What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

This week in Richmond restaurant news.

11 Months, the rotating restaurant concept brought to you by the owner of Don’t Look Back and New York Deli, is now open in Carytown. It’s opening theme: BFFs. Seriously. Soft open hours through the weekend. Yaki, in Jackson Ward, appears to be days away from opening — it just got its ABC license — and we cannot wait to taste all of the yakitori. The Capital Ale House owners are planning to open a beer garden/restaurant in the Woodlake Commons Shopping center (in Midlothian) later this summer. And also in Midlothian, Chesterfield County’s first Mellow Mushroom is set to open in June. Look at you go Midlo, look at you go.

An avocado toast article, but probably not the one you saw floating around Facebook.

If you’ve ever ordered avocado toast in a restaurant and thought to yourself this is amazing but why am I paying $11 for half an avocado smashed on toast? Here’s your answer. P.S. If you’re in San Francisco, or planning a visit, I highly recommend the avocado toast at Cafe St. Jorge. But only if you bring me back a slice!

On the other side of the coin, Richmond is home to some delicious cheap eats.

Richmond Magazine’s latest cover story was all about the cheap eats. And they even included some of our favorites, like the pupusas from Shelly’s Food – Comida Latina, the bagel sandwiches at Black Hand and the battle ships at Black Sheep. And Stephanie Breijo has us dying to try Pop’s Dog’s & Ma’s Burgers, the 16 ft. x 16 ft. diner in Lakeside. She’s been doing God’s work taste testing a variety of chili cheese fries options at Pop’s and we salute her for it.

For what it’s worth.

The people have spoken and Style Weekly’s Best of Richmond list has been released. You’ll find the results from this year’s reader’s poll for a variety of categories from burgers to doughnuts and brunch to favorite Richmond chef. See if your favorite spots made the cut here.

Step up your Memorial Day Weekend game.

Grilling season officially kicks off this weekend — okay realistically it probably kicked off weeks ago — and if you’re looking to impress your friends and family over the weekend here are a few things to get you started: when to grill with the lid open or closed, apparently wine coolers are back and these are the one’s worth trying, the best use cases for gas vs. charcoal (I thought the answer was always charcoal?), and 13 tips for improving your grilling from BBQ experts.

In weird food trends made popular by you guessed it, Instagram.

Last but not least, in why do we need this land, I leave you with activated charcoal pizza and the (secret) history of cloud eggs.

What to add to your calendar

If Saturday Farmers’ Markets aren’t for you.

The Scott’s Addition Farmer’s Market kicks off this Sunday at the Veil. Drink a brew while you shop, we hear they have good ones, and stock up on fresh produce and meats for Monday’s grilling festivities. You can expect vendors like Stock Provisions, Agriberry, Nate’s Bagels and Ninja Kombucha.

I want to ride my bicycle. 

Breakaway RVA’s second ride of the season is tomorrow! Join your fellow community members to explore RVA and make Richmond a more bike friendly city. Routes range from 3-5 miles and will take place throughout the city at 6 p.m. Find the nearest starting location and sign up here.

Sour beer lovers, where you at?

Confession: I love sour beers. Really they are the only style of beer I consistently like no matter the brewery, and Ardent has teamed up with O’Connor (a brewery in Norfolk) for a Gose release on June 3. Added bonus: ZZQ and Aloi will be on site feeding hungry beer drinkers.

Go early, or suffer in the crowds. 

That is the advice I always give when someone asks me about Broad Appetit. Can you believe my favorite Richmond Food Festival is just a week and a half away! Here’s the 411: $3 small plates, some of Richmond’s best restaurants, come hungry, leave full and it all benefits our local food bank — FeedMore.

Speaking of events with delicious foods benefiting a good cause.

The food and drink line up at the Brewer’s Ball (on June 1) this year looks fantastic, as always. Some of the participating breweries include Triple Crossing, Isley, Ardent and Steam Bell, and some of the participating restaurants include Rappahannock, Southbound, Heritage and Mosaic. The night’s festivities benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Tickets are $75 and include food, drink and parking.


What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

Headed West. In local news, new tenants are headed to Regency Square Mall, including Regal Cinemas, Chipotle and MOD Pizza. You can read all of the details over at The Richmond Times-Dispatch. And, there’s more: Robey Martin has info on other developments west of Short Pump in this article for Richmond Magazine.

Just in time for Memorial Day. It’s true, you can now try your hand at making a Shake Shack cheeseburger at home with this recipe that TastingTable shared on their website from the new cookbook Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories. The best part? The recipe for ShackSauce is also included.

What’s that sound? I’ve been getting more into podcasts lately and have found them a good way to make productive use of the time I have in the car every day on my ride to and from the office. I’ll be honest, the ones I’ve been listening to have nothing to do with food but I highly recommend tuning in to Happier, Side Hustle School and Young House Love Has a Podcast. Next on my list? Garden & Gun just launched a podcast, Whole Hog, in celebration of their 10th anniversary, and I’m excited to check it out.

Helpful hints. Oh, BuzzFeed, the world of cute animal pictures and super helpful guides. I love the monthly round-ups they put together with ideas for what to cook in any given month of the year, and they did it again for May. I’m a rhubarb fanatic so you know a strawberry rhubarb pie is already on my list of things to bake, but I’m also excited to try a few new asparagus recipes this season.

Serious about cereal. This recent article from The Washington Post discusses the most important meal of the day – breakfast – and how we’re doing it all wrong.

Talk about a win win situation. Whoever said you can’t have your cake and eat it too must have never come across these boozy popsicles from FrutaPop. Hat tip to Delish for the heads up on these babies because this is what I like to call a summer game changer.

What to add to your calendar

Watermelon + beer and cider = this Saturday. If you like the idea of combining watermelon with alcoholic beverages, you’re in for a treat this weekend. Buskey Cider is bringing back their Watermelon Rosemary Cider for the summer and they are kicking things off this Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. If beer is more your thing, have no fear, Midnight Brewery is releasing a Watermelon Lime Kolsch on Saturday from 1 – 8 p.m.

This way to rosé. Y’all, next Thursday, May 25 from 5-8 p.m., Barrel Thief Wine Shop & Cafe is hosting a rosé tasting on the same night that lobster roll season kicks off at the restaurant AKA the best night ever. Details here.

Pack a picnic and take a drive. Looking for a fun Memorial Day weekend activity? Look no further. Polo returns to King Family Vineyards on Sunday, May 28 from 1-3 p.m. The free matches are held every Sunday through mid-October, weather permitting.

Cheers to a good cause. Save the date because the Brewer’s Ball is coming up Thursday, June 1 at the Virginia War Memorial. The funds raised at the event go to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.


What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

If you’re lazy like me but still want a garden full of fresh veggies. I saw these cute little seed packets on a recent episode of Shark Tank and I’m obsessed. I like the idea of gardening, but who really has the time. I think I am going to order the Grow Your Own Taco SeedSheet, which includes cilantro, arugula, scallions and radishes.

Restaurant news round up. Eleven Months, the spot brought to you by the folks behind Don’t Look Back, just posted hiring information on Facebook which means the opening date can’t be too far away. If you follow Bon Appetit on Instagram, you might’ve seen a peek at the status of Brenner Pass which looks like it might be opening in the next month or so. Frontier — brought to you by the owner of Alamo BBQ — is shooting for a September opening date. And Athens Greek Tavern (on Robinson) is set to reopen later this spring.

If my post about Shagbark brunch didn’t convince you to go, maybe this will. Tim Vidra has all the details on his dining experience at one of our favorite Richmond restaurants. Spoiler alert: he gave Shagbark 3.5 out of 4 forks.

What would you do for free chicken nuggets? A tweet about free chicken nuggets for a year just surpassed Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars selfie tweet as the most retweeted tweet of all time. And speaking of fast food if you’ve ever wanted to know what it takes to own a fast food franchise Eater has a comprehensive guide for you to read.

It’s ok to lie to your mom about this gift. Impress her with these ready to bake morning buns from Whisk and we won’t spill your secret. If these are anything like the take and bake croissants they offer, your mom will love them!

Hot ticket. Alton Brown is coming to Richmond this fall to the Carpenter Theatre and tickets for his“Alton Brown Live — Eat Your Science” tour go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. See you at the show?

Bitter sweet news from L’Opossum. Chef and Owner David Shannon is stepping aside to let former sous chef James Garland take the reigns. Brandon Fox has all of the details over at Style Weekly including info about a forthcoming L’Opossum cookbook.

What to add to your calendar

Give me all of the Berliner Weisse. I recently tried Triple Crossing’s Berliner Weisse, the Waxing Poetic, and I cannot wait for Ardent’s release later this month. If you love a good gose, you’ll like a Berliner Weisse. If sour beers aren’t your thing, you can still enjoy one of Ardent’s other beers and food from ZZQ or the Continental Divide.

Peonies galore! Tuckahoe Plantation is hosting its Peony Picnic this Sunday (perfect Mother’s Day timing). Tours of the historic house will be offered for a small fee and Gelati Celesti will be on site with their ice cream truck.

Riverrock is coming. Mark your calendars for May 19-21 because outdoor sports are coming to town. My personal favorite event at Riverrock is the Air Dogs competition. Sadly Hazel will not be entering because she refuses to willingly let water touch her, but we’ll be there to cheer on the other brave dogs.

Families that brunch together stay together. If you were wondering where to take your Mom to brunch this weekend, Richmond.com has all of the details on what restaurants are doing buffets, prix fixes and special menus. My best advice if you want to go to brunch this weekend is find a place that takes reservations and do it now.


What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. In a recent What’s Happenin’ Wednesday, we mentioned that we would jump at the chance to be ice cream judges for Gelati Celesti for a friendly flavor competition they were holding among their four locations. Well, consider us lucky, because they invited us to be judges and we had a blast sampling different ice cream flavors and voting for our favorites. The winner was Scott’s Addiction, a nutella ice cream with biscotti pieces throughout. Definitely worth a try if you see the flavor on the menu on your next visit to Gelati Celsti!

Not only bad things come in threes. Johnny Giavos announced last week that he is opening not one, not two, but three new spots in the Richmond area – a restaurant in Forest Hill, a gourmet market in Scott’s Addition and a coffee shop in Stratford Hills. You can learn more about all of the new concepts over on The Richmond Times-Dispatch website.

Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays. In case you’re making your plans for Cinco de Mayo this Friday, here’s our list of five great places to find tacos in Richmond. The spots on our list span throughout town, so no matter what part of Richmond you call home, there’s probably a taco with your name on it that’s not far.

For your recipe collection. I made a recipe this week from the May issue of Cooking Light that was so quick and delicious I wanted to share it with all of you. These crispy potato cakes with smoked salmon have a short ingredient list and only take about 20 minutes to whip up, so perfect for a weeknight meal. I had capers, lemon and dill on hand so added a bit of each to the sour cream for some extra flavor.

Same taste, new hours. Sally Bell’s Kitchen is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. What this means for you: if you want to get your deviled egg and cupcake fix on a weekend, no one is stopping you now.

Beer gardens, taprooms and restaurants, oh my. Thai restaurant YaYa’s Cookbook opened last week in Short Pump from the owner of Sabai, and The HofGarden, a biergarten and taproom, is opening today at the Hofheimer Building at 2818 W. Broad Street.

What to add to your calendar

Tres chic. A new exhibition, Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style, opens Saturday, May 6 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The VMFA is the only East Coast venue for the exhibition, which will run in Richmond through the end of August. You can find more details here.

Worth the trip. Norfolk’s Waterside District opens to the public tomorrow, May 4, and free concerts and a number of other festivities are taking place during the grand opening celebration from May 11-14. There will be no shortage of food and drink options for visitors, with The Market at Waterside District including spots like Starr Hill Market Bar and Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse.

The final countdown. We’re just about a month away from one of our favorite food festivals of the year, so save the date because Broad Appetit will take place on Sunday, June 4 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Start to daydream about the small plates that might be available at this year’s event and then take a look at our recap of last year’s event here.

You do you. We kid you not, there’s a holiday quickly approaching called National “Eat What You Want Day” and it’s coming up on May 11. Plan ahead and make good choices, a day like that only comes around but once a year.


What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

Live your best sandwich life. One of my all time favorite food trucks in Richmond is the Sammich truck. Usually you can catch them at SOTJ for a breakfast sandwich or around town during the week (think Hardywood and at The Martin Agency). And now you can grab a sandwich on the go from Outpost Richmond. Three varieties are currently available, now including this vegan sandwich that can only be described as beautiful.

Brookland Park Boulevard is on fire (in a good way). Towards the end of last year, Richmond BizSense did a deep dive into Brookland Park Boulevard being a diamond in the rough, and some were even wondering if the area was going to be the next Scott’s Addition. Well, eight months later, new developments keep rollin’ in. Things sort of got worse before they got better with Street Car Cafe’s sudden closure. But since that news broke, Lunchonette Northside opened, Black Hand Coffee is officially roasting coffee beans with a cafe in the works, Lamplighter has an offer on a property and two sisters are turning an auto repair shop into a restaurant — Dixie Bell’s.

Puppers and doggos are a 12/10. DoggoLingo is a real thing people and if you need a pick me up this week I suggest reading this article from NPR on the internet trend that you might’ve missed. Hazel is of course is of course a h*cking good girl.

Happiest of hours. High on my happy hour to do list is Flora. One, because it is super convenient to my apartment and two, because they’re running some awesome deals. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. you find half price Pacificos and $2 off draft beer, wine, cocktails and small plates. I want the chilaquiles, like now, and I’m hoping this frozen hibiscus grapefruit sangria wasn’t a one time deal.

821 cafe is officially a teenager! The restaurant just steps from VCU’s Monroe Park Campus recently celebrated its 13th anniversary. They also recently unveiled a new spring menu (sign me up for the fried zucchini tacos) and a revamped outdoor patio.

Another day, another best of list. Richmond was recently named to Travel and Leisure’s list of America’s Favorite Cities for Brunch. Richmond, Va. ranked number six, featuring mentions of Southbound (I can vouch), Metzger Bar and Butchery (co-sign) and Lucy’s (need to try). Richmond wasn’t the only Virginia city to make the list, Norfolk came in at number 15.

What to add to your calendar

One night only? On Thursday, May 4, Stock Provisions is hosting a ramen pop-up (OMG!) at the Veil Brewing Company. They’ll be slinging all the nood(el)s, both of the veggie and pork variety and bonus points because the pork is coming from Autumn Olive Farms (fancy!). Join them from 6-9 p.m. but plan on going early in case they sell out. See you there?

Good things come in threes. Gold Cart is hosting its third pop up event on Sunday, May 7 and they must’ve known that Richmond made Travel and Leisure’s list of America’s Favorite Cities for Brunch, because you guessed it, they are taking on brunch. Everything on the menu sounds amazing and if you’ve ever wanted to have brunch at Pasture, here’s your chance. The Jean Claude Van Brunch Gold Cart pop-up is happenin’ on Sunday May 7th and starts at 11:30 a.m.

The O.G. Virginia Hopped Cider. This weekend, Blue Bee Cider (the first hopped cider made in Virginia) is hosting the Virginia Hopped Cider Festival to celebrate the beverage’s growth throughout the Commonwealth. Eleven Virginia hopped ciders will be available, and entry to the festival is free — although a $15 ticket will get you a flight of five Virginia hopped ciders, three glasses of cider or a ticket to a Grand Tasting class. Camden Dogtown Market, Continental Divide and Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches will be on site with food and there will also be art and live music. Pro tip: pack sunscreen it is going to be a scorcher this weekend.

This is your final reminder. It is Restaurant Week in RVA! $4.17 of every RRW meal at participating restaurants will be donated to the Central Virginia Food Bank and Meals on Wheels. Make plans and go enjoy a three course meal for a great cause, you have no excuses, there are 40 restaurants to choose from.



What’s Happenin’ Wednesday

Good things come to those who wait. Rappahannock Restaurant is opening its doors again on Thursday after a fire closed the restaurant for six weeks. Head to their Facebook page where you can like or comment on their most recent post to enter a giveaway for $100 and then open your OpenTable app to make a reservation to celebrate the restaurant’s return with the staff, which is returning entirely intact after the hiatus. Bonus: If you visit on Thursday, there will be $1 oysters for your dining pleasure.

Cheers to a decade. No doubt about it, the South of the James Farmers’ Market is one of our very favorite Richmond activities, we even did a post last year on our 10 favorite market vendors. The market turns 10 this year and Stephanie Breijo over at Richmond Magazine has the scoop on how the market has grown and what it looks like now. Here’s to another 10 years!

What’s new in the restaurant scene, you ask? Church Hill People’s News has the scoop on Chef Jessica Wilson and her desire to bring a garden-to-table restaurant to Chimborazo. Fighting Fish, a restaurant specializing in sushi and poke bowls opened on April 12 at 317 N. 2nd Street.

The world’s best restaurant is… Back in the United States for the first time in over a decade, for one thing. Head on over to The Washington Post to read more about Eleven Madison Park, the New York spot that took the number one spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list earlier this month.

In the mood for something fizzy? You’re in luck. I’ve been following along with the updates from Trussings Craft Fizz on their Facebook page and it sounds like release info is coming soon for the handcrafted small-batch beverages in some delicious sounding flavor combinations. Good thing, because I already can’t wait to try the ginger lime fizz and the apple sage fizz!

Shell shock. Easter might be over, but it’s always a good time to enjoy deviled eggs, and what a wide range of deviled eggs there are! Stephanie Ganz has you covered with a list of where you can find some of the best in RVA, with prices per egg ranging from 75 cents to $12.

Word on the street. Kudos to Richmond’s own Ames’ Hot Southern Honey, featured in the May 2017 issue of The Local Palate. I’ve had the chance to taste test this “sweet heat” on a few items (including a recipe for mini chicken and waffles I hope to share on the blog soon!) and this stuff is delicious.

What to add to your calendar

Tomorrow, tomorrow. The Cask is hosting a German dinner on Thursday, April 20 from 5- 8 p.m. and the menu looks mighty good.

A winning combination. King of Pops + free yoga? Count me in. Every Tuesday 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Carillon through October 10, you can participate in all ages / skill levels yoga and then get a free pop at the end. More details here.

Good fun for a good cause. The Tredegar Society’s sixth annual Loose Cannons event is coming up on Friday, April 28 from 7 – 10:30 p.m. The event will feature live music, craft beer, cider, wine, food trucks and more. Tickets are $25 in advance and all proceeds benefit the American Civil War Museum.