I recently had the opportunity to spend about 24 hours in Hampton, Virginia as part of a #NASASocial event to view the water recovery test of the Orion capsule. I got to meet a lot of really neat folks. And on the evening before the official event a couple of us went out to eat.
Downtown Hampton has a lot of local restaurants to chose from. We got some recommendations from locals as to where to eat. We chose Venture Kitchen & Bar at 9 East Queens Way. It was known for their gourmet pizza and vintage cocktails. The pizza selection was impressive all with interesting toppings and are all personal sized. It was a laid back place with an energetic vibe. While their tapas selection looking good, I went with the pizza. I chose eggplant with caramelized onions. It was good. The crust was chewy and crispy. Right about of toppings. Sauce was flavorful. A good choice.
The next night was the “farewell” dinner for all of the participants who came from around the country. A “Southern” meal was in order. Off we went as a very large group to County Grill & Smokehouse at 26 East Mercury Boulevard in Hampton. They had no issues handling a group of 30 plus people. Food was served fast and correctly. The beef brisket was suggested to me by a couple of people so that’s what I got. I chose the dinner plate with two sides: warm potato salad and baked beans. Those sides we suggested to me by the server. I’d really recommend the warm potato salad. Every table has a six-pack of sauces from every BBQ tradition in the country. While I usually like Carolina vinegar-based sauces, I didn’t like their version of it. I much preferred the Lexington sauce. The brisket was good; however, I found mine to be dry. After talking with my local hosts, the brisket can be hit-or-miss.
It was a “party” day, so I had to have dessert. (OK, I never need a reason to have dessert.) And every “Southern” restaurant worth their salt must serve banana pudding. Here was no exception. They make their banana pudding fresh to order; it takes 20 minutes to make after you order it. The filling and the merengue is to die for. I’m not a merengue fan usually, but I ate it all and was sad when it was done. Don’t bother eating the cookie at the bottom of the bowl; that’s disappointing.
All in all a good food experience in Hampton.