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Short Order

Foodie books, Zuppa moves again, sustainability summer camp and more.


Tasting Notes

Zuppa: The popular Shockoe Bottom restaurant makes another move, this time out of its 18th Street digs and into a new space east of downtown in Rocketts Landing. This is the second restaurant project to get started there; construction continues on the Boathouse at Rocketts Landing, scheduled to open around Labor Day. Zuppa's new location in the modern 210 Rock residential and retail building is expected to take a few months to complete. For now, the business continues to serve its house-made breads and soups, moderately priced entrees and bar menu to an appreciative crowd under chef and owner Adam Schumm's direction. 249-8831.

Epic Gardens: Learn how to live sustainably in this special summer camp for grown-ups, starting July 8. For details, see

Hiyashi Sushi: Now serving in the former Akida space at 9039-C W. Broad St., this spot serves teriyaki, sashimi, sushi and other specialties. Lunch and dinner daily, delivery within a 5-mile radius with a $10 minimum. 762-8878.

Capriccio Pizza: A caller recommends as awesome the New York-style pizzas at this Italian spot in the TJ Maxx shopping center at 9127 W. Broad St. Stromboli, calzones, pasta, veal, subs, burgers and Sicilian square pizza come in the usual varieties. Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, Sundays from 3-10 p.m. 346-0184.

Kids' Menu

Jimmy Winterpock is a teenager with an eating problem and a sense of humor. He's someone your kids might enjoy meeting if they can get past the title of the book in which he's the title character, “The Fat Boy Chronicles” (Tin Roof Films Publication, $11.95.) This fictional work by Diane Lang and Michael Buchanan is refreshing, realistic summer reading for anyone involved with young people, particularly those with weight issues and the accompanying social isolation that makes matters worse.

School systems and pediatricians' offices are ordering sizable numbers of the book, framed as a freshman boy's journal entries to his English teacher. Its early success is a bit of a surprise to co-author Lang, who moved to Richmond three and a half years ago after teaching in a dozen school systems in other states.

“It's such a needed subject,” Lang says of Jimmy's obesity struggle, “and we didn't want to make it dramatic and pathetic. Teenagers love self-deprecating humor and I've always felt it's one way to reach them. The book is not all about appearances. We're all connected by our frailties and flaws.”

Lang asks, “Do we become destructive or do we take our cracks and learn to be creative?”

Lang and Buchanan interviewed kids who'd been bullied about their weight and still suffer the memories, and the writers have years of firsthand experience observing bullying of youth — and teachers — in public and private schools. Their book is an encouraging response to that behavior and goes beyond the superficial in developing characters that young readers will want to know. Their screenplay of the novel is in production as a feature film, shooting this month in Atlanta for a 2010 theatrical release.

Students getting ready for dorm life and college food might find alternative eating ideas in “PETA's Vegan College Cookbook: 275 Easy, Cheap, and Delicious Recipes to Keep You Vegan at School” by Starza Kolman and Marta Holmberg (Sourcebooks Inc., $14.99). Recipes are designed for microwave cooking and don't require expensive tools or ingredients; dishes have names such as Pimp My Ramen Noodles, or Broke-Ass Cinnamon Rolls, but the health information is no joke. It covers vegan nutrition basics, and tips for finding and using mock meats and alternatives to eggs and dairy products. By graduation, users should be ready for something a lot more complex.

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