Foodie classes, new eats, and growlers to go: This week’s restaurant news


File photo. File photo.

If you’re hankering for something sweet, you can soon visit Pearl’s Bake Shoppe at 711 W. Main St. Co-owners Laurie Blakey and Laura Condrey specialize in 140 iterations of cupcakes, wedding cakes, macarons, and plenty of other tantalizing baked sundries. This will be their second outpost, after the popularity of their Richmond location, Pearl’s Cupcake. Serving local sweet teeth 1,200 cupcakes daily, with eight standard cupcake flavors, five rotating, plus vegan and gluten-free options. We recommend the Salty Mermaid: vanilla cake topped with chocolate buttercream and sea salt. Soon-to-come yum!

In food and farming news, UVA’s Morven Summer Institute will continue its second year of intensive learning classes at Morven Farm beginning in May, with admission open now. Interactive classes focus on topics such as the “Politics of Food,” taught by professor Paul Freedman, and “Farmers’ Markets and Applied Food Systems Research,” taught by Tanya Denckla Cobb. The classes are worth three credits over 10 days, with class locations spanning most of the 3,000 acres of the farm. For an application and further information, visit

You may have noticed the transformation of the former Boathouse Restaurant space in the Seminole Square Shopping Center. Soon to be Plaza Azteca, opening on February 27, this is the restaurant chain’s 31st location after its original opening in Hampton Roads. Since 1994, PA has furnished “high-quality attentive service in a comfortable, authentic atmosphere.” Its specialties include table-side guacamole, an extensive wine list featuring many Virginia labels, and a full bar serving (duh) margaritas.

Thirsty after work? Stop by the Everyday Café on Pantops for a fresh craft beer to go. The gas station’s tapping Starr Hill and Devils Backbone brews (to name a couple) for growler fills with your gas purchase. Gives new meaning to the phrase “fill ’er up,” doesn’t it?