The pub has long served as the epicenter of Ireland’s social life—a place where friendships are made and stories are shared over foamy pints of beer. Finn McCool's Irish Pub positions itself firmly within this tradition of communality, inviting guests to bond while eating fish ‘n’ chips or clinking glasses of Guinness at a hardwood bar that spans the length of the room.
The convivial atmosphere isn’t the only aspect of Finn McCool's that recalls the old country. Traditional Irish staples such as shepherd’s pie, corned beef, and bangers and mash fill the pub’s menu. Savory scents waft through the air as guests throw darts, play billiards, and soak in the sunshine on the outdoor patio. A lineup of flat-screen TVs hums with the sounds of the day’s sporting events, which guests can wager their pots of gold or leprechaun manservants on at the pub’s Colonial Downs betting hub. :m]]
Gold Coast Pizza’s cooks take a West Coast approach to their pies, piling toppings on thin, crispy crusts made from expertly aged dough. Modeled after Padington's Pizza in Oregon, this shop names its disks after Pacific people, places, and things, such as the three-meated Lewis and Clark, the Ventura Veggie, or the Mount Rainier, renowned for its 2011 culinary eruption of salami and mushrooms and its 1894 actual eruption of lava and mushrooms. The Crescent City sits under a house blend of cheeses and black olives, and Honolulu Gold shimmers under ham and pineapple bits. Alternatively, an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet during lunch hours allows patrons to enjoy as many slices as possible between business meetings. Gold Coast can seat up to 150 people and features a 62-person banquet room. Self-serve fountain sodas wash down each slice more deliciously than a mouth-bound tributary of the Willamette River.:m]]
Under the trained eyes of the chefs at BanZara Restaurant, tender pieces of lamb absorb the piquant spices in lamb khorma’s coconut gravy, while marinated chicken chunks cook over a charcoal griddle before being dunked into delicious sauce for a tikka dish. The culinary team also pulls from Indo-Chinese recipes, combining eggs with flavored chicken and cooking deep-fried dumplings with traditional Indo-Chinese spices. In addition to dinners, the chefs also craft a lunch buffet of new dishes every day of the week, which diners can sample while ensconced in the eatery’s leather booths or, if they ask very nicely, straight from the chef’s ladle.
Though it’s far from the border, Nuevo Mexico Restaurante serves up dishes of traditional Mexican cuisine. The staff rolls seasoned pork or chicken burritos, stuffs taquitos with beef, or grills spinach and tucks it into quesadillas. One of the benefits of their location on the East Coast is the ability to ship in real blue crab from Maryland, granting chefs fresh ingredients for crab salads and enchiladas. One location’s decor unites rich wood accents with exposed red brick, a mural of a matador dodging a bull, and a bar that has three sides, like any argument between a husband and his wife with a crime-fighting alter-ego.
The proprietors of Hurley’s Tavern are committed to offering locally-sourced beer and wine, and fresh food in a relaxing environment. Designed by cofounder Janice Rossano, Hurley's menu is evenly split between food for meat lovers and vegetarians, so both groups, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch notes, "can nosh together in stomach-pleasing harmony."
The carnivore menu includes steak and cheese fries, breakfast nachos, homemade meatballs, and half-pound servings of boneless wings tossed in a choice of more than 10 sauces and dry rubs; herbivore options include garlic hummus, fried mashed potatoes, house-made black bean and rice patty wraps, and pita pizzas topped with house-made broccoli macaroni and cheese. Hurley's also caters to gluten-free and vegan diners with entrees such as burgers made with bean and rice patties. A variety of local craft beers on tap and Virginia wines help wash down meals, which unfold inside a dining room where nary a seat "doesn't have a view of a TV," the Richmond Times-Dispatch happily reports. Patrons can also entertain themselves in their back room Colonial Downs off-track betting parlor.
Homemades by Suzanne treats its clients to feasts of classic southern cuisine, whether it's at ritzy luncheons in the historic John Marshall Hotel or catered dinners at home. Guests dine on meals of country ham, chicken salad, or crab-cake sandwiches paired with morsels of quiche, grilled veggies, deviled eggs, and red velvet cake.
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