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Food News: Scumdogs, a speakeasy, and lots and lots of salt

Good morning, and happy New Year! I trust you’ve found the coffee, now on with the first food news of 2015…

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Governor McAuliffe announced earlier this week that Virginia will receive two USDA awards connecting public schools and local farmers. The first is a pilot program aimed at increasing local produce in school meals, and the second is a grant which will go toward developing a statewide Farm-to-School conference, held by the VA Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (Virginia.gov)

GWARbar opened its doors last night, after last-minute ABC approval, finally giving barbaric interstellar warriors and the bohabs that love them a place to grab gourmet junk food and “low-brow cocktails.” I, for one, welcome our scumdog overlords. (Richmond Magazine)

Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but soon we’ll be able to drink real hard liquor, at a bar, amongst friends! Just “whisper the name” at Grandstaff and Stein Book Sellers; and doors will open, drinks will be poured, and temperance will be forgotten! The Great Gatzby-inspired speakeasy plans to open in early March, and owner Ross Renfrow tells Annie Tobey he’s excited to bring a unique concept to a great neighborhood. (Richmond.com)

No, Carytown Burgers & Fries isn’t lost! The Cary Street burger spot is headed due North, opening a Lakeside location as early as next week. This is good news for Lakeside, which now has two major food groups, biscuits and burgers, covered! (RVANews)

If you were a Famous Dave’s person, your ship has sailed into that good night, and maybe 2015 will finally be the year you embrace real BBQ from one of the many amazing options in this city. And don’t worry about all your old server friends–they’ll be watching Bobby Flay on loop from their new job at Buz and Ned’s. Don’t think of it like losing a Famous Dave’s; think of it as gaining a Shake Shack!? (A girl can dream!)

When it rains, it pours….salt all over your Toyota Camry. Seriously, how much salt must one sprinkle over one’s shoulder when the spill looks like THIS?

Also the giant coffee monopoly that we all love to hate is desperately trying to be like one of the cool kids by adding a Flat White to their menu. Ok, fine, now I know what I’ll get when I’m interstate-stranded and under-caffeinated, but I still plan to fill most of my flat white needs at Proper Pie, where I first discovered the milky espresso drink.

SIP OF THE WEEK: Juice Dranks

Ready to detox? HELL NO YOU AREN’T. Put some booze in your juice!

Erin Powell started her Richmond-based company Ginger Juice earlier this year, and she’ll be selling her line of cold-press juices at the South of the James farmers market this Saturday. These nutrient-rich juices are just the place to hide some alcohol. Some people call them “juicetails,” though I’d rather not. Either way, the idea is to detox and retox at the same time, saving you from sad, dehydrated hangovers; and I say YES, PLEASE! Here’s an easy one to get you started:

Glorious Concombre

  • 4 oz. “Glorious” Ginger Juice
  • 2 oz. Square One Cucumber Vodka

Combine ingredients, shake, strain over ice, and serve with a cucumber garnish.

BITE OF THE WEEK: Greens

A traditional Southern New Year’s Day meal is comprised of a few very important components, all of which mean you’ll be getting PAID in the year to come: black eyed peas, which multiply from their humble beginnings like your potential future wealth; cornbread, which shines with a golden glow like your potential future wealth; and collard greens, which are totally green just like your potential future wealth!

This year, I’m focusing on the greens, slow-cooked, and doused in a spicy vinegar. Author of The Southern Slow Cooker, Kendra Bailey Morris knows how to make those greens sing. Spoiler: HAMHOCKS

Photo by: crazybobbles

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