Thursday, April 24, 2008

Battlefield Restaurant

After a particularly stressful week recently, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a full-blown diner breakfast after church—the perfect time to check out the Battlefield Restaurant. The place was fairly busy, with a crowd that represented a cross-section of Fredericksburg, anchored by locals and old-timers, and including families, 20-somethings, workers, and the little-blue-haired-old-ladies-after-church crowd.

The place is a traditional luncheonette, only open for breakfast and lunch, and has a menu that’s heavy on the breakfast items, and featuring old time Southern specialties like salt fish, country ham and fried tomatoes, plus soups, sandwiches, burgers, and dinner entrees in the “meat + 2 sides” format. Seven different kinds of homemade pies are also a big draw. Who knew that coconut custard and coconut cream are two different kinds of pie?

We decided to go all-out and sampled as much as we could off the breakfast menu: eggs, omelet, country ham, home fries, pancakes and a biscuit. (Okay, we avoided the scrapple and grits. I’ve never had scrapple, and though it sounds like a delightfully meaty word game, I expect I never will.) Everything was done in classic diner style, and was a completely satisfying meal. The highlight was the pancakes: literally dinner plate sized, with the perfect texture and flavor...more like dessert than breakfast.

There’s only one downside to this place for me—smoking is permitted in the entire small dining room. I guess that's to be expected in an authentic old time Virginia luncheonette, but for me, the smell of smoke gets in the way of my enjoyment of the food. And with the ashtray on every table that welcomes smoking, I suspect they get more than their fair share of diners who light up. There certainly were enough while we were there.

Our breakfast (yes, we ate it all):

You can sit at the counter and watch the cooking, or sit in the small dining room, decorated with Civil War portraits of Grant, Lee, Jackson, Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. The place is open Mon.-Sat, 6-2 and Sun 7-2. No credit or debit cards. In fact, a sign by the front counter says: Our credit manager is Helen Waite. If you want credit, go to Hell-en Wait.


Anonymous said...

I would imagine that since smoking is so offensive to you, you are free to eat elsewhere. In fact, there are many states where you may live completely smoke-free (California and NY come to mind). I, for one, will eat here just because smoking is permitted.

Anonymous said...

I might actually consider moving there IF they continue to allow smoking. That must be the ONLY dining establishment left in this country where smokers can indulge in their perfectly legal, and over-taxed (without representation) habit.

Merry N said...

swfreedomlover, you must not have spent much time in VA, where smoking sections in restaurants are the norm. If you are interested in other restaurants in Fredericksburg that welcome smokers, you'll love Sammy T's, where the entire main dining room is for smokers (there's a small room for non-smokers in the back). You can enjoy a healthy vegetarian meal with your cigarette. Also, The Pub on Rt. 3 is very smoky (non-smoking dining area open Thurs-Sat). I highly recommend the subs, burgers and onion rings.