So, first of all, it's funny what a difference it makes between DC and Richmond-- Richmond was the capitol of the Confederacy, but up in Alexandria I do not feel like we are a part of the south. And I just have no authority on what that ("the South") even means. Anyway. On our first day, we went to Buz and Ned's for barbecue. I'm not really into all the specifics surrounding "real" barbecue (I think there is a lot of talk surrounding weather or not the meat is served in the sauce?), but for this barbecue novice, I declare it tasty. Bria was very excited to "eat farm animals." And demanded that her dinner include "chicken from a pig." I kept telling her it was pork, and she just fought back saying she wanted to eat a pig. I'm not sure where these carnivorous tendencies are coming from. I enjoyed what little I ate of our pork-- the right amount of sauce and not too spicy. And the mac and cheese was flavorful and smooth. I probably could have eaten my weight in hush puppies-- again, not an expert on this southern gem, but I thought they were awesome. I think Sam was just so happy about his spare ribs because he never eats meat anymore. It just made up for all those vegan experiments I serve for dinner lately. So I feel like this is a real Southern experience.
And ice cream at gelati celesti was the best way to end our first night.
For lunch the next day, we ate at The Urban Farmhouse-- a completely different experience from the barbecue. This is my absolutely favorite type of place to go: a seasonal menu based on offerings from local farms. My ultimate dream is to open a place like this some day. After the barbecue and eating all sorts of junk for snacks, my light salad and sandwich was practically perfect in every way. The carrots that came with my meal were the freshest carrots I have ever eaten. They were so crisp-- not crunchy, actually, but crisp. I had no idea carrots could taste that way. This was the type of meal you eat and wonder why you ever eat anything unhealthy. When it's so fresh, tasty, and satisfying, why would you want to? Alas, I forget quickly (I am eating brownies made from a box right now.) Sam had a simple caesar salad and Virgil's real cola. We've long been fans of Virgil's root beer, but had never had the cola-- this is what a soda should taste like. You can taste the vanilla and cinnamon; it tastes like a drink concocted from real spices and ingredients as opposed to chemicals. So even if you're not a big soda drinker, it's definitely worth it to invest in tasting some high quality sodas on occasion. Or at least steal some sips from your soda-drinking husband.