pasture ~ another richmond culinary adventure

Thursday, August 9: This evening, to round out a day of intensive shopping, Sarah and I pop into Pasture, a Southern-style tapas restaurant where her long-time friend and roommate Daniel works as bartender.  Though for breakfast and lunch I had eaten a Trader Joe’s veggie burger on whole wheat English muffins, sticking to my mostly vegan diet, I go astray again tonight as we sit at the bar and order some small plates off the tapas menu, accompanied by a glass of Greek red wine.

Sarah and me at Pasture

Billed as a “Southern small plates” restaurant, I feel that the menu doesn’t offer the range of selection that most tapas restaurants offer.  The menu selection in this regard is short on choice, but the larger and more expensive plates are plentiful.  Sarah decides right away that she wants the very creamy pimento cheese snack with Ritz crackers.  I don’t argue and find the richness heavenly.  Daniel convinces us to try the deep-fried pickles, which are a little too heavy for my taste.  But my beet salad and roasted asparagus with a kind of egg-salad consistency hollandaise sauce are both delicious.

Creamy pimento cheese snack with a mini-bag of Ritz crackers
Daniel serves up my Greek wine and beet salad
deep-fried pickles ~ a true southern dish
the healthy, vegan, beet salad
roasted asparagus with an egg-salad consistency sauce

The restaurant’s decor is like an open warehouse with tall ceilings, snappy teal accents, and a dark restored wood behind the bar, fitted with pull-out drawers full of bartending paraphernalia. I’m not sure I’m crazy about the warehouse atmosphere, which seems a little cold.  I think I generally prefer cozy restaurants like the Black Sheep, where we ate last night.

the kitchen at Pasture
in the Pasture
the bar at Pasture
my little sweet pea

richmond’s fan district

Thursday, August 9The Fan is a district of Richmond, Virginia, so named because of the “fan” shape of the array of streets that extend west from Belvidere Street, on the eastern edge of Monroe Park, westward to the Boulevard. (Streets resemble a grid after moving through what is now Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU).

houses in the Fan

tree-lined Hanover Street
Victorian style turrets

This lovely residential neighborhood consists of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century homes. It has beautiful tree-lined avenues, historical monuments and row houses built in Victorian, Edwardian and Revival architectural styles. Many houses are also built in the American Craftsman style.  Many of the houses are painted in cheery colors with surprisingly delightful doors.

a cheery periwinkle house
i love the bright blue house with the yellow door!
rows of rounded turrets

The housing area was mostly developed from after the Civil War through about 1920. During the Great Depression, many of the single-family homes in the area were converted to apartments.  Today many of those apartments are home to students attending VCU. The Fan borders and blends with the Boulevard, the Museum District, and the Carytown district.

vintage store in carytown
entrance to the vintage store that’s all musty inside!
window shopping in carytown
cute little storefront
apple green Adirondack chairs
and a little outdoor cafe

This morning I take a walk around my daughter’s neighborhood on Hanover Street, not far from VCU, and then drive to Carytown, a commercial district filled with eclectic restaurants, Persian carpet and furniture dealers, and funky second-hand shops, where I walk along the street taking pictures and dipping into shops for a breath of cool air.

Finally, I make a stop at Sarah’s place of employment, Joe’s Inn (Joe’s Inn), on Shields Avenue, in the heart of The Fan.  Sadly the history page of the Joe’s website hasn’t been completed yet; needless to say, this is a long-time establishment on the Richmond food scene.  The storefront says it was established in 1952, so it’s older than I am! 🙂

Joe’s Inn storefront ~ the bar side
Joe’s Inn ~ the restaurant side

Factual information about The Fan is from Wikipedia: Wikipedia: The Fan District.