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Taste Test Archive

Taste Test | Best lumpia in Hampton Roads

This was no pushover panel. Combined, our lumpia taste testers possessed more than 150 years of experience cooking and eating lumpia. They like it crisp, not too fat, not too short, not at all greasy, with a savory filling of meat and vegetables. They like it like mom makes it. Could any restaurant hope to meet these exacting expectations? Read on to find out.
 
Our winner
Braise

Taste Test | Best waffles in Hampton Roads

COULD YOU, would you at 7 a.m. order a waffle studded with chocolate chips and topped with ice cream and whipped cream?

Taste Test | Best barbecue, Eastern Carolina-style

SLOW-COOKED PORK with a hint of smoke and shot through with vinegar and pepper: Eastern Carolina-style barbecue is so simple, yet so satisfying. Luckily, here in Hampton Roads, you can't sling a stick without hitting a barbecue joint, places where they do it low and slow.

Taste Test | Brake for the best food truck fare

Norfolk’s Food-Vendor Program, which launched in July, gives “curb service” new meaning. Instead of diners waiting in cars to be served, six food trucks wait in designated parking spaces on Plume, Freemason, Bank and Granby streets to take orders.

Taste Test | Best sundae in Hampton Roads

WHAT'S BETTER THAN a Saturday full of sundaes? That's what this month's panel of taste testers wondered, traveling from Norfolk to Virginia Beach in search of the area's best. They sampled renditions ranging from the traditional at a 109-year-old landmark drive-in to a new take on sundaes at an equally new college haunt. Here's what they found.
OUR WINNER
Doumar's Cones & Barbecue

Taste Test | Skinny cocktails

 
AHH. SUMMER. The sunshine. The seaside. The sizzle. Thanks to creative bartenders, it's the perfect time for cooling libations. For this month's taste test, we cabbed it to a trio of bars to test seductively skinny cocktails most nominated by readers. Here's the skinny from our panel of testers.
 
OUR WINNER
Hot Tuna
2817 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach
481-2888, www.hottunavb.com

Taste Test: Best hot cross buns in Hampton Roads

WHAT DO SHAD ROE and hot cross buns have in common?

Taste Test: Best bread pudding in Hampton Roads

DESPITE ITS LOWBROW stale-bread roots, bread pudding has a diverse and outspoken fan base. That's what we found after opening the polls for this month's taste test. Scores of nominations came in, spread among nearly 50 restaurants. On a sunny Saturday, a panel of testers visited three of the most nominated spots, where they sampled three very different desserts. Here's what they found.

Taste Test: Shrimp and Grits

On a recent Saturday, taste testers brought to the party staunch South Carolina Lowcountry palates and preferences. But after sampling shrimp and grits at three local restaurants most recommended by readers, they gained an unexpected appreciation for some offbeat interpretations. Find out which dishes won them over.

The best of the best in South Hampton Roads fare

WHAT A YEAR IT WAS. Forty taste testers visited a total of 33 restaurants and filled out hundreds of pages of critiques to determine the best of the best in South Hampton Roads. From soup to scallops to biker bars, here are the restaurants that rose to the top in The Pilot’s 2012 Taste Tests. Next year, we’ll sample shrimp and grits, Asian buffets, waffles and more. Stay tuned.

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