Fredericksburg / Southern / $$
Abraham Lincoln peers down from his spot above the fireplace. The 16th president indeed visited the building during the Civil War, when it was the Farmer’s Bank, and gave a speech on the steps. Vestiges of the edifice’s original use remain in the form of a vault that’s been converted into an Art Deco–styled room for larger groups. Yes, history suffuses the place, but the comfort food is strikingly modern.
That’s thanks to Top Chef alum Joy Crump. Her Fredericksburger, one of the finest patties in the region, is spread with meaty bacon aioli. Steak is served spiced with Ethiopian berbere and herbed fries or drenched in mushroom aioli that tastes of the forest floor. Crump’s shrimp and grits benefits from the addition of homemade sausage.
And that’s just at lunch and dinner. Breakfast at Foode has its own appeal, but uses some of Crump’s best dishes in morning applications. Take the Breakfast Rosie’s, a crispy, herb-speckled breast of fried chicken presented on a shiny brioche bun with a fried egg and tomato relish. At any time of day, the fare at Foode is as honest as Abe himself.
See this: The airy former bank has lots of history; read up before you go and then explore every inch.
Eat this: Pimiento cheese toast, Fredericksburger, blueberry tart
Service: The young crew seems happy to be here.
When to dine here: You’re seeking a relaxed feel in a storied setting, from morning to night.