It's only fair

Last time I talked about an unpleasant restaurant experience, so it's only fair I should take a moment to mention some good times here in VB.

My new all-around favorite place has to be Burton's Grill. Everything was perfect from the cleanliness of the place (bathrooms included - a true clue to kitchen appearance) to the presentation of the food.  And Burton's is a supporter of the latest and greatest trend in dining - Buy Fresh Buy Local ( where local eateries prepare dishes using local seasonal foods. This practice is good for one's health, the environment, and the local economy. Burton's Grill - among others - frequently features local farm fodder on their menus. I peeked at BG's monthly specials and - sure enough - there was butternut squash soup made from Cullipher Farms (my kids say cauliflower farms) veggies. ( -I can personally vouch for their collards and canning tomatoes.)

While I try to stay away from chains, I do have to admit my favorite dessert of late is found at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Their Caramelized Banana Cream Pie is amazing. With its light, flaky crust filled with white chocolate banana custard and topped with caramelized sugar adorned banana slices...I've died and gone to sweet sugar heaven. (And, the service at Ruth's Chris is second to none. The waitstaff is consistently professional and honestly seems happy to take care of the customers. I noticed all of the servers - not just "ours" - likewise seem willing to help clear an empty dish or refill a glass.)

My favorite "cheap eats" here in VB has to be The Beach Bully. We've been noshing on their fresh cut french fries (with cider vinegar), mile-high "regular" roast beef sammiches (medium rare, if you please) and beefy baked beans since they were served out of the little shack at 31st and Baltic. I don't remember what the price was then, but I know the aforementioned platter is still only $5.99 (a steal by any definition).

I really could write pages about yummy places to eat in Virginia Beach, but I don't want to wear out my welcome.  Before I go, I do have to add my two cents about Handel's Ice Cream located in Red Mill Commons (in the southern part of the city). All the ice creams are made daily on the premises with fresh ingredients (no bagged, pre-made mix for these guys). Dozens of carefully orchestrated flavors are available daily - and there are some meal-esque, heavy but amazing combinations including Chocolate Chocolate-chip Cheesecake Chunk and Spouse Like A House which is vanilla ice cream with peanut butter ripple and chocolate-covered, peanut-butter-filled pretzels. I have to add I think it a little bit pricey, but that doesn't stop me from walking down there several times troughout the summer (and the rest of the year for that matter) for a more than generous scoop of Chocolate Raspberry Truffle or Dolce de Leche. (P.S. Their frozen hot chocolate is my favorite non-ice cream treat).

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