Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Lizard, Located in Prince Books

 Last Wednesday's lunchtime outting led Alex and I back to the Lizard Cafe. There is something innately cozy about a cafe in a book store.  On this particular day the cafe was unusally quiet and uncrowded. Perfect! A peaceful sabatical from work, no matter how brief, can be just the shot in the arm we need on some days. I tend to be a creature of habit with my orders in restaurants I frequent, but on this day I was ready to break out the of the box. Here is what we ordered:

The Lizard, inside Prince Books dish: Taster Sampler
Taster Sampler $7.95. Tuna Salad, Chicken Salad and Hummus. The hummus is really good, chunkier than most, which I like.

The Lizard, inside Prince Books dish: Butternut Squash Soup
Cup of Butternut Squash Soup. Served with a hearty side of bread.

The Lizard, inside Prince Books dish: Large Butternut Squash Soup
Bowl of Butternut Squash Soup. Substantially larger if your appetite can meet the challenge.

The Lizard, inside Prince Books dish: Main Street Salad
Main Street Salad $7.85
I was really happy with my sampler, and quite full when it was gone. I enjoyed my soup. Although Alex liked it, she did mention it was not her favorite. "Lighter than most, not as much cream" was her comment, which may be why I liked it more! The Main Street is a repeat for her. She suggests ordering the dressing on the side, as "once or twice it had slightly too much." Overall, we give the Lizard Cafe in Norfolk two thumbs up and recommend it as a safe lunch bet.
Click HERE  to see their menu.

Original Review Posted 10/8/08

The Lizard, inside Prince Books dish interior
Located at 109 E. Main Street, The Lizard is the new cafe in Prince Books. Specializing in "seasonal fare from the local farms of tidal Virginia", they offer sandwiches, wraps, salads, soup and dessert daily for lunch. We made our first trip for lunch on Tuesday, again with our buddy Brianna*. The interior of the cafe is cozy. Rich green and orange colors are used on the walls and booths. The tall, old windows get southeastern exposure, permitting lots of natural light and warmth to pour in. Finally, a place to eat that isn't freezing! In an odd case of role reversal, I had a plethora of menu questions for the server, who was great. Not only did she answer my questions about various ingredients, preparation methods, etc., but she also brought out samplings of three different mayo spreads they use on their sandwiches.

After ordering and switching, I ended up with the Season's Best Salad, topped with Chicken Salad. Their Chicken Salad boasts roasted almonds and curried peach chutney. It is very subtly seasoned. No big chunks of peach and nuts. It's one of those dishes where I would have been scratching my head trying to figure out what was in it, had I not already know. Nor is it overly "mayonnaised", making it a nice light salad addition. The vegetable salad was really fantastic. The dressing was homemade vinaigrette, seasoned with basil. About half way thru the salad it became a bit too oily for me, but Alex really liked it. They make their own bread and it accompanies the salad. It was a hearty white bread with slight herbal seasoning. I usually avoid bread, but found myself munching on it in spite of myself. Nice to go somewhere that will give you bread without having to request it. Brianna* got the Cheesy Cheese sandwich, and it looked to die for! She said it was awesome and I watched her eat every bit of it. This is a gal who usually only eats about 1/2 to 1/3 of her lunch. Their other signature sandwiches look good too, using interesting ingredients like Artichokes, Surry Ham, lots of cheeses and as mentioned above, flavored mayo.

Overall, I was very pleased with The Lizard's food, ambiance and service. The partnership with Prince Books only adds to its appeal. I highly recommend The Lizard as a downtown lunch destination.


The Lizard.  What a great name.  Laine and I had scoped out a few places new to us for this week's adventures and The Lizard was one of them.  We swung by the day before and did a little reconnaissance. Grabbed a menu, checked out the clientele and pre-approved the atmosphere.  Everything looked promising, but you can never be sure these days.  Don't judge a book by its cover, right?  I do not follow this lesson very well.

The place is cute.  It has been slightly altered from its former occupant and in a good way.  While the restaurant is small, The Lizard makes great use of space with numerous window booths and a few stand-alone tables.  They even have a few chairs for guests waiting for take-outs.  Nice touch since there are many Downtowners who grab their lunch and head back to the office.  We had a nice window booth which was very comfortable.  Our waitress was friendly and patient, even after Laine asked ten questions.  While usually my area, Laine's questions were well warranted.  We saw some things like 'yogurt mayonnaise' and just had to have a little more explanation.  I ordered the season's best salad with chicken, mixed greens, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, feta and Kalamata olives.  The salad dressing, a basil vinaigrette, was a nice touch and a new taste for this traditional Greek salad.  They also had tuna as a meat option for that salad, but were out of that yesterday.  Chicken salad and tuna salad are other choices to add.

Everything that came out looked fantastic.  There are traditional sandwiches, such as the roast beef and turkey or some new choices, such as the mushroom and artichoke or the Surry ham and cucumber sandwich.  Brianna* had the grilled cheese (aka the cheesy cheese) and Laine and I were both staring wide-eyed and thinking how good it looked.  There is also a soup every day, as well as homemade (killer-looking) dessert.  Prices are very reasonable.  We all checked out between $10-13 each.

The tagline on The Lizard's menu reads 'seasonal fare from the local farms of tidal Virginia' so we are supporting our local growers.  Laine and I like to support area businesses. Hours are Monday-Saturday until 5pm.  There is not a website for The Lizard, but you can view it on Prince Books' site at

While you are in there, peruse the Prince Books' selection.  It is another opportunity to support our local businesses.


The Lizard on Urbanspoon

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