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Go Eat at Abuelita’s on Midlothian

I’m not wise to the ways of restaurant reviewers but I hope you’ll take my word for it and give this fairly new restaurant a try.

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Richmond is lucky to have more than a few excellent restaurant reviewers. I’m not one of them. I do however eat out way more than I should. My dining out shows in my vast waistline and empty. So while not an expert in the writing of food I do have strong opinions and one of those opinions I’m dropping on you right now.

If you want to get a plate of authentic home-made Mexican food you need to get your stomach over to Abuelita’s. Abuelita’s is at 6400 Midlothian Turnpike, near my favorite taco spot Taqueria Panchito. You’re not going to find your typical Americanized taco, nacho fare instead owners Karina Benavides and Everardo Fonseca serve up Mexican stews called guisos. Don’t be put off by the fast-food chain looking building, this place is anything but chain style Mexican.

Every day they have a menu (usually posted daily on their FB page) for the different stews they’re serving up. The one below is from a few days ago so don’t head out there today expecting these items.

You have options of a small plate pick one of the items above  and one side (black beans, refried beans, rice) or a large plate pick two and a side. Regardless of large or small, you get made on site tortillas. Fresh tortillas are a completely different beast from what you’ll find any nearly every other Mexican restaurant in town. The owners and worker there are so nice and will happily answer questions and guide you through your first visit.

Un Plato de Huevos con Chorizo, Papas con Ejotes y Frijoles Fritos es más rico con una salsa de Tomatillo, queso y cebolla con habanero.
Photo from Abuelito’s Facebook.

I’ve tried about six different dishes and haven’t been disappointed in any. The meat is always tender and flavorful. Nothing I’ve sampled dips into the spicy category but fear not my heat-seekers there is a selection of 6-8  homemade salsas and pickled jalapenos if you need to kick it up a bit. All the salsas have their own distinctive flavor and all fall into the hot category with none going into the sweet Jesus what the hell is this hot lava I just put in my mouth category. Also before I forget, Sunday is tamale day and the tamales are great.

No ABC license but they do make a kick-ass aqua fresco, Jarrito’s, and the usual lineup of Coke products.

If you received your most recent Valpak there should be a coupon with 20% which will make an already reasonable meal cheap. We picked up a small, large, soda, and aqua fresco for right around $20. Bottom line if you want to try something different head over to Midlothian Turnpike and put some stew in your belly.

If like me you want more places serving up authentic, inexpensive, homemade dishes in Richmond you need to get out there and support these efforts.

Photo from Abuelito’s Facebook

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Bakery to Rise Up in Manchester

There’s some work to be done on the location and they hope to open up in January.

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Spotted on Instagram and Facebook is news of Wildcraft Focaccia Company picking a spot to set up shop in Manchester. They describe themselves as naturally leavened, garden-to-table, sourdough and focaccia bakery. I look forward to trying them out. They don’t state it but I’m pretty sure the address will be 1303 Hull Street.

Here’s what they said on FB about their location.

It’s finally official – I found a space. It’s taken way longer than I ever expected – I worked on several properties and had months-long negotiations three separate times. Then there was the huge chunk of time when I didn’t even look for properties during the initial covid months, but finally, after almost a year of looking, I’ve landed in Manchester! My plan as of now is getting the keys on October 1st and likely taking three months to work on the space (it needs some TLC and some layout changes) Then opening in early January. Thanks for hanging with me during my “photo only” phase and please continue to keep me company during the build-out process! I’m looking forward to seeing you in person in 2021!

 

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Kickstarter-funded Ruby Scoops ice cream shop to open on Brookland Park Boulevard later this fall

“We’re trying to create memories, and we’re trying to create moments in your life that you will always remember that kind of stem from what we make,” Kamara said.

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From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Rabia Kamara recalls drinking a sweet, sugary Colombian beverage as a 5-year-old in Silver Spring, Md. It wasn’t until she was at an international market over 25 years later that she came across the beverage again and fell in love with it anew.

Kamara wants to create similar memories for customers at her ice cream shop, Ruby Scoops Ice Cream and Sweets, which is in the works on Richmond’s Brookland Park Boulevard in North Side. There, Kamara plans to add a unique spin on ice cream flavors, with twists such as Peaches N’ Herb, Sweet Corn Basil and Lemon Honey Chamomile.

“We’re trying to create memories, and we’re trying to create moments in your life that you will always remember that kind of stem from what we make,” Kamara said.

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Want to kick in to the Ruby Scoops Kickstarter? You can do that here.

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Urban Farmhouse in Scott’s Addition closes doors after six years

The local chain of market cafes is now down to just two locations – one in Shockoe Bottom and the other in Midlothian.

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From Richmond BizSense:

A local café-and-market chain has retreated from Scott’s Addition as it cuts costs amid the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

Urban Farmhouse has shuttered its location at 3015 Norfolk St., capping off an almost six-year stint in the neighborhood. The homegrown brand is now down to two locations, one in Shockoe Slip and the other in Midlothian.

The chain, which had six shops in 2016, eliminated the 4,000-square-foot Scott’s Addition location as it seeks to come out on the other side of the coronavirus pandemic, owner Kathleen Richardson said.

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