B-more Chow visiting Hampton- suggestions?
I grew up in Hampton, VA but have not lived there sine the '80's. My parents still live there however. I have the opportunity to stay there for a week and wondered if there were any Chow-worthy restaurants on the Peninsula. I remember that pretty much all of the restaurants were chains and/or buffet restaurants. Have things changed much?
Thanks in advance for your help.
I am with you - I grew up in Hampton also, and get back there a few times a year. Unfortunately things have not changed *that* much in Hampton since you've been. Still way too many terrible chains, and more and more keep coming - like that Eat at Joe's. Why?
The last time I was there in early April a friend and I went to Six - a new tapas place in Pheobus (I'd say the area is a good 5-10 years behind food trends). A few dishes were good, but it was so inconsistent. Instead of focusing on a few types of cuisine that they do well, they try to please too many different kinds of palates, so the menu is sprawling and the kitchen clearly can't keep up. If you go, try the specials - those were the best. It's definitely one of the more adventurous places in the area, and I do have to applaud their efforts. Don’t get me wrong – it was good, but not great – and a welcome change for that area. One of the huge pluses is that their beer selection is terrific, with some unexpected beers on tap.
In downtown Hampton there is an excellent place for lunch – La Bodgea Hampton. I love their sandwiches – the Langley and the Navigator specifically. They also have a wine shop with a comprehensive wine selection for the area.
There are a few more options in the area, but Norfolk is still your best bet. If you want to stay in Hampton/Newport News - I posted this a while back about some other places to check out:
There is a great Indian restaurant on Jefferson called Nawab – near the intersection of J. Clyde Morris. I didn't have the highest expectations but the food was outstanding. The food definitely leans toward more traditional Indian, but above your average Indian restaurant. The chicken in our tikka masala was a tad on the dry side, but the sauce was great. We also had the Palak Paneer - divine! We were there for dinner but I want to go back for the lunch buffet. Even my non-adventurous mother liked it. Service was a little slow. The second time there we had the Vegetable Korma and the Chana Masala – I would recommend both.
In the Oyster Point area you can also try Sushi Yama for sushi. I've eaten lunch there a few times - they have an awesome lunch special. Quality sushi. Nothing cutting edge - but a solid choice.
For seafood - Surf Rider in Hampton is a decent choice. Simple seafood dishes - and a lot of bang for your buck. The portions are quite oversized. My enthusiasm for this place wanes a little more each time I’m there. But if you want a good crab cake sandwich you can’t go wrong.
I'm still searching for a breakfast spot to recommend... no luck yet!
Good luck and report back if you find anything spectacular!