This vegan fried "chicken" sandwich found a home in my belly, but more of Mean Bird's vegan and meat fried-chicken will find a home at the food truck's new brick-and-mortar restaurant soon. If you thought this was the only poultry news this week, read on. (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
This week, bird is the word. Whether it's the new yakitori-focused izakaya from The Rogue Gentlemen team or Mean Bird Food Truck's first restaurant, there's a lot of fowl, no foul. There's also moves, closures, eat-with-your-hands feasting and more:
- HEAR YE: This week saw some big news by way of The Rogue Gentlemen's crew, and it comes in the form of yakitori, bottled cocktails and late-night options along Broad. The team behind the Jackson Ward restaurant and craft cocktail bar is opening a second spot in the neighborhood, though Yaki — a modern izakaya and yakitori-ya — is a departure from Rogue's aesthetic moodiness, tasting menu and extensive cocktail list. This spring, Yaki will bring crisp white walls to 506 W. Broad St., the former Boka Tavern space, as well as morsels of grilled chicken, a limited selection of small plates, bottled cocktails, a handful of craft cocktails made to order, and pours of Japanese whiskey. With a projected opening of May 1, the new restaurant and watering hole is set to serve from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Monday to Saturday. Want to know more? Step right this way. (Richmond magazine)
- Speaking of chicken, Mean Bird Food Truck is coming to a brick-and-mortar near you, or at least it'll be near you if you're in the Fan. The popular truck serving up fried chicken, both vegan and non, will move into a forever home in the former Sticky ToGoGo location at 2232 W. Main St. "It's official! Mean Bird's next adventure — we're taking over the Sticky ToGoGo space on Main. Stay tuned for opening details," the team wrote via Facebook with a whole lot of heart emojis and a champagne emoji for good measure. "Shout out to all the friends, family and Mean Bird fans that helped us get here. 2017 just got a little more interesting."
- Over in Carytown, Burger Bach is on the move. At the start of June, find the popular burger, oyster and fries restaurant at 3426 W. Cary St., just a block east of its current Carytown location on Thompson. The move will essentially double the square footage of the current restaurant, and offer year-round outdoor seating. (Richmond BizSense)
- In closures: Union Table & Tap shuttered on Tuesday at 10498 Ridgefield Parkway in the Gleneagles Shopping Center, roughly one year after rebranding from owner Garland Tayor's previous restaurant in the space, The Urban Tavern. “It’s not for lack of trying,” he says in a news release. Employees have the option to relocate to the restaurateur's other business, Home Team Grill. The Union Table & Tap space is currently for sale. “There is definitely a market here for the right concept,” Taylor says.
- A very important James Beard Award update: The prestigious annual food awards amended Sub Rosa's semifinalist nod to now include co-owner and baker Evin Dogu, sister to Evrim — previously the only Sub Rosa representative nominated in the "Outstanding Baker" category. Now, both siblings will be recognized and considered for the award together; finalists in this category and others will be named on Wednesday, March 15. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- Speaking of culinary craftsmanship, there's a lot of love poured into the dishes around this city. Here, Rmag dining critic and contributor Genevelyn Steele dives into some of the area's most painstakingly prepared but entirely delicious plates, from Shelly's Food, Comida Latina's simmering goat birria with house-made salsa to the seven-day pastrami at Camden's Dogtown Market. (Richmond magazine)
- June 2 and 3 sees the return of Savor, the large-scale food-and-beverage pairing event held annually in D.C.'s National Building Museum. Each year, you'll find at least one collaborative beer made for the event, and this time around, Hardywood's teaming up with Colorado's New Belgium Brewing Co., and they're brewing right this very day. "The Brewers Association asked us to do it and suggested New Belgium as a partner brewery," Hardywood co-founder Patrick Murtaugh told Richmond mag contributor Robey Martin. "It's a big honor to work with them. We are brewing it today with Peter Bouckaert, their head brewer, here in Richmond. It is going to be a 10-percent Baltic Porter, a robust porter using a lager yeast strain. This is Savor's 10th anniversary so it's an even bigger thing. We're still working on the naming concept. There might be a limited amount available to the local market."
- And, a reminder: The inaugural Richmond Black Restaurant week begins on Monday! Find $15 prix-fixe lunch menus and $25 dinners at some of the region's exceptional black-owned-and-operated restaurants. Want more details? We've got you.
Get those eatin' pants ready because the weekend's events are HERE:
- This evening, make your way to Jackson Ward for the Saadia's Juicebox & Yoga Bar's grand opening celebration complete with samples, wine and class previews. (Personally, I'm intrigued by the belly acro-yoga and burlesque. (Saadia's Juicebox)
- Over in Scott's Addition, Black Heath Meadery is celebrating its second year serving up honey wine, and you can join in on the good times this evening from 3 to 8 p.m., tomorrow from 1 to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Also find the release of the meadery's latest: In a Jam, a blueberry and blackberry mead, and the Heat of Passion, a mead made with passion fruit and scotch bonnet peppers. (Black Heath Meadery)
- What's better than coffee? DOUBLE COFFEE. Start tomorrow morning with pour overs of Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.'s double release of the El Obraje geisha and the Finca El Nogal! Sample one or both and pick up one or both to enjoy at home. Fun runs from 10 a.m. to noon, and you can also snag some Nate's Bagels, all at 1903-A Westwood Ave. (Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co.)
- Tomorrow also marks the glorious return of ZZQ, that Texas-barbecue-inspired smoked meat church spreading the gospel of melt-in-your-mouth brisket. While the team is readying its new restaurant right next door to Ardent Craft Ales, you can catch them back at the brewery this Saturday beginning at noon! (I've told you once and I'll tell you again: Get there early to beat the line.) This go-around, the ZZQ team will be slinging brisket, pork spare ribs, smoked sausage, pulled pork, jalapeño mac 'n' cheese, potato salad, frijoles de charro and slaw. They'll also be serving operations manager Russell Cook's kolaches stuffed with greatness, and in tomorrow's case, they'll be stuffed with poppy seeds; strawberries and jalapeños; and lemon curd. The forthcoming restaurant's beverage director, Derek Salerno, even made some limited craft sodas for the occasion. Once more, with feeling, get there early. (ZZQ)
- Also on Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m., plant some seeds, literally. Hummingbird Gardens is hosting a seed swap at Perk! Coffee + Lunchbox, wherein you can trade seeds from your favorite fruits, vegetables and flowers for some that are new to you! (BONUS: Any unclaimed seeds will be donated to Renew Richmond.) Grab some coffee, pastries, sammiches and pimento cheese while you're there. (Hummingbird Gardens)
- Low-ticket warning: Next Sunday's Filipino feast by The Jackdaw only has 10 seats left, so although this is looking ahead one whole week, be warned that this Kamayan, eat-with-your-hands meal on is almost soooooold out. Grab your $50 ticket here and head to Citizen at 7 p.m. on March 12.
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- Food writing seems — and at times can be glamorous — which I'd posit is just one reason so many journalists and bloggers are drawn to it. Many feel an urgency to discuss and share and learn from food and the stories behind it, and some simply want to be heard. Whatever the reasons for choosing the trade, food coverage has become so trendy, so clamorous, that it's its own industry, no longer a beat. This piece in The Ringer takes a long, hard look at the state of food writing, just how it can sustain itself, and how it's become the massive media machine that it is today. Also included is a quote from Richmond mag contributor and man-about-town Jason Tesauro!
- In Haiti, spaghetti for breakfast is a traditional practice and I think I might just get on that train, too. Here's a great story on how the Italian dish became a staple in Haiti, and how the culture made it its own. #SpaghettiIsAnAlwaysFood. (Eater)
Till next time, all I want now is pasta, send help.