The Lunch Lobby
Yes, those are fresh herbs in the food at Positive Vibe Express, a counter-service business now open at the Library of Virginia. Chef Frits Huntjens brings his considerable skills to the Stratford Hills cafe and its downtown offshoot, overseeing the menu and its execution while supporting the nonprofit's training mission.
Huntjens specifies fresh dill for the tuna, cilantro in the black-eyed pea salad and local microgreens on the corn and crab cakes. Chicken salad, “definitely a favorite with the customers,” Huntjens says, has pineapple, raisins, apricot and a touch of curry. Biscuits, scrambled eggs, sausage and other breakfast and lunch fare are available for take-out or eat-in among the 40-some chairs in the library lobby.
Positive Vibe Express is open 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 800 E. Broad St. 692-3808. positivevibecafe.com.
More to love: Redneck surf and turf is a big seller at the Moore Street CafAc in Scott's Addition. That's a crab cake on a cheeseburger, “which sounds funky but is pretty good,” cook and co-owner Todd Stutzman says. He and his mother, Alice Stutzman, bought the business 11 years ago this month; they're celebrating with August specials on an already price-conscious menu. Open weekdays from 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 2904 Moore St. 359-5970.
Shockoe surplus: At least 15 of the best restaurants in the River District — from Slip to Bottom — are serving three-course dinners for $30 during a new event, Sampling Shockoe, Aug. 9-15. Reservations recommended; contact restaurants for details.
Value added: Back by demand, 1989 pricing at dinner throughout August in the Dining Room at the Berkeley Hotel. Barbecued shrimp and cheddar grits are a $4.75 appetizer, and entrees such as Southern fried chicken, salmon, bistro steak and Chesapeake cioppino are all less than $15. Chef Ty Sayles and crew serve dinner nightly from 5:30 in the recently refurbished space, a hushed white-tablecloth oasis in Shockoe Slip. 225-5105. berkeleyhotel.com.
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