After countless weekend drives through southeastern VA my husband and I finally found a real gem in the middle of nowhere.
After reading about the Middle Penninsula in the Style section of the Washington Post, we booked a room at a local B& B recommended in the article..Buckley Hall (charming place in the quaint old fashioned town of Mathews.
Arriving famished after a 3 hr drive we asked the owner about local restaurants.Without hesitation she gave us a menu for the Sandpiper Reef in nearby Hallieford. The menu looked good so we took her advice and headed on over there. Good thing it was still light out because the place is not easy to find!!!....located a few miles off the main road and located right on the water. From the outside it looked suspiciously like an old seafood shack but looks were deceiving....it was charming inside including candles,fresh flowers and crisp linens.
We asked the waitress for recommendations and without hesitating she mentioned the Oysters Rockefeller appetizer special and homemade she crab soup.which was served "Mathews style'. Upon questioning we learned Mathews style meant a hearty, crab filled soup served so thick the spoon could practically stand on it's own!!! The oysters were plump and succulent and were among the best we had ever had.
For dinner we again took the server's suggestion and went with the broiled crabcakes and a house specialty "heavenly grouper". The crabcakes were nothing short of amazing. Plump, moist with no detectable filler....pure crabmeatI Exactly what we are always looking for and much like the old Crisfield recipe. A real taste of the Chesapeake Bay and more than worth the drive!! The grouper was indeed "heavenly" served broiled in a tangy parmasean cheese type sauce...delicous!!!
At this point we were filled to capacity but took the B&B' owners suggestion to not dare pass up the homemade desserts. We took home a slice of the key lime pie which was fabulous...tart, creamy and not a hint of green in it!!!...and a piece of the cheesecake of the day ..tiramisu...a wonderful blend of my 2 favorite desserts.
The next day we drove around to nearby Gloucester and had a filling cheap breakfast at a little out of the way place called Suttons...what is it with this area....alll the good stuff is out of the way!!! For less than the price of 2 gallons of gas we had chipped beef, pancakes sausage and coffee. Amazing for those of us not fortunate enough to live in the Middle Penninsula on an everyday basis.
If you are looking for a weekend getaway or Sunday drive, Mathews is the way to go...beautiful scenery, kind people, antiquing...not a mall in sight (they are an hour away from Richmond and the big city). And stop by Sandpiper Reef and tell them the couple from Arlington sent you!