TasteBudz Plus – November 15, 2018

It’s time for another healthy dose of TasteBudz. We have a grand  opening  and a grand (re-) opening this week Plus we’ll share some tidbits from our recent visits around town. We’ll start with a blurb…

ON THE WINGS THAT I LOVE: I have fallen in love with the smoked wings at Jackson’s Beer Garden and Smokehouse, down on 2nd Street.  I stopped by there yesterday and visited with owner, Cynthia Matthews.  I’m reluctant to ever say that anyone has the best whatever, but I will say that I’m hard pressed to come up with a spot that has better wings than do these folks. If you haven’t been, let me describe it a bit.  The restaurant, in the old Croaker Spot space) has a variety of cozy little dining areas, including a very secluded courtyard, next to the smoker. It all comes together to create a private hideaway feel but with a very “everyone’s welcome” atmosphere. They have some great Happy Hour prices, too, both on food and adult beverages.

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PIK NIK IS BACK: I’ve been anxiously awaiting the rebirth of one of my favorite Fan spots – PikNik at 2301W. Main St.  Well, I spoke with GM Shelby Wilmon yesterday and she tells me that the place will officially reopen tomorrow night (Nov. 16) as Kodo-Ya @ PikNik. Will Richardson will be bringing his famous noodle dishes to the restaurant, including his Miso Ramen (pulled pork, sweet corn, soft egg, scallion and sesame). I’m looking forward to sampling his curry tots.

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GLUTEN FREEDOM ON MAIN: While I don’t have any particular aversion to gluten, I am always interested in checking out gluten-free dishes. I found some excellent ones this week at a little spot on E. Main Street (521) called Biscuits & Waffles. All the biscuits and waffles are gluten free and,

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based on my sampling, they’re all delicious. I tried the Waffle Sampler, which allowed me to taste the four waffle dishes. First, there’s the Double Trouble, featuring cocoa and chocolate chips. The second of the four was their blueberry waffle and the third featured “Grandma’s” cooked apples with a liberal dose of cinnamon. My favorite quarter of the light, fluffy waffle was what they call MonkeyDo. It’s a combination of Nutella, sliced bananas and strawberries. I didn’t try the lemon poppyseed waffle. That’s my next visit. The place is only open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily (from 9 a.m. on weekends), but it’s worth scheduling your time to fit it in.

TRES MACHOS OPENS: Well, there’s a new Tex-Mex grill in what some are calling Scott’s Addition West. The Westwood Avenue neighborhood, which is part Richmond/part Western Henrico, is poised for some serious growth. That growth has begun with the opening this week of Daniel Velasco’s Tres Machos restaurant at 2313 Westwood Ave.  Daniel already has a place at 11521 Midlothian Turnpike. Check out the tempting menu on the website.

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC: Let’s check out the music scene, shall we?

Kari Smith returns to the Wine Loft tonight (Nov. 15) after a one-week absence. She makes the magic happen starting at 8 p.m.

In the mood for a little country music. Check out Rear View Mirror tomorrow night (Nov. 16) at Bryan Park Bar and Grill on Lakeside Ave.

And if you’re an Eagles fan, check out Dark Desert Eagles (the “Ultimate Eagles Tribute”) tomorrow night (Nov. 16) at Tin Pan.

Pat O’Brien , a Richmond fixture on the live music scene, returns to JJ’s Grille on Saturday (Nov. 17). Pat does it all from classic rock to R&B, from country to bluegrass, from Motown to modern sounds. The show starts at 8 p.m.

On a final note, I had an amazing pastitcio this week thanks to Kari  Smith. Next week, she’ll be filing a report on a cool little Greek restaurant out in the burbs. In the meantime, if you have a favorite Greek dish,  send me the info and we’ll check it out and get back with you. This is going to be my Greek Week. Any suggestions?

Email us at TasteBudz@RichmondNavigator.com

Steve Cook
Author: Steve Cook