Welcome!

Bridgewater is a small town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Our town is home to Bridgewater College, varied industries and stores, and comfortable residential neighborhoods. bridgewaterva.com is a community website with an open discussion board called “Bridgewater Buzz” (posts just below):buzznew1

Mini-golf review

IMG_20160816_154402

The mini-golf course at Sandy Bottom opened this summer. Here’s my review as a “serious amateur” mini-golf player:

The course is thoughtfully designed, and takes great advantage of the natural site for an upsloping front nine and generally downhill back nine. The course does a good job of challenging the advanced mini-golfer, while remaining fun and accessible for novices.

On the front nine, pace is important to avoid the trap of the opening putt simply returning to the tee area. Fortunately, the designers placed some longer-pile turf to permit a safety zone. New players will want to look out for some of the more challenging holes to avoid the course limit of six strokes per hole. That is, the best advice on a challenging hole is often not to go straight for the flagstick, but instead to aim for an area that will permit a later putt at the flagstick.

The side bumpers are brick rather than the boards common on franchised Putt-Putt courses. So the results of bank shots are a little unpredictable — but often a bank shot is the best strategy for setting up a par.

The Bridgewater course is beautifully landscaped, more so than most commercial mini-golf courses. This will lead to some challenges keeping fallen leaves off the carpet surface, but the carpet was well swept on the day I played.

Par on the course is 44 (21 on the front nine, 23 on the back.) If you shoot a genuine 44, you are an accomplished mini-golfer. Standard par is 2, but the more challenging holes designated with a 3 par are 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 17 and 18.

Naming rights for the course go to the first person to ace every hole for a perfect 18. Based on my test round, it will be a long time coming.

golf1

golf2

For further information, check the course’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BridgewaterMiniGolf/

Jalapeño Grill review

jalapenoThere was a good-size lunch crowd when my party and I arrived, but we were quickly seated and drinks arrived in good order. The menu seems to be the same as the Harrisonburg location — which is to say, American Southwest food with a touch of Mexican. (See this earlier discussion on the difference.)

Here are the dishes we tried, with a few notes:

  • Jalapeño Burger — very nicely crafted, hot but not too hot. The beef showed no signs of having been super-compressed and frozen like some food-service burgers.
  • Classic Burger — another “thumbs up,” with both burger fans noting that the fries were very good, with a unusual thick cut spiral shape.
  • Build a Bowl — lots of options, very nicely done.
  • Vegetarian Fajitas — good standard fajitas with flour tortillas and a side of beans and rice, according to our resident veggie.

Portion sizes were generous. Thanks to lunchtime pricing of some items, the check including tax but not tip was $33.93. (To help you judge that: Two diners had water while the other two had iced tea.)

Grooming the ice
The mini-Zamboni

We were well served by an experienced waitress (Julia) and a trainee (Jennifer). The atmosphere was good, aided by the appearance of the mini-Zamboni to groom the ice on the adjacent ice rink. In fact, in skating season there should be good views of skaters on the southeast face of the restaurant.

Our service time was 17 minutes from order to food arriving — a little long for the lunch hour, but not a problem with the chips and salsa on the table.

Other notes:

  • The restaurant has more seating than is apparent from the street. The north end of the building is not easily visible.
  • Decor inside is modern, with a lot of hard surfaces. Acoustics were fair to good with a full crowd.
  • Parking in the paved area is at a premium. Additional parking is available on the gravel at the north side of the building.
  • The takeout window and restrooms are accessible from the ice rink side. Dine-in customers enter via the entrance nearest the street.
  • In the extreme southeast corner of the serving area there’s a tiny booth facing the ice — looks ideal for date night, with barely room for two diners.

Bottom line: Very nicely done American Southwest cuisine, a pleasant option for Bridgewater diners.

Note: If you had a different experience or have something to add, please comment below.

Full disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for doing this review. I did not disclose my identity as Webmaster until after the meal was over.

Ice Rink

Read the article about the rink in the Bridgewater Current. It will be open about 6 hours a day with several sessions. What’s a session? You pay by the session apparently and I assume after each session you pay again? Got a feeling that the Town is overly optimistic about the use of the facility.

Community garden?

Hi, everyone — I recently received an inquiry about the possible existence of a community garden in Bridgewater, near the College. I’m not aware of a “true” community garden, but I have of course seen the plot that Bridgewater Retirement Community residents use each summer near the corner of Dinkel Avenue and 2nd Street. So — does anyone know of a different community garden? and does that Retirement Community garden allow “guest farmers”? Who’s the best contact for that?