Parish and I love to try new things. Give us a small town, a unique store, or a restaurant that serves food we’ve never tasted, and we are in our zone. As a couple, the experiences have brought years of fond memories, and individually, we’ve satisfied our love for adventure. How do you define adventure? If it’s skydiving and swimming with the sharks, then maybe our definition of fun will not appeal to you, but if you are looking for a lovely evening out in Church Hill, we’ve got you covered. Come walk with us.
Church Hill, due east of downtown, above Shockoe Valley, where Patrick Henry gave his famous speech at St. John’s Church, which is apparently the highest spot in the city. (http://wtvr.com/2012/07/05/holmberg-which-are-the-seven-hills-of-richmond/)
We parked our car on a side street next to The Alamo BBQ on 2202 Jefferson Avenue in Richmond.
We started our walking journey here because of the smell. Close your eyes and think of the wonderful, sweet and smoky smell of barbecue roasting on a smoker.
Combine that with a friendly walk-up window and outdoor picnic area on a breezy, sunny afternoon and, well, you are in paradise. The charm is the simplicity and the crowd.
You have Church Hill wannabes (us), all cultures and ages, and small children with their families, along with date night folks all dressed up. We shared a barbecue sandwich that had the perfect combination of smoke and sweet. The cold slaw had just enough mayo and vinegar–not too runny, or tangy. We resisted that temptation to try to the cornbread because we had reservations at Metzger’s Bar and Butchery further down the street.
We left the Alamo and headed directly up Jefferson street to Union Market on 2306 Jefferson Ave. Along the way, we experienced the revitalization of the old charm. Homes were experiencing a makeover for new families to move in. You could tell that the new was only created to keep the charm of the building. I love when you witness builders trying to keep the historical aspect of a building while also making sure the building is livable.
We did not realize that Union Market was an actual market along with a wonderful deli and eatery. They catered to the cyclist and dog owner. You had a place for your bike, a hitching post for your dog on a leash, or water bowls and treats for your pet as you sat on the patio.
As we ordered another small appetizer, we walked out onto the patio to music playing and lazy, Saturday afternoon folks gathering to socialize or read books.
As we sat admiring the beautiful color of the crepe myrtle in the sun, watching people, and talking about our future, we saw the large family from The Alamo restaurant walking back to their home. I could not resist the two-year-old little boy with red hair on daddy’s shoulders. What a cutie.
We had a 5:00 reservation for Metzger’s Bar and Butchery, so we loaded walking directions on our phone and started the short, but wonderful walk to our dinner date.
Along the way, we met retired couples relaxing on their decks, a man playing with his dog in the front yard, and beautiful, spring flowers. Many of the homes were historical with the information plaque on the building. What we noticed most was the people–the smiles, the waves, and the sense of community. In fact, across from Metzger’s is a church that seemed to be a part of serving the community, along with a family resource center.
We got to the restaurant 5 minutes early and sat outside waiting for it to open.
The menu in Metzger’s is authentic and true to its name– German food only. If you want pizza and hamburgers, this is not your restaurant. Try something new! We ordered the basket of homemade bread which included pretzel bread, sea salt crackers, Old Bay biscuit, and a nutty-type bread. They were all homemade and warm with delicious butter.
Parish ordered the roasted chicken, and I ordered the pork chops. We were too busy chowing down, we forgot to take pictures! The serving size was plentiful and seasoned to perfection!
We were glad we had to walk back to the car after our wonderful dining experience. If you make a reservation at 5:00, right when they open, you’ll be in a quiet atmosphere. As we were eating, the restaurant started to fill up. I enjoyed the lively mother-daughter conversations, the date-night couples, and the neighborhood locals. You could see the staff waving to folks from the windows as they walked by the restaurant.
On our walk back to the car we figured out a short cut through an alley.
We started our journey around 3:30 in the afternoon. We recommend making a reservation for Metzger’s because the restaurant is small. We were able to stop at the points of interest and walk to the restaurant during the 3:30-5:00-time frame. You can adjust your time to accommodate your desire to stay longer at a certain spot. Of course, if you desire to stay out late, you could venture into Shockoe Bottom, Cary Town, Byrd Theater, or other areas of interest in Richmond.
Let us know if you venture out! We’d love to hear from you.
Parish and Anna