Pints and Pint-sized: Dot’s Back Inn

Dot’s Back Inn serves up food that reminds me of Grandma’s cooking, if Grandma could actually cook.

Dot’s Back Inn serves up food that reminds me of Grandma’s cooking, if Grandma could actually cook. You’ll find all the usual suspects: burgers, pasta, and chicken–all done up tasty and often with a unique twist (country ham on a burger is brilliant). Pay close attention to the giant white “Specials” board above the bar. These specials knock it out of the park, and if stew is on the board order it with a side of mashed potatoes. You won’t be sorry.

I’ve heard of folks taking offense to being called “darling,” “dear,” or “sweetie.” Those folks should avoid Dot’s.

— ∮∮∮ —

Pint-size scoring:

  1. 1 Star — Bring the kids ONLY if you can’t find a sitter
  2. 2 Star — It can work but not everyone is going to be happy
  3. 3 Star — Good choice if your mini-you is semi-civilized (usually starts ages 8-10)
  4. 4 Star — A perfectly acceptable place for kids all ages
  5. 5 Star — Everything your kid could ever need minus a large animatronic mouse

Pint scoring

  1. 1 Star — Nothing out of the ordinary here: Bud, Yuengling, Guinness
  2. 2 Star — Better than average but missing something crucial
  3. 3 Star — All the norms plus plenty of local flavor
  4. 4 Star — A few rarities hanging out with the micros and locals
  5. 5 Star — The Mecca of beer selection

Pint-size score: 4 stars

If your kiddo or you needs peace and quiet to enjoy a meal this is probably not the spot. It gets loud, and if you don’t get a booth it can be a bit crowded, however the recent addition of a covered, heated outdoor section should help. There’s a secret cache of toys over by the window and pre-dinner peanuts to unshell for the non-allergic. The food, while standard kid fare, shows more care in the preparation than other spots. The waitress will treat you and your little one like family.

Pints score: 2 stars

Before the RVA Beer Explosion this place would have come in at a strong 3-stars, but in the current flood of craft beers it gets lower marks. The taps consistently feature Legend, Center of the Universe, another craft brew, and a generic mass produced beer. Bottle selections give you a few more options but nothing to write home about. If you’re running low on greenbacks, every day there is one beer that’s only $1.50–but you get what you pay for, think PBR or Black Label. The barstools are always crowded with locals who, as with any good bar, are friendly and quick to strike up a conversation. In some cases, that can make up for a less than stellar list of beverage options.

  • error

    Report an error

Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

There are no reader comments. Add yours.