The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

Pet-Friendly Places: Smoke Barbecue in Newport News

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Mon, Oct 10, 2022 @ 07:00 AM

smoke 1By Karen Newton

Take your pup to Steve and Kathy Walters’ Smoke Barbecue Restaurant and Bar in Newport News once and chances are good that they’ll want to come back.

Why? Not only does Smoke provide water bowls and Milk Bone treats to its four-legged guests, but they also offer something special: rawhide bones right out of the smoker. It’s the rare dog who won’t happily work
on a meat-smoked bone while their parents settle in for some of Chef Forrest Warren’s old school St. Louis ribs, pulled pork or beef spareribs.

smoke 2The Walters had a catering business in Smithfield since 2008, finally deciding it was time to open a restaurant, from which they still do catering. If your dog is too dainty for a big old rawhide bone, Smoke also offers Doggie Parfaits made with the doggie-licious combination of peanut butter and bacon combined in a freezer cup. There’s not a dog in Hampton Roads who would turn down that combination.

The staff at Smoke asks only that your fur baby be leashed or in a crate and stay by your table throughout the meal. And it’s not just canines that Smoke welcomes, either, but pets of all types. Regulars will tell you that there’s an occasional leashed cat and even a pet parrot who sits happily on its owner’s shoulder during a meal. When the barbecue’s this good, everyone wants to go.

Visit Smoke at 10900 Warwick Boulevard in Newport News.


Tags: lizlocal-peninsula-food_and_drink

It's Apple Picking Season in Virginia

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Aug 31, 2021 @ 09:57 AM

skylar-jay-VW4x7oFSFJU-unsplashAs Fall arrives, so does apple picking season in Virginia.  Here are some of our favorite destinations that make for a great day trip.

1. Carter Mountain Apple Orchard
Pick your own apples, enjoy the beautiful views, and treat yourself to the famous apple cider donuts!
1435 Carters Mountain Trail,
Charlottesville, VA 22901

2. Rock Hill Orchard
Pick your own apples or select from a variety of
pre-picked apples! Enjoy the famous apple butter as well. Call ahead for hours.
3151 Elon Road,
Monroe, VA 24574

3. Stribling Orchard
A beautiful orchard farmed by the Stribling family for 6 generations. Pick your own apples and enjoy their fabulous apple pie!
11587 Poverty Hollow Ln, Markham, VA 22643

4. Graves’ Mountain Orchard
Go apple picking here in October and enjoy their family-friendly apple harvest festival!
205 Graves Mountain Lane,
Syria, VA 22743

Tags: lizlocal-NorthernNeck-food_and_drink, lizlocal-peninsula-food_and_drink, lizlocal-richmond-food_and_drink, lizlocal-williamsburg-food_and_drink


Posted by Lynnette Tully on Sat, Jul 10, 2021 @ 09:02 PM

food craftBy Brandy Centolanza

For the past ten years, Sun Brown has been serving customers with a hearty breakfast and lunch as owner of Food Craft off Victory Boulevard in York County. People from all over the Peninsula and the Southside flock to the establishment for a great meal. So, what is Sun’s secret?

“People like the atmosphere,” Sun said. “We are very family-oriented. When people come here, they are treated like they are a part of our family. People also love the food. I think it’s a combination of those three things that sets us apart.”

Sun was a flight attendant before moving to the Hampton Roads area back in the 1980s to be closer to her
sister, KC. After relocating, Sun started working at a Japanese Restaurant in Newport News and later owned another restaurant in Hampton for seven years before opening Food Craft in 2009. “Working in the restaurant business is all I’ve really known,” Sun said.

When she opened Food Craft, she intentionally wanted to serve only breakfast and lunch in order to free
up her evenings to be with her three children. “That was important to me, to be able to spend time with them at night,” Sun said. “When your kids are little, you want to be home with them.” These days, Sun’s children are grown. Her two sons, Kyle and Coti, help out at the restaurant, working in the kitchen. Her sister is also a regular customer, so Food Craft is truly a family affair.

“It feels good to have my kids here with me,” Sun said. “My kids are always right there behind me.”

Popular breakfast items at Food Craft include the chicken and waffles, French
toast, and pancakes. There are seven different kinds of pancakes available on the menu. The griddle platters come with two pancakes, two eggs to your liking, and two pieces of bacon or sausage.

“I like the blueberry pancakes, but the Cinnabun pancakes are the most
popular,” Sun said. “People like our omelettes too.”

Food Craft also has a bar if you want amimosa or Blood Mary with your first meal of the day. Prefer to stop in for lunch? Food Craft has lunch specials during the week including chicken potpie on Tuesdays; fried chicken on Wednesdays; meatloaf on Thursdays; and fried flounder on Fridays.

“We have regular customers who come in just for the chicken potpie,” Sun  said. “It’s pretty big and when people first see it, they go ‘wow!’”

Other lunch options include craft burgers (there are ten types; Sun’s favorite is the swiss mushroom burger),
sandwiches, and salads. Patrons also enjoy the hamburger steak, which is topped with gravy and sautéed onions and comes with two sides. Among the most popular appetizers are the fried green tomatoes and Scotch eggs: two hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, breaded in panko crumbs and fried until golden brown.

“People just love the Scotch eggs,” Sun said.

Sun is on her feet much of the day as a hostess for the restaurant.

“I always greet the customers, make sure the food comes out right, and thank them as they leave,” she said. “I
think that is important.” People are always asking when Sun will open a second location of Food Craft, a testament to customers’ affection for the restaurant.

There are no plans to expand, however. “I’m just going to keep running it the way I always have been and see what happens,” Sun said. “My customers are all so sweet. I have regulars who have been coming in for many years and have become good friends. I am very lucky.”

Tags: lizlocal-peninsula-food_and_drink