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Top 5 Food Trends of 2022

It’s no secret that many things have had a serious impact on the restaurant industry – from labor shortages to supply-chain issues, restaurants have had to get creative to survive – and it’s been TOUGH. In addition to these internal issues, many diners are still nervous to sit in crowded restaurants and prefer take-out to enjoy in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Here, The Manual shows us 2022’s top 5 food trends!

Ghost Kitchens – taking food to go is not going away anytime soon – even big companies like Wendy’s and Buca di Beppo are getting in on the action – Wendy’s is planning 700 ghost kitchens in the next 5 years! Research suggests this could be a trillion dollar industry over the next decade!

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  • Plant Power – vegan salmon, tuna sashimi and even bacon! More and more establishments are featuring plant-based menu options as more Americans embrace a vegan lifestyle.
  • Sustainable Packaging – At Metro Supplies, we proudly provide our clients with an array of sustainable options. Biodegradable straws and simple cardboard boxes are some green options restaurants can use to keep their customers happy while helping the environment.
  • Limited Menus with a Dash of Creativity – sky-high food prices and supply chain issues have forced restaurants to rethink their “typical” menus. According to the National Restaurant Association, 8 out of 10 restaurants have been forced to change their menus. Creating a more limited menu featuring truly delicious food choices help reduce labor and supply costs.
  • Food Fusions – more and more chefs are experimenting with try new cuisines and combining different styles of cooking. The possibilities are endless!
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Don’t Wait! Check Out the Richmond Jewish Food Festival!

Post originally appeared on WRIC.com

The Richmond Jewish Food Festival is back for one day only this weekend! Make sure to pre-order your food for pick up!

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Rich Goldberg and his wife have been with the Richmond Jewish Food Festival since day one. He attributes the evolution of the festival to his wife, Diane. “It was my wife’s idea to resurrect it from a previous incarnation,” Goldberg explained.

Goldberg said that the food festival originated at his synagogue, Keneseth Beth Israel, where it was put on annually for six years before the popularity of the festival outgrew the space available at the site.

“We just kept growing and growing until we outgrew the synagogue,” Goldberg described. “We decided to make it at a more appropriate location… this way we could consider it more of a Jewish community event.

The Richmond Jewish Food Festival now resides at The Weinstein Jewish Community Center, 5403 Monument Ave.

After its first year at the community center, the festival fully filled that space as well. Goldberg said that, in the inside of the center, there is a large auditorium where people would take their food to eat after ordering. They also had to set up heated tents around the outside of the community center to accommodate the amount of people attending.

“It’s 6,000-square-feet of tent space just for serving food,” he stated.

On average, over the two days of the festival, Goldberg said that around 10,000 people come by to take part and sample the array of foods offered.

After a hiatus in 2020, this year, Goldberg said the festival will look a little different:

  • In order to keep both attendees and volunteers safe, this year the 14th Annual Jewish Food Festival will be a one-day take home, “Heat n’ Eat” style event.
  • Guests are asked to order their food in advance off of a set menu online. They will then pick up their pre-cooked food at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center on Sunday, Jan. 16 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. No cash will be accepted.
  • Many regular menu items of the past will not be available due to cooking restraints, but fan favorites such as beef brisket, knish and stuffed cabbage will remain on this year’s menu.

“There are some restaurants around town that might serve some of these things, but these are authentic things and they are cooked by normal people,” Goldberg explained. “We don’t have any chefs on-hand or anything like that, its just the kinds of food that we would eat on our Sabbath, on our holidays, cooked by the people who do this normally for their family.”

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RVA: A Hidden Culinary Gem!

We just came across an article from Forbes called “10 Reasons Why Richmond, Virginia Is A Hidden Culinary Gem” – we loved it so much we wanted to make sure we shared the highlights on our blog!

Some fun places to stay!

Quirk Hotel Richmond
Quirk Hotel Richmond 
QUIRK HOTEL RICHMOND

The Jefferson Hotel

“From the moment you enter the lobby accented with Tiffany stained glass, marble columns, and of course, a statue of Thomas Jefferson, you’ll know why this historic grande dame is one of the top hotels in town. But dazzling design is just the beginning. The service is polished, yet warm, and thanks to a sweeping renovation wrapped in 2017 – the accommodations and common areas now balance old-world elegance with contemporary comforts. While I appreciated the entrance foyer, ample space, and table for dining and working in my Grand Premier Room, it was the marble-clad bathroom decked out with a deep soaking tub, vanity mirrors with TV screens, and two vanities that really dazzled. For an unforgettable night out: look no further than Lemaire, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant specializing in elevated New American cuisine crafted with local meat and produce.”

Forbes.com

Quirk Hotel Richmond

Richmond finally got the hip boutique hotel it deserved when Quirk opened in 2015 in the Arts & Design District. Owned by hotelier couple Ted and Katie Ukrop, the property seamlessly blends the old and new. You’ll see signs of the hotel’s former life as a department store throughout, from the original ironwork staircase to the 13-foot limestone arches. The 73 rooms are appointed with a whimsical mix of materials and colors (including a hefty dose of Quirk’s signature pink), along with locally-sourced artwork. The Lobby Bar, which is currently open for weekend brunch and dinner, turns out globe-trotting small plates of Gochujang Roasted Squash, Provolone Pimento Dip, and Ricotta Gnudi. Pop into Quirk Gallery to check out up-and-coming talent and score some unique gifts.

Forbes.com

Some good eats!

Besides dome fun places to stay, Forbes shows us some amazing restaurants you must try! There’s definitely too many to choose from, but here’s some samples!

Adarra Basque Spanish Tapas Restaurant Richmond
Restaurant Adarra
 NICK HANCOCK

Restaurant Adarra

Owned by partners in work and life Lyne and Randall Doetzer, Jackson Ward’s Restaurant Adarra is an increasingly rare restaurant that suits all types of eaters and occasions. The design is warm and handsome, with exposed brick, lots of dark wood, and a cozy bar that begs diners to linger long after their meal is done. The food menu takes inspiration from Spain’s Basque country, and features traditional, ingredient-drive bites like Pintxos Gilda, marinated anchovies (boquerones), and assorted conservas, while the wine list skews natural and organic.

Lehja

Don’t be put off Lehja’s shopping mall location, because you’ll be rewarded with traditional and creative Indian food that extends beyond the standbys of chicken tikka masala and saag paneer. For something original, order off the contemporary section of the menu. The best-selling Deconstructed Butter Chicken, for example, smothers roasted free-range chicken breast with a rich, nut-based Makhni sauce and sauteed greens.

Longoven

Some of the country’s buzziest restaurants were born of humble beginnings as pop-ups. That’s the case with Longoven, which started as a pop-up series at Sub Rosa Bakery, and later opened as a brick-and-mortar in Scott’s Addition to much acclaim in 2018. Though the service is super attentive, and the dishes as easy on the eyes as they are on the palate, the restaurant feels intimate and convival – not formal or stuffy. And when the newly-revamped patio opens this weekend, there will be another good reason to book a table.

L'Opossum French Restaurant Richmond James Beard David Shannon
L’Opossum
 BETTY CLICKER PHOTOGRAPHY

L’Opossum

There’s lots of words you could use to describe this French restaurant in Oregon Hill helmed by chef David Shannon. But the one word locals and out-of-towners seem to repeat over and over again is fun. The design is and eclectic and unforgettable, anchored by David statues, phallic stained-glass window, and Andy Warhol wallpaper. Fittingly, the kitchen is sending out equally imaginative European fare with cheeky names like Vegan Orgy On Texas Beach and Cocky Yet Classic And So Very Comfy-Cozy Coq Au Vin.

Perly’s

A contemporary spin on the classic Jewish deli, Perly’s offers familiar dishes (think matzo ball soup and potato latkes) alongside original creations like the Jewish Sailor. Perfect for the heartiest appetites, the oversized sandwich generously layers pastrami, beef sausage, and chicken liver on toasted rye bread. In the mood for a nosh? Try the Jewish Egg Rolls, which are stuffed with chopped corned beef, kishka, and sauerkraut, and paired with honey mustard schmaltz and amba sauce for dipping.

Sub Rosa Bakery

Run by siblings Evrim and Evin Dogu, this charming bakery and cafe in historic Church Hill has perfected the art of baking. And how? First, the Dogus only use regionally-grown heirloom grains. Then, they take things further by milling on-site, and baking everything in the wood-fired masonry oven. While the buttery, puffy, and gorgeously layered croissants are spectucular, don’t pass up on the Pide Flatbread, Pogaca, and Lamb Börek that pay homage to the Dogus’ Turkish roots.

ZZQ

This casual joint is proof positive you don’t have to be in Texas to score some seriously solid barbeque. Because at ZZQ, it isn’t just about tender, dry-rubbed brisket. There’s also racks of peppery ribs, and smoky, spicy sausages. (Fun fact: the three meats are widely known as the Texas Trinity.) And the side dishes, like the collards cooked with blackstrap molasses, hot sauce, and bacon, are so flavorful they stand out on their own.

Forbes.com

There is so much to check out in RVA! Make sure you check out all of the amazing local spots – you won’t be disappointed!

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It’s GivingTuesday! Make YOUR impact on the world today and everyday!

Today is GivingTuesday, a movement created just 9 short years ago to inspire people to make a difference in the world, both big and small!  The organization says:“GIVINGTUESDAY IS A MOVEMENT THAT UNLEASHES THE POWER OF RADICAL GENEROSITY AROUND THE WORLD.

GivingTuesday reimagines a world built upon shared humanity and generosity.

Our global network collaborates year-round to inspire generosity around the world, with a common mission to build a world where generosity is part of everyday life.

Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts, and everyone has something to give.”

So whether you do something as simple as checking on your neighbor and offering help or creating your own charitable organization, no act is too small or too big.  The world needs all of the kindness it can get right now – and that starts with us….and you.

To learn more about GivingTuesday and its impact, check out https://www.givingtuesday.org/

Paul Davis restoration
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Virtual Restaurant? What’s That?!

Story appeared on 6News Richmond.

RICHMOND, Va. — To say Daquan and Nicole Woodberry have a lot of irons in the fire would be an understatement. The chef and entrepreneur power couple hopes to transform the way Richmond orders food with both the LoCo food delivery app and virtual restaurants.

“A virtual restaurant is essentially a restaurant within a restaurant. It thrives and operates solely off of delivery platforms,” Dequan, who goes by Chef DQ, explained. “So if you go on any of the delivery apps such as [his app] LoCo, Uber Eats, GrubHub and DoorDash. And you’re like, hey, I want fried chicken sandwiches, and you’re scrolling down and you’ll see [his new brand] Absurd Bird pop up. Well, you’ll be able to order. And that food will be made at [his restaurant] RVA Cafe and it’ll be delivered to you and you may or may not know is coming from RVA Cafe. So the big thing here is a lot of bigger chains and a lot of bigger corporations are getting into this. Maybe people have heard of Hootie’s Burger Bar, that’s a virtual restaurant from Hooters. But you walk into Hooters and they’re going to look at you like you’re crazy If you come ask them for a Hootie’s burger. They’re like, we don’t know what that is, the servers are sometimes unaware. So this is how the world is changing. And it was happening way before COVID. But you know, being honest, COVID accelerated that process pretty much five times over.”

Interview with Daquan and Nicole Woodberry on “Eat It, Virginia! with Scott and Robey”

Daquan, who served in the Marines, said he learned his work ethic from his father Maurice and was inspired to follow his dreams by his wife Nicole.

“When I say she saved my entire life she did. I was in a really dark space. I had just come out of the Marine Corps. I was actually injured. So I’m more than thankful, that God spared life on that end and I’m still able to function because I have friends that can’t,” Daquan said. “She really refreshed my life. She really came and poured life back into me and kind of encouraged me to go and find what I love to do. So that’s actually what led me to be a chef. She said do what you love. And, you know, she supported me the whole entire way.”

Several years and businesses later, Daquan admits it’s more than support.

“Now she’s the real boss of the whole business,” he said. “I just sit here and look pretty. She does everything else.”

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It’s Richmond Restaurant Week, Y’all!!

It’s time to show your love for your local faves! Richmond Restaurant Week is here through October 31. And this time, not only do you get to enjoy the amazing food your local places offer, you get to support the community as well. This is how it works:

How it works:

FIRST, CHOOSE YOUR RESTAURANT(S)

With over a two dozen local restaurants participating, you are sure to find a longtime favorite or brand new love to explore and taste. Each restaurants’ menu will vary depending on their current offerings. There won’t be any special meals for RRWeek, but there will still be loads of incredibly delicious fare to choose from.

SECOND, CHOOSE YOUR DINING LOCATION

Each restaurant’s locations will vary, but you may have the option to eat inside, al fresco, or opt for take out or delivery. Spruce up your weeknight meal with delivery, plan a social distanced weekend event, or grab takeout and enjoy a picnic outdoors! The options are endless.

THIRD, CHOOSE YOUR DONATION AMOUNT

Finally, when you make your order, don’t forget to add a donation to Feed More! Each participating restaurant will have $5 donations available on their online menu for the duration of RRWeek. A $5 donation provides up to 20 meals for a neighbor in need. Feeling generous? Toss a few fivers in the cart and help Feed More give even more to our community’s most vulnerable populations.

Visit https://www.rrweek.com/dine-local-2021 for more information! Bon Appetit!

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New Restaurant Alert: Birdie’s!

We love hearing about new restaurants and spreading the word! This week, we’re learning all about Birdie’s – a coffee and sandwich joint by day and an oyster bar by night – opening in Common House social club!

Article appeared on RichmondBizSense.com.

A coffee house and seafood restaurant named Birdie’s will open in November at Common House in downtown Richmond. (Courtesy of Kate Thompson/Common House)

Delayed by the pandemic, a restaurant is finally set to land in Common House.

Birdie’s, which will be both a coffee house and seafood joint that specializes in oysters, is expected to open in early November at 305 W. Broad St.

The first floor restaurant will be open to diners who aren’t members of Common House, a Charlottesville-based co-working and social club brand that opened its Richmond outpost in October 2020.

Derek Sieg

“It’s very much its own standalone enterprise and experience,” said Derek Sieg, who co-founded Common House with Ben Pfinsgraff, of Birdie’s.

During the day the space will serve coffee and sandwiches, and during the evening it will operate as an oyster bar. The space will also feature a wine cellar.

“It’s things we love that we wanted here,” Sieg said. “I love coffee, Ben loves wine and we both love oysters and seafood.”

The restaurant plans to have seating for 20 people in its 1,000-square-foot space.

While the finer details of the menu and pricing are still being hashed out, sandwiches are expected to sell for $10 to $15, while seafood entrees are expected to be priced at $15 to $25.

Birdie’s won’t roast its own coffee. Details on its coffee offerings are “forthcoming,” a spokeswoman said.

The restaurant is expected to open with a dedicated staff of 10 people.

A distinct restaurant brand has been in the cards for Common House since it settled on its Richmond location. But the pandemic delayed the restaurant’s opening.

Ben Pfinsgraff

“We wanted to open Birdie’s around the time the club opened but with COVID that wasn’t a viable path forward,” Pfinsgraff said.

Birdie’s is the first and so far only restaurant concept to be paired with a Common House location. The size and location of Common House’s Richmond location, which is 25,000 square feet, spurred conversations about ways to fill out the space.

“It felt like what the neighborhood would really benefit from,” Sieg said. “Common House as an experience is its own thing and it’s not like a small bustling packed bar with a casual experience. It was exciting to think of a new concept.”

In addition to locations in Charlottesville and Richmond, Common House opened a third location in May in Chattanooga. The Richmond location has more than 1,500 members.

Regular membership is $150 a month for an individual. Members who are under 30 or students pay a $75 monthly fee for an individual membership. An out-of-town membership (for people who live an hour or more away and expect to use the space infrequently) is $50 a month for an individual.

Also in the neighborhood, a new small-plates restaurant is taking shape in the former Bistro 27 space.

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How to Optimize Your Restaurant’s Google My Business Listing

The days of hungry people driving down the street looking for a restaurant to try are gone. Now, people turn to the internet; specifically, Google, to help them find the perfect place to eat. 

Google has become the go-to source for people discovering new restaurants. This is because an increase of 46% of Google searches are now locally focused. These searches often consist of adding terms like “near me” or “in [City Name]” onto the end of the search phrase to limit results to local businesses.

In this post, we’re going to focus on a tool every restaurant should be fully capitalizing on to successfully market their business online and increase their profitability — Google My Business.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business (GMB) is a free and easy-to-use tool that allows you to promote your business online through Google. With GMB, you create a Business Profile for your restaurant, and it helps connect you with customers on Google Search and Maps. 

Why Is It Important?

Local search SEO (search engine optimization) on Google is one of the most powerful tools to increase your restaurant’s online visibility and attract new customers. 

When people are in a hurry to find answers, they rely on the top of the search engine results that Google gives them. So, no matter how great your restaurant’s website is, you may still fail to capture curious consumers if they see outdated information in your GMB listing.

Creating and maintaining your Google My Business profile is well worth the effort since it comes with a whole host of benefits, including increasing your business’s visibility and making a more positive, powerful first impression.

The Top 8 Google My Business Features for Restaurants

Hopefully, you’ve already claimed your GMB listing and added your necessary business information. Your Business Profile should have your restaurant’s name, address, phone number, and hours. 

This is a great place to start, but there are plenty of other opportunities to enhance your GMB listing.

Let’s go over GMB features you should take advantage of. These will help increase your online exposure, search ranking, and customer base.

1. Description

The first feature that will enhance your listing is adding a business description. This section is your opportunity to tell people what makes your restaurant unique. Here are a few talking points you should consider including in your description:

  • Cuisine: First, make sure you tell customers what kind of food you serve. Does your restaurant serve a regional cuisine like Chinese or Indian? Or a fusion cuisine like Tex-Mex? Also, make sure to include a specialized cuisine like vegan or gluten-free if it applies to you. Here is where you want to let diners know what kind of food they can expect to find on your menu. Stating your cuisine plays a significant role in people’s results for ‘near me’ searches. 
  • Atmosphere: What’s the atmosphere or vibe in your restaurant? Are you a fast-casual joint, a quaint cafe, or an upscale restaurant? The atmosphere of a restaurant is just as important to many people as the food they serve. 

The maximum length is 750 characters, but it will be shortened if you write a longer description. Be sure to frontload the most crucial information, but try to keep it brief and to-the-point. 

Here’s a screenshot of what Magnolia Table’s GMB listing looks like for reference to the right. Their description showcases their garden-to-table cuisine, hip vibe and is straightforward. 

2. Reservations & Ordering

Another great way to optimize your GMB listing is using the reservation feature. The reservation feature allows you to include a booking link in your profile.

Adding a booking button to your GMB listing is an excellent way to streamline your guests’ reservation process. You want to have an online reservation system that integrates with Google, such as CAKE’s Guest Manager

Take a look below and notice that the booking times shown are from the restaurant’s reservations system through Guest Manager.

Similarly, GMB listings have also become a place where guests can order food online. Your restaurant’s online ordering system link can also be on your GMB profile. With this, GMB becomes a customer’s one-stop-shop for whatever they need to do to enjoy your restaurant’s food.

3. Menu

Did you know 93% of people look at online menus? Because of this, your restaurant needs to be using the menu feature on GMB. There are two different ways you can use this feature. 

The first method is to insert a direct link to your menu page on your website, as Magnolia Table does above. 

Another method is adding a menu button that will list out your food and drink items. The menu editor lets you add, edit names, descriptions, and prices. It even enables you to break up your menus by categories, such as cocktails, appetizers, and entrees. 

In this area, customers can also add menu photos that will appear above the listed menu. We will show an example in the next section!

4. Photos and Videos

If you want to get people’s attention, you should add some visual interest to your listing in the form of photos and videos.

These visuals don’t have to be of the food itself, though pictures of your most visually appealing dishes are certainly a great thing to feature. People also like seeing pictures of your restaurant’s exterior and interior so they can get an idea of what the seating and atmosphere are.

When you add pictures or videos to your GMB listing, Google will ask you to categorize the photo. For example, you could identify a picture of your restaurant’s front as an exterior photo of the business. 

Here are Magnolia’s featured menu photos on top of their listed menu. As you can see, a lot of these features complement each other and work together to showcase your restaurant’s best offerings. 

This allows people to click on categories of images and videos. It is helpful when there are many visuals associated with your restaurant listing, and they’re looking for something in particular.

Anyone can add pictures and videos of your business online, which will show up in your Google My Business listing. But don’t worry — you can control the visuals people see first when they Google your restaurant. You can also flag a photo for removal if it was actually taken at a different restaurant or is somehow inappropriate.

5. Posts

An underutilized feature of Google My Business that you don’t want to miss out on is Google posts. This feature allows you to create and share announcements. 

Think of these posts as social media status updates. Google Posts can include text, images, and even call-to-action buttons. 

Not sure what to post about on GMB? Here are some ideas:

  • Events: You can post about upcoming events like virtual cooking classes or live music. 
  • General updates: Update your customers on the latest COVID restrictions and safety precautions. Open for dine-in or only take-out? Whatever the update, let customers know.
  • Promotions: Let people know about any special promotions or discounts you have going on in Google Posts. Feature your seasonal menu items and limited-time offers.

6. Q&A Section

The Q&A section on your Google My Business listing is where any user can post a question about your restaurant. With this feature, anyone can also post answers in response. So, it would be best if you closely watched this section to provide fast and accurate responses. You can do this most effectively through the GMB app.

Q&A’s will stay on your listing, so you want to provide thorough answers that future users will find helpful. Also, it’s important to pay attention to the questions people ask. It can give you insight into details you may want to add to your website or social media profiles. For example, if you’re an ice cream parlor and someone asks whether you offer any dairy-free options, you may want to identify dairy-free items on your online menu.

7. Reviews

GMB lets customers review your business through your listing and enables you to respond to them. It is imperative to respond to both good and bad reviews as much as you can. 

Why is this important? 93% of consumers say online reviews influence their purchase decisions. 

Reviews help build your credibility, and customers tend to prefer businesses that engage with them.

8. Insights

Last but certainly not least, is the insights feature. Once you have your listing created, you’ll get a dashboard with invaluable data on your customer’s activity.  

Suppose you’re curious about how many people are booking tables through GMB. In that case, you can look at your booking history through your scheduling provider, which should let you know what percentage of reservations were made directly through your GMB listing.

Google Insights gives you several different ways to understand how customers interact with your listing. Here’s a list from Google:

GMB provides answers to all these actions and requests. This insight can help you see what strategies are working and which need some attention. 

Google My Business Updates for COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses to deal with shutdowns, limited opening, and operations have changed indefinitely. Luckily, with GMB, you can communicate these changes with your customers ahead of time. 

The newest addition to GMB is the healthy & safety attribute in your listing. In this section, businesses can let their customers know about the safety measures they are enforcing, such as: 

  • Masks required for customers or staff
  • Temperature checks required for customers or staff
  • Appointments or reservations required

Another update within your listing you can use is the COVID-19 Post. With so many changes due to lockdowns, this post type will let you update your customers, and Google labels it as “COVID-19 related information.”

If you have a temporarily closed restaurant location, you should make this update in GMB as well. 

Takeaway

Adding the necessary information like your address and hours to GMB is only scratching the surface of what it can do to help you market your restaurant effectively and pull in new customers. 

Utilize GMB to its fullest potential by adding the features above to your Business Profile. Hungry diners will have all the information they need to go straight from their phone to your restaurant. 

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RVA Food News & Events!

Article originally appeared on RichmondMagazine.com.

Pizza_eileen-mellon.jpg
From “bar-style” pies to loaded hot dogs and plant-based junk food, check out the lineup of pop-ups and weekend events below. (Photo by Eileen Mellon

Sweet Carolina

Boasting a culinary diary packed with stories rooted in the Southern coastal states, Robyn Carter of Carolina Girl Catering offers a one-way ticket to the low country via shrimp and grits, gumbo, and more comfort-food classics. A North Carolina native, Carter relocated to Richmond from Austin, Texas, and is connecting with her new community through pop-up events and, eventually, a brick-and-mortar restaurant. (Richmond magazine)

For the Love of Diners

Reliable sources for wallet-friendly dishes, breakfast all day and retro mugs brimming with coffee from bottomless pots — a few of my favorite things — diners are a special place. Writer Genevelyn Steele also has heart-eyes for these old-school haunts, recently tracking down some local go-tos for chocolate-chip pancakes, burgers, fried fish and more. (Richmond magazine)

Take Pride

These Richmond neighborhoods are throwing a double dose of pride celebrations this Saturday, Sept. 18.

Returning for year three, the Scott’s Addition Pride Crawl kicks off at noon and features over a dozen of the neighborhood’s boozy businesses from The Veil Brewing Co. to Blue Bee Cider. Snag a passport to keep track of your libation journey, which grants access to a special drawing.

In Carytown, make pride pit stops at the legendary watering hole and karaoke dance palace Babe’s for dollar-off drinks, or head to Pho Luca’s for discounted apps to soak up all the hooch. Bonus: Also joining the Carytown Pride Crawl is Safe Space Market

Cooking and Comedy 

Beloved food nerd Alton Brown makes a return to Richmond on Oct. 28 during his fall tour, “Beyond the Eats.” Catch the Bill Nye of the culinary world and longtime host of shows including “Iron Chef America” and “Good Eats” at the Carpenter Theatre for a show that promises a smorgasbord of cooking, comedy and audience interaction. Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 17, at 10 a.m.

ICYMI

Richmond is home to the first-ever winner of Food Network’s “Ben & Jerry’s: Clash of the Cones.” Impressing judges from Ben and Jerry to rapper Ludacris, the owner of North Side’s Ruby Scoops recently took home the ice cream crown. (Richmond magazine)

Initially introducing a menu dedicated to fried chicken at their downtown restaurant Lillie Pearl, husband-and-wife duo Mike Lindsey and Kimberly Love-Lindsey recently rolled out a Short Pump eatery that embraces the crispy concept: Buttermilk and Honey. (Richmond magazine)

The culinary director of craft butchery Jackie Wayne Beef Co. is a big fan of sustainability and Texas-style chill. (Richmond magazine)

Last call for tickets to the annual Birdhouse Market Farm Dinner on Sept. 19, a local feast presented by Richmond chefs featuring produce from area purveyors with proceeds benefiting the midweek market.

It seems good things come in threes at Bell Greek restaurant. With one location in Midlothian, and a second opened in Chester in 2018, the family-owned eatery is now eyeing the West End. Look for the third location to debut at 7011 Three Chopt Road in the coming months. (Richmond BizSense)

The market game is strong in Richmond, and another is planning to join the party. Look for DevoeDid Events to unveil a grab-and-go concept, the Southern-tinged market Hickory & Oak, in the months to come at 10614 Patterson Ave. Also on the market horizon: A project from Upper Shirley Vineyards’ Carlisle Bannister and a smoky venture from Redemption BBQ.

After a three-year run, Don’t Look Back South is shutting its doors. The last day to score a potato taco or crispy carnitas at that location is tentatively set for Oct. 30.

Upcoming Events

  • Fall Fest, Starr Hill Brewery (Sept. 16-19): Channel autumn vibes via an Oktoberfest lager and a maple brown ale.
  • Tim’s Pizza Pop-up, Hatch Cafe (Sept. 17): Friday pie day returns with a weekly dose of the pop-up that dishes out squares and rounds. 
  • Community Health Block Party, Brewer’s Cafe (Sept. 18): Free COVID-19 testing and vaccines (with coffee drinks and juice for those who get a shot) available during the two-hour event from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Brookland Park Block Party, Brookland Park Boulevard (Sept. 18): Shop, snack and sip the North Side neighborhood. Fun fact: Cherry-vanilla sarsaparilla floats are totally a thing at Ninja Kombucha.
  • Sincero Pop-up, The Veil Brewing Co. (Sept. 18): Tacos and beer
  • Texas BBQ Meat Market, The Smoky Mug (Sept. 18): Saturday, smoked meats, specialty cocktails
  • Sour Aesthetics Release, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery (Sept. 19): A special release of the collab between Hardywood and Uncap Everything — a sour ale with peach, guava and a twist of lime — featuring art and tunes
  • Pride Richmond Moon Market, Stone Brewing Co. (Sept. 19): A celebration of local LGBTQ+ makers with a portion of draft proceeds benefiting Diversity Richmond
  • Unlocking RVA Brunch on the Plaza, Kanawha Plaza (Sept. 19): Brunch takes on a whole new meaning during the outdoor dance and dine party.
  • Horne Dogs Pop-up Part Two, Don’t Look Back South (Sept. 20): Hot dogs all ways, from deep-fried to topped with baked beans
  • Uniquely Different Sweets, Publix Apron Cooking School (Sept. 23): Learn to whip up everything from baked Alaska to mango hand pies.
  • Plant-based Junk Food in Richmond, Vasen Brewing Co. (Sept. 23): National company Vuture Food brings the comfort with vegan chicken sandwiches and loaded fries.
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The Latest Food News in RVA!

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If vegan risotto gets you excited, head below for the plant-based details surrounding this weekend’s Soul Vegan Block Party. (Photo by Eileen Mellon)

Post originally appeared on RichmondMagazine.com.

All of the latest and greatest food happenings and events around RVA you may have missed!

Dairy Queen 

Among the fans of local ice cream artisan Rabia Kamara’s cool concoctions? No big deal, just celebrities Kevin Bacon and Ludacris and the brains behind the Ben & Jerry’s empire. The VCU grad and co-owner of the North Side ice cream shop Ruby Scoops recently competed on and won Food Network’s “Ben & Jerry’s: Clash of the Cones” and has her eyes set on more sweet ventures in the future. (Richmond magazine)

Fry, Fry Again

Fried chicken is the star of the menu at the newly opened Buttermilk and Honey, a pandemic pivot turned pop-up success and now brick-and-mortar restaurant from husband-and-wife team Mike Lindsey and Kimberly Love-Lindsey. The owners of downtown’s Lillie Pearl and, more recently, Pop’s Market on Grace are giving us serious power couple vibes. (Richmond magazine)

Prime Cut

Dog treats, riffs on the sloppy Joe and ZZ Top may not be the first things that come to mind when one thinks of a craft butchery, but Jackie Wayne Beef Co. Culinary Director Garrett Eagleton says otherwise. Second in command at the local butcher and meat delivery service, Eagleton talks Texas chili, his relocation to Richmond and more meaty topics in our interview. (Richmond magazine)

Plant Power

After making its debut in 2019 and then having to cancel last year due to the pandemic, the plant-based party that aims to promote and diversify the vegan lifestyle is back. On Sept. 11, the Soul Vegan Block Party will host a five-hour event at Chimborazo Park that features a hefty lineup of plant-friendly eateries and vendors including Favour Cookie Co., SoulSmith Kombucha, Nomad Deli & Catering Co., 1115 Mobile Kitchen, and more. Come hungry, and come curious.

On the Farm Again

While their names may be familiar and their produce may be part of your weekly market haul, Real Local RVA’s 5th annual farm tour presents the opportunity to dig a little deeper with some area growers. Mark your calendars for Sept.18 and head to Mechanicsville’s Charlotte Acres — home to Shine Farms, Real Roots Food Systems and Hazel Witch Farm — for an outdoor nosh-and-learn session. Tickets are on sale now.

ICYMI

Get your croissant, cookie and challah on at the recently debuted Up All Night Bakery. The walk-up window from a seasoned pastry chef is open two days a week in Lakeside. (Richmond magazine)

The owner of Salsas Don Sebastian adores arepas and has a soft spot for spaghetti al limone. Learn more about the Venezuela native and mom in our latest spotlight. (Richmond magazine)

Monday restaurant closures can crush those dining dreams, but we’ve tracked down a collection of spots that stay open, and ones to skip, to help start the week right. (Richmond magazine)

Later, ‘maters. Savor tomato season before it’s too late, with a flaky tart recipe from The Roosevelt and tips on picking the ripest of the bunch. (Richmond magazine)

Drumroll, please. The winner of Gearharts Fine Chocolates’ custom flavor contest, a celebration of the chocolatier’s 20th anniversary that garnered a few hundred entries, is Strawberry Chutney. Expect the new bar to drop in coming months. The runner-up choices were inspired, too, with Peanuts and Cola as well as Pear Sangria getting a nod from Gearharts.

For all those welcoming the changing leaves and sweatshirt weather, Starr Hill Brewery is right there with ya. Beginning Sept. 15, the Scott’s Addition rooftop bar will host its annual Fall Fest, five days of food trucks, live tunes and festive brews including Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and in a few weeks Longoven’s Andrew Manning will head to Chicago to join chefs Noah Sandoval of Oriole and Ryan Smith of Staplehouse for the third annual dinner to benefit Vibrant Emotional Health, an organization that works with people to help achieve mental and emotional well-being.

RVA Love

A spoof on one of fast-food chain Chick-fil-A’s top-sellers, the Gay-Fil-A chicken sandwich at Carver dive bar and eatery Cobra Cabana recently got a shout-out in Ultimate East Coast Gay Road Trip Guide from Thrillist. Each week a portion of proceeds from sales of the strictly Sunday sammy goes to Side by Side, a local nonprofit that supports Virginia’s queer youth.

Upcoming Events

  • Sprezza Cucina Pop-up, The Coop (Sept. 11): Look for ricotta gnocchi, Bolognese pappardelle and more from this rustic Italian pop-up; preordering required.
  • Keya & Co. Pop-up, Tabol Brewing (Sept. 11): Ghee masala mac and cheese and frooti boxes are on the menu, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the NYC Fire Department.
  • The Cookout Drag Brunch, Charlotte’s Southern Deli & Tapas (Sept. 11): Start Saturday off in style with brunch and performances.   
  • Cider Festival, Back Bay’s Farmhouse Brewing Co. (Sept. 11): Venture to Virginia Beach for a gathering of cideries from the commonwealth, including Richmond-area favorites Buskey, Courthouse Creek and Blue Bee.
  • Royal Pig Pop-upThe Veil Brewing Co. Forest Hill Avenue (Sept. 12): Cambodian comfort food; menu TBA
  • High on the HogPublix Cooking School (Sept. 13): Learn how to prepare pork all ways during this hands-on class.
  • Summer Evening Artisan Market, Main Line Brewery (Sept. 15): Catch Tiffany’s Food Truck, Loquito Coquito cocktails and more.