The Slice: Holy Basil, Butterbeans, and the return of the Appleseed Series

 Mira! The pollo con tajedas (above) but also noteworthy is the desayuno tipico (below)

Mira! The pollo con tajedas (above) but also noteworthy is the desayuno tipico (below)

HOLY BASIL, BATMAN

Carytown's Tulsi Indian Cuisine opened this week. Located in the former Piano store/Yapple/Spiral Noodle location at 3131 W. Cary, Tulsi (meaning Holy Basil) is open seven days a week from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. The menu offers mainly Northern Indian cuisine, including traditional favorites like palak paneer, masalas, vindaloos, and curries; plus a few twists on the classics, such as the chicken tikki salad, available on both the lunch and dinner menus.

YOU BET YOUR BUTTERBEAN

Michael and Laura Hild, the couple behind Church Hill Ventures and Anderson's Neck Oysters clearly don't know the meaning of down time. The busy duo have been hard at work preparing to open The Butterbean, a casual neighborhood market and cafe on Manchester's Hull Street.

According to our officemates at Campfire & Co, the team has been working on creating a website, interior design, and identity for the brand; and what a darling identity they've chosen. Their be-tube-socked bean person oozes charm and makes me crave hand-pulled espresso drinks, which, lucky for me, The Butter Bean will offer once they open in early 2018. You'll also be able to find kombucha and beer on tap, prepared foods and grocery items once the 1204 Hull Street location opens to the public.

GELATI PARTY

We done did it guys. We finally ate so much Gelati Celesti ice cream that owners Steve and Kim Rosser have been forced to expand their production facility. I take my share of the responsibility on this one and vow to maintain or exceed current ice cream levels to justify the business' acquisition of a 9,250 square feet facility on Hamilton Street. It's the least I can do, really. 

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JOHNNY APPLESEED

The Appleseed series returns this fall, and this time our friends at Real Local have graciously offered to host it at Ellwood Thompson's Beet Cafe. This is great news since last time the series quickly sold out, and this larger venue will allow us to reach an even bigger audience. 

This four-part series was designed for food entrepreneurs who want to start and grow their businesses. We'll explore various start-up business models (from food trucks to famers markets to good old brick & mortars); adding revenue streams based on existing menu items or surplus crops; engaging with local and regional tourism; and aligning social media marketing with actual, tangible business outcomes. Each workshop will be on the second Tuesday of the month, from 11:30 to 1:00 (Grab lunch at Ellwoods! Multitasking welcome!). Tickets go on sale Monday, September 18 at 8:00 am.

FIVE THINGS FOR THURSDAY

We are blessed, perhaps over-blessed, with food & drink options every week here in Richmond. It's amazing that anyone in Richmond can still wear pants. Every weekend is a marathon of food festivals, multi-chef dinners, and beer releases. This week, Lil Friday has gotten in on the action with four awesome options. Prepare your eatin' tarps accordingly.

SIP OF THE WEEK: NAVY HILL COCKTAIL MIXERS

The bubble water world has been innovated by a local business trio. Amanda Coulbourn, Jenny Lucas and Katie Williams started Navy Hill earlier this year. Their product combines equal parts club soda and tonic, plus natural flavors and electrolytes (it's like you're fighting your hangover WHILE you're drinking--genius!). Available in four packs for $8-$9, Navy Hill products are available locally at Ellwood Thompson's, Libble Market and Union Market.

BITE OF THE WEEK: SHELLY'S FOOD COMIDA LATINA POLLO CON TAJEDAS

My dearest friend Jon Davidow is a restaurant ordering hero. He flips to the back page of a menu, points to a thing he's never heard of, makes an attempt at pronouncing it, and let's fate take its course. Sometimes, it results in the kind of failure that necessitates pushing the mystery meal around with chopsticks, hastily paying the bill, and going out for burgers, but sometimes actual magic happens.

Such was the case for our maiden voyage to Shelly's Food Comida Latina on Glen Allen. Jon gestured toward the pollo con tajedas with a "que es eso" look in his eyes. Our waitress explained that it's a Honduran specialty and that Shelly's menu combines Honduran and other Latin American foods like their El Salvadoran pupusas.

What came to the table was three pieces of gloriously fried chicken. The kind of fried chicken that makes one realize that The South does not have the market cornered on pollo frito. This was juicy dark meat in a crispy cage of breading that miraculously stayed adhered to the bird for bite after blessed bite. Three pieces of fried chicken were nested on a bed of fried plantains and shredded cabbage, and there was both a thin salsa and a ketchup-and-mayonnaise-based dipping sauce for gilding these perfect lilies. At $8.99 it was a steal of a meal.

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GRAM OF THE WEEK: @NATALIESOJ

Natalie's Orchid Island Juice is a family-owned business that has been producing delicious freshly-squeezed juices for over 30 years. We chatted with the kind folks at Natalie's for the Cavalier Produce blog, which goes live tomorrow, but in the meantime, THE JUICE IS LOOSE.

Stephanie GanzComment