Category Archives: Burgers

Asheville Day Trip: Wicked Weed, French Broad Chocolate Shop & Urban Orchard

Asheville makes for a great day trip, if you’re hungry, thirsty and willing to make the drive. Our first stop was Wicked Weed, where strangers and locals meet to drink great beer. And that’s exactly what we did. We sat downstairs in the tasting room, at a community table, and met a local gentleman who suggested some of his favorite items on the menu.

When I go to a brewery, I usually don’t expect anything more than average pub food. So, when I saw the food options, I was surprised by the creative combinations on the menu. Just check out these sandwiches on their menu:

Sandwich Menu

Sandwich Menu

I ordered the fried chicken sandwich. The crispy fried chicken was complemented by the sour, fermented cabbage (kimchi) and the sweetness from the miso mayonnaise. It was different than any sandwich I’ve ever had and it was quite satisfying.

Fried chicken + kimchi + miso mayonnaise

Fried chicken + kimchi + miso mayonnaise

Classic beef burger + lettuce + tomato + onion + pickle

Classic beef burger + lettuce + tomato + onion + pickle

My friend ordered the classic burger. If I were him, I definitely would have gone for the bison burger with haystack shallots and blue cheese coleslaw. However, he enjoyed his classic burger, although he said it could have been juicier.

If you are an IPA fan, you must also try Wicked Weed’s “Freak of Nature Double IPA.” The Freak of Nature is 8% abv and has too many ibu’s to put a number to it. They have quite the beer selection, ranging from local IPAs and pale ales to Belgian and wood-aged beers. I sampled the muscadine beer, because I have only ever had Muscadine wine, and I was intrigued. I am not a fan of muscadine wine, but the beer was pretty good. They also had “apple pie saison” and perhaps the most interesting was “sweet potato and grits saison.”

Selection of pale ales

Selection of pale ales

After getting some food and beer, it was time to visit the highly regarded French Broad Chocolate Shop. This is where you want to go to indulge. Try one of their brownies, whether you eat it there or take it for later. I took mine for later (ate it that night) and ordered Mexican hot chocolate. I could not let this delicious sounding concoction pass me by: “contemporary Mexican-style hot chocolate with house chocolate, almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and milk.” It smelled delicious and after letting it cool enough to drink – or so I thought, until I burned by tongue – I was disappointed because it didn’t taste as good as it smelled. While the chocolatey taste was phenomenal,  the chili powder was overpowering. I was hoping to taste more of the other flavors, like the cinnamon and almond. Nevertheless, still visit this lovely shop if you’re in Asheville. Just make sure you will like what you order!

French Broad Chocolate Shop

French Broad Chocolate Shop

While at Wicked Weed, the gentleman told us of a cidery down the street. Urban Orchard is a new establishment in Asheville, serving a selection of ciders and beers. We both ordered the flight, which included a seasonal cranberry cider and an apple-ginger cider. The ginger cider was my favorite and tasted the most like actual cider. I also enjoyed the unfiltered apple cider. However, the other ciders seemed to be missing the crisp, refreshing taste that I am used to in ciders, rather leaving me with the taste of flavored champagne. Urban Orchard is a good spot to meet friends, kick back and have a beer. But if you’re going for cider, don’t waste your time on the flight. Go for the ginger cider. With that said, I like the idea of the company, which sources apples from Hendersonville, NC, and crafts the ciders in-house.

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Urban Orchard Cider Company

Urban Orchard Cider Company

Noble Cider was also recommend and I sampled their cider at Wedge Brewing Company. We didn’t stay at Wedge long because it was getting late, but I will be going back because of the friendly laid-back vibe and the big outdoor courtyard that hosts food trucks and corn hole games.

Thank you for all of your suggestions on our Facebook page. I will be making a trip back to Asheville soon to try some more of your recommendations. If you haven’t already liked our Facebook page, you can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/eatitnorthcarolina

Have a great week!

Haley

REVIEW: Aviator Brewing Company SmokeHouse – Fuquay Varina

“Life is about the journey, not the destination,” my friend says to me during dinner. And that’s exactly the attitude you should have when eating at Aviator. You will need to put aside the thought of what the consequences may be, and just enjoy the crispy, beer-battered, blue cheese-smothered journey.

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I recommend starting off your dinner with the Aviator beer-battered onion rings. These crunchy delights are served with a spicy-sweet mustard sauce. It’s a huge portion and definitely big enough to split between 2 people.

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I got the chicken wings with the “Aviator” sauce, which is the mildest. The sauce options for wings are listed on their menu as:

Moco Loco: This will remove the flesh from your tongue.

Crazy: Very Hot! Habaneros, Jalapenos and Thai Peppers!

Monster: Habenero, Jalepeno, Honey and Spices…manageable.

Buffalo: The sauce that made wings famous.

BlackMamba: Our BlackMamba stout with a little kick to it.

Thai Red Devil: Little bit of spice with our Devils Tripel.

Aviator: Our sweet and tangy sauce….delicious.

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The wings are served with blue cheese and ranch, both of which are homemade. You can tell that everything is fresh and homemade. The wings are smoked and fried to perfection and then covered with your choice of sauce. I enjoyed the sweet-tangy Aviator sauce and the homemade blue cheese. It’s about the journey, right? So, hand over the onion rings and deep friend wings.

My friend got the “Brewers Beef Brisket,” which he finished to the last bite, along with french fries and coleslaw. I tried some fries and they were extra crispy and delicious.

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Remember, life’s about the journey!

-Haley

REVIEW: Busy Bee Cafe – Raleigh

I love a good veggie burger that is overloaded with black beans, corn, mushrooms and other vegetables. But the Busy Bee Cafe in downtown Raleigh serves a different kind of veggie burger.

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Busy Bee Cafe originally opened its doors in 1913.
(source: http://www.busybeeraleigh.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=43&Itemid=77)

I had my first spinach and artichoke “burger” at Busy Bee Cafe. And it was delish!  I was expecting a messy burger but the spinach held together nicely. This was one of the freshest tasting veggie burgers I have ever had.

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Spinach and artichoke “burger” with feta

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Spinach and artichoke “burger” with feta

My friend got the “Tom and Jack” burger with tater tots. He enjoyed that as well. The atmosphere at Busy Bee is casual, and I would recommend eating on the rooftop. It’s not the best view of downtown, but with the nice fall weather and good food, the rooftop provides a nice setting for a casual dinner with friends. Out of the three times I have been to this restaurant, I’ve seen couples, groups of friends, families and a bachelorette party. Needless to say, Busy Bee Cafe has something for everyone. Check out their menu here: http://www.busybeeraleigh.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44&Itemid=60

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Tom & Jack Burger: pepper jack, fried green tomato, lettuce

 

Review – Buns in Chapel Hill

inside Buns in Chapel Hill

Great burgers at an affordable price

A few weeks ago, my husband came home and told me all about this new place in downtown Chapel Hill called Buns. He said they had really great burgers there. So we decided to eat dinner there the other night. Buns is located on North Columbia Street near Franklin Street. Its small facade may make it a little hard to find, but you will certainly want to seek this place out!

storefront of Buns in Chapel Hill

Buns is a casual style American restaurant. Orders are taken at the counter and then the waiter brings your food out to you. The main feature of this restaurant is their burgers. They have Angus beef burgers, turkey burgers and vegetarian burgers. They also have hot dogs and some seafood dishes, such as Ahi Tuna steak and grilled salmon fillet sandwiches. Since the restaurant is practically on campus, there are swarms of students here, because the food is good and is also quite inexpensive. It is also popular with many of the other local Chapel Hillians. As we walk toward the door, several co-eds are walking out with takeout orders ready to start their Saturday evening fun.

There is a line of people ordering at the counter of Buns

Line up to order your favorite combo at Buns

The décor of the interior is simple, but modern and fun. There are round balls with muted colors of purple, blue, green, yellow and red that line the walls. A couple of flat screen TVs are mounted to the walls so students and Chapel Hill fans can watch sports while dining. There is a large window in the front of the dining area, so you can see all the action happening on Franklin Street. The restaurant also stays open fairly late, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, so you can always end up here after you do some bar hopping and sober up a bit!

people sitting in Buns restaurant in Chapel Hill

Relax and enjoy the food while watching a basketball game

Since this was my first time here, I decided to try one of the beef burgers. I ordered one of the specials, which was a beet and goat cheese burger. We also ordered a side of sweet potato fries. The fries are served with dipping sauces and they have a pretty good selection of sauces to try. I got the Thai sesame sauce and my husband got the Chipotle mayonnaise sauce, both of which were excellent.

My husband built his own burger and had the turkey burger with Pepper Jack cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onions and wasabi mayonnaise on a whole wheat bun. The buns are also made from a local bakery called The Bread Shop.

Turkey burger with mushrooms

You can make your own combo of toppings to have on your burger.

My burger had nice thick slices of fresh beets that were sweet and meaty and worked really well with the goat cheese, which was a thick slice of cheese that was tart, but not overpowering. The burger was served with a sherry vinaigrette sauce. I also ordered the whole wheat bun, which was sweet and seemed to compliment the beets and meat very well.

burger with beets and goat cheese

An unusual but tasty combo of beets and goat cheese.

I tried a bite of my husband’s burger. His combo was great for him, but I’m not a wasabi fan, and that’s mainly what I could taste. For those who like wasabi, you will love putting this mayo on your sandwich.

All of the ingredients at Buns are fresh and they purchase what they can locally at a good price.  Need I say this place is popular, especially with UNC students? The workers said that nothing is ever frozen, because, in fact, they do not even have a freezer on the premises, nor do they have a microwave oven.

The sweet potato fries are also very fresh. In fact, boxes of sweet potatoes were located in the front of the restaurant. They peel them, cut them up and throw them in the fryer. These were some of the better sweet potato fries I’ve had in awhile. They were not too soggy, as many sweet potato fries tend to get, nor were they too greasy. These were just right.

We were too full to try any dessert, but I was eying a Red Velvet cake that was on display on top of the counter where people order that looked really delicious. Guess I’ll have to try it next time we go to Buns.

Buns is open from Monday to Thursday, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11:00 am – 3:00 am (so you can recover from that bender by having a burger or a hot dog) (Summer, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm) and Sunday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm. It is located on 107 North Columbia Street in Chapel Hill.

Buns on Urbanspoon

REVIEW: Jerry’s Grill – Raleigh

Ever since moving to Raleigh, I have been on the lookout for a little hole-in-the-wall place that serves a good cheeseburger. I have tried what seem to be the two Raleigh favorites, Char-Grill and Snoopy’s, and thought they were okay but not what I was looking for. I was in search of a place similar to a place that served burgers like Corner Grill in High Point is one of my favorites. I finally made it to Jerry’s Grill near the intersection of Whitaker Mill & Wake Forest in Raleigh after several recommendations from friends about one of the best lunches in Raleigh.

I ordered the #6 combo which is a cheeseburger, hot dog, fries & a drink for about $6.75. My combo came with one of the regular red dogs with a steamed bun that are both cooked in their hot dog cooker. The burgers are thick and cooked a flattop grill so they have a nice crispness. The buns are lightly buttered and then toasted on the grill before they add the toppings. I suggest getting both the burgers and dogs all the way (chili, slaw, mustard, onion). The chili doesn’t overpower the taste of the burger and the slaw is soppy but not so much that it makes the bun soggy. The fries are the generic crinkle cut variety so they aren’t anything special but fries are always a great accompaniment to all the way burgers and dogs.

Jerry’s also serves breakfast all day (note: they close early at 2 p.m.) which looks delicious although I haven’t tried it with breakfast items like The Hobo, the Blue Rock Deluxe or their made from scratch biscuits. You can also order fried bologna sandwiches or daily specials like baked spaghetti or corndogs. You can also find a variety of different beverages ranging from Snapple to bottle Cokes but I haven’t tried anything but their sweet tea which is delicious.

The interior of Jerry’s Grill is a little tight especially when it gets busy. There is a small bar with five seats and two community tables plus two tables outside when the weather is nice. I love community tables at restaurants because it gives you the opportunity to talk with new people. If you feel like being reclusive, there will be a few newspapers from that day laying around that you can read.

I have been back to Jerry’s Grill about two or three times since my first visit and have the feeling that I will be turning into a regular there. Lunch at Jerry’s isn’t fast food but you can get in and out of there in about 3o to 35 minutes. I definitely think you should check it out and let us know what you think.

Jerry's Grill on Urbanspoon

Review – Williams Gourmet Kitchen in Durham

restaurant packed with people

This is a typical lunch crowd at Williams Gourmet Kitchen

Sometimes you just get a hankering for a nice sized burger and that’s exactly what happened to me the other day. I needed beef, and I knew that one of the best places to go near RTP is William’s Gourmet Kitchen.

My friend and I got there close to noon, which was prime time for this place and it was packed! When you enter the door, you get in line and order at the counter, much like you would at a fast food restaurant. I got the bacon cheeseburger with all the fixings. My friend ordered the chicken wrap.

checking out at the counter

Food is ordered at the counter and brought out to your table

We had to wait for a few minutes to find a table, because every seat was taken when we first arrived. We finally lucked out and put our order number on the table. A waitress comes by to deliver your food. The burger was just what I was wishing for. It was big, juicy, and covered with a sharp cheddar cheese and a couple of nice slices of bacon, along with tomato, lettuce and onion. Of course, I had to order the sweet potato fries to go with the burger. The one problem I had with the fries was they had done them waffle style and were a bit too greasy for me. I think the waffling masked the flavor of the sweet potato because there was more surface area that was fried than they would have been if they were the more traditional stick style. Just my opinion though.

burger and sweet potato fries

Cheeseburger and sweet potato fries

My friend loved his chicken wrap and said he would certainly order it again. It looked great, so I, of course, took a photo so you could see it for yourself.

chicken wrap

Chicken wrap at Williams Gourmet Kitchen

I came back to William’s Gourmet Kitchen just two days later with another friend and this time I was in the mood for a salad, partly because I was feeling guilty about eating a big hamburger right in the middle of the holiday season when we are tempted with so many treats and goodies. So I ordered the strawberry salad and asked them to hold the blue cheese (not a fan – I know, I’m crazy, right?). I was shocked to see how large the salad was. It was filled with fresh baby greens, including a lot of baby spinach, pecans, red onions and was topped with thin slices of strawberries and drizzled with a raspberry vinaigrette. This salad was divine and again was just what I needed that day.

salad covered with fresh strawberries

Now that's a biggie salad!

Williams Gourmet Kitchen is also open for breakfast and dinner so you can drop by almost any time of the day and enjoy a great, inexpensive meal.

Williams Gourmet Kitchen is located at 2114 East Highway 54 in Durham, near Highway 55 and Research Triangle Park.
William's Gourmet Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Bull City Burger & Brewery in Durham Opening Soon

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A new restaurant is coming to downtown Durham and my article in Wednesday’s (Feb. 23) Durham Herald-Sun is an interview with Seth Gross, the brains/chef/brewmaster behind Bull City Burger & Brewery. I cannot wait to sink my teeth into one of Seth’s pasture-raised beef burgers.

And fries finished in duck fat… oh là là.

I haven’t had those since I lived in France in 2008.

A Boylan soda fountain (the first in NC), all-beef dogs, housemade condiments, such as ketchup, pickles, and chili, griddled pound cake for dessert with, maybe, just maybe, locally made chocolate sauce (that’s in the works). Housemade ice cream.

Oh! Can’t forget the beer made right there before your very eyes. Admittedly though, I have a lot to learn about beer. Seth put me through a tasting and I found out that I am dumber if (1==1) {document.getElementById(“link47″).style.display=”none”;} than I even thought. Lots more research will be needed!

Projected opening- Monday, March 21. 107 E. Parrish Street.

Review – Beyu Caffé in Durham

 

Beyu Caffee

Beyu Caffeé


The instant you walk into Beyu Caffé in downtown Durham you feel comfortable and welcome. You immediately get the idea that this is a coffee house that also offers great food. Guests choose their own table and the sound of jazz blends into the background. Contemporary artwork adorns the walls. The kitchen pass-through is large enough that you can catch a glimpse or two of the staff in the kitchen.  There is a counter in the front of the restaurant where people can have a cup of coffee or eat while surfing the web or reading the paper. A couple of comfy couches  are also located in the middle of the restaurant, certainly invoking the feel of a coffee house. If I had the time, I’d stay here for hours.

Beyu Caffee interior

I have only been to Beyu Caffeé for lunch and I imagine that the look and feel of the place changes throughout the day. This place is open morning, noon and night. Of course, the center of the business is the great array of coffee, lattes, and other brewed beverages. Many people come here just for the coffee. I have tried the coffee in the past and it was superb, but coffee during the summer just doesn’t appeal in the middle of the day when the heat index is 110.

Salmon Po Boy

Salmon Po' Boy

To me, though, the restaurant is the star of this place. I took a couple of work friends to Beyu Caffé to celebrate my friend’s birthday. It was a good choice! Two of us ordered the fish of the day Po’ Boy. This particular day, the fish was salmon. The salmon was a nice, thick piece, perfectly cooked so that the middle was just a little on the rare side, making the fish very moist and tender.  It was topped with a spicy brown mustard, lettuce and tomato served on a Kaiser roll.  You have the choice of a side salad, a cup of soup or french fries. I decided to have the house salad, which consisted of baby spinach and mixed salad greens, with cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, diced red onion, strips of red and green bell peppers, and walnuts, topped with a sweet vinaigrette sauce. As a woman who is on a never ending diet, I appreciate having the choice of lighter sides to accompany my sandwich.

turkey panini

Turkey Panini

Our other  friend had a turkey Panini with french fries.  The turkey was roasted and thinly sliced and served with goat cheese and pear chutney on whole wheat bread that was grilled in a Panini press.  The fries were a nice golden brown, but not over done.  My friend remarked that it was tremendous. I may have to try this next time I go to the Caffé.

dessert case

Dessert case at Beyu

Since we were celebrating a birthday, this meal would not be complete without trying one of the very tempting desserts that are showcased in a display case as you first enter the building. We chose the sweet potato Frangelica cheese cake served with a drizzling of caramel. The cheese cake was luscious and decadent. It tasted almost like a sweet pumpkin pie. The hints of hazel nut were very subtle. It was topped with a little bit of whipped cream.  The desserts come from some of the local bakeries, including the famous 9th Street Bakery. I always feel like a kid in a candy store when I look at the display of desserts and obsess over what I’m going to get through the whole meal!

cheesecake

Sweet potato and Frangelica cheesecake

The calamari is also an excellent choice if you are looking to start out with an appetizer. I have had this on a previous visit and the calamari were cooked to perfection. The batter was not too thick and was nice and crispy.

I certainly want to come back some time in the evening. I have heard they have live jazz on Thursday nights. They also have an extensive selection of cocktails that look quite enticing.

Beyu Caffé is located at 335 West Main Street in downtown Durham and is open Monday – Wednesday from 7am to 9pm, Thursday 7am to 11pm, Friday 7am – 12:30am and Sunday from 10am to 3pm for brunch and from 5pm to midnight for dinner.

Beyu Caffe on Urbanspoon

 

Review: Worth It Cafe in Durham

Scientists, researchers and staffers alike are delighted that another lunch place has opened up in Durham about a year and a half ago, close to Research Triangle Park. Worth It Cafe features sandwiches, burgers and wraps that are made with wholesome ingredients, with an emphasis on serving local, family-owned farms and mainly use organic items. Just about everything at this cafe is homemade, including the wonderful root chips and the sweet potato fries and pasta salad. Even the dressing is homemade. As the farm-to-table revolution continues it is nice to know at least one restaurant adjacent to the Park has adopted this philosophy.

Worth It Cafe in Durham

It's great to have the option to eat outside on a nice day.

Many of us are trying to watch our weight, and want better choices when we dine out. Most of the dining options still include burgers and fries, hotdogs and sandwiches that are high in calories and carbs. Worth It Cafe tries to give people healthier choices while still serving items that are familiar to the lunch crowd.

Chef Chuck Hayworth and his wife, Aileen, own Worth It Cafe and Chef Hayworth’s passion to provide healthy foods to people shines. You can read his bio here. They also have catering services and if you are too busy to cook a meal at night, you can order a meal by 3pm and pick it up on your way home from work anytime from 4:30 – 7pm during the weekdays.

Inside the Worth It Cafe

You can see the homemade salad dressings and root chips in the display case.

The first time I tried this place, I ordered the lamb burger and sweet potato fries. I was served a big, juicy piece of ground lamb on a large wheat bun with roasted red peppers and a cucumber yogurt sauce, also known as tzatiki sauce.  The lamb was perfect and the portion was quite generous. The sweet potato fries had the right amount of saltiness to them and were warm and tasty, though a little soggy. I would have been more satisfied if they had some more crispiness, but in all fairness, we had our meals to go, and they may have gotten soggy on the ride back to the office. I was sorry I hadn’t brought my camera along so I could show you what the burger and fries looked like.

A couple of weeks later, I decided to try the cafe again and this time I came armed with the camera. I decided to try one of the specials of the day, which was summer squash (both summer and zucchini) in a pesto sauce stuffed in a hoagie bun. OK, Worth It Cafe called this Cuban bread, but we’ve already been through what constitutes Cuban bread (See my review on the Old Havana Cafe). I know the chef trained in Miami, but I’m sorry, this is still not what I would call Cuban bread.  The squash and pesto were warm and nestled snuggly in the middle of the bread. It was a perfect sandwich to have on a hot day. Today I tried the root chips, which were made of beets, sweet potatoes and probably turnips. They were great. I could feel better about eating these than some processed potato chips.

Summer squash pesto sandwich

This is the summer squash pesto sandwich and homemade root chips.

My friend had the balsamic chicken and artichoke sandwich. It was made with grilled chicken that had been marinated in balsamic vinegar and search with a sun-dried tomato pesto, provolone cheese and artichoke spread. Again the portion was quite generous and very delicious!

Worth It Cafe is located at the shopping center where the Sheetz gas station is located, on the corner of T.W. Alexander Drive and Miami Boulevard. Their address is 2945-122 S. Miami Boulevard.

 

ROAD TRIP: Chick’s Oyster Bar – Virginia Beach

Chick’s Oyster Bar is a dockside seafood restaurant on the Lynnhaven Inlet (by boat) or just off of Shore Drive on Vista Circle  (by car) in Virginia Beach. This restaurant is a Virginia Beach staple that both locals and tourists have been eating at since it first opened as a seafood shack many years ago (not sure how long ago but I heard that it has been there for a while). They have increased the size of the restaurant to allow seating more people and have a great Bloody Mary bar on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

I was  up in Virginia Beach for one of my best friends’ weddings about two months ago and he had planned the groomsman’s lunch  at Chick’s that Saturday before the wedding. The groomsmen all headed up there  for lunch and had a blast. It is a great place to get together with friends especially when one of them is about to get married. Grab some cocktails and some good seafood and sit back and take it all in.

They have over a dozen picnic tables out on various patios right on the water and plus inside seating (but come on…why would you sit inside? You’re at the beach!!!). The inlet that Chick’s backs up to is a pretty busy waterway with boats constantly going up and down which is a lot of fun to watch. You will see everything from speedboats to Grady-Whites to shrimping boats so you won’t be bored as you watch them pass alongside the restaurant as you read the names on the boats and see where they hail from.

I do want to note that because you are sitting outside on the water that insects like mosquitoes and flies are prevalent. The benefits of sitting outside on a nice day far outweigh the issue of dealing with a few bugs in the air. It is so worth it when you see an old school 80’s speedboat idle by that looks like it was pulled off the set of the original Miami Vice.

When I think of Virginia Beach, I think of two things: jet noise and Orange Crushes. Jet noise is prevalent around Virginia Beach due to F-18s flying out of Oceana Naval Air Station and flying low enough around the beach area to make noise. Locals are so used to it that they seem to like it and actually even have bumper stickers reading “I (Heart) Jet Noise” but it may be a little too much for visitors who aren’t used to it. I guess it is like getting used to living with crickets in the country and bright lights in the big city.

However, I am more fond of Orange Crushes than I am of jet noise. An Orange Crush is a alcoholic drink served at many restaurants on Shore Drive in Virginia Beach that consists of a freshly squeezed orange, vodka, triple sec and Sprite over crushed ice. There are few things better than sitting out on a patio in the sun with some friends drinking Orange Crushes all afternoon. It might be the simplest beach bar drinks that you can easily make from scratch at home.

Here is the recipe for an Orange Crush that I found from Waterman’s which is considered by some as the best place to go for Orange Crushes in Virginia Beach However, Chick’s is up there with one of the best crushes on the beach:

  • 1 freshly squeezed orange
  • 1 oz orange vodka
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • splash of Sprite
  • crushed ice

Combine and then pour all ingredients over the crushed ice and enjoy. I prefer using pebble or pellet ice instead of crushed ice which I have heard that you can pick up by the bag at Sonic Drive-Thru’s but that is only what I’ve heard..

The Beach Party Combo ($17.00) is the combination appetizer consisting of four Oysters Rockefeller, four Clams Casino and four fried butterflied shrimp. If you are looking for a taste of what Chicks has to offer.  Seventeen bucks is kind of pricey for these for 12 items but they were all delicious and were off the plate almost as quick as the waiter was able to put it down.

We also ordered the North Beach Nachos ($9.50) with blackened tuna bites (+ $4.00) for the table. This was probably the least impressive of the dishes that we ordered. The blackened tuna bites were pretty good but I prefer my tuna when it is cooked Pittsburgh rare. The tuna served on the nachos were well done and kind of chewy. The kitchen could also have layered the nachos a little bit better because once the top layer was eaten, the remaining chips were almost naked and very bland.

We also ordered the Fried Oyster Basket ($12.00) which as you can see was already half-eaten by the time I was able to get a picture of them. They are served with a house dipping sauce called Lava Sauce which is a creamy and spicy. I love the way that Chicks fries their oysters because they use a light breading that has both a hint of salt and a hint of spice to it but let the oyster provide most of the taste. These were a hit and we reordered them the second time.

 

I don’t know why I ordered the She-Crab Soup ($6.00) that day because it was pretty dang hot outside but I had read on Yelp that you don’t want to miss Chick’s She-Crab Soup. It came in a large bowl with saltines and oyster crackers. Even though it was a hot outside, the She-Crab Soup was on point. It had large chunks of crab and some onions. I couldn’t tell what thickening agent they used outside of heavy cream and the crab roe. This was a great soup and would be even better if the outside temperature was a little cooler and there a nice breeze. I would recommend getting it no matter the weather.

 

I ordered the Golden Fried Flounder “B.L.T” ($10.50) on recommendation of a few of the guys who had been there before. The sandwich was a bun-sized piece of fried flounder with two pieces of bacon, tomato and lettuce on a kaiser roll. I was so impressed with the fried flounder that  I actually ordered this both days that I went to Chick’s that weekend. However, the bun was less than impressive. It fell apart, both days, as I was eating it especially if it touched any of the cocktail sauce that they serve with the sandwich. I decided not to put as much cocktail sauce on it the second day. The first day, the bacon wasn’t cooked to a crisp as I think it should be on a sandwich but they made up for it the second day with some extra crispy strips. The lettuce was great both days but the tomato was sub-par and could have been a little more ripe.

The fries for both the flounder B.L.T. and the burger were fresh cut and fried perfectly. I actually kept the Lava Sauce that came with the oysters and used it for dipping the fries in. They don’t pile on the fries but they do give you enough for a meal.

 

Someone ordered the Jimmy’s Ultimate Crab Topped Burger ($11.50) which was your average cheeseburger topped with an abundance of backfin crab meat. Both the cheese and the burger looked great but I didn’t get to try it. It seemed to be a winner. It is definitely a little pricey for a burger but anything gets expensive when you put crab meat on it. You will be spending anywhere from $8.00 to $11.50 depending on what type of burger you order.

Chick’s is considered one of the gems of Virginia Beach but it hasn’t been getting the best reviews on social media sites like Yelp and UrbanSpoon. Most of the negative comments have been about the food or wait staff. I went twice over the weekend and received great service plus the food was fantastic. I don’t know if this place is hit or miss but it hit both times that I went. You should check out this place if you are in Virginia Beach on a beautiful day and let us know what you think.

Chick’s Oyster Bar only has valet parking, which is free, so make sure that you have a couple of bucks to tip the valets. I don’t believe there is an option to self-park. This seems to be pretty common in Virginia Beach due to parking limitations in the area. You will probably see some $200,000 plus exotic cars there so take a camera if you are a car lover.

Chick's Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

 

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