More brunch, pimento cheese, and a trip to the Jersey Shore

(photo by Fred & Elliott)



At least for now, we have to say goodbye to Comfort's easy, affordable lunch as the restaurant turns its focus on its dinner menu and beverage program. To ease us into a lunchless existence, Chef Jason Alley himself will prepare special themed lunches once a week, every Wednesday starting on July 27th. So if you, like me, dream of Jason Alley making buckets of pimento cheese and pickles and fried things and griddled things just for you, your time has come. 

But the best part of this news is a little silver lining called COMFORT BRUNCH. That's right, starting August 7th, Comfort will once again bestow upon us the magic of its brunch. Alley says we can expect to find the following: Nutella-and-banana-stuffed French toast; scrapple benedict with a biscuit, poached egg, and ketchup hollandaise; and spice-roasted catfish with grits and a shaved tomato & collards salad, to which you may add an egg if you so choose. HELL YEAH I'M ADDING THAT EGG. Oh, and there's a hot fried chicken biscuit with hot honey, so I guess what I'm saying is my diet is doomed.



Make next Tuesday one to remember by heading over to Vagabond for a five-course dinner paired with Belle Isle Spirits cocktails. Chef Owen Lane and Beverage Director Adam Stull have come up with a menu to compliment Belle Isle's finest moonshine; and with the original 80 proof shine, plus habanero and ruby red grapefruit varieties, there's plenty to be inspired by. Click on over to Vagabond's Facebook page for a chance to win two free tickets for you and your boo and/or besty.



Tricycle Gardens does so many great things for Richmond's food system--from providing healthy options in corner stores in food deserts to growing much needed community gardens all around the city. Support them and enjoy a locally-sourced, completely vegetarian meal from Ellwoods' chefs Todd Johnson and Ingrid Schatz on Wednesday, July 27th at the Beet Cafe.



The Jersey Shore is near and dear to Jersey-born Mike Isabella's heart, so he's taking us all on a vacay to the shore starting today for Graffiato's Jersey Shore Week, which features special menu items like boardwalk fries, oysters Rockefeller, and linguini & clams. And what would a trip to the shore be without cocktails? Sadly sober, that's what. Beachy drinks abound, including what I can only imagine is Snooki's favorite cocktail--A Watermelon Slushy with Absolut Elyx vodka, watermelon, lime, mint, and black pepper agave.



When the weather is hot (so hot) and sporadically stormy and steamier than a sauna in a rainforest, it's hard to imagine that summer--and with it, a bounty of produce--will ever end. But, I have strong empirical evidence that it will end, and soon we'll be sitting around in sweater boots, sipping pumpkin spice lattes and wishing we had some fresh basil. It happens every year, folks.

This year, get one step ahead of the game with tips from Amanda Montgomery, the gardening expert and brilliant mind behind Hummingbird Gardens. On Sunday, August 8th, Amanda will share her tips for preserving summer herbs in ice, oils, and compound butters at Perk! from 1:00 to 3:00.



Mark your calendars for the Midtown State Fair on Sunday, August 8th from 11:00-4:00 at the Lake at Libbie Mill-Midtown. It's a kick-off event for Fire, Flour & Forkwhich takes place this year from November 17th through the 20th. (You'll be hearing more about FFF, trust me.)

This is a fun-for-everyone scenario with state-fair-inspired activities for the whole family, a farmer cook-off, heirloom tomato tasting, and food by Rappahannock River Oysters, Mean Bird, Gelati Celesti, Birdie's Pimento Cheese, King of Pops, and more; plus beer--the great equalizer! Don't forget to scoop up a discount on FFF tickets while you're there!



Oh yes they did.

Go whip up a Basil on Belle Isle, and then find an outdoor ceiling fan under which to drink it.



I am beyond thrilled to announce that you can now purchase Birdie's Pimento Cheese at my all-time favorite cheese source, The Cheese Shop in Colonial Williamsburg! We've been working with Birdie's since the beginning of this year, and owner Robin Allen continues to impress and inspire us with her incredible work ethic, determination, and damn good pimento cheese. The garlic parmesan flavor is my favorite, but you do you. (And while you're doing you, check out the images that Fred & Elliott captured of the good stuff.)

In Richmond, look for Birdie's at Little House Green Grocery and the St. Stephen's and South of the James farmers markets!



We're nearing completion of our SHINY NEW WEBSITE, thanks to the Campfire & Co crew, and we're delighted to be setting up shop in their shared office space this September. Get to know these go-getters if you don't already.