Tag Archives: local

Eating Local: Deep Run Roadhouse

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This is the catfish sandwich from Deep Run Road House. It will make you weep tears of joy and wonder.

I prefer to prepare my own meals using locally sourced food and free-range meat and eggs.  It’s tough to get those kinds of ingredients at an affordable restaurant, but when when I eat out, I at least like to go to private shops, non-chain restaurants, and good old-fashioned American eateries.

So Saturday night I had dinner at Deep Run Road House over on Gayton Road in Richmond.  I can’t speak to the sourcing of their ingredients, but I can say that I didn’t give my hard-earned cash to some faceless mega-corporation.  In fact, when I went up to the condiments area and looked for some salt, the guy that handed it to me was the owner.  We talked a bit and he was super.  Aren’t people cool?  Real people who make real stuff for other real people?

I had the catfish sandwich.  This super-crunchy flavorful thing is the size of small cantaloupe and comes on a fluffy, toasted bun with tomatoes, pickles, field greens, a slab of onion, and an amazing tartar sauce packed with minced onions and capers.  Capers, I tell you – capers.  I could sit and eat this tartar sauce with with a @*#$&%# spoon.  I may be a little guy, but I eat like a Viking after a long day of pillaging and sacking.  This sandwich filled me up just right, and that’s saying something.

My daughter had the pulled chicken bbq sandwich (which was too big for her to finish) and a side of greens.  I tasted both and they were outstanding.  Note that I am a connoisseur of greens, so you can trust me when I say they’re good.  Just the right amount of smoky meat, not too salty, and with just hint of sweetness and zip.  My daughter said, “These are the best greens I’ve ever had.”  What about my greens?  I make bangin’ greens!  She didn’t even bother to preface her statement with “I’m sorry Dad, but…”  That stings.

This is no common roadhouse (even though the NC style bbq sauce on the table is called “Swayze Sauce”).  These are roadhouse dishes prepared with gourmet skill.  We ate like kings for $20.00.  Good service, great food, reasonable prices.  What’s not to love?

Next time: the 1/3 lb Bison Burger!

Another Local Grocer: Cross Bros. Grocery

Cross Bros. Grocery

In my search for local, non-chain grocers I’ve found another remarkable one — Cross Brothers Grocery in Ashland.  This year they are celebrating their 99th Anniversary.

Is everything they sell organic, free range, and/or local?  No.  Although they have some local produce and some local poultry, the vast majority of their merchandise is Richfood brand.  But if you shop there, at least you’re not giving all of your money to huge, faceless megacorporations.

These are real people, nice people, and if you ask them where the sausage or the collards come from they’ll tell you with a smile.  And you can tell them what you think.  Try that at the Big Box Grocery store.  Give them a visit.  Browse some of the displays of hundred year-old dry goods, old-time radios, and other memorabilia.  Some of us remember when every grocery store looked like Cross Bros.

Ellwood Thompson’s is still my store of choice, but there are times when I need to run out on lunch break and pick up something.  It’s a waste of gas and time to go all the way to Carytown.  Cross Bros. is half the distance, and a pleasant back-up.

Some Kind of Great BBQ

Hillbilly Red's BBQ

Wednesday is always dinner at Mom’s.  Last night, since I didn’t cook and my new rules forbid chain restaurants, I decided to try Hillbilly Red’s BBQ.  $20.00 for two people and there were leftovers.  Actual business owners cooking great food and taking the time to have a conversation with you.  It rocked.