I’d thought I’d passed the point in my life when a crowded bar seemed appealing. The people, the noise, the battle for limited seating—ugh, no thanks. But sometimes, you find a place with food so good, a place so worthwhile, that you put up with damn near any adverse conditions to dine there. Lunch.Supper! in Richmond, Virginia is one of those kinds of places.
At first glance, Lunch.Supper! has all the hallmarks of a place I would avoid: they don’t take reservations, the crowds are plenty, and the seating sparse. The evening of our first visit, as we stood ass-to-elbow with the young Richmonders seated at the bar, I couldn’t help thinking I was too old for this scene. But we channeled our younger selves and ordered beers, and we dodged fast-moving wait staff and hungry customers while waiting for a table to open up. And man, was it worth it!
Lunch.Supper! actually consists of two separate spaces right next to one another. Lunch is very small with only a handful of tables and smaller kitchen, and that’s where you’ll find all day breakfast and lunch fare. Supper is larger, with a full bar and even some outdoor tables, but the seating is still limited and tight. Dining at Supper this visit, we were seated at a small two-top table more suitable for pounding beers and wings rather than eating a full meal. We were about to test the spatial and weight limits of this tiny table, and we hoped it would hold up under the pressure we were about to put on its slight frame.
But before loading the table with food, we needed a drink. Like so many places in Richmond, Lunch.Supper! really nails the craft cocktail game. Kathleen particularly loved their version of a Moscow mule made with Belle Isle grapefruit moonshine. Their list of local beers and ciders was also extensive, but, honestly, the exceptional food completely drove the particulars of the beers I enjoyed straight out of my head.
Styling itself as a classic Virginia smokehouse, it’s no surprise that Lunch.Supper! really, really excels at charcuterie. Richmond is where I fell in love with melty, peppery pimento cheese, and of all the pimento cheese I sampled during our stay, the one made at Lunch.Supper! was my favorite. Combine the spicy pimento cheese with some Tasso ham, rolled up together in soft warm pita bread, and you’ve got one of the single most delicious bites of food anywhere.
The meaty fun was just beginning, as the charcuterie board also came with a generous pile of perfectly tender barbecue pulled pork. And then—get ready for this—we ordered braised short ribs…served over bacon mac and cheese! That’s right, short ribs and bacon, all in creamy, cheesy heaven. I’m making myself so hungry I’m having a hard time writing this.
Lunch.Supper! isn’t a fine dining establishment, so the concept of spacing a meal hasn’t really been perfected yet. Our mains came out only a minute or two after our appetizers, straining our limited space to the breaking point. I really, really needed to start shoveling that mac and cheese into my face…to make room on the table, obviously.
Because I am a mac and cheese whore (and a glutton), my main course was fried chicken, served over more of that delicious bacon mac and cheese. The chicken was boneless, which allowed me to just pick up my fork and go to town!
Kathleen was still riding the pimento train pretty hard, so she ordered a grilled pimento cheese sandwich, which came topped with fried green tomatoes. The tomatoes were the perfect acidic foil to the rich, creamy grilled cheese.
We loved are meal at Lunch.Supper! so much, we ended up stopping in for brunch on our last morning in Richmond. We managed to grab one of the few tables at the smaller Lunch without a wait, and we proceeded to have one last round of tasty southern cuisine before heading home.
Both of us ordered breakfast sandwich biscuits with Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese. Feeling slightly pimento’d out by that point, I opted for simple American cheese, but Kathleen enjoyed revisiting their delicious pimento cheese one last time. The biscuits themselves were a bit disappointing—lacking the salty, savory quality you’d expect from a good biscuit—but the ham was thick and salty and was just the kind of thing you’d want to eat after a night of enjoying Richmond’s excellent alcoholic beverages.
Lunch.Supper! is truly comfort food at its best. When you’re eating it, all other thought flies right out the window, and you just luxuriate in a sea of good feelings—or at least I did. I would eat every meal of the day at Lunch.Supper!, and I probably will do just that next time we visit Richmond.