I love the Northside of Richmond! I’ve lived just inside Ginter Park for nine years and have immensely enjoyed what Ginter Park and Bellevue have to offer. From stately mansions to oh-so-cute bungalows, the area features wonderful architecture from the turn of the 20th century through the 1940’s. Tudor, Spanish, and American Four Square are among my favorites in my ‘hood.
The area also holds secret treasures. The campus of Union Presbyterian Seminary emanates a peacefulness almost any time of the day, not to mention gargoyles. The library gargoyle is my favorite. Fauquier Avenue displays a delightful median garden. The fitness track on the campus features a labyrinth. And don’t forget the Tiffany glass windows at Ginter Park Baptist Church. Tiffany placed gold leaf in the glass. When the sun hits the windows a golden glow envelops the sanctuary.
I’m a great fan of the Northside citizens as well. Where else can one find Black Cat Alley? Or a family van replete with blue flames?? The Saturday before Mardi Gras Wilmington Avenue hosts a Mardi Gras parade with beads and candy.
Of course, being the author of River City Food and Wine, eating is extremely important. I’m blessed with a multitude of places to visit within walking distance. Since moving here the MacArthur Ave/Bellevue commercial district keeps improving. Once Upon a Vine offers free wine tastings every Friday. Stir Crazy is the local coffee hangout. Jazzbo’s Rollin’ Gumbo is our own neighborhood food cart and serves up some scrumptious gumbo. Enoteca Sogno is the newest Italian kid on the block (drool!). Other wonderful establishments include Shennanigans, Dot’s Back Inn, Northside Grille, and The Mill on MacArthur. Something for everyone and all good. Many of the proprietors live in the area, too.
I saved two of my favorites to feature: Zorba’s and Tastebuds American Bistro. Zorba’s is my go-to pizza delivery place. For a minimum $10 order, they will deliver a piping hot non-chain pie. My favorite is a Medium Pizza with Pepperoni, Onion, Green Peppers, and Extra Cheese. Yummy, yummy. Zorba’s has been around for a while and one of the first places I discovered when I moved to the area.
Tastebuds American Bistro is one of my very favorite restaurants in Richmond and so consistent that I’ve taken family and friends there on a regular basis.
The atmosphere is casual, but the staff are always attentive. They feature imaginative small plates:
Pork Adobo Tacos are slightly spicy and a satisfying small plate.
The duck spring rolls are one of my all-time favorites.
Also, lovely salads (my favorite is Spinach, Shaved Red Onion, Goat Cheese Crumble & Lemon-Parsley Dressing).
Entrees offer a variety of dining delights including Asian skewers:
Succulent sirloin and tasty shrimp are delicious! I also like the rise stuffed spring roll.
Specials in tune to the seasons are offered during the weekends (this summer Hanover tomatoes and softshell crabs have been a big hit). The wine list is small but offers wonderful bottles for $35 or less. And don’t forget the creative cocktails such as the Red Bison.
Tuesdays – Thursdays one can order a delicious three course prix fixe for $18. A true tasteful bargain.
So, if you are not able to live in the area, at least come wine and dine in the Northside on occasion. The Northside, a neighborhood that keeps getting better.
$25 Gift Card to Tastebuds American Bistro
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