Mexican is the next big thing in Richmond. With the expansions of several chains (Nuevo Mexico, Don Pepe), taco trucks and the soon-to-open Carytown version of CafAc Ole, it seems that burrito madness has set in.
To wit, local chefs Christian Antonelli and Patrick MacWhorter have opened Dos Amigos in a former ice cream shop at 4023 MacArthur Ave. It's a counter-service affair serving burritos and tacos in barbacoa, carnitas, chicken and tempeh versions; a range of salsas includes a pineapple-habanero. Seviche might be coming soon, along with a beer license and extended hours.
The no-frills, 15-seat-plus patio spot “brings a different twist to the neighborhood,” Antonelli says, with “handmade food using simple ingredients.” He's also chef at busy neighborhood joint Northside Grille, around the corner. Dos Amigos is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 716-1157.
Carytown throw down: Can Can Brasserie presents a seafood and beer dinner May 6 at 6:30 p.m., with grilled oysters, poached prawns, seared skate, grilled mahi mahi with bone marrow all paired with brews for $45 per person, including tax and tip. Reservations required with limited seating. Also, Can Can is host to a Loire wine dinner May 20. See the Web site for details. 3120 W. Cary St. 358-7274. cancanbrasserie.com.
Return of the Lebanese: St. Anthony's Maronite Catholic Church holds its 26th annual Lebanese Food Festival May 14-16 at 4611 Sadler Road in Glen Allen. The rain or shine event attracts huge crowds for kebabs, spinach pies and other traditional favorites, served inside, outside, to-go or to-picnic on the grounds. Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Live music and entertainment and free admission. Details at stanthonymaronitechurch.org or 346-1161.
Since I'm always on the prowl for new things my gluten-intolerant husband can sample, I researched the Richmond area online before we made this trip. I was led to a place that features the best cheese rolls (made with tapioca flour) that we've had. The Cheese Roll Shop is at 8911-D Patterson Avenue, which is in an easy-to-find alley of a strip mall.
Marly and Filip Aszalos have been baking these divine rolls (a tradition in Brazil called pao de queijo) since their small shop opened two years ago. These perfect rolls come in different flavors, such as garlic, onion, jalapeno, olive or original and they freeze beautifully, too.
We shared two Mediterranean rolls (filled with hummus) and two panini sandwiches. These are freshly made and delicious. They are inexpensive, which is always a plus. For dessert, we had the creamiest Brazilian flan, made by Marly — just heavenly. Our freezer is full of Marly and Filip's rolls at the moment, but we'll need to make another trip soon. — Elizabeth P. Bailes, Roanoke