Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Short Order

Shots Out West at Mix It

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST

To no one's surprise, another frozen yogurt shop has opened in a city still reeling from over-cupcaking. There's a difference with this one — the juice bar — which is something Richmond has mostly lacked. Mix It Frozen Yogurt & Juice Bar sells shots of wheat-grass, carrot, orange, apple and pineapple juices in various combinations; all are fresh squeezed, averaging $4-$5 for a 12-ounce drink. Owners Dustin Smith and Amanda Leininger opened their shop last month, offering acai bowls (berries with granola and fruits), smoothies, cereals, and frozen yogurt from a local farm, sweetened with local honey. Flavors for the chunky-style yogurt change weekly, and Smith says triple chocolate and cheesecake are early favorites.

The self-service format has seating for about 55 inside and out, and is wisely positioned near the Children's Museum of Richmond branch and a four-story gym, which opens later this year in West Broad Village. Mix It serves daily at 2235 Old Brick Road. 360-3562. Mixitfroyo.com.

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More juice: Customers looking for a wider range of fresh-squeezed juice drinks, including organic kale, celery and other vegetables, will find them at Good Foods Grocery at Gayton Crossing Shopping Center. goodfoodsgrocery.com.

Ellwood Thompson's also carries fresh organic juices, wheatgrass shots and various fruit and veggie smoothies in its newly expanded coffee shop. ellwoodthompsons.com

Travel with Sheep: It's no secret that the Travel Channel's worldly eater Adam Richman loves The Black Sheep in Richmond's Carver district, with a special affection for co-owner Amy Hess. He's featured their food before, and returned for more videotaping last month. The restaurant's CSS Virginia sandwich with chicken livers is one of Richman's picks for 30 best sandwiches in the country, and will be featured in a new series that premieres on the cable network on June 6.

Simple minded: With the mint shortage that's striking bars all over (and this follows the chartreuse shortage earlier this year), a local product hopes to fill the void. Susan Martinson's Keep It Simple Syrup, an additive-free, spearmint-infused mixer, is behind the bar at Kitchen 64, Julep's, Mint New Casual Cuisine, Kenn-Tico, Millie's, Palani Drive, Cafe Caturra and at ABC stores and local natural foods markets. Martinson spent three years developing the product, which retails for $13.50, and says it's been a challenging opportunity. Advice for other startups: "Stick with it and keep learning, and don't give up your vision. There's no reason to take shortcuts. You want to stand before your product comfortably." Mixologists are using it in mojitos, juleps, teas and other drinks, while Martinson sets to work on the next infusion flavor.

Kitchen dance at Pescados China Street: A new culinary team at this Oregon Hill seafood destination promises customer-focused changes, especially a three-course tasting menu for $25 and a special plate for Oregon Hill residents. Chef Trevor "Sparky" Knotts, sous chef Sean McGee — a Portland, Ore., trained Washington transplant — and Matthew Guhl, Will Perry and George Cavarria work the line with co-owner chef Todd Manley. Pescadoschinastreet.com

New menu at Sensi: Pastas, chops, steak, seafood and vegetarian choices are on the menu at this Shockoe Bottom standout. Daily risotto and a five- or seven-course tasting menu ($45 and $65 with wine pairings additional) offer a full range of Italian and other flavors. 2222 E. Cary St. 648-3463.

Ettamae's Cafe, opened two years ago in Jackson Ward by chef Matthew Morand and his sister Laura Morand Bailey, will close after Mother's Day. They've looked at other locations and are considering options, but for now their well-regarded desserts and other Southern fare are going out of business with a week of specials. 522 N. 2nd St. 888-8058. ettamaescafe.com.

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NOW SERVING

The Dixie Chicken: Takeout with breakfast biscuits, pork belly sandwich, fried chicken, Southern sides, pulled pork barbecue. Open Monday through Saturday; call-in orders advised. 1203 Westover Hills Blvd. 837-0935. Thedixiechicken.com.

Buz and Ned's II: New, larger second location for famous pulled-pork barbecue, ribs, brisket, sides. Outdoor dining, party room, bar. Lunch and dinner daily. 8205 W. Broad St. 346-4227. Buzandneds.com.

Parkside Café: New menu with pastas, meats, seafood, chicken burrito, salads. Lunch and dinner Thursday through Sunday; dinner Tuesday and Wednesday. 3514 Forest Hill Ave. 864-8888. Parksiderva.com.

Miso Asian Grill: Health-conscious Asian fusion with full bar and lounge, sushi bar in family-run business, Fredericksburg offshoot. Lunch and dinner daily. 3601-A Cox Road. 747-6888. Misoasiangrill.com.

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