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Pulp Fiction food truck starts new chapter in Lakeside

As she overcame her father’s death, Ruslana Remennikova discovered a love of smoothies. She turned that passion into the Pulp Fiction food truck — and soon will open a cafe in Lakeside that offers smoothies, coffee and more.

Capital News Service

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By Brea Hill

Ruslana Remennikova and her father, Michael Remennikova, with whom she was very close, trained and completed their first Olympic-distance triathlon together in 2016.

“We did it and then he loved it, and he was so happy and I could see how it had changed his life,” Remennikova said. “He was much more positive and happy.”

The happiness was short-lived. Seven days later, her dad died unexpectedly from a heart attack. Her world rattled, Remennikova decided to commemorate his life by doing a full-length Ironman triathlon.

Her goal was to find a race on the exact date of her father’s passing, no matter how far she had to travel. That wound up being halfway across the world, in Port Macquarie, Australia.

It’s no easy feat to train for and complete a 140-mile race, including in this order, without a break: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.22-mile run.

Remennikova started making smoothies to help with her training and recovery regimen.

“The smoothies just made me feel so good,” Remennikova said.

The more smoothies she made, the better they tasted. That’s when the Virginia Commonwealth University graduate decided to share her love of smoothies with others — and the smoothie truck Pulp Fiction RVA was born.

Now almost three years after that first race with her dad, Remennikova will open a brick-and-mortar storefront in Lakeside that will offer coffee, smoothies and more.

The name isn’t a reference to Quentin Tarantino’s popular 1990s film; it’s a reference to the absence of pulp in her smoothies.

Last year, the truck operated from the beginning of April through October, with the inaugural event held in Goochland. Remennikova decided to open a neighborhood shop after a trip with friends to Sardinia, Italy. They worked in an olive field, and Remennikova said she was inspired tremendously by the community she experienced.

Remennikova knew she wanted to create a community back home in Richmond after backpacking through Sardinia and then visiting her favorite city, Barcelona, Spain.

“I was so inspired by the coffee scenes there,” Remennikova said. “The café sizes are so small, and I just saw them thriving and people excited to be there.”

The 2010 chemistry graduate has gone quite the distance since she took a long swig of reality and decided the corporate world was not for her.

Once back in Richmond, Remennikova landed the opportunity to open a coffee shop.

Larry Hancock, founder of Legacy Roasting Company, will supply the coffee for Remennikova and is working on a special house blend.

Hancock, also a VCU grad, said he is excited to help Remennikova explore new territory.

“I wanted to create a brand that was going to create a legacy for the community,” Hancock said. “I just love how coffee brings people together.”

The options are straightforward. Pulp Fiction food truck currently offers three smoothie choices: Legacy, Bear Claw, and Bitsy’s Circle. Mediterranean and Southwestern wraps are also available.

The Pulp Fiction Lakeside Coffee Shop will nestle into the former Early Bird Biscuit storefront at 5411 Lakeside Ave. Coffee, smoothies, bagels, and pastries will be available initially — with to-go sandwich options planned later.

Lakeside has been without a coffee shop for years but will soon have two. Bright Spot Coffee recently announced plans to open a few doors down from Final Gravity Brewing Co., in the 6100 block of Lakeside Ave.

Neither shop has announced an exact opening date. Pulp Fiction is planning for an early summer debut, Remennikova said.

Locate the Pulp Fiction food truck at https://streetfoodfinder.com/c/va/richmond, or visit the calendar at www.pulpfictionrva.com for upcoming events.

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The Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. In the program, journalism students cover news in Richmond and across Virginia and distribute their stories, photos, and other content to more than 100 newspapers, television and radio stations, and news websites.

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Richmond BizSense.com Reporting Naked Onion Permanently Closed

The take-out sandwich spot has been closed since the start of the pandemic.

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Richmond BizSense.com has the news of another restaurant feeling the sting of Covid-19.

“We have decided to permanently close. With COVID, and giving birth to our second child in May, we just don’t feel comfortable with the daily risk, nor do we feel it responsible to put our staff at risk,” the Comstocks said in a message to BizSense via Facebook.

The Comstocks said they’re not sure what their next move might be. Both are chefs who had prior experience in the culinary scenes in Las Vegas and Richmond before opening The Naked Onion.

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Fuzzy Cactus has reopened, offering family meals, cocktails to go

Get your to-go fried chicken, sandwiches, family meals, and cocktails from this Brookland Park favorite.

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The Fuzzy Cactus, the space I very affectionately refer to as the “Sticky Rice of the Northside,” has reopened for curbside to-go and bulk family meals, the Brookland Park restaurant announced.

The full menu, which includes the restaurant’s fried chicken, sandwiches, and other shareables, follows below.

Fuzzy Cactus is located at 221 Brookland Park Boulevard. Order online here.

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Fat Kid Sandwiches launches as new overstuffed sub concept from “ghost kitchen” operation

Fat Kid Sandwiches boasts exactly what you think it does. Overstuffed, indulgent subs, grilled cheeses, and sky-high clubs flank the menu. You won’t go hungry as most sandwiches are two hearty servings.

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Richmond’s first ghost kitchen has launched a new concept that you’ll want to have “get in your belly!” Fat Kid Sandwiches launched in late July; the newest concept from Jon Martin and Liz Clifford of Dunharrow Concepts, Richmond’s first ghost kitchen.

Fat Kid Sandwiches boasts exactly what you think it does. Overstuffed, indulgent subs, grilled cheeses, and sky-high clubs flank the menu. You won’t go hungry as most sandwiches are two hearty servings.

After launching Garden Party last month, Fat Kid Sandwiches is Dunharrow’s second delivery-only restaurant – which is what a “ghost kitchen” essentially is. With the success of the vegan and vegetarian concept, they hope Richmond receives their sandwich concept with the same excitement.

“We’ve had a really great response so far,” said Clifford.

The pair have already hosted a preview event and a pop-up at The Veil Brewing Co. as part of the concept’s launch.

The Bangin’ Grilled Cheese boasts American, Provolone, and Cheddar on a homemade sandwich loaf. His grandmother’s recipe, Martin makes this bread himself, and it truly makes the sandwich. Add tomato, avocado, or bacon if you’d like and you’ve got yourself a grilled cheese your childhood-self would be pleased with.

If you like to be in control, you can also “choose your own adventure” and build a sub exactly to your liking. Have no fear, vegans, and vegetarians – they’ve got you covered as well.

Fat Kid Sandwiches can be ordered online for delivery Wednesday through Saturday from 5 – 9 p.m. You can find them on UberEats, GrubHub, and most recently on Richmond-based food delivery service, ChopChop.

For more information on Dunharrow Concepts and Fat Kid Sandwiches, visit fatkidsandwiches.com.

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