Food News: New cider from Blue Bee, healthier kids, and everyone’s fave triangle

The governor’s new nutrition council, some good deals at a celebrating Pomegranate, fresh life in the Devil’s own Triangle, and a discussion on iconic Richmond meals.

Update #1 — February 6, 2015; 11:03 AM

Inspired by our own Valentine’s gift-giving guide, I felt compelled to include this adorable “sweetheart box” from WPA Bakery. Charm the clothes right off your loved one with five different types of baked greatness (macarons, canneles, caramels, cookies, and “conversation hearts”), available gluten-free or -full, for $9 and $8.50 respectively. Or bring it into the office to share. Everyone will probably remain clothed, BUT WHO KNOWS!?

Consider this your ample warning: You must order by February 11th! Pick-up available from February 12th through Valentine’s Day.

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Metzger Bar & Butchery just announced a new happy hour that’s actually two hours! Deals include $1 off classic snacks like liptauer cheese spread, smoked trout rillettes, and pickled eggs; and $2 off all draft beer and house wine carafes. Metzger’s already very reasonable prices mean you can put together a perfectly respectable happy hour experience without blowing your dinner budget. Lucky you. Lucky us.

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Original — February 05, 2015

Pomegranate in Carytown just celebrated their first year of business, and they’ve added two more reasons to the Big List of Reasons to Eat Dinner at a Restaurant. Tuesdays are now “date night,” and dates (or close friends, I GUESS) can enjoy a three-course tasting menu for a mere $30 per person. No date? Come in Tuesday through Friday from 4:30 to 7:30 PM, and you’ll find a bar menu with snacks, including a donut burger with bacon jam and beer-battered calamari, for just $5. Maybe you’ll meet your frugal soul mate at the other end of the bar.

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Ellwood Thompson’s founder Rick Hood was recently appointed to The Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide by Governer McAuliffe. Hood joins over 40 other representatives from every corner of the state, including FeedMore CEO Doug Pick and Rappahannock River Oysters’ Travis Croxton from our own backyard. The council, chaired by First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, was formed in December by executive order, and its mission is threefold: eliminate childhood hunger in Virginia; promote Virginia agriculture while increasing access to healthy local foods; and faciliate local initiatives related to nutrition and food access across the Commonwealth.

Hood said via Facebook that the appointment is important to him because, “the nutritional needs of children is a real issue for them in school and can negatively impact their early lives. Unhealthy eating and obesity often is the result.” Hood feels strongly that, “Access to fresher local foods can be healthier and tastier reinforcing habits that can extend into adulthood.”

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Speaking of Ellwoods, did you know they have a brunch buffet Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM!? That’s a combined total of 14 hours of brunch.

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When will people stop heaping praise on The Roosevelt? The answer is: possibly never. This week Thrillist named them one of the 13 Best Restaurants in the South, right up there with Oxford, Mississippi’s Snackbar and Charleston, South Carolina’s Husk.

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When someone tells me I can have “all the artistic pancakes you can eat,” they really don’t need to keep talking…and yet they do! RVA Pancake Love, an event/group intent on spreading the love on Valentine’s Day, added this deal-sealer to the conversation: 100% of the profits will be donated to FeedMore.

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Much like the Bermuda Triangle, the Devil’s Triangle area of the Museum District can be a mysterious place. There’s that law office practically connected to the 7-Eleven (I’m sure they’re great! It’s just an unexpected spot!), a hydroponics shop, and a somewhat revolving door of restaurants occupying the space between Shepherd Street and the Boulevard. But things are looking up for Satan’s own favorite triangle, with help from restaurants like Deco, most recently Buddy’s, and soon, according to Bizsense, another sushi restaurant from the man behind Akida and Carytown Sushi.

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In “Don’t call it a comeback” news, Karri Peifer dishes on her blog about now-sole-owner Ron Joseph’s plans to relaunch the 40-year-old Strawberry Street Cafe with a new menu and new life.

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If you happen to be one of the first 20 people in the new South Side Boka Grill & Growlers location opens, which will probably be this upcoming Tuesday or Wednesday, you will receive your very own etched growler “for your mouf.”

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On this week’s episode of Gravy, the Southern Foodways Alliance’s newish podcast, Toni Tipton Martin talks about what cookbooks tell us about American history, according to “The Jemima Code.”

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One of the happiest happy hours in town happens every Thursday in Manchester at Blue Bee Cider. This week, Blue Bee premieres Orchard Potluck, using Gold Rush apples, and made with RVA Yeast Labs Hefeweizen I, a strain of yeast that’s known for producing cloudy German wheat beers. The process results in a taste that Blue Bee owner Courtney Mailey describes as, “mildly sweet with a tart finish, [with] subtle notes of melon while being apple forward.” This is a small batch run available on draft only, so get it (preferably in a squealer) while the gettin’s good.


This week in Richmond Magazine, Paul Karns shared his picks for eight of the most iconic Richmond dishes, which got me thinking about what my list would include. There’s some overlap, for sure. Sally Bell’s boxed lunch and Kuba Kuba‘s tres leches cake had me nodding my head in approval and fighting pangs of hunger. I would switch Millie’s Devil’s Mess for their Thai Spicy Shrimp for personal reasons. And I would, most certainly, add Edo’s Squid’s Eggplant Parmesan to the list. That sauce, those thin fried eggplant slices welded together with gratuitous mozzarella! It, like the eight dishes Karns chose, is always the same, to the point where you learn to crave it, you build your memories around its flavors. It becomes a standard to which you compare other dishes.

‘GRAM OF THE WEEK: Epicurious relaunched this week with a shiny, useful version of their former recipe database. The new format includes searches by ingredient and occasion and offers expert advice and plenty of clickable lists of tidbits that may just improve us all as cooks, while their Instagram features plenty of link-in-profile recipes to inspire your dinner plans.

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Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz thought there would be pizza.

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