Sunday, April 25, 2010

Press 626

Press 626 is located on West Olney Road in Norfolk where the old Wine House once was. I've driven by it many times and always thought it was an interesting looking building and a great place for a restaurant. After checking out the brunch menu on line I decided to visit on Sunday.

There are seven choices on the brunch menu but Press also offers any of their hot off the "press" sandwiches during brunch. Additionally, brunch cocktails are offered for only $3. Take your choice of mimosa, poinsettia, screwdriver or bloody mary. After reviewing the menu, we decided on the shrimp and grits and the BMT:

the grits were creamy and cheesy and cooked perfectly.

The BMT is basil, mozzarella, pesto and tomato, with a fried egg on toasted sourdough with applewood bacon. It was served with homefries.

Both meals were very good and the only complaint that I could make was that the portion size was a little small. Once I finished my sandwich I was ready to order another one. But I didn't. Instead I had a chocolate, flourless cupcake with ice cream for dessert.

It definitely hit the spot.

Press 626 is a cute place and it was the perfect setting for Sunday brunch. There is plenty of seating available inside and outside on the front porch. The service was fast and friendly and the prices were extremely reasonable. Brunch for two only cost $40, including drinks.

Free parking is available behind the restaurant. Press is open from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm Monday thru Friday, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Saturday and their Sunday brunch hours are from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm.

626 W. Olney Road

Norfolk, VA 23507

(757) 282-6234

Press626 Café and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pho 79

I read a review about Pho 79 not long ago and I was intrigued. I am not familiar with Vietnamese food or with pho but I was willing to try it out.

The restaurant is located in the Walmart Way Crossing shopping center in Chesapeake. The space is large, clean and gets plenty of light. There are many tables and booths and I was surprised to see a flat screen television tuned to ESPN. Not sure why I was surprised but it just seemed out of place. Anyway, patrons are free to seat themselves and are waited on immediately. There were plenty of customers in the restaurant when I was there for lunch and there seemed to be a steady stream of them coming and going, either to eat-in or take-out.

Here is what I read in the Pho 79 menu: Pho, or Hanoi Beef Soup, has been a staple food item all over Vietnam for centuries. Enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Pho soup is widely regarded as a comfort food, a source of energy for the tired traveler, and to many Pho believers--a cure for whatever ails you.

Pho is eaten with both chopsticks and a spoon in order to get all the delicious broth. I ordered a soup with pho noodles, shrimp and pork loin and spring rolls:
The soup was filled with shrimp and large pieces of pork and plenty of greens. You can't tell by the photo but there was also a substantial amount of noodles in the bowl. I didn't think the small soup would fill me up which is why I also ordered the spring rolls. I was wrong. The soup was hot and hearty. The broth was like nothing I had ever tasted. I enjoyed it so much and I was disappointed that I couldn't finish the entire bowl. The spring rolls were also very filling. They were fresh and filled with shrimp, rice and greens and were served with hoisin sauce. The order comes with two large rolls.

The menu is very diverse and includes Vietnamese sandwiches, rice dishes and many different soups. The menu is divided into sections for beginners and for those that are more experienced, which I found quite helpful.

I enjoyed everything about Pho 79: the location, the people were friendly, all the customers looked happy, the food was delicious and the prices were very reasonable. Pho 79 calls itself The Health Conscious Choice and I have to agree. I definitely recommend it and will be returning.

1445 Sam's Drive
Chesapeake, VA 23320
(757) 547-4800

Pho 79 (Chesapeake) on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Green Onion at Great Neck

The Green Onion has opened up in Great Neck. I’m glad about that because I’ve always wanted to try this restaurant but as you know, I don’t make it to Norfolk as often as I should. I’m doing my best to remedy that.

I visited The Green Onion on a beautiful Saturday afternoon for brunch. It wasn’t that busy so I was seated immediately and chose to sit outside on the patio to take advantage of the day. While outside I was able to watch this young lady painting the patio wall.

They say it looks beautiful in the evenings when the lights hit it.

The brunch menu is varied. It includes, salads, soups, pancakes, steak and eggs and shrimp and grits. There are also many drink options such as bloody marys, mimosas, or a pitcher of pomegranate sangria. I chose to order a turkey and brie sandwich on a croissant with a glass of sauvignon blanc.

The sandwich was served with a generous side of pomme frites (French fries). The sandwich was tasty, piled high with turkey but since brie is so rich I would have used a little less of it on the sandwich. At times the cheese overpowered the turkey. The potatoes were perfectly seasoned and delicious.

I even saved some room for dessert

This beautiful flourless chocolate torte was amazing.

The service at The Green Onion was great. My server, Josh was attentive and friendly.

The Green Onion has nightly features which are worth checking out. On Mondays 10% of all sales go to the Virginia Beach SPCA. Tuesdays is half price wine night and on Wednesdays it’s all you can eat mussels with a glass of their featured wine for only $17. Happy hour is everyday between 2:00 and 6:30.

There have been a few other restaurants in this location that didn’t succeed for whatever reason. I think this is a good location and I believe The Green Onion could make it in Great Neck. I would recommend that you come out and try it for yourself.

1336 N. Great Neck Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
(757) 248-3474

Green Onion 2 on Urbanspoon