David and I decided on Dixie Diner walking up Sycamore Street as we toured the old town. On entering this restaurant, the high metallic ceilings, the turquoise interiour colour scheme (even though some of the decor suggested a French bistro), and tunes from the early 1960s (like "One Fine Day") carried me back to round about a decade before I was born. Several years later, the management and menu changed to resemble more of a diner than a bistro. Since the new management, I have always tried to eat at the counter. Either style and menu worked well for me. Dixie Diner has been in that location since 1945, before the restoration of the old town. In both versions, the service was as fast as it could be.
Favorite Dish: I had heard that portobello mushrooms were a good substitute for hamburger or beef steak, so I put the theory to the test by, just that once, ordering a portobello "burger" with lettuce and tomato and a side of fries. It tasted all right, but it was no substitute for a good hamburger in terms of taste and in terms of its ability to fill you up. That was no fault of the restaurant's. I was the one conducting the culinary experiment. More recently, I always get the hamburger with collard greens on the side. The greens are cooked low and slow with pork. This place is so special, a Guy named Fieri ought to be made aware of it.
Address: 250 Sycamore Street, Petersburg, VA 23803
Phone: (804) 732-7425
- Food and Dining
I have to give thanks to the folks at the visitors centre for recommending this place to Jimmy and me. We had thought about going to Dixie Diner as I did when I brought David to Petersburg a year and a half before. When they said it offered South American cuisine, she didn't need to say any more. We gave it a try to see how authentic it was because Petersburg doesn't seem at first glance to be a place for international cuisine. The lady at the visitors centre talked up the taco salad. Jimmy and I have been to South America and we knew taco salad was Tex-Mex. It serves the cuisine of Mexico, Bolivia, Spain, and Peru. When we opened the door, the odour from the kitchen gave us the hint it was the real deal. Also, they were playing Latino music over the loudspeakers, some of which I was already familiar with. Our waiter was from El Salvador and he was very attentive and he knew about the food.
It is open 7 days a week for lunch and supper: 11am-9pm Sunday to Thursday; 11am-10:30pm
Favorite Dish: At many so-called Mexican restaurants, the complimentary tortilla chips and salsa are worth every penny. Not here. Not only are the chips fresh, but the salsa was perfect. At other places, the salsa is so hot it curls your toenails or it is dominated by cilantro or some other ingredient. It had us going for seconds. Because I'm not as thin as I used to be, I opted for the Brazilian salad. It consisted of micro greens, lettuce, tomato, onion, olives, avocado, hearts of palm, and grilled chicken. My only beef with this chicken salad is that there were a little too many micro greens and a bit too little of the "good" stuff. Not sure about the dressing, I had them put it on the side. It was rather like a garlic vinaigrette. Although the salad may have been a bit unbalanced, Andrades more than makes up for it in terms of the feel of a friendly neighbourhood Latin bistro in beautiful downtown Petersburg. I came back a second time with another friend. I had the Pollo Saltado (chicken breast sauteed with fresh tomato, ciliantro, green,red and yellow pepper, onion, scallons and a special Peruvian sauce).
Address: 7 Bollingrook St., Petersburg, VA 23803
Directions: At Bollingbrook and Sycamore Streets, near the visitor's centre.
Phone: (804) 722-0344
- Food and Dining