The Slice: High fives from Zagat; changes at comfort; plus pizza, pops & BBQ

 Pizza and fried things at Puputella RVA. photo by Stephanie Ganz

Pizza and fried things at Puputella RVA. photo by Stephanie Ganz

ZAGAT SEES US SHINING

This week, Zagat published a list of "10 Must-Try Restaurants and Bars in Richmond, VA;" and the list is an interesting mix of spots you'd totally expect -- Brenner Pass, Maple & Pine, Rappahannock -- plus some deep cuts, like Craft Kolache, En Su Boca, and the brand new Vasen Brewing Company. Congrats to them, plus The Rogue Gentlemen, Yaki, Citizen, and Belmont Butchery on making the list!

BROOZE CRUISE

Michael Braune of The Roosevelt is throwing his hat in the pop-up ring with The Broozer pop-up series at Lucy's, starting Monday, August 7th. For the first menu, guests can expect good ol' ribs (lamb, beef & pork) and wings (confit'ed & fried and smoked & grilled). The real star of the menu may be the slew of sauces: Garlic Buffalo, Chipotle BBQ, Cherry Foie Gras, Charred Tomatillo Verde, and Coffee Maple, to name just a few. There will also be traditional sides, like hush puppies and slaw, plus drinks by Saison barman Justin Ayotte. 6:00-11:00 pm, no reservations necessary. 

Braune says the pop-ups are a way for him to work with friends and push himself creatively. "It's much more difficult for me to get it right with only one shot at it, so it's a nice challenge," he says. Details will be available soon for future pop-ups, which Braune says will play around with themes like "taco night," "crab shack," and "silly supper," among others.

TAKE COMFORT WHERE YOU FIND IT

Comfort has been filling bellies with their traditional meat 'n' three menu for almost 15 years now, and they plan to celebrate their 15th anniversary in September with a few menu additions, namely small plates, snacks, and composed plates. A Mixed Fry small plate will include green tomatoes, okra, bread & butter pickles and sweet onions; there's deviled country ham with red curry chow chow, parsley salad, and saltines; and don't sleep on their new wedge salad with house-cured bacon. It's hard to beat a good wedge.

Also, Beth Dixon has taken the reigns of comfort's bar program and is shaking up the menu every few months. Currently, Dixon has concocted a Fist City -inspired cocktail menu with cocktails like "Somebody's Back in Town," with Old Granddad Bourbon, vanilla peach shrub, and soda; and the "I Don't Wanna Play House," with Belle Isle Moonshine, Creme de Mure, celery bitters, and lime.

'Q IN THE QUEUE

Saying goodbye to ZZQ at Ardent Craft Ales means, eventually, saying hello to ZZQ in their very own Scott's Addition brick & mortar; and you can say hello/goodbye for yourself on Monday, August 14th at ZZQ's last appearance at their neighborhood brewery. Doors (and, presumably, the line) starts at 4:00 pm; service starts at 5:00 and lasts until the last ravenous BBQ-lover has gobbled up the final slice of that heavenly brisket. 

A MODEL CITIZEN

Citizen has two tasty bits of news: First, tonight (August 4th), Citizen will host a Spanish Wine and Tapas Tasting with Free Run Wine from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Sample three regional wines and accompanying tapas for $20 per person in advance or $25 at the door.

And this Saturday (August 5th), Citizen launches brunch from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm! Heck yes to more brunch options.

THE KING IN HIS CASTLE (FACTORY)

For less than the price of two KOP pops, you can tour the King of Pops Factory, this Sunday, August 6th. Tours last for one hour and are available hourly, starting at 11:00, with the last tour at 2:00 pm. You'll see where the magic happens and get a chance to taste TEN KOP flaves. 

PARTY ON PIZZA PEOPLE

Pupatella, a Northern-Virginia-based Neopolitan pizza restaurant opened in the former Rancho T (RIP, Rancho T; I miss you every day) spot this week. Guests order at the counter from a menu of Neopolitan pizzas, small plates & salads, and friggatoria (fried stuff). Don't miss the gelato, which is provided by DeLuca Gelato, and comes in flavors like coffee, hazelnut, lemon and mango.

NEW BRAND NAME, WHO DIS?

If you love your cans of Confluence Coffee, get ready for a slight adjustment. Starting next week, the canned coffee company will start answering to the name Convergent Coffee. Same coffee, new name, get into it.

 Pickle gazpacho with mint and sumac, with a potato knish at Mamaleh's Delicatessen. photo by Stephanie Ganz

Pickle gazpacho with mint and sumac, with a potato knish at Mamaleh's Delicatessen. photo by Stephanie Ganz

BEST THING I ATE ON VACATION: MAMALEH'S PICKLE GAZPACHO

I just got back from a week-ish in Boston, with a stop in Philly on the way home. For me, a vacation is basically minimal relaxing in between rigorous eating adventures, and this trip was no different. A day before my planned trip to Mamaleh's Delicatessen, Bon Appetit included the Cambridge spot in their 50 Best New Restaurants in America list, and now I know why. The food is clever and fun, there's a warmth to service, and girrrrl, this pickle gazpacho will have me dreaming in green for the rest of the summer. So fresh, so zippy, so pickle-y!

BEST THING I DRANK ON VACATION: ROOSTER SOUP CO.'S GAZPACHO

Yes, gazpacho again. It's kind of my thing. At Michael Solomonov's Rooster Soup Co, 100% of profits go toward supporting Philadelphia's most vulnerable citizens, which made my mug full of traditional tomato gazpacho go down even smoother. See also: Smoked Matzoh Ball Soup, which puts a slight twist on a beloved classic in a way that is still very approachable for MBS diehards like Mr. Ganz.

'GRAM I FOLLOWED ON VACATION: @CONCORDCHEESE

Concord, MA is dripping with historical charm, and the Concord Cheese Shop (est. 1967) is oozing with stinky/funky/ripe/fruity/nutty cheeses from all over the planet. If you're in the Concord, MA area; grab a bunch of picnic goodies (including selections from their fantastic sandwich line-up) from the Cheese Shop, and then make your way over to Walden Pond to contemplate your transcendental soul. 

 

 

 

Stephanie GanzComment