Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Streets Are Alive!

Who doesn't love the feeling of sun on their skin while enjoying a good beer? As the temperatures rise, some of us shift away from cozy cellars and dive bars in search of open, airy cafes with outdoor seating. Well okay, I still love a good dive bar no matter what time of year but at least now there's the option to sit outside! With a nice range of RVA restaurants from which to choose, here are a few of my favorites.

1. The Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe opened in early February in Shockoe Slip to solid reviews. With a great interior, floor to ceiling windows that rotate open toward Cary St and locally-sourced ingredients, this cafe makes for a great spot to enjoy breakfast, lunch or an evening drink/dessert. Go now while the weather is warm enough for the restaurant to open its windows and not so hot that it's unbearable!

One of my favorites: an "Americano" served with lox and cream cheese with fresh dill. Yum.

2. Garnett's Cafe is located at the intersection of Park Ave and N Meadow St. Owned and operated by the Ipanema folks, Garnett's offers breakfast pastries, coffee, lunch fare and wine/beer in a cozy and inviting interior. It really does feel a bit like you've stepped into a 50's style diner. I mention Garnett's in relation to outdoor dining because they offer picnic baskets to patrons so that your meal can be eaten in the park across the street if you choose! How cute is that?

3. Mom's Siam has been a favorite of mine since moving to RVA because it's inexpensive, they have good food and they have a decent sense of humor. For my birthday one year they turned off all the lights for dramatic effect and sang while lighting the candles on my cake. As I was blowing out the candles all around me I could hear the sounds of people dropping things, stumbling and asking each other what was going on (as none of them realized the reason for the blackout). Hilarious. They make this week's list because they have a large patio facing Cary St where you can get your spice with a view. The sticky rice with mango is one of my favorite desserts in the summer - cool and sweet!

Emily Smith

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