Food News: The very new and the very old

Sally Bell’s, Maple & Pine, Dutch & Co.’s new hot dog place, new patios—we’re like a patchwork of culinary history! And some of it is just now being made!


The boxes at Sally Bell’s are filled with magic, neatly nestled in black and white checked paper. And when I say magic, I mean Smithfield ham on a roll, a side of potato salad, a deviled egg, a cheese wafer, and a lemon-filled cupcake. At $8.50, it’s easily one of the best deals in town, maybe anywhere. It’s simple, lovingly made comfort food that defies the sum of its parts and adds no frills where frills need not be added. Sally Bell’s is, unquestionably, an American classic. 

This January, after nearly a century on Grace Street, the Southern food institution will find a new home on W. Broad Street across from the Science Museum. Owners Scott and Martha Jones sold the building on Grace to VCU. The new space, expected to open in early 2016, will offer greater accessibility with added parking and seating for 40, so make your new year’s resolution something about increasing your boxed lunch intake, and plan on visiting the family-run business as often as possible.


The lovely new Quirk Hotel, located at 201 W. Broad Street, is now open, and that means its restaurant, Maple & Pine, is also open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Chef David Dunlap, formerly of The Ashby Inn, offers a New American menu for Richmond’s modern destination hotel, with dishes that sound both classic and innovative, and I for one, cannot wait to try them all. Here are our photos of Quirk Hotel just before it opened.

A peloton of food options

There’s been a lot of coverage about the Big Bike Race™ itself, but there’s also been a lot of hubbub about the business, or lack thereof, that local entrepreneurs have been seeing since Saturday. 

Style Weekly,, and WRIC have all run stories on the “ghost town” effect that lack of local race promotion coupled with fearmongering headlines about road closures has apparently produced. 

But, as it turns out, the road closures are mostly NBD, and there are plenty of seats to be had! In restaurants! Several business owners have been posting “Open” signs on social media, urging us to get out of our boring old houses and into their establishments. We post a summary of road closures and race happenings every morning, and there are lots of restaurants offering special deals and lunches during the race. So, let me be the 450,000th person to pick up the call to GO OUT TO EAT AND BUY SOME BOOKS AND RECORDS AND CLOTHES FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES, especially this week, when sales are down in the areas affected by the race but also, always!


The crew at Dutch & Company aren’t giving up many details about their new hotdog shop, Stroops, just yet; but A For Adventure’s Jonathan Goldberg shared a peek at their branding, and it is just charming. If this adorable tube-sock-wearing, bike-riding, mustachioed hot dog doesn’t make you feel things, check your pulse.


Helen’s built a patio…for you! The new patio is now open with a full menu and booze. And WPA Bakery added two outdoor cafe tables for your morning coffee pleasure. 


Here are just a few of the many, many culinary events coming up in the next few weeks. Calendar wisely!


Everyone should try making laminated dough at least once before giving up and buying croissants at bakeries like the rest of us.

Give dried chickpeas a chance, says Alton Brown.

We’ve heard about pop-up revolutions, but can pop-ups provoke revolutionary thought?


SALE ALERT! Every dang thing on the Texas Beach Bloody Mary website is 20% off right now , including a goodie pack that includes the mix, a rad t-shirt of your choosing, and a bag of Crunch Dynasty, with which I strongly encourage you to rim your glass. RIM IT, I SAY!


Ever since the Armenian Food Festival, I’ve been feeding a serious new addiction: lahmajun. The Armenian pizza-esque wrap is comprised of warm flatbread onto which minced beef, garlic yogurt, a red pepper sauce, and an assortment of cabbage-y, onion-y salads are lovingly heaped. Coriander in Carytown makes an excellent version for a mere $4.99! Take that, fast food prices! 

GRAM: @idle_hands_bread

Perk! co-owner J. Metzler is in the process of launching his own bakery, Idle Hands Bread, and he’s calling on us to give him a little starter (BREAD PUNS ON THE RISE, NEWS AT ELEVEN!) via Kickstarter (hope he can raise enough dough!). Rewards include weekly loaves of bread, the usual t-shirts and stickers, and even a jar of dried sourdough starter so you can see for yourself just how complex sourdough bread can be. 

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Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz thought there would be pizza.

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