It’s a special edition of TasteBudz today. I’m pretty excited about what’s going on over at Boomtown Richmond Radio. Lots of big news and most of it is good news for those who are into the city’s dining scene. If you’re not yet acquainted, Boomtown Richmond (92.9 and 101.7 FM) plays the greatest music in the history of great music. They call it “Timeless Rock N Roll Pop & Soul.” I call it real music.
First, on a non-dining note, Garet Chester is back! Garet has always been one of my favorite radio personalities. Now, in the modern era, radio and personality might seem somewhat oxymoronic. I was listening to some FM rocker with my grandson a while back and I told him that “back in the day” they used to play great music on the radio AND the DJs actually had personalities. I told him it was funny and intelligent and informative. His reply, “That’s probably why they invented AM.” Ah, the innocence of youth. Anyway, Garet brings personality and humor and, yes, even a bit of intelligence to morning radio, and it’s all on FM – two FM signals, actually – 92.9 and 101.7.
After Garet signs off at 10 a.m., the new Radio Shopping Show airs. This is the cool news for lovers of local food.
From 10 ’til 1 each day, listeners can call in and purchase gift certificates at 50 to 80% discounted prices. It’s not all restaurants. There are spas, golf, dry cleaners, retail and more, but some of the city’s best restaurants are in on this deal. Let me tell you about a few of my favorites that have already signed on:
Greek Taverna (1903 Staples Mill Road) – If you read River City Magazine, you know how much I love this place. Owned and operated by Gagik and Toula Suleymanian, it’s authentic Greek food in one of the friendliest restaurants in which you’ll ever set foot. My favorites include the pastichio and the lamb chops. There’s always a host of great specials, too, including the most delicious bronzini you ever sank your taste buds in. Amazing homemade desserts top off the menu.
Lalo’s Cocina (2617 W. Broad St.) – Speaking of friendly, there’s no nicer guy in the business than my good pal, Lalo Macias. Not only is his food fresh, tasty and authentic Mexican, he has the best bar in the state, especially when Susy ((Susetty Cruz) is working. You can also find Susy and the same great good at Lalo’s downtown restaurant, Chicano’s Cocina. If you live out in Mechanicsville, check out his Patron for great Mexican fare.
Carytown Gyro (3459 W. Cary St.) – We’ve told you before about the fascinating couple (Angie and Rasool Al Hasan) who run this bright, cheery little spot in the heart of Carytown. Gyros and falafels are the specialties, but there’s lot more from which to choose. The folks here use only the finest ingredients and the dishes are prepared using family recipes.
Legends Grille (1601 Willow Lawn Drive) – Located in Willow Lawn, Legends Grille offers the best of both worlds – a family friendly restaurant with great burgers, wings and much more, plus a cool, comfortable sports bars with lots of big screen TVs to catch all the action. They even offer private speakers at your table so you can watch and listen to your favorite shows.
Hob Nob (6010 Hermitage Road) – Eat. Drink. Socialize. Serving lunch and dinner, this casual Lakeside restaurant offers a menu filled with all your favorite down-home dishes such as fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese, fried oysters and shrimp and grits. Also, fresh salads including melon prosciutto and the strawberry goat cheese salads. Look for Henrico’s only mural on the side of the building.
The Mantu (10 S. Thompson St.) – Recently opened, the Mantu features delicious modern Afghan cuisine and combines the talents of the lovely Shagufta Sajid, a local businesswoman who also owns Noorani Kebab House on Hungary Spring Road and chef Haidulla Noori, star of Afghani TV cooking shows. Mantu is the name of traditional Afghan dumplings, which are featured on the menu along with a wide variety of beef, chicken, vegetarian and vegan dishes.
I’ll be telling you about these restaurants, as well as other great restaurants that are featured on the show, in the days to come. So stay tuned.
Here’s the beauty of the Radio Shopping Show: Even if you’re not the sort that loves to save 50% or more on great restaurants, everyone loves to hear about the city’s dining scene. The show is kind of a radio TasteBudz. I’ve learned about several restaurants from listening that i didn’t know about.
There’s also other great programming coming to Boomtown, but I’ll tell you more about that at a later date.
MORE MUSIC AND FOOD: Hey, this Sunday is VibeFest at Positive Vibe Cafe at Forest Hill Avenue and Hathaway Road. It’s actually the 15th annual music and food festival, which is held to benefit Positive Vibe Foundation’s Training Programs for young adults with disabilities.VibeFest is always known for bringing in some of the finest local talent, and this year is no exception. One of my favorite groups, The Taters, is back. Also on the lineup – Tin Can Fish Band (another favorite of mine), The Hullabaloos, Burrito Riders League, Craig’s List Jerry and more. The fun gets under way at noon and goes ’til 6.
That’s all he wrote for today. See you next time.