Eating Out: Mint
With RVA’s obsession of Southern-inspired restaurants popping up nearly everywhere, Mint’s southern fare is no exception.
Mint opened their doors earlier this year as a casual comparison to its sister restaurant, Julep’s. As this was my 2nd dinner at Mint, I was happy to see some revisions to the menu. My first experience was a fried food overload. It seems they’ve scaled back the grease and made a few tweaks to the menu.
Mint’s situated on the quaint corner of Davis & Main and resembles classic storefront feel- if you’re lucky enough to snag a window seat, you’ll get a good show of good lookin’ joggers (or stumbling hot messes, depending on what time you’re dining). The decor is minimal, the tiled ceilings and elongated wooden booths preserve the original charm of the aged building.
In the true Holiday spirit, I believe seasonal calories should be ignored so no surprise we settled on the fried Green Tomatoes ($8) and Pimento Mac n’ Cheese ($6) to start.
Since we had a booze-filled weekend, we skipped on drinks. Wise decision.
The fried green tomatoes were admirable. Thick crispy batter coated the green tomato which was surprisingly juicy, a nice tang was added by the warm Peppadew Aioli. The Mac n’ Cheese was a winner, I loathe the phrase “melts in your mouth” but it’s so fitting for the for this dish. With the comforting creaminess of mac and cheese crossed the bright flavors of pimento, this is a no brainer.
For my entree, I settled on the pork chops ($21). The presentation was impressive with a thick glazed chop towering over collard greens and corn pudding. The pork chop was cooked just like I’d hoped. Finding most pork chops to be overcooked, you won’t find this problem at Mint. As a collard green enthusiasts I found Mint’s to be decent – the traditional tang of vinegar was lacking but the earthy flavor of the greens was great.
The best part of my meal? Corn pudding. I’ve had my share of corn pudding and Mint’s shouldn’t go unnoticed. I couldn’t depict what was actually in their recipe because I was too busy stuffing my face. The velvety creamy corn blended with cheese is enough hold back hounding my waitress for seconds.
My lovely lady went all nostalgic and ordered the chicken and dumplings ($14). From the few bites I had, the hearty flavors of carrots and celery were simple yet robust. The creamy gravy with perfect bits of chicken were a nice compliment to the vegetables. Unfortunately, the dumplings were sparse. I thought I might have missed them in my few forkfuls but my girlfriend told me there were only a few dumplings. Boo.
We decided we got our fill of enough Southern spread for dinner so we skipped on dessert. If you’re jonesing for a last course treat, Mint offers everything from chocolate cake with berries and bourbon cream ($7) to rice pudding with dried cherries and homemade marshmallows ($7) to homemade pie of the day ($6).
With modest prices and classic Southern dishes that will satisfy almost any palate (including a decent sandwich list), Mint’s casual eatery is a winner.
Overall … 4
Price: $6 – $28 (pretty reasonable)
Ambiance: classic Richmond, minimal, historic charm
Mentions: Good place to grub when you’re craving comfort classics
Address: 2501 W Main St (The Fan)
I adore good food; the restaurants that serve it, the energy around it (even the hoopla), and telling others about it. When I'm not grubbing down on a great meal or writing, I'm mixing aromatherapy oils, letting Jillian Michaels kick my ass, and discovering new indie music that eventually goes mainstream (sigh).
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