They call it soul food. But as my dad said, that's what every good German-American kid ate growing up before WW II. It's good old fashioned comfort food. The ambience is what you might expect. It's a bit outside Richmond, but it's worth the drive. The outside look of the restaurant surprised as we pulled up. The food is good, cheap, and plentiful. I highly recommend it. We went there after a day of sight seeing in Richmond and felt very welcome. It's very kid friendly with homemade mac and cheese.
Favorite Dish: The fried chicken was absolutley delicous. All the sides we yummy as well.
Usually I do a fair amount of research before trying out a new restaurant. However, since Sugar and Spice opened up in place of the former Stage Coach Restaurant, not much was known other than it specialises in soul food. We lucked out. The atmosphere wasn't overdone like at some restaurants. Not only was the food great, but the service was out of this world. Lee asked our waitress about crab cakes, but he noticed on the menu that they were only served on Thursdays through Sundays (and this was a Tuesday). She said, "I'm your waitress and if you want crab cakes, you're getting crab cakes." On top of that, our orders came back like lightning. We had no sooner finished our house salads when our entrees landed on the table. After supper, Lee and I talked to the owners about food. We ended up having barbecue on top of all else we ate.
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Favorite Dish: Lee and I both had the fried chicken (white meat) and a house salad (iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers). I chose fries and collard greens and he opted for mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. All supper entrees come with either cornbread or a roll. The chicken was crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. The fries were so good they didn't need ketchup or steak sauce, the collard greens were good with a spot of vinegar, and the rolls were homemade. I have brought other VT friends here. David Karnubawax ate here with me and made his first go of collard greens. Christian Leipzig joined Lee and me here the following year and he liked their fried chicken. The first go Mark ATXtraveler had of Richmond cuisine was here: he had the fried tilapia. As they say at Sugar & Spice, "Nothing comes from a can here."
After arriving in Richmond close to starving, I turned to B1Bob for his advice on a good lunch plan. If I had known what was in store for us that evening, I may have held off on Sugar and Spice to save some room, but at the time my stomach sent a veto to the brain and we were off.
Sugar and Spice is a small business located on Mechanicsville Turnpike, but its small size is perfect to capture its big taste. Although the traditional collard greens were already all sold by the time we got there, I was able to taste the good down home Southern flavor through the Tilapia, yams, and green beans. It was polished off by a Sweet Tea (I typically order unsweetened, but didn't complain). The yams were mixed with brown sugar and butter, and just melted in your mouth. The green beans were cooked Southern Style, which meant more than one chew was completely unneeded. I wish I had saved room for dessert because there was a pecan pie located directly in the middle of the menu. Nat went with his traditional favorite of Fried Chicken, although I admit I was a little disappointed in him. He had let me know that he was pretty good at polishing off a plate of food, but came up short in his bid for election to Richmond's biggest eaters club by not finishing here.
As the portions tended to run large, I would recommend that you come hungry. This would have served Nat a little better, because like myself, he did not want to offend a chef or make the dishwasher do any more work than necessary!
B1bob took me to this place for my first taste of real soul food. The friendly staff served us up some nice sized portions of fried chicken, fries, and collard greens - which I had never had before! The chicken was excellent - juicy but not greasy, with a light crust that didn't slide off after a bite. The greens were good - better than I thought they'd be. Shaking a little vinegar on 'em really mellowed out the bitterness and made 'em pretty tasty. I wouldn't trade a piece of pecan pie for 'em, but not bad!
Sugar and Spice is by far one of my most favorite restaurants to go and eat. Nat and I first went there early in the year and had a great overall experience. Since then I have been there another 5 times, once including Nat again. When you first walk in, you will understand why I like this place so much. The restaurant is in a dodgy part of the city, but it quickly warms up to you, as does the staff. The staff makes sure you get a warm welcome right when you walk in and they don't lay off until you leave. For the price of the restaurant you will be very surprised at exactly how nice the staff really is. It gives the word down home cooking a fine ring. The atmosphere is also really nice, with a tv airing the local news, and a hint of southern dining. The food is just out of this world. I started off with a house salad which hit the spot until the main entree came. The main entree was fried chicken with mac and cheese and mashed-potatoes. The chicken would put KFC to shame any day of the week, and the mac and cheese would wipe the floor with Kraft. The food just hit the spot and then some. After that Nat and I chatted with the staff some more and they ended up giving us a free taste of their barbecue. That is what really sells this place for me. The barbecue is exquisite. I would recommend this as a must do for anyone visiting Richmond.
Favorite Dish: The barbecue by far is the best dish for me. As a matter of fact, the last 4 times I have gone I always get the barbecue, because I love it so much. It is cooked to perfection, with a light vinagar based sauce that adds a good overlying taste without overdoing its welcome. Definetly try this if you are a fan of barbecue, just make sure you order the small one, unless you are really starving. They give you really big portions of everything.
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