Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hiram Haines’ Coffee and Ale House

Hiram Haines’ Coffee and Ale House
12 W Bank St
Petersburg, VA 23803

                Hiram Haines’ is probably the best kept secret in all of Petersburg. Just across Longstreet’s on Bank Street, Hiram Haines’ is an unassuming bookstore and restoration shop that actually serves amazing food and drinks.
                Its claim to fame is that Edgar Allen Poe stayed in the building on his honeymoon with his cousin/wife.  It is decorated in a macabre/ Poe theme with vintage books from floor to ceiling. On weekends, there is often live music.  The menu is quite limited but delicious; consisting of a few different sandwiches and a rotating selection of deserts, coffees and beer.
                Amanda and I ate at Hiram Haines’ on the night before my birthday.  We were the only people in the place except for the owner and our waitress.  Our waitress warmly greeted us and quickly brought us some menus and took our drink order.  I ordered a Crabby’s alcoholic ginger beer and the Poe Panini. Amanda ordered a glass of wine and the meatloaf sandwich. 
                Our drinks were promptly brought out and Crabby’s is now one of my favorite beers. Served over ice with a slice of lemon or lime, it tastes just like ginger ale.  After about 15 minutes of talking our food was ready.  My Panini was delicious, simple but good.  It was made with fresh, quality ingredients with a hot and crispy outside and a warm and soft inside.  While my Panini was good, Amanda’s meat loaf sandwich was amazing. A nice thick slice of homemade meatloaf served between two slices of sourdough bread and topped with pickles.  It was out of this world.          Since it was my birthday weekend, we split a piece of lemon marzipan cake.  I can’t sweat that it was homemade but it was fresh and tasted great. Neither overly tart nor overly sweet.
                The food at Hiram’s is great but the best part is honestly the atmosphere and the experience.  I’ve never been anywhere that has the same feel as Hiram’s. It is small and quite with a spooky macabeness that is very fun.  If you want a nice simple dinner with a great atmosphere check out Hiram’s for dinner.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Andrew’s Grill

6 W Washington Street
Petersburg, VA 23803


            Andrew’s Grill is nestled in between two pawn shops on the corner of Washington  and Sycamore in downtown Petersburg.  Only open for breakfast and lunch, you will often see a line of people out front grabbing lunch at the outdoor pickup window.  Inside there is a lunch counter with half a dozen chairs and about the same number of booths in the back.  The menu is very simple lunch counter fare; a couple of different breakfast items, hot dogs, hamburgers, bbq and fries.
            Amanda and I sat at the counter and both ordered 2 chili dogs with slaw;  split a large fry and a drink. In a couple of minutes we each had two hot dogs in front of us and a large plate of fries between us.   The hot dogs were not huge but they were not skimpy either. Andrew’s uses large red hot dogs and a typical chili dog comes topped with mustard, onions and chili and for about 50 cents extra we had ours additionally topped with slaw.  The hot dogs were delicious, juicy and flavorful. The chili was not spicy and also not too watery.  The cole slaw was thick and creamy.   I was very impressed with the chili dogs; they were what Quick Lunch in Hopewell’s used to be before it changed ownership. 
            The fries are your typical crinkle cut variety but they came directly out of the fryer so they were hot and crispy.  We asked for a side of mayonnaise which our waitress graciously gave us.  My only complaint at all was that the large drink with one refill was the size of the kids drink at any other restaurant but with that being said it was the perfect amount for Amanda and I. I guess that just goes to show you how ridiculous the sizes at fast food places have become.
            Overall, Andrew’s Grill was great and a perfect snap shot of vintage Petersburg.   The food was great and the service was excellent.  I strongly recommend  stopping by Andrew’s Grill and grabbing a chili dog or even a chili cheese burger for lunch.  Some times the simple things are the most delicious.