Friday, January 21, 2011

Lunch Review: The Tobacco Company

I was invited to have lunch at the Tobacco Company (12th St and Cary St) and if you know me, I never turn down a lunch invitation.  I wouldn’t normally consider the Tobacco Company to be a Thrifty place for lunch, but since I was there, I figured I would give my thoughts and share some Thrifty deals that they have for Happy Hour.

I have never had a meal at the Tobacco Company before, I’ve been to the bar and to the Club (a few years ago), but never to one of the upper floors of the space.  The upstairs dining area is really unique. The palm trees on the first floor blossom right next to your table and the rest of the décor is nostalgic.  I have read that this restaurant is a popular tourist destination given its history, but at lunch it is all business.  I am glad I dressed cute or I might have felt out of place.  Lunch seems to be a popular place for work friends, business lunches and lady friends who lunch.  I have no problem with any of these since I am a “lady” who likes to eat lunch somewhere a little different than your grab and go type of place, once in a while.

The menu has some good options, with sandwiches like a Southern Barbecued Pork, a Tenderloin Beef and a Virginia Crab Cake, ranging from $10-$13.  Big salads and the normal things you would expect to see from a good American dining restaurant.  They had more than four special items for the day which I ended up discussing with the people at the table next to me since none of us could remember all the details.  But, the thing that I liked the most was their every day Specialties Menu.  They serve things like a Spinach and Feta Omelet, Omelet du Jour and Southern Style Eggs Benedict.  I have heard of breakfast for dinner, but breakfast for lunch?  I guess that is normally called brunch, but it is not normally served on a weekday and I am totally into it.  I had the Eggs Benedict with fruit on the side for $10.95.  It was very good and I left absolutely satisfied. 

This is a place that I would come with girlfriends for lunch, bring my family for a special occasion or treat out of town visitors.  I think we forget about the Tobacco Company as a real Richmond restaurant, different from the trendy spots that you can find in any major city.  The servers are pleasant and it is not too crowded (although it was filling up fast when I left right before 1pm). 

Now for my Thrifty find of my visit! This place has a pretty rockin’ Happy Hour special.  They have a new bar menu that they serve starting at 3pm with prices that range from $7-$14.  For Happy Hour, four of the items on the menu are ½ off.  They serve Oyster Sliders for $4.47, Tobacco Company Burger for $3.97, Fried Yellow Tomatoes for $3.47 and Virginia BBQ Bruschetta for $3.97.  Plus, they have drink specials that include ½ off all Martinis.  If you are a gal that likes a fruity cocktail (or a guy who enjoys one, you know who you are) then this would be a great spot to start with cocktails.  As far as downtown Happy Hours are concerned this is a good one.  I will be back to try the burger.  I imagine that the bar is a little more casual during Happy Hour than the dining room at lunch and deals go from 3pm-7pm.  Photo credit.
Tobacco Company on Urbanspoon

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