Writing a food blog certainly has its perks, and last night was one of those nights! We got a sneak peek of the new CAVA in Short Pump ahead of the official opening to the public and enjoyed a delicious dinner while checking out CAVA’s newest Richmond digs.
If you aren’t familiar with CAVA, the easiest way to describe the growing chain is a Mediterranean version of Chipotle — you start at the beginning of the line and decide what kind of meal you want and then the customization begins and it keeps going for a good long while. There is not a lack of options when eating here, you’ll definitely be able to find something that’s just right for you! If you don’t know CAVA yet, you’re probably going to know it soon – this time last year Richmond didn’t have a single CAVA location, and by the end of the year we’ll have three. We weren’t lying when we said they were growing!
Every time CAVA opens a new location, the restaurant celebrates with a community event and the Short Pump location is celebrating its opening by hosting Summer Savor Fest. Tonight, July 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., you can join CAVA for a free dinner, lawn games, beer from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, music and more. And the best part, donations at Summer Savor Fest will benefit CAVA’s local partner Tricycle, a Richmond based nonprofit that aims to support a new generation of urban farmers.
Our visit to CAVA Short Pump
Kelsey and I have both visited CAVA at its downtown location at 810 West Grace Street several times since it opened a few months ago, so we were well-versed on the menu when we got to the Short Pump location, so we hopped right into line and placed our orders when we arrived.
I got the mini pita and soup combo which was just the perfect amount of food. I’ve wanted to try the spicy lentil soup ever since spotting it on their seasonal summer menu and I’m so glad I did. I’m a big soup fan and this one had just the right amount of spice and flavor. I added some of the usual suspects to my mini pita – chicken, feta, pickled red onions, feta, olives and sriracha Greek yogurt – and it just the combination I was going for. I have a (small) obsession with CAVA’s housemade juices, which they switch out seasonally. This time around I tried the watermelon mint juice was just as refreshing as it sounds.
Kelsey ordered a braised beef bowl with salad arugula and saffron basmati rice. She built her bowl by added crazy feta and harissa, white bean salad, tomato onion salad and tomato cucumber salad. Note: As a finishing touch you should always add a sprinkle of fresh mint leaves. She also took full advantage of CAVA’s homemade juices and even took things up a notch by mixing together the watermelon juice and the lemonade with turmeric.
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a quick meal out without breaking the bank or ruining your diet, CAVA is most certainly worth a try. You can take a look at the full menu here and the current seasonal offerings here if you want to be prepared for your first visit. CAVA will celebrate the official opening of its Short Pump location – 11780 West Broad Street – (which side note, used to be an Applebee’s) this Friday, July 14 at 11 a.m.