Dishing Up Virginia

Tickle the Tastebuds - Cuisine & Restaurants

Review: Like a Cookbook & Travel Guide, Too

Dishing Up VAThe star of the meal was the Thalhimers deviled crab: chunks of fresh crabmeat blended with the perfect touch of spice, inspired by Richmond’s legendary department store of yesteryear. The shellfish was accompanied by tomato pudding (once a stalwart dish on my Grandmother Tobey’s Virginia table), fresh roasted asparagus, and balsamic strawberries with fresh mint. Starr Hill King of Hop Imperial IPA paired perfectly with the spice of the entrée and with its partners.

We completed our Virginia-inspired meal with a Wakefield classic: peanut butter silk pie, recipe from the Virginia Diner, the restaurant that has been part of the Suffolk landscape since 1929. The dessert was, as the name promised, silky smooth, a perfect blend of rich, sweet goodness.

Though each dish was inspired by the foodways of the commonwealth, the final products came from my own kitchen, guided by recipes in Dishing Up® Virginia: 145 Recipes That Celebrate Colonial Traditions and Contemporary Flavors. The author, Patrick Evans-Hylton, is a food journalist, professionally trained chef, instructor, historian and executive editor of Virginia Wine Lover magazine. His passion for and knowledge of Virginia and her food, history and people permeate the book.

Read more at Richmond Navigator


A Destination for All Ages

Family Memories - Destinations

Branson Silver Dollar CityA family vacation that can keep three generations happy – is that mission impossible? Not in Branson, Missouri!

With its blend of shows, shopping, natural beauty and clean family fun, Branson will please everyone.



Tequila and Tacos and More, Oh My!

Tickle the Tastebuds - Cuisine & Restaurants

Tasting at Casa del Barco in Richmond, Virginia

One beverage shines on Cinco de Mayo: tequila. And after my recent tasting with Michael Avery, beverage manager and resident expert at Richmond’s Casa del Barco, the Mexican spirit now shines for me year-round. Who knew there was so much to know?

We began with the Casa Noble Crystal, Patron Silver, and Siete Leguas Blanco – three clear tequilas. Next up was Asombroso La Rosa Reposado – aged for three months in vintage Bordeaux barrels, this premium tequila presents luscious notes of chocolate and berry. Sip this one neat!

We also tasted the Centinela Anejo, aged two years in American oak barrels. The Anejo presents with a light agave nose, honey, fruit and floral notes.

Oh, and I held a bottle of rare, expensive 1800 Coleccion Extra Anejo tequila. You can pick one up for yourself for around $1,500!

With over 130 tequilas at Casa del Barco, you too can be educated while treating your palate to some proper spirits. Can’t decide? The staff has been educated to help you decide, or you can peruse the detailed menu. Better yet, try one of Casa del Barco’s beverage flights, found on the last page of the menu!

Add to the spirits the food from Chef de Cuisine Zach Wingold (specials on Cinco de Mayo, but delightful choices all year long) and you’ve got a perfect pairing. Situated on the Canal Walk in downtown Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom, Casa del Barco is a wondrous place to celebrate any occasion – Cinco de Mayo, birthday, or just because.



Woo-Woo, Chattanooga!

Where in the World - Southeast United States

Trains Set the Mood

for so much more...

I felt like Chattanooga should be home, though I’d never been there. I suppose that the “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” song, indelibly etching in my mind the image of the town as a train hub, gives me that feeling. After all, both of my grandfathers were railroad men, so the chug of iron horses pulses through my blood. 
That feeling was reinforced each night of my trip, as I settled into my accommodations in a renovated, 80-year-old Victorian railcar at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel. Besides the train cars and other lodging options, the resort provides indoor and outdoor pools, gardens, shops, a model railroad museum and several restaurants.
And though my other activities in this eastern Tennessee town were loads of fun but not railroad related, I always felt at home. Read more at RichmondNavigator magazine.

May Is Bike Month in Richmond, VA

Where in the World - Virginia Breezin'

Bike Month for Richmond

Including a bike brewery crawl

On its march to become more bike friendly, the Richmond area is celebrating May as Bike Month. The Richmond Sports Backers Bike Walk RVA program is coordinating a month of bike-related events. Events range from kids’ bike parades (aka ‘Kidical Mass’), to rides with history, food, brews and even Star Wars themes. 


In announcing the event, Sports Backers also announced Richmond’s first bike-friendly business district in the Bellevue neighborhood. Several businesses in the Bellevue neighborhood along MacArthur and Bellevue avenues have partnered in collaboration with Bike Walk RVA and Bellevue resident and to form the Bellevue Bike-Friendly Business District. Participating businesses will offer discounts and other specials for people who arrive by bike during the month of May. Participating businesses will be identified by window-clings displayed in their front windows starting May 1. 



Full list of bike month events

A map of participating Bellevue businesses and bike racks 

Brewery bike crawl 


Virtual AWT




Mysterious Traub Video
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