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Sweetwater Restaurant and Down Home Family Reunion

Tastemakers

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Big changes are now complete at , located on the corner of Broad and Laurel streets near VCU. Owner Doreen Skelton cut the hours to dinner only in March, and hired former Acacia and Amici chef Andrew Manning in July to revamp the menu.

The menu is "completely changed," Skelton says. "It's still American cuisine," she says, "but [Manning] has taken it a step further."

Before you'd find pork chops and mashed potatoes. Now you'll find Szechwan peppercorn-crusted pork tenderloin in an orange and vanilla cardamom sauce with roasted fingerling potatoes and braised Shanghai cabbage. The truly bold will continue with one of the tantalizing new desserts like the blueberry tart with gingered crÅ me brulée. Of course, they've had to take the prices a step further as well. Entrees now range from $12-$17. Open for dinner daily, 5:30-11 p.m. Closed Mondays. 727 W. Broad St.

For tons of Southern-style food, head down to this year's Free Family Festival at the Down Home Family Reunion, Saturday at Abner Clay Park.

The annual African-American folklife celebration looks like it's set for another big year. Along with live entertainment, a heritage crafts market and folklore demonstrations, the event promises lots of delicious traditional food. Tables will be set with mounds of Southern-style chicken, corn-fried fish and other African- and Southern-inspired dishes. Admission is free, and individual foods are $1-$7. Get in line Saturday, Aug. 19 at Abner Clay Park, 2-9 p.m. Free. Call 644-3900 for more information.

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