Pizza with Twinkies
It doesn't even have tables yet, but Church Hill's newest restaurant, Buffington & Wine's Pie, Fries and Franks, is up and running. Haute cuisine this ain't. With chocolate-drizzled fried Twinkies on the menu, it's only fitting that outsized hospitality in the form of co-owner Victor Wine makes the place anything but stuffy.
Sited on one of the hill's few retail corners at 2824 E. Broad St., the revived 1890s market is sun-drenched and bustling. Furniture arrives any day now, and until then customers are carrying out the foot-long deputy dog; the fatty, a quarter-pound marinated bratwurst; and pizzas such as the kumoniwannaeatya (mesquite-grilled chicken, jalapenos, pineapple, purple onion, chipotle-citrus-barbecue sauce, sharp cheddar and mozzarella) and the Jackie O (white margherita pie with fresh pesto and cheeses). Black-and-tan-battered onion rings, skin-on fries and “mickles and muckles” make the menu read like a theme park's worth of high-cal options, cooked to order in the open kitchen.
By day, B&W's has the energy of nearby coffee shop Captain Buzzy's Beanery (whose owner, Bob Buffington, is a partner in this venture). At night, Wine promises a calm atmosphere with music by jazz greats and “an incredible wine selection across the board, in the $8 to $15 a bottle range. “My last name's Wine — I take it seriously,” he says, “and we're trying to be good to the neighborhood.” Open daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 864-2835.
Feed the Reader
Regarding Robey Martin's recent review of Balkan Restaurant (Jan. 19), Barbara Brooke writes: “This is exactly the type of place we enjoy going to and appreciate hearing about. As such, I can understand your reluctance to ‘put a delicious little spot on blast.' However, in the ‘More Balkan' section of Food & Drink you mention that Vejzovic took over ‘a lease at the former Istanbul on Patterson Avenue.' Istanbul was a restaurant that we definitely enjoyed and were saddened to see close — don't know if there will be a reincarnation of that gem. We have seen too many of these small unique places that don't cater to the general restaurant-going public go under. I am sure that there are many more treasures that are in parts of town that we don't usually drive through. Please keep reviewing them. Some people will try an unusual place once and then decide that it's too different for them, but there are some of us, like you, who love these ‘tiny unknowns' and will keep going. If the word spreads far enough, maybe more of them will be able to stay in business.”
Marathon jam: Nonstop bluegrass music returns to Grandpa Eddie's Alabama Ribs and Barbecue on Feb. 26 from noon until midnight. It's a benefit jam for the Richmond Fisher House, which feeds and houses families of veterans being treated at McGuire Veterans Hospital. Organizers, including the band East of Afton, hope to raise $10,000 in their second annual event, which features several bands. For details see gpebbq.com.