THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Brenner Pass is FINALLY opening this week (Thursday at 5 p.m.) and I couldn’t be more excited. I mean how could you not be excited about this fondue burger, this gianduja tart or this plate of goodies you actually dip into fondue?! Also in food news this week, Mean Bird opens its brick and mortar location in the former Sticky To-Go-Go space in The Fan (more to come on this opening later in the week on the blog). And Pit and Peel’s second location in Carytown opened on Tuesday.
On your mark, get set, bake. Oh, how I have missed those six words. The Great British Baking Show’s new (to America) season just kicked off on PBS. I am obsessed with this show and highly recommend watching past seasons on Netflix. Meg and I recently did a truffle making “class” at Gearhart’s in Charlottesville and even though we weren’t being judged by Paul and Mary, I sort of imagined that this is what it must feel like to be a contestant on the show. Ok, it isn’t at all what it is like to be on a baking show, but hey, it is probably the closest I’ll ever get.
Tracking down ingredients can be frustrating. Luckily, Bon Appetit has pulled together a list of 10 online specialty food stores that might be able to help you find that long lost ingredient you’ve been searching for. True story, I once went to five grocery stores looking for Piment d’Espelette, because I needed a teaspoon for one recipe.
Brewery openings, outside of Richmond. This month, Southwest Virginia is being treated to some of the brewery bug we’ve been experiencing in Richmond over the last few years. Ballast Point just opened its tasting room in Botetourt County (near about 15 miles north of Roanoke) and Beale’s a new local brewery is set to open this weekend in Bedford. Full disclosure, Beale’s is something Meg and I have been working on at our full-time jobs but we’ve tried the beer and the barbecue they’ll be serving and it does not disappoint.
Two hump day pick me ups. A low key guilty pleasure of mine is to get lost watching singing videos on YouTube. I dare you to watch these “singing” videos and not smile. First up, is the recent America’s Got Talent audition by Mandy Harvey a young singer-songwriter who lost hear hearing about a decade ago. This next video isn’t as impressive talent-wise but it is so stinkin’ cute (side note: Moana is a great movie, just putting it out there.)
What to add to your calendars
Burger Lovers Unite. This week in Richmond is RVA Burger Week, meaning that at many spots around town you’ll find $5 burger specials through Sunday. Highlights (both official and unofficial) include, Citizen Burger Bar’s Farm-To-Table burger, Fancy Biscuit’s breakfast burger and this classic burger at The Betty on Davis.
Start testing your pie and cake recipes. Midtown State Fair, an event that includes an old-fashioned cake walk, pie recipe contest and a culinary spelling bee, is slated for July 16th at Libbie Mill-Midtown. Attendees will also be treated to food vendors, live cooking competitions and a discount code for Fire, Flour and Fork this fall.
Who wants to paint Hazel? Friends of FETCH a Cure and A Toast to Canvas are teaming up to host a Paint Your Pet event on July 14th at 2SpeakDog. I’m wondering if I can summon up any artistic abilities to try and paint this photo of Hazel. Tickets are available here.
Pop ups to pencil in. The next Break pop up at the Roosevelt is “Secret Garden” which will feature a vegetarian tasting menu showcasing Virginia produce. There will be two seatings at 5 and 7:30 p.m., seats are technically sold out but stay alert on Instagram for word of any cancellations. Also in the RVA pop up scene, the latest Gold Cart pop up at Pasture is also this Sunday and the theme is fantasy fair. And if this visual menu is any indication of what will be served, it looks like you can expect a Sugar Shack Donut burger?