Kyle & I in Richmond by Cafe 821

Roanoke isn’t exactly a food town.  We have restaurants.  We have places to eat.  They serve rather mediocre food and, as all of my friends will tell you, it really annoys me.  And beyond mediocre food, you have to really scrounge to find anything vegetarian, let alone vegan.  So while I love getting my cheese-less pizza fix at Grace’s (I’m too scared to ask if everything else in the pizza is vegan–don’t want to know!) and too-fancy-for-me-but-yes-tasty falafel at Isaac’s, I really love getting out of town and gnoshing on some good vegan food.

Working Man’s Classic (a bicycle criterium race)

Last month, my good friend from Atlanta, Kyle (one of the people who showed me that veganism isn’t that hard to do) came up and visited for 10 days or so.  While we hung around Roanoke most of the time, we did jet across the state to Richmond for an evening to watch the Workingman’s Classic & eat and drink some delicious food.

Oh, vegan brunch food, I miss you

While in Richmond we got drinks at Legend’s Brewery and brunched at Cafe 821. I can’t get over how much I love their brunch, and the new space is pretty rockin’. The aesthetic at the old one was a little grungy and dark–now they have a fun, retro diner look and lots of natural light. It’s still the old, delicious menu, but a little more friendly (in my opinion). I had the tofu scramble with the potatoes & an order of vegan sausage. nom!

Staunton, Virginia

The hightlight of the trip, though, was the lunch break on the drive home in Staunton, Virginia. Staunton’s this little town that I’d heard had good food. I’d never been and we couldn’t find too much online about it, but since we were starving and had no better ideas, we gave it a go. Oh dear heavens, I’m glad we did.

Shenandoah Pizza awesomeness

Officially, I’m in love with Shenandoah Pizza. Not only did they not bat an eye when we asked for a vegan pizza (cheeseless with roasted red peppers and portobello mushrooms), but their beer list is the longest I’ve seen on the western side of the state. Bell’s Oberon? In a Virginia restaurant? For only $3.75 a bottle?! I’m in heaven! I have plans to return and spend an entire evening eating pizza and drinking as many beers as possible.

My dreams may not be big, but I’m sated by a beer list that’s longer than the number of fingers on my right hand (which is 5, in case you were wondering).  One day Roanoke’s going to be a food town, and I’ll do my part to make it so (vegan zine, anyone?), but until then I’m glad I have family to stay with in Richmond and a list of places I’ve yet to try!