It’s always such a pleasure to discover some place that I’ve never been before or a tasty treat that stands head and shoulders above the crowd. Well, that sort of serendipity happened to me twice this past week.
WINGS OVER RICHMOND: I’m a wing man. I love my wings. Often I’ll rate a restaurant by how good their wings are Well, using that criteria, I discovered one of the city’s best this past week. Actually, I had discover the place a few weeks ago and, at the time, had written about Bryan Park Bar and Grill as a cool bar with a menu designed to please those looking for healthy diet options. But I just tried their wings just a couple days ago. I haven’t had meatier, tastier wings since the old Cinema and Draft House in the Westland Shopping Center shut down decades ago.
The thing I loved about Cinema and Draft House was that their wings had a little meat on their bones. Same goes for the Bryan Park Grill’s version. They’re both tasty and meaty. And, get this, on Thursdays, they’re just 50 cents each. The naked wings are exceptional. I’m still licking my fingers.
Speaking of great wings, while I was at Bryan Park Grill, I got to chatting with Jessie Kelley, the bartender. She had just come back from enjoying the wings at the relatively new Cobra Cabana at 901 W. Marshall. After I finished off my huge portion of my wings, Jessie let me try one of the wings she had brougth back fromthere. These spicy wings were also extremely delicious, although head to head, I think I’d pick Bryan Park’s
MUFFIN SAYS LOVIN’: I was at the Virginia Wine Expo a few days ago, doing their famous annual walk around and I chanced upon Joanne Chaves offering her wares. Joanne is the owner of 7 Muffins a Day Bakery, a relatively new gluten-free and non-dairy bakery. I have to confess that, while I am on a non-wheat diet, myself, I have always thought that for food to be truly tasty it had to have both wheat and butter or milk in it. I have discovered a few gluten-free products that I enjoyed, but I was not ready to bite the dairy-free bullet.
Well, I bit several of those tasty bullets, in the form of Joanne’s muffins, brownies, cookies and the like at the Expo and every bite was a delight. Hey, I ought to patent that line. Her products were such a hit that she sold out of most of the items she brought.
Joanne is a lovely woman, born in Ghana but raised in England. She moved to Virginia about 30 years ago and until recent years, was working in the financial industry.
However, due to cutbacks in her company, she found herself out of a job. “I had always thought about opening a bakery,” she tells me, but had never actually pursued the dream. However, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
So, as an unemployed mother of a young son, Joanne decided to pursue her passion.
Being gluten and lactose intolerant, she had an appreciation for the plight of those who were in similar circumstances.
Soon, she was in business for herself, offering a variety of baked goods. She says that as she started the business, she figured that if she could sell seven muffins a day, she could sock away some funds for her son’s college education. Joanne has gone well beyond those modest goals.
I, for one, am glad she has. Even if I had no food restrictions, I would find myself craving her baked goods, from the delicious Challah to her brownie mousse cups. Check the website for a look at her product line (7MuffinsADay.com).
Your order will be delivered within two days, unless you live in the Glen Allen area, then you can get same day delivery.
So those are my two discoveries of the week. But before I go, I want to tell you about another local treat that I have to put on my weekend to-do list.
SUNDAY FUNDAY: Jessie was telling me about her recent visIt to District 5′s Sunday buffet brunch. i don’t care if you do look askance when I say it, but I do love the word “buffet.” Jessie says District 5’s $15 Sunday brunch (10:30 to 2:30) offers a bounty of delicious fare, including omelettes, fried chicken, pastries, sausage, grits and more. There may not be anything on the menu to raise your culinary eyebrows, but it’s all hearty fare and quite tasty, or so I’m told. I think I know where I’m going to be next Sunday afternoon.
LET’S GO DEUTSCH: Speaking of buffets, one of my favorite spots, Positive Vibe Cafe (2825 Hathaway Road) is having a German Karnival Buffet this Saturday starting at 5 pm. The all-you-can-eat menu features: bratwursts, sauerbraten, Bavarian meatballs, hot potato salad, cherry strudel, German chocolate cake and much more. The Sauerkrauts, a German Oom Pah Pah band will be providing the musical entertainment. For more info, visit the website.
AND SPEAKING OF BRUNCH: I had lunch this past week at Brunch. That’ s Rick Lyons third piece to his trio of in-town restaurants. He has Lunch and Supper over on Summit in Scott’s Addition. And now he has Brunch at 2600 W. Main St. Somehow, Rick has managed to create a brunch feel to the place, even if I was only having lunch (in my head) on a Wednesday afternoon.
I liked the menu, which features such brunchy items as a breakfast charcuterie, featuring a variety of sausages, gouda, bacon jam and more. My favorite brunch dish – lox – is offered along with capers, pickled red onions, confit tomato, fresh dill and sourdough bread. The cocktail menu is also quite creative.
That’s going to do me for this week. If you know of any cool spot that I ought to check out, please tell me. Also, if you have any restaurant news, I’m all ears. Email me at TasteBudz@RiverCityMag.com.