Welcome to Food News and welcome to its new Thursday time slot! We hope you're ready to eat for a good cause, slurp down some juleps and celebrate openings, anniversaries and more. (We certainly are.)
- STELLAAAAAAAAA. Now you can grab quality tzatziki to-go because Stella's Grocery opened Monday in the Near West End! The new specialty market, positioned just across the street from Stella's Restaurant, came about because Stella's owners Johnny and Katrina Giavos realized they needed a bigger prep kitchen and more working space for Stella Dikos, Katrina's mother and one of Richmond's culinary matriarchs. When the team noted that the location might be too roomy for a prep kitchen alone, the Giavoses decided to open a market, as well. Now that additional prep space sits behind a large cold case that holds tubs of avgolemono soup and dolmades, and in the next few weeks, gourmet deli sandwiches will find a home there, too. The market also offers smoothies, pastries baked daily, salads, casseroles and many of your favorite Stella's sides, plus market staples like dairy, baby food and household cleaners. "As far as what's inside, it was just an idea of what I like to see when I go into a market," says Katrina. "And then I asked all of the neighbors what they like to have. I just would like to be able to please everyone." Next week, expect rotisserie chicken and a full coffee bar serving up Blanchard's via Modbar coffee and espresso machine, which, according to Katrina, will be the first one on the East Coast. Hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, though the grocery might begin opening at 7 a.m. in the next few weeks. OPA!
Photo by Stephanie Breijo
Here's a photo because this space is beautiful
- And in more openings, Kuba Kuba Dos started serving in the West End, immediately closed due to incorrect permit filing, then reopened. Check out some photos of the space here, then head on over for a roast pork omelet and a slice of tres leches cake. (Richmond.com/Richmond Times Dispatch)
- Coming soon to the West End is Backyard Grill, which will serve up burgers, grilled chicken and brisket, which we hope will open in time for prime cookout season. (Style Weekly)
- It was a week for food startups because not one but two recently hit Richmond. Vibeats, an image-heavy online dining guide, launched on Monday from a team including KIMKIM Sauce's founder, Steve Kim. Eventually you'll get tailored recommendations a la Netflix, but with restaurants. And non-local startup Zapper is now available in nine Richmond restaurants, allowing guests to pay digitally via QR codes printed onto receipts. The future is now, apparently. (Richmond magazine/Richmond BizSense)
- There's a new Sunday farmers market in town, brought to you by the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen and GrowRVA. Sunday Brunch Market launches this Sunday, May 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and yes, there will be brunch-like items available for purchase. “This new venture is especially exciting because it will allow us to showcase amazing local talent as we bring the community and our neighbors together for afternoons of good food, art, activities and music,” Cultural Arts Center President K. Alferio says in a news release. You'll find food trucks, art, kid-friendly activities, vendors and more at the Cultural Arts Center.
- Saison Market turns 1 today! To celebrate, the Jackson Ward spot is offering its employee discount (20 percent!) to everyone on any purchase of "adult beverages" today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday). This means 20 percent off bitters, 20 percent off wine, 20 percent off beer, 20 percent off cocktails; As far as booze-related products go, it's 20 percent off "err'thing," says co-owner Jay Bayer. What could be better? The Saison Market patio just opened. Go on and treat yo'self with a drink outside today. (Saison Market)
- And The Blue Goat recently received a national shout out, mentioned as a dining destination in the latest issue of Bon Appetit. Congratulations! (The Blue Goat)
- And last but certainly not least, our Best & Worst polls are now open for our A&E categories! Vote for your favorite festivals, reporters (it doesn't have to be anyone from Richmond mag), murals, museums, Richmond's own version of Leslie Knope, etc. Here's a little something to sweeten the deal: Vote, and you'll be entered to win a two-night stay at the Gaylord National Harbor. (Pro tip: National Harbor has a Ferris wheel.)
Ready to eat some pizza for a good cause? Your weekend events are here:
- You can catch a handful of Derby Day events this weekend and we've got a handy guide to the best of 'em. Pick your hat, pick your horse, pick your julep. (Richmond magazine)
- Saturday, drift (OK, drive) across the river to The Compleat Cyder's release party at Camden's Dogtown Market (unless, of course, you're already across the river; then you can just head there, land-route only). There will be food, there will be live music, there will be cider made from a Colonial recipe. (Blue Bee Cider)
- On Sunday, May 3, head to Sub Rosa Bakery (with the assist from Pizza 2000) for a PIZZA DUEL to benefit one Jay Moritz, who is battling cancer. You can help him by purchasing pizza and having a good time. There is nothing not to love/support about this. (Church Hill People's News)
- On Monday, May 4, get your Mayo on at a Cuatro de Mayo beer dinner with Ardent Craft Ales and Southbound. Expect five courses full of plates like papusas with lamb chorizo, whole-hog tacos with all the fixins, octopus salad with ramp verde and so much more. (Please excuse me, I'm drooling.) Tickets are $70 and include food and beer pairings. Perhaps if the weather's nice, you'll be able to eat outdoors on Ardent's patio? (RVA Beermeister)
- And looking ahead to next Saturday, May 9, you can swirl your way through local wineries at the Central Virginia Wine Festival at Innsbrook Pavilion. What's that? Why am I talking about this so far in advance? And you really want to go for free? It's time for a TICKET GIVEAWAY. (BOOM POW EXPLOSIONS AND FIREWORKS) Send an email with the subject line "Wine, oh!" to firstname.lastname@example.org for you chance to win; I've got two tickets with your name on 'em.
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- How do you feel about junk food? How do you feel about junk food that's been plated so beautifully it'll make you weep tears of Capri Sun? Instagram enigma/celebrity Chef Jacques La Merde runs an outrageously funny social media account with over 60,000 followers. Stephanie Ganz of RVANews interviewed this mysterious person about culinary inspiration and soigné, with great results. (RVANews)
- Sure, cat cafes are now a big trend here in North America, but did you know that Amsterdam has pub cats? I want to pet them all. (Munchies)
- File under "probably handy": pasta myths, busted. (The Kitchn)
- And if you're more than slightly terrified of, but are still somewhat intrigued by, Taco Bell's "biscuit tacos," you'll be pleased to hear that you can try one free on Cinco de Mayo. (I realize this is not the first Taco Bell news I've ever included in Food News, but I can't really help myself. I'm sorry. Wait, no, I'm not.) (Foodbeast)
'Til next time, go and see a bar about a horse this weekend.