Unfortunately, Chéo’s birthday is smack in the middle of my busy season at work so I couldn’t be there with him this year. Luckily, he came up with this genius idea so we were able to celebrate another way.
Last Friday morning, way before the crack of dawn, I was en route to 34th street for the ever-so-clutch Bolt Bus. Simultaneously, Chéo was getting ready to hit the road on his end. Four hours later, I woke up in Washington DC to find him patiently waiting for my arrival.
I met him in DC with every intent to eat, it was his idea to take #avaeats on the road- but I had him drive to Virginia. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for dining in DC as I’ve done it plenty of times- but the issue is that I’ve done it plenty of times. I needed something new. Time for my best friend, Google!
My search brought us to Millie’s Diner in Richmond. A good two hours away, we took the scenic route down.
Owned and operated by Paul Keevil and Lisa Edwards, Millie’s has been in the Church Hill neighborhood since 1989. Cute and quaint, with the perfect parking spot outside, we were surprised to see their reviews from Gourmet and Bon Appetit posted in the windows. We walked in and saw a tiny open kitchen with a chef manning the flat top, cozy booths, and a fully stocked bar.
We grabbed a booth and a waitress came to take our drink orders: mimosa for me, Jack and ginger ale for him. The vibe inside Millie’s was very intimate and welcoming, and the staff was very friendly. The menu was written on a chalk board and posted above the bar. Our drinks got to the table but I hadn’t had my mind made up about what I wanted for lunch. Everything sounded so good! I was leaning towards the corned beef sandwich, but I played it safe with the burger with cheese. And bacon! Chéo had the spinach salad with grilled salmon, as I expected.
I was impressed by the jukebox at the booth.
The chefs at Millie’s are fast! Our food came out quickly, but the quality certainly wasn’t compromised. I don’t like salmon, but I’ll always taste his- it was so good! Moist and well-cooked, the salmon tasted great accompanied by the spinach and house made vinaigrette. My burger, hearty and juicy, was served with a side of potatoes I’d never seen or even really tasted. I took a bite, and it reminded me of curry potatoes like you’d find in roti- but with a kick. Sautéed with coriander, cumin, and some other secret spices, these potatoes were definitely something to write home about.
The skies opened up and it started to pour. It gave us a chance to let our food settle and contemplate dessert. Chéo had his eye on the pumpkin roll, but I had to ask what exactly was a pumpkin roll. Essentially a Swiss roll made with pumpkin cake, they were unfortunately out for the day. “Next time we’ll have it for you,” whenever that may be for us.
Back on the road to Greensboro. Happy birthday babe.
2603 E Main Street