After the unexpected death defying show that Curtis put on for us at Caliente.. we decided it was time for a real dinner, so we headed a few blocks down the road and ended up at the The Black Sheep. Its a very tiny restaurant in the heart of down town Richmond that seats maybe 20 people on a good day. Like Caliente, The Black Sheep was featured on Man V Food Season 3.. Episode 5 and Adam Richman showed the world the difference between a sub… and a Battleship!
The place was packed when we got there and we had to wait about 45 minutes to get seated…outside.. in the FREEZING COLD! When we finally got a seat the first thing that I wanted was a nice big mug of steaming hot tea which was delicious.
After looking through the menu (which was different than the menu they had online so they must change it pretty often) my mom and I both decided on the lamb with polenta and spinach. The polenta was creamy and cheesy and tasted even better when mixted in with the sauce. The spinach was seasoned well and added some nutrients to a plate full of meat and starch. The lamb had a nice flavor, especially mixed with the polenta and spinach, but it was a little bit tough.
My dad ordered the Oyster Gumbo and the Crawfish Etoufe Gravy Bisquit. I tasted the gumbo, and even though I dont preticularly like oysters, the gumbo had alot of flavor with just a little bit of spice that made it a nice dish.
I also loved the unique spin on the Etoufe being served over a bisquit instead of rice. I didn’t get to taste it, but my Dad said it was delicious and coming from a man that used to live in New Orleans, that is pretty high praise.
Curtis got one of the Black Sheep’s most notorious specialties… the Battleship. A full battleship weighs in at over 2lbs so he got a half size… still bigger than a full sub at Subway. He got the USS Congress which came packed with chipotle roasted pork shoulder simmered in a tomatillo barbeque sauce, grilled pineapple & mexican style pickled cabbage salad, loaded into a toasted french baguette.
This was the first thing Curtis had eaten since leaving Caliente and his mouth was still on fire from the “Stupid Wing” challenge.. so this was a much welcomed change The baguette was perfectly made and reminded him of his trip to Paris a few years back, while the pickled cabbage salad mirrored the flavors we found in the pineapple papaya coleslaw at Vida Cantina. The only complaint he had was the severe lack of condiments.. the pork shoulder was juicy.. the cabbage was mouthwatering.. and the pineapple was full of flavor… but the one thing that would have put it over the top would have been the addition of the tomatillo bbq sauce directly on the battleship, instead of just simmered in with the pork shoulder.
For dessert we tried the pumpkin cannoli prepared with creamy ricotta and pumpkin filled crispy cannoli shells finished with chopped pistachio. The shell was so crunchy we had a rough time trying to eat it.. but once we got through the hard exterior we found creamy goodness inside. Not the best connoli by any means.. but a connoli none-the-less.
The Black Sheep made for a great dinner and is easy to see why its so popular. If you’re going to go try to go during an off time.. when its warm.. or when you’ve got some time to kill.