Food News: Return of the Jewish Food Festival, Tricycle Gardens’ Farm Stand on the move, and the new Buddy’s

New restaurants open this week in The Fan, Lakeside, and Ashland. The Jewish Food Festival is back for its 8th year. And Tricycle Gardens has great news.

What’s your favorite season? Mine is Food Festival Season (followed closely by Awards Season and then Baseball Season). The Jewish Food Festival is strategically placed so far outside of Food Festival Season that it seems to come out of nowhere, a mirage in the desert. Organizer Rich Goldberg explains, “The Jewish religious calendar has no significant holidays that fall in January, so there’s no chance of running into a Jewish holiday that would force us to change our usual weekend.” Also, because kosher cooks don’t roll on shabbos, the event must take place over a Sunday and Monday holiday. All I know is, one minute it’s New Year’s and then, all of the sudden, I’ve got 48 hours to binge on kasha varnishkes before the show’s over.

In just a few short days, the halls of the Weinstein JCC will swell with the sound of klezmers and the smell of shmaltz. This year, organizers have added 4500 square feet of heated, tented space, allowing guests to spread their wings and their stomach muscles with more authentic Jewish and Israeli food and more space in which to enjoy it.

Plus, there’s an option to pay for your food with your own blood…sort of. Give blood at the Virginia Blood Services blood mobile, and get a free meal voucher. That counts, right!? More of what to expect at the Festival on Virginia This Morning.

Pro Tip: Get the Israeli Sampler on-site, take cabbage rolls and chocolate babka home for later.

— ∮∮∮ —

Tricycle Gardens’ Urban Farm Stand is moving TODAY to 31st Street Baptist Church. An announcement event today at the church will include an address by First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe and will explain the move in more detail.

This move, according to Tricycle Gardens’ Executive Director Sally Schwitters is all about providing “healthy, fun, affordable, and fast food” for the community. Tricycle Gardens will continue their work with Senior Pastor Dr. Morris Henderson, church volunteers, Bon Secours, and Virginia State University as the church officially becomes the new home of the Four Season Farm Stand and 31st Street Urban Farm.

31st Baptist Church has provided nutritious, free, hot meals for parishioners and East Enders at their Nutrition Center since 1990. The partnership with Tricycle Gardens will allow the church to increase capacity at their urban gardens, which feeds the Nutrition Center.

Also in the works is a healing garden, which Schwitters says, “is important for our neighbors on the East End…to have a refuge where they can sit and be with nature, rest, meditate, and play.”

Thanks to a program through the USDA, the farmstand will be equipped to accept SNAP benefits, and Bon Secours, who also partners with Tricycle Gardens on the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, has committed to matching SNAP money dollar for dollar. I’m no math genius, but that’s at least double the dollars.

“We want to go where the people are and remove every barrier we have,” says Schwitters. Bon Secours will also help implement food skills and nutrition education classes through their Class-A-Roll mobile learning kitchen.

Tricycle Gardens Farm Stand at 31st Street Baptist Church

823 North 31st Street
Richmond, VA 23223
Thursdays, 11:00 – 1:00

— ∮∮∮ —

Wendy and John Yohman will open Jake’s Place today in Ashland, after two nights of previews. The Yohmans have restored the long-vacant former BP station at 511 Thompson Street, a part of Ashland’s landscape since 1926. Longtime family friend and 90-year Ashland resident (Ashlandian?) Sumpter Priddy bought the building with the goal of restoring it as a focal point in the community, and, according to Wendy Yohman, Jake’s Place is going to do just that.

“I’ve always dreamed of having a place that’s small and intimate so I could be part of the fabric of the community,” says Yohman, who describes the food at Jake’s Place as “Southern Comfortable.” Yohman says she was going for a kind of Cracker Barrel concept that serves real food: “Our collard greens are cooking on the stove right now, and they’re fresh. We didn’t take out a number 10 can and open it up.” Fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese, and a selection of smoked dishes including smoked meatloaf are also on the menu. Yohman laughs, “You can smell our smoker all the way down Thompson Street.”

Yohman hopes that Jake’s Place can be more than a restaurant for the community. A local-vendor market, featuring Pete’s Mustards, Flower Child granola, and Yohman’s Garden soups and sauces, among other items, will be in the lobby. And Yohman has plans to make Jake’s Place a hub for community activity in the coming months.

— ∮∮∮ —

Buddy’s also opens today and is looking pretty slick. (Richmond Magazine)

— ∮∮∮ —

CaryLAKESIDEtown Burgers and Fries is probably opening tomorrow, but these things can be tricky.

— ∮∮∮ —

Attention, budding artists! Sub Rosa is having a contest from now until Valentine’s Day, in which they are accepting submissions for an original rose illustration, to be painted on the ceiling of the bakery, for anyone rolling their eyes to see. In addition to ceiling fame, the winner will receive a Sub Rosa goody bag and a never-expiring gift certificate for 100 flaky, buttery Sub Rosa dollars.

— ∮∮∮ —

Are you ever at a happy hour and find yourself thinking, “Man, I wish I had started doing this two hours ago!”? Of course, we all have. The newly opened Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant in Short Pump is reading your thoughts because they knew you wanted that and probably also some Asian BBQ pork belly tostadas to go with your drink specials. LUCKY YOU. Happy hour is now 3:00 – 6:00 PM Monday through Friday.

— ∮∮∮ —

In national news…

David Chang says ramen is dead. And he would know, he is dead. JK! He is totally alive. He’s abundantly alive. But yes, in a Grub Street article, he did say that about ramen. Also, Lucky Peach’s new website launched this week. You can go there and see just how dead ramen really is.

Were you inspired by the nominees for the Purveyor of the Year Elby Award? Well, now is your time to buy the farm you’ve always threatened your family with, thanks to the USDA.

Cats Rule Everything Around Me. (Eater)

— ∮∮∮ —


OK, OK, I get it. It’s Fitness Week. There’s not much I can offer you here. BUT! There’s always quinoa! Loaded with both protein AND fiber, quinoa, according to people who sell quinoa is the “supergrain of the future”…or the past–the Incas apparently also liked it a lot.

For all the reasons above plus quinoa’s hunger-quieting abilities, quinoa bowls are a smart way to start the day. Cook off a box of quinoa on Sunday night and keep it in the refrigerator to make the next few mornings of your life easier.

You don’t need a recipe for a quinoa bowl. It’s quinoa, plus stuff you like. You can only go wrong by forgetting what you like. But here’s a savory recipe and a sweet one to get you inspired.

Are you not into the idea of boiling your own quinoa and adding things you like? That’s actually fine because Goatocado serves their very own quinoa bowls seven days a week from 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM at Carytown Bicycle Company. It’s not breakfast, though, unless you happen to wake up at noon.

— ∮∮∮ —


This one barrel has seen a lot of liquids. First there was Reservoir whiskey, aging to perfection, then Hardywood took a turn and put their beer in it. Now the crazy geniuses at Saison Market have put Lamplighter cold brew in the barrel, and they plan to tap it for consumption this very weekend before giving the barrel back to Hardywood for MORE DELICIOUS BEVERAGE CYCLE.

— ∮∮∮ —


Food Arts is like the Variety of the culinary world. It’s usually for insiders only, but it shouldn’t be. Food Arts’ instagram takes you behind the scenes at the restaurants of the magazine’s “Rising Stars,” recently including Joe Sparatta and Caleb Shriver.

You should have the pig's face. Seriously. A la @mattiemcghee #rangedc #pig @butterloveandhardwork

A photo posted by (@starchefs) on

  • error

    Report an error

Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz thought there would be pizza.

There are no reader comments. Add yours.