Taste Test Archive

Pickin' the best steamed blue crab

Steamed blue crabs could be the signature dish of our region. A summertime crab feast is just part of growing up around the Chesapeake Bay. 

Best summer salad to tantalize your taste buds

FIRST STOP: LEAPING LIZARD CAFE, set far off Shore Drive in Virginia Beach beneath a grove of soaring trees and scattered picnic tables.
We've been hearing raves about this place all winter long, specifically praise for the seasonal salads.

Which local chocolate cake is really great?

FIRST STOP IS STOVE, THE RESTAURANT, where Cowboy Syd’s Sextuple Truffle Tart is famous already.
Stove chef/owner Sydney Meers’ original recipe is included in “Death by Chocolate,” the award-winning cookbook by Marcel Desaulniers, owner of The Trellis in Williamsburg. Meers has been tweaking it ever since.

Next Taste Test: Chocolate desserts

Next up Chocolate desserts.
If you’d like to nominate a chocolate dessert, leave the name of the dessert, restaurant where it is served and the city where the restaurant is located.
If you’d like to be a tester, tell us why and leave these four pieces of information: name, age, city of residence and a way to reach you.
Nominations and tester applications can be left at

It's prime time for a prime rib taste test

With the winter winding down, March seemed like prime time for prime rib. Y’all apparently agreed. More than 250 votes were cast for 25 restaurants, and nearly 60 readers applied to be testers.
On a cold, rainy Saturday, the testing panel got down to work, slicing through prime rib at three restaurants most nominated by readers. Here’s what they found.

Meet the judges: Prime Rib

Michael Chellew
34, Chesapeake
Occupation Virginia Beach firefighter, owner of Atlantic Leak Detection swimming pool repair service
Nominated Coinjock Marina and Restaurant
On prime rib Known to his friends as a “meatosaurus,” Mike loves prime rib best of all because of its tenderness and juiciness.
Paula Bozdech-Veater
61, Norfolk

Mac 'n' cheese, please

This month’s taste test paired a panel of traditionalists with a field of not-so-traditional macaroni and cheese flavors. Bleu cheese? Cream cheese? Smoked gouda?  

Say (mac and) cheese!

First up, macaroni and cheese from Rumba American Bistro. The dish is known to our testers, however, only as Mac ’n Cheese No. 1, served in a blind taste test held last week at The Virginian-Pilot.

Next Taste Test: Prime Rib

How about a nice plate of prime rib? We’re looking for the best in the area. If you’d like to nominate a restaurant, please let us know the name of the place and the city where it is located.

If you’d like to be a tester, please tell us why you think you’d be a good one. Also leave your name, age, city of residence and an e-mail address, if you have one.

Meet the judges: Mac 'n' Cheese

Faith Stuart McArdle

44, Norfolk

Occupation  Currently job hunting and catering part time.

Nominated  Her own recipe. She has perfected it over the past year and uses a blend of two cheeses and panko bread crumbs on top. It is a favorite of her 16-year-old son.

On macaroni and cheese 

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