The City Market Building is full of different types of food but we all know that some meals fit certain weather better than others. While you may have a notion about what comfort food is, the actual definition is “food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.” My definition of comfort food would go something like this… “food that makes you feel good in specific atmospheric conditions.”
Hot summer day? Give me a steak or chicken cooked on the grill. Cold winter evening? Soup…maybe Chicken and Dumplings. But on a rainy cool day at the very end of March I’m looking at three City Market Building meals that will satisfy your craving for any kind of comfort food. Here they are in no particular order (but numbered anyway).
1. Pho Soup – Hong Kong Restaurant – $7.50
You may not even notice the small hand written chalk board to the upper left of the counter at Hong Kong Restaurant but it’s full of some special dishes you need to try. Along with Pad Thai ($7.50), Thai Curry ($7.95), and something called Evil Jungle Chicken ($7.50), which I have thus far been too scared to try, is Pho Soup. And you won’t believe what you get for that price.
If you’re a Pho purist this may not be what you’re looking for. David Harrison with the Roanoke Times described it like this back in 2005; “Their pho could scarcely be further from the pho I’m used to, but was it ever good . . . the chef at the Hong Kong Restaurant, throws in celery, carrots, lots of lemon grass, rice cooking wine and a Chinese cabbage called napa on top of the noodles, beef and bean sprouts.”
Although beef pho may be the most popular, there are actually chicken and tofu versions as well. Whatever your choices it’ll warm the belly and the bowls are almost overflowing with pho goodness.
2. Biscuits & Gravy – Scrambled – $5.89
A social media post from Scrambled proclaims “If anyone tries to tell you biscuits and gravy isn’t a meal, stop talking to them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.” I’d say that sums it up perfectly.
A half order of this amazing creation (pictured) will cost $4.29 while the full order is $5.89. That’s a great deal for a meal that is sure to fill you up. This would fit into the traditional definition of comfort food. Something you may have had growing up that’s also heavy on the carbs. That may be a bad thing to say these days but with the rain falling and a chill in the air it’s this feast I turn to. Sure there are mind blowing new menu items like the Pinehurst Country Ham Sliders served with red eye gravy ($8.99) or Scrambled’s Classic Steak and Eggs ($13.99) but nothing soothes the soul on a day like this better than good old fashioned biscuits and gravy.
3. Hot Dog Combo – Der Frankfurter Bistro – $6.00*
If you like hot dogs and you’re anything like me you probably could enjoy a hot dog any hour of any day in any weather. I get it, but there is one specific combination that will get me through a rainy day and I’m not quite sure why.
With all of the combinations and all of the specialty dogs to choose from I custom fit a couple of all beef Nathan’s hot dogs with cheddar cheese, coleslaw, and Frank’s Red Hot sauce. It may sound odd but it warms me up. You can even get the standard all beef dog combo for just $5*. And the combos include a drink and a bag of chips. I can’t think of another easy access, quick, and delicious meal in that price range in all of Downtown Roanoke.
Der Frankfurter Bistro is the newest tenant in the building and it’s the next step for owner Mike Quarles who has managed the Der Frankfurter Cart in Downtown for a few years. Stop by and see him for a couple dogs that will change your hot dog eating habits.
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you for lunch today! Post a comment below with your favorite City Market Building rainy day meal.
City Market Building
*some toppings may have additional charges.