POQUOSON, Va. — Editor's note: This story is a part of our Friday Flavor series.
When you think hometown cooking but with a flair, think 185 in Poquoson.
This spot started as a simple catering business owned by Lenora Garland, but she took it further.
"We knew if we served good food, people would come, and they did," Garland said.
Garland opened 185 just a few weeks before the pandemic shut everything down in 2020. While it was tough, the community pulled her through. Today, the community is still doing just that, but for a good reason, the food is delicious.
"We offer what you want for breakfast as far as having your standards eggs, bacon, pancakes, and french toast. But then we tweak it up a notch," Head Chef Aaron Rosario said. "We use whole ingredients, we make everything from scratch, and a lot of our recipes have little tweaks on them," he continued.
They make tweaks on dishes like a simple omelet. For instance, they serve a few, but a favorite is their smoked brisket omelet with smashbrowns.
"Our smoked brisket is delicious," Garland said as she explained that they have their own pit master to smoke their meat. "Chesney does a fabulous job with it. We use it in so many things."
If you want a breakfast plate, try the 185 Plate. You can get two eggs, pancakes or french toast, sausage, ham or bacon, and smash browns or creole cheese grits.
"I'd say 95 percent of the people who don't like grits try our grits and say, okay, I want the shrimp and grits," Rosario said.
The Fried Chicken Skin BLT was a personal favorite among the 13News Now team. It's messy, but it's worth it.
Rosario also says that's a favorite among customers, "That's just a unique sandwich that you just don't see anywhere else."
And if you're unsure what you'll like, they want to help you with that too.
"We'll just bring out a free sample plate so that they can try everything, and that alleviates the fear that people don't have to try anything new cause they don't have to buy it so they can just have a bite and say okay that's delicious and order it," Rosario said.
We are just some of the people recognizing this spot. They are now getting national attention, too. 185 made Yelp's list of the Top 100 Restaurants in the United States in 2023. They came in at 87th.
"We were absolutely floored by that. We love being that mom-and-pop place that people love to go to," Garland said.
Even with the national recognition for Garland, she wants this place to remain a simple, homey spot.
"People always say you need a bigger boat, you need to expand, and I don't want to. I love this little place. This is my place. This is my second home," Garland said.
If you'd like to be a part of the family at 185 you can visit them at 185 Little Florida Road, Poquoson, Virginia.