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I used to think coffee was disgusting, honestly. How on Earth could someone drink that stuff? Over the years, I’ve even managed to drink straight black coffee. I just love going to coffee shops. Sit down, relax, and just hang out. I have compiled my top 3 favorite coffee shops in Norfolk, VA in no particular order.
I remember coming here back in high school. It’s been open since 2001 and it’s easy to see why it’s Norfolk oldest independent coffee shop. It’s located in Ghent, off of Colley Avenue. It’s got an awesome eclectic atmosphere. They also host events so it’s a great place to check out what’s going on in the local area. Nice selection of fair trade coffee, tea, and other tasty treats. Now, there’s no credit card minimums. Elliot’s Fair Grounds is also open later than some other places.
This awesome coffee shop has been opened for about 2 years now and I can’t believe I hadn’t been to it sooner. Another great spot in Ghent. The decor is a bit more feminine to me but still interesting. I love the fact they roast their own coffee beans here. Nice! Also, Café Stella’s coffee is legit here. I ordered a macchiato here and it’s a true macchiato. Espresso with a dollop of foam. Not the kind of macchiato you’d get elsewhere. *ahem* Café Stella have a food menu which I heard was absolutely delicious. A little bit more of a professional crowd I noticed here. Outdoor seating is available.
Cure is a cute little coffeehouse. I love the openness of this place. The vibe of this place is a “good different”, felt more hipster/younger to me. I ordered the Crème Brûlée Latte (vanilla and caramel) and my friend got the Crazelnut Latte (caramel and hazelnut). They have beer, wine, coffee, tea, sandwiches, sandwiches and other goodies. All in all it’s a nice little spot to just hang out.
It’s a quick little walk from the Freemason stop on the Tide. Awesome!
All three have their uniqueness and I encourage you to check them all out! It’s always time for coffee!
It’s always good to see my family in Virginia although it seems that whenever we go out to eat, it’s buffets. Well, this girl is tired of buffets and need of some good social interaction. One of my best food buddies mentioned some restaurants in Ghent. If you’re unfamiliar with Ghent, it’s an area in Norfolk, Virginia. It’s towards downtown but has a quaint atmosphere. Full of restaurants and boutiques, it’s definitely my kind of place.
So John takes me to a place called 80/20 Burger Bar. I sure do love me some burgers! Man, oh man. Well, 80/20 Burger has only been opened since the second week of December 2012. It’s relatively new but I see it making a mark here for awhile. All the beef is grass-fed from Virginia and the patties are 80/20 percent lean meat to fat ratio. Hence the name. Pretty simplistic but it gets the point across. For those not into beef, there are other options like appetizers, salads, and sandwiches.
80/20 Burger Bar has a nice draft beer selection as well as bottled beers. I’m not the biggest beer drinker in the world but I’m learning to appreciate it. For the craft beer lovers, they’ll certain appreciate the selection here. I ended up ordering a Shiner Ruby Redbird beer. It’s a ginger/grapefruit beer with 4.2%ABV. It’s not as sweet as a cider but not a bad option for the ones who aren’t beer afficandos.
The inside of 80/20 Burger Bar is dark. Wooden seats everywhere, black ceiling tiles, nice use of lights. It was a relaxed vibe in here although in a way, it felt way too open for me. The interior look matched well for the Ghent area. The restaurant also has a bar with specials written above it.
There are 17 burgers on the menu and then you have your build-your-own-burger. I selected the alamo burger which consisted of crispy bacon, fried onion rings, and sharp cheddar, smothered in house made bbq sauce. For my side, I had the sweet potato and turnip au gratin. The alamo burger was very tasty. I had the burger prepared medium. At first glance, I wondered to myself, “how on Earth am I going to eat this?” Fear not, the Feisty Foodist always finds a way. The meat, it was flavorful beef not greasy at all. The bacon was absolutely delicious, seasoned well. I’m a saucy gal, so I definitely could have used more bbq sauce. It was a truly enjoyable burger although I wasn’t a big fan of the bun. It was too crumbly for me. The bun itself was tasty but it didn’t seem to hold up well with my burger. A nice pretzel bun would probably have held up better. The sweet potato and turnip au gratin was a nice change instead of french fries. It was slightly sweet but more savory side. Both John and I agreed it was tasty. The sweet potato isn’t overpowering and it achieves a nice tasty balance of flavors. There’s nothing I would have changed with this side dish.
John ordered the pancho villa with house fries. The pancho villa was topped with roasted corn and shallot salsa, black bean puree, roasted red peppers, and pepper jack cheese. It wasn’t a bad burger but not a favorite for me. Again the meat was perfectly cooked, very good indeed. The bun just didn’t seem to work well with the burger. Also, this burger could have benefited from being a tad spicier. Give a little “oomph”. By the end of eating the burgers, we gave up on the bread. The house french fries were seasoned with garlic, rosemary and Parmesan cheese. Very good. If garlic isn’t your thing, they have other seasonings as well.
All in all, a very good restaurant. The burgers starts off at $11. For some, that maybe too expensive but this is quality food here. If you enjoy grass-fed beef, local produce, unique side items, and local beers this is a great spot. Unfortunately, 80/20 Burger Bar isn’t open for lunch. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. I had a thoroughly enjoyable meal and friendly service and would recommend 80/20 Burger Bar.
Just look at that burger! Mmmm…
Ynot Pizza & Italian Cuisine is a local restaurant chain in the Hampton Roads area. There are five locations, two of which are in Norfolk, VA. I went to the Ghent location on Colley Avenue. I remember when this used to be Szechuan in Ghent. You really can’t tell that it used to be a Chinese restaurant here.
I decided to come here because I wanted a good salad for an affordable price. Through the power of Internet search, I found a blog listing “Best Salads in Hampton Roads“. I saw Ynot at the top of the list, and figured I’d give it a go. My friends had told me the “it’s good” but that really doesn’t say much.
Parking can be a bit tight, there’s street parking available but I just parked behind the restaurant. The interior is spacious , outdoor seating is also available. I had Alex as my server, she was very nice and prompt. I had met up with my friends and we all ordered something different.
I came here with a plan, I hadn’t had a good salad in awhile and hoped Ynot would not disappoint. They have a “Custom Made Chop Salad” where you get the paper and make your selections. The salad starts off at $5.95 but with the addition of cheese, meats, other veggies, it’ll add up quickly. You pick your greens, toppings, meat/cheeses, dressing, and style of chop. I ordered the mesclun, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, mushrooms, bacon, and fat-free raspberry vinaigrette. There are definitely lot of options here so it’s a great place for a vegetarian. Yum! I am definitely a fan! Although the flatbread crisps on the side didn’t do much for me.
One of my friends ordered the Deluxe Pizza. It has pepperoni, black olives, green bell peppers, sausage and mushrooms. Her and I agreed the pizza wasn’t that good. The crust was terribly hard to chew through like ciabatta but even more dense. I just wasn’t feeling this pizza. I mean I’m not saying it’s terrible but it certainly wasn’t great. My friend typically likes to cut through her pizza with a fork. Don’t ask me why, but she does. And I just watched her struggle. And continue to struggle. One good note, this pizza isn’t super greasy.
My other friend ordered the lasagna which included a garden salad and Italian bread. Nothing too special about this. I do not recommend ordering this dish. Yes, it was a good portion size; however, it was bland. I’d give it points for giving a comfort food feeling but it would have definitely been better with more flavorful sauce.
Ynot offers different menu items aside from the pizza, salad and the main entrées such as subs, pasta and dessert. Oooh, desserts. They have a display cake of the baked goods and gelato. I ordered the wildberry gelato. MMMM… I liked the gelato here and there’s quite of bit of variety to choose from.
In general, Ynot is a good option with an extensive menu. I’d definitely come back for more salad and gelato.
Sun – Thurs: 11am – 11pm
Fri & Sat: 11am – Midnight
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