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Am I missing something? RE: Tobacco Co. Rest.

kim shook Nov 26, 2006 02:18 AM

I have been reading some other boards and keep seeing self proclaimed food enthusiasts praising the Tobacco Co. in Richmond, VA. I haven't eaten there in years and wasn't at all impressed when I did. I found it very ordinary and loud. I always thought that it was like a locally owned fern bar. Has something changed? Am I missing something by automatically discounting it when considering restaurants here?

  1. v
    Vahound Nov 27, 2006 12:29 AM

    I must agree with the group. I understand maybe walking in and talking about the history of the space but outside of a Scotch I move on somewhere else!



    1. b
      blewgo Nov 26, 2006 11:09 PM

      Char-Grill is another Raleigh institution that I don't care for.

      1 Reply
      1. re: blewgo
        VaNC Nov 27, 2006 12:01 AM

        I am with you on that one. To me they are just overcooked rubbery tasteless burgers. And people rave about Char-Grill's great milkshake, while I know, from seeing them pour the mix in the top of the machine, that they are not even real milkshakes, just frozen mix! I think you have to have grown up going there to get the mystique of it all.

      2. j
        Janet from Richmond Nov 26, 2006 12:25 PM

        No, it hasn't changed and your perceptions are accurate IMO. It's the one place in Richmond that I cringe when I see it recommended on Chowhound or anywhere else.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Janet from Richmond
          VaNC Nov 26, 2006 08:43 PM

          I am from Richmond and now live in Raleigh. I know exctly what this post would say before I opened it. Every town has their "signature" "talked about by out of towner" restuarants that locals just don't get. I was in Richmond when Tabacco Co. opened and it was in the era of the fern bar. It was the cool place to go. I remember the food being good, but, hey, I was in college! It is where everyone's parents took them as a "big deal" when they came in town. Now, when people find out I am from Richmond, they often say..."we went to a great restaurant there, downtown" and I can guess they will say Tabacco Company. I know from having gone there in recent years it is not bad, but no great thing anymore. Living on reputation.
          In Raleigh, in my opinion, our two "signature" restaurants also are just okay...Angus Barn and 42nd Street. The last time I went to 42nd street, the food was almost inedible it was so bad. But I was there the night it opened and it WAS great for years. Now, this is just not true. But people come in town and still say "you have to take me to 42nd STreet" and I cringe. Angus Barn isn't bad, I just don't think it is the best steak in town. I haven't been there in years, but when first taken there I could never understand the waitresses in pancake house looking outfits and the cheez whiz stuff that you got as an appetizer that people raved about. I have since been back, but admittedly only for company "things" in the wine cellar, and they were fine...but I would not say exceptional. But, on this board and at parties, work, etc. I repeatedly hear people go on at length about it. I think some places are just so entreched in the local lore, regional history, etc. that their reputation carries them.

        2. u
          upstate girl Nov 26, 2006 03:44 AM

          I agree with you kim shook. I'm not all that impressed with the Tobaco Co. either. Most recently, we had a mediocre meal and an obnoxious waiter. I think there are far better restaurants in Richmond.

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