Food News: New restaurants, fungus drinks, and food stamps

It’s a great and filling week in Richmond’s food scene. Stephanie Ganz has all the meaty details.

OPEN: Shoryuken Ramen, Rancho T’s, Kuba Kuba Dos, Jus Fish

If you’re the kind of RVADine-r who only eats at brand new restaurants, THIS is the week for you, with four such restaurants to choose from: Shoryuken Ramen, Rancho T’s, Kuba Kuba Dos (which I will forever call Kuba Kuba Two-ba, don’t even try to stop me.) (not quite yet!), and Church Hill’s Jus’ Fish opened their doors for business this week.

OPENING IN THE FUTURE: Goatocado brick & mortar, White Horse Tavern

Since 2011, Goatocado has established itself as one of Richmond’s favorite mobile food businesses, popping up at the Hardywood Food Truck Court, the South of the James Market, and generally wherever fun can be found. Now they’re ready to put down some roots, and Richmond Magazine has all the deets.

On the other side of the river, Jason Talley, co-owner of The Cask Cafe and former Commercial Taphouse owner, has announced plans to transform a neglected strip of Semmes into his own British-inspired Tavern. White Horse Tavern is expected to open as early as July, giving Woodland Heights another much-needed option for craft beer and good food.


On May 13th Julep’s will close for business in their current Shockoe Bottom location. As announced last year, owner Amy Cabaniss sought a new location to expand the restaurant’s capacity. For her, the Grace Street location, with its close proximity to Rappahannock Restaurant and Pasture, was ideal. For chef Randall Doetzer, it’s a chance to bring new life to Julep’s: “My hope would be that we can expand our clientele and get some new faces in the door. It’s going to be a new kitchen so I’m excited to create some new things. I think it’s going to be a little more invigorated.” The new location is expected to open the last week in May, which also marks Julep’s 13th anniversary.

Burgers ‘n’ Vibes

Positive Vibe Cafe’s Coaches Cook-Off returns for the third year on Thursday, April 23rd at the Science Museum of Virgina. This year’s competition will include University of Richmond coach Chris Mooney with chef assistance from UR Executive Chef Glenn Pruden and Gary Whitecotton, former Executive Chef at Country Club of Virginia and currently a NNTC Chef Instructor; facing off against Virginia Tech basketball coach Buzz Williams with Southbound’s Lee Gregory and Joe Sparatta and Salisbury Country Club’s Jim Ertel providing chefly support.

Ticket sales support The Positive Vibe’s Food Service Training Program for People with Disabilities. Tickets are $100 each, but two tickets are only $150, so bring a friend.

What’s he building in there–Ellwood Thompson’s Edition

Very soon, Ellwood Thompson’s will pull back the curtain on The Greenhouse, the new concept for their former Community Room space. In addition to functioning as a brighter, more open community gathering space, The Greenhouse will allow Ellwood’s chef Patrick Carr to introduce an expanded menu from breakfast (hello, waffles!) to dinner, in a space with craft beer and plenty of seating because, with more juices, made-to-order sandwiches, and more of the dietarily sensitive foods that Ellwoods is already known for, this is going to be a happening spot.

No Kid Hungry

Rappahannock Restaurant will host Richmond’s first Share Our Strength dinner, with Rappahannock chef Dylan Fultineer welcoming his Chicago-based mentor, Paul Kahan, as well as chef Cosmo Gross of The Publican and Chef Chris Blain of the Governor’s Mansion for an intimate dinner benefiting Share Our Strength, with special guests Governor Terry McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy.

The dinner will feature an auction with prizes including an oyster farming/eating field trip that is ripped directly from my dreams. The menu features a combination of individually-plated and family style dishes, including smoked mackerel, spring oyster stew, and grilled lamb shoulder. Each course is paired with Virginia wine.

Dutch & Co. Oregon Wine Social

Did someone say wine!? I don’t know about you, but wine always makes me feel very social. Obviously the folks at Dutch & Co. feel the same way, and to that end, they’ll be hosting a very Oregon Wine Social on Tuesday, April 21, featuring Marcus Goodfellow of Goodfellow Winery and John Grochau of Grochau Cellars. You can expect to find bright wines, chill times, and a small plate menu for your snacking enjoyment. If you find a favorite wine, as surely you will, you can even pick up a bottle or two to take home.

Keep on Truckin’

Sunday, April 26th, from 12:00 – 7:00 PM, area food trucks will drive on into the ample parking lot of Chesterfield Towne Center for the 2015 Food Truck Rodeo, featuring over 40 trucks, including Goatocado, Mosaic, Pizza Tonight, King of Pops, Gelati Celesti, and event organizers Boka Tako. Bring a lawn chair and a stack of cash.


Author Chris Offutt examines the concept of “trash food” and the intersection between food and class for The Oxford American, and it is just simply fantastic.

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Gwyneth Paltrow tried to seem less horrible this week by joining the list of celebrities who have attempted to live on a Food Stamp budget.

Paltrow was criticized for her food choices, which brings up an interesting discussion, as Arthur Delaney points out: “Ironically, the criticism Paltrow got for what she purchased — too much kale, too many limes and not enough carbohydrates — offers a window into the SNAP experience: other customers seeing your EBT card and disapproving of what’s in your shopping cart.” The double-standard of making the poor prove they’re worthy of government benefits, which was published on the Washington Post blog last week, takes an in-depth look at that very experience. Read both things!


Honestly, I did not tap into the whole kombucha craze the way many of my friends seemed to. Sometimes, I like to let a phase completely pass me by without even acknowledging its existence. It’s comforting in a way. That’s how I got through the whole Eminem thing. Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t let that happen with Barefoot Bucha, a Nelson-County-made organic kombucha available on tap in nine different flavors.

Husband and wife team Ethan and Kate Zuckerman started the business five years ago and have been able to grow from a farmers market in Nellysford to retail locations from there to DC and Maryland. Their most recent release, Black Raspberry Bucha is a combination of kombucha, raspberries, and blackberries; and it tastes not unlike my dearly beloved Clearly Canadian but with more zippiness.

You can find Barefoot Bucha on tap at Union Market, Ellwood Thompson’s, and Whole Foods at Short Pump. Black Raspberry just hit taps earlier this month and should be making its way to Richmond any day now.


It’s that glorious time of year when yard weeds are the stuff of dreams–ramp season! Richmond Magazine’s Genevelyn Steele explains what they are and where we can find them and makes me incredibly hungry in the process.


Apologies in advance for devoting all my ‘grams of the week to farms for the rest of the season. BUT SO PRETTY, RIGHT!?

Photo by: Trevor Dickerson

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Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz thought there would be pizza.

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