The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans lures passersby into Bean There Coffeehouse's two locations, where baristas reenergize sluggish bodies with a menu cascading with traditional brews and seasonal espresso beverages. The coffee shops' thoroughly vetted beans are plucked from the top 20% rated throughout the world, with special attention paid to the country of origin, the altitude, and the astrological sign of each bean. Serving up flavorful coffee is their top priority, and the staff also cultivates a homey, neighborhood feel at each establishment, welcoming guests to events such as coffee tastings, dessert pairings, and poetry slams.
Perhaps it’s the dining room’s glittering chandeliers that make diners feel as though they’ve stepped back in time, or maybe it’s the silver tea sets displayed atop baroque-style tables that bring to mind a bygone era. Though it’s difficult to single out the one element of First Ladies Tea Parlor that transports diners to the past, it’s evident that owner KJ Jordan has realized her vision. KJ’s passion for all things old-timey manifests itself in the parlor’s varied schedule of events, from historic fashion shows and presentations by authors and historical interpreters to speakeasy dinners that keep the spirit of the 1920s alive via live jazz and free admission for ghosts. Away from the sun-dappled dining room, chef Gabby Bauman and her culinary crew bustle about the kitchen whipping up light lunches featuring entrees named after first ladies, including the Lady Dolley sandwich filled with roasted turkey and avocado and the Lady Betty salad dappled with salmon fillet and apricot-ginger dressing.
3Way Cafe's chefs put intriguing spins on traditional lunch fare in an open kitchen to fill the shop's menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Herbs infuse roasting pork, which fills the Figgy Piggy ($7.49) sandwich and unites a crowd of baby spinach, gouda, roasted tomatoes, and pesto aioli cloaked in a tangy fig glaze like a sunbathing chef. Slices of bread smuggle fistfuls of produce mouthward in the Veg Out ($6.99), and the Pilgrim Age sandwich ($7.49) combines the roast turkey and cranberry notes of a Thanksgiving feast without the risk of visiting uncles building a nest in the crawlspace. Cooks pair all sandwiches with parmesan and black-peppercorn chips, which fuel happy chatter as soft music drifts across the dining room and onto the outdoor patio.
Once drivers pull up to the valet canopy at Lusteration Performance Automobile Detailing, their job is done. Owners are free to shop, dine, or watch a movie in the surrounding MacArthur Center mall as skilled detailing technicians lead cars into the garage for a range of interior and exterior packages. Sudsy hand washes eradicate caked-on dirt and old “I Like Ike's Car” bumper stickers, before applying a coat of clear or hard-coat wax to lock in the paint's shine. Inside, after vacuuming carpets, upholstery, and trunks, the crew thoroughly wipes down doorjambs and the dashboard.
Located in the heart of downtown Norfolk, Tokyo Fresh Asian Bistro & Bar populates its lengthy menu with modern and traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine. Amid modern decor that features an indoor fountain and a long, snaking bar, chefs dish out two-piece sushi orders such as smoked salmon, white tuna, and octopus. They also whip up specialties, including honey-walnut shrimp and the Seafood Festival in a Nest—lobster tail, scallops, and shrimp served in a nest of smashed potatoes.
Upon foundations of Hereford beef, ground turkey, chicken breast, or black-bean vegan patties, the burger wizards at Pounders Burger Bar & Beverages construct their masterpieces. Old Bay seasoning and an egg sunny side up crown some of their specialties, though customers can also assemble dream burgers with toppings such as truffle crème fraiche and bourbon BBQ aioli.
Meatloaf and pulled pork are among beef substitutes on Pounders' sliders; general burger alternatives, meanwhile, include crab cakes and grilled-cheese sandwiches with a melted blend of gruyere, cheddar, and swiss. To complement feasts, Pounders' bartenders and soda jerks spike milk shakes with alcohol, mix martinis, craft root-beer floats, and pour beers into pints, rather than into 100 shot glasses.
Since opening in 1974, The Jewish Mother Backstage has hosted the likes of Dave Matthews, Hootie & the Blowfish, and Ice Cube. But despite its famous visitors and the media frenzy surrounding Ice Cube's melting accident, the New York–style deli still maintains a neighborhood atmosphere. Local and regional music acts fill the stage with groovy tunes, and the menu of hearty comfort fare is rooted in tradition, inspired by the owner's own Jewish mother. More than a dozen delicatessen sandwiches boast family names such as the Mother's Son reuben and the Mother's Sailor Friend, a split knockwurst with gooey swiss cheese and pastrami. Aromas of meatloaf fill the eatery at dinner, and breakfast service sates guests' early-morning hunger and desire to crow onstage.