees every job from start to finish. Contact us today for a FREE Consultation!

Trinity Renovations, Inc.

Come Visit Our Designer Showroom! More than 20 Years of experience | Locally owned & operated | Licensed and insured | References provided upon request

6102 Brashier Boulevard, Suite H, Mechanicsville, VA | (804) 318-1907 |




08 West End's Best



16 Manorhouse

17 STEM Learning



20 Bon Secours


22 The Bathroom Challenge


23 Chemotherapy & Dental Care 24 Summer Skincare 26 Belly Up: Float Therapy 27 House Calls



31 In Search Of: Burgers & Brews 35 Tastebudz 40 Late Night Dining 42 Kid-Friendly Dining 46 Happy Hour Guide


56 Made In The Shade Bring Shade to Your Backyard



60 The Northern Neck 64 Summer Festivals 65 Taste of the OBX 66 Virginia’s Three-Beach City

July / August 2017

West End's Best 09



Washington Redskins Training Camp

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From the Editor


As much as we love Richmond, the West End and the entire metro area…we really want you to get out of town this summer. An hour from the mountains, an hour to the coast — with half a tank in the car you could get to your destination and back without a sweat (well, as long as you’re cranking the AC). With our Summer Travel Navigator section, we can get you where you want to go. Check out our coverage of the Northern Neck — from great restaurants and kids’ activities to sailing and fishing, you could go for a day or stay for the whole summer. And westward ho, Steve Cook continues his series on Small Town, VA with his personal picks for what to see, do and eat in Lexington, a city rich in history and modern day Southern charm. From Virginia summer festivals and dining options in the Outer Banks to, yes, even a look a the new Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth ride at Six Flags, we’ve got your summer travels covered. For the days when you are here in town and don’t want to cook at home, we invite you to check out (and live by) the entirety of our latest Flavor section: We go In Search Of…Burgers and Beer and come up with our top choices for one of summer’s greatest food and drink combos, featuring lots of juicy burgers paired with local brews. And whether you’re done reheating leftovers on a Tuesday night for the kids, or looking for some great late night grub after they’ve gone to bed, we’ve got the best places for kid friendly and late night dining, respectively. Rounding out this issue, Angela Weight takes a look at Robots and Mud Pies, a Henrico preschool with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning for little ones, Susie Galvez heals your summer skin the natural way, and Jordan Langley’s “Made in the Shade” helps protect your backyard from the sun with some elegant design options.

Angela Weight

Angela is a native of Georgia’s Middle-of-Nowhere Region who followed her husband (and his job) to Richmond in 2014. An insatiably curious freelance writer, she has covered everything from monster truck racing to the latest embalming techniques (though not in the same article). When Angela isn’t clicking away on her laptop, she can usually be found at a baseball field cheering for one of her sons.

Jordan Langley

Jordan Langley’s insightful essays about parenting and grief have appeared in Richmond Family Magazine, Brain, Child and Hello Grief, a website affiliated with Comfort Zone Camp. She is polishing up her debut novel. Jordan is a writer, literacy advocate and sports mom living in Moseley with her husband and two sons. Follow her on Twitter @jordan_langley.

Elena Marinaccio,

Whitney Kiatsuranon

In Our Next Issue: What do you get when you combine our very popular annual Beer, Wine and Spirits issue with an exhaustive search for the area’s best barbecue? You get our most exciting magazine to date. In the September/October West End’s Best, we will take you to some of the most beautiful wineries in the mountains of Virginia. Plus, we will be introducing our own Richmond Navigator Beer and Wine trails. Of course, our magazine is not all beer, booze and barbecue. We’ll also have our regular features on health, home and travel. This will definitely be one issue that you do not want to miss.

A native Richmonder, Whitney enjoys freelance writing, hiking along the James and exploring the city like a tourist. When she’s not trying new restaurants or enjoying a wine tasting, you’ll find her at home in the Fan being, as she says, “an ordinary goofball” with her two children and husband. Whitney also enjoys traveling. Her favorite destinations include NYC, Charleston (SC), and her all-time favorite (“so far”) St. Maarten.

Zach Brown


12 West End's Best

Zach first moved to Richmond to attend VCU, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Writing in 2010. Serving as a poster child for obsessive behavior, Zach has never been able to casually enjoy anything as subjects that interest him hit ‘all-consuming’ levels in a matter of days. The greatest example of this defect being his love of writing. When he wraps up his daily word quota, you’ll find him playing drums with his band, reading, or enjoying a craft beer from one of his many favorite local brewers.

Love your remodel. Stressfree bathroom remodeling providing low maintenance cultured marble and ceramic tile. Products for ‘aging in place,’ including easy tub to shower conversions with custom sizes available. Glass enclosures, plumbing xtures, cabinetry, vanity tops, tubs, whirlpools, shower bases with full height or low proole curbs and wheelchair accessible bases. Visit our showroom for ideas.

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SOUTHSIDE: 614 JOHNSTON WILLIS DR. • (804) 794-5400 GLEN ALLEN: 3800 MOUNTAIN ROAD • (804) 672-2200

West End’s Best magazine is published bimonthly by Advertising Concepts, Inc., 6301 Harbourside Drive, Suite 100 Midlothian, VA 23112 P: 804-639-9994 E:

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ONLINE / SOCIAL RichmondNav All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.




If photographer Kim Frost’s cover image of the Keagan Burger from Keagan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant makes you hungry, then we’d advise you not to peruse our ISO Great Burgers & Brews feature on an empty stomach. This beautifully photographed spread will provide you with some mouthwatering ideas the next time you get a hankering for a burger and a beer. Speaking of chowing down, check out both our Late Night and Kid Friendly Dining Guides in this issue.

14 West End's Best

FIND US ONLINE Calendar of Events | Contests Magazine Archives | Business Directory

• Brand names you know and trust • Extensive selection of products and the latest technologies (including Bluetooth) • State-of-the-art diagnostic testing tools • FREE visual ear exams and hearing evaluations hea

Visit us at our Glen Allen location:

10831 West Broad St.

(804) 716-6731

WHAT’S GOING ON? Are you ready for some hot fun in the summertime? We’ve got some great summer fun suggestions and they’re all waiting for you at All you have to do is search. We even give you the keywords. VIRGINIA BEACHING Annie Tobey covers three beaches, all in the city of Virginia Beach. Enjoy her article, “Three Beaches,” and then go enjoy the beaches. And once you’re done soaking in the rays and riding the waves, there’s still plenty to do. Discover another one of Annie’s excellent pieces from May of last year, “What’s New in Virginia Beach?” To read both articles, search: VIRGINIA BEACH

AL FRESCA DINING There are so many fantastic restaurants with wonderful patios around town. We have directories for such places in virtually every neighborhood. Just search: PATIO.

KAYAKING In his article, “Stay Cool Kayaking,” Don Kappel gave our readers some excellent info on the perfect spots to enjoy kayaking all around town. Search KAYAKING

EXPIRES 8/1/17

PICNICKING That’s fun and it involves food. So, it’s doubly fun. Check out Tom Gresham’s “West End Fun” article and discover some great parks for picnicking. And you don’t have to be a West Ender to visit or picnic there. Search: PICNIC

WINING YOUR WAY THROUGH VIRGINIA We have some beautiful wineries around the state and last September, our favorite little (not so) old wine drinker, Lisa Puster, showcased several in her piece, “The Grape Escape.” Search: GRAPE ESCAPE ISLAND HOPPING An island getaway would be wonderful this time of year, especially if you didn’t even have to leave town. Jody Rathgeb highlights more than a dozen local islands that you and your family can enjoy this summer in her article, “Islands of River City.” Search: ISLANDS

From dining and travel to health and beauty, you’ll discover lots of helpful, informative and entertaining reading at July / August 2017

West End's Best 15



An Amazing Concept Becomes a Remarkable Reality by Steve Cook


hen I first learned about Manorhouse Assisted Living and Memory Care, I was impressed with the concept as it was explained to me. I had met with co-owners, Ken Newell, the CEO, and Jim Bonnell, the chief operating officer, along with their Director of Resident Relations Valerie Robinson. Their enthusiasm was contagious. From what they told me, it was clear that this was going to be a very special facility. But, at the time, Manorhouse had just begun to rise from the ground on its 10-acre campus on North Gayton Road, just south of Strange’s Florist and Garden Center. Newell, who has over 30 years of experience in operating and managing assisted living properties told me at the time, “Over the past three decades, the senior market has changed and we’ve learned a lot about providing care for older adults. We take pride in understanding and addressing the needs of our residents and their families.” He had emphasized the truly home-like feel to this new facility, saying, “From the moment you drive onto our property, you realize it’s very much like home. It’s not institutional in any way.” That was more than six months ago. In early June, I had the privilege to see the realization of this concept when I attended the grand opening of the facility. As the Queen of Sheba once remarked to King Solomon, “I had not heard the half of it.” Manorhouse is truly a beautiful home. As soon as I entered, it became clear that this was, indeed, a very special place. Shortly after the grand opening, I spoke with Bonnell, who told me, “Our grand opening and ribbon cutting events were a huge success.” No wonder! Bonnell sited one facet of Manorhouse that was especially impressive to me, saying, “The three enclosed courtyards have quickly become a favorite gathering place for residents and families that enjoy the stone fountains, fireplace and beautifully landscaped gardens.” Even the food at the grand opening was both beautiful and delicious. 16 West End's Best

One of the chefs at Manorhouse, James Person, told me then that the presentation he had prepared for the occasion was a good indication of what residents will be enjoying on a daily basis at Manorhouse. As far as the public’s reaction, Bonnell said, “Interest from the surrounding community has been great – especially when families learn that we don’t have large entrance fees like other communities.” I could tell you more, but the truth is, this is a place you just really need to see for yourself. Take a tour. You’ll likely be as impressed as was I with the amenities offered residents. “Our resident apartments are larger than other existing properties and many come with televisions already mounted on the wall. This is in addition to the kitchenettes, microwaves and refrigerators in each room,” Bonnell said. This is truly not your grandmother’s “old-age home.” Manorhouse is the product of a forward-thinking team that seems to have taken all facets of what today’s aging population seeks in an assisted living facility. Also of note is Manorhouse’s new technology platform called “It’s Never Too Late” or iN2L, which is an interactive mobile 60-inch touchscreen television that includes thousands of games, music apps, trivia, virtual travel destinations, flight simulators, etc., But it still boils down to one thing: It’s the people that make this a truly remarkable place. Bonnell told me that the professional staff has had extensive training prior to the first resident’s arrival. But on my first visit, back in late 2016, Valerie Robinson had revealed something, which should be even more important to anyone who is looking for a home for a parent or grandparent. Referring to Newell and Bonnell, she had told me, “These gentlemen have the heart to be in this business.”

Learn more about Manorhouse. Arrange for a tour. Contact Valerie Robinson at 804-270-7255 and visit online at

Planting the Seeds for STEM Learning by Angela Weight


s there really an effective way to prepare young children for today’s demanding kindergarten standards without the rote memorization of A-B-C’s and 1-2-3’s, sight word flashcards or sitting in assigned seats for an hour at a time? An increasing number of Richmond-area parents will answer with a resounding, “Yes! Yes there is!” It happens everyday at Robots and Mud Pies Preschool in Henrico, the first STEM-based preschool in the region. Here, children as young as two are learning through nontraditional play-based curriculum. They’re embracing critical Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics concepts through the lens of their own curiosity and creativity. To an uninformed outsider, a day at RAMPP may seem like unstructured playtime with no clear goal. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Their curriculum is rooted in the knowledge that children learn best when actively involved in hands-on projects and exploration. “They’re creating their own books and board games...and sometimes their own companies! Each student follows their own interests and imagination,” explains Barbie Gallini, co-owner/director of Robots and

Mud Pies. “We’re growing flowers from seeds. We have a praying mantis that hatched from an egg sack, and we go outside as much as we can. The kids might not always remember how they learned about the life cycle, for example, but they will remember the hands-on activities that went along with it.” But what about those A-B-C’s and 1-2-3’s? “We find that our children move on to kindergarten with the necessary academic skills and developmental abilities,” says Gallini. “More importantly, though, they leave here with problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, and a love of learning that we hope will continue throughout their education.”

To learn more about Robots and Mud Pies Preschool, visit or call 804-447-3329.

A new home for

WOMEN’S HEALTH in the West End

The region’s most renowned name in women’s health, Bon Secours Richmond OB-GYN, is now serving patients at our Reynolds Crossing location. No matter the location, our gynecologists and obstetricians always provide professional, stateof-the-art medical care in a compassionate environment. And soon, we’ll offer even more natural options for women, with our new midwifery practice. Now located inside the Heart & Vascular Institute 7001 Forest Avenue, Suite 103 Richmond, VA 23230

To make an appointment, call (804) 320-2483. 7001 Forest Ave., Suite 103, Richmond, VA 23230 | 13700 St. Francis Blvd., Suite 305, Midlothian, VA 23114

17BSR1382_RichOB-GYN_WEB_HP_7-375x4-8125_r1.indd 1

July / August 2017

9:55 AM West5/31/17 End's Best 17



When it was finally approved by the FDA in 2012, CoolSculpting® turned the world of non-invasive body contouring upside down. By harnessing the power of cold, this amazing technology enables highly effective fat reduction safely and comfortably, without downtime or invasive liposuction surgery. The introduction of a powerful new CoolSculpting® workstation—CoolAdvantage™—offers the same incredible body contouring results but with shorter treatment times and greater comfort than ever before. APEX MD is offering this powerful non-surgical, non-invasive technique ideal for the reduction of love handles, an unwanted “muffin top”, and other unsightly bulges around your waist, flanks, buttocks, thighs and chin. The results will amaze you: a slimmer, leaner, sexier physique with shapely curves only where you want them!

THE COOLADVANTAGE™ ADVANTAGE! CoolSculpting® already delivers amazing results safely, comfortably, and conveniently. CoolAdvantage™ delivers the same incredible results with several key advantages: • Nearly 50% faster: one treatment only takes about 35 minutes! • Same high level of efficacy: up to 20% reduction of fatty tissue • Completely comfortable, even more so than the original CoolSculpting® workstation • No scalpels, injections, anesthesia, incisions, or traumatic suction

Like CoolSculpting®, CoolAdvantage™ harnesses the power of cold to target unwanted pockets of fatty tissue in the abdomen, waist, thighs, buttocks, and flanks. Fat in these traditional “problem zones” is especially resistant to reduction through diet and exercise alone. Traditional body contouring technologies either suck out the fat (liposuction) through surgical incisions or burn it away (risking damage to surrounding tissue). Through a powerful new technology known as cryolipolysis™, CoolAdvantage™ targets the unwanted fat with cold, freezing the fat cells until they burst and die, allowing them to be gently and naturally reabsorbed by the body. The appearance of excess fat is reduced without the need for cutting or harming the surrounding tissue, leaving you with a smooth, toned, taut physique. Because CoolAdvantage™ relies on the body’s reabsorption of unwanted fat cells, most patients begin to see results within three weeks of your treatment, while maximum results are usually visible within 2-4 months. CoolAdvantage™ does deliver long-term fat reduction; however, your remaining fat cells can continue to grow and expand, so it is important to avoid weight gain to ensure permanent results. CONTACT APEX MD At Apex MD, our ultimate goal is to ensure you achieve naturally-gorgeous results that reflect your inner beauty and vitality, while providing you with excellent medical care that maintains and supports your health and well-being. Our clinical team at Apex MD stays abreast of the latest advancements in body contouring along with a holistic approach to weight loss with our in house nutrition and dietetics program to achieve optimal results. If you are interested in non-invasive body contouring with CoolAdvantage™, we encourage you to contact us at 804-273-1066 or email to set up an appointment today. We look forward to hearing from you! Special introductory packages! OPEN SATURDAYS.

APEX MD: OPEN SIX DAYS A WEEK, Monday – Saturday | See full page ad on page 1 APEX MD, 5310 Twin Hickory Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059 | 804.273.1066 | | SPONSORED MESSAGE 18 West End's Best

3991 Deep Rock Rd., Henrico | 804.755.4499 |


Birth Plan F

rom hydrotherapy to nitrous oxide, expectant mothers looking

for the latest in birthing experiences have a new option on the West End. The two doctors heading up Richmond OB-GYN’s

new outpost at Bon Secours Heart and Vascular Institute at Reynolds Crossing offer a variety of low-intervention choices when it comes to women’s healthcare. Dr. Alice Hirata will focus on low-risk pregnancy, low-intervention birth and midwifery care at the new offices as she works to establish a midwifery practice just two miles east at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital. Hirata was previously with Virginia Women’s Center for 25 years. Dr. Sarah Peterson joined Richmond OB-GYN last year and practiced at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center in Midlothian. Peterson has a particular interest in pediatric and adolescent gynecology, is an advocate for low-intervention childbirth and is supportive of patients wishing to have a vaginal birth after having a cesarean section. She is trained in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including both laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Richmond OB-GYN will continue to operate its location at St. Francis Medical Center, serving women of all ages in all stages of life, providing -of-the-art medical care, including all areas of obstetrical and gynecological care as well as high risk pregnancies; urogynocology; three-dimensional and four-dimensional ultrasound; digital mammography; reconstructive surgery and pelvic medicine services.


AMANDA, FNP-BC Richmond’s Most Trusted Psychiatric and Functional Medicine Provider

Psychiatric services for conditions including ADD/ADHD, anxiety and panic disorder, bipolar disorder, depression and more. Functional medicine services for conditions including thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalance, weight management and more Neurofeedback C ounseling and Psychotherapy

20 West End's Best


Richmond’s Most Trusted Therapy Dog

Zoe Therapy Services Discover. Practice. Thrive!

8100 Three Chopt Rd, Suite 226, Richmond, VA 23229 (804) 303-9622

many services covered by insurance • serving all ages


Manorhouse is pleased to announce our newest premiere senior community coming to North Gayton Road in Richmond’s West End, nestled in the heart of Short Pump and all that has to offer.

• No Large Entrance Fees • 2 bedroom, 2 bath independent living cottages with garage and patio • Deluxe 1 bedroom assisted living apartment, suites and studios • Memory care suites and studios on ground floor with secure courtyards • Licensed nurses on site 24 hours daily • Locally owned and operated for more than 20 years, Manorhouse has a tradition rich in hospitality, with a mission to… “Exceed customer expectations in a unique and outstanding way.”

Call 804-360-7777 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

13500 North Gayton Rd, Richmond, VA 23233 (One half mile South of Strange’s Garden Center)


Keeping your smile healthy for life! Far Soltanian Family Dentistry No need to postpone your dental exam — or cosmetic improvements — and no need to travel far!

Summer Special

We offer 3 convenient locations with an experienced, friendly team who treats your family like family … and on-site, comprehensive services for children and adults:

General Dentistry • Cosmetic Dentistry Implant Dentistry • Orthodontics Oral Surgery • Sedation Dentistry NEW PATIENT SPECIAL: $75 for Initial Consultation and Comprehensive X-Rays ($295 Value) Glen Allen 270-5214 | North Chesterfield 276-6386 | South Richmond 303-9654 Far Soltanian, DDS • Zaid Al-Samir, DDS All major insurance plans accepted. In-office and third-party financing. Multi-lingual. July / August 2017

West End's Best 21




by Constance Whitney

y fellow seniors, is it just me or has using public restrooms become more of a challenge lately? I’m not talking about the kinds of challenges for which pharmaceutical companies hawk pills to treat, nor am I talking about the political issues that surround who uses what room. Far from that, I’m talking about something much more challenging and invariably embarrassing. I’m talking about not knowing how the heck to turn on the faucet! I was at a very nice, very modern restaurant in Short Pump a few weeks ago. It was filled mostly with the millennial set, so I was already feeling slightly out of place. After doing what it is that I needed to do in the ladies’ room, I went to wash my hands. There were no faucets visible for the entire length of the ‘trough’ so I quickly deduced it was one of those ‘wave your hands’ type of fixtures. I may be aging, but my powers of deduction remain intact. I confidently swiped my palm under the spigot. No water. I swiped lower, then higher. Faster, then slower. I held my hand steady under where I assumed the water would eventually emerge — nothing. My hands were still as dry as a tortoise shell. The longer I stood there attempting to decipher the magical faucet code, the redder and redder my cheeks were getting thanks to the giggling girls around me. The crowd continued to grow behind me as I valiantly continued my quest while keeping an eye out for anyone who may have tried to immortalize the moment on YouTube. Eventually, I stumbled on the right position/swiping speed combination and water began to flow. I was impressed with my Herculean feat for a nanosecond — until I tried to decode the soap dispenser. This was not my first foray into the world of futuristic ladies’ rooms.

22 West End's Best

On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I mistakenly thought a hand dryer was a child seat. At a concert venue in downtown Richmond, I stood with my contemporary trying to coax paper towels out of the reluctant contraption on the wall. And I have spun in so many circles so many times just trying to locate the trash bin, I have permanent vertigo! I understand the benefits of technological advancements and am truly thankful that so many inventions have created a better world for us all. I gladly embrace the medical advances that have saved my life many times. I enthusiastically absorb new software programs that make my work life more creative and more productive. I revel in new apps on my phone, and daily bless the people who created the system that allows me to video chat with my far-away family members. But in the words of my daddy, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Was there anything wrong with the good ole fashioned faucet that you turned and the soap dispenser that you pumped? The universal simplicity was comfortingly familiar. Yes, there was the significant chance of spreading yucky germs on the unsanitary fixtures, but at least we weren’t laughed at by the youngsters while we were sharing E. coli. I’m a firm believer in “if you’re going to complain, you need to provide a solution too.” Since there does not appear to be an app for this, my suggested solution is to institute mandatory signage, with pictures and in multiple languages, be placed above every sink, soap dispenser and paper towel holder in the nation with specific operating instruction. A simple pictorial of swipe here, wave there, or hold steady here for the count of three. Simple and old school. My kind of solution!

Chemotherapy and Dental Care SPONSORED CONTENT

By Diane Iachini, DDS Unfortunately, approximately 4 out of 10 of people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. If you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer, there are some things you should know about how cancer treatment can affect dental health and certain types of dental treatment. Chemotherapy drugs are one of the most common treatments for many different types of cancer. And while those drugs kill cancer cells, they also can harm normal cells. Mouth tissue is especially susceptible, and many cancer patients develop problems with their teeth, gums, and the salivary glands. Everyone is different, and there are many different chemotherapy drugs, so not everyone will have the same side effects. One of the most common changes resulting from chemotherapy is a decrease in the amount of saliva produced, leading to dry mouth (this is also known as xerostomia). Dry mouth can be very uncomfortable and in very severe cases can contribute to mouth sores and very rapidly progressing tooth decay. Other possible side effects include pain in the mouth and gums, burning or swelling of the tongue, infections, prolonged bleeding, and a loss of or a change in taste. It is very important to tell your dentist if you have ever received any

sort of chemotherapy, as it can affect how well you heal or contribute to excessive bleeding following dental surgeries like extractions or implants. It might also be necessary to put off some of these types of procedures to decrease your chance of having complications. Before a person can start chemotherapy, their doctor will usually require that they visit their dentist. This can help prevent serious problems later in treatment, as pre-existing dental problems are usually to blame. Not all side effects can be avoided, but starting treatment with a healthy mouth will help keep the treatment schedule on track. After treatment starts, it’s important to carefully monitor your mouth for sores and come in for regular cleanings so that your dentist can continue to monitor your teeth and gums. To keep your mouth moist (the most common problem), be sure to stay well hydrated. Sucking on ice chips, chewing gum, or using a prescription saliva substitute may be helpful. Virginia Family Dentistry is a group practice of more than 50 doctors specializing in Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Dental Implants, Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Endodontics, Cosmetic and General Dentistry. With 12 convenient locations in the Richmond Metro Area, we can assist you in creating your youthful smile. For a location near you, visit

Our three West End locations: Staples Mill, (804) 672-4900; Short Pump, (804) 364-7010; Patterson/Parham, (804) 364-7090 —

They Say Beauty is Only Skin Deep

Well, We’re in the Skin Business

Richmond’s Premier Corrective Skin Care Facility

Call us to schedule your consultation and appointment • 804-935-SKIN (7546) July / August 2017

West End's Best 23


Back to Nature

Summer Skincare by Susie Galvez


ime to talk about summer’s shadier side: itchy bug bites, sunburned skin and dry hair from chlorinated pools. Don’t let such discomforts dampen your summer days. Easy remedies are as close as your kitchen and local health food store. Consider

these natural soothers for your summer-weary skin.

24 West End's Best

“Essential oils play a significant role in summer care,” says Nina Jacobs, owner of Nature’s Path Holistic Healing, an energy healing center in Richmond. “[As] we spend more time outdoors, it’s important to keep ourselves supplied with the right ones.” If the mosquitos and ticks are more than you can bear, Jacobs suggests using equal parts cedarwood, clove, lemongrass, eucalyptus, frankincense, thyme, rosemary, geranium and peppermint combined with a carrier oil to help deter bugs and keep your skin feeling healthy. Note: for each drop of essential oil, use 3-4 drops of carrier oil. Most bottles designed for mixing oils, will have a measure guide right on the bottle. Then lightly spray, or rub mixture on exposed areas as needed. For bee stings, add a few drops of

Roman chamomile to a coldwater compress and gently place on skin. For wasp stings, add cider or wine vinegar, plus lavender to the compress. To cool yourself down and feel refreshed in the summer heat, use a small glass spray bottle of water with a few drops of peppermint oil. It is important to use glass containers, as essential oils may penetrate through plastic and leak. For these natural remedies to be effective and skin soothing, the oils should be therapeutic grade and nonsynthetic. If a sunburn has sapped your energy and your skin feels parched, it’s time to create a rejuvenating spa with a sensuous milk bath. — Nina Jacobs Mix one cup of powdered whole milk or two cups of fresh whole milk with a few drops of an essential oil (try lavender for relaxation or rosemary to rejuvenate) and add to running bath water. Lactic acid in the milk will help remove dead cells as well as soften and soothe the skin. For a soothing and natural summer facial, reach for a container of plain, full-fat yogurt. Apply a thin layer right out of the container to clean skin. Relax for 10 minutes, then rinse or wipe off with a damp towel. Your skin will look radiant, smooth and plumped to perfection. And let’s not forget the damage the sun can do to your hair. Banish dry, frizzy summer strands by massaging a tablespoon of olive oil into your scalp, then spread the oil out to hair’s ends. Leave it on for 15 minutes, lightly shampoo and rinse well. Olive oil has been used for centuries in beauty treatments, as it’s rich in vitamins A, E and antioxidants, protecting the keratin in hair and sealing in moisture. Scalp flakiness disappears, hydration returns and shininess abounds.

“Essential oils play a significant role in summer care, [As] we spend more time outdoors, it’s important to keep ourselves supplied with the right ones.”

Susie Galvez is an international image consultant, speaker, author, beauty industry expert. For more, visit July / August 2017

West End's Best 25


Belly Up By Whitney Kiatsuranon hile there are currently only a handful of float therapy salons in the Richmond area, you can be sure this new therapeutic treatment will soon go on your list of things to try. I had the opportunity to book a float session at Vitality on South Robinson Street in the Fan, and the experience was surprisingly pleasant. What is float therapy, exactly? You can spend up to 75 minutes in a bath filled with 1,000 pounds of Epson salt and body-temperature water, lay back and float. The room, kept dark and quiet, is free of distractions as the heavily salted water allows you to float effortlessly at the surface. At Vitality, you can choose from a float room or a float pod. I opted for the room because the pod seemed a little claustrophobic to me. But, I have heard the pod is meant to recreate the soothing feeling of being in the womb. The benefits of these sensory deprivation tanks include stress reduction, anxiety relief, sports recovery and pain relief, as the tanks leave you completely weightless and take all the dayto-day pressure off your lumbar system. Float therapy claims to promote relaxation, reduce headaches, increase circulation and aid in restful sleep. Some float therapy spas cite the use of sensory deprivation tanks in the aid of drug and alcohol recovery as well. The salon is a very peaceful place, with a menu that also offers massages and facials, as well as thoughtful amenities. After your float session, you can shower and get dressed in a private room in and be ready for your next event or night out on the town, feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. As for my own experience, I did not hallucinate during my float session, but others who’ve tried it have. I did fall asleep, however, and for a person who has trouble sleeping, I was impressed with the overall experience.

26 West End's Best

Make Your Spirit Bouyant! FLOAT THERAPY


House Calls: BOOK ONLINE 202 South Robinson Street 804-678-9816

Have bag,

Will travel. Yes, we make house calls. See Your Pediatrician Without Ever Leaving Your House • No exposure to other sick people

• No waiting rooms


Phone / Text: (804) 248-0445 Email: Website:

A Thing of the Present by Angela Weight


n today’s increasingly bureaucratic healthcare market, finding a doctor who makes house calls and gives out his cell phone number is downright unheard of. Or is it? Meet Dr. James Wiley of At Your Door Pediatrics. He’s pairing modern medicine with old-fashioned personalized care. “I enjoy going out and seeing patients and their families,” Wiley explains. “I’m a community member partnering with these families, playing a role in their lives. There’s no receptionist to sign in with, no sick waiting rooms. They call my number and they get me, delivering more convenient care.” While house calls prove more convenient to patients, Wiley says the service helps him get to know families better and can often assist in diagnoses. “There are certain things I pick up on doing home visits,” Wiley says. “For example, you have a kid who is severely asthmatic and the parents can’t figure out why. I walk in their front door and immediately smell mold that they’ve gone nose blind to. That’s something I wouldn’t discover during an office visit.” Wiley makes house calls for children living within a 15-mile radius of his home base at Grove Avenue and Three Chopt Road. His practice covers areas of Henrico, Chesterfield, Goochland and Hanover Counties, as well as the City of Richmond. In lieu of insurance, families pay a monthly fee based on the age of each patient. It includes a set number of house calls and management of care. To schedule an appointment, visit Wiiley.MD.

July / August 2017

West End's Best 27

Plus your chance to win prizes valued at $20,000 including a vacation getaway!

get started: Short Pump

2201 Old Brick Road Glen Allen, VA 23060 804.464.0990

28 West End's Best

Offer valid May 29 - September 4, 2017. Certain restrictions apply.

Bringing You the Best of Local Food Dining & Drinks, Recipes & News

ISO: Burgers & Brews........ 31


Late Night Dining..............40

Kid-friendly Dining.....42

Happy Hour Guide........................46

JACK BROWN’S BEER & BURGER JOINT THE GREG BRADY A cheeseburger topped with house made mac n’ cheese and Martin’s BBQ potato chips.

Photo: Kim Frost Photography

Serving Award-Winning BBQ Daily Lunch - Happy Hour - Dinner - Late Night Ashland • 10180 Lakeridge Pkwy. • 299-2921 Short Pump • 2451 Old Brick Road • 364-2707 Shockoe Bottom • 3 N. 17th Street • 447-7981

11 a.m.-2 a.m. every day 5810 Grove Avenue, Richmond


Have Your Next Affair At Our Place. Voted #1 Pizzeria by Style Weekly in 2016 and 2015 and RVA Magazine Readers’ Poll in 2015 and 2014! Museum District: 602 North Belmont Ave., Richmond | 804.888.9861 Short Pump: 201 Towne Center West Blvd., #703, Henrico | 804.658.2790 Take-Out / Delivery / Short Pump location offers Dine-In

R E S TAU R A N T & TAV E R N 804.360.9240 |

West Broad Village, 2251 Old Brick Road, Glen Allen

Burgers & BRews Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint

Photo: Kim Frost Photography

5810 Grove Avenue; (804) 285-1758;

The Greg Brady And now for something completely different. We present to you: The Greg Brady. 100-percent Wagyu beef topped with house-made mac n’ cheese and Martin’s BBQ potato chips. Because sometimes the sides are so good they get piled right onto of the burger, and we know you’re hep in far out ways. Paired with house-made Jack Brown’s sauce and Yukon gold crinkle cut fries. Malt undertones and a slight hop character round out the dish when paired with Blue Mountain’s light and crisp German-style Kolsch 151.

Photo: Kim Frost Photography

Rock Bottom

11800 W Broad St. (Short Pump Town Center); (804) 237-1684;

Fireman’s Burger One of Rock Bottom’s signature menu items, the ¾ lb. Fireman’s Burger is 12 ounces of juicy ground beef topped with pepper jack cheese, fresh sliced avocado, red onion, lettuce and for the fiery finish — pickled jalapenos, house-made red chile sauce and chipotle mayo. Be sure to ask for a side of pub sauce to dip your golden brown fries in. This burger pairs perfectly with Rock Bottom’s Fire Chief Ale — a beer brewed annually in support of local firefighters. The 2017 batch of Fire Chief was a traditional, dark copper-red English ESB. A toasty caramel malt profile is offset by an assertive hop bitterness.

July / August 2017

West End's Best 31

Photo: Kim Frost Photography

Burgers & Brews Keagan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

2251 Old Brick Rd. (West Broad Village); (804) 360-9240;

The Keagan’s Burger The Keagan’s Burger boasts a half-pound of fresh ground beef, crispy bacon and cheddar-jack cheese, with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles on a toasted Kaiser roll. Plus you get your choice of wedges or hand-cut fries. Be sure to check out this traditional Irish pub for their great weekday lunch special: All burgers and sandwiches (including sides) are just $7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You’ll probably want to complement this amazing burger with an equally amazing brew. Let your personal taste determine your choice. This is an Irish Pub, after all. Keagan’s offers more than 25 drafts on tap, so you’re sure to find one that’s just right for you.

6229-A River Rd. (River Road Shopping Center); (804) 288-7482;

Burger + Fries MOSAIC’s Burger + Fries is simple done right. A blend of 100% ground Angus beef brisket and chuck, topped with cheddar cheese, house-made bacon and Dijon-caper aioli on a brioche bun. Paired with the ever-popular Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager. MOSAIC, known for years for their lunch, is a hidden gem for dinner. Check out Burger Mondays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and sink your teeth into a premium artisan burger for $7, then wash it all down with a $4 Virginia craft beer.

32 West End's Best

Photo: Kim Frost Photography


Burgers & Brews Photo: Kim Frost Photography

Capital Ale House 4024 Cox Rd.; (804) 780-2537

Ring of Fire Burger Love is a burning thing, and so is the Ring of Fire Burger from Capital Ale House: a Chili & habañero rubbed Virginia-raised beef patty, grilled pineapple, bacon, pepper jack cheese, ancho-chipotle sauce and fresh jalapeños. With over 100 beers on at their Innsbrook location, how do you know which to pick? We’ve done the work for you here. Nothing pairs better with hot-and-spicy than the refreshing citrus of Iron Leaf Belgian Blonde, a Belgian Single brewed with lemongrass and lemon peel, from Pale Fire out of Harrisonburg, VA. Capital Ale’s Burger Night special runs until 1 a.m. on Monday nights, and features $3 burgers with any beverage purchase.

200 Towne Center W Blvd.; (804) 447-9443

The Barnyard Brawl The Barnyard Brawl is not for the faint of heart. This massive burger boasts a one-third pound lean chuck-and-sirloin beef patty topped with bacon, a fried egg, chicken tenders, two slices of White American cheese and you can get it with the Works, pictured here, with mayo, mustard, pickles, onions, lettuce and tomato. Nothing cuts through this burger’s richness like the hop-forward Pocahoptas from Center of the Universe Brewing in Ashland, VA. This West Coast-style IPA features four different Pacific Northwest hops, and is dry-hopped for additional hop flavor and aroma.

July / August 2017

Photo: Kim Frost Photography

Carytown Burger

West End's Best 33

Photo: Jack Smith

Burgers & Brews Baker’s Crust Artisan Kitchen

11800 W. Broad St. (Short Pump Town Center); 804-377-9060 3553 W. Cary St.; 804-213-0800;

Boozy BBQ Bacon Burger You had me at “boozy,” but wait, there’s more! In addition to the boozy bacon BBQ sauce, this burger comes with chipotle Gouda cheese, a pickle spear and tomato, all within one of Baker’s Crust’s delicious Brioche rolls. It’s served with Sriracha mayo, tarragon slaw and hand-cut fries. To create the perfect combination, we suggest you enjoy it with a locally brewed Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Pilsner.

Virginia’s Beer Authority

A Fresh Mix of Flavor in an Elegant Atmosphere 420 East Grace St., Richmond, VA Use Yelp for reservations or call 804-377-3968 804-780-ALES

34 West End's Best

Monday - Saturday 4:30pm-Close • Sunday Brunch 10am-3pm

tastebudz with Elena Marinaccio and Steve Cook

There is just too much going on in West End dining options. I have

eaten my way all over the West End and I’ve loved every minute of it.

SHOREDOG BY NIGHT: Picture this: You’re sitting in ShoreDog Café (435 N. Ridge Road) your favorite West End coffee shop. It has everything that one could want in a coffee shop…great beverages, a delicious breakfast and lunch menu, even rich, creamy ice cream. It’s all there to be enjoyed in a bright, airy setting. But at 5 p.m., as the sun begins to slowly sink in the western sky, as you sit there, perhaps sipping on your coffee, something magical begins to happen around you. Perhaps you don’t notice it at first. The lights over the counter, where you had ordered your coffee just a while ago, begin to dim. The window blinds snap shut, hiding the western sun. Fine linens start to appear on the tables, along with lighted candles. Suddenly, it’s as if you’re in an entirely different West End eatery. In a way, you are. You’re in ShoreDog by Night. As the dinner hour approaches, you’ll notice the counter service replaced with elegant tableside service. Take a look at the dinner menu. Yes, it’s time for chef Alex Bailey to work his own brand of magic in the kitchen. Gibbs Moody, owner of ShoreDog (the daytime and the nighttime version) says, “Alex is very good, very talented at what he does.” And one of the things he does very well, Gibbs tells me, is seafood. I’m talking fresh, never frozen seafood. I’m talking dishes such as panseared Atlantic salmon, or pan-fried crisp oysters, or seared Chesapeake Bay scallops. There is a variety of other equally tempting choices of entrees like roasted lump crab cakes and petite-tender bistro filet beef medallions. This is no longer a coffee shop. This is ShoreDog by Night. Tempt your taste buds. Take a look online at the starters, the salads, the desserts and more on the dinner menu. Of course, you can check out the enticing breakfast and lunch menus as well at ShoreDogCafe. com. Because night or day, ShoreDog is a sure bet. July / August 2017

SIMPLY WONDERFUL: As you may already know, I’m a very simple guy. That’s perhaps why I like my simple syrups, especially when they’re mixed with a little something something. I’ve told you before about Susan Martinson’s Keep it Simple Syrup. If you’re looking for ideas for some warm weather cocktails, you might want to check out her website, KeepItSimpleSyrup. com. You’ll find helpful recipes for some refreshing summertime beverages including a very tasty Lemon Shandy. You can pick up her simple syrups at Virginia ABC stores as well as at Wegmans and Good Foods Grocery.

I’VE SEEN WOOD AND I’VE SEEN IRON: I had a chance to check out the new Wood & Iron Gameday Restaurant and Bar in the Shoppes at Bellgrade the other night. Boy, was the place packed. Not only are there more bigscreen TVs than you can shake a remote at, but the food is very good, too. This sports bar themed restaurant is brought to you by the same folks who run Flyin’ Pig in Midlothian and Asado in the VCU area. I’m told that the menu is somewhat of a marriage between the Pig’s burgers and brisket and Asado’s tacos and wings. That’s a union I can certainly support. West End's Best 35

Shooting Point Oyster Company Seaside Salts with a grilled peach mignonette granita served at Mosaic Restaurant during the Virginia Oyster Recycling Program dinner.

A PEARL OF A PROGRAM: Mosaic (6229 River Road) hosted a six-course beer and oyster dinner this spring to highlight the variety of preparations and pairings for locally-harvested oysters, while raising awareness for a relatively new recycling program that could have you asking, paper, plastic or calcium carbonate? “I really wanted to do something different,” says Randy Roscoe, director of operations for Mosaic, who organized the event. “I didn’t want anyone to think this would be just, you know, one raw oyster plate after another.” The point man for coordinating between the restaurant, two breweries and five oyster farmers, Roscoe calls the event a successful team effort. And what a team it was: two of Richmond’s most popular brewers, Ardent Craft Ales and Hardywood Park Brewery, and a handful of bay area oyster farmers, from superstars like Ruby Salts to quirky open-water grown Tangiers. And at the heart of this collaboration is the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling program, itself a synergy of efforts between VCU Rice Rivers Center, area restaurants, oyster farmers, bay and river residents, and basically anyone who shucks an oyster within a 100-mile radius. The program, headed by Todd Janeski, who was on hand to help kick off the festivities, collects used oyster shells from 50 of the region’s restaurants — from Charlottesville to the Northern Neck — and transports, stores and cultivates oysters back into the bay. “They’re basically the filtration system for all that water,” says Randy. Oyster reefs are integral to the sustainability of the Chesapeake Bay, filtering more than 50 gallons of water every day, creating habitats for fish and crustaceans, and balancing the pH of the bay water itself. The highlight of the night featured the Ardent/Hardywood Oyster Kolsch Collaborative Brew, which was paired with two raw Ruby Salts oysters, strips of air-dried pancetta and a sweet and tangy Agriberry Farms strawberry granita, topped with micro basil — ­ all plated on a rustic bed of smoked hay. After taking down the first helping, Greg Self, brand ambassador for Ardent, yelled out to the rest of the table excitedly, “It tastes just like the ocean!” Mosaic donated 20 percent of the proceeds from the dinner to the Virginia Oyster Recycling Program. To learn more, visit 36 West End's Best

MY DINING DILEMMA: There’s probably no more fun place to grab some great food and hang out with friends in the West End than the Halligan Bar and Grill in West Broad Village (2451 Old Brick Road; 804-364-2707; But, I do have a bone to pick with the folks there. Fortunately, it’s a delicious baby back, so everything’s cool. But my bone of contention is that when I go in, it’s just too doggone hard to decide what kind of barbecue I want to order. You see, Halligans offers all of my favorites: North Carolina pulled pork, Memphis-style chicken and Texas beef brisket. What’s more, to add to my confusion, they serve some of the best smoked wings you ever bit into. What’s a barbecue fanatic to do? To make it even more difficult, owner Shawn Gregory tells me they’re introducing a new menu this month with about 10 new innovative items. One good thing: On Tuesdays, I know exactly what to order. Tuesdays are All-You-Can-Eat Boneless Ribs Nights. For $12.99 you get ribs and two great sides, and you can keep ordering ribs to your heart’s content. By the way, have you seen their Flatliner three-pound sandwich or their Bar-B-Q nachos on Ginormous Food on the Food Network? Shawn tells me that those two items are really popular right now due to the national network TV exposure. You probably already know that Halligan’s serves fantastic homemade sides, but did you know that much of their produce comes straight from their own garden? Their Diamond Plate catering division took over the old Mrs. Fearnow’s Brunswick Stew facility in Hanover County and they have enough room there to grow their own vegetables. And speaking of healthy, Halligan’s now offers locally sourced non-GMO bread. Despite my dilemma over what to order, I’m ready to head back over to The Halligan Bar and Grill right now. Meet you there?

Open for Lunch & Dinner: Wednesday through Sunday All New Sunday Brunch 10:00 a.m. Just 4 Miles West of Short Pump Mall 804-784-2000 | Facebook@LolasFarmhouseBistro |

1840 Manakin Road, Manakin, Virginia 23103

CUPERTINO'S NEW YORK BAGELS 3621 Cox Road Suite A, Henrico 804-747-4005

July / August 2017

West End's Best 37

Experience Our


DINNER ENTREES & CRAFT COCKTAILS! Short Pump Town Center 11800 W. Broad Street 804-377-9060 Carytown 3553 W. Cary Street 804-213-0800 38 West End's Best

TO YOUR HEALTH: I discovered a couple of new (to the Richmond area, anyway) healthy dining options recently. First, I happened by B. Good, located in the Wegman’s shopping center (West Broad Marketplace) at 12246 W. Broad Street. From just looking at their numerous locations around the country, mostly in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, it would appear that the restaurant chain, which originated in Boston in 2003, seems to have grown pretty rapidly. I enjoyed the cool little history about their humble beginnings, which I found on their website, You can also download their app and order ahead of time for a quick pick up (not to mention a quick pick-me-up). This is their first Richmondarea restaurant, but district manager, Brian Cooper, a Mechanicsville resident, tells me that there are two more local units planned for the near future, one being in Reynolds Crossing. I’m already hooked on the Kale Krush Smoothie, which features fresh kale, apple, pineapple and banana. Brian tells me that the kale and grain bowls are very popular, as well. He says the chain takes advantage of fresh produce from some of the area’s best farms. B.Good also offers their healthy take on burgers, sandwiches, sweet potato fries and more, including an all-natural, local beef hot dog on the Kids’ Meals menu. I also had an opportunity to enjoy some delicious soup at Freshii, located at 1700 Willow Lawn Drive. One of my favorite Taste Budz, Katie Sweeney, turned me on to the place. Freshii’s website,, also has an interesting story about the inspiration behind founder Matthew Corrin’s decision to create the concept. The rather extensive menu offers a variety of soups, salads, wraps, bowls and burritos. Plus, you’ll find low-fat yogurts and fresh, housemade juices and smoothies. I chose the lemongrass soup on my visit. It was delicious. In addition to the spicy lemongrass, which gives this soup a little kick, there are also rice noodles, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms and cilantro.

YAY YAY: After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, perhaps because I was just so excited for this to happen, Ya Ya’s Cookbook opened in early June. This place in the Downtown Short Pump shopping center (11698 W. Broad St.) is one of the most unique dining spots you’ll find, carrying the Asian street food concept to new heights. Located in a former hibachi restaurant, Ya Ya’s utilizes the old hibachi tables in a very creative manner — I won’t give it away. Go find out for yourself. The food and drink are, as expected, fantastic, including some exceptionally fresh sushi. Try the duck dish. It’s unbelievable. Joe Kiatsuranon, his brother Sonny and his mom, Sue Palaart (of Mom’s Siam), along with the inimitable Frank Oley who heads up the fantastic bar, have a real winner on their hands. Ya Ya’s is bound to be an industry favorite with its late-night full kitchen service (Every night ‘til 2, with full menu until 1:30 a.m.).

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: Did you know about the new Greek restaurant where the Crazy Greek used to be at 1903 Staples Mill Road? It’s The Greek Taverna. The folks that own this truly fantastic new restaurant were the original owners of The Crazy Greek from 1975 to 1997. Although Greg and Kitsa Panos leased the building and sold the Crazy Greek name to someone else, they maintained ownership of the property. When the lease was up recently, they decided to get back into the business, which they now run with daughter Toula and her husband, Gagik Suleymanian. I can tell you from first-hand experience, the food is fantastic. I’m a big pastichio fan when it’s done right, and they do it perfectly. In addition to some of the old-time favorites from the Crazy Greek of yesteryear, Kitsa tells me that they’re also doing some Greek dishes you probably won’t find anywhere else in town. The restaurant also offers combo dinners, which give you a chance to sample a variety of Greek specialties. And the menu features lots of fresh seafood, prepared Greek style. Don’t even get me started on the desserts, most of which are homemade. I asked Kitsa why, after twenty years away from the business, she wanted back into the restaurant game. She says she that although she had forgotten how much work it is, she has always loved the business. Before she and her husband opened Crazy Greek some 42 years ago, she had helped her father when he ran the legendary Byram’s Restaurant in the late 60s and early 70s. Daughter Toula says her mother has always loved cooking. “When she would go on vacation, she would get a hotel room with a kitchen so she could cook.” I guess it’s in my blood,” Kitsa added.

WHERE EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY NINO, KNOWS YOUR NAME: Some folks get away to their favorite watering hole to enjoy the camaraderie . But for many West Enders, that sort of friendly neighborhood atmosphere can be found at Cupertino’s New York Bagel located at 3621 Cox Road. Judging from the conversations I overheard during a recent visit, it would appear that virtually everyone there knows everyone else. Of course, the primary draw would likely be the kettle-boiled bagels which are made from scratch daily. Top your bagel with what owner Nino Palazzotto calls his “garden selection” of gourmet spreads. Choose from a variety of fresh, tasty deli meats to create the perfect “bagelwich” for breakfast or lunch. Nino has recently introduced another crowd-pleasing item. It’s his crispy chicken egg and cheese sandwich. Nino, himself, is one of the reasons that folks keep coming back. He seems to know everyone who walks through the door. Nino, who grew up in the restaurant business, says, “It’s been my life since I can remember.” July / August 2017

LET’S GET FESTIVE: Get ready for something new from the folks who own the metro area’s three Capital Ale Houses. Fest, which is slated to open in late summer at 7044 Woodlake Commons Loop (Woodlake Commons Shopping Center), will be a small footprint restaurant offering a large outdoor biergarten as well as additional dining and a bar inside. “Sausage will be the specialty at Fest, but we will also be serving an assortment of salads and other light fare for all to enjoy,” says Matt Simmons, president of Capital Ale House. The restaurant will even offer its own Festbrand sausage, specially created by a butcher partner. In addition, locally made classic and artisanal sausages will be served on platters or sandwich style. Unique cheeses, charcuterie platters and Capital Ale’s famous Bavarian pretzels will also be available. Obviously, there will be beer. “You can’t have sausage without beer,” Matt adds. “Fest will pour local Virginia beers, craft beers, plus German, Polish and other European brews.” He tells me that you can even get your beer in the one liter steins. Wine, draught root beer and other soft drinks will also be available.

Well, it’s time to once again hit the streets. I’ll let you know what I find. How about letting me in on any restaurant news or cool dining experiences that you have to share? Email us at TasteBudz@ West End's Best 39

LATE NIGHT DINING IN THE WEST END It’s close to midnight and your stomach is growling. No problem. There are some excellent West End restaurants that are still open and waiting to satisfy your cravings.

Bar Louie

Carolina Ale House

11788 W. Broad St. (Short Pump Town Center); 804-440-7301;

11275 W. Broad St. (West Broad Village); 804-477-3080;

Interesting appetizers, tantalizing flatbreads, big juicy burgers and much more all served in a lively West End atmosphere. The bar has something for every taste.

Great big menu for great big appetites. Select from bar bites, shareables, soups and salads, wings, burgers, pizza and more.

Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Order from the full menu right up to closing time. And that’s a lot to choose from.

The kitchen stays open ‘til closing time. In other words, if they’re open and it’s on the menu, eat it.

Breakers Sports Grill


9127 W. Broad St.; 804-270-1461; Full menu 11, late night

7023 W. Broad St.; 804-672-9477; Refreshing beverages and endless apps all day, every day. Need I say more?

Good food, a friendly staff and reasonably priced adult beverages are the hallmarks of this popular West End bar and grill.

Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Endless apps ‘til 12:30. Kitchen closes at 1:00 a.m. Go at it.

Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. OTB ‘til 11 p.m. Full menu is available until 11 p.m. with a late-night menu ‘til closing time.

40 West End's Best

Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint

YaYa’s Cookbook Restaurant

5810 Grove Ave.; 804-285-1758;

11674 W. Broad St. (Downtown Short Pump) 804-938-4544;

With 100% Wagyu beef burgers and an exceptional selection of craft beers, what more could one want? Except for some fantastic fries and a fried Oreo or two, that is. There’s not much more than that. But it works wonderfully at this joint.

Serving authentic Thai cuisine and sushi along with artfully crafted cocktails, this recently opened eatery promises to be one of the most unique restaurants in the Metro area.

Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Last call for food at 1:30 every morning.

Sushi until midnight. The kitchen stays open, serving the full menu, until 1:20 a.m.

Kickback Jack’s

Waffle House

9318 W. Broad St.; 804-965-6902; KBJacks. com

7109 W. Broad; 804-672-9397; WaffleHouse. com

It starts with award-winning wings and cold beer and it builds from there. For instance, how about the chili cheese tater tots or Mahi tacos or their Sunrise Burger. Throw in the lively bar and the big screen TVs and you have the makings for a fun night out.

Sometimes all you want is a good cup of coffee, a couple of fried eggs and a mountain of hash browns. For those nights, it’s Waffle House. Monday through Sunday Open 24 hours

Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Order anything from the menu until 1:15.

July / August 2017

West End's Best 41



Put down the box macaroni and cheese…we’re going out. But dining out with kids can seem like less than a treat if you’re unprepared. So we’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly restaurants on the West End — think kids eat free, fun activities, laid-back atmosphere. From breweries to brunch, we’ve got you, and your little ones, covered. boasts tons of healthy options and substitution. Make sure to check out Kids Night every Tuesday for fun events for the little ones (while you get to finish your meal) like face painting, balloon animals, kids entertainment and more.

Strangeways Brewery

2277 Dabney Road; 804-303-4336

Silver Diner

10890 W Broad St.; 804-346-2020 It’s a fact that kids love 50s diners. And what’s not to love? Lunch counters, jukeboxes, milkshakes and chrome and red-vinyl covered décor. Silver Diner offers a fresh take on classic American diner food with a flex menu that 42 West End's Best

Richmond parents know: when the kids just can’t sit still at a restaurant, take ‘em to a brewery. Strangeways is the ultimate kid-friendly brewery, offering lots of space between two tasting rooms, a biergarten, lots of board games and a seemingly endless array of oddities and fantastic art decorating every wall. Dinner at Strangways with the kids means hip and delicious food trucks every Friday through Sunday — check their facebook page (StrangewaysBrewing) to see who’s serving and when.


11800 W. Broad St. (Short Pump Town Center); 804-364-9744 What kid doesn’t love Short Pump Town Center? After they play at the Children’s Museum of Richmond satellite location, ride the Short Pump Express through the open-air mall, jump on the playground and capture your queen at the jumbo chessboard, make sure to treat them (and yourself) with a visit to Firebirds. Their kids’ menu is part of the Kids LiveWell program and includes an entrée,

choice of two sides, a beverage plus Oreos for dessert. Meals run the gamut from tried-andtrue Mac & Cheese to culinary treats like Mahi Tacos.

items are just $5 and range from old standbys like Homemade Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich and State Fair Corn Dog to healthy choices like their Hummus, Pita & Veggies plate.


8052 W. Broad St.; 804-747-9573 This one is a no-brainer. With fire, knife juggling, flying food and onion volcanoes, there’s excitement in every bite as your little ones sit up close and personal with their dinner as it’s prepared at an authentic Teppan Yaki table. Children’s menu items (for those 12 and under) include Kodomo Chicken, Steak or Shrimp.


7007 Three Chopt Road; 804-525-4525

Tarrant’s West

11129 Three Chopt Road; 804-205-9009 This West End outpost of one of Richmond’s

Mexico Restaurant 11621 West Broad St.; 804-360-9446 4040 Cox Road; 804-290-0400

favorite restaurants is perfect for a family night out. Have the kids order off the Kids’ Menu — they offer favorites like hamburgers, fish sticks and grilled cheese sandwiches, all with a choice of fries or fruit for a side — or make life super easy and order a pizza pie for the whole family to share. If Dad won’t back down from ordering anchovies on top, get the kids their own personal pies and make sure to order yourself an extra glass of Pinot.

BOOK your


Toast has it all figured out. They’ve got a Kid’s Menu with offerings like Butter Spiral Noodles, Chicken Tenders and Grilled Cheese, each with a side and small drink, for $6. Then they offer a Little Adults Menu, with prices ranging from $6 to $10, for the discerning 7-year-old in your life. Here you’ll find kid-friendly grilled salmon with mashed potatoes and Spaghetti Squash and “Meatballs” (they’re made with a vegetables!) Toast gets all the bonus points for also offering a weekend Kid’s Brunch Menu (Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)



With two West End locations, any night is a good night for your family to enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine at this long-time favorite local, family-run chain. There’s a special Kids’ Menu (ages 10 and under) featuring a variety of your child’s favorite dishes for $5.99, which includes a soft drink, milk or juice. But Monday night is Family Night, which means that kids eat free. One free kid’s meal (from the Kids’ Menu) with each adult dinner purchase.

The Tavern

7110 Patterson Ave.; 804-282-8620 While you’ll love the relaxed, old-school tavern vibe, the kids will be staring up at the awesome crayon-graffitied brick wall out on the cozy screened-in dining porch. Laid back is the name of the game here. All Tavern Kids menu

11800 West Broad St.

Located inside Short Pump Town Center

(804) 237-1684 ROCKBOTTOM.COM July / August 2017

@rockbottomshortpump @rockbottom_rva West End's Best 43

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“...a classic, cottagey find, inspired by its owners’ love for the water and fresh, local foods.” – Jo Lord, Food Critic, Richmond Times Dispatch


Read Our Publications Online 804-639-9994

44 West End's Best

Reservations: (804) 716-0999 Dinner: Wed-Sat, 5:30-9:00 • 435B N. Ridge Road •




NOW OPEN IN SHORT PUMP! Across from the Hilton

4120 Cox Rd., Glen Allen



3500 W. Cary St. Richmond

SHORT PUMP 200 Towne Center W. Blvd. Henrico


5404 Lakeside Ave. Henrico


Book Your Next Event at Hanover Tavern

Lunch & Dinner

Wed-Thurs: 11am – 9pm Fri-Sat: 11am – 10pm Sunday: 11am – 8pm


Saturday & Sunday 11am – 4pm Reservations Recommended

(804) 537-5050 13181 Hanover Courthouse Road Hanover, VA 23069 July / August 2017

Wedding Ceremonies Corporate Events Receptions Lunch/Dinner Meeting Rehearsal Dinners Engagement Parties West End's Best 45

Breakers Sports Grille

9127 W. Broad St.; 804-270-1461; FB: Breakers-Sports-Grille This long-popular West End bar has now added OTB. The kitchen has always done a great job with appetizers and sandwiches and they have several seafood offerings including deviled crabs, crab cakes and steamed shrimp, all of which come from P.T. Hastings Seafood. Their Happy Hour specials change daily. Monday through Saturday 11 am. to 7 p.m. Monday: Beer, domestic pint - $3.25 Rumple or Fireball - $3.95 Shrimp ½ pound - $9.25; 1 pound - $16.25

Talley’s Meat & Three

7021 Three Chopt Road (Village Shopping Center); 804-4846046; The “meat and three” concept is popular in the south. Pick your meat and choose three sides from about a dozen options. Tuesday through Saturday 4 to 7 p.m. Beer, select drafts (16 oz.) - $4 Beer, domestics - $2 Well drinks - $3 Wines, select reds and whites (6 oz. pour) - $4 One More Thing: Talley’s offers catering as well as take-out family dinners.

Greek Taverna

Tuesday: Beer, domestic bottle - $2.15 Hamburger with fries - $5.50 Bacon cheeseburger with fries - $6.25

1903 Staples Mill Road; 804-477-6216; Authentic Greek dining at its best, with traditional favorites you won’t find anywhere else in Richmond.

Wednesday Highballs - $2.50 Wings, 6 - $5.50; 12 - $9.95; 24 - $17.50

Monday through Friday 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Thursday Beer, domestic bottle - $2.15 Oysters, 6 - $7.25; 12 - $12.75

Beer, select drafts - $1 off Wine, House red and white, glass - $1 off; carafes - $3 off Mixed drinks, upscale rails - $1 off Jameson - $5 Rumble - $5 Fireball - $5

Friday Ladies Night Margaritas - $5 Beer, domestic pints - $3.25 Pizza, cheese - $7.95; pepperoni - $8.75

One More Thing: Bar Manager Carlos Gomez has created an inventive craft cocktail list that fits well with the sleek modern décor of this totally renovated space.

Saturday Beer, domestic pints - $3.25 Martinis - ½ off One More Thing: Every day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. hamburgers are $5.50 and cheeseburgers are $6.25. That includes fries with each.

For a more extensive guide visit

Lola’s Farmhouse Bistro

1840 Manakin Road (Manakin-Sabot); 804-784-2000; This delightful Goochland restaurant is packing ‘em in with delicious fare, a warm and hospitable staff and beautiful farmhouse décor. Wednesday through Friday 4 to 6 p.m. A plate of peel-and-eat shrimp is free with any purchase. One More Thing: Lola’s amazing dessert list includes gelato from Stoplight Gelato Café in Jackson Ward. 46 West End's Best

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July / August 2017

West End's Best 47

Events Calendar by West End’s Best staff

JULY 15 – 16

National Civil War & Antiques Arms Show The National Civil War & Antique Arms Show - 1776 to 1945 presents an opportunity to buy, sell, trade, or just browse some of the finest Civil War and Antique Military Arms in the world ... all under one roof. There will be 500 tables of high quality guns, swords, accoutrements, reference books, art, and more. Free parking and on-site concessions for your convenience. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. July 15; 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. July 16 / $10 / Richmond International Raceway, 540-672-4845 /


Strikeout Childhood Cancer This fundraising event is being held to raise much needed funds to benefit two Richmond-area children, Lelia Moran and Sawyer Perkins, who are battling brain cancer. There will be vendors, food trucks, a silent auction, live music, and children’s activities. In addition, the Richmond Flying Squirrels will be selling tickets to that night’s game. $3 of each General Admission ticket sold at the event will go directly to these children and their families.

JULY 26-27

Annual Chincoteague Island Pony Swim and Auction Volunteer firemen round up the ponies on Assateague Island and on July 26, swim them across the channel to Chincoteague Island where they rest before being paraded down Main Street to the carnival grounds. On Thursday, the 27th, from 8:00 a.m. until noon, there is an auction held at the Carnival grounds to sell the foals. Once purchased, the ponies can be transported anywhere in the United States. Contact the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce for further details: 757-336-6161 / Chincoteague

Visit website for details:

From his Dove Award winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels.


7 – 9 p.m. / $20-$99 / Marks and Harrison Amphitheater, 5030 Gordon W. Shelton Blvd., Fredericksburg /

Richmond’s biggest spectacle on water – dragon boating. Led by the rhythmic beat of a drum, teams of 20 synchronized paddlers, one drummer, and one steersperson race 500 meters up the river in 40-foot canoes rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails.



9 a.m. – 3 p.m. / Free for spectators; $1595 Team fee /

This Fire, Flour & Fork kick-off around the lake at Libbie Mill-Midtown. Serving up a fair twist of the untraditional. Old-fashioned bake and kale walks, farmer cook-offs, heirloom tomato tastings, culinary spelling bees, chicken impersonating, pickle-face making, pie, cake and pickle contests, aluminum foil origami, craft beer, Hungry Turtle, Arroz and more food including farm fresh produce, music and more fun.

AUGUST 7 – 12

48 West End's Best

The nation’s premier jazz festival is back. Altria presents the Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont. Come experience the world’s best jazz, great food, outstanding wine and the beautiful rolling hills of Maymont.

Charlie Daniels Band in Concert

Richmond International Dragon Boat Festival

11 a.m. – 4 p.m. /Free / Libbie Mill – Midtown, /

Richmond Jazz Festival


9 a.m. – 2 p.m. / The Diamond, 3001 N. Boulevard

Midtown State Fair

AUGUST 10 – 13

82nd Annual Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention During the 2nd week of August of each year the City of Galax has the world tapping its feet as the Old Fiddlers’ Convention takes place in Felts Park. Musicians and fans from around the world travel to Galax to perform and hear the music that defines the sound of the Blue Ridge Mountains. See website for details:

Annual Carytown Watermelon Festival Presented by Publix Supermarkets An old favorite with a new sponsor – and with 115,000 people, over 3,000 watermelons, 60 musicians and over 100 exhibitors. The Carytown Watermelon Festival presented by Publix Super Markets, has become the largest one day festival in the state of Virginia. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. / Cary Street throughout Carytown /


James River Splash and Dash The James River Splash & Dash Presented by Swedish Match is a one-of-a-kind 6K trail run or 1 mile walk that includes a flat water tube across the James River. 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. / $50 /

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That’s the situation one Goochland resident found himself in back in 2009, when his employer, Circuit City, closed their doors for good. “You decide to go into business for yourself,” explains David Dowdy. Although his wife Elizabeth continued in her career as a consultant in customer service training, David says the two of them decided that they wanted to control their own destiny. “If we ever found ourselves out of work again, it would be because of decisions we had made,” he says. So the Dowdys began searching for a franchise that they could believe in. Their search led them to Miracle Method, the largest bath and kitchen refinishing company in the country. “The owners were such good, Christian people, with an outstanding product,” Elizabeth Dowdy says, explaining why they chose this particular business. The Dowdys recognized the value that the company brings to the consumer. Instead of homeowners spending $20,000 or more on a complete kitchen remodel, they could invest a small fraction of that and have a beautiful “new” kitchen. As a wife and a mother of three daughters, Elizabeth also recognized the benefit of being able to offer countertop refinishing with much less disruption to the family. The typical kitchen refinishing, she says, can be done in a day and a half.

The two most attractive features, as she explains, involve the great value in price and quality as well as the quick turnaround time. But, chances are you may want to know more. Such as: How does it work? The Miracle Method process, whether it be for countertops, bathtubs or flooring, involves the application of a nine-layer non porous coating which bonds to the existing surface. What will my countertop look like? “It looks like natural stone, “David says. “We have over 60 options of different stone finishes with lots of colors to choose from.” For bathtubs, the finish resembles that of your typical porcelain tub. She recommends visiting the showroom (see contact info below) to take a look at the textures and colors on display. The showroom is open from 9 a.m. ‘til 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment. Is it durable? Definitely. The Dowdys have many commercial customers and the process works well for high-use areas. For added peace of mind, your refinishing comes with a five-year adhesion warranty, although David says that through normal use, a homeowner should be able to enjoy 15 to 20 years of their new surface. What about mold and mildew? If there is an existing mold or mildew issue, Miracle Method will handle the abatement of such. Once the coating has bonded to the original surface, the likelihood of mold and mildew growth is eliminated. Are there any other services I might want to know about? Yes. Miracle Method can also make bathing safer with their Easy Step®. “We cut an opening in your existing tub which allows easier entry and exit for seniors and the mobility impaired,” David explains. More important than even the quality and value, Elizabeth says, is the customer service. “We strive to exceed our customer’s expectations on a regular basis.” But Elizabeth and David Dowdy’s commitment to service goes beyond their careers. As residents of the county for the past 11 years, they are both active in community service as well. He is a volunteer firefighter and EMT with Goochland County Fire & Rescue and she serves on the Board of Directors for the Goochland Chamber of Commerce.

"Outstanding job...5 times better than we imagined, highly recommend Miracle Method!"

- Dave R, Richmond

2410 Granite Ridge Rd. • Suite 1 • Rockville, VA 23146

Take 1-64 to the Rockville/Manakin exit. Go North on Ashland Road for one mile to Left on Commerce Center. First Left is Granite Ridge and Miracle Method is on the Right.

Visit the Showroom: Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm or by appointment 804-749-8990 •

52 West End's Best

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West End's Best 53

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Made in the shade

by Jordan Langley


ith outdoor entertaining at its peak in the summer months, don’t leave your houseguests to sweat it out in your bare backyard. From stand-alone umbrellas to retractable awnings that attach right to your home, create cooling shade with these chic design elements for a summer of fun in — and out — of the sun. Pergolas are freestanding pressure-treated wood or PVC structures built over backyard sitting areas, patios or hot tubs. Greg Koehler, owner and lead designer of Richmond-based Outdoor Dreams, says that the majority of his clients opt for pergolas in their backyards. “For more shade, consider adding two-by-four wooden slats to the top instead of standard two-by-two

56 West End's Best

trim pieces,” says Koehler. While white PVC materials can be used in lieu of wood, keep in mind it will stain quicker. Both materials are difficult to pressure wash. “Letting the wood age gracefully is your best bet,” advises Koehler. Create more shade by training roses and

jasmine to climb up the lattice or by hanging privacy curtains. Awnings provide the most shade over a deck or patio. Bon Air Hearth, Porch and Patio carries models that bolt into the framework or roof of a house. The width extends over home windows, angles raise or lower and lengths can reach 13 feet, with motor deployment by remote control. Sunbrella fabric offers hundreds of color choices and debris washes right off. “They don’t look like they used to,” says, Macon Richardson, general manager. “These awnings are an investment with a 10- to 15-year warranty.” Quality backyard umbrellas, perfect for spot shading, come in two varieties. A fiberglass, center-pole umbrella with a


weighted base is the most traditional. Cantilevered umbrellas are larger, with a 360-degree aluminum framework that rotates over multiple areas — from seating arrangements to an outdoor kitchen — for maximum flexibility. These umbrellas are available in varying sizes, can match deck furniture and come with features such as auto-tilt and clip-on lights. For umbrella canopy color, Richardson says Rich-

mond-area clients choose grays and blues, but keep in mind that paired with neutrals, “red is a pop of color that’s popular and always has been.” Koehler recommends planting containergrown (rather than field-grown) maples, birches, willows and large crepe myrtles to promote shade. Birches have invasive roots, so plant away from patios and foundations. “Al-

July / August 2017

ways know the direction of the sun pattern in your yard,” he says, “You could have the perfect tree, but if it’s not in the right spot, it won’t work.” Trees supply beauty and respite — the natural way. Whether a dinner party gathers under a chic umbrella or settles under the dappled light of a shade tree, tip a glass to a lush backyard enveloped in comfort.

West End's Best 57

Travel Navigator Your Guide to All Things Travel It’s Summertime! Time to hit the road or the air or the water. We’re excited to introduce a new regular feature - Travel Navigator. We’re confident that Travel Navigator will help you discover new vacation destinations as well as provide you with travel tips and more ideas to inspire you. If you’re looking for a new vacation spot, a weekend getaway or simply a day trip, Travel Navigator has something for you.

TRAVEL NAVIGATOR COVER PAGE Virginia Beach Destinations Experience the Northern Neck A Taste of OBX Small Town Lexington

58 West End's Best


If Your Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys… Saddle up and head on down to Victoria in Lunenburg County for the National Day of the Cowboy on July 22. Enjoy the Tom Mix Rangers, dressed in authentic western clothing and demonstrating roping, bull-whipping and horseback riding. Actual “Cowboy Shoot-outs” all day in town. Cool off your spurs at a number of local cantinas for breakfast and lunch, but stay on the lookout for possible sightings of Cowboys and Indians. There’s even a BBQ cook-off.

Photo: Jefferson Hotel

A Virginia Icon recently released its list of the most iconic hotels in every state. Who did they pick for Virginia? The famous Homestead Resort? No. The beautiful Hotel Roanoke? No. It was Richmond’s own historic Jefferson Hotel. The hotel has just completed a four-year renovation, transforming 262 guest rooms into 181 spacious new rooms, including 15 suites. A Grand Re-Opening Celebration provides a limitedtime value for guests to experience the all new Jefferson Hotel for themselves. Virginia residents are also invited to enhance their experience with an exclusive 20-percent discount off all food and non-alcoholic beverages in TJ’s and Lemaire, as well as the hotel’s room service, purchases in Gator’s Gifts and Blooms at The Jefferson, and services in Salon Vivace.

The Lasso of Truth – Are you Ready to be Roped In? Six Flags America, located in Bowie, Maryland, unveiled its new 240-foot tall WONDER WOMAN Lasso of Truth extreme swing ride in mid-June. Named after the world’s most iconic female DC Super Hero, the towering 24-story-tall attraction whisks riders around a 98-foot circle at speeds of 40 miles per hour. The new thrill ride is adjacent to the park’s signature SUPERMAN Ride of Steel roller coaster. This year, the park is open daily through Labor Day and then on most weekends and select weekdays through Jan. 1.

July / August 2017

West End's Best 59

Welcome to TRAVEL

Historyland The Birthplace of a Nation by Steve Cook

elcome to “Historyland.” While it’s been years since that term has been used in marketing Virginia’s Northern Neck, it certainly is an appropriate name. For untold centuries, Native Americans had been creating their own unique history on this peninsula that lay between the Rappahannock and the Potomac Rivers. However, from the perspective of the history of the United States, the Northern Neck could well be considered the birthplace of our nation. Not only were three of our first five presidents (George Washington, James Madison, James Monroe) born in the region, but the only two brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence (Francis Lightfoot Lee and Richard Henry Lee) hailed from the Northern Neck. As we begin our journey into Historyland, we cross over the Rappahannock River on U.S. Route 301. That brings us into the Northern Neck. We’re headed for the George Washington Birthplace National Monument (, part of the National Park Service. What you will not see here at the monument is the actual house in which Washington was born. That house burned to the ground on Christmas Day 1779. Scott Hill, the National Park Service’s chief of interpretation explains that what you will see is a memorial house built in the 1930s that reflects the style and furnishings of the early 1700s. “It is not a replica, nor a restoration,” Hill says. “It was built to put something there that visitors can identify with.” He explains that many come to the monument expecting to see a home much grander in style. “Most Americans don’t want to assume that George Washington was born in anything other than a Mount Vernon-style home.” If you’re ready for a little rest and relaxation after your tour, take some 60 West End's Best

time to enjoy one of the few free beaches in the area. This delightfully secluded Potomac River beach is on the grounds of the park and is open to the public. A picnic area with restroom facilities is located about a halfmile from the beach. Less than 10 miles east of Washington’s birthplace is Stratford Hall (, the birthplace of another famous Virginian, Robert E. Lee. Stratford Hall is dubbed “the Home of the Lees,” who are among the “first families” of Virginia. As mentioned previously, two members of the family were signers of the Declaration of Independence. Stratford Hall is, indeed, the actual home in which Robert E. Lee was born in 1807. The “Great House” had been built by Lee’s grandfather, Thomas Lee, in 1730 and is truly one of the finest examples of Colonial architecture in existence. Period furnishings and family pieces, including Lee’s crib, can be found on your tour of the home. Different rooms are furnished to represent the four generations of the family that lived in the home from its construction to the early 1800s when the Lees were forced to vacate the property due to ongoing financial problems. The grounds surrounding the house may be even more fascinating than the home itself. The plantation covers 1,600 acres and has gardens, a kitchen, a smokehouse, laundry, springhouses, a coach house, stables, slave quarters and a gristmill. The plantation was home not only to the Lee’s, but to indentured servants and slaves who worked at smithing, candle making, coopering, tanning, liquor distilling and shoemaking. Dining and Accommodations: Two centuries ago, if you were to visit Stratford Hall you would have received a warm welcome, a comfortable bed and a fine meal. Today, visitors can enjoy the same. The Inn at Strat-

Photo: Stratford Hall. Virginia Tourism Corporation

Photo: National Park Service

ford Hall offers a variety of accommodations in the Cheek Guest House and the Astor Guest House. Breakfast in the dining room is included with your stay. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. For information on lodging or for reservations, call (804) 493-1967.

Other Historical Northern Neck Attractions About an hour’s drive southeast of Stratford Hall lies Irvington in Lancaster County. This quaint town is home to the Steamboat Era Museum (, which opened in 2004. Because of the steamboat, the Northern Neck connected much more with Baltimore than Richmond, explains Jean Ward, a volunteer at museum. “We used the bay and the water as our highway. There were no real roads that didn’t turn to mush,” says Ward. “You could travel by horseback or by water, and most people chose the water.” This is not a museum about steamboats, cautions Randy Graham, the treasurer of the board at the museum. “It’s a museum about the steamboat era” — an era, Graham says, that holds a very romantic appeal. “We try to tell the story about this period of time,” he adds. “It’s still part of the culture and the makeup of the Northern Neck.”

Photo: Michael A Geissinger

The history of the region’s watermen is another fascinating part of the Northern Neck and its culture. That history is well told at the Reedsville Fishermen’s Museum (, located at 504 Main Street in Reedsville. The museum interprets and displays materials that are historically important to the lower Chesapeake Bay, with special emphasis on activities relating to Reedville fisheries and the lives of the region’s watermen. This year, the museum is introducing its KidsKorners, offering hands-on activities for children of all ages. The interaction is designed to stimulate the senses and to keep younger ones engaged as the adults spend more time discovering the galleries. When I spoke with Stratford Hall President John Bacon on my visit there, he acknowledged that the Lee family home — as well as the entire Northern Neck — is rich in history, but lamented, “In some sense, time has passed us by. We’re not on the beaten path. We’re not on the way to somewhere else.” With all that the Northern Neck offers, be it history, outdoor adventures, fine dining or romantic getaways, it doesn’t need to be on the way to somewhere else. Make Historyland your destination this summer.

July / August 2017

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Sarah Hauser / Virginia Tourism Corporation

here's an entire summer's worth of fun in the Northern Neck. Here are some fun suggestions for the entire family. Keeping the kids busy can include summer art classes at the Rappahannock Art League in downtown Kilmarnock, theater workshops with the Lancaster Players in White Stone or taking part in the many summer camps, from Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club, Camp Kekoka or The Northern Neck Family YMCA. If you have always wanted to learn to sail, Premier Sailing School has classes located at the Tides Inn in Irvington, with the beach on one side for small boat sailing and the wide waters of the Rappahannock River for big boat sailing. The Town of Kilmarnock opens a brand new park complete with an outdoor amphitheater, playground and splash pad. An all-day grand opening celebration is planned for July 8. The festivities kick off at 9 a.m. with live entertainment, food and cold drinks. The Lancaster by the Bay Chamber will follow with one of their signature events on July 22. Rhythm and Brews by the Bay features three bands: Richmond-based Trongone Band and local favorites, Pretty Heavy and Beer Money. There will be food vendors and cold beer. Tickets are $20 and children under 12 are free. For information email or call 804-435-6092. Northern Lancaster County offers one of Virginia’s most beautiful parks, Belle Isle State Park. Belle Isle has seven miles of shoreline on the 62 West End's Best

Rappahannock River and provides access to Mulberry and Deep Creeks. The park lets visitors explore a wide variety of tidal wetlands interspersed with farmland and upland forests. Belle Isle also offers hiking, biking and bridle trails as well as motorboat and car top boat launches. Rent a kayak or motorboat or enjoy the park’s playground, boardwalk, fishing pier and educational programs. The Town of Irvington and the Irvington Village improvement Association host one of the finest farmers markets in the state. It is held the first Saturday of every month in season. Pick up gourmet treats, local produce and goods from a variety of artisan vendors. Don’t miss Irvington’s iconic Fourth of July parade and Air Force Band concert this Independence Day. The Kilmarnock Fireman’s Carnival held the first week in August offers rides, games and the best funnel cake around. Play a round of golf at the King Carter Golf Course or Golden Eagle Golf Club, and then relax with light fare and a beverage at their clubhouse. Take a guided tour with experienced watermen who make their living harvesting the bounty of the bay and river. Watch a ball game at Dreamfields and remember days past when baseball and hot dogs made for a fine afternoon. See our Dining Options sidebar on the next page.

The Perfect Getaway… is Not so Far Away.

Virginia Tourism Corporation

Merroir The Croxton oyster restaurant that preceded Richmond’s Rappahannock Restaurant (just across the Rappahannock River).

Nate’s Trick Dog Café Merging river relaxation with upscale dining.

Car Wash Café A popular Kilmarnock sandwich shop voted Best Place for Lunch in the Eastern Region.

The Chesapeake Restaurant (at the Tides Inn) Executive Chef TV Flynn’s menus change frequently, as he sources the freshest, seasonal ingredients for his dishes.

Hope and Glory Inn Elegant farm-to-table and boatto-table dining in a charming boutique hotel.

Northern Neck Burger For hand-crafted, wood-grilled artisan burgers with creative toppings.

History and romance meet where the Potomac River meets the Chesapeake Bay … come stay in one of our historic inns and enjoy days filled with secluded beaches, wine and heritage trails, quaint towns, and pristine nature.

Plan YOUR perfect getaway at

July / August 2017

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Summer Festivals Around Virginia F

rom the beach and the bay in the east to the mountains and valleys in the west, it’s going to be a festive summer throughout Virginia.

pionships presented by Vans, held annually for years in Virginia Beach, is North America’s oldest — and the second oldest on earth — continuously-run surfing contest. Over the years it’s evolved into a beach sports festival for hundreds of competitors in events like skimboarding, beach volleyball, skateboarding and an oceanfront 5K run. Other highlights include live music and a swimsuit pageant. Location: Virginia Beach oceanfront (

American Music Festival SEPTEMBER 1 – 3

Eastern Shore

Annual Chincoteague Island Pony Swim and Auction JULY 26 – 27 Volunteer firemen round up the ponies on Assateague Island and on July 26, swim them across the channel to Chincoteague Island where they rest before being paraded down Main Street to the carnival grounds. The next morning, from 8 a.m. to noon, there is an auction held at the Carnival grounds to sell the foals. Once purchased, the ponies can be transported anywhere in the United States. Location: Chincoteague (

Beach and Bay

Rhythm & Brews By the Bay JULY 22; 5 – 10 P.M. Music and food dominate this annual event, which has been moved to Town Centre Park and its new amphitheater in Kilmarnock this year. Bands include Trogone, Pretty Heavy and Beer Money. Enjoy crab cakes, fried oyster tacos, BBQ and more.

The sounds of rock, jazz, country, blues, R&B and more flood the oceanfront over Labor Day weekend. This outdoor musical event boasts three days of music, dozens of vendors, and over 20 national, regional, and local bands. Location: Virginia Beach oceanfront (

Mountains and Valleys

Shenandoah Valley Music Festival JULY 21 – 22 & JULY 28; 7 – 10:30 P.M. The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival has been bringing great music to the Valley for more than 50 years. Each summer the festival presents eight to 10 concerts, featuring nationally recognized, award-winning artists in country, bluegrass, pop/rock, folk, Americana and classical music. Past performers include Bruce Hornsby, LeAnn Rimes, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Rhonda Vincent, The Temptations, Kris Kristofferson, Ricky Skaggs, The Oak Ridge Boys and more.

over 50 performers on 10 stages. The 80-acre mountain plateau offers camping, over 100 artisans and crafters, food offerings ranging from pulled-pork BBQ to fresh sushi to handchurned ice cream. Location: Floyd, Virginia (

LOCKN’ Festival AUGUST 27 The four-day LOCKN’ Music Festival at Oak Ridge Farm and Infinity Downs Farm in Nelson County places the emphasis on stellar music, camping, outdoor activities, regional food, beverages and artisans. Location: Infinity Downs Farm, Arrington (

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion SEPTEMBER 15 – 17 State Street in historic Downtown Bristol, the Birthplace of Country Music, will be filled with the sounds of Appalachia’s past, present and future. The free Reunion offers 22 stages of live music, a dance tent, 16 indoor venues plus a children’s stage. Location: Downtown Bristol (

Location: Shrine Mont – 221 Shrine Mont Circle, Orkney Springs (

Location: 150 N. Main, Kilmarnock ( RhythmBrewsBBQ)

Northern Virginia

Flying Circus Hot Air Balloon Festival AUGUST 19 – 20

East Coast Surfing Championships


AUGUST 20 – 27

This five-day celebration of music and art nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge features

The Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Cham64 West End's Best

JULY 26 – 30

This one-of-a-kind festival offers visitors the opportunity to soar above the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in one of many colorful balloons. There will be two launches each day: an early morning (7:00 - 9:00 a.m.) and a late afternoon (6 - 8:00 p.m.), offering flyers the best chance of mild weather. Location: 5114 Ritchie Road, Bealton (


Not only was March’s Outer Banks Taste of the Beach event the yummiest way to eat and drink myself silly in the presence of one of the most stunning seashores on the east coast, it was the quintessential way to explore and curate dining and drinking havens that neatly fit into my Favorite Eats file. Following are some of the highlights that will easily make it into yours:

TRiO in Kitty Hawk is an eclectic gathering place/tasting depot. With so much of their globally inspired wine and beer list on tap, they make it easy for

OBX PICK SIX Jockey’s Ridge State Park

those who want to sample a variety. TRiO’s artisan cheese board is equally captivating with a scrumptious selection. Bonus: their retail section makes it easy to take home your must-haves.

The Wright family’s Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg, complete with tasting room and award-winning wines, checked off all of the qualities a noteworthy wine should embody: excellence in notes, flavor and aroma, with discerning names you’re not likely to forget. Worthy of packing for my trip home were Wild Pony White (a portion of the proceeds benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund), OBX Ice (a tropical dessert wine), and The Plank (a red muscadine that Blackbeard would take a dive for). Cheers!

MP 12.5 Nags Head NC 27959 252-441-7132

Wright National Memorial MP 8 Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948 252-441-7430

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse 46368 Lighthouse Rd. Buxton, NC 27920 252-995-4474

The Lost Colony Of Roanoke 1409 National Park Dr. Manteo, NC 27954 252-473-6000

Jennette’s Pier Ortega’z Southwestern Grill and Wine Bar in Manteo is Mexican with an OBX detour, where coastal North Carolina puts a fresh spin on a traditional favorite. It’s no wonder Guy Fieri flipped over a number of dishes when he visited, especially their fish tacos (I did too!), so much so that they’re listed on the menu as Guy Fieri approved Fish Tacos. If you’re looking for thumbs-up fare, Ortega’z wins hands down. Join me at for a more complete list of best eats and libations in OBX. July / August 2017

7223 Virginia Dare Trail Nags Head, NC 27959 525-255-1501

Elizabethan Gardens 1411 National Park Dr. Manteo, NC 27954 252-473 3234

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Virginia Beach

Virginia’s Three-Beach City

by Steve Cook


uring a recent vacation in Florida, I was surprised at how frequently other vacationers, upon learning that I was from Richmond, would ask me why I hadn’t gone to Virginia Beach. It seems that Virginia Beach is even more popular than I had imagined. What makes Virginia Beach even more attractive is that the it is actually a city of three very different beaches, each offering its own advantages depending on what sort of beach vacation you’re seeking this year.

The Resort Strip Beach That’s the one that most everyone has in mind when they speak of Virginia Beach. The resort area is, as they say, where the action is. The threemile strip combines beautiful sand beaches with restaurants, music venues, thousands of hotel rooms and people…lots of people.

Music and Entertainment Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the strip becomes Beach Street, USA. Street corners and sidewalks set the stage for an almost endless variety of music and novelty acts. For a daily schedule, visit The 24th Street Park also has a stage with live entertainment virtually every night during the summer.

Back-to-Nature Most of the nature to be found at the strip is off the shore, where’s there’s plenty to do and see. One of the more popular fishing spots is the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier at 1413 Atlantic Ave. ( Rudee Tours at Rudee Inlet, located at the southern tip of the strip, offers whale- and dolphin-watching tours, cruises and fishing trips ( Nearby, Rudee Inlet Stand Up Paddle provides all you need to take advantage of this increasingly popular water adventure (

Dining Where do you begin. There’s something for every taste and every budget. Here are a few of our favorites: Mahi Mah’s - Located right on the beach in the Ramada (615 Atlantic Ave.), Mahi Mah’s offers a lively bar scene and excellent seafood and sushi. Take advantage of lunch and happy hour specials. ( Rudee’s Restaurant and Cabana Bar - This long popular spot in the Inlet is always hopping. Enjoy fresh off-the-boat seafood. ( Catch 31 - Enjoy upscale seafood and an excellent raw bar in this beautiful restaurant and patio, located in the Hilton Oceanfront (3001 Atlantic Ave.) Catch 31 offers great cocktails and beautiful ocean views. (

Sandbridge Beach Sandbridge, located within the Virginia Beach city limits, offers a totally 66 West End's Best

different atmosphere than the strip. Located at the northern tip of the Outer Banks, Sandbridge provides a family-friendly beachfront environment. If you want lots of nightlife and lots of people, don’t go to Sandbridge.

Back-to-Nature False Cape State Park is located just south of the rental homes and condos that make up much of Sandbridge. This 4,000 acre state park is one of the last remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic coast. (DCR.

Dining Dining options are not so plentiful in Sandbridge as many vacationers take advantage of the large, gourmet kitchens in their vacation rentals. However, a long-time favorite spot for great seafood is Margie & Ray’s Crabhouse. Blue crabs are the specialty of the house. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and offers a variety of soups (you must try the she-crab), salads, sandwiches and lots of seafood entrée options. (

Chesapeake Bay Beaches Looking for a kinder, gentler beach? Head north of the strip, just off Shore Drive, to the sandy shores of the Chesapeake.

Back-to-Nature First Landing State Park, where 100 English settlers landed on April 26, 1607, offers opportunities to explore lagoons, large cypress trees and rare plants. Guided ecological kayak tours allow exploration of the marshes and bays, and the visitor center exhibits explain much about this coastal environment. Cabins, campsites, picnic areas, a swimming beach, boat ramps, kayak rentals and tours, and a bicycle trail are offered in the park.

Dining The popular dining spots along the Bay tend to be more of the laid-back variety. Fresh seafood is the order of the day: Chick’s Oyster Bar - For 25 years this has been a Virginia Beach staple. This clam-shack-like hangout is famous for its fresh, local oysters — steamed, raw, roasted or fried. Chick’s, located right on the water at 2143 Vista Circle, is also pretty well known for its great libations, too. ( Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant and Crabhouse - Crab cakes and shecrab soup are the headliners at this cool little waterfront hangout. ( Hot Tuna Bar & Grill - Located off the water on Shore Drive, Hot Tuna provides a lively bar scene along with a seafood-focused menu. Their Baja California Tacos and Two-Handed Sandwiches are also popular. (


Small Town Virginia

Photo: EP Henry


by Steve Cook


hey’re not making small towns like they used to. I know. I grew up in one. The town I grew up in offered few amenities. There was a drug store, a feed store, a bank, a post office and a gas station. But times have changed. So many of Virginia’s small towns offer a variety of dining and cultural opportunities while maintaining the charm of a hustle- and bustle-free atmosphere. Lexington, VA is a prime example of this. Located about two hours west of Richmond, Lexington is exactly what one would hope to find in a small town. “As soon as you exit Interstate 64 and enter Lexington, your blood pressure drops several notches,” says Jean Clark, director of tourism for Lexington and Rockbridge County. She’s right. I felt it myself. Although there is definitely enough to see and do to keep your heart pumping. In fact, with the outdoor recreational opportunities, your visit could prove positively aerobic. USA Today placed Lexington at number five in its 2017 Readers’ Choice for Best Southern Small Towns. As a college town, with both Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University, Lexington offers a degree of sophistication as well as numerous cultural amenities that you may not expect even in more populous communities. Whether you seek culture, history, great dining venues, the beauties of nature or the aforementioned recreational opportunities, Lexington is not going to let you down. I’m providing below my personal list of favorite places to visit and to dine. If you want to personalize your small-town getaway, check with the very hospitable folks at the Visitors Center at 106 E. Washington St., or visit online at Wherever your interests may lie, Lexington Virginia is waiting for you to explore and to enjoy. And, oh yeah, to lower your blood pressure just a tad.

Culture and History As you enter town, the imposing structures that make up VMI bring you to attention much like the cadets on the parade grounds you’re passing. You’ll definitely sit up and take notice. The school offers plenty of history with the two on-campus museums. Throughout the town and neighboring Rockbridge County, you’ll discover other examples of Virginia history that may surprise you.

The VMI Museum

415 Letcher Ave.; The museum collects, preserves, interprets and exhibits the heritage of VMI as recorded in its 15,000-artifact collection.

The George C. Marshall Museum and Library

The VMI Museum. Photo courtesy of Virginia Tourism

VMI Parade; Marshall was Virginia’s first five-star general and the U.S. Army Chief of Staff during World War II. I found this museum fascinating. Find out why Marshall is called “the father of the Jeep.” July / August 2017

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Washington and Lee University

204 W. Washington St.; Founded in 1749, the failing school was saved in 1796 when George Washington gave the institution a major endowment, which ultimately led to its being renamed Washington College. In 1865, following the Civil War, Robert E. Lee reluctantly accepted the position as president of the school. He held that position until his death in 1870. At that time, the school was renamed Washington and Lee University.

The Stonewall Jackson House

8 E. Washington St. The restored home is furnished with period pieces and many of Jackson’s personal posssessions.

Lexington Carriage Company Historical Tours I learned some of the area’s most fascinating history during my 45-minute horse and carriage ride through the streets of historic Lexington. Very reasonably priced.

Outside of Town Cyrus McCormick Farm

128 Cyrus McCormick Circle, Raphine I remember learning back in fifth grade that Cyrus McCormick had revolutionized the world of agriculture when he invented the mechanical reaper. What I don’t remember learning is that he did it in Virginia.

Wade's Mill

55 Kennedy Wades Mill Loop, Raphine Step back in history as you tour a working water-powered grist mill. The mill was built around 1750 and currently produces a variety of stoneground flours.

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Brownsburg Museum

2716 Brownsburg Turnpike, Brownsburg Brownsburg is just five minutes from the mill. This historic village is somewhat of a museum in itself. Photos, newspaper clippings and other artifacts chronicle the story of a bygone era. Admission is free.

Nature and the Great Outdoors Nestled between the Blue Ridge and the Appalachian Mountains, Rockbridge County offers so much beauty. During my tour, I asked a very dumb question: “Why do they call it ‘Rockbridge County?” Obvious answer: The rock bridge is Natural Bridge.

Natural Bridge

15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge Standing along Cedar Creek and looking up at this 215-foot high natural arch with a span of 90 feet is simply amazing. I imagine it’s the closest I’ll ever get to the feel of looking up at the Grand Canyon from below. The park is operated as a Virginia State Park and is more than just the bridge. There are six miles of hiking trails, which incorporate a short stroll from under the bridge to the Monacan Indian Village, which is a joint collaboration between the park and the Monacan Indian Nation. Step back in time over 300 years to visualize what life was like in a typical Monacan Indian settlement. Interpreters, many of whom are members of the Monacan Nation, demonstrate and explain the Monacan’s ways of cooking, tool production, pottery, basket weaving, gardening and more.

Natural Bridge Caverns

6313 S. Lee Highway, Natural Bridge Get the feel of exploring an undeveloped cavern. It’s all very natural. In fact, there are no elevators. So, while the climb wasn’t too severe, I will warn you to take shoes with good traction and be prepared for a little

exertion. Ask the folks at the cavern or at the gift shop at Natural Bridge about a money-saving combo ticket to both.

Virginia Safari Park

229 Safari Lane, Natural Bridge Not far from Natural Bridge, you’ll find the state’s only drive-through safari, with wild animals in their natural environment, including alpacas, deer, elk, long-horn cattle, ostriches and more. There’s also a 10-acre walk-thru Safari Village where you can see (and for some animals, interact with) giraffes, lions, kangaroos and the recently added penguins.

Food and Drink If you love good food, you will not be disappointed in Lexington. There are a number of great restaurants — all within walking distance.

Rocca Bar Ristorante

30 S. Main St. Upscale Italian fare, creative cocktails.

Haywood is first class in every respect, from the service to the food. Save room for delicious homemade desserts.

Other Food and Beverage Recommendations Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe

106 W. Washington St. This is certainly one of the best ice cream joints I’ve ever been in. They make all their ice creams as well as their wonderful waffle cones.

JJ’s Meat Shak

1607 Magnolia Ave., Buena Vista Located about 20 miles from Lexington in Buena Vista, barbecue lovers will want to visit JJ’s for fantastic BBQ, plus wings, ribs, smoked turkey and much more. Coming soon, right next door — JJ’s Shuckin Shak, featuring fresh seafood.

Halcyon Days Cider Company

Southern Inn Restaurant

37 S. Main St. Contemporary American fare (think pan-seared scallops, roasted duck breast, sautéed rainbow trout, etc.). Plus, some of the best fried chicken in the state.

The Palms

4135 S. Lee Highway, Natural Bridge The cider won’t be coming ‘til next spring. But check online ( and see if the place is open. The owners have created a labyrinth orchard, which is worth a visit even if there is no cider. They say the labyrinth may be accessible to the public by this fall.

Great Valley Farm Brewery

60 Great Valley Lane, Natural Bridge This new brewery is already winning awards. Their motto: “Great Brews and Great Views” is right on both counts.

101 W. Nelson St. Classic American fare in a casual setting. Check out their cool bar.

Bistro on Main

8 N. Main St. Elegant dining with a menu that focuses on fresh and healthy. Top menu items include the duck breast, shrimp and grits, crab cakes and my favorite, butternut squash ravioli.

Sheridan Livery Inn & Restaurant

35 N. Main St. The building originally opened in 1887 as John Sheridan’s stable and carriage service. Since 1997, it’s served as an inn and restaurant. The eclectic American menu features duck quarters, braised in Cabernet and tomato, as well as chili-braised pork shoulder.

Haywood’s Piano Bar

2 N. Main St. Located in the Georges, a beautiful boutique inn in the heart of town, the

One more thing before I wrap this up. I have to tell you about my accommodations during my visit. Although the town offers several quaint and beautiful hotels, as well as bed-and-breakfast accommodations, I was especially impressed with my stay at the Hampton Inn. When my GPS told me I had arrived, I thought the technology was acting up. I was sitting in front of a beautiful old brick mansion. I later learned, after discovering the Hampton Inn name subtly placed upon a brick entry wall and subsequently checking in, that the mansion that houses the front portion of the Inn is the Col Alto Manor Home, built in 1827. Several guest rooms, including mine (The Robert E. Lee room), are located within the mansion. The entire home has been renovated to include modern furnishings and amenities. The 10-foot ceilings certainly made the room feel even more spacious. There’s an outdoor pool and a free breakfast buffet. For more information, visit or call 540-463-9707.

July / August 2017 March / April 2017

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