Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More April Awesomeness in RVA

This April I did something I had never done before - go to a home baseball opener. I'm not a baseball fan, but The Flying Squirrels always gives one lots of distractions. First up was the No BS Brass Band. Yeah!

No BS Brass Band 4

We actually won with lots of hits and runs!


And then we had fireworks.


The night proved to be a bit chilly, but fun all the same. And yes, I really came for the fireworks.

On Friday the weather warmed up so we had mojitos at Havana 59. I enjoyed the Hennessy Mojito.

Hennessy Mojito

But beware, the wait staff will tell you that appetizers are half off for Happy Hour and then lets you order one. When you get your bill she says only certain appetizers are half off. Way to represent the profession.

Never fear. For dinner we went to one of our favorite spots: Aziza's on Main. Caleb Shriver fixed this most amazing appetizer: smoked trout with grilled asparagus and gribiche. Gribiche is an egg based sauce with mustard, spices, and pickles. This stuff was out of this world! I go nuts over smoked trout and the cold sauce was a perfect pairing. But wait for the kicker - I absolutely hate asparagus. My family did not eat this darling of spring (it did not grow in my grandparents' garden, so we did not eat it). In high school (when I would hardly even touch a salad), I had a teacher that made the entire class try asparagus. The worst part was, the stuff was canned. I gagged and almost threw it back up. That experience scarred me. Occasionally, hubby would get asparagus (the fresh variety) and sing its praises. Every time I tried it, the high school memories vividly appeared. Could not enjoy the green spears. On this night, I decided to be brave and have a taste. With the gribiche, it wasn't all that bad. I ate an entire spear and survived! The great chefs/cooks of this world make anything taste good. So hats off to Caleb. That man can prepare asparagus and he has a wonderful way with eggs (love his Perfect Egg, too!).

Smoked Trout and Asparagus

We also enjoyed a white pizza with cow mozzarella and pancetta. Aziza's pizza always reminds me of the pizza we consumed multiple times in Florence. Thin crust, wood-fired oven, fine ingredients, delicious.

Pancetta and Mozzarella Pizza

While in the neighborhood we got a preview of the G40 Street Art Summit. The murals near and around Have a Nice Day Cafe are very cool and adds even more character to the neighborhood.





On the Saturday of the Street Art Festival we decided to check out Thai Corner in Jackson Ward. We have always liked the Thai Cabin food cart and wanted to see how the lunch spot measured up. The Nur Nam Tok delighted the tastebuds. Grilled marinated beef with kaffir leaves, lime, chile, red onions, and roasted ground rice. On a scale of 1 to 5, my heat level was a 3. Whew!

Nur Nam Tok

We proceeded to enjoy other murals as we made our way to the Canal Walk and the old power plant.

Space Romance

Urban Animals

So much talent. And we had fun peering around buildings to see if we could spot more.

When we reached the festival we could see art in progress.





It was great to see RVA out in force supporting the artists.

On Sunday we headed over to the newly reopened Parkside Cafe for brunch. I indulged in a very sweet Cherry Shrub (non-alcoholic) and a wonderful Turkey, Avocado, and Bacon Sandwich. The avocado served as an alternative to mayo. Very good!

Cherry Shrub

Turkey Avocado and Bacon Sandwich

We also checked out the Tree Skirts at Maymont put together by VCU students. Whimsical entities in cotton and red bric-a-brac.




The Japanese Garden at Maymont turned 100 this year. I encourage you to visit this local treasure. The koi in the pond are huge. It was fun watching them draw lazy, languorous loops through the water.

Spring Reflection

As this second week of April proved - it's a great time to be living in Richmond. Go out and get your own RVA on!

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