IT'S HERE! Noodles and Dumplings by Peter Chang is now open in Short Pump, but that's not all the news we've got for ya. (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
Happy weekend, folks! We've got a slew of new restaurants, a brewery on the way, fond remembrances, some biscuit know-how and more than a couple great events. Dig in:
- Ready to add some heat to your weekend? If you answered "YES!" then I suggest you head to 11408 W. Broad St. in the Short Pump Village Shopping Center, where Peter Chang just opened his new restaurant, Noodles and Dumplings by Peter Chang. Falling more in the fast-casual than full-service camp, it's a lunch and dinner spot just three doors down from his first Richmond-area location, Peter Chang China Café, and features a touch-screen ordering system, an array of house-made dumplings, noodle entrées, small noodle bowls and steamed buns, to name just a few of your future meals. I stopped by on opening day and really enjoyed my meal, but be warned: There were no hand-pulled noodles just yet. Hopefully they'll get those up and running in the days to come. For more on Noodles and Dumplings by Peter Chang (and also its menu), click your way over here. In the sage words of the Spice Girls, "spice up your life."
- In more Short Pump news, Wegmans is here + massive + fully stocked with more than 60,000 items + ready to wow you. It's also ready to teach you how to stretch, if you're into that sort of thing. I stopped by for a tour and in the process took some photos of the grand grocery store, plus learned a few fun facts. For instance, did you know that Richmond loves beer so much that when the Midlothian location opened in May with roughly 700 varieties, the company received a record number of beer requests? Turns out, Richmond loves craft brews more than most of the chain's other locations. Accordingly, the Short Pump store opened with between 900 to 1,000 varieties, and Wegmans is now retooling how it stocks beer across its stores. Also, both its employees and customers really love to "microstretch." What is that? You're going to have to click that link to find out.
- Eastward, Rocketts Landing's new Urban Farmhouse is set to open at 4821 Old Main St. next Thursday, Aug. 18, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, samples and live music at 4 p.m. Its 3,000-square-foot-space can hold up to 130 guests and will offer beer, wine, market goods, household supplies and the chain's standard café menu and coffee bar. 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. (news release)
- And there's a new ramen spot hitting the West End! Takara Ramen, situated at 9468 W. Broad St. in Henrico, is expected to open in early September for all your slurpable needs and comes complete with a patio. (Richmond BizSense)
- In Jackson Ward, the team behind Croaker's Spot is still set to return to the brand's original neighborhood even though the location of its first restaurant is now slated to become a beer garden and smokehouse. No matter; the soul food concept behind Croaker's and Sugar's Crab Shack will launch a new restaurant on the ground floor of Eggleston Plaza at the corner of Second and Leigh streets by late 2017. (Richmond BizSense)
- GET STOKED: Charlottesville's Champion Brewing Co. is headed to downtown RVA, and it's bringing Pasture and Comfort co-owners' new concept, Sur Taco and Sandwich, to 401 E. Grace St. along with it. Look for Jason Alley's Southern-inspired tacos and sandwiches, plus Champion's award-winning beer, later next year. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- Get clickin': Fire, Flour & Fork tickets hit the web on Monday at 10 a.m. and you can find the schedule's highlights online now. Catch "A Chef's Life" host Vivian Howard at Shagbark, tour Autumn Olive Farms with Heritage and Southbound chef Joe Sparatta, brunch on biscuits at Belle Isle Moonshine and more, and don't forget the seminars! (Remember how much fun we had last year?) Full disclosure: Richmond mag's editorial director is one of the organizers of this event, but that's got nothing to do with my promoting it. I'm telling you all about these tickets now because these dinners and tours are fun and educational and delicious and sell out QUICKLY and I want you to go and live your best FFF lives.
- And now with a heavy heart: Ted Santarella, beloved owner of two Tarrant's restaurants and Max's on Broad, passed away this week after a battle with cancer. Santarella worked in more than 100 restaurants throughout his career and left an indelible impression on the Richmond community. Here, we speak to some of the city's restaurateurs and chefs who remember him fondly. Our hearts go out to Santarella's family, both biological and restaurant.
Man it's a hot one, like seven inches from the midday sun. Stay smooth with these weekend events:
- Pass the pancit: The 11th annual Filipino Festival kicks off today with more than 40 vendors and a ton of traditional food o' the Philippines, including suckling pig and crispy lumpia. Stop by 8200 Woodman Road from 5 to 10 p.m. today, Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow. (Filipino Festival)
- IT'S BACK. The Carytown Watermelon Festival hits RVA on Sunday and will, of course, feature watermelon in its myriad forms: fresh, frozen, liquefied, etc., as well as 80-ish musicians. Free to attend, food available for purchase, lots of activities, family-friendly affair. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You know the drill. (Carytown Watermelon Festival)
- What happens when bivalves meet beer? Find out tomorrow at Lickinghole Creek's Seven Region Saison release, where you'll get to sip on a collaboration by the brewery and the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. How does an oyster party sound? To celebrate, there'll be raw bars, fried-oyster tacos, and smoked and grilled oysters all available for purchase. 1 to 6 p.m. at 4100 Knolls Point Road in Goochland. (Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery)
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- Pass me that gooseneck, which is, by the way, not the neck of a goose. Here's how to talk like a butcher. (First We Feast)
- File under "Pleasantly Surprised": Certainly, Bojangles' makes some killer biscuits, but what's really remarkable is the process behind them — especially in a fast-food world where product arrives, by and large, frozen. Not so at this chain, where 48 steps make from-scratch biscuits available fresh and hot out of the oven every 20 minutes. Go behind the scenes here. (Garden & Gun)
'Til next time, butter my biscuit and call me hungry.