Day two: Virginia Beach.
If you haven’t ever eaten alone at a restaurant, for whatever reason, I suggest you put on your big girl panties and head to your favorite spot…solo! Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather share a delicious meal with someone I love, but I’d also rather eat a delicious meal at a restaurant alone than something quick at home. You’ll find eating by yourself at a restaurant you usually get much better service, more attention from your server. It’s fun! This meal was no exception.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
Food/Beverage: 3 out of 5
Ambiance: 4 out of 5
Value: 3 out of 5
Service: 4.5 out of 5
The Pier Cafe is located on (guess…no, really…can you figure it out?) a Pier on the Chesapeake Bay. When I read that they were voted Best of the Beach Outdoor Dining 10 years in a row, I figured I owed it to myself to give them a try. The food sounded good, the pictures looked great, I figured why not!
Walking in, the place presents like a beach front restaurant should. It kinda looks like a ship, big open windows on the patio, dark wood throughout the inside, that odd carpet that can most likely be used inside or out, brightly painted walls and picnic table style chairs. You have a beautiful view of the water and the pier. The only issue with the ambiance here is that being right on the pier, you are more prone to objectionable smells and the loud noises of things being wheeled along the pier. I think it’s worth it, but these things did bring the score down a bit.
They have a large menu, with fried and broiled seafood options as well as soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers for the non-seafood eaters.
They also offered some interesting sounding drink choices, including a house made margarita and THIS…the Orange Crush. I had been told to give this drink a try while down here. It’s fresh squeezed orange juice, orange vodka, and grenadine here at the Pier Cafe. Other restaurants have other combinations of juices and sodas to the mix. This one was pretty good. I wasn’t blown away, but I was happy.
For my first course, I ordered a bowl of the She Crab Soup ($4.99/$7.99 bowl).
The portion was a little small, and there was a definite layer of…film over the top that went away quickly when stirred but never the less it was there. It was served with sherry that you could pour over top. To me, this brings down the rating a little. I’m not a she crab soup chef, especially not at this establishment. When I eat at a restaurant, I want to know how the chef intends the dish to taste. I always take a bite before adding salt or pepper. Putting the sherry on the side says that the chef was indecisive about how much to add. If they don’t know, how should I? The soup itself was creamy, a little lumpy, and had a pretty good amount of crab meat. I enjoyed it.
The seafood tower was something that many yelpers had mentioned, so I went ahead and ordered that too. At $15.99, I expected it to be amazing! Sometimes high expectations can lead to a let down. It did. It was good, the roasted pepper coulis was nice, but was a little lacking in flavor. There were a lot of shell pieces in the crab and the shrimp were cooked but otherwise not seasoned. It was a lot of food, but not $15 worth. I ordered the key lime pie to go and was very pleased with it. The crust was nice, it was cooked in house, they used whipped cream on top that tasted fresh.
My server was FANTASTIC! She was attentive, gave great suggestions, and listened to my story in horror from the night before and the oysters.
Considering this is a vacation spot, I probably wouldn’t return to The Pier Cafe. If you live in Va Beach and are just looking for a spot to eat, on the water, I’d say give it a try. You may enjoy it.