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Rivah Visitor's Guide

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Lunch at Lowery’s is a ‘Rivah’ tradition


by Deborah Haynes

seafood sampler

Located in the heart of the bustling town of Tappahannock, Lowery’s Restaurant is open almost every day of the year and the lunch crowd always shows up. Whether you fill your plate from the large buffet tables or order from the extensive lunch/dinner menu, the reason is obvious why the clientele is so loyal—the food is simply delicious.

Famous for its perfectly-prepared seafood, Lowery’s serves up great steaks and fabulous fried chicken, as well. Add in their heavenly homemade rolls, tasty-sweet hush puppies, fresh salads and seasonal vegetable selections and you quickly understand what good cooking is all about.

We went for a weekday lunch and immediately recognized several familiar faces, including two Lowery family members who were assisting their staff to keep the traffic flowing smoothly. Since the restaurant opened in 1938, it has been owned and operated by the Lowery family and, over the years, they have become well-known for their hands-on approach to the business and their reputation for caring customer service. 

outside lowery's

Lowery’s is a large restaurant with several dining rooms, and almost every seat was taken the entire time we were there. The atmosphere was altogether relaxed and comfortable with a “hometown social” feel to it. We felt as though we were in a cool, inviting oasis from the hot, busy street just outside the window.

While we waited for our appetizer, my husband and I chatted about the interesting mix of old and new decor. Restaurant memorabilia from past decades is displayed on paneled walls, a founder’s portrait hangs above a fireplace in the buffet room, and antiques are scattered throughout. This all blends quite easily with  more modern touches added through the years, such as wide-screen TVs placed in just about every dining area. 

The service during our visit was oh-so-good. Our server, April, was careful to hold back our main courses while we enjoyed our appetizer and was quick to bring tea and water refills. She checked our progress often and, at the end of our meal, she brought a tray heavy-laden with every imaginable choice of dessert.

Our shared starter was the Seafood Party Sampler (pictured), which contained an assortment of mini-crabcakes, bacon-wrapped broiled scallops, fried oysters, hush puppies and a half-pound of steamed shrimp. Everything on the sampler plate was delightful, but take a special note—the crabcakes at Lowery’s are some of the finest in the world. The fresh jumbo lump crab meat is held together with precious little filler; then the crabcake is fried to a fluffy perfection and practically melts in your mouth.

My husband loves scallops and chose the southern-fried variety for his main course, along with generous sides of cole slaw and green beans. He shared a couple of the scallops with me, so I could experience firsthand just how well they were prepared. Large and lightly breaded, they were excellent.

lowery's dining room

I decided to go with the petite All-American fried chicken dinner (for seniors and smaller appetites) with fresh steamed squash, boiled potatoes and, of course, those marvelous homemade rolls. Nobody does fried chicken quite like Lowery’s and I fully enjoyed the wonderfully moist and crisp breast and drumstick that came with the petite meal, as well as the lovely fresh vegetables.

Dessert? Oh, yes! I could not look at the creations on that huge dessert tray without sampling at least one of them. From mouth-watering choices such as mega-bite Milky Way cake, bread pudding, Boston cream pie, coconut cream cake, cherry cheesecake and more, I finally selected Apple Brown Betty with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for us to share. Scrumptious!

Several staff members wished us a good day as we made our way to the door and I thought to myself that lunch at Lowery’s makes any day better than just good—it makes it special!

On The Menu

Salads, soups, sides, starters, sandwiches, seafood, steaks, chicken, combo platters, petite dinners, kids menu, daily specials: $2.50-$30.
Buffets:  Lunch Monday-Friday;  Dinner Friday-Sunday; Breakfast Saturday & Sunday.
Beer, Wine, Cocktails.
Reservations accepted for groups of 8 or more.

If You Go

Lowery’s Restaurant
528 Church Lane
(at Routes 17 & 360)
Tappahannock, Va.


11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Lunch & Dinner;

11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Lunch & Dinner;

8 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Breakfast Buffet, and
11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Lunch & Dinner;

8 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Breakfast Buffet and
11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Lunch & Dinner.

Did you know?

There’s a fun Lowery’s “museum” in the restaurant where you will see a 1910 Cadillac and a 1926 Chrysler once owned by a family member.  Also on display are family and business trophies, antique typewriters, vintage Victrolas, and old golf clubs.  There’s a wishing well with prizes for the kids and you might even be greeted by the resident Mynah bird as you browse among the artifacts!

posted 07.23.2010

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