Thursday, March 10, 2011

Millie's Diner (Brunch)

Rating: 3.5 stars

So I guess we were not very affected by this restaurant since it is has taken almost a week for any of us to write our review on it!

Our Restaurant Club choice for the month was brunch at Millie's Diner in Church Hill (the first brunch experience for our little group), which is reported to be one of the best if not THE best brunch in Richmond. The evidence for that was clear considering we got there at 10am and still had to wait a full hour before getting seated. So make sure you are not starving when you get there or you will be in trouble. I considered running across the street to the gas station for a snack several times! The place is rather small, so it seems more packed than it is, but the bar area was slammed and you had to struggle to get through to the bathroom or your seat.

The best thing about having to wait an hour is that you can go ahead and get your drink right away as soon as you put your name down, and somehow they keep track of all that! Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and Evil Keevils (? apparently rum punches) are the specials. Almost everyone waiting had a drink in their hand, which I am sure makes the time pass a little easier. I myself only ended up getting orange juice with the food (being slightly hungover from the night before), and it tasted fresh squeezed, though I can't be sure, but for $3.50 I hope it was!

The restaurant is very cute despite its size, with an interesting and scattered decor. Meghan described the staff as "hipster," and the kitchen is a tiny little area right in the front window (which makes it very hard when you are hungry and have to watch them make everything right in front of you while you are waiting outside!). But I must say the service was impeccable. Despite the crowd everyone was very on top of their game, the food came quickly and everyone was extremely friendly. While checking out the chalk board menu at the bar for a considerable amount of time (yes another chalk board!) both the bartender and one of the cooks commented that they had the same green t-shirt for their dodge ball team that I was wearing ;)

Now to the food. Definitely a Mexican themed breakfast menu, lots of beans, tortillas, and spicy stuff. It is not your typical IHOP breakfast! Before I review the food, I must confess I am not a huge breakfast person, so my view is probably a little skewed. It was very hard for me to choose what to get, but having heard from a friend that I had to get a "Mess" I opted for the Cajun Mess, which was pretty much eggs scrambled with a bunch of stuff in them. Sadly the waitress informed me they were out of the crawfish meat that usually goes in it, but I went for it anyway. I would have thought that a meal titled Cajun would have been a little more spicy but it was not too bad, so don't be scared of trying it. The cheese melted on top was very good and it was an adequate breakfast, but for me nothing to write home about.

The best part of the meal was the HOME FRIES! I could have ate an entire plate of just those. They were delicious! If I go back again I am getting an extra order of them, let's just get that out of the way now. Apparently the meals also come with whole grain toast, but all of us were too chicken to ask if it was free or not, so we passed. Looking a the menu online now it seems that it is free, hehe, oh well.
And the prices were not bad, $14 being the most expensive for steak and eggs, though the drinks are where they get you, $6.50 for each alcoholic one.

All in all it was a fun experience, and if I were over in that area during the brunch hour one weekend I would strongly consider dropping by and trying out another dish, but having to wait an hour for breakfast might possibly deter me away unfortunately. Perhaps I will make it a point to eat a little beforehand so I can mingle happily in the bar area for a little while.

But I think unless you love this place, or are very dedicated to trying it out, my guess is you wouldn't be frequenting it very often...but considering the number of people waiting around outside for an hour on a slightly rainy Sunday, I guess alot of people love it!

Be Real.

Millie's Diner on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Rating: 4.5 stars

Although Tripps is a chain restaurant, in my opinion it is the best non-overpriced steak in town.

If you like good food at a decent price (a little more expensive than your normal family restaurant), this is the place to go. There are locations on Midlothian and West Broad St. so it is accessible to everyone.

My family has visited Tripps many many times (my father being an avid steak eater, and also not the adventurous type) but this past weekend we went here for my aunt's birthday, so that has prompted me to write this review.

The restaurant is very warm and cozy, with an upper class elegant feel, but not intimidating.  They offer a large wine selection with cheaper and more expensive choices, and do take reservations, a great advantage that many restaurants no longer offer. The service is excellent, and the diner menu allows for alot of options, from steak (!), to seafood and pasta, as well as burgers, along with a few daily specials.

The bread they serve with their olive oil dipping concoction is heaven (I always eat about two pieces too many) and most meals come with a large salad that is excellent.

99% of the time I order the Ribeye (14oz for $20) and am never disappointed. The steak is cooked perfectly to your order. It's marinated all day in a delectable seasoning, and is pan seared, giving it that crispy goodness on the outside and tender deliciousness on the inside. No steak sauce needed here!

They have baked and mashed potatoes. I only wish the mashed potatoes were of the garlic variety, then the meal would not be able to be topped.

They also have a wonderful prime rib, and my mom usually gets the filet mignon with crab meat added on top. I often want to try new dishes but just cannot make myself pass on the ribeye. And the cheesecake is amazing!

The meals are just good, nothing too fancy, just well cooked food and ample amounts of it. I always walk away stuffed and never feel that I overpaid for the food or experience. So if you haven't made it out to this chain restaurant yet, pick a special occassion (or not), and go!

Be Real.

Tripps on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sushi Box

Rating: 3.5 stars
Saturday night some friends and I wanted to grab a late dinner, and one of us suggested going to Sushi Box, a new sushi restaurant in Chesterfield, located at Huguenot and Robious. What a lovely suggestion it was. I had seen the coming soon sign but due to the name thought this would be more of a quick in and out lunch place, but it really is quite charming inside. Not as fancy as Sushi-O across from Chesterfield Town Center but less daunting and more welcoming. Like Moe's everyone greats you coming in the door and when you leave, very cute! Also a little cheaper.

The sushi rolls were very good, though I wish they had a cheaper simpler shrimp tempura roll, but since they didn't I had to opt for an $8.95 more creative option that was not as crunchy as I would have liked but at least came with salad and miso soup. But the eel roll was lovely (despite the cucumber), and I was a happy camper. I also had a glass of wine (the alcohol menu is lacking, only a few wines and only Japanese beer available), so my total with tip came to $23, which was a little more than I had planned to spend. If you can stick to just the plain rolls though you can definitely eat well for around $12.

My friend got a combo box and was able to enjoy a large variety of dishes, which is great if you can't decide what you want or are unsure about Japanese food. And the menu is very helpful, showing pictures of all of the specialty rolls, and also little explanations of what is on the inside and outside of each!

All in all I am glad we checked this place out, and I am glad to have a sushi place I would feel comfortable going to in the Midlothian Turnpike area now, as Sushi-O and Chopstix were not cutting it.

Be Real.

Sushi Box on Urbanspoon

SPCA Supper Club

Consider supporting the SPCA in the easiest way possible, eating out!

Richmond SPCA Supper Club - Dining for Dollars!

We invite you to help out homeless animals in need by supporting the Richmond SPCA Supper Club! On the first Wednesday of each month, animal lovers can dine at a different local Richmond restaurant and 15 percent of all proceeds will go to help orphaned dogs and cats at the Robins-Starr Humane Center. 
The Richmond SPCA Supper Club calendar includes:

March 2 -- Lemaire at The Jefferson
April 6 – Zeus Gallery
May 4 - Avenue 805
June 1 -- Hondos
July 6 – Six Burner
August 3 – Comfort
September 7 -- Pescados
October 5 -- Bottom's Up Pizza
November 2 – Julep’s New Southern Cuisine
December 7 – Pescado's China Street

For additional details and information, please call 804-521-1321.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Rating: 3 stars

The choice for the month of February was Mezzanine in Carytown. This was actually our very first restaurant that we wanted to go to when we first started our Restaurant Club last year, but because they are closed on Mondays, and that tended to be the main day of the week that we could all get together, we had not yet been able to make it there. Unfortunately only four of our normal six were able to make it this month.

The location is good and having a free parking deck right across the street was very helpful, especially since it was freezing outside! Much easier than trying to park for some of the Fan or Shockoe Slip/Bottom restaurants. We had made reservations but for a Wednesday night it definitely wasn't necessary, even though the restaurant is rather small.

We walked in to find a space heater warming the bottom level of the restaurant and I must admit when away from it I got rather chilly, even though it was a small area. There was also a heater in the bathroom. I am not sure if they were having issues with the central heat or what. But the place has a very nice decor and atmosphere, dark wooden tables, small candles on each one, an upstairs area (that I did not venture up to check out, though I wanted to), and a small bar on the bottom floor with a few tables near it.

I was excited at first to see a sign for happy hour specials until 7, but then was disappointed to find that that was only for the bar. Considering the place was rather empty it might be a good idea to extend that to everyone, at least during the week. Needless to say this prevented me from ordering a glass of wine because none of the reds were less than $8 a glass, and I already knew dinner was going to be pricey.

Next came the actual food ordering, which is made rather difficult by the menu only being available on a large chalkboard hanging on the wall. I understand that they change the menu rather often which is fine, but it would be nice to have a printed menu so you do not have to lean over your friends and ask them what certain things say. I assume they have another chalkboard upstairs since I never saw anyone hanging over the staircase to check out the main board.

Katie was gracious enough to order an appetizer for everyone to share, which was very good, though I assumed the word "skewers" would mean something along the lines of a shish kabob, but apparently not, as we just got four small meatballs of pork and a little shrimp, though the dipping sauce was delicious. But for $12, I believe it was, I thought we might get a little more.

Katie tried a salad with duck confit and M got some curry soup, neither of which I was very impressed with after having a taste. And the meal also came with some interesting crackers as bread. A little too salty for me but I ate two of them in anticipation of not getting alot of food for dinner.

I had ordered the braised beef spareribs, which after seeing the previous portions I had expected to be small, and also because it was under the "small plate" section of the menu, which the waitress had said was a little smaller than a typical dinner so we might want to get a salad or appetizer if we were getting one. Wrong! There were five large chunks of beef on my plate, layered on top of grits. Sadly I am not the biggest grit fan. If it had been potatoes I would have been in heaven!

The meat was amazing, a wonderful sweet flavor all the way through, and incredibly tender. I do wish, besides having mashed potatoes, was that there had been something on the side to change the taste up a little. I don't know about you but I get tired of the same flavor bite after bite. But all in all a very good dish. And I was only able to put away half of it.

The other dishes were good as well, the chicken was very flavorful and tender, the shrimp and grits was fine but it had a taste of curry which is not my favorite, and M's jumbo scallops were delicious, probably the best I have ever had. But she only got three of them for $18 and nothing else, and that is just ridiculous.

At the end of the meal Andrea and Katie split a piece of chocolate pecan pie, which they luckily let me have a bite of, and it was wonderful, very very yummy if you like pecan pie (which I do!) The other desserts sounded very tasty as well, but I was trying to be good.

The waitress had told us at the beginning that she could not split up checks but could take separate payments, so we all wrote our names beside our orders and everything worked out well. The wait staff was very pleasant and I never wanted for more water or attention.

Overall the restaurant is nice, with a warm atmosphere (despite the heaters), but for what we got for the money I would not be asking to go back there. Perhaps if I was being taken on a date and someone else was paying, but not on my own or with friends. So decent job Mezzanine, but add some side dishes and print some menus!

Be Real.

Mezzanine Restaurant on Urbanspoon