April/May 2016 Let’s Do Lunch: Benjamin’s Great Cows & Crabs

What to Expect:
Inventive, flavorful food with an emphasis on fresh and local

What to Try:
“Being able to be creative—that’s my passion,” says owner and chef Ben McGehee. And that’s evident in the Southern gourmet fare you’ll find on the regular menu and the daily specials. “Business people seek us out for lunch because we’re creative—we have a distinctive menu.”
Consider such options as duck breast salad or cow tongue tacos—“They’re the best,” McGehee says with a wide smile.

During our visit, we sampled a heaping plate of homemade beer-battered Fish and Chips, served with a side of tasty tavern fries. We also dug into the Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Salad, packed with a range of flavors from fire roasted corn and black beans to crispy tobacco onions and jalapeños. Drizzled with a house made dressing, the salad left us more than full.
While it may be unusual for lunch, forgive yourself the midday indulgence and make sure to save room for one of Mama Sue’s delectable desserts. House made on a daily basis, these are so good you should at least take one (or two!) to go.

The Extras:
McGehee’s catering offshoot—Cows and Crabs Catering—can serve a variety of needs from rehearsal dinners to corporate events. Businesses can also opt for delivery options or events on site for up to 50 people.

And if you haven’t heard, Benjamin’s Sunday brunch is a community standby; just make sure you call ahead for reservations!

The Experience:
If you haven’t met McGehee, chances are you will soon. Together with several family members, he’s created a warm and welcoming atmosphere that permeates Benjamin’s.

“The loyalty of our local customer base is so strong,” McGehee says. “We build relationships with them as friends.”

If you’re looking for some weekend fun, stop by on a Friday or Saturday evening to find out why they were voted “Best Night Spot for Live Music” in Lynchburg Living’s 2015 Best Of contest.

“Our atmosphere is unique,” McGehee says. “It’s rustic with higher end food. It’s not ‘white tablecloth,’ but we’re not trying to be.” Fancy they are not, but at Benjamin’s you are guaranteed to find genuine service and some heaping plates of good food.

Visit them online at www.cowsandcrabs.com.


By Jennifer Redmond