- - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

After you’ve seen a few conditioning drills, gotten a sneak peek of the latest formations and snagged an autograph or five, there should be only one thing on your mind when exiting the Redskins’ training camp: Where are you going to eat?

Where are you going to eat?

The training facility has food and non-alcoholic beverage vendors on-site, but why not make the most of your trip to Richmond by visiting some of the great local restaurants around town?

Considering the feverish growth of Richmond’s restaurant scene in the last five years or so, Virginia’s capital city has something for just about any palate. While you could spend every meal between now and the end of camp at a different eatery, a good jumping off point is starting with some of fun and filling options located within walking distance — or a short car ride away — from the facility.

MAMA J’S — 415 N. 1st St., (804) 225-7449, mamajskitchen.com

If you’re looking for simply delicious, stick-to-your-ribs home cooking at reasonable prices, look no further than Mama J’s. Located about two miles from camp in Richmond’s up-and-coming Jackson Ward neighborhood, this family-run establishment serves everything from pan-fried catfish with corn muffins to some of the best mac ‘n’ cheese around. Be sure to check out the daily specials — such as meatloaf, chicken and dumplings or turkey wings — and leave room for homemade cakes and cobblers.

LUNCH/SUPPER — 1213-1215 Summit Ave., (804) 353-0111, lunchorsupper.com

A 15-minute walk will put you right in front of Lunch and Supper, sister restaurants both serving, well, lunch and supper. Housed in neighboring buildings, the two rustically eclectic dining spaces serve a good variety of sandwiches, such as The Summit Avenue made with grilled chicken, bacon, cheddar and Cannons BBQ sauce on a challah roll. Dinner entrees, such as a 6-ounce bacon-wrapped bistro filet with blue cheese cream sauce, will fill you up without emptying your wallet.

BURGER BACH — 10 S. Thompson St., (804) 359-1305, www.burgerbach.com

This New Zealand-inspired gastropub, located in the Carytown area, serves sustainably raised beef and lamb burgers, raw and roasted oysters (from Virginia and beyond) and plenty of alcoholic libations. Try the Wellington burger with New Zealand blue cheese, HP sauce, sauted mushrooms, caramelized onions and garlic aioli. House-made dipping sauces, such as jalapeo remoulade and basil pesto aioli, are a must with Burger Bach’s fresh-cut fries. Quarters are tight, so make friends with your neighbor at the long communal table or at a coveted patio spot.

THE SAVORY GRAIN — 2043 W. Broad St., (804) 592-4000, www.thesavorygrain.com

In the mood for New American comfort food made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and an excellent microbrew selection? Check out The Savory Grain, a 12-minute walk past the Science Museum. Grab a seat at the bar and sample the wares of Richmond breweries, such as Ardent, Isley and Strangeways. Or, settle into one of the cozy tables in the warm dining room, and nosh on everything from tempura-battered calamari with grilled jalapenos, chorizo and a fried egg to succotash-stuffed quail with sweet corn sauce.

COMFORT — 200 W. Broad St., (804) 780-0004, www.comfortrva.com

An award-winning Richmond mainstay from Jason Alley — he also owns Pasture, another great downtown spot — Comfort lives up to its name by using classic Southern, ingredients to give comfort food a modern twist. The fried okra and banana pudding are legendary, but chef Travis Milton, who was recently featured in Garden & Gun magazine, is doing some amazing specials, such as rabbit cacciatore, house-made pickles from the restaurant’s garden and heirloom tomato hand pies with Benton’s bacon.


If you were in Richmond for last year’s inaugural camp and you’re looking for the latest hotspots, check out these restaurants, which opened in the last year:

THE DAILY — 2934 W. Cary St., (804) 342-8990, www.thedailykitchenandbar.com

This sleek Carytown spot with a great people-watching patio draws crowds looking to see and be seen, but also caters to those looking for healthy, environmentally conscious fare. Sandwiches, pizza and entrees boast plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

POSTBELLUM — 1323 W. Main St., (804) 353-7678, www.postbellumrichmond.com

A rooftop deck, wine on tap and a large craft beer list make this a great place to hang while postbellum-era cooking techniques paired with clever flavor combinations give the menu’s seemingly familiar dishes a boundary-pushing spin.

POMEGRANATE — 3321 W. Cary St., (804) 447-4365, www.pomegranaterva.com

The reincarnation of a once popular Shockoe Slip restaurant, this two-story, shabby-chic dining space in Carytown serves deftly prepared European comfort food, such as housemade, goat-stuffed ravioli and Italian sausage served with a gastrique made from Richmond’s own Hardywood Park Singel.

Freelance writer and graphic designer Dana Craig has been reviewing Richmond-area restaurants for The Times-Dispatch since 2004. Follow her on Twitter @danacraigrva

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