Stoley's in Virginia Beach
Last month, I attended the 3rd Annual Nomarama Slider Competition. Not only did I finally get to meet the man behind the Nomarama Instagram account, I also got to taste and vote on five sliders from local and regional restaurants. While Repeal Bourbon and Burgers took the trophy home with their Fire and Brimstone burger, I had fallen in love with Stoley’s The Belly Jelly Burger.
I’ve lived in Virginia Beach for two-and-a-half years and I hadn’t yet ventured down the street, to the Great Neck area, to eat at Stoley’s. Over the last few months, I’ve heard nothing but praise from friends and seen nothing but mouthwatering posts online.
I walked into the intimate restaurant and was immediately greeted by one of the bar tenders/servers. As soon as I sat down, another one welcomed me and showed me the happy hour and drink specials. Stoley’s has a full list of martinis, wines and other cocktails. It had been a long, frustrating Friday so I wanted something a little stronger.
I ordered the Georgia Peach Long Island. Long Island Iced Teas were my go-to drink when I was a novice drinker. I just knew it had LOTS of alcohol. Stoley’s version is still strong, without tasting like rubbing alcohol. The peach schnapps and cranberry juice create a refreshing cocktail that isn’t overly sweet.
It took me no time to order my entrée. I ordered The Belly Jelly Burger, cooked medium, with a side of fries. An all-beef patty is topped with slow-roasted pork belly, American cheese, red onion marmalade and jalapeño pepper jelly.
Warning: if you eat this burger, chew very slowly. I annihilated this burger, despite its size, but I made sure to savor and appreciate the myriad of flavors. The beef is heightened by the tender pork belly. The mix of onion marmalade and jalapeño pepper jelly brings some heat then cools it down with a sweet breeze. Old Arielle would have been hesitant about all these flavors. New Arielle would tell her to shut up because they work together so marvelously.
As I finished off my fries, I looked around. I think I ate so fast that my body thought it needed more food. My food-envy set in as I watched the other diners enjoy the nachos. My server told me how good the Jerk Chicken Nachos were and, since it was a happy hour portion, I thought “why not?”
Corn chips are topped with a cheddar jack cheese, black beans, jalapeños, jerk chicken and sour cream. I have two big pet peeves when it comes to nachos: when the cheese isn’t melted and when the cheese sauce tastes overly processed. I didn’t have any problems with Stoley’s cheese sauce. It was ample and covered every chip. Hold on. I lied. I have three pet peeves. The third being limp chimps that can’t hold all the toppings. I pulled several chips that were “the perfect bite”—the ideal ratio of toppings-to-chip that held strong. The chicken was shredded but remained moist and flavorful with the jerk spices.
I have to say that I’m very glad I waited to eat at Stoley’s. After talking to my server, I found out that last year Stoley’s was sold to new owners who put more of an emphasis on cooking with fresh ingredients. Stoley’s prices are shockingly inexpensive given the high-quality of food. I haven’t heard a bad word about this revamped Stoley’s and I can’t wait until my next visit. It’s going to be very soon.