by Brandon Shulleeta – Richmond.com
During my recent trip to this Rocketts Landing restaurant, I tried the Housemade Chicken Salad sandwich ($8.95). It was very filling and quite tasty (a traditional Southern-style chicken salad on a toasted kaiser roll with lettuce and tomato).
My dining companion went with the Yard Bird chicken breast sandwich ($10.95), which is served with lettuce and tomato on a kaiser roll with honey mustard. He approved. I’ve had that sandwich on a different occasion and found it to be filling and satisfying.
While there are a few menu items available that are fairly inexpensive, a lot of the best food is on the higher end of the sandwich price range ($8.95-$14.95). The Crab Cake sandwich ($12.95) is my favorite. It features a Maryland-style crabcake, served on a kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato and lime tartar sauce. It might just be the best sandwich I’ve ever had.
The 90 Miles South and Po’Boy sandwiches ($12.95) are among other greats. While most of the meals at Conch Republic are in the medium-price range (dinner entrées range from $14.95 to $21.95), you can certainly get away with an inexpensive tab with a little bit of selectivity. When it’s all said and done, though, customers are paying for the atmosphere, views and great service as much as the tasty food.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere is what separates Conch Republic from other restaurants in Richmond. The outdoor seats offer a stunning view of the James River (plus the river’s breeze is peaceful). While outside, patrons have endless views of the river and the city, nestled at the Richmond-Henrico County border with a train track just far enough behind for occasional, pleasant background noise that’s not close enough to be a nuisance.
Inside, there are garagelike doors that open when the weather is nice, but a wealth of glass gives Conch Republic an outdoor feeling at all times, while the inside of the restaurant has a genuine beach feel.
Service: The waiters treat customers like friends and they’ve mastered being both informal and friendly in a manner that’s very welcoming.
Going back? If I had infinite time and money, I’d go daily.