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Oct 15, 2008 07:25 AM

Norfolk informal chow food for Baltimore hound?

Groupo of us going down to Norfolk just before the election, staying in the Extended Stay America on Ocean View Ave; looking for good food.
Criteria: ethnic or regional southern is great, needs to be informal and not take a whole evening as we'll probably be canvassing long hours, lots of flavor. We are not conservative eaters. Also any unusual or good food groceries in the general area.

Thanks! Will report back.

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  1. Doumar's of course and the Donut Dinette.

    1. If everyone is into seafood, go to the Surf Rider on Shore Drive (about 5 minutes from your hotel). Their crabcakes are oh-so-good, so are their fried oysters. Capt. Groovy's is pretty good (also on Shore Drive right past Surf Rider), lot of different menu items to choose from, plus their hand-cut fries are great.

      1. On your way down, stop at Pierces Pit Barbeque in Williamsburg. It is way off the beaten path but worth it.

        1. VP last week touted Jessy's Taqueria, 3201 E Ocean View. As the state of Mexican food in HR is generally awful, I am always on the look for a solution to my TexMex jones. Jessy's fits the bill perfectly. Great menu, with a full range from breakfast (huevos rancheros, chorizo con con huevos, all served with hot flour tortillas), tortas (hot sandwiches with a variety of fillings -- steak, pork carnitas, milanesa) and a full range of enchiladas -- mole to green. I chose the green -- house made corn tortillas, wrapped around shredded stewed chicken, and covered with a tomatillo based green sauce, grated queso asadero, and mexican crema (halfway between sour cream, and creme fraiche). Drinks include the classic mexican choices -- jamaica, tamarindo, and horchata. Everything in ths place (except the flour tortillas) is made here -- including the salsas, a fairly mild jalapeno based sauce with no tomatoes, and a spicer chile arbol. Even the excellently flavored frijoles refritos are made from scratch. Jessy's is food prepared with love and passion, and if comes through in every mouthful.

          1 Reply
          1. Terrapin and Eurasia Cafe in Virginia Beach are both good and it's not too much of a haul.

            5 Replies
            1. re: marianyb

              How far from Ocean View in Norfolk is Virginia Beach?
              Many thanks to all the people responding!

              1. re: crowsonguy

                Preliminary report from the election workers:
                Surf Rider. People who got fish liked the freshness, Baltimoreans complained that the crabcakes weren't like home, which I suspect means a lack of Old Bay seasoning.
                Jessy's Taqueria: "wow! The real thing!" " I didn't know that Mexican food on the East Coast could taste this good". Special praise for the salsa verde and enchiladas, as recommended.
                Many thanks to krisrishere, 23451bum and the others.
                Choppedonion, what is Doumers? I've been having a hard time getting info about it.
                And is Chesapeake a part of Norfolk, or a separate city?

                1. re: crowsonguy

                  Surfrider is a great locals spot. I'm excited to try Jessy's--didn't think there was any good mexican around here.
                  Doumar's is an old drive-in burger/bbq joint. apparently they "invented" the ice cream cone. They have great fast food and it is an institution here (kind of like the varsity in atlanta, but much smaller). It's on Monticello near 21st in Norfolk.

                  Chesapeake is a separate city--about 20 minutes away. Va Beach is about 30 minutes away. terrapin and eurasia are too fancy for what you're looking for (more fine dining).

                  Another great casual seafood restaurant in norfolk is AW Shucks on 22nd street.

                  1. re: alsky

                    I second the excitement about Jessy's. I live about 5 minutes away so if it's as good as they all say it is, I'll be a frequent visitor! Drove by last night at around 7 and there were a good amount of people there.

                    1. re: krisrishere

                      At the risk of replying when it should be a new thread, would like to add my 1.5 cents worth. I've never understood the excitement over Doumar's, it has been just so-so and unremarkable the 3 (or so) times I've gone. I think that maybe it's the nostalgia for folks who grew up here and went as a kid...

                      Completely agree with the A.W. Shucks assessment. By far, the best raw oysters I've found here. Great beer selection (love the Hoegaarden (sp?)), good sandwiches, a great spot.

                      Excited to try Jessy's; I moved here from San Diego a year ago and similarly thought there was no good mexican to be found. Gringo's is good, Pelon's is overrated, but otherwise unable to find any outstanding candidates.