Food. Mmm. And food that someone else cooks? Even better.
We’re pretty fortunate to have so many incredible restaurants right here in our back yard—from the fancy white table clothed-fine dining to the greasy spooned diner, we love them all. From the fattening, the healthy, the creamy, the fresh, the greasy, the indulgent, the sweet… we just can’t get enough.
Filets … cooked to juicy, medium perfection… the plumpest, sweetest crabcakes… creamy, thick, caramelized-sugar topped crème brulee… indulgent, gourmet pizzas…. refreshing summer salads ripe with fresh fruit…the tinest, yummiest burgers and a bag full of greasy fries… hand-carved turkey and the thickest cut bacon dressed up to make the best sandwich… each one of our restaurants play an important role in our culinary memories. To the first-date sashimi to your latest wedding anniversary dinner at a romantic little bed and breakfast; the big pizza party after your son’s winning ballgame to the most comforting bowl of soup on that first cold day of the season; these dining experiences really do play an important role in our lives.
So whether you go out to dinner once a month, once a week, or every night, we want to know what is THE BEST meal in all of Winchester and Frederick County, from one of our locally-owned restaurants. And it doesn’t have to be a full-on meal; any menu item, from appetizers to the desserts, will do: What is your must-have at your favorite restaurant in town?
Here’s what the ‘chester staff and our Facebook fans had to say:
“Oh gosh, where to start? We are so lucky in Winchester to have so many fantastic local restaurants! For lunch, nothing beats the lunch special at Patsy’s Pastry Pizza. I always get the veggie pizza, broccoli and cheese soup, and fancy fruit dessert pizza. I try to trick myself into thinking it must be “healthy” since it’s all fruits and vegetables!
Brewbakers has a chicken cheesesteak sub that is to die for. The thick chicken breast pieces makes this better than your typical sub. Plus the service at Brewbaker’s is always top-notch! Thai Winchester has an amazing cashew chicken dish! As much as I want to try their other plates, I never end up order anything different because I can’t pass up the cashew chicken–it’s just that good!
Tropical Island Coffee and Cafe has great meals for lunch and dinner. Their stewed chicken and curried chicken are excellent and always served with perfectly seasoned rice and beans and cabbage. Owner Lloyd and his staff are always friendly and smiling and do a great job both cooking and serving!” – Sarah Eaton, Contributor
“Narrowing it down to a single item is super hard, but I’ll go with my favorite of the moment: The triple decker sandwich from Throx Country Store. I have only just recently discovered this incredible location on Senseny Rd., but their sandwich counter serves up some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. While there’s a lot of incredible offerings on the menu, the triple decker (made with white, rye, and pumpernickel bread) is my favorite these days.” –Doug Stanford, Music Editor
“Penang Curry Chicken at Chopsticks Café in Winchester! We started off with just my wife and I eating this culinary treasure, after several trips to Chopsticks the whole family was hooked. Now when we call to make reservations we call in as the Penang family. What we know is that any Penang dish they serve is incredible, chicken or shrimp or just veggies it is always creamy and full of flavor. A must eat type of food and you can get this without it being spicy if you don’t like any kick.” – Mike Guevremont, Food Contributor
“Its a tie for me! Depends on my mood..love the Rainbow Roll sushi at Awabi. Any sushi I’ve had there is fantastic and great service.
I also love the Baked Tuscany dish at Roma in Stephens City. Its pasta, chicken, shrimp, and pancetta in a garlic sauce..and is really yummy with a side of red sauce. Mmm…” –Sarah Daywalt, Contributor
“Probably the best lunch in town: the salad and pizza slice special at Patsy’s Pizza. The Strawberry Walnut salad is to die for. It’s the simplest, yet most refreshing salad: spinach and romaine leaves, topped with walnuts, strawberries, shredded mozzarella, and the absolute best salad dressing in the world. It’s some kind of a strawberry-vinegarette, and the best part is you can buy a bottle of it and take it home with you. As for the pizza, their Ham and Swiss deep-dish pizza is out-of-this world; I think the secret ingredient that really ties it together is the honey mustard.
One of the best appetizers we’ve ever had was at Violino’s—I can’t recall the entire description, but it was house made buffalo mozzarella… I recall it sat in this bowl of bread and I believe there were roasted vegetables involved… it was one of the absolute best things I’ve ever eaten. Sadly it was a special, so it’s not on their regular menu – let’s hope it will be!” – Jenny Brockwell, Publisher
“The limoncello at Violino’s (not really dessert, more of a digestif, but that counts, right?). My husband and I enjoyed it while honeymooning in Europe, and Violino’s is the most delicious and authentic this side of the Atlantic. I get it every time we eat there, and it takes me right back to our honeymoon. : ) ” –Stacey Keenan
“Not to be awful but in truth, deep fried pickles are one of my favs (Alamo has awesome ones)” – Marianne Parham Matthews
“Tuna Ceviche… Village Square. A must appetizer!” – Caroline Brown
“Bibimbap (Korean mixed rice with vegetables) at the Wok Zone.” – Stephanie Moran Mangino
“Dessert has to be Sweet Frog… Meal, Spanakopita from Roma.” – Christine Blumish Kuzar
“Goat Cheese Rounds from One Block West! ( App) … Dessert- Key Lime Mini Pies from Chop Sticks” – Katie Keyser Pifer
“Sea Scallops from V2 (Village Square)… delectable!” –Jim Stutzman
“I second the Sea Scallops at V2… and my favorite app there is the fried green tomatoes with lump crab! Best restaurant in town!” – Rebecca Jones Miller
“Swamp Cheese at Brewbakers” –Michael Hatfield
What’s your favorite meal at a local restaurant? Comment below!
Story by Jenny Brockwell
Photos by Jenny Brockwell & Joanne Gaudet