what's happenin' wednesday

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • Hurry or you’ll miss it: The Dog & Pig Show, one of our favorite spots in Church Hill, announced last week that the storefront will be closing on February 12th. Whether you’ve never been or it’s one of your favorite spots, we highly suggest you head that way, show them some love and order those shrimp and grits one last time before their doors close in just a few weeks. The good news? The team behind Dog & Pig is trying something new, and you’ll still be able to find some of their goods around RVA. 
  • In the kitchen: The Super Bowl is quickly approaching, which means it’s a great time to pull out recipes that are great for a crowd but also easy to make. One of my favorite recipes that fits those two parameters are these mini ham and cheese sandwiches. Just be warned, they’re quite addictive!
  • Beijing On Grove, the newest spot from EAT Restaurant Partners, is scheduled to open Saturday at 5710 Grove Avenue in the former space of The Blue Goat. More details over at The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
  • Looking to get out there and see the world? You’re in luck. This 119 day cruise will take you to six continents and 32 countries. Tickets start at $16,999 for an interior double occupancy stateroom.
  • The Good Food Awards were held this past weekend in San Francisco, and six Virginia businesses won awards – including a few from right here in Richmond. The ladies behind The Apple Cart have the full scoop on their blog.
  • Good news: The $20 chicken dinner is back at Talley’s Meat and Three, located at 7021 Three Chopt Road in the Village Shopping Center. What does that mean for you? You can get chicken, two sides and 4 biscuits or cornbread muffins for $20. Once you call to place your order, it will be ready in less than 20 minutes.
  • Tasting Table has Alton Brown’s secret for the perfect grilled cheese. All you need is a bowl of tomato soup for dipping and you’ll be set.

What to add to your calendar

  • Talk about a winning combo: Buskey Cider and Boulevard Burger and Brew are coming together on Saturday, February 4th from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. to bring you Sliders and Ciders. Traditional sliders will be priced at $5.95 for three or $9.95 for six and veggie sliders will be $4.95 for three or $8.95 for six.
  • Speaking of cider, head to Blue Bee Cider on Sunday, February 5th from 2-3 p.m. for a chocolate and cider pairing featuring Blue Bee Cider and Gearharts Fine Chocolate. The guided tasting costs $20 per person and will feature four pairings with locally-made cider and handcrafted chocolates. You can buy tickets here.
  • Shop for a good cause: On Monday, February 13, Maymont’s Dooley Noted Society is holding an event at Kendra Scott where a portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit Maymont. You can sip on champagne and treat yourself for Valentine’s Day while you’re at it.
  • Save the date: The second annual Richmond Brunch Weekend is coming up on March 25 – 26, where participating restaurants will give 10% of their brunch proceeds to Massey Cancer Center.
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westwood fountain chicken salad club

Today’s post is the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series on Let’s Share A Dish. The game plan? I’ll check in every month or so with a list of a few dishes from different spots around town that have really hit the spot.

My hope is that these posts will serve as a helpful guide as you’re mapping out your weekend adventures, planning how to entertain out of town guests or simply trying to treat yourself with a delicious meal from a local restaurant. Without further ado, here are 5 bites (well, 4 bites and 1 sip) that I’ve been enjoyed lately around RVA!

Chicken Salad Club at Westwood Fountain

When I first moved to Richmond, I was happily surprised that there were little breakfast and lunch spots located within both Westwood and Westbury Pharamacy. I found something about it to be so cute and southern, and then it was just a extra bonus when their food was pretty good, too. I’ve been to Westwood Fountain, located at 5823 Patterson Avenue, a number of times, and I head there whenever I’m craving an inexpensive breakfast or my favorite item on the menu, the chicken salad club. This sandwich is made with homemade white breast chicken salad, lettuce, tomato, bacon and provolone – I order mine sans tomato –  and it comes served with chip or your choice of another side for a small upcharge. This sandwich will only set you back $7.59, and it’s big enough that you’ll likely find yourself with some leftovers to enjoy the next day.

Szechuan Cold Mixed Noodles at Peter Chang in Scott’s Addition

peter chang noodles
I’ve raved about these noodles before on Let’s Share A Dish, and I’m sure I’ll rave about them again. They’re just that good. And even better, these babies are cheap, as an order only costs $3. It’s not a tiny portion either, you could order this and one other thing from the Dim Sum & Snack portion of the menu at Peter Chang’s in Scott’s Addition and be quite content for a light meal. (Disclaimer: this photo is from an event where the noodles were being served family style, so I can’t promise your order will be quite this big!)

Be warned, these noodles definitely have a bit of a kick but if you like spice, you’ll be a big fan of these. And so will your wallet. If this has changed your mind on your lunch plans for today, you can head on over to Peter Chang in Scott’s Addition which is located at 2816 West Broad Street.

Italian Grinder at Pop’s Market on Grace

Confession: I don’t have a photo of my own because I couldn’t wait to bite into this sandwich as soon it made it’s way to the table, so instead I’ll share with you the picture that made me want one in the first place.

Food envy is real, my friends, and within days of seeing the above post from Tim Vidra on Instagram, I had lunch plans at Pop’s Market on Grace. Funny how that happens, isn’t it?

I’ll say it, this was the best Italian sandwich I’ve had in quite some time if not ever. From the freshly made bread to the just right ingredients, this grinder really is a perfect combination. It’s not a cheap sandwich at $12, but it IS a huge sandwich, and it could easily be shared with a friend or enjoyed for leftovers the next day. I’m already planning my next visit, and I might just have to check out the Cuban on my next visit to this downtown spot located at 415 East Grace Street.

Just about any cocktail at Sabai

cocktail at sabi
Maybe it’s the friendly bartenders, or the effort they put into carefully crafting every cocktail on the menu, but I’ve never had a cocktail I haven’t liked at Sabai, a Thai restaurant located at 2727 W Broad Street. They offer 10 or so cocktails on their rotating drink menu, and the variety is enough that most palates can find something that they’ll enjoy. If you ever visit and you see that the Mr. Chuvez cocktail on back on the menu, please let me know! It’s my favorite.

It’s worth noting that many of the cocktails are served with fun “extras” like little umbrellas or fun straws, so if you’re looking for a place to leave the winter weather behind for a little while, one drink at Sabai and you’ll feel like you’re sitting on a beach. The cocktails at Sabai range in price from $8 to $12, a little bit more than you might pay for your average cocktail — but then again, these aren’t your average cocktails.

Greek Salad at Joe’s Inn

If I had to guess, Joe’s Inn, located at 205 North Shields Avenue in the Fan is probably the restaurant I’ve been to more than any other in Richmond. (Apparently, it’s also one of the few restaurants where I’ve never taken a picture of my food.) There’s the cozy factor, the breakfast served all day, the massive beer list…there’s just something about Joe’s Inn. One of my favorite things about this spot is the delicious Greek salads they offer. And let’s be honest, it would be untruthful if I said this is just something I’ve been loving lately, because I’ve been loving the Greek salad at Joe’s Inn since the first time I stepped into this restaurant in 2011.

The greek salads are on the menu in three different sizes – mini, small and large – but in my mind the mini is really a small, the small is pretty big and the large is huge, a salad that’s big enough to serve a whole family. The salads come with with onions, feta cheese, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, tomatoes, and Joe’s housemade vinaigrette dressing, which is hands down my favorite Greek dressing in all the land. Bonus: if you want to add some protein to your salad, the grilled chicken is out of this world.

Are there any dishes that you’ve been loving lately that I should check out before my next post? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

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What's Happenin' Wednesday January 18

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • Attending or planning any playoff or Super Bowl parties and need to bring a dish? Here’s a recipe for baked pimento cheese and sausage dip from Vivian Howard that promises to be a crowd pleaser. Bonus: if you cheat and use store bought pimento cheese, you’ll only need three ingredients.
  • If you haven’t heard already, Shagbark is starting brunch service on Sundays. The menu isn’t up online yet, but we saw a preview and it looks mighty tasty. I’m dying to try the buttermilk corn cakes served with honey butter and spiced apple-pear confiture or the Up-South Fry Up a dish composed of two eggs, fried brioche, country sausage and black eyed peas. Shagbark is open for brunch on Sundays starting at 11 a.m.
  • Watch out bees, a new honey is in town. Ames’ Hot Southern Honey has hit the ground running in Virginia stores. The chili pepper-infused honey was created by Ames Russell and is can be found in many stores around town.
  • The opening date for Cava Grill’s Richmond location isn’t set in stone yet, but we’re getting closer people! Stephanie Breijo over at Richmond Magazine has the scoop on some updates.
  • I’m in charge of purchasing our office coffee at Hodges and while we’ve certainly upgraded from the times when we were brewing Folgers, we still haven’t found our one true coffee love — that’s not surprising when someone who rarely drinks coffee is the one making all the coffee decisions. If your office is ready for a coffee upgrade, I suggest listening to this recent episode of the Sporkful, in which WNYC (New York’s Public Radio station) does an office wide (400 person) coffee taste test.
  • I’m here to tell you that you DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT need to keep eating #saddesklunches. Bon Appetit has 15 tips for improving your weekday lunches. My personal favorite tips are #2 and #10.
  • The Washington Post Beer of the Week for January 15th, is Stone Brewing Company’s collaboration with Ardent Craft Ales and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Give Me Stout or Give Me Death. Politics aside, great beer is something I think we can all get behind.

What to add to your calendar

  • I’m giving you enough advance notice so that you can truly add this to your calendar now. The Veil Brewing Company will again be hosting the guys from High Roller Lobster Co. on February 11th for their Tasting Room Remix with TRILLIUM! These lobster rolls are no joke. And while you’re there enjoying a brew you can also congratulate them for being recognized as one of Beer Advocate’s Best New Breweries.
  • Stay tuned for more details on Blue Bee’s Break Your Resolution Crawl happening on January 28th. We do know there will be plenty of booze, sugary sweets and fatty foods so that you can break all of your New Year’s resolutions in one place.
  • Tickets are on sale now for the first Underground Kitchen event of the year. The dinner is being hosted at a secret location on Monday, January 23rd and your clue is “a room with a view” — learn more and purchase tickets here.
  • The Edgar Allen Poe Museum, located in Shockoe Bottom, is celebrating the poet’s 208th birthday this Saturday. There’s a full day’s worth of events happening in his honor capped off with a midnight champagne toast, and tickets are only $5. Oh don’t worry, there will be cake!
  • Runners with a passion for wine, or wine lovers with a passion for running, Sports Bakers just announced the perfect event for you. The Sports Backer’s Uncorked Half Marathon will be held on May 6th (giving you enough time to start training) and will run 13.1 miles through New Kent. Part of the course will run through New Kent Winery and finishers will be treated to a glass of wine.
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Oahu quick bites

I was lucky enough to get a break from the cold weather this Christmas, visiting my younger brother who is stationed in Oahu. When we first started kicking around the idea of visiting Hawaii for the holidays, the first thing I did was compile an extensive list of places where I wanted to eat (#priorities). And while we didn’t get around to every spot on my list, we did hit many of my top picks and they did not disappoint. We stayed in Waikiki so many of the places I’ll mention below were relatively close to our hotel. One last note before we start talking details, my family isn’t big on fine dining, so many of our meals were spent at quick and inexpensive restaurants.

Here are a few of my favorite bites from our visit to O’ahu.

Leonard’s Bakery

933 Kapahula Ave | Sunday – Thursday 5:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday – Saturday 5:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Leonard's Bakery Malasadas

If there’s one thing I’ve been dreaming about since I left Oahu the fresh malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery are it. Two important pieces of information to know about this bakery: there’s always a line and be careful these babies are HOT. Malasadas are Portuguese donuts without a hole and the ones at Leonard’s are made-to-order so they come out piping hot. There are a variety of fillings that you can choose from such as custard, dobash (chocolate) and haupia (coconut). Or if fillings aren’t your thing they also come unfilled but covered in your choice of sugar (the original malasada), cinnamon sugar or li hing (dried plum – which is sweet, salty and sour). You know I love donuts, this probably won’t surprise you but I ate three in one sitting, with the custard being my favorite.

Bogart’s Cafe

3045 Monsarrat Ave | Open daily 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Bogarts bagel sandwich

Fortunately for my health, I did not eat donuts every morning for breakfast on vacation. And when I found Bogart’s, which was about a mile away from our hotel, I think I hit the breakfast jackpot. During our eight-day trip, we came here three mornings for breakfast, including Christmas morning. The first morning of our vacation I had the popular bagel breakfast sandwich, which comes with egg, cheese, spinach and tomato. I added bacon because you can treat yourself on vacation right? And honestly, it rivaled some of the bagel sandwiches I had in New York City.

Bogarts acai bowl

The other menu item that Bogart’s is known for is its acai bowls. These are gaining popularity in Richmond now, but they were all over the place in Hawaii. The acai bowl, which is basically a super thick smoothie served in a bowl, comes topped granola, strawberries, bananas, blueberries and a drizzle of honey. The perfect breakfast when you’re on an island.  Note: Bogart’s is a cash only cafe so plan accordingly.

The Pig and the Lady

83 N. King St | Lunch: Monday – Friday 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Dinner Tuesday – Saturday 5:30 – 10 p.m.

The pig and lady French dip

While my brother and Dad were at the Hawaii Bowl, I treated my mom to lunch at The Pig and the Lady, which serves up Vietnamese flavors, with a bit of a twist. I had came across this particular restaurant on a few lists when I was doing my initial restaurant research and was immediately intrigued when I learned that The Pig and the Lady started as a farmer’s market booth. And this is embarrassing but I had actually never had pho before! We quickly (aka I quickly) decided that we share the pho bac and the P&L pho french dip. Both were extremely flavorful but the french dip stole the show. 10/10 would fly back to Hawaii for this sandwich. Pro tip: Make a reservation online ahead of time if you can.

Marukame Udon

2310 Kuhio Ave | Open daily 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Marukame Udon

After a few days of seeing a line that seemingly went around the block at Marukame Udon — and after seeing that the restaurant has more than 5,000 reviews on Yelp — I couldn’t leave O’ahu without seeing what all the hype was about. This sort of cafeteria style eatery, which is an offshoot of a franchise that started in Japan, serves mainly Sanuki-style Udon, tempura and musubi. Things move quickly, so even with a that snaked around towards our hotel, our wait was about 45 minutes before we were able to place our order. The udon noodles were perfectly cooked, the broth was packed with flavor and the tempura shrimp were surprisingly light and flaky. Oh, and it didn’t hurt that this might have been the cheapest meal of our entire trip!

Rainbow Drive Inn

3308 Kanaina Ave | Open daily 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Loco moco

One of the most recognizable dishes to come out of Hawaii is the Loco Moco — white rice, a hamburger patty smothered in brown gravy and topped with a fried egg. I tried the dish at the Rainbow Drive-In and while it doesn’t seem like it would be anything to write home about, I have to admit the combination just works. It’s like the Hawaiian version of the Salisbury steak, quick, filling, cheap and delicious. To be honest I’m not sure what else you need in a lunch, maybe a cold beer?

Giovanni’s Garlic Shrimp

66-472 Kamehameha Hwy | Haleiwa, HI | Daily 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The garlic shrimp plate might be my new favorite beach meal. Giovanni’s Garlic Shrimp has been serving up its famous shrimp, in Haleiwa town (on the North Shore) for 20 years now and I don’t think they’ll be going anywhere anytime soon. The truck serves three things, shrimp, hot dogs and rice. There are three shrimp flavors — shrimp scampi, hot and spicy and lemon butter. A full serving is $14 and comes with a dozen jumbo shrimp. Be warned the line to order can be a little long, but once you place your order it won’t be long before they’re calling your number.

Matsumoto Shave Ice

666-11 Kamehameha Hwy Suite #605 | Haleiwa, HI | Open daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

One thing I learned in Hawaii is snow cones ≠ shaved ice. Shave ice is so so so much better. Matsumoto Shave Ice has been around for more than half a century in Haleiwa town. Opened in 1951, by Mamoru and Ogi Matsumoto as Matsumoto Grocery Store, today the store just serves shave ice. Unlike traditional snow cones, shave ice never hardens into one solid piece and is not crunchy. Instead, shave ice resembles fluffy, powdery snow.

When you’re ready to cool off from the beach there are more than 30 flavors to choose from. We went with the tropical (lilikoi, guava, papaya).


One final note, I’d be remiss to not mention a small little ice cream shop called Henry’s place which serves up $5 styrofoam cups of sorbet and ice cream. If you’re staying in Waikiki I’d recommend stopping in for a different flavor every day.

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what's happenin' wednesday

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • It’s that time of year again — Girl Scout cookie season! This year is special for two reasons: s’mores cookies have been added to the lineup AND this year marks 100 years of those delicious little treats, as 1917 marked the first known sale of a Girl Scout cookie. You can find cookies for sale near you here, but I’m guessing if you post on your Facebook page that you’re looking for cookies that there are quite a few troops who would be more than happy to hook you up.
  • Stephanie Breijo of Richmond Magazine has the scoop on the new late-night service at Heritage that kicks off tomorrow. The service will be available Thursday – Saturday starting around 9:30 p.m.  and going until 1 or 2 a.m. with cocktails, small plates and sandwiches in a more laid back atmosphere.
  • ICYMI: The owners of Comfort, Pasture and Saison are opening Flora in the space that Balliceaux occupied for eight years. The new restaurant will serve dishes native to the Yucatan Peninsula and Oaxaca regions of Mexico, according to Richmond BizSense.
  • America’s next great food city? Tasting Table is putting its money on Houston, and you can find out why here.
  • Style Weekly has all the details on the Richmond Beer Trail, something that’s been in the works since 2014. If you visit richmondbeertrail.com, you’ll find a Richmond Beer Trail Map that will help you navigate all of those new breweries that have been popping up. Bonus: You can get your map stamped at every brewery you visit, and once you’ve collected five stamps, you’ll get a Richmond Beer Trail t-shirt.

What to add to your calendar

  • Quirk Hotel is now offering family style dining every Sunday from 5 – 9 p.m. The menu changes every month, but in January, $25 per person will get you fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni & cheese, mashed potatoes, corn bread, coffee and donuts. Follow along on their Facebook page for updates, and then find some friends who will join you for dinner.
  • It can sometimes feel like Richmond faces a festival lull during the winter months, but don’t you worry, the 10th annual Richmond Jewish Food Festival is taking place this Sunday, January 15 and Monday, January 16 from 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. both days. The festival is held at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center, located at 5403 Monument Avenue. You can take a look at the menu here. Latkes and shashuka, anyone?
  • Strawberry Street Cafe is hosting a fundraiser next week for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond. On Tuesday, January 17 from 4 – 10 p.m. tell your server you’re there for RMHC of Richmond, and 10% of your purchase will benefit the charity.
  • One of the clients I’m lucky enough to work with in my day job is Virginia Distillery Company, a whisky distillery based in Lovingston, Virginia, just outside of Charlottesville. The distillery’s Winter Whisky Fest is coming up on Saturday, January 21 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., where you’ll be able to relax by the fire while enjoying a bite from a local food truck and a handcrafted cocktail made with their Virginia Highland Malt Whisky. I can tell you from firsthand experience there aren’t many places that would be cozier to spend a winter day. What are you waiting for?
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What's Happenin' Wednesday January 4

Hello, 2017! Fresh off a relaxing holiday vacation in Hawaii (more details on that trip to come), I’m back in the blogging spirit. 2016 brought a whole lotta changes for Meg and I — Meg (and Taylor) bought a house, I got a dog and we started Let’s Share a Dish — and I think I speak for both of us when I say that we’re excited to see what this year holds for the both of us. We’re going to do our best to get back to a more regular blogging schedule, so get excited. To kick things off here’s our first What’s Happenin’ Wednesday of the year!

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

  • Ready to start planning your escape from winter weather? Here’s the year-long road trip for you. You’ll have to start in south Texas (does Austin count?) And you’ll end near San Diego.
  • One of our favorite lunch spots is now open for dinner! Meg and I are hooked on Plant Zero’s kickin’ chicken wraps and now we can’t wait to see what they whip up for dinner. Extended hours started today and a dinner full menu will be rolled out soon.
  • Refinery29 pulled together a list of the best brunch spots across America, and Richmond’s own Perly’s was chosen to represent Virginia. If you haven’t been to brunch yet at Perly’s you don’t know what you’re missing. The cinnamon babka french toast, breakfast bagel sammy and and cheese blintzes are just a few of my personal favorites.
  • If you’re into New Year’s resolutions, there’s still time to commit (I think?). For the home cook looking to step up their game, perhaps perfecting basic knife skills is your resolution, or if you’re looking to save a bit of money but still eat like a king, Bon Appetit has created a food lover’s guide to eating on a budget.
  • ICYMI: Balliceaux is shutting down and will be reopened by Jason Alley and Michele Jones, of Comfort and Pasture, and Jay Bayer of Saison and Saison Market as an upscale casual Mexican concept. Details from Karri Peifer on Richmond.com.

What to add to your calendar

  • Sarah Choi, head dumpling maker from Shoryuken Ramen, and Seo Kelleher will be hosting two Dumpling Making classes at Mise En Place. Don’t miss your chance to attend January 26 for Chinese New Year and February 16th for Valentine’s Day. Tickets are $45 per person a small price to pay for being transformed into a dumpling making machine!
  • Whisk is hosting its first pop-up event, the BUBO dinner, on January 15. Forty-five dollars will get you a six course tasting menu with flavors of the Mediterranean. The drunken pork belly with grits and the egg noodles sound incredible.
  • Have you ever wanted to eat at Metzger, The Roosevelt, Lucy’s, Saison and Heritage all in one night? You’ll get your chance (sort of) on Martin Luther King Jr. Day all while supporting a great local nonprofit, Diversity Richmond. The executive chefs of each of these restaurants will be putting together a five course tasting menu paired with seasonal Ardent Craft Ales.
  • Richmond SPCA’s Supper Club will be visiting Julep’s on January 11th for its first event of 2017. Fifteen percent of dinner proceeds will be donated to the Richmond SPCA and reservations are recommended.
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