After checking out a few of my posts I’m sure you’ve noticed that I enjoy trying restaurants that specialize in a variety of cuisines. Living in the same city for most of your life, you learn which places are the best for whatever you have a current hankering. Moving to a new city involves lots of trial and error. Thankfully with all of the new smartphone apps and websites that feature restaurant reviews, the process doesn’t have to be too painful.
A few months ago, a friend asked me where I wanted to celebrate my birthday. Several restaurants came to mind, but upon further research online were crossed off of the list for one reason or another. Knowing that this friend also enjoys trying out new places I went with a place I discovered on Yelp.
Judy’s Sichuan Cuisine is located in Virginia Beach near Town Center (exit 17B on I-264 East), where there are tons of restaurant options, including some of the more popular chains like P.F. Chang and Cheesecake Factory. You can go to those places in any major American city. But how many Chinese restaurants do you know of that are locally owned and frequented by the local Chinese population? Exactly. The takeout place down the street from your house will always be there. Let’s expand our horizons.
Judy’s is located on the back side of an older strip mall, anchored by a Kmart. Don’t let the surroundings fool you. The restaurant has all table seating (no booths), with square tables that can be combined to accommodate larger groups as well as round tables featuring a Lazy Susan to make sharing the vittles a lot easier.
Sichuan (also referred to as Szechuan) cuisine loves to use garlic and chili peppers so if you like it hot, this is a great place for the heat. It also utilizes peanuts, sesame and ginger. Yum. (Here’s a link to a great article about the Sichuan region and it’s culinary traits.)
I’ve provided pictures below of some of the dishes I’ve tried during my three visits to Judy’s. (NS – Not Spice; SP – Spicy)
My most recent visit was last week with a group of people I connected with on Yelp. It was my first Yelp meet up so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The entire group of 10 were great and held a wealth of knowledge regarding the best places to eat in Hampton Roads. I will definitely be attending another event! It was a bit of a foodie paradise.
I usually provide detailed descriptions of each dish I try at a new place. There’s not enough memory for me to describe the variety of aromas and tastes I experienced with each dish. Okay, maybe I exaggerate but you get the point. Sichuan cuisine is one of those delightful experiences where you are hit with one flavor upon the first bite with additional flavors sneaking in as you chew and even after you swallowed the last bit. Everything was so good.
A little bit about the place:
There’s plenty of parking in the lot in front of the restaurant. All of my visits occurred in the evening between 6pm-9pm, which is dinner time. This is a family owned restaurant that loves to take care of regulars and tries their best to get food out to you pretty fast. If there are large parties around you, service may be a little slow, but they seem to do pretty well at bringing appetizers out fast. Like with many Asian eateries, my water glass never emptied. The dining area probably can accommodate up to 100 guests or so. Bathrooms are always kept clean. Low-key music played in the background.
Reasonable prices with items on the menu ranging from $3 – $20+. Adjustable heat (spicyness) with some dishes. Vegetarian options as well.
Judy’s Sichuan Cuisine – For Yelp Reviews!
What’s your favorite Chinese restaurant?