A Trip Down South – Ye Olde Virginia
Dr. Awesome and I wanted to mix it up a bit for new years. We decided to go down and visit our great friends Frank and Caitlin in Richmond, Virginia. We touched down on the evening of December 30 and were hungry! Frank and Caitlin took us to this really cool place called The Bellytimber Tavern. I had a shrimp po’ boy which was sooooo good. It was also amazing to remember and experience that ordering drinks outside NYC is ridiculously cheap. Like, $26 for 5 people cheap. And there were some hardcore drinks too.
We then made our way to McCormack’s Whisky Grill & Smokehouse. We were brought upon an amazing sight:
No, not the ghostly person in the front. It’s hard to see cause it was very dark and my flash mainly caught Dr. Awesome. There was a huge, huge wall of mainly bottles of whiskey. It was amazing. There were so many bottles that the bartenders had to climb a ladder to reach things at the top or towards the very back.
On New Years Eve, Frank came up with the idea to roam around his and Dr. Awesome’s old stomping grounds of Charlottesville and visit some local wineries. Yes. Wine. Virginia makes wine. I didn’t know this until about a year ago. We started at Thomas Jefferson Vineyards. We sampled all their wines. Unfortunately, their pours were a little light. Like automated pourer light. We ended up taking one of their white wines called Viognier which, according to their description, has aromas of honeysuckle and apricot.
We then made our way to Blenheim Vineyards which is owned by none other than Mr. Dave Matthews. I have to say, his space is pretty friggen cool.
They were really cool there. The guy giving us the tastings free poured the wine and gave us yummy crackers to snack on. Then, this description of one of their reds caught my eye:
So enticing, one could date this wine!! Have you ever seen something like that before? I have not. And it was awesome. Unfortunately there were no cool wine names like “Ants Marching Merlot” and “Crash Into Me Chardonnay”. I was sad about that.
We ended with a nice group shot. Dr. Awesome and I bought Dave’s Painted Red wine which is 41% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Franc, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and has fresh scents of violet, blueberry, and cinnamon lead to lush flavors of blackberry jam, anise with soft tannins on the finish. Sure…violet.
Dr. Awesome and Frank took us on a quick tour of UVA which is really nice. Especially since all these secret societies leave their marks on the buildings there. So mysterious!
Before the drinking festivities, we made ourselves a home cooked meal of chicken coconut curry.
Frank made a great batch of Sazeracs. This drink literally changed my life. It’s delicious and you don’t need to drink too much of it to feel it working its magic. Caitlin gave us a black eyed pea to eat for good luck in the new year. Apparently it’s a southern tradition.
Many hijinks ensued. We made our way drunkenly to a bar to bring in the new year. We made it with about 5 minutes to spare. We all decided to just chill in the middle (the place had a front room and back room) and the front room counted down and celebrated about a minute before the back half of the room. I was confused, but I was drunk so it didn’t really matter.
The next day, we took it easy. Frank and Caitlin made us amazing eggs with bacon and cheese grits. I never really had grits before. I’m fan. They were delicious! We drove about an hour out of Richmond to visit one of Dr. Awesome’s friends from grad school who now works on his family’s dairy farm! How cool is that? We came right at feeding time and got to see some cute, young cows.
This guy grabbed my booty when I had my back turned to him. I decided to give him some attention after that.
I am so cool.
The cows kept following John’s son Tom around while he was running. It was really funny.
We got to hang with John and his family for a bit. His wife Amy is an amazing cook. She had some olive oil cake, bread, a black eye pea dish and artichoke dip. It was all so, so good. We also got to see our friend Molly and her boyfriend Andrew which was really nice.
After a couple of hours, we drove back to Richmond, pondering what to do for dinner. After a couple of disappointments (places either not being open or them having a special New Years Day menu), we went to a place called Buz and Ned’s Barbecue. Oh man, this place was awesome. We had their pulled pork (and buns for sandwiches!), hush puppies, mac and cheese and collard greens. How could this evening get any better? “Two Fat Ladies” marathon on Cooking Channel. That was our night. It was the best ever.
Dr. Awesome and I left the next day, but not without some good brunch. Frank and Caitlin took us to The Black Sheep (along with Buz and Ned’s, was apparently featured in a Richmond episode of “Man vs Food”). I had the grillades and grits, which is thinly pounded pork with a spicy tomato sauce that had grits underneath.
We were really sad that our amazing New Year’s weekend had come to an end, but we were so happy that we made the trip down in the first place. Thanks guys for a great weekend and I really hope that we can do it again in the near future!