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Food & Drink

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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Community

Food Truck Rally Pulls Into the Diamond

Come by every week for a new RVA Food Truck Lineup!

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Tired of the same old food day after day? You’ll have a chance next week to try something new or hit up that old favorite. Starting Thursday, March 4th various food trucks will park in the Diamond parking lot and serve up their wares.
Order and eat on-site, or order in advance and pickup and go!
View participating trucks, menus, and order in advance at: http://foodtruckrallyrva.com/
First Food Truck Lineup Thursday, March 4th
  • Opa
  • Shakedown Eats
  • The Pitts Killer Food Truck

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Business

Richmond EDA approves grant to ChopChop to create rate reduction program

During its January 28, 2021 meeting, the Economic Development Authority of the City of Richmond approved awarding a $120,000 grant to local restaurant delivery company ChopChop.  The grant will allow the company to create the Richmond Rate Reduction Program. 

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During its January 28, 2021 meeting, the Economic Development Authority of the City of Richmond approved awarding a $120,000 grant to local restaurant delivery company ChopChop.  The grant will allow the company to create the Richmond Rate Reduction Program.

The Richmond Rate Reduction Program reduces delivery fees charged to local restaurants from 20% to 7% for a three-month period.  The company will also add 75-100 new restaurants, breweries, and distilleries to its delivery platform and create 150 new jobs (3-5 permanent employees and 145-148 contracted delivery jobs) during the three-month period.  The long-term objective is for ChopChop to keep its delivery fee charged to restaurants at 7 percent.

“My team and I are very excited for this opportunity to not only expand our offerings, but also allow restaurants to retain more profit when they need it most,” said ChopChop Owner and Operator Chris Chandler. “A 13 percent rate reduction will make a significant difference, especially now that meal delivery is so prevalent.”

“Richmonders have been supporting our restaurant industry diligently by ordering takeout and delivery since March,” said Mayor Stoney. “The next time you order through ChopChop, more of your bill will go directly to the restaurants you love, supporting employees and management alike.”

ChopChop currently has 120 employees on staff, 98 percent of which are contracted drivers who work 5 to 40 hours per week.  The company currently serves approximately 65 percent of the City of Richmond. The growth from this program will allow the company to serve the entire city.

“When the Small Business Support Grant Programs Cooperation Agreement was authorized, our goal was to help restaurants save on delivery costs,” said EDA Chairman John Molster, “The grant to ChopChop meets that goal and goes above and beyond to provide jobs and expand delivery capacity.”

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Community

People’s Pie Says Goodbye to All the People

The pandemic has claimed another restaurant.

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People’s Pie (2930C W Broad Street) posted the following on FB yesterday.

As everyone knows, the pandemic has been extremely difficult on small businesses, especially those in the food and beverage world. Plans to open our dream pizza shop were already in motion when COVID-19 struck, and despite uncertainty and the unknown, we trekked forward with our new adventure.

Over the past 9 months, it’s been our pleasure to dish out Detroits, round pies and all the water ranch your za-loving hearts’ desire. Unfortunately, Feb 6 will be our last day of service at this location. We hope you join us over the next few days and help give People’s Pie a proper send-off. We cannot thank you enough for all the support along the way!!

Big thanks to everyone who has joined us on this pizza journey, and remember, this isn’t a goodbye! We love the dough more than you know, so stay tuned for updates regarding potential pizza parties, pop-ups, and maybe even a new permanent home, from People’s Pie in the future. Cowabunga, dudes! #pizzaislife

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