Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bryan Park Centennial Celebration

A beautiful, if somewhat warm, day.

Jazzbo's Red Beans and Rice (a bit on the mild side - needed some hot sauce to give it some zing)

Q Barbeque. Yum.

Soul Ice in Lemon/Lime flavors for dessert.

More photos.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Summer Into Fall at SOJ

Lots of yummy items at the market.

Would love to see other local market photos. Post them here.

Enjoying the Positive

This past week we headed across the river to Max's Positive Vibe Cafe. I had dined here once a few years ago and hubby had never been. We knew that Chef Frits Huntjens had taken over the Executive Chef reins and we wanted to do something positive while enjoying our favorite past time.

As we entered a reception was being held in the bar area for an unknown group. A bit noisy, but not too intrusive. While being promptly seated we noticed only one other table occupied, which was a shame since the meal we enjoyed was delicious and reasonably priced.

The wine menu listed a variety of choices, most under $30, but a few that were also splurge-worthy. We selected a 2005 Villa Mt. Eden Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley ($25). Medium-bodied with bing cherry fruit.

For dinner hubby ordered Pan Seared Flounder Filet with Lemon and Caper Butter, Sauteed Broccoli, and Hand Cut French Fries ($14.95)

He liked the flounder - moist with more of a lemoness to the sauce than capers.

I ordered Flat Iron Steak with a Green Peppercorn and Cognac Cream Sauce with Sauteed Squash, and Hand Cut French Fries ($17.95)

The flat iron was a bit thicker than expected (like a sirloin cut), but very tasy. The sauce contained a hint of mustard, too. Very nice.

The fries were kick-ass. And rival, if not surpass Can Can's frites. They were served in tall diner-syle water glasses and wrapped in parchment paper. Extremely good. And my peppercorn-cognac sauce made for the best dipping sauce for the fries.

Definitely, a most positive experience. Go get your positive on, soon.

Positive Vibe Café on Urbanspoon

Armenian Food Festival

While we were somewhat disappointed with Oktoberfest last weekend, we experienced Hye Burger love at the Armenian Food Festival at St. James Armenian Church. This festival has run for over 50 years.

Almost all of the menu tempted us, but seeing the Hye Burgers grilling in the back of the tent cemented our choice.

Hye Burgers are a mixture of ground lamb and sirloin with onion, herbs, and spices - hand-formed and grilled. They are topped with sauteed onions and peppers and served with pita bread. We ordered the combo with pilaf and lupia (Armenian-style green beans with tomato sauce).

The burgers were enormous and juicy. The herbs and spices added delicious flavor. And, by jove, I was eating lamb and singing its praises (I am generally not a lamb girl).

The festival also offered Armenian wine and we chose a bottle of Khoran - semi-sweet red wine.

A little sweet, very fruity, and a touch of effervescence. It reminded us of Lambrusco, but paired well with our awesome burgers.

Armenian music added to the festive occasion as well as traditional songs from the Greater Richmond Children's Choir.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


St. Benedict hosted Oktoberfest this weekend and we attended for the first time.

The Omm-pah band was in fine form.

Of course, there was the obligatory "Chicken Dance" which is aways fun to watch/ogle...

I liked the beer steins which were a combination of the traditional and the psychadelic.

We thoroughly enjoyed the potato pancakes.

However, the rest of the food/beer was disappointing. The food menu consisted of bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, German potato salad, potato pancakes, pretzels, and Barvarian sandwiches (corned beef and Swiss with kraut).

That's it! I thought I was at Busch Gardens. We went with the brat, but really would have liked schnitzel or sauerbraten or something native to Germany that we had not tried in the past...

And while the festival did offer numerous microbrews (good from a locavore stance), they only had one German beer and it had sold out on Friday!

I could let the lack of German beer go. I'm not a beer fan, although I have occasionally been able to tolerate a hefeweizen. But the lack of a better offering of German food really depressed us. We will probably not be back. The "Chicken Dance" is not that big of an enticement.

We did drown our sorrows at Secco with a delicious glass of Schleret Pinot Blanc from Alsace. It's not German either, but closer to Germany than the Oktoberfest.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And Why Weren't You at the SOJ Market?

Mornings are now bearable again. The South of the James Market continues to offer a great variety of goods. Tomatoes are still available, but autumn veggies abound, too. And don't forget lettuce. As always, we picked up our fresh chicken from Ault's. It's on the grill as I type with a beer can shoved up it's butt. Yumminess to follow.

Support your local providers. If you have local market photos, post them here.