Sunday, August 26, 2012

757 Crave

If you are in the Virginia Beach area and in search of a relaxing place to have breakfast with beautiful views and great food, 757 Crave is definitely worth checking out.

757 Crave is a seasonal eatery that initially opened at the Marina Shores marina in 2011 and continues to be a popular spot among the Great Neck neighborhood and Virginia Beach at large. And for good reason.

I arrived Sunday morning just after 9:00 and the dining area was already half full, within thirty minutes, it was completely full. I was seated immediately and placed my order. The menu has many options and includes omelettes, eggs benedict , Belgian waffles and breakfast burritos. I decided on the Crave-licious Eggs Benny

It is described as two eggs over a baked savory creation of spinach, applewood bacon, onion, garlic and rustic cheese bread and topped with hollandaise. There was an option to add crabmeat for an additional $4 and I took advantage of it. Everything is better with crabmeat.

It didn’t take very long for my order to arrive. I was perfectly content to read my book and enjoy the beautiful day and the magnificent views. I think I got through two pages before my meal arrived.

The eggs were prepared perfectly and I thought the dish was delicious. The potatoes were tasty and naturally complimented the eggs benedict. It was a great meal. I was a little disappointed in the amount of crabmeat I received for the $4 upcharge – but I suppose it should be expected for fresh crabmeat.

According to the owner, the season will be coming to a close in October but there are plans to open a second location in Portsmouth that will be a year-round eatery. Which is good news for Crave fans, of which I am now one. Check them out on Facebook or better yet, just head on down there. Crave is open for breakfast and lunch six days a week and also serves dinner on Wednesday and Thursday. Check out the menu online.

2100 Marina Shores Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 376-4361

 757 Crave Breakfast & Lunch On The Water on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Art of Chocolate - Virginia Chocolate Festival

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending Norfolk's first chocolate festival. There were many events including a Chocolate 101 class put on by the Culinary Institute of Virginia, a chocolate beer challenge and a bartender's challenge all featuring concoctions created with chocolate.

I spent my time at the main event -- The Chocoholic's Dream -- at the Scope Exhibition Hall on March 24, 2012. It is said that good chocolate gives a woman the exact same feeling that she has when she's in love. If that's true, well, I think I fell in love several times at the festival.

The event was well organized and entertaining. There were a variety of vendors, exhibits and demonstrations. Who knew you could do so many things with chocolate?

The first vendor I visited was The Royal Chocolate.

They were strategically situated close to the entrance which, in my opinion, was a good thing because my impression of their chocolate sort of set the stage for my entire experience. The first thing I tasted was a chocolate called Spicy Maya. The first bite was this delicious dark chocolate but the finish or the aftertaste was spicy. Very spicy. Deliciously spicy. I had never had anything like it. The dark chocolate is infused with pasilla chile, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. It was amazing and the woman who sold it to me suggested that it would pair perfectly with cabernet. I also purchased another bar called Firecracker which is dark chocolate with chipolte, salt and pop rocks. The Royal Chocolate is located in the Virginia Beach Town Center.

Some of the other vendors I visited were Trafton's Chocolates, where I purchased a box of truffles, Schakolad where I was able to dip a strawberry into a dark chocolate fountain for $2, and Harry and David where I got to taste milk chocolate truffles.

There were also several wine vendors participating at the festival. I found it fascinating that the lines were much longer at the wine tables than the chocolate tables. I enjoyed the wine that was infused with chocolate more than the actual chocolate wine. The chocolate wine looked like a YooHoo. Not my thing. Three Olives Vodka also provided samples of a chocolate vodka and cherry coke cocktail. Very tasty.

The Prince Michel Winery was also onsite and I tasted the Rapidian River Chocolate wine. This was a red blend infused with chocolate and it was something that I could actually see myself purchasing. Wine was not sold at the festival but it is available at Harris Teeter, Farm Fresh and Total Wine.

Overall, I believe that the first Chocolate Festival was a success. There was such a variety of vendors many of which you wouldn't expect to see: Barnes & Noble, Just Cupcakes and Twisted Sister and Planet Chiropractic (I thought that was weird). I had a great time and I look forward to next year's event.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Woody McGees Barstro

Woody McGees Barstro is located in the Holland Plaza Shopping Center on Holland Road in Virginia Beach. I discovered it on Urbanspoon when I was looking for a place to have brunch on the weekend. I read the reviews and every single one of them was positive. So I had to check it out.

Woody McGees is open seven days a week and serves breakfast/brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. We arrived at 10:30 but when we got there the sign on the door said “Open Daily 11:00 am - 2:00 am”. While waiting in the parking lot I saw a few people coming and going and then the “Open” light came on. So I was a little confused as to when the store actually opened and I couldn’t find anything on the website. Nonetheless, we went in and were seated immediately. The restaurant appears to be separated into two sections, smoking and non-smoking and can be accessed by two different entrances. The bar and televisions are located on the smoking side. We were seated in the non-smoking section.

I had previewed the menu beforehand so I knew exactly what I was going to order. The brunch menu features benedicts, omelets and classic favorites like breakfast burritos and Woody’s French toast. The French toast caught my eye immediately.

The three slices of Texas toast are topped with vanilla bean butter and are served with two scrambled eggs and maple smoked bacon. It was a lot of food but I felt the portion size was perfect. Probably because I had run five miles that morning and was starving. The meal was delicious.

We also ordered a classic ham and cheese omelet which was served with a large bowl of grits.

Also very filling and very tasty.

The atmosphere in Woody McGees was comfortable and the server was attentive. There weren’t many patrons in the restaurant that morning but for me, that was a plus. I enjoy eating a good meal in a peaceful environment where I don’t have to fight to have a conversation and I don’t have to wait for a table.

Overall, I felt the experience was a good one. Woody’s is easy to find on Holland Road, good parking, reasonable prices for brunch, great food and good service.

I would like to go back for dinner because the menu is so varied with sandwiches, burgers, steaks and seafood and an extensive wine list. But for now, I think I found the place where I’ll go for my Mother’s Day brunch.

Check out the website for their complete menu.

4356 Holland Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
(757) 222-6775

Woody McGees Barstro on Urbanspoon

Woody McGees Barstro on Foodio54