Ask Lauren: A new upscale adventure, secret conversations, and fun for the whole family

This week we ask Lauren to help us change our routine, meet with an old coworker, and find something fun for the whole family.

Now, through the magic of the internet, you too can ask Lauren your myriad food-related questions. Well, technically, you can leave your questions in the comments below, I’ll ask Lauren, and then I’ll let you know what she says. It’s like the three-legged stool of restaurant recommendations.

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I’ve got a friend that I try to grab drinks with once a month. We always go to Can Can because we like the upscale atmosphere. As much as I love going there, I feel like we need to mix it up. Any suggestions?

If you tire of Can Can’s pleasing French environment, cross the border to Belgium! Max’s on Broad, brought to you by the fine folks at Tarrant’s, is one of downtown’s newest restaurants and sports a full-on Belgium theme. Menu items include moules, steak, frites, and…other Belgian things. Plus there’s an almost overwhelming list of Belgian-style beers (and plenty of sours!).

But what you’re really going to love is the atmosphere—Max’s is absolutely beautiful! They’ve got exposed brick, huge windows overlooking Broad Street, an iron staircase, and some crazy vines growing up a wall. It’s all very wonderful.

I need to catch up with my old boss; I work near 14th Street and she works at 9th. Is there somewhere we can go for a couple of beers that’s maybe a bit louder so we can keep our business conversations private?

Try the newly opened Southern Railway Taphouse. After work, the place fills up with you fancy downtown business types, and it should have enough ambient noise to provide the cover you’re looking for. And if beer’s your thing they’ve got over three dozen taps, with plenty of local options, from which to choose.

I have a bunch of family in town next week for the holiday, and I want to take them somewhere that shows off Richmond but is good for all ages–I’m talking granny to my sister who’s a senior in college. Thoughts?

Pile all your kin in the van and head on down to the VMFA’s Hollywood Costume exhibit. They’ve got The Dress, The Hat, The Shoes, The Batsuit and pretty much every other iconic movie costume ever made. I don’t even have to specify which dress, hat, shoes, or batsuit I’m talking about because whichever one you are thinking of, odds are they’ve got it. It’s pretty special.

After you finish up with the exhibit, hit the happy hour at The Best Cafe downstairs—all booze is half off from 3:00 – 8:00 PM. Then, when you and yours are feeling starved, cruise through the Museum District down to Mezzanine for a great dinner.

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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