Written June 4, 2013
The first week of June, my work took me to Fredericksburg, Virginia for training. Like any good foodie, the first thing I do is look up good local restaurants. (Before hotel and flights, obvi.) I added “locally sourced” to my searches and quickly came across Foode, right in downtown Fredericksburg. It has a menu that changes every week with food comes from the Virginia region. In fact, the website stated that 85-95% of the food served is from local farms or merchants. The website also had a simple, rustic look that was beautiful.
And, let’s be honest, the name couldn’t be more perfect. Foode for the foodie? Sold.
I made plans with a sorority sister who recently moved to Washington, DC and she made the hour long drive south to meet me for dinner with her boyfriend, Mike. (Thanks, Katie!)
My cab driver had never heard of the restaurant so we slowly crept up the main street in quaint, historic part of town. We pulled up and the entrance looked like an alley. Thank goodness, a simple green sign marked the restaurant, or we would have missed it. Katie and Mike were already there and she texted to tell me she had already gotten a table.
I walked through the threshold to find it was, in fact, an alley. A really neat alley. An alley of exposed brick, lined with live edge wooden tables and an open ceiling decorated with colorful, open umbrellas. I joined Katie and Mike and they told me that there were tables on the inside, but they like this area better. I didn’t fight it. The space was so fun and it was a really nice night.
Katie passed me a menu. It was one page front and back. The front was all the food options and the back showcased all the beverage choices. Katie and Mike were already enjoying bottled IPA’s and the waitress was quick to see what I would like to drink. I was still taking in the atmosphere and greeting Katie and Mike that I didn’t even have a chance to look, so I just asked for a glass of white wine. She quickly returned with DMZ Chardonnay in a mason jar. The mason jar matched the one already on the table which held a bouquet of basil, in place of the traditional floral centerpiece.
Making an entrée decision was impossible. Everything sounded excellent. I was drawn to shrimp and grits, but it seemed too heavy for the warm evening. Same with the spring risotto, even though it sounded amazing with spring veggies like peas and asparagus. Mike decided on the whole free range chicken, while Katie and I both opted for the grass fed beef burger.
Mike went inside to place our order, as food orders were not taken through the waitresses, while Katie and I caught up about her new job and life in the District.
Soon our food arrived. My towering burger was complete with a zingy, seasoned aioli, pub chips for a crunch and homemade pickles was paired with thick cut fries. The burgers came to us in small cast iron skillets lined with parchment paper, continuing with the rustic look. I laughed at the lack of actual vegetable on my “plate.” Here I was at a local restaurant, that receives products from local growers everyday (in fact, they even thank these local farmers and artisans at the end of their menu) and I wasn’t even eating one green item. Oops. Oh, well. You only live once, right?!
As we ate I looked around the alley at the other full tables. A couple, with their dog in tow, next to us who was splitting a few delicious looking appetizers, including the warm pimento cheese toast, over a bottle wine from Charlottesville, the home of University of Virginia. (Side note: UVA is my namesake. My parents met there while in business school. Not to mention, it was where my grandparents spent many years of their retirement. So, good old C-Ville has a special place in my heart.)
On the other side of us was a family with young children. I glanced at the menu and it looked like they had a great kids menu complete with traditional kid favorites like natural grilled cheese or hot dog. This family was done with dinner and had moved on warm, homemade cookies complete with a tall glass of organic milk.
The inner kid in me thought that sounded like an amazing way to finish off the meal, but before I could make my ten-year-old request, Mike asked if we wanted check out the Capitol Ale House. He said they are known for having a great selection of beers. I learned that my dear friend Katie, who I used to go to with all my questions about wine, is now my girl to go to about beer too. (In my opinion, everyone needs a friend like this.)
There, Mike and Katie helped me pick out a great wheat beer from Virginia as my beer palate has not gone much beyond Blue Moon. They told me that there are a lot of brewery’s developing in the area and they were having a blast trying all the new and different beers. Katie even had an app on her phone called “Untapped” to track all the different brews she has tried.
We finished our beers and decided to call it a night, even though it was still a little early. I had to be ready for meetings beginning at five the next morning and Katie and Mike had an hour drive back to DC. I headed back to my hotel satisfied, happy to have been able to catch up with a good friend, and with half of my wonderful burger left over to be lunch the following day.
Foode Quick Facts:
1006 C/D Caroline Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
No need to tip. The staff asks that you just have a good time.
In addition to dinner, Foode also serves lunch and brunch. The brunch on Saturday and Sunday sounds amazing. Lots of free range egg options. They are closed on Monday’s.
Many of the shops and Civil War tourist destinations in historic Fredericksburg close around five or six on week nights, so plan your visit accordingly. So, get there early and work up an appetite while you shop.
If you would like to see what local producers Foode has vendor relationships with they are listed on their website.
Enjoy! This is a great place with an awesome atmosphere and magnificent food.