What to See and Do in Richmond, Virginia
American Civil War Museum: The ultimate must-see location to learn about the Civil War, this place is at once sobering and fascinating. Richmond served as the Capital of the Confederate States during the War Between the States, and the city was heavily damaged by Union forces multiple times. The American Civil War Museum contains a huge variety of artifacts and paraphernalia which dates back to this pivotal point in American History, making it the primary authority on Confederate history!
Edgar Allan Poe Musuem: Known as the master of the macabre, Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston on January 19th, 1809. At the tender age of two, he was placed in the custody of foster parents in Richmond, Virginia, who served as the primary adult influences in his childhood and young adulthood, in spite of the fact that he was never formally adopted by the Allan’s. The Poe museum, which was once the home of the beloved horror poet and story teller contains a number of unusual artifacts to peruse, as well as handwritten editions of some of his most famous works!
Virginia State Capitol Building: This stark- white, pillared building is largely considered to be one of the prettiest capitol buildings in the entire nation. Partially designed by founding father Thomas Jefferson, the layout was based on the Maison Carrée Temple in Nice, France, and carries much of the Old-World elegance in its exterior and interior design. Take advantage of the free guided tour, and be sure to visit at least a few of the Civil War monuments located in nearby Capitol Square!
Places To Eat in Richmond, Virginia
Kuba Kuba: Serving some of the most delicious Cuban fare in the city, this is a no-frills eatery where you select your food from a giant chalkboard located at the front. In spite of the unadorned, somewhat hectic atmosphere, this is the place to go if you are looking for a Caribbean spin on breakfast, lunch or dinner. Featuring everything from eggs with Cuban toast and a classic Cuban sandwich, they offer a number of deliciously authentic dinner choices as well, including the classic ropa veija, which features marinated flank steak paired with rice and plantains.
The Roosevelt: Located in Church Hill, the oldest neighborhood in the city, this place prides itself on supplying classic, uncorrupted Southern cuisine. You can begin with a light entrée of chilled cucumber and avocado soup, or if you are looking for a more substantial starter, the smoked chicken wings are absolutely out of this world! For entrees, you can do no better than the soft-shell crabs sautéed with tomatoes or a roasted pork shoulder served with black eyed peas and fresh fennel salad.
Spoonbread Bistro: Not only is this restaurant located in Richmond’s historic fan district, it also boasts some of the most well-loved staples of Southern cuisine coupled with a distinctive, elegant French flair! For those looking for a cure for the morning hangover, a breakfast cupcake composed of whisked eggs, bacon, tater tots, ham and swiss cheese is absolutely unparalleled. For dinner, you will want to be sure to taste the braised short ribs and rosemary-infused grits before moving onto one of the main courses, such as seabass cooked with lemon and shallots served with the infamous white truffle spoonbread, or their signature dish, the Cat Sea Pig. This is an unlikely yet delicious combination that pairs catfish and sea scallops wrapped in bacon, which are then finished with a rich tomato sauce coupled with rosemary grits and fresh Brussel sprout for a culinary combination that is out of this world!
Best Cuban Restaurants in the United States
Cuba Cuba Café and Bar: If you ever find yourself in Denver, be sure to stop by this unique location which will make you feel as though you have been transported to the islands in the middle of the mountain scenery! You can elect to sit inside or on the bustling patio, where you can sit back and enjoy a variety of creative rum cocktails while listening to the upbeat salsa music that is always in the air. Offering live music on Saturday nights and a mojito happy hour Monday-Thursday, it is no wonder why this spot has become a favorite amongst Denver’s young professional crowd. There are the classic appetizers such as plantain chips coupled with guacamole or fresh ceviche, yet if you are only going to eat one thing here, make it the camarones al coco. This dish translates to shrimp with coconut in English, and while it may seem like an odd combination, the perfect pairing of seared shrimp with fresh coconut milk, garlic, ginger and peppers is the very definition of soul food.
Pambiche: Portland, Oregon is certainly not first city that comes to mind when you think authentic Cuban food, however, this place prides itself on serving delicious Cuban recipes that have been in the Maribona family for many generations. With its funky décor and friendly vibe, this is a wonderful option for sharing some insanely good food with friends and family. The brunch menu is centered around cage-free, fresh egg dishes such as Cuban French toast or rice and eggs. Be sure to sample a cup of café con leche, a traditional morning drink made from expresso topped with steamed milk. If you are stopping for lunch, you will want to try the Plato Cubano, which consists of seasoned pork shoulder coupled with rice and beans, while dinner selections range from braised oxtail to chicken cooked in a creole herb gravy. Be sure to save room for one of their famous cookies for desert!
Pilar Cuban Eatery: Located in Brooklyn, New York, this hip restaurant is a favorite amongst those seeking authentic Cuban cuisine with a modern twist! Start your morning with a classic breakfast empanada consisting of scrambled eggs, cheese and a choice of chorizo or maduros (fried plantains) coupled with a cup of strong Cuban coffee, or refuel yourself mid-day with the lunch sampler, which includes a cup of soup as well as an empanada, croquette and delicious Cuban salad! If you come here for dinner, be sure to take advantage of their extensive cocktail menu, which includes everything from the classic dark and stormy to daquiris and a passionfruit and mango mojito! A wonderful place to meet up with friends, begin your meal with Cuban nachos (plantains, black beans, pickled onion and red pepper sauce) before selecting from a number of mouthwatering entrees, including rotisserie chicken or ropa vieja, which is made from skirt steak combined with tomatoes, peppers and onions served with the classic combination of beans and rice.
Versailles Restaurant: Heralded as the world’s most famous Cuban restaurant, this gem is strategically located on Calle Ocho in Little Havana in Miami, Florida. This place first opened in 1971 and it remains in the same family to this day! A popular gathering spot for Cuban exiles and tourists alike, the focus here is on serving authentic, classic Cuban dishes at a price that is accessible to everyone. Open from 8 am until 1:00 am, this is a perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late-night snack! Specialties here include ceviche tropical, shrimp au gratin and oxtail stew, yet if you are looking for the ultimate experience, order the Versailles Especial, a hearty sandwich made from sweet ham, roast pork, sausage and swiss cheese topped with mustard and pickles and piled high onto perfectly toasted Cuban bread.
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