Norfolk

now browsing by tag

 
 

Handsome Biscuit, you sure are!

HandsomeBiscuitBleuBlazer

HandsomeBiscuitExteriorYou know what, Norfolk?  You continue to surprise me.  I come back every so often and I keep finding amazing new restaurants.  One to make note of during my recent hometown visit is “Handsome Biscuit.”  It’s located on Colonial Ave in Norfolk, opened since February 2013.  It’s not in the prettiest of areas. Parking can be a bit tight at times.  The hours are odd.  Seating is limited but don’t let any of those things stop you from coming here.  Just consider yourself informed.  (And there is a restroom there, but no sign.)

HandsomeBiscuitMenuHandsomeBiscuitCountertopThe interior could be considered a bit minimalistic.  There are only four tables in Handsome Biscuit and a total of 12 chairs.  Like I said, seating is limited.

This place is focused on biscuits sandwiches  And if that’s your main focus, you better make some damn good biscuits.  SWEET POTATO BISCUITS.  Need I say more?  Well, probably not but where’s the fun in that?  So they have sweet potato biscuits here but it isn’t too sweet.  The biscuit sandwiches here are hearty, delicious and always made in house.  In fact, aside from the canned beverages and peanut butter, everything else is made in house.

 

HandsomeBiscuitEllaFitzgeraldMy friend and I ordered two sandwiches and went halfsies.  The Ella Fitzgerald and the Bleu Blazer.  The sandwiches here are generous sized.  The Ella Fitzgerald ($6.50) biscuit sandwich contains boneless fried chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese and red gravy.  I highly recommend ordering a side hot sauce to go with this beauty.  The hot sauce is great, the sweetness from the honey and the spiciness from the garlic and red pepper paste worked well together.  Could this sandwich be anymore indulgent?!   Seriously amazingly good stuff.

 

HandsomeBiscuitBleuBlazerThe Bleu Blazer ($6) biscuit sandwich comes with fried chicken, spicy pickled red cabbage and blue cheese dressing.  This one was pretty good although I wish the flavor of the red cabbage was more evident.  The blue cheese dressing took over a bit but nonetheless it was good.

 

The sandwiches here do not come with sides. I didn’t get any since the sandwiches alone were so big.  Do get the aguafresca ($1.50)!  Handsome Biscuit always changes it up and when I went, it was a pear lime soda.  Refreshing, not too sweet and full of flavor!

HandsomeBiscuitSoda

All the staff that I interacted with were just downright friendly and couldn’t have asked for a better experience.  Price wise was very good considering how big these sandwiches are and the quality of them too.  The only negative thing is the unhealthy factor.  So much indulgence and later throughout the day, I felt pretty sluggish.  That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy what I ate!  I would definitely come back here, just not every day.

As I had mentioned earlier, the hours are a bit odd.  Handsome Biscuit is only open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am-2pm.  I hope you don’t have a sweet potato biscuit addiction or you’re going to have to prioritize some things!

Check this little place out and I’m sure you’ll love it too.  For the vegetarians out there, they do have other options so don’t worry if you don’t want to eat any fried chicken or pork.

 

HandsomeBiscuitFeistyFooodist

 

http://www.handsomebiscuit.com/
The Handsome Biscuit on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Coffee shops in Norfolk

CureLatte

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.

 

ElliotFairgroundsInterior      ElliotFairGroundsTea

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.

http://www.fairgroundscoffee.com/

Hours:

Sun: 8am-10pm
Mon-Thurs- 6am-11pm
Fri-Sat: 8am-11pm

Elliot's Fair Grounds on Urbanspoon
View Larger Map

 

 

CafeStellaExterior     CafeStellaMacchiato

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.

CafeStellaInterior

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-Stella/133694203381143?id=133694203381143&sk=info

Hours:

Sun: 9 am – 10 pm
Mon – Fri: 6:30 am – 10pm
Sat: 8am – 10 pm

Cafe Stella on Urbanspoon
View Larger Map

 

CureExterior   CureLatteSliceofHeaven

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!

http://www.curenorfolk.com/           https://www.facebook.com/curenorfolk

HOURS:

Sun: 9am – 5pm
Mon – Thu: 7:30am – 9pm
Fri: 7:30am – 10pm
Sat: 9am – 10pm

Cure Coffeehouse and Brasserie on Urbanspoon
View Larger Map

 

 

All three have their uniqueness and I encourage you to check them all out!  It’s always time for coffee! :)

80/20 Burger Bar Ghent

8020BurgerBarAlamo

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.

8020BurgerBarSign

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.

8020BurgerBarShinyRubyRed80/20 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.

 

8020BurgerBarInterior8020BurgerBarBar

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.

8020BurgerBarAlamo

8020BurgerBarSweetPotatoTurnipAuGratinThere 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.

 

8020BurgerBarPanchoVilla

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.

 

8020BurgerBarHook(On a random note, the hook in the ladies restroom is terribly high.)

 

 

 

 

8020BurgerBarBurgers

 Just look at that burger!  Mmmm…

 

HOURS:

Sunday-Saturday: 5pm-2am

http://www.8020burgerbar.com/
80/20 Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Uptown Buffet Norfolk

UptownBuffetBlackBeanOyster

Ok, it seems like I’m on a buffet kick lately.  I swear, it’s not me, it’s my family!  Every time I visit them, we end up going to a buffet.  Usually Chinese but occasionally we go to Golden Corral as well.  It’s interesting how many Chinese buffets are in the Hampton Roads area as opposed to lets say, Orlando.  Orlando is definitely much bigger but yet I can’t say there are any Chinese buffets that I think is good or worth taking my family to.  At least at this point in time.

UptownBuffetExteriorSo, for Sunday dinner we ended up going to Uptown Buffet.  It’s located on Military Highway near Military Circle Mall.  It has been here for years.  I would not say the food is consistent here but this time around, I was surprised at some of the dishes they had.  Authentic Chinese dishes at a buffet?!  What?!  Hmm…

UptownBuffetSushiWell, needless to say, they have the sushi bar.  You never can go wrong with some seaweed salad.  I absolutely love that stuff.  There’s also a hibachi grill, or rather a sign for it.  The space is too small to prepare it in front of you, but give them your plate and they’ll make it in the back.  There was so many other food items for me to eat, I skipped the hibachi.  Usually, that’s one of the things I always get.  You know you go to buffets a lot if you have a buffet routine.  I usually start of salad/sushi, soup/hibachi, a minimum of two plates for meats/veggies, a dessert plate and ice cream.  When my family and I eat, we eat!  We don’t just stay around for 30 minutes.

UptownBuffetInteriorThe salad bar is good.  They have alfalfa sprouts here that actually looked fresh.  Some people may be a bit hesitant on eating food from a buffet but you really have to chose wisely.  Or have an iron stomach.  I’d like to think I have both.  There’s nothing that I ate here where I would stop myself and say, “Does that look okay to eat?”

UptownBuffetFrogLegs

 

So of course, there’s the sushi, hibachi, the salad bar, American food (pizza, mac & cheese), the “Chinese” (General Tso’s Chicken) and the fried food.  Some of the food that I kept coming back for more were the frog legs and the oysters.  These frog legs were absolutely addictively delicious!  Nice light batter, perfectly seasoned, not too greasy.  This was sooo good.  Buffet or not buffet, these frog legs were just great!  I’ve had some mediocre frog legs in the past month but these, my goodness, I just kept getting more and more.  The whole family agreed, the frog legs were a winner.  If you hadn’t had frog legs before, it similar to a drumstick but leaner.  Of course everyone says it tastes like chicken but I’d say just a leaner version.

UptownBuffetBlackBeanOysterThe steamed oysters in a black bean sauce were fantastic.  The oysters were soft, with a flavorful sauce.  This is a legitimate Chinese dish and quite different, I might add.  No harsh flavors, very delicate balance.  More salty due to the black beans but absolutely delicious.  I most definitely ate a bunch of these.

UptownBuffetStickyRiceDessert

Next up, we’ve got sweet sticky rice.  It looks like a eight treasure rice pudding but not as fancy.  It’s got glutinous rice, red dates, lotus seeds with a simple syrup on top.  This is definitely a Chinese dish.  The rice will be sticky and slightly chewy.  It’s a very warm and comforting.

UptownBuffetWhiteFungusSweetPapayaSoupAnother surprising item they had was the White Fungus Papaya Dessert Soup.  It’s a warm dessert soup with papayas, dates and white fungus.  If you hadn’t had white fungus before, it’s got a slightly plasticky texture.  You would find this in an Asian market, dried.  It looks like a sponge and needs to be soaked long enough.

There were many items here that I enjoyed but these four were at the top of my list.  Also, they had some delicious fresh papaya here.  Usually buffets don’t really make a positive impression on me.  Either it’s average or below average but at Uptown Buffet, I had a great experience all around.   Even the server here was such a pleasant, sweet lady.  Maria was on top of things and she had such a warm personality.  My only criticism would be the labels.  Some food items had no labels at all or others were mislabeled.  Aside from that, everything else was great.

For the folks who want to stick to the regular food at a Chinese buffet, you won’t be disappointed here either.  For a Sunday dinner of $11.59, it was well worth it.

 

 

www.uptownbuffet.com

HOURS:

Sunday: 11am-9:30pm
Monday-Thursay: 11am-10pm
Friday-Saturday: 11am-10:30pm
Uptown Buffet on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Hibachi King Buffet & Sushi Norfolk

HibachiKingChocolateFountain

HibachiKingExteriorHibachiKingInteriorHibachi King Buffet is located on East Little Creek Road near Shore Drive.  Throughout the years, I’ve seen buffets come and go at this very location.  I’m a fan of Hibachi King.  Although this is an Americanized buffet, I always enjoy the food here.  It’s very spacious inside, great for large groups.  Inside you’ll see all the bright neon lights.  Ooohhh…lights…

HibachiKingSushi

 The sushi is pretty decent especially for buffet standards.

HibachiKingHibachi

Even for the hibachi, there was plenty of options to choose from between the proteins and vegetables.

HibachiKingDesserts

Hibachi King serves Pepsi products, beer, wine, and sake.  And ladies, there’s even Moscato here.  As long as you come in knowing that this is an Americanized Chinese buffet, you’ll enjoy the food here.  This is a great spot for lunch and they always have discounts whether if it’s a mail flyer or Facebook.  Friendly wait staff, great prices, plentiful selection, clean restaurant, and a large chocolate fountain.  For a buffet, it’s a winner for me!HibachiKingChocolateFountain

http://www.hibachikingbuffet.com/

https://www.facebook.com/HibachiKingBuffetSushi

Prices:

Monday-Saturday 11AM-3:30PM $6.99
Ages 3-6 (must be under 4 ft) $2.99
Ages 7-10 (must be under 5 ft) $4.99

Monday-Saturday 3:30PM-CLOSE $8.99
Ages 3-6 (must be under 4 ft) $3.99
Ages 7-10 (must be under 5 ft) $5.99

Sunday All Day Dinner $8.99

Take Out Food By the Pound
Lunch: $3.99
Dinner & Hibachi: $4.99
Seafood & Sushi $6.99
Hibachi King Buffet & Sushi on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Ynot Pizza & Italian Cuisine Ghent

YnotSaladChop

YnotExteriorYnot 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.

 

YnotSaladChopI 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.

 

YnotDeluxePizzaOne 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.

 

YnotLasagnaMy 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.

 

 

 

 

YnotBakedGood

YnotGelatoDisplayYnot 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.

YnotWildberryGelato

In general, Ynot is a good option with an extensive menu.  I’d definitely come back for more salad and gelato.

http://ynotpizza.com/

Hours:
Sun – Thurs: 11am – 11pm
Fri & Sat: 11am – Midnight
YNot Pizza & Italian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Cagney’s

Peach Pie Cagney

I’m in the splendid city of Norfolk.  It’s a cold Sunday and my best friend suggests we go to Cagney’s.  I remember the days when Cagney’s used to be a Chinese buffet.  Ooops, my mind wandered once again.  Well, the outside of the establishment looked like a typical Irish pub place.  As I enter inside, there was no host at the stand.  This inside of the place was quite reminiscent of a Bennigan’s.  I just hope the food is better!

The menu has breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, wraps, seafood and southern food.  The breakfast special had just ended at 11 am but there is all day breakfast as well.  Typically, I’m not a big dessert person but these sundaes sound amazing!  Boy, what to choose, what to choose.  I finally decided upon the Peach Pie Sundae.  The menu description and the actual sundae didn’t quite match but in my opinion, what came out was better.  It supposed had vanilla wafers but instead I had a broken waffle cone. Plenty of peaches, peaches for me.  Definitely share-able but being the food lover I am, I ate it all myself.  The price is a bit steep for a sundae but it was enjoyable as evidenced by the empty dish.

 

I cannot vouch for the quality of food here, but I think this is a great place for a sundae on a Sunday.

 
Cagney's on Urbanspoon

http://www.cagneysnorfolk.com/