The Slice: Greek Squad, Appétits, and Never-Ending Openings

 Greek sweets, photo by Stephanie Ganz

Greek sweets, photo by Stephanie Ganz

FREAKS AND GREEKS

This week is the 42nd Annual Richmond Greek Festival at the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral. From Thursday to Sunday, Malvern avenue will be buzzing with families serving and eating up all the Greek food and culture Richmond has to offer.

Despite the hot temps and long lines, after over 40 years of producing this event, the organizers have it all down to a science--including a very handy drive-thru for when you just can't be bothered to get out of your vehicle. But please do get out of your vehicle because this festival is more than just food--it's people. Fun, funny, gregarious Greek people who want to share their culture with all of us, and that is just not available in the drive-thru line. Style Weekly reports on how it's the families that make the Richmond Greek Festival such a success.

 At last year's Off-Broad, Michael Scelfo combined waffles, head cheese, and snails to delicious effect. Photo by Stephanie Ganz

At last year's Off-Broad, Michael Scelfo combined waffles, head cheese, and snails to delicious effect. Photo by Stephanie Ganz

APPÉTITS, ON AND OFF BROAD

This is the weekend when you'll want to wear your yoga pants for decidedly un-yoga purposes, but rather to help your guts accommodate all the food you'll be stuffing into them at Broad Appétit on Sunday. Now in its tenth year, Broad Appétit benefits FeedMore, and with over 75 restaurants selling ample-sample-sized plates for $3 each, it will benefit YOU to get there early and hungry.

Preceding the big show on Saturday night, Pasture will once again host Off Broad Appétit, which also raises money for FeedMore. In this dine-around event, Chef Jason Alley will welcome his National Pork Board Buddies, including José Enrique, Justin Brunson, Stephen Gerike, Kim Kaechele, Rob Newton, and Adam Sappington, for an evening of food, wine, and Jason tearing up about how much he loves Feed More. 

KIDS CAN COOK

Let's face it, your kids are never going to prepare a delicious dinner for you until you get them some proper training. Ramona and Beezus tried it in Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and it was a forehead-smacking disaster. Better to prepare your offspring for success (and set yourself up for success while you're at it) with this culinary camp at Mise En Place, taught by Jenny Tremblay West. In this camp, kids ages 8-12 will spend three and a half hours learning practical skills and recipes from July 17th to the 20th--a steal at $150 per urchin.

OPEN AND OPENING

Despite this #realtalk about a local and national cook shortage, Richmond restaurant proliferation shows no signs of slowing:

  • Recently Athens Tavern opened on Robinson, and this week the Greek Taverna opens on Staples Mill.
  • Hamooda Shami of Don't Look Back and New York Deli, just unveiled his innovative semi-permanent-pop-up concept at Eleven Months in Carytown. 
  • Yaki, a yakitori bar from the folks at The Rogue Gentlemen, opens this week, with a grand opening on Friday, June 2.
  • Garnett's At the Valentine opens at its Valentine Museum courtyard location this Friday, June 2.
  • Brenner Pass and Chairlift are so close to realization I can almost picture myself skiing down the Alps (ok, not so much skiing as eating warm, melted cheese by a fireplace, but still).
  • Paul Keevil, owner of Millie's, Lulu's, and Tio Pablo, announced plans to open Clang Café, later this summer.
  • The Korean fried chicken chain BonChon plans to open a VCU location this fall, and Mean Bird, those fried chicken and vegan fried chicken slingers, will open their Main Street take-out joint in the next week or two.

SIP OF THE WEEK: HARDYWOOD'S RASPBERRY STOUT

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery just keeps racking up awards. I imagine the rooms devoted to housing them at owners Eric McKay's and Patrick Murtaugh's (I'm assuming they trade awards back and forth between them on a rotating basis like the original issue of Radioactive Man) homes will soon need an addition to house them all. Most recently, Hardywood took top honors at the Australian International Beer Awards, where, I'm told, Fosters is, in fact, not Australian for beer.

BITE OF THE WEEK: GALAKTOBOUREKO 

As fun to say as it is to eat, Galaktoboureko is a creamy custard nestled in phyllo and drizzled with honey. Load up while you can at this weekend's Greek Festival, and in between festivals, give the one at Demi's on Northside a try.

GRAM OF THE WEEK: @REALFOODWITHGRATITUDE

Richmond based blogger Katie Brown shares her culinary journey, one Insta post at a time, giving us a glimpse into how she balances a healthy lifestyle with, you know, wanting to to eat donuts all the time.

Stephanie GanzComment