The crab dip is legend. So is the banana pudding.
The sandwiches almost melt in your mouth, particularly the Turkey Ham Panini. The turkey is roasted on site and hand sliced. The ham is from Edwards farm, a Virginia classic from across the James River in Surry. And the housing dressing is in a category all its own.
Everything is delicious at Creekside Café & Market, located at 6824 Coleman’s Crossing Ave., just 4½ miles from Camp Cardinal. Kentucky-born Dorsie Reese owns the local favorite that prides itself in using fresh ingredients — seafood from the husband and wife team at Virginia Oyster Company; beef from Seven Hills, where everything is done in-house; poultry from Parker Family Farm, where the animals are pasture-raised; and produce from Allen’s Farm in New Kent County.
Dorsie credits her Southern heritage for influencing many of the Creekside recipes, though she’s updated several to be healthier options. She grew up making comfort food alongside her mother — Creekside’s potato salad is a family recipe — and started her career in the hospitality business years after a military move brought her father to Virginia.
“I’ve had great mentors who guided me through the culinary aspect with catering and developing new recipes,” she says.
Working at Baker’s Crust, she and a colleague developed the catering program there. Starting her own business was a natural next step.
“I love to throw parties. I love to host,” she says. “When anybody was throwing a party, they’d ask for my help. I was always doing the catering part. We started out as a catering company and grew into a café and market that also does catering.”
Dorsie doesn’t embrace the idea of a cookie cutter catering menu. She prefers to create something tailored — talking to brides and businesses about their likes and dislikes and planning the food accordingly.
“We talk to families who need us for the catering event and hone in on what they love – what brings that family together when they have Sunday suppers,” she says. “I feel like that distinguishes us from other catering companies.”
Dorsie is excited to collaborate with Camp Cardinal and serve the guests on site…or at the café.
Bonus: the Creekside parking lot is RV friendly.
“I want people to know on their way into town that they can come here,” Dorsie said. “Come here for cinnamon rolls, fresh seafood, fresh steaks. We have a bakery and a market.”
Grab and go shrimp or the fish of the day and perhaps the top choice — crab cakes — are also available. Dorsie encourages campers to preorder dinner on a Friday for their Saturday stay and Creekside will have it delivered to Camp Cardinal.
She invites you back on Saturday to grab a bagel or muffin or signature coffee drink.
While the Creekside company has been in business 14 years, the bakery and market have occupied their current space in Hayes for 2 ½ years. Prior to that a food truck was the commissary.
Dorsie wears all the hat but gives kudos to her staff of seven. While she has marine biology in her background, she is wildly passionate about a field she’s loved since childhood.
“Going out to eat is a treat,” she says. “We want to make that extra special. We want to make sure people know they’re getting high quality ingredients at a fair price. We want to make them feel extra special during their visit. Food brings people together. And I love that part of it. Food goes to the heart.” Visit Creekside online here!
Photo courtesy of Creekside Café & Market.