Hydroponic Lettuce

I swung by the Old Beach Farmer's Market located near the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach. A beach staple, Croc's 19th Street Bistro, provides the space for the farmer's market in addition to participating in it (you saw the James River Oysters I posted right?)

John and Jacob of Heads Up Hydrogreens

John and Jacob of Heads Up Hydrogreens

It's been a little bit since I've made it out to the market and I passed by a new table for Heads Up Hydrogreens. They grow lettuce that is packaged alive and they contain no petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides according to their literature. I chatted with John and Jacob from Heads Up for a little bit and they gave me a couple heads to try out at home. They handed me a bag with a Batavian Crisp Head and Butter Crunch.

The next day Shelby made spaghetti and meatballs (chicken meatballs!) and I made a Greek style salad with the Batavian Crisp. The Batavian Crisp had a slightly curly leaf, it was in-between the crisp (imagine Iceberg) and Romaine. It was crisp, clean, great flavor and the stems weren't bitter like they are on some lettuce. You could see the bulb and get an idea of how it was cultivated.

Batavian Crisp

Batavian Crisp

Shelby's mother was over for dinner and she really enjoyed the salad. I'm looking forward to trying the Butter Crunch next.

Alton Brown and The Edible Inevitable Tour, Sunday 10 Nov 2013

If you've watched the Food Network, you know Alton Brown. As the host of the award winning Good Eats and host of Iron Chef America, he is recognized as an authority of all things food.

In November, Alton Brown will be visiting the he Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, VA on his tour The Edible Inevitable. The audience can expect to hear Brown discuss Good Eats and the other shows he’s been a part of over the years. There will also be puppets, cooking demonstrations, and even sing-a-longs. The family friendly act is part interactive too; people in attendance have a chance to be asked to participate during certain segments of the show. Even if you aren't asked to jump on stage there are rumors of a “poncho zone” for those close enough to the stage.

Photo credit to David Allen

Audience members will get to know Brown like they haven’t before through his unique sense of humor and vast knowledge of cooking and entertaining in the 90-minute show. Tickets have been selling out when the show hits town; so if you want to go, buy your ticket early.  Gold Circle tickets will be available too; these allow the ticket holder to attend a special VIP meeting with Alton Brown and receive an autographed 8x10 photo. the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts will host Alton Brown Sunday, November 10th and tickets can be purchased through the Sandler Center or Ticketmaster.

Neat fact: Did you know Alton Brown was Director of Photography for REM’s video The One I Love?


Chow. Norfolk, VA

Coming home from the Williamsburg Outlets we stopped at Chow in Norfolk, VA for dinner. I was looking for something filling and meaty and ordered the Duck-4-Ways special and Shelby got the lamb burger.

I lucked out because Smartmouth’s Notch 9 was on tap too. Smartmouth recent won a bronze medal in a national competition with this beer so I was dying to try it. The duck was delicious. The plate came out with Seared Duck Breast, Braised Duck Thigh and Leg, Duck Cracklin’, and Duck Gravy with sides of Brussels Sprouts and Mashed Potatoes. The breast tasted like a great steak and I couldn’t believe I was eating fowl. The braised meat fell from the bone and the gravy was tasty. The cracklin’ could have been a little more crackling but it was good fresh.

The lamb burger was cooked perfect and dressed nice. We both ate about half our food and took the rest home. I did get a O’Connor Great Dismal Black IPA before we finished out meal—love that beer. I was very happy with Chow and the Southern, comfort food style menu. I’m looking forward to eating there again.