Things are heating up this week. (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.) EAT Restaurant Partners' Beijing on Grove is only one of many new restaurants joining our dining scene, and, of course, if you want more info, it's all below. (Photo courtesy Beijing on Grove)
Sometimes one hears "whopper" in reference to a burger from Burger King, sometimes to the beloved malted milk ball candy. This week, the word most definitely describes Richmond's food news. There are so many openings, from juice bars to barcades, it'll make your head spin. You've been warned:
- In NOW OPEN news, we've got some great new arrivals on the scene. Let's do this chronologically, morning to night: Saadia's Juicebox opened last Thursday at 402 1/2 N. Second St. in Jackson Ward, but it's more than a pretty smoothie shop with a focus on low-sugar raw juice. The café also boasts a full espresso bar, house-made Persian snacks such as baklava and rose water muffins, and a yoga/dance studio, where you can find classes like belly dancing. It's bright, it's airy, it's super adorable, and more info on it is right over here. (Richmond magazine)
- For lunch, stop by The Kabob Place, a new Middle Eastern and Indian restaurant at 8900 W. Broad St. from the former owners of The Trolley Market. Peep the menu here; I almost wish I hadn't because now all I want in life is curry and a giant skewer of roasted meat. (Style Weekly)
- For dinner — or lunch, beginning next Tuesday — stop by Beijing on Grove, the newest addition to the EAT Restaurant Partners family. It's the latest in a lineup that includes Fat Dragon, Foo Dog, Wong Gonzalez and others, and it's a return to roots: The restaurant group renovated the former Blue Goat space, which also formerly housed longstanding Chinese restaurant The Peking on Grove. The building is now churning out Chinese cuisine once more, but this time around, it's got a wide selection of draft beer and craft cocktails, plus a few modern elements in design and menu. For a peek inside, and a bit more on the spot at 5710 Grove Ave., head this way. (Richmond magazine)
- Tomorrow you can stop by Mijas, the new Mexican restaurant in the former Shockoe Bottom La Grotta space, when it opens at 1218 E. Cary St. Find duck breast tacos, tableside guacamole, a full bar and some colorful surroundings there. (Richmond Bizsense)
- On Saturday, Feb. 18, Stony Point Fashion Park's getting a taste from our neighbors to the north: Buffalo-based Anchor Bar is opening its first location outside of New York State, and you can find its Buffalo wings, sandwiches and burgers within the 8,500-square-foot space at 9200 Stony Point Parkway as early as 11 a.m. that day. “Anchor Bar is all about great times and great food — and that’s exactly what our guests can expect from us,” Matthew Foody (his real name!), Richmond Anchor Bar's chief, says in a news release. “After spending several years in the Richmond dining industry, I can tell that Anchor Bar will be a great addition to an already thriving dining scene.”
- Coming soon in Short Pump: Casa del Barco is heading west with tequila on the brain. Set to open in its new 8,400-square-foot home at 11800 W. Broad St. this summer, this second location for the Mexican restaurant will offer a rooftop bar with 200 varieties of tequila and mezcal. “We’re excited to add another local restaurant to our list of dining options here at Short Pump Town Center,” Kern Blue, the mall's general manager, says in a news release. “The innovative Mexican cuisine that Casa del Barco is known for is unlike anything we currently offer, and we know it will be an excellent addition to our center.”
- Coming soon to Scott's Addition: In the war of combination bars and arcades, we all win. Two "barcade" concepts are in the works for the neighborhood, set to serve up drinks, pinball and video games. IN THIS CORNER: Robert Lupica, a Sweet Frog franchisee, plans to open his barcade at 3121 W. Leigh St. this April. AND IN THIS CORNER: Pasture, Comfort and forthcoming Sur Taco owners Jason Alley and Michele Jones already teamed up with Saison owner Jay Bayer for the Fan's Flora, set to open soon in the former Balliceaux space, but they're hoping to add another concept to their rosters with a barcade, though details of a lease, location and opening date haven't yet been disclosed. Fingers crossed for one of those Jurassic Park arcade games. (Richmond Bizsense)
- Coming soon in the Fan, Spoonbread Bistro's Michael Hall is opening up shop just around the corner from his upscale Southern bistro, but things in the new spot are about to get a bit smokier. In late April or early May, the chef plans to open Black Market Barbecue, a takeout barbecue and comfort food joint at 105 N. Robinson St., just next to Commercial Taphouse. Expect slow-cooked meats from a repurposed filing cabinet, some family-style meal options, lots of veggie options and the chef's secret-recipe sweet potato chipotle barbecue sauce. Hungry for more? We've got ya. (Richmond magazine)
- Oh, hey, didn't see you there — probably because I was dreaming about being face-down in a pile of chicken wings. Thanks to a number of local restaurants, and this handy roundup by our takes-one-dozen-for-the-team contributor Robey Martin, this can be reality for all of us. Read up on some of the best wings around town, plus where to find some great Super Bowl wing deals. Watch the game this weekend, don't watch the game this weekend — it's up to you, but I recommend that whatever your Sunday plans, they include some of these wings.
- We've got some new content from our print edition up on the site, so if you've been curious about The Cask Café & Market, or if you'd like to hear all about our recent revisit (see also: grilled cheese panini perfection), step right this way.
- Also now on the site: the first installment of Sips & Swigs, our quick new column on local beverages. Each month, Catherine Amos Cribbs is bringin' you the best in booze, whether it's seasonal, historical, simply incredible or some combination thereof. (Neighborhood Roundup is dead; long live Neighborhood Roundup!) This time around, read up on The Quoit Club Punch, a boozy beverage with deep Richmond roots, and you can always find it at The Roosevelt.
Do it to it, and by "it," I mean "these events":
- On Sunday, dig into the Super Bowl AND some succulent pork at Baja Bean's 8th annual Pig Pickin' event. A $25 ticket gets you food, entry to the game viewing party plus entry in prize giveaways. (Baja Bean)
- Then on Monday, catch another Jackdaw dinner, albeit in a new format for the pop-up: Head to Lulu's for a five-course meal including pork belly with yu choi, black garlic and salsify, and a course of Hokkaido scallop with lemongrass xo sauce, scallion, Okinawa black sugar and rice. Tickets go for $65, including tax and tip; due to a beverage partnership change, the cost may change (keep your eyes on the event page for updates).
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, here's an ode to the fried pickle and how it became one of our country's favorite bar foods. (Eater)
- Let's all pour some out for the 100 pounds of avocados that the USDA just turned away from the border. No, it wasn't due to the political climate; there's concern regarding an invasive fruit fly species from the region, although Jalisco — from which these avocados hailed — was an approved grower region. (Extra Crispy)
Till next time, I'll be weeping over the guacamole we'll never get to taste.