The story below is from our July/August 2015 issue. For the DIGITALLY ENHANCED VERSION, download our FREE iOS app or view our digital edition for FREE today!
The egg-laden Stevo and the spicy Bahn Mi make up part of the offensive line for a menu that spreads nicely into a deft backfield of sandwiches, pizzas and surprisingly delightful salads.
One thing Roanoke is blessed with is a long, seasonable summer. The days never get too blisteringly hot and the evenings are perfect for short sleeves or even a light jacket, and this iterance of the perfect valley summer calls for one thing: patio dining. Over the past few years, a number of restaurants have added patio dining to their menu, so to speak, but on the whole, large decks or patios aren’t as commonplace as one might expect in such an ideal town. Two years ago, however, Beamer’s 25 came to the rescue and, if it isn’t already, should be your go-to spot for a cold beer and bite to eat over the coming months.
As the restaurant’s name would suggest, Beamer’s 25 is the eponymous brainchild of Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech’s football team head coach. From the sleek dark wood, exposed Edison light bulbs, and retro black-and-white Virginia Tech football photos (several of Beamer as a Tech player), paneling the walls to the large concrete patio with a fire pit, it’s easy to see on the surface why Beamer’s 25 is as successful as the Tech football team: It’s a modern take on a gastropub with metropolitan touches that no other restaurant in Roanoke boasts.
As for the food, almost every item on the menu scores an easy touchdown. A few years ago when I named The Stevo burger one of the best in Roanoke, the idea of an egg on a burger was a novelty. Now, although other restaurants copy the concept, The Stevo still stands out as a top-notch gastropub burger, from the rich brioche bun to the perfectly runny egg yolk to the cook’s deft touch with seasoning the beef patty. If you’re in the mood for a burger, but want something a little different, Beamer’s 25 is the place. My personal favorite is the Bahn Mi Burger, a pork-centric sandwich that features pickled carrots, cucumber, and ginger with a spicy chili aioli. It’s a little lighter and fresher than The Stevo and perfect for a late-summer evening.