I don’t know about you, but I grew up watching baseball. We would make popcorn and my dad would drink Budweiser out of cans. We’d talk about everything under the sun while we watched the Atlanta Braves play ball, including “the talk” with my dad. Yep, it happened between innings of a baseball game. Anyway, I never stopped liking baseball, but I did substitute local craft beers for Budweiser and “the talk” for smack talk. That’s why I found this chart that I stumbled across on Food Republic so interesting: the Washington Nationals have the most expensive beer in baseball. And, naturally, that is the ballpark I visit most.
Beer Prices in Baseball
Locally, we have the Flying Squirrels. These are super fun ball games, but the beer situation is even better. You can get a small draft of Yuengling or a bottle-shaped can of Coors, but skip those. Please. Instead, head to the local beer line where you can get a 32 oz. cup of local craft brew for $10. Last time we were there, we could choose from many options, including Starr Hill, Hardywood, and Center of the Universe. Totally worth it when you reference the above chart, right?
At the Nats game with Jay
What is your go-to baseball beer? What ballparks have you visited? What is your favorite beer and baseball experience? Discuss.
Despite all the great reviews and my high hopes, I had a less than pleasant experience at Xtra’s. Between the mediocre food and service so bad I questioned my tipping standards, I don’t have the best review to give…and that saddens me because I remember when Xtra was working at Corner Cafe. She’s a fellow Wahoo and an attentive bartender and the food at Corner Cafe was actually pretty good (particularly the veggie melt and the bruschetta, but not the brunch) so I expected to have a similar experience, just “classed-up”.
The sweeping staircase you have to climb really just means that you’re probably keeping out babies and grandparents. When you walk into the dining area, you’ll see a nice open space and a sweeping bar. The natural light comes in nicely from the heated patio, which is where we ended up sitting and eating.
The garlic cream pasta with shrimp was highly oversauced and the pizza was covered with so much cheese you could barely tell it was pizza anymore. My brother liked his pizza just fine but I didn’t try his. The pizzas are a good size for individual ordering though and a fair price.
Xtra's Cafe, Carytown
The beer selection is good and I love the fact that your choice of protein is included in your meal price (more places should do this!). They are very vegetarian and pescetarian friendly which is also great if you have a diverse group.
However, in addition to the sub-par food, the service was terrible. I knew who this waitress was as I’ve had her at another establishment and we have some mutual friends. For that reason, I’ll leave her name off of this post, but I honestly haven’t had service that slow in a long time and it wasn’t that busy. We literally waited 20 minutes for our checks to come out and another 20 minutes for them to be picked up and I had to bring the credit cards inside only to find my waitress twirling her hair and flirting with a guy by the bathrooms. I probably won’t be recommending it and my friends said they probably wouldn’t return. It was just mediocre and I’m sad to say that because I had hoped for better, especially with all the rave reviews on Yelp and UrbanSpoon.
Alas, in typical Richmond fashion, a new restaurant opens up and everyone flocks there, saying it is amazing, without actually paying attention to the food or the quality of the service. Or at least that’s my impression.
Okay, that’s all. Go ahead and throw your tomatoes…
One of my favorite jaunts in Richmond is the restaurant/coffee house/wine bar Cafe Gutenberg. I started going there soon after I moved here from Charlottesville almost exactly five years ago. It had an awesome vibe with it’s bright tangerine walls, multiple built-in bookshelves and old shabby chic furniture. It was so charming and welcoming and they served a great cup of joe. Since those initial days of my Gutenberg experience, there have been many changes. They damn near closed up shop a few years ago, much to my dismay, and sold off all their books, wine and furniture. It’s a shame, too, because even though I still adore the food and the drinks, they ended up remodeling in the change-over and I miss the old atmosphere. In fact, I used to use it as a location for portraits like this one that I shot a few years ago:
Anyway, I digress. So one of the reasons why I have always loved Gutenberg is because of the wide variety of offerings on the menu. As a pescetarian, it’s nice to know that I have a place that serves delicious food and can readily accommodate a vegan, vegetarian or pescetarian without having to sub this item, remove that item or remind the waiter that “Yes, when I said I don’t eat meat, I am including chicken.” (Duh?!) Even more rare is finding a vegetarian beer or wine dinner because apparently if you drink, you automatically pair it with meat. Well, guess what, even though it is being debated currently, those of us who don’t eat meat can be foodies, too, and we love to have a little foodie fun sometimes just like the rest of ya! I heard about the dinner, was allowed a reservation at the last minute, and went to meet up with RVA Foodie, Darling Octopus and Coffee Culture RVA for dinner and lots of yummy Belgian beers.
I am, by a glorious twist of fate, going to be able to attend the vegetarian beer dinner tonight at one of my favorite restaurants (coffee houses?) Cafe Gutenberg. I had the night free at the last minute and I am so lucky because vegetarian anything dinner events only come around once in a blue never. I won’t have time to go home for my camera after work, so you’ll have to put up with Blackberry capabilities in my blog post reviewing dinner. Ciao!