Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Food Triathlon

A little while back, The Flat Hat ran a Variety section on 'The Best of Williamsburg,' in terms of restaurants. As a Flat Hat photographer, I snatched up this assignment ASAP. I ended up getting 3 restaurants to photograph: Nawab, Tequila Rose, and the Trellis.

Great, I thought, this is perfect! Nawab has good appetizers, Tequila Rose has yummy mains, and the Trellis has mind-blowingly amazing desserts! I can go to each one all in a row and have a long, drawn out, extended meal!

Well, that was the plan anyway. So on a lovely Saturday, Jeff and I hopped in the car and drove the short distance to Nawab, an Indian restaurant. Before getting a seat, I asked the manager if I could take photos, for the newspaper. He was happy for me to, so I snapped some shots of the buffet.

Lunch buffet

We sat down and got waters and an appetizer, the chaat papri, which came with raita, and regular naan.

Chaat papri


But that wasn't all that was brought to us. The manager himself brought us samples of mango lassi and garlic naan, on the house. It was amazing!

Mango lassi (the remains)

Naan and garlic naan

Now, if you know me, you know that Indian is currently my favourite type of food, having recently surpassed Mexican. So this huge amount of free Indian food was astonishing, and wonderful! I've liked Nawab the 3 or 4 previous times I've been, and this time increased my opinion even more! If you're in Williamsburg, this is the place to go for Indian food, a relatively cheap lunch buffet, or just a delicious meal in general. I had never had mango lassi before - but now I highly recommend it! And that's saying something, since I don't really like mango at all.

Needless to say, the unexpectedly large quantities at Nawab completely filled us up, and we decided to put off Tequila Rose and The Trellis for another day.

Sunday came, and the weather was bad - lots of rain. Luckily, I had decided to take my outdoor photos the day before since it had been so nice. Jeff and I headed to Tequila Rose, for dinner this time.

It wasn't at all crowded; and there was no fanfare this time - no free stuff, I'm afraid, just delicious tacos and enchiladas.

The ubiquitous chips and salsa

Beef enchilada with beans

Beef taco

Tequila Rose is fairly far out of the way - a decent trek down 143/Second St. - and isn't my top choice for Mexican in Williamsburg. However, Flat Hat thinks it has the best margarita in town (I wouldn't really know...). I must admit that its bar certainly has character.

If you're looking for Mexican in Williamsburg, Tequila Rose is not your best option. La Tolteca (which has 2 locations: Richmond Road, near the outlets, and Second Street) and South of the Border (Second Street) are both closer to campus than Tequila Rose and better. La Tolteca is your standard Mexican style restaurant, while South of the Border has a bit of a different fare, and is a pretty new discovery of mine. Some of the dishes are not something I'd encountered in Mexican restaurants before - and that's saying a lot! I'd say South of the Border is definitely the tastiest. A lot of college students favour Casa Maya, for convenience most likely, but personally I don't think it's very good at all. I would rather go to Taco Bell (and yes, I actually like Taco Bell) which is next door, practically.

Back to our story - Tequila Rose filled us up too! So we went to the Trellis after a light lunch on Monday to just get dessert, which was, after all, the original plan for the Trellis.

The Trellis is an upscale restaurant right in Merchant's Square, Duke of Gloucester Street, at the edge of Colonial Williamsburg. Despite its proximity to campus, it's not well frequented by students - it's a tourist place, and for good reason. That reason is that it's quite expensive, which you can guess just by the decor, which mostly consists of horrendously overpriced local art on the walls, all of which is for sale.

There's one thing, though, that keeps me coming back to The Trellis at least once a year - their famous dessert offering, known as Death by Chocolate. It's their signature item. Instead of explaining it, I'm just going to show you a picture, and let you drool.

Do you think you can resist that? I can't. Jeff and I shared it and could barely finish it. It's unbelievably rich and decadent. Not something to be had on a regular basis, or risk packing on a lot a pounds.

All in all, I think our food triathlon was a success. It didn't go as planned, but I think in the end, it was better that way. Delicious!

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