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Good food in Roanoke, Virginia?


scottie
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Help! I'm fixing to spend the summer in Roanoke, VA, where I'm originally from, but I'm spoiled by years of living in the Big Easy. I know of a couple of cute cafes my parents like (Wildflour, Angler's), but I wonder if anyone on this forum has any knowledge of or opinions about eating in the Noke. I'm especially looking for Vietnamese food- while I don't mind getting away from New Orleans during the hot summer, I don't know how long I can go without goi cuon!

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Can't think of any Vietnamese in Roanoke. All the Asian food is mediocre at best Chinese and Indian. I do however have some other recommendations. El Palenqiue is an excellent Mexican restaurant just outside of town on the Hersberger near the airport. It is authentic food at dinner time, fine quality food at a fairly moderate price and in modest surroundings. Ask the owner Frank or one of his sons for recommendations and save room for desert. Bistro M is a great new restaurant downtown that features rather experimental Eurasian food and offers tasting menus in addition to the more usual appetizer/entree option. Frankie Roland's is a pretty good upscale steakhouse. I have also heard good things about the restaurant at the Hotel Roanoke, but have not eaten there. For out of town, I can recommend Cafe Michel in Clifton Forge, a little over an hour away, for somewhat simple French and seafood done very well. Steven's and Claudia's Blues Cafe in Salem do passable NO style cuisine. The town of Lexington, about 50 minutes away has the Southern Inn which is a good New American style place.

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Thanks, tautog. Bistro M sounds interesting. My dad also told me about a new place in South Roanoke that sounds good. I'll add some posts to this thread as the summer goes along and I get increasingly desparate for decent eats.

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  • 1 year later...
Bistro M has a website, www.bistrom.com, that has some of the menu items listed.

My God, that looks bizarre. Is it actually good?

Anything new in Roanoke?

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

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  • 3 weeks later...

Blacksburg (about half an hour or forty-five minute drive from Roanoke depending on which end of it you start from) has some decent restaurants.

Nerv, which is a somewhat upscale restaurant (has a website) is excellent, and does have 'nightlife' too....

There is a good Thai restaurant (small and usually busy) in the University Mall.

In Roanoke, I am hoping to go to the little Cuban place soon. Please, let him be making Cuban coffee....

I have heard that the big Indian restaurant is very good also, in Roanoke. The one in Blacksburg, owned by the same people, is spotty...depends on who is cooking.

Also heard of a Korean place that recently opened in Pembroke (of all places! If you want to take a country drive) where the woman does Korean home cooking along with the usual sausage and biscuits...

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  • 1 year later...
Help! I'm fixing to spend the summer in Roanoke, VA, where I'm originally from, but I'm spoiled by years of living in the Big Easy. I know of a couple of cute cafes my parents like (Wildflour, Angler's), but I wonder if anyone on this forum has any knowledge of or opinions about eating in the Noke. I'm especially looking for Vietnamese food- while I don't mind getting away from New Orleans during the hot summer, I don't know how long I can go without goi cuon!

I'll be in Roanoke for dinner late next week. All of these recommendations date from 2004 or earlier (and the bistro m website is no more) so I was curious if anybody can make a recommendation. I prefer ethnic, regional or creative cuisines.

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Carlos Brazilian used to be on the market in Roanoke, and was great; I guess they've moved, since their new address is 4167 Electric Rd., Roanoke -- 540/345-7661. More on their move.

Awful Arthur's seafood, at the end of the market, used to be good...

Roanoke Times dining guide (short).

I'm also a big fan of Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea.

And the Waffle House in Troutville. :raz:

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Brent,

if you wind up staying overnight in Roanoke, check out Tudor's Biscuit world on Market St. for a simple breakfast place. It seemed like the kind of place where there is a large contingent of regulars who go daily to get their hash brown biscuit sandwich.

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Blacksburg (about half an hour or forty-five minute drive from Roanoke depending on which end of it you start from) has some decent restaurants.

Nerv, which is a somewhat upscale restaurant (has a website) is excellent, and does have 'nightlife' too....

There is a good Thai restaurant (small and usually busy) in the University Mall.

In Roanoke, I am hoping to go to the little Cuban place soon. Please, let him be making Cuban coffee....

I have heard that the big Indian restaurant is very good also, in Roanoke. The one in Blacksburg, owned by the same people, is spotty...depends on who is cooking.

Also heard of a Korean place that recently opened in Pembroke (of all places! If you want to take a country drive) where the woman does Korean home cooking along with the usual sausage and biscuits...

Staying away from Nerv is a good thing. Food there has been pretty bad consistently over my & my friends visits over the past 2 years. Service is poor taboot. After much changing of hours and menus they are serving a 3rd rate tapas menu to the drunken students.

Burrus tavern in Blacksburg is about the best dining, ok food but overpriced.

That korean place (kalbee I think is the name) has great food, very fresh & woderful priced. but not much else worth going out to pembroke for unless you like hiking.

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Oh, Roanoke! Gifted Gourmet is right. Alexander's has the best food in town these days, and has had for awhile. They are open for lunch on Wednesdays, but you will have to fight my Daddy to get a spot. :cool:

Bistro M died and became Thai food. Twice. I think the current incarnation is called "Thai Restaurant." If you crave spicy ethnic food of an Eastern bent, I would recommend either Swagat's or Nawab, both of which are Indian and are fairly passable.

Metro pretty much stinks, though the lunches might be worth it. They have an idea of what dining ought to be, but they fall so far short of it that it's frustrating for anyone who's travelled as far out as D.C.

I can't say from personal experience anything about Dolce.

Awful Arthur's = crap bar scene.

Arzu has acceptable "Mediterranean" stuff, slightly upscale, but I haven't been in a few years, so I don't know how it is these days.

My Daddy has good things to say about Fork in the Alley, which is on Crystal Spring Ave. in SW Roanoke, by the 7-11 near the fire station, plus they have a more formal restaurant called Spoon. I have not eaten at either place, but my dad has travelled and I trust his opinion.

Carlos is just fine, it's mostly pasta. Tudor's Biscuit World is a sure bet, for what they got, I can tell you!

Still no good Vietnamese food.

Everyone I know in Roanoke who appreciates good food says Frankie Rowland's is pretty darn good, but they complain about the price.

If you know anyone who's a member of the Shenandoah Club, that's where you'll find the best food in Roanoke these days. It used to be all ossified local cuisine like spoonbread, ham biscuits and peanut soup ( not that there's anything wrong with that), but what they're doing there now is fairly impressive for a regional members' only club. The current director is even trying to organize Slow Foods trips to Italy.

The best thing Roanoke has going for it is the fresh produce from the farmers' market. The food scene has come a long way, but it still has far to go.

edited for boldface

Edited by scottie (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

If you know anyone who's a member of the Shenandoah Club, that's where you'll find the best food in Roanoke these days. It used to be all ossified local cuisine like spoonbread, ham biscuits and peanut soup ( not that there's anything wrong with that), but what they're doing there now is fairly impressive for a regional members' only club. The current director is even trying to organize Slow Foods trips to Italy.

although they may be trying to be doing something right, the 3 times i've been there its been off. the menus we were served may have been an attempt of being cretive. the food was bland, cold and the service ws lacking

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If you know anyone who's a member of the Shenandoah Club, that's where you'll find the best food in Roanoke these days. It used to be all ossified local cuisine like spoonbread, ham biscuits and peanut soup ( not that there's anything wrong with that), but what they're doing there now is fairly impressive for a regional members' only club. The current director is even trying to organize Slow Foods trips to Italy.

although they may be trying to be doing something right, the 3 times i've been there its been off. the menus we were served may have been an attempt of being cretive. the food was bland, cold and the service ws lacking

I think I might have been overly enthusiastic about the state of things at the Shenandoah Club. I've been pleasantly surprised by the food at parties they have catered over the past couple of years, but I really don't know as much as I think I claimed to in the above posting.

I do believe "that they may be trying to be doing something right," as you said, but the same can be said of Metro- not necessarily with consistent results, in either case.

I'm sorry to hear about your disappointing meals there. Just when I thought someone was actually trying to do something in the Noke, you know?

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  • 7 years later...

I seriously doubt I'll be able to revive a 7yr old thread, but I'll go out on a limb here. Having lived and cooked in Roanoke for about 6yrs now, I can honestly tell you that every restaurant I've been in here has simply been pretentious and overpriced, in exchange for sad service, and poorly prepared food...

I'm a lifelong professional chef. If that doesn't explain some of my mental and emotional quirks, maybe you should see a doctor, and have some of yours examined...

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  • 2 years later...
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