The Mill on MacArthur: A Review

Artichoke Po Boy with Sweet Potato Fries

Where: The Mill (MacArthur Ave. Richmond)
What: American Cuisine, Vegetarian
Number of People: 3
Total Cost: $100
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

It was a celebrating kind of day so some friends and I headed to The Mill. I had never been there and was shocked considering I used to live across the street and I go to school around the corner. The food was excellent. They have a large variety of vegetarian and vegan options and today was Vegetarian Monday. I had the artichoke po boy, which was yummy. The artichokes were very well cooked and they came on chibatta with tomato, lettuce and a Cajun remoulade. I had a side of sweet potato fries and the house wine to drink. The sandwich was great. There wasn’t enough spicy so I got some remoulade on the side and it was perfect. The fries were great as well. We had two appetizers, vegetable pot stickers and fried oysters. The pot stickers were good. There wasn’t a lot of filling but the wrapper didn’t take over the taste. The oysters were delicious and came with some of the remoulade. Scott got the meatloaf and liked it. He had issue with the fact that his green beans were crunchy, but that’s how I like them. Sandy got the pasta primavera and also seemed to enjoy it. For dessert they had ice cream from Bev’s so I had the tiramisu gelato, which is always delicious, along with some decaf.

The atmosphere was very welcoming. There was a lot of light and everything was very simple. The waitress was very nice and attentive. She even offered another dessert to Scott since his cupcake was the last one and potentially a little dry. It was a wonderful meal and I will definitely be returning and introducing more people to this place.

Don’t Look Back (Taco Bar): A Review

Bean, Rajas and Chicken Tacos

Where: Don’t Look Back (W. Cary St., Richmond)
What: Tacos
Number of People: 2
Total Cost: $50
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adam and I heard of a new place in Cary Town that was the result of Nate’s Taco Truck, which was a big hitter on VCU’s campus for a while. We knew it had a strange name and it turns out we were right. It also turns out that the people who said the tacos were amazing were also right. The tacos were delicious. There are a variety of options on the menu, including vegetarian. They had all the basics, chicken, shredded beef, fish, carnitas and some nice additions such as bean, peppers, soy, and chorizo. They also had burritos, tostadas and the like. We tried a chicken, shredded beef, bean, peppers (Rajas), fish and chorizo with some guacamole on the side. Each taco is $3 and can be served traditionally (onions, cilantro and lime) or gringo (sour cream, cheese, salsa, lettuce) and either with corn or flour tortillas. We had corn on everything except the bean and mixed up the styles depending on the filling.

Tacos!

My favorite was definitely the fish taco. The fish was delicious and the cabbage slaw and sauce were just how I remember fish tacos. All of the others were also delicious. I definitely prefer traditional style because it’s simple and let’s the flavors show. Plus I’m a bit of a snob and want them to be as authentic as possible. The guacamole was also good and I’m picky about my guacamole.

I would definitely recommend this place to any one looking for a good, upscale Mexican restaurant in Richmond. The atmosphere was very modern with loud music in a tight space with TVs playing various shows and sports. They had a good beer selection and we hit at happy hour. The service was pretty good but not perfect, hence a missing star. I will certainly be going back in the future and taking a lot of friends.

Fish Taco

Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream: A Review

Nutella Gelato

Where: Bev’s (2911 W. Cary, Richmond)
What: Ice Cream
Number of People: 2
Total Cost: $7.33
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been to Bev’s several times and never reviewed it but today it is time. Everyone should know just how amazing Bev’s ice cream is. It is amazing. Today I had the Nutella Gelato and it is one of my new favorites. Some of my other favorites include Samoa, Honey Almond Oatmeal, Basil and so many more. I always get mine in a sugar cone and they also have waffles cones, cake cones and of course various cup sizes. They have set flavors that are always there and then new flavors every week. I always like to get one of the new flavors because they are always interesting and unique. Today Adam had the Cinnabean (cinnamon coffee) and Dark Chocolate S’more in a cake  cone with rainbow sprinkles. They also have different kinds of shakes and desserts and homemade pastries, cakes and/or pies. And it is always amazing. Any time I go in to Cary Town I always have to stop by and see what’s new. There is plenty of seating and the people are great. It’s just an awesome place all the way around. Plus, today my ice cream looked like a cat. Eat at Bev’s!

Cat Face Ice Cream!

BlowToad: A Review

Bleu Ball Pizza

Where: BlowToad (2907 W. Cary, Richmond)
What: Pizza and Beer
Number of People: 2
Total Cost: $50
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

**UPDATE**

I just learned that the steak that was on my pizza was bull testicles. I guess I should have asked what swinging steak was but still feel like that should have been obvious on the menu. It was good but now I know why I couldn’t figure out what was different about it!

**End Update**

I visit Cary Town on a regular basis and it is one of my favorite places in Richmond. Like most people here I was incredibly curious and seriously concerned when I saw the sign for BlowToad go up where the BBQ restaurant used to be. BlowToad, what the heck is BlowToad and how could they possibly have good food? Well, I checked it out online after it had been open for a while and it had good reviews so after the end of the French Film Festival Adam and I decided to check it out. Adam is incredibly picky about pizza with the whole being Italian and actually eating pizza in Italy thing so it was a stretch.

The atmosphere was nice. It was loud and the lighting was low. Nice and romantic. There was also the option for outdoor seating but it was a little chilly so we stayed inside. They had a great selection of beer and I had a Crispin Cider. They did the very trendy thing of bringing out cups and a big bottle of water that you can pour yourself which I appreciate. All of the waiters also used iPads which seems like a fabulous idea. As someone who worked in a restaurant with no technology and now being an iPad owner I can only imagine the convenience it provides.

Pizza with Eggplant, Ricotta and Anchovies

When it came time for food I ordered the Bleu Ball pizza and Adam did a make your own with eggplant, ricotta and anchovies. The Bleu pizza had thing strips of steak, bleu cheese and onions. It had a great thin crust and minimal amounts of sauce. The cheese was good and the onions were nice and crunchy. The steak strip things were interesting. I couldn’t quite figure them out but they were tasty and added to the overall pizza. The pizza’s are $12 per pizza and the make your own is $8 with $2 per side. They are all 12 inches. Adam says his pizza was good but I don’t eat anchovies because they’re gross so I can’t vouch for it. But as I said before, he’s picky. He described it well saying that the pizza was good American-style pizza but not quite up to Italian standards. It was definitely tasty and worth the trip. Our service was a little slow so they got dinged a star for that but again, worth the visit.

Willie’s BBQ: A Review

Pork Sandwich Plate

Where: Willie’s BBQ (2245 Pocahontas Trail, Quinton, Va.)

What: Dinner

Number of People: 2

Total Cost: $18

Beef Brisket Plate

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

I lived in Charles City, Va., while in college and I learned that if you want home cookin’ Charles City is the place to be. A BBQ place opened up where the hole-in-the-wall McDonalds used to be and I had never been but had heard good things. One of my cousins even works there but since I don’t get back to Charles City as often I hadn’t visited. I finally had the chance and inclination to go and I have already been back since. Yes, Willie’s BBQ is that good. Adam and I went on a trip to visit my Grandmother and did not regret it. I got the Pork Sandwich Plate ($7.95) with Macaroni and Cheese (all of the sides are homemade) and a drink. Adam got the Beef Brisket Plate ($11) with Baked Beans, Candied Yams and Corn Bread and a drink. The meat was extremely tender and the available sauces were great. I preferred the North Carolina-style sauce, which is vinegar based, as opposed to the Virginia-style sauce, which is tomato based. The sides were obviously homemade. The mac and cheese was so incredibly cheesy without being dry as some homemade mac and cheeses can be. The beans and yams were sweet and the corn bread was crumbly and moist. As a hole-in-the-wall, off-the-beaten-path place it did not have very much decor and the music was as random as possible. But I think that helps give it charm. The service was great since the people who work there are friendly and they obviously enjoy their job as well as the food. You can take anything to go and there is indoor and outdoor seating.

If you ever find yourself on I-64  or Rt. 60 and want to take a rest, stop at the Bottoms Bridge exit and try out Willie’s. It is well worth the stop.