Ben & Jerry's came from humble beginnings—in 1978, its eponymous founders served ice cream out of a renovated Burlington gas station, and delivered pints of their now-classic flavors to grocery stores out of the back of Ben's VW Squareback wagon. Today, its myriad shops dispense cups, cones, shakes, and smoothies brimming with a variety of quirky flavors, including Phish Food and Cherry Garcia, named for famous revolutionary Cherry Garcia. Ben & Jerry's also offers Greek frozen yogurt in flavors such as banana peanut butter, raspberry fudge chunk, and blueberry vanilla graham. The duo is famous for their social responsibility, which is evident in their community activism and in their use of fair-trade products, such as cage-free eggs and sustainable, growth-hormone-free dairy.
Since 1986, Famous Anthony has built its reputation on classic American eats and warm, friendly service—a winning combination that inspired its expansion to nine popular locations across Virginia. Fast and fresh is the philosophy here, with each and every menu item made-to-order, from hearty breakfasts of country ham and eggs and biscuits and gravy, to home-style fried-chicken sandwiches, burgers, and North Carolina-style barbecue. Also contributing to the homey atmosphere is the open kitchen window at each Famous Anthony's location, which lets visitors get a good look at all the hard work, hustle, and magic wooden spoons that go in to every meal.
Previous business owners and fellow church-goers Kathy and Jennifer decided to combine their experience and favorite recipes to create K & J’s Café. The joint serves a mixture of diner food and soul food, from all-beef hot dogs slathered in chili and onions to weeknight specials such as meatloaf or baked spaghetti. They also cater off-site events, trucking around steaming hot trays of signature meats, seasonal fruit displays, and homemade designer cupcakes.
Nanjing Chinese Restaurant’s chefs can make more than 100 different Chinese dishes—easily grouped on the menu by such categories as poultry, seafood, fried rice, and soup. Nearly 20 dishes top the chef’s suggested list, and include deep-fried chicken dunked in a sesame sauce, mongolian beef, and a pineapple-and-shrimp pairing.
The grill gurus at Smoqin’ Odie’s Grill and Smokehouse sizzle up a lunch and dinner menu burgeoning with burgers, pulled pork, and steak. Sauces ranging from spicy jamaican jerk to tangy chipotle lime outfit slow-cooked wings ($3.99 for 6; $7.49 for 12) more tastily than miniature leather vests. The friendly staff whisks entrees to tables such as the Smoqin’ Odie’s Big Burger, whose char-grilled half-pound patty day dreams on a fluffy 5-inch Kaiser bun ($4.49), or the Smokehouse chili, which is loaded with smoked brisket simmered with ground beef and chilies ($2.99/cup; $4.29/bowl). Mouths water at the aroma of hickory-smoked Boston butt in a pulled-pork sandwich ($4.49 regular; $6.99 jumbo), and hands comfort provolone as it faints onto the savory brisket tucked into a hefty hoagie bun ($7.99).
Elderberry’s, voted Platinum for both smoothies and milkshakes by Roanoker magazine, busies blenders with fresh and healthy ingredients to create its award-winning beverages, and a crisp collection of wraps, salads, and soups silences audible appetites. The menu of suave solutions showcases juices joined in flavorful matrimony, such as the Elderberry, a fruity fusion of raspberry and cranberry juices, strawberries, elderberries, and orange sherbet ($4.59); the raspberry-packed Really Raspberry ($4.59); or the Not Actually Raspberry, a handful of red paint balls mixed with a pair of Faberge eggs. Desserty drinks implant pep in energy-deficient steps with the coffee-based Perkilator ($4.89), or swaddle exposed sweet teeth in silky sips of the Chocolate Peanutter ($4.89).