8 1/2

2 months ago, my girlfriend and I made the [hard and tearful] decision to end our 4 1/2 year relationship.

Besides sorting through my emotions (journal writing, carb eating, red wine drinking), I’ve also searched high and low for a new place to live. After touring a 10th apartment, I’ve decided on a swanky and modern pad in Shockoe Bottom. It might sound fun and sexy but dismantling the stable life my girlfriend and I built together has been anything but easy or exciting.  However, there is a bit of eagerness towards moving downtown. There will be more energy and I’ll be within walking distance to coffee shops, restaurants, and the 17th Street Market.

During part of this time, my friends were kind enough to welcome me as a house guest in their sweet place on Strawberry and Park for a few weeks.  In the Fan, I’ve experienced a world I couldn’t experience in the West End-ies.  I’ve walked to the market to grab a bottle of wine, discovered and fallen in love with 8 1/2, and played cornhole on the sidewalk.  Very Fan, isn’t it?

While forcing myself to get out (ditching a ice-cream-eating-cry-fest) and explore, I’ve discovered amazing places and foods worth a mention …

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Proper Pie. I know, I’m late on this one. However, my first trip with my fellow RVAFC (Richmond Food Coalition) group made me an instant fan.  Their tangy and sweet strawberry rhubarb pie was out of this world. My fellow food-loving friend, Marcella (at Broad Appetite) is a huge fan and praises their Banofee pie (Banana and toffee).

Edo’s Squid’s braised fennel. This standard menu items is one I would normally passed up but my friends urged me to give this a try.  After one bite, I instantly claimed this one of the best dishes in Richmond.  It’s creamy, buttery, and something you’d never expect.

Viceroy's home made mozzarella
Viceroy’s home made mozzarella

Viceroy. This swanky Museum District restaurant has no hint of Cafe Diem and has quickly become my happy hour hot spot (from 4 -7).  The bartender, Justin is fantastic and friendly. My favorite thing here?  Their homemade mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto with a balsamic reduction drizzle.  Get three for $11. 

8 1/2.  This quaint pizza joint on Strawberry Street has been on my food “want” list for quite some time. Since my friends place where I was staying was only a stones throw away, I quickly made the 15 step walk to pick up a mushroom and broccoletti. It was amazing.  

I’m not sure what’s in store for my personal journey and navigating a new life. However, I do know it will be filled with good food, new experiences, and a handful of friends.



  1. Dana & Shakir (@PlateNConquer) says:

    I really like this post, Bethany. It’s pretty safe to say that we’ve all been there. The breakup process is not a short one, but it’s how you choose to deal with it that’s going to determine how it will affect you. Instead of shutting yourself in and cutting yourself off from civilization, you decided to “do you” and treat yourself to what makes you happy. It’s a good message. Cultivate the positive. All of that food that you discovered on your trips sounds good as hell too! Dana and I may need to revisit Edo’s again cause that braised fennel sounds fantastic. Looking forward to joining you for more restaurant excursions.




  2. Nick says:

    Breaking away from someone you love is and will always be the hardest thing to do. All the emotions you invested and that part of your very being you gave them will forever be theirs and vice versa. So making the decision to walk away understandably leaves a giant hole in you. But, I know I speak for not just myself but a lot of people when I say that I admire how you’ve handled it.

    You take each day as it comes. You know there will be both good and bad days, but you leave the house anyway. You try new things, meet new people and go new places. That’s better then 3/4 of this world.

    Keep up the good work. Your writing is beautiful, descriptive and passionate. You are a wonderful person and I am honored to know you. And never forget that the RVAFC is always here when you need us.

    – Nick


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