We were in Richmond this past weekend for the Ukrop Monument Avenue 10k. We treat our races as mini-vacations and plan them in nearby cities that we generally wouldn't visit otherwise. Richmond was hopping since VCU was playing Butler in a Final Four game. We saw a lot of yellow and black garb, ran our 10k, ate some Richmond food, and visited the Hollywood Cemetery (we don't usually visit cemeteries, but this is a well-known Richmond attraction with the headstones of two former presidents and thousands of Confederates; it was a nice walk after all the eating).
Here's where we ate, in order: Edo's Squid, Mama's Kitchen, Sub Central, and Comfort. A quick overview of our Richmond food experience:
Edo's Squid: Far exceeded our expectations; we would be very happy if Edo's Squid picked up and moved into our DC neighborhood. The fried squid was among the best we've ever had and we are suckers for calamari, so we've had a lot. Light, crispy, perfect. The arugula salad tasted as though it was just picked, so fresh and simply dressed. Loved it. The eggplant parmigiana was solid, simple, just tasty. The overall theme of Edo's Squid: simply prepared and perfect. Braised fennel was so good that Mr. Plantain just ran out to the store for fennel and cream to mimic the flavors at home. The waiter was kind enough to tell us that the fennel was braised in white wine before cream, nutmeg, and parmesan were added before broiling. Never knew that fennel could be this good.
Mama's Kitchen: A cute Korean food shop. Seems to cater a bit too much to American tastes and they would probably be better off sticking with the full authentic Korean flavors (but, you already know what a pet peeve this is for me if you've read our Mandu review). Items we thought tasted good: fried mandu, vegetable kim bap (the Korean version of sushi rolls), dok bok ki (rice cakes and fish cakes in spicy sauce). Our entree Korean soup was watered-down in flavor and needed some spiciness and depth.
Sub Central: We ended up here after the race because it was close to our hotel and we just wanted to sit down for a bit and eat something. The cheesesteak was tasty enough and the owner was nice enough to make us fries even though he had just cleaned the fryer. The gyro was not as good as the cheesesteak; the meat lacked flavor.
Comfort: Pretty disappointing, mainly because other people seem to love this place. The highlight was the fried green tomato appetizer, with a nice crisp on the outside. Also, the fried catfish was fried well. I guess that they're good at frying things. Decent sides: macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, though neither anything better than I make at home. The meatloaf was dry and the red pepper flavor was overpowering. The collard greens were a bit bitter, the squash casserole a bit bland. The high points weren't that high; we would have felt neutral about this place if we had happened upon it, but since we had read such good reviews, it was a letdown.
Richmond was fun and relaxing. Maybe we'll be back for the race next year. If so, we'll see you again, Edo's Squid, for sure.Edo's Squid
411 N Harrison St
Richmond, VA 23220