Bring on the Heat: Spicy Dishes in the River Realm

We specialize in hot summer days here. It’s not always the midst of summer here, though. No matter the season, our chefs can bring on the heat. Their dishes and drinks will warm you from the inside out on any day. They often feature fresh local seafood and produce, so you get a true taste of the River Realm. If you like a bit of spice, here are a few dishes and specialities to try during your next visit…


Dredge

4357 Irvington Road, Irvington

Owner Bryan Byrd isn’t afraid of a bit of a kick. Though he was born in the area, he spent time in the Keys in the restaurant industry. His food truck was the first place he showed off his caribbean bias, with spicy taco creations and more.

Today, his brick and mortar restaurant Dredge has a lot more spice to offer. In addition to a variety of tacos you’ll also want to try the specials like jamaican hot wings. On Pizza Wednesday, you’ll be surprised by specials like a pizza with cheese sauce, ground ribeye and filet, pico de gallo, jalapeño, and queso fresco. 


Chao Phraya Thai & Sushi Grill

45 South Main Street, Kilmarnock

You’ll feel like you’ve escaped to a far off land when your server begins to bring dish after dish to your table at Chao Phraya. The authentic Thai restaurant always has a colorful presentation, including a few dishes that light up! The bright and bold flavors of the cuisine often have a kick.

For a meal with a bit of heat, start with the spicy wings covered in sweet basil sauce. Follow it up with a sushi roll, maybe with jalapeno or wasabi–either way the fish is always fresh and delicious. For a main course, the shrimp massaman with avocado is hardy and just spicy enough to make you want to keep eating. 


Something Different

213 Virginia St, Urbanna, VA

You can smell this award-winning barbecue joint all the way down Virginia Street in Irvington. It has been voted one of the best by Pleasant Living Magazine, Urbanspoon, locals and more. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus all feature soul-satisfying meals and cocktails.

The meat is smoked on site and prepared Eastern North Carolina style with a vinegar and tomato base. Sandwiches are served on homemade buns with a special Shindig sauce.  The Texas-style beef and pork are cooked in a bold house dry rub. Everything has a mild hint of heat. Sometimes you can pick your level of heat. The K.A. wings are already covered in a dry rub, but you can ask for them to be finished with your choice of sauce: hot, mild, sweet habanero, or filipino. Even the bloody mary’s have a bite here, blended with a house-made base. 


Merroir

784 Locklies Creek Rd, Topping

Everything is always super fresh from Merroir. You can see the waters from which the seafood is harvested as you enjoy every bite. The menu always features fresh takes on the tasting room classics. This season, they’ve added a bit of kick to the baked oysters. The BBQ Bourbon Chipotle Grilled Oysters are smokey, spicy and a little sweet.

Merroir also has a new hot sauce, ready to enjoy on dishes in the restaurant like tuna tatak or fresh fish tacos. Wash it all down with up a glass of wine or beer from the tasting room’s extensive collection. 


Deltaville Tap & Raw Bar

1134 Timberneck Road, Deltaville

Always expect something a little different at Deltaville Tap. The view for one is  a well known sunset gazing spot along Broad Creek. The menu is always changing with the seasons. Enjoy your raw oysters with a ponzu sauce, fresh ginger, cucumbers and a healthy dose of sriracha sauce. The tuna tartar features a spicy combination of cucumber, avocado, jalapeno, lime and olive oil with radish sprouts and tortilla chips. For a cajun flare, the wanchese shrimp is paired with cajun veggies, spicy bay seasoning, butter and lemon. 

The creative food program is complimented by a large whiskey selection, which owner Travis Brazil intends to grow to ensure it’s largest selection within 100 miles. You’ll find in addition, a 16-line tap features local and international craft beers. 


Willaby’s Cafe

327 Old Ferry Road, White Stone

Enjoy your spicy food with a bit of a view at Willaby’s Cafe. The boat-shaped restaurant has its own private beach. The extensive menu offers something for everyone with classics like burgers and brunch items like eggs benedict. There’s always a River Realm twist, though. Some of those twists include a bit of heat.

Of course, there’s oysters. Willaby’s offers up buffalo oysters with a twist. They are lightly breaded, fried and tossed in a homemade buffalo sauce. For a larger entre, we recommend the cajun pasta with shrimp, chicken and andouille sausage. Work off your meal with a bit of dancing. The restaurant regularly hosts reggae, blues and rock and roll bands. 


Found the Heat?

Let’s see it! Show us how you and your squad take on every spicy bite here. Snap the perfect foodie pics and tag us on Instagram at @virginiasriverrealm.

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