Though the entrees at The Dixie Cafe make the biggest splash across its menu marquee, they're threatened with gastronomical upstaging by the southern-style eatery's 19 sides and scratch-made gravies. The chicken-fried steak, for example, is a tender, hand-breaded fillet that fully blossoms with flavor only after chefs smother it with cream gravy and cheddar cheese. And the Cajun grilled catfish's down-home taste isn't fully developed until it is paired up with bites of turnip greens, fried okra, or a homemade roll. The classic platter meals take advantage of this by pairing an entree with two sides, rolls, and jalapeño cornbread and can be ordered "light" for a portion that's smaller than the regular size and easier to toss in the air and catch in your mouth.
Amid a 7,000 square-foot eatery adorned in wicker accents, the chefs at Chutnys draw inspiration from both North and South India, which yields a lengthy menu of dishes that differ in terms of spiciness and use of the color puce. All the meat used in curry and barbecue meals are prepared according to halal traditions, while the restaurant’s vegetarian dishes are rich in spinach, cheese, and spices—making them no less flavorful than their meaty counterparts. Chutnys invites larger events into their banquet hall, where they present aromatic feasts for groups as small at 10 and as large as 250.
The family behind Celi's True Mexican Cuisine, named one of VisitSouth's top ten Southern restaurants to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, continues the traditions of their Michoacán roots with a collection of family recipes and house-made Mexican delights. To create queso fundido, chefs grill monterey jack cheese to fill lava-rock molcajetes—a traditional Mexican mortar used as an insulating serving dish—and add chorizo and jalapeños before sending the bubbling bowl forth to be excavated via tortilla chips or edible pickaxes. Wrap the chicken or steak fajitas adobas' semi-sweet glaze up in a handmade tortilla, or savor traditional burritos, chimichangas, and taquitos. To fashion the camarones a la española, chefs wrap cheese-stuffed shrimp in sweaters woven from bacon before grilling and simmering the dish in a creamy sauce. A vegetarian menu section features meat-free versions of Mexican favorites for herbivorous brontosaurs looking to widen their palate.
Situated on the edge of the James River, River Smokin lets guests take a break from canoeing and stop by its dining room, patio, or deck. Plates of smoked spare ribs or deep-fried shrimp emerge from the kitchen, making their way to tables crowded with appetizers such as chicken quesadillas and fried dill pickles.
The Amish Cheese House culls cheeses, meats, and more from Amish communities in the local area, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to fill mouths and appease appetites. Titillate taste buds with a collection of more than 40 cheese varieties, such as american, habanero jalapeño, southwestern salsa, lacey swiss, and extra-sharp cheddar. Peruse a display case brimming with deli meats from local sources before picking up an enticing pound of liverwurst or using a sample of cajun turkey wrapped in a layer of lebanon bologna to convince a live bear to act as a living room rug for a day. Patrons can also choose from a selection of gift boxes and a collection of miscellaneous goods, including locally made jellies, old-fashioned candies, granola, pastas, coffee, and tea. Though prices vary as much as the ingredients used to make cheese-in-a-can, cheeses start at $3 for a small slice and can range up to more than $25 for larger portions, Meats range from $7 to $20 per pound, and sugar-free chocolates start at $10.