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Mike Sep 9, 2000 07:41 PM

I have to share this. I was in Williamsburg in August, and we ate breakfast twice in a place called The Gazebo, breakfast only, 6am to 2pm. The pancakes were quite good. The most amazing thing to me, however, was the following: The Olive Garden on Richmond Road was tremendous. I could easily go on for pages, but the food was fantastic, the service professional, the portions were more than sufficient, and their pasta fagioli and potato and sausage soup (I forget the name) were superb. I really thought that this was some assembly line chain, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

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  1. j
    Jerry Mellis Sep 29, 2000 09:27 PM

    Growing up in New York I loved Italian Ice. Williamsburg, VA has my childhood favorite Italian Ice. The owner however is from New Orleans. The place is on the North bound lane of Richmond Road just past the motels and eating places. They offer a very long list of flavors and several size cups. The kids use their immagination to mix flavors. Mine is simply a small Lemonade with extra sirup, cost $1.75 (about a 9 ounce cup). They have a card plan after you make ten purchases you get $1.50 off the next purchase. Summer time with a couple of kids, you will go through several cards.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jerry Mellis
      j
      Jerry Mellis Sep 30, 2000 05:29 PM

      Readers, my appology I did not give you the name of this taste bud tantilizing place with the New Orleans owner. Sno-to-go is its name.

      1. re: Jerry Mellis
        b
        banany Sep 6, 2001 01:04 PM

        I lived in Williamsburg for a few years, and most of the restaurants are pretty touristy and uniformly awful. However, I did have a few favorites (don't know if I qualify as a true chowhound, but here are my recommendations, keeping in mind that I haven't been back to Williamsburg in 3 years:

        1) The aforementioned Sno-to-Go, on Richmond Road, which has been described alternately as a snowcone or Italian ice, but is closer to Italian ice. The ice is very finely shaved, none of those lumps you would see with a typical amusement park-type snowcone. There are over 30 flavors, including a yummy coconut/berry one called Tigers blood, and my own personal favorites, blackberry and spearamint. The syrups are not overly sweet and it is a very refreshing treat. The owners are actually a younger couple who run the place part-time (summers only) -- I believe he is a pastor at one of the local churches -- they particularly liked my husband since he used to go every night for a sno-to-go fix.

        2) Cities Grille -- off of Ironbound. A small restaurant with sometimes fabulous, oftentimes mediocre food. I'm not sure if its still there -- was really a local place and not many tourists, had some good salads and salad dressings and the menu changed seasonally if I remember correctly.

        3) Doraldo's -- forget the name of the main road, but it is about a mile or so away from the entrance to Busch Gardens, on the opposite side of the street. Very simple family-owned place, some interesting pasta dishes (although avoid the baked ones that are blanketed with mozzerella cheese)and a good alternative for Italian in Williamsburg (I can't agree with a previous poster about Sal's by Victor -- everytime I ate there the pastas were nothing special, and the rudeness of the waitstaff and Sal eventually outweighed my desire to spend more money there. The pizza isn't too bad, for a Virginia version of NY style).

        4) Paul's Deli -- a college hangout right across from the College of William and Mary on Richmond Road. They have some baked subs (Hot Holly and Hot Virginia are two of my favorites -- although they use processed American cheese instead of real cheese -- but what do you expect for a college deli?) that are better than any I've encountered since, although the rest of their food is not particularly exciting (unless you can talk the Greek grandma into sharing some of the daily special she prepares for the kitchen staff).

        5) I'll mention the Trellis (in Merchant's Square, CW) although it was steadily getting more touristy and quality was going down when I was there. It is owned by Marcel Desaulniers of "Death by Chocolate" fame, and when he is actually in the kitchen it is possible to get an amazing meal for a reasonable cost (compared to big cities). Strangely enough, I never really enjoyed the desserts there as much as I expected to -- maybe because I was always too full from dinner.

      2. l
        lew Feb 9, 2001 10:45 AM

        No offense, but you must be outta your mind....the Olive Garden as delicious??? Absolutement pas! Never. You can't possibly be a Chow Hound. It's not about service being professional (though this can be a plus), nor about portions being sufficient; these are totally secondary, if to be considered at all....Only flavor and quality count. Olive Garden can't hold a candle to authentic, Italian cuisine, such as that offered at Fellini's in Norfolk and Great Bridge/Chesapeake....or Castaldi's at MacArthur Mall. I've eaten at the Williamsburg Olive Garden....and the one in Chesapeake....bah humbug. Yecch. Pitiful food-eating experiences. Olive Garden's food is the food equivalent of Sears or Monkey Wards or K-mart.....

        1 Reply
        1. re: lew
          r
          Renee Seibel Aug 30, 2001 12:48 PM

          Or, Sal's by Victor in Williamsburg is a good choice for Italian. The owner, Victor, is a very nice, personal man (who looks like a larger, Italian Phil Collins) and is always very friendly to my family. I recently had smoked chicken ravioli in aparagus and basil sauce with sun-dried tomatoes, and YOWZA!

          Also, they have imported orange, lemon, and peach sorbets.

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