Fantastic Find: Virginia pulled pork sandwich
Where to Go: Chowning's Tavern
Address: 109 East Duke of Gloucester Street, near the Courthouse in Colonial Williamsburg 229-2141; www.history.org/visit/diningExperience/chownings
Hours: Lunch 11:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. operating seasonally (now to December); reservations not required.
Everything seems to taste better when you're outdoors. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be ambrosia when unwrapped and savored under a tree. Same can be said about the garden dining experience at Colonial Williamsburg. Both the King's Arms and Chowning's Taverns offer sun-dappled, garden seating stretched under a canopy of grape arbor. After a busy morning, we stopped in at Chowning's for a quick lunch in this unhurried setting. We usually order the Brunswick stew ($8.50 a pint) but this time, settled on a kicky, vinegar based Virginia-style pork barbecue with coleslaw and a smoked turkey and Swiss on sourdough bread ($8.00).
Mind you, the sandwiches are fresh and tasty, but the price is indicative of the environs. Even as sticker shock caused a momentary cringe, a visiting family nearby reminded us of all the reasons why we were here. One among the party, the young Master Henry Mace of Washington, D.C., , took it upon himself to visit with nearly every table, in the innocent and beguiling way that folks ten times his years only wish they possessed. Henry was enthralled with the cobblestones, the birds, the horse and carriage that clackety-clacked up and down the street - all but his lunch caught his interest. Henry's mom sagely remarked that his well-intentioned and harmless parade was a reflection on the day, "Any day that includes two lemonades is a good day."
Any day that includes a toddler, a cool breeze and an equally cooling drink in hand, is pretty fine indeed. And so we clink our lemonades and note that the floor show absolutely made the price worth paying - maybe not on a regular basis mind you, but just often enough to renew spirit and build up that bank of happy memories. Thank you, Henry.
Leslie Werner, Features and hubby enjoyed the afternoon toddler parade this week.