Please don't sue me, 20th Century Fox.
We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests: delicious food and libations to be enjoyed throughout the long weekend. Perhaps it's fate that next Monday is the Fourth of July, and we will once again be fighting hunger for our taste buds' freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution — but from annihilation.
July Fourth is a time when Americans hit the grills for cookouts, checkered tablecloths and crisp beer, and we've found some of the city's best specials, events and stock-up options to make sure you celebrate Independence Day most deliciously.
WE WILL NOT GO HUNGRY INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT.
- Belmont Butchery, 15 N. Belmont Ave.: You can bet on Belmont, which is stocked this weekend with house-made local-beef hot dogs ($16 per pound), plus bratwurst, jalapeño and cheddar sausages, state fair-style sausages (sausages priced around $11 per pound), bacon burgers and grass-fed ground beef (with burger options ranging from $9 to $11 per pound), pork butts, racks of ribs and brisket (all ranging from $5 to $13, depending on the cut), beer, wine, cheese, crackers, charcoal for your grill and more. Belmont Butchery will be open 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
- Blue Bee Cider, 212 W. Sixth St.: Blue Bee named this year's summer cider Firecracker, really diving into the holiday theme. I think we can all respect that. Stop by Saturday for its release party, complete with Stroops' Heroic Dogs and live music, and of course you should wash it all down with that new ginger-infused cider, all from noon to 7 p.m.
- Buskey Cider, 2910 W. Leigh St.: Do you know which other local cidery is really embracing All Things Freedom this weekend? Buskey. Head to the Scott's Addition tasting room for its "Red, White, and Blue CIDERbration," where you can sample a red-tinged black currant cider, Buskey's 45 and Trying cider, and a blue-hued RVA Cider made with Spirulina (a collaboration with Ellwood Thompson's Local Market). "Because of cider's strong ties to the beginning of the United States, it's only fitting that Buskey Cider puts on a patriotic event!" owner Will Correll says in a news release. "Buskey is an all-American drinking word that was recorded in a letter by Ben Franklin back in Colonial times. Young people would use this slang word when they were out having a good time, and drinking cider, of course!" So .... buskey! (Am I using it right? Probably not, I'm sitting at a desk, totally sober.) Buskey Cider will be sampling these patriotic libations on Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., on Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., on Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. and on Monday from noon until the completion of the Flying Squirrels fireworks, which should be around 10 p.m.
- The Butcher at Bon Air, 2720 Tinsley Drive: "Our big deal this weekend is our baby back ribs, and we'll do about 100 racks," says owner Barry Sweeney. Make sure you reserve yours by calling ahead at 323-6328 anytime between now and Saturday morning. (A word to the wise: Don't wait.) He'll be applewood-smoking them onsite for around five hours, finishing them with a specialty glaze and selling them Friday and Saturday. Pick up a full rack for $26 or a half rack for $14, then grab a side of coleslaw, potato salad or baked beans ranging from $3 to $7. Not craving 'cue? Sweeney will also offer house-made sausages, ground sirloin and a slew of specialty cuts of meat. The Butcher at Bon Air will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.
- JM Stock Provisions, 709 W. Main St.: Wondering where to stock up? Head to Stock in the Fan, which is offering more than 15 varieties of house-made sausages all weekend long so you can get your grill on, plus specialty burger blends and cut-to-order chops and steaks. You'll also find buns, veggies, cheese, killer condiments and even some sweets. "Plus, we'll be tasting out a variety of both house-made and specialty products all weekend long," co-owner and butcher James Lum III adds. "We also made sure we're loaded up on a variety of great summer beers and wines to wash down the dogs." And if you just can't handle cooking, grab a pulled pork sandwich there at lunchtime on Sunday. Stock will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday. The last day for special orders is Friday, July 1.
- King of Pops, 3001 W. Clay St.: Stay cool and show everyone how much you love 'Murica with KoP's Patriot Pops, sweet icy goodness that looks, of course, like the American flag. Half red (strawberry), half white (lemonade) and speckled with blueberries, these treats run $3 each, or $2.50 each when you buy 12 or more. You can find 'em on the Pop Patio Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Monday from noon to 2 p.m.
- Q Barbeque, various locations: "FORGET COOKING," you're thinking, and THAT'S A-OK. Q Barbeque has you covered with not one but two specials this weekend: Pick up the Smoked Wings Bucket, with three dozen wings for $29, or the Three Racks O'Ribs Special, where you'll snag three racks of smoked spare ribs for $59. Maybe also pick up some moist towelettes while you're at it. All four Q locations — Midlothian, Glen Allen, Hull Street and Short Pump — will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, including on Monday.
- Stroops Heroic Dogs, 2709 E. Marshall St.: Hot dog! Head to Church Hill for Stroops' house-made hot dogs, which you can find in four-packs ($6), along with four-packs of bratwurst ($10) and four-packs of seasonal flavors ($6), which include five-spice, garlic beef, lamb merguez and smoked breakfast. The Stroops team's also stocking sides of Southern-style coleslaw ($3), cucumber-and-onion salad ($4) and a kale-chickpea Caesar salad ($4). They've also got packs of Martins potato rolls ($3.50), house-made sodas (celery seltzer, grapefruit basil, punch, and elderflower ginger beer, all $3 per bottle), and jars of their house-made mustards in a veritable rainbow of flavors: harissa, spicy, classic yellow, and anise, all $4 each. And, of course, you can pick up pints of stroopwafel ice cream there, and while you're grabbing your weekend grill supplies, you may as well order one of the specialty dogs for yourself because planning is hard work. (We recommend the RVA Dog with its pimento cheese and crab cake, and President Whitmore does, too.) Stroops will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., closed on Sunday and Monday.
- Yellow Umbrella Provisions, 5603 Patterson Ave.: You want seafood? You want house-made sausage? You want sides like house-made ricotta? YOU GOT IT. The Near West End's Yellow Umbrella is making andouille and bratwurst, and it's smoking pork butts to be broken down and sold by the pound. And in case that wasn't exciting enough, it's also offering sliced beef brisket, soft-shell crabs, fresh Florida shrimp, cobia, wahoo, escolar (white tuna), wild salmon, freshly ground burger meat, and local produce such as Hanover tomatoes. "If you can think somethin' up, we can probably do it," says Travis Marshall, front of house, suggesting that if you want to pick up shrimp that's already steamed and spiced, or if you're looking for a certain fat percentage in your meat, just call ahead at 282-9591. Yellow Umbrella will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
- Whole Foods, 11173 W. Broad St.: Head to the meat department for the store's "Fill the Grill" promotion, where you'll get $10 off of an order of $50 or more. (That's one-fifth off your meat order! Math skills, I got 'em.) More into seafood and not cooking? Then walk on over to the store's new pub for the All-American Clam & Oyster Jam, where you'll find steamed clams, oyster po' boys and more, from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Whole Foods Short Pump will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. now through Monday. (Yes, even on Monday.)