Review: Julep’s

15 February 2016

I had arrived at Richmond a day early seeing some nasty weather reports for Presidents Day, getting into town yesterday. After a long morning strolling Hollywood Cemetery in frozen conditions I had a poor lunch at a local BBQ joint I won’t bother naming. Dinner was room service as I just didn’t feel like going on to dine alone on Valentine’s Day…

The next day was a mess, a snowy icy mess in Richmond. I slowly trudged around downtown but everywhere was closed for lunch, so back to the hotel for lunch. I knew dinner was set as I had a reservation at Julep’s — a place I had missed last time in town. I headed out for dinner and the city was caught in a nasty ice storm.

One big problem about Richmond is that there are so many abandoned/unoccupied/derelict properties in downtown, there’s clearly no agreement on what to do about snow/ice issues. And of course, as I was about to cross the street, when the damn sidewalk sloped in hilly downtown, I hit black ice…

In a matter of a millisecond I knew there was nothing I can do to prevent me falling but it was now the goal to minimise damage — especially from a head knock. Easier said than done as it was a slope and I had far less time to ensure my noggin’ survived a crack…


It did, but at the cost of my right elbow and left palm, which took some of the impact before my right side crashed down hard, nearly full force, on the black ice-covered concrete. I yelled in absolute anger, not in pain… After a few seconds to make sure I could, I crawled to a place that was not sloped and got back on my feet. My chest felt awful as my ribs took a very nasty knock. Throw in hip and shoulder pain…oh, this trip is starting real bad…

I slowly made my way to Julep’s and it was not comfortable to sit. My arse hurt too… A much-needed martini helped, and I ordered my food. My breathing was a bit laboured as my ribs clearly took a hard knock. I just hope I didn’t break anything. I know my lung was not punctured, but probably got a bit of bruising now. Damn it…

I tried not to think about it but it wasn’t easy. This town just earned my permanent anger for this bullshit lack-of-effort clearing up sidewalks. For a town devoted to tourism, this is piss poor. Then my starter arrived…and honestly it was hard to focus on it…


Scallops that are “charred smoking brined” whatever that means. Not bad, meaty and cooked well, but there was little of any charring, smoking, or brining from the taste. The base — potato cakes was not that great to be honest… Even if I wasn’t in pain I would have given this a meh or so, but when I needed a brilliant start, this wasn’t it. Too bad. Not poor, but just very ordinary.

Sorry for the poor focus. The phone took a knock and survived, and I may have been a bit impatient in taking the photo with my shoulder now in pain also… Then my main arrived, the duck étouffée.

2-duck etouffee

Not bad, though the duck was a bit bland and overcooked. The étouffée itself was also not bad, but again, there’s something quite ordinary in this dish. I was a bit disappointed as I heard a lot of praise for Julep’s and it’s pretty ordinary tonight. Perhaps being in pain didn’t help, but really, this was not as good as Roosevelt the last time I was in town.

I was still not wanting to head back into the ice again so I opted for a dessert…

3-key lime cheesecake

A key lime cheesecake. Not bad, I enjoyed it. With a bit of bourbon I chilled and finished this meal. Not bad, but nothing special, rather mediocre, sorry to say.

I headed out, hoping for no further issues en route back for the less than 2 blocks of walk to the hotel (yes, that’s how close). I avoided that same corner to say the least, walking on the streets itself thanks to the very light traffic. But the sloping sidewalk to the hotel door was not cleaned, and neither was the bricked driveway. It was an awful shuffle and I gave a piece of my mind to the hotel staff for their laziness before I headed upstairs and went to lie down.

Oh, this roadtrip is starting out real, real bad…

420 East Grace Street
Richmond, Virginia

One thought on “Review: Julep’s

  1. Pingback: Review: Stove | melhuang1972

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