After the Kings Grant Farmer's Market Shelby and I headed Norfolk for the 7 Hours of IPA event at The Birch. I'm a hophead so she knew I'd love to try out some good IPAs, thanks Mrs. Shelby.
On the way we were trying to figure out what to eat. First options she brought up were The Ten Top, Chelsea Bakehouse (Bacon & Gouda pizza), and Hoyt's Luncheonette. Hoyt's was off the list immediately when we saw they were closing about 15 minutes after we left the house, Bakehouse if always good and it our usual Birch pairing, but I think the siren call of one of the best sandwich shops in Norfolk captured Shelby. She went with Ten Top and I really wanted shawarma from Mr. Shawarma.
We called in our orders and made our way to the shops for take out. She got the Cobb Salad with Chicken and I got a spicy Beef Shawarma. I usually save half my wrap for lunch the next day but it was so good I ate the whole thing - and they aren't small either! Can't wait for another one...
Made it by the King's Grant Farmer's Market after a break. I usually have some lame excuse as to why I can't make it but I didn't today so me and Jasper headed over to see the market regulars.
Roasted some tomatoes we got from our garden. Tossed in some basil we grow, chopped garlic, olive oil, and salt & pepper.
Shelby and I attended the grand opening of Pottery Barn at the Virginia Beach Town Center the other week. Don't laugh, these things are fun and we love Pottery Barn. Their is in one in Norfolk just down the way but this store is not even 10 minutes from the house. There was some nice catering, booze, and free flowers! The line for the flowers was crazy too!
Not going to write much but we did get to hang out with our buddy Molly Gray (picture above with Shelby) and we found out there was a sweet Lego exhibit happening at Town Center - I post some of those photos later. Enjoy the the experience below!
How did I not know about a taco festival happening in the area?! I'm slipping... When I got home later that night I checked it out - over 75 varieties of tacos were going to be served at the Waterside District. Heck yeah, I'm in!
I was able to get into the sold out event and was you could have guessed it was packed! There was a line around the park waiting to get in because it had met capacity. They were letting people in on shifts. I think there were people at the door who thought they could buy tickets, unfortunately they had to be turned away.
I found Rachel and Shon already full of tacos and sipping lagers. I chatted a minute but wanted to run around real quick to get some shots of the action. First thing I notice is that there lines everywhere! That combined with the heat produced some griping from the crowd. This being the first event they've thrown in the space, there will be some growing pains. I'm sure they'll make the appropriate adjustments next time they do this. Back to tacos.
There were a ton of tacos being slung by the restaurants that participated, just about any variety you could think of. My favorite was the al Pastor I found being made by a new outfit called Javi's. I mean there is something sexy about seeing meat on a spit slowly roasting. Reminds me of the donner kebabs we would get in Germany.
I bumped into a few friends while I was there and I would grab my drinks from the inside of Waterside to skip the lines outside. I'm not going to ramble here but check out the rest of the photos and catch it next year!
Off The Leash pop-up at Bottlecraft Virginia Beach on Father's Day.
Big shout out to the Auntie’s gang for putting together this Crab Curry for Shelby and The Ladies this weekend. I dropped off a bag of #2s and Ray said he had it. They turned out delicious! Thanks to the kitchen for showing us why you guys are creating the buzz!
Monday Nights are Ramen Night at Stockpot ;)
Memorial Day was a rainy one this year. Shelby and I were kinda lounging around the house when she suggested we head over to New Earth Farm in Pungo (a rural section of Virginia Beach, VA.)
We don't travel out there much but we've been following the farm for years now. They just opened up a nice, big shop carrying the stuff they grow and produce in addition to the other area farms products such as butchered meats, honey, baked goods, produce, etc... The market is a renovated old farmhouse that was on the property forever and it's water tight - great place to hang out in the rain.
Marion and Paul Schultz were working that day and put the word out they'd be open for the afternoon. When we walked in they were inside the shop behind the counter. They told us about this weird leafy vegetable they grew called Celtuce that looks kinda like a stalky lettuce but has bitter leaves. The stalk is what you want to eat and Paul described it as "buttery popcorn." They asked if we wanted to try it and of course we said yes. We'll try just about anything. They peeled some and chopped it up in bite-sized bits. I kinda got the butter thing they were talking about and a few other flavors that were hard to place. They said they'd give a couple to play around with. I'll post that later when it happens!
We chatted for a while, just chillin' out. Paul asked if I wanted to check out the greenhouse where they were trying a new growing system for some tomatoes. They were tying string from the roof of the enclosure that they would slowly lower as they thew grew taller. In the end you'll have a spiral effect on the stem that helps the plant. It's something I'd like to learn more about for sure.
We hung out on the back porch of the shop and watched the rain and I saw a lone hen hopping around on one leg. Paul said a few of their chickens were attacked by a raccoon while they slep in their coop. Apparently the raccoons will grab whatever they can through the cages and just eat it. This includes live chicken legs! Poor things. They had to put some down but one of the farmhands nursed this one back to health and now it's living it's best life and a one legged chicken. She's a farm pet now and her name is "Lt. Dan", also known as "Danny."
Once back inside the market Marion told Shelby to take home some of the flowers since the shop was going to be closed the next day and they wouldn't do well untended. We also got a dozen eggs from the farm. I can't wait to try them out. We also bought some Brentwood Farm lamb kebab meat from Suffolk, we'll grill it while Marleigh visits this week. You'll see it posts I'm sure.
All in all we had a great day and I'm glad Shelby mentioned heading over. It was nice to talk to Marion and Paul and get to know them better. We see them around a lot but it's usually quick conversations in passing. Please go out to the farm and check it out yourself, when you see everyone there say "Hi!"
I was invited to take part of a social media gathering of sorts organized by the Visit Virginia Beach and a group called Travel Mindset this past Friday. They're a social media/influencer marketing group that help promote travel and anything associated with online shout outs. It was fun seeing people taking photos of food, I do it all the time and sometimes I wonder what I look like hoping up on a chair or bench to get a good shot.
The meeting was going to be at Esoteric, which is one of my watering holes. I love the wings there and at happy hour they're .50 cents! I arrived a little bit early so I could eat all the wings a grab a beer. While I was at the bar I saw the group start gathering in the back on the patio. They ordered food for the event and before anyone touch it photos had to be taken. I always say "the camera eats first" lol.
After I finished wings I went out back and mingled a bit. There were some familiar faces and everyone seemed to be having a good time. I found out what the itinerary was for the weekend and was going to try to make some of the other events they had setup while they were in town. Sunday was supposed be a trip out to the oyster beds lead by none other than one of VB's finest Chris Ludford of Pleasure House Oysters. Unfortunately it rained like crazy that day and they had to call it off.
It was fun to bump into people that do similar things as me, especially from out of town. Hopefully I'll catch up with them next time they're in town. Maybe we'll get out on that oyster boat ;)
Chayce and Katie have their own place now! I'll be honest and say even though we were sad that the kids had moved out of the house it was nice having our own space! Shelby and I got married at 18 and 19 with a lil baby already in tow. We've always had our family and never knew what it was like to be on our own. Funny to think of it that way right?
So about the seafood up top, Katie's mother and brother came to town on Spring break and we though we'd show them a little bit of the classic Virginia Beach scene and took them to The Back Deck for dinner. It's on the inlet to between the Lynnhaven River and Chesapeake Bay, you can sit outside. The weather that day was beautiful, so we couldn't pass it up. Oh, they have great Crushes too.
We started off with a couple of drinks and waited for everyone to show up. I ordered a dozen raw oysters because you just do when they're available.
I had an idea that Joey and Tracey hadn't had raw oysters before, seeing how they're out in the Illinois's heartland. The Lynnhaven is world renown for its oysters since the day of the European explorers. You can't come hang out on the Bay and not eat oysters.