Originally from the midwest where a regular dinner is 7-10 and when you want to go all out you might spend around 15-17 for an anniversary or something. In VA beach the norm (even bar food sometimes) is to pay 15-17 and it only goes up from there. I don't even know how the tourists can do it, I mean paying a minimum of $15 per person per night.
In order to save I try to do the discount specials, but found that to find out about Happy Hours, weekly specials, or early bird specials you have to learn the hard way, go there spend the 18 dollars on your entrees and then find out that you can get the same thing for 11 if you show up an hour earlier. I have been trying to just go out to the good places for lunch to save there (a lot are not even open for lunch). I love trying new places and need to know where to take my midwest vistors, especially my elders who want to try and treat me and think I am rude for taking them to such an upscale priced place ( but it is just a regular place!) Sometimes you don't feel like cooking for dinner and it is nice to go out or pick up food and not have a $40 tab for two. I very much dislike fast food and chains it would take a lot to drag me. I have picked up a few good places so far, but...
PLEASE expand my horizons ANY SUGGESTIONS in the HAMPTON ROADS area would be greatly appreciated! Or specials that you found to save my money from disapearing very quickly.
My Contribution of a few good places discovered so far:
Beach Pub: Located on Laskin Rd. Enjoyable Seafood, lots of locals who seem to be on a first name basis w/ the waitstaff, ate there for lunch for $5-6 good portions, fresh seafood.
Red Mullet (new this season): Hilltop Area also went for lunch (dinner is 18) for $7-8 entrees enjoyed my brie salmon sandwich it was a good portion good mixture of ingredients some of the other patrons items didn't look so filling. Also ordered Calamari which was very good and huge portion curry sauced shared with one other person as an app. and we could barely eat our entrees after it.
Croaker's: Off Shore Drive Pretty solid seafood and busy must be seated before 6pm to get the early bird special that is $11.95 for most of what the menu offers later for $17 and up. Maybe best she-crab soup I have tried so far (but only tried four times ever in my life so...)
Freemason Abbey: In Downtown Norfolk in an old Church building. On Wednesdays they have lobster night where you get a 1 1/3 lb lobster with two seasonal sides and a salad for 13.95, which is pretty good considering the regularly priced items start with the grilled chicken breast at 15.95. But go early they had ran out of lobsters by 8:15
Jade Villa: On Independence and Pembroke area, a little expensive for chinese in my opinion but it is really quality so understandable and the spicy salt shrimp baked in shell (chowhound rec, it is on the menu now b/t/w both American and Chinese menus) is really great if you like garlic, make sure you get with the shell I don't think it would be as good w/out it this is 12.95 for 12 large shrimp. All other items are from 8.95-15 They also have a dim sum (only on weekends mostly afternoon for fresh and selection I was told) which I haven't tried (but did try their dumpling appetizer, yummy) most orders are around $2 and they have a great selection of dishes.