Monday, March 23, 2009

Food for Thought Restaurant

In Williamsburg, we found the Food for Thought Restaurant. We had spotted the ad for it in a visitor center publication.

Drawn to the restaurant by its name, we decided to eat there when we saw it was voted "best new restaurant in Williamsburg."

We were seated in a room that had a glass window to the kitchen area. There were famous quotes and expressions painted on the walls. Pictures of Presidents and great statesmen hung throughout the dinning room and bar area.

If patrons had trouble starting a conversation, they could pick a card from a stack on the table. Some cards had 'mind games' -word or math puzzles. Others were prompts to open dialog, such as, who is your favorite actress and why?

My sister, Dennie, had talked about "cheesy grits" on the flight east. She claimed it was a local cuisine and we should try some while in Virginia. Does cheesy grits and cuisine belong in the same sentence? Sorry Dennie. I, on the other hand, had been looking forward to crab cakes.

Once seated, sweet potato corn bread and Parmesan cheese biscuits were placed on the table. While I did not think sweet potato corn bread sounded very good, I would like their recipe - I know it would be a new Thanksgiving tradition in our home.

Dennie ordered her cheesy grits as a side to pot roast with sweet potato fries. I had a crab cake and selected broccoli and asparagus as my side dishes. My plate came with with a ramekin of 'southwest remoulade sauce.

We both were very impressed with the food. Dennie said her pot roast and sweet potato fries were the best. She was not thrilled with the cheesy grits -preferring more cheddar flavor. I sampled them and thought they tasted like wall paper paste (don't ask how I know). I was thrilled with my selections. There was plenty of food and the price was only $8.95 per meal.

Our server may have eyed us with suspicion when we first arrived as we took pictures of the sign outside before entering the restaurant. When he saw me taking a picture of the menu, I had to explain that my friends, Doni and Kelly, have Food for Thought A News Cafe. Then I asked if the restaurant was a franchise or chain. No, he said, Mr. Howard Hopkins owned it.

As patrons were finishing their meals, I noticed Mr. Hopkins making his way around the tables asking if everything was satisfactory. At least two tables greeted him first by his name. When he came to our table, he introduced himself -extending his hand. We thanked Mr. Hopkins for the wonderful meal and I told him why we had been taking pictures of his sign. He asked more about Food For Thought, A News Cafe. He was intrigued and said he was going to go look the web site right then.

I know this is long, but I was so struck with the similar philosophies of each business, that I have to quote from his menu,
"Our food is prepared with love and served with pride. The foundation of our menu is built upon classic American dishes such as fork -tender pot roast , grandma's meat loaf and "fall off the bone" ribs. These are the meals that America grew up on. To compliment these American flavors, we added some newer, more contemporary flavors and ideas like Pad Thai, Jamaican jerk chicken, flavored butters and original vegetarian dishes.

A truly wonderful meal is a combination of good food and good conversation. So talk about the special people featured here. Talk about the contributions these people have made to the world. Talk about how everyone can can be great in his or her own way. Talk about how we can each make significant contributions if we model the same principles and beliefs of those that have gone before us. Have fun while enjoying a deliciously inspiring meal and expand your mind as well as
your belly....... * eat *drink *think "

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