South of the James Farmers Market

Scott Elmquist

South of the James Farmers Market

Thursday, May 3, 2018

West Coast Provisions prepares to open, a farmers market roundup, and more food and drink news

Posted on Thu, May 3, 2018 at 3:50 PM

Richmond Restaurant Group is a powerhouse in the local food and drink scene. Operators Jared Golden, Michelle Williams and Ted Wallof own eight restaurants in the area, including Pearl Raw Bar, The Daily Kitchen and Bar, the Hard Shell and East Coast Provisions. The group’s latest venture, West Coast Provisions in Henrico, will hold its grand opening on Wednesday, May 9. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., and happy hour, featuring $3 house brand cocktails, $2 draft beer, a dozen oysters for $9 and $4-8 small plates goes until 6:30 p.m.

The raw bar features Middle Neck clams, an oyster sampler and lobster cocktail. For dinner, choose from a selection of small plates, sashimi and sushi, maki rolls, sandwiches and main dishes. The menu is heavy on the seafood, but you’ll also find roasted chicken and two Angus burgers, plus veggie options like quinoa with chickpeas and fava beans, a tempura sweet potato maki roll and a burrata salad with poached pair and brioche. Desserts include gelato and sorbet, single-malt butterscotch pudding, passionfruit soup and a house donut.

Hold the gluten, please

Earlier this week, Richmond gained a new breakfast and lunch spot. It's called 521 Biscuits and Waffles, and you'll never guess what's on the menu. Located downtown at 521 E. Main St., the new joint serves up an entirely gluten-free selection of breakfast items, including a waffle with chocolate-chips and coconut flakes inside, a bacon-egg-and-cheese biscuit and a waffle parfait with yogurt, mixed berries and house-made granola. Sides include breakfast potatoes, bacon, eggs and cooked apples.

Hours are Mondays - Fridays 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Mezcal and mint juleps

The Kentucky Derby falls on May 5 this year, so now’s our chance to find out whether mint juleps go with tacos. Spoiler alert: They do. Restaurants like Boka Tako Bar, Cha Chas Southwest Kitchen and Bar, Margaritas Cantina, Havana ’59, Wong Gonzalez, Nacho Mama’s, Rico’s Mexican Grill, Cornerstone Cigar Bar and Restaurant, Terraza, and Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant will celebrate Cinco de Mayo this Saturday with special menu items, discounted margaritas and live music. At River City Roll, try a tequila-based julep to celebrate Cinco de Derby and show up in costume for a chance to win a prize. The Virginia Hispanic Chamber will also observe the Mexican holiday, which contrary to popular belief commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over the French Empire and not the country’s independence day, by holding the 17th annual Que Pasa Festival. Downtown on the Canal Walk, the festival will feature “a dynamic mixture of sights, sounds and tastes” of Virginia’s Hispanic community, including an attempt at setting a record for the largest display of piñatas.

The proof is in the pudding

The sad news is that Richmond Restaurant Week is over. The happy news is that one restaurant alone raised more than $4,000 for hunger relief organization FeedMore. According to a recent news release, Acacia served 407 crabcakes and 250 pounds of fish in six days. More than 970 guests dined at Acacia during Restaurant Week, and the final donated dollar count was $4,071.32.

The next Richmond Restaurant Week will take place Oct. 22-28 of this year.

Take ’n’ bake takeover

Last week, Papa Murphy’s Take ’N’ Bake Pizza announced its plans to expand across the Richmond area. The nationwide chain, which recently opened a location in Mechanicsville at 7999 Creighton Parkway, and an Ashland location is on the horizon for later this summer.

Papa Murphy’s offers customizable, pre-assembled pizzas on thin, original, fresh pan, stuffed or gluten free crusts for pickup, which customers then take home to bake. According to a recent news release, the dough is never frozen, the whole-milk mozzarella is grated daily and the veggies are fresh and local.

Meet me at the market

Fresh strawberries and plump tomatoes are finally around the corner, y’all. While South of the James has been chugging along all year, most of the area’s farmers markets reopen in the spring. We’re lucky enough to have access to markets nearly every day of the week, and here’s a rundown of the ones that make their seasonal debut in early May:

Ashland Farmers Market

1201 Thompson St., Ashland

Saturdays 9 a.m. - noon

Brandermill Green Market

4900 Market Square Lane, Midlothian

Saturdays, 9 a.m. - noon

West End Farmers Market

12450 Gayton Road, Henrico

Saturdays, 9 a.m. - noon

Carytown Market

3201 Maplewood Ave., Richmond

Sundays, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Birdhouse Farmers Market

1507 Grayland Ave., Richmond

Tuesdays, 3- 6:30 p.m.

Goochland Farmers Market

1889 Sandy Hook Road, Goochland

Tuesdays, 3:30 - 7 p.m.

Chesterfield County Farmers Market

Chesterfield County Government Complex

Wednesdays, 2:30 - 5:30 p.m.

New Highland Baptist Farmers Market

9200 New Ashcake Road, Mechanicsville

Wednesdays 4 - 7 p.m.

Westchester Farmers Market

15786 Westchester Main St., Midlothian

Thursdays, 4 - 7 p.m.

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