Got beer? Richmond sure does. Now there's a handy trail you can follow to taste your way through 23 of the area's breweries. Like the Oregon Trail, but with less dysentery. Find more on your future adventure, below. (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
It's time for your week-in-food review, which, fortunately for you, comes complete with an old-timey PSA, some fried chicken, a new late-night option and a whole lotta beer:
- Welcome to Friday! Let's kick it off with a bit of fun: Tickets for the sixth annual Elby Awards are now on sale! This year we're bringing "Prohibition chic" to the historic Altria Theater with a burlesque/variety show and a few surprises, all in celebration of the Richmond area's dining scene and those who make it happen. "But Stephanie," you might be thinking, "what am I supposed to wear to this event, where costumes are always part of the fun?" To you I say fear not, because my co-host Jason Tesauro and I are here to help. We made this very handy wardrobe PSA just for you, and we hope it answers any questions you might have! (We shot this in one take and my pipes had frozen during the snowstorm last weekend, so my hair is not looking 100-emoji good, but I still think we look pretty fly, in part due to the fine apparel from Blue Bones Vintage.) After the ceremony — which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19 — we'll head downstairs for the official after-party, where there'll be drinks and eats and dancing. Who's excited?? THIS BROAD. Need a refresher on which restaurants, chefs and purveyors are nominated this year? Jitterbug your way right over here.
- ONTO MORE NEWS: This weekend marks the return of the Richmond Jewish Food Festival, one of the city's most beloved food events. There will be cookies and babka galore, and don't even get us started on those cabbage rolls. Or, do — intrepid contributor Stephanie Ganz went behind the scenes and not only gave us a peek at how the magic happens, but also gave us the top five food items we can't miss while there. Be sure to read all about the community love and family recipes that get poured into every batch of latkes or tray of rugelach and get yourself ready for a full Sunday and Monday of great eats from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., whether you're chowing down at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center or picking up your food to go. (Full preorder menu here, by the way.)
- GET TO GLUGGIN': Richmond Region Tourism just published this handy Beer Trail Map to the Richmond area, and let me tell you, we've got a lot of ground to cover in our quest to drink 'em all. Think of it like playing Pokemon, but drunk. P.S.: Once you get your beer travels stamped/acknowledged, you can get a free T-shirt to go along with those possibly-hazy new memories. (Also, don't be a dummy, get a D.D. or car service.) I should also add that you don't have to hit all 23 breweries in a single day, but let's aim big, right?
- Night owls, rejoice: Heritage launched its new late-night service this week! The Elby Award-winning restaurant now serves up small plates, sandwiches, classic cocktails, beer-and-shot combos, and a more casual atmosphere Thursdays through Saturdays, from 10 p.m. till 2 a.m. Oh, and by the by, all dishes are $10 and under. We've got more details right this way.
- Hot off the presses is our hot take on Peter Chang's trendy-hot cuisine that leans on spicy-hot peppers in Scott's Addition. (Sorry about that; got a little hot under the collar there.) Chang's first and as-of-now only restaurant within the city of Richmond opened last year on the bottom floor of that gorgeous Hofheimer Building, but how does it stack up to his other spots? What's it got that the others don't? Critic Piet E. Jones has your answers.
- Welcome back, WPA! The OG WPA, sittin' pretty in Church Hill, reopened this week after a brief close for renovations. Owner and baker David Rohrer gave the beloved spot a facelift that included new floors, a new pastry case and some new seating options, plus a bar/barstool situation by the front window. Check out our picture of Rohrer in the new space, here.
- Looking to try your hand at a fancy dinner this weekend? Here's a fun, quick piece on Brandon Bundy of Julep's New Southern Cuisine, complete with recipe for his braised pork with rice and Sea Island red peas. (Richmond Navigator)
- And last but not least, KNOW THY FARMER: We've got a quick-hit profile on Polyface Farms now online, and you can and should read all about this family-owned farm that supplies some of your favorite restaurants with quality meat that's pasture-raised and organic.
Sun's out, buns out — between fried-chicken (breakfast) sandos, ginuary and ramen, here's what to catch this weekend:
- Sunday morning you'll find fried-chicken (biscuit) sandwiches and vegan "chicken" at Isley Brewing Co. when Mean Bird pops up for brunch. Expect chicken 'n' waffles, beermosas, shrimp & grits, and more, all from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Mean Bird Food Truck)
- If you missed the above blurb on the Richmond Jewish Food Festival, don't worry, here it is again! Sunday and Monday you can taste some homemade — like, bubbes' recipes homemade — traditional Jewish and Israeli fare at the Weinstein JCC. And, needless to say, I do believe you should go.
- That Gin Den event at Metzger we mentioned last week got pushed to this Sunday due to that snowstorm, so get thee to Metzger from 5 p.m. and onward for gin-focused beverages whose proceeds benefit The Blue Sky Foundation. (Metzger Bar & Butchery)
- Well hello there! Fancy kicking off your week in delicious fashion? Head to Garden Grove Brewing Co. in Carytown for its monthly taproom dinner series, this time with Southbound's own Elby-nominated Craig Perkinson front and center with the food. Service begins at 7 p.m., and pairings will of course be provided by Garden Grove. Email email@example.com or call the brewery and ask for John Paul or Ryan at 918-6158 to see if you can still snag a seat! (Garden Grove Brewing Co,)
- And The Jackdaw's cooking up another pop-up at Millie's, and this time it's slinging Japanese cuisine. Stop by on Monday night for crispy pig's head, yuzu kosho ramen, green tea custard and more! Already salivating? Salivate some more while you read the menu, here.
And now for a few (inter)national links:
- In this week's episode of "International Politics and You: A Food-Related Incentive to Care," let's check in on the UK post-Brexit vote to see how its agricultural structure is faring without its predominantly immigrant-based farm labor. Ah, it looks like the vote and widespread anti-immigration sentiment are hindering farm workers' returns to Britain, which is causing panic and a logistical meltdown over what will happen to acres and acres of strawberries and other produce if left unpicked. Should our own country kick out much of America's farm labor, it seems we may meet a similar fate. Tune in next time for further developments. (Modern Farmer)
- More immediately back home, let's read up on the history of American whiskey, now animated with .gifs. This li'l lesson is packed with valuable insight into our trade relations and, of course, just how our country's production ramped up over the last couple centuries. (First We Feast)
Till next time, I'll be cheers-ing to our upcoming Elby Awards, Prohibition-era "medicinal whiskey" or no.