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Cheap Eats: Dot’s Back Inn

Cheap Eats: Dot’s Back Inn

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Restaurant: Dot’s Back Inn

Address: 4030 MacArthur Ave., Richmond, VA 23227

Phone: (804) 266-3167


Hours: 9 a.m. to midnightMonday-Saturday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

Check for two: $37.11 (with tax and tip)

Entrée prices: $5.25-$13.95

Taste: I am a big Food Network fan, and have been desperately wanting to try the few places in town that Guy Fieri visited for his “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show.

My husband, John, and I visited on a Virginia Commonwealth University game night, and the place was extremely busy. As soon as the game started, I realized that a lot of people like to eat there while watching the action.

There are several chalk boards filled with daily specials. On this day, we decided to try the special Tater Tot appetizer. The tots came out super-fast. They were hot and crispy, if a little bit greasy. The portion was huge, and it was hard not to eat them all. We had to save room, though.

John ordered a beer, which came in an appropriately frosty glass at the perfect temperature. Nicely done! We each ordered burgers. John had the Rajun Cajun with Cajun spices, Swiss cheese, onions and bacon. I made my own burger with bacon, feta cheese and pesto. I saw on Fieri’s show that the pesto is homemade, so I had to try it.

The burgers were juicy and delicious. The bacon on both was super-crispy, which is a rare treat. John’s Cajun spices gave just the right kick. My pesto was as good as I’d hoped.

John went for the fries, which were anything but standard. They were closer to home fries, thick round slices that were a unique and delicious treat. For my side, I went back to the daily specials board for the macaroni and cheese. This is the real deal, a baked creation with Italian bread crumbs to give extra flavor to the creamy richness. I was very happy.

We tried a homemade dessert, also from the daily specials. Chocolate pie sounded good, and it definitely was. Thick and fudgy filling left me wishing we hadn’t decided to split a piece. The crust was a tender and flaky cradle to the rich chocolate deliciousness inside. This was the perfect way to end a great meal.

Service: The service was attentive and efficient. While the place was packed, we weren’t left waiting long for service, and we were even seated much faster than expected.

Décor: This is a typical diner, and looks the part. The seating is a bit on the crowded side. There also is a patio area outside.

Going back? Maybe. The noise level was just a bit too much for my taste. The food was amazing, though, so I might give it another try to see how it is on a less crowded night.

Heather Moon


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