All the vegetables named Baby are coming up from the ground, so let’s celebrate cutting them down before their prime and turning them into delicious, tender spring meals! Oh, and we have more food trucks now, mostly themed around cheese. So far, April is amazing.
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Today’s the day! The magical day when, like a flock of migrating birds, Richmond’s food trucks and carts convene in the parking lots of Hardywood Brewery for their weekly food truck court. Starting at 5:30 PM this week and every Thursday thereafter, you can expect to find most of the food trucks you loved last summer, plus newcomers, including a grilled cheese truck called Cheezilla; a gourmet mac & cheese outfit, The Return of the Mac; and my personal favorite new truck to pop up at the South of the James farmers market, the sandwich slinging duo Sammich.
Other new food trucks joining the rotation this season include Carytown Burgers and Fries; plus a self-serve fro-yo truck called Polar Roller; Great White Buffalo, a truck specializing in “authentic Western New York cuisine” (read: buffalo wings, beef on weck, pizza logs!?); and Sausage Fest, a mobile festival of the sausage variety. As always, my food truck motto is this: Make new friends and keep the old.
This week, our own Susan Howson sat down with Josiah Lockhart to talk about meat, specifically the economy of meat, which, it turns out, is a dismal cycle in which few people and fewer animals can come out on the sustainable end of things. But the message is this (spoiler): Lockhart remains hopeful for a not-too-distant future in which biodiverse, sustainably-raised meat is the norm, and so should you.
IN LIKE A LION
March was a banner month for restaurant and boozery openings, nine in all, including Bryan Voltaggio’s highly anticipated Willow Lawn outpost, a shiny new wing joint in the former Empire space, and a switcheroo involving sushi and ramen. Our man Ross Catrow puts them all in a list for you to, presumably, check off upon each visit. It’s a culinary choose-your-own-adventure list!
If touring a bunch of new restaurants is the kind of thing that excites you, expand your list to include these spots on Eater’s spring/summer restaurant opening list across the country.
ROCK THE VOTE
Dutch & Co’s Caleb Shriver AND Philip Perrow as well as Rappahannock’s Dylan Fultineer have been nominated for Food & Wine’s “People’s Best New Chef” award, and they will need your clicks to seal the deal. Also, Saveur’s 6th Annual Food Blogger Awards is taking votes through the end of April, if you have deep feelings on the food blogger world. And while you’re at it, give you precious opinion to Richmond Magazine for their annual exhaustive Best & Worst of 2015’s Dining & Drinks section, clearly the most important section of them all.
APRIL IS BONKERS
Is it just me, or is April one weird, busy month? Clear your April calendar and then refill that same calendar with all of these food-related happenings, a by-no-means-exhaustive list:
First, as many of you know, there is a thing called Easter. It is customary to brunch on this day.
Pasture’s Spring Supper, with its Copper Fox cocktails, Potter’s Craft Cider, and five-course Jason Alley feast, fast approaches (Monday, April 6!). Get dem tickets while you still can.
Not usually considered a food-focused event, I have it on good authority1 that this year’s TEDxRVA on April 10th will be just that. Participating food providers include Pasture, Shoryuken Ramen, Ellwood Thompson’s, Goatocado, Alchemy Coffee, Lamplighter Roasting Co, Ginger Juice, Sub Rosa Bakery, Relay Foods, and the culinary program at J. Sargeant Reynolds. I’d suggest you come hungry for both knowledge AND actual food.
Ardent Craft Ale’s Swine & Dine is happening on April 10th from 4-8 pm, and Ardent has released a list of the 15 beers that will be available to pair with the pork and oysters lovingly prepared by the folks from The Roosevelt, Metzger Bar & Butchery, ZZQ, Saison, and Rappahannock River Oysters.
You know what goes really well with German food? GERMAN BEER. The folks at Metzger know all about this duo, and they’re serving up three courses of it at their German Beer Dinner on April 16th.
Lunch/Supper wants you to buy the whole pig and then…paint it? As a fundraiser for Feedmore and Studio Two Three, Lunch/Supper will sell you a clay pig (at $200 a pig). Then let your pig find its artistic potential before it has the opportunity to be auctioned off at a block party with live music and food on April 18th.
On April 19th, Autumn Campbell and Brian Garretson will invite guests to their home, aka Tomten Farm, for a three-course brunch highlighting spring produce, poultry, and, of course, eggs. Tomten partners with Lamplighter Roasting Co and Sullivan’s Pond Bonnyclabber Cheese for their coffee and cheese needs, respectively. I can honestly say, their farm supper with Sub Rosa was the best meal I ate in 2014, and I will take any chance to let these people cook for me that presents itself.
Snacks and jello shots (!!!) await you at Comfort for 80s night on April 19th, your best opportunity this month to wear only one mesh glove and not look like a crazy.
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If you haven’t already been invited to someone’s house for Passover Seder, it’s probably not happening for you this year. It’s this Friday! Take matters into your own hands with a smart, contemporary Seder feast, care of those charming Sussman brothers.
Tasting Table shares their pics for 21 must-have cookbooks coming out this Spring, with authors like April Bloomfield, Bryan Voltaggio, Marc Vetri, and Hugh Acheson on the list. It’s a good season for cookbooks, my friends. The Fountain and Chop Suey will surely have several of these babies just waiting to look good on your shelves. Included in the list is Christina Tosi’s newest, Milk Bar Life, which just enjoyed a superbly well-written review, care of Eater’s Helen Rosner, who, in it, explores cool girls, celebrity, and even, to a lesser extent, cookies.
SIP OF THE WEEK: LONDON FOG
Have you always thought, “there is just not a beverage pillowy enough to drink whilst reading Jane Austen novels”? Meet this drink. It’s Earl Grey tea, steamed milk, and vanilla. Quick, ready the settee!
BITE OF THE WEEK: LAMB HAM
Sam Edwards and Craig Rogers have joined forces, like superheroes, to resurrect lamb ham, just in time for Easter.
‘GRAM OF THE WEEK: LIFEANDTHYME
Life and Thyme is a brand new, gorgeous, crowdfunded quarterly culinary publication that focuses on the art of storytelling; their Instagram gives small glimpses of the bigger stories. It’s pretty choice.
Photo by: Gamma Man
- I’m on the food committee for TEDxRVA! ↩