Oct 28, 2022 - Food and Drink

Richmond restaurants' secret menus

Illustration of salt and pepper shakers hiding behind a brick wall, and peeking around it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

To get some of the best food in Richmond, sometimes you have to go to unexpected places.

  • If you want Chicago-style pizza in Richmond, there are only a handful of places you can you can get it, including Redemption BBQ, a Virginia barbecue joint in Short Pump.
  • At Thai Won On, a Thai restaurant that happens to be next door, diners will find genuine British fish and chips, served wrapped in newspaper.
  • And down in Chesterfield, Wing Command offers chicken wings served 30 different ways — and a full menu of Filipino cuisine.
Redemption BBQ and Thai Won On happen to be next door. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

Why it matters: In a city without one specific food item to claim, maybe being awesome and unexpected is our food identity.

What's happening: A handful of Richmond restaurants are serving up secret — or sometimes just unexpected — menus inside their already-established restaurants, for the simple love of food and sharing it.

After over years serving up barbecue, Redemption BBQ owner John Vest was finally ready to tackle the food he was missing most from home: Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.

Chicago-style deep dish isn't on the menu at Redemption, but it's now available every day — you just have to call ahead and ask for it — and give them at least an hour to make it.

  • A nine-inch pizza serves two and costs around $18.
The Chicago-style pizza. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

Thai Won On co-owner Jon Niemiec was certainly missing fish and chips from his native U.K., but more than anything he was looking for a solution to drive lunch business.

  • The key to the best fish and chips is the batter, Niemiec tells Axios, and it took several tries — and several cases of beer — to get it right.

The all-British menu launched more than months ago at the Short Pump Thai place on Lauderdale, and sales now match those of the Thai dishes.

  • Sausage and chips ale also available — as is British beer.
  • The British menu can be found on the third-party apps under The CodFather.

Wing Command was part of a wing franchise for six years under a different name, but when that partnership ended a decade ago, co-owner Mishel Teanega was eager to put her stamp on the menu with some food from home.

The Filipino section of the Wing Command menu is now the same size as the chicken menu — and outsells it, Teanega tells Axios.

  • Lumpia (fried spring rolls) and pancit (rice noodles) are the best sellers at the restaurant on Hull Street near Genito Road.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to state that Redemption BBQ is not the only place in Richmond that makes Chicago-style pizza.


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