TOMATOES and other news
After a fire destroyed their Surry County smokehouse back in January, the fate of Edwards Virginia Smokehouse was uncertain. Would the business be able to come back from such a devastating blow, and when, oh when, would we be tasting the salty Virginia-made masterpiece that is Surryano ham? Well, it looks like we’re close: According to the Times-Dispatch, Edwards’ website will begin selling hams online this September, just in time for Ham Season.*
NOTE FOR NOTE
Richmond Times-Dispatch food reviewer (and my friend and muse and professional ally) Elliott Shaffner reviewed Nota Bene (formerly Pizza Tonight) and had very warm thoughts to share on her experience. That’s two stellar reviews in a row for Victoria, Randy, and the rest of the team. Not too shabby!
IS THIS EVEN NEWS THOUGH?
Antler & Fin, the newest restaurant you never had time to try (only open six weeks), will begin a two-week metamorphosis to become Boka Tavern, the new newest restaurant from Boka Tako’s Patrick Harris. It’s obvioulsy a quick turnaround, one that’s raised a few eyebrows since the news broke yesterday.
The story got coverage in the Times-Dispatch, Richmond Magazine, and Style Weekly; and the coverage was universally positive in tone, perhaps answering my question about whether or not this is, in fact, news and definitely opening a big can of rebranding worms that I plan on delving into in squishy, wiggling detail...but not quite yet. (Related: If you look at the Food section of the three publications I mentioned, the Antler & Fin news sits atop a similar story regarding Rancho T, though the circumstances of that rebranding effort are a bit different. Still, there's clearly a business trend developing here.)
IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE...
Get ye to the Vegetarian Festival, this Saturday from 12:00 to 6:00 in Bryan Park! It's Richmond's most humane food festival and Barb's personal favorite. And Sunday, you've got the chance to join a bunch of awesome people ON A BOAT, thanks to Saison's annual Riverboat Takeover. That's a weekend full of good times, right there, folks.
SIP OF THE WEEK: HELEN’S ICED IRISH COFFEE
One of the (very few) downsides to Summer is the disappearance of hot beverages. Ain’t nobody got time for a mug of Irish Coffee when it feels like we’re all wading through hot liquid already. But I do miss the occasional sip o' the Irish in these balmy months. Helen’s brunch to the rescue! I discovered when I was diligently researching biscuits that Helen’s offers a sweet little iced Irish coffee, served in a rocks glass with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Yes, please. I’ll take two.
BITE OF THE WEEK: TOMATOES
I just adore them. Every year, I wreck the inside of my mouth with the acid from an ungodly amount of the things, starting with the sugar-sweet sungolds that herald the season, and including but not limited to the French flame, the Italian pomodoro, and the very American Hanover tomato. Whether I slice them in half and eat them, sprinkled with Maldon, over the kitchen sink or I gussy them up with fat slices of homemade mozzarella and the best olive oil I can find, I don’t need to do very much to let tomatoes take me to my happy place.
Required Reading: My Americana, F For Food
GRAM OF THE WEEK: @STOPLIGHTGELATO
Now open in Jackson Ward!
*Ham Season lasts from October 1st to May 20th, according to standard American Ham Calendars