Overheard on the restaurant scene: This week’s food and drink news

At the City Market, Mexican Tacos serves ’em up spiced with guajillo chili. Staff photo. At the City Market, Mexican Tacos serves ’em up spiced with guajillo chili. Staff photo.

Wake up and smell the coffee 

Just in case the locations on the Corner, in Barracks Road Shopping Center, on Rio Road, on Seminole Trail, and in Rio Hill Shopping Center aren’t enough to satisfy your craving for a venti double-shot 2 percent caramel Frappuccino with light whip, another Starbucks is making its way to Charlottesville. Construction for Pantops Plaza, the new Starbucks-anchored shopping center at the intersection of Abbey and Rolkin Roads on Pantops Mountain, is slated to begin this fall, with the first store openings in spring 2015. The cherry on top? This will be Charlottesville’s first Starbucks store with a drive-thru window, for those of us who can’t even drag ourselves out of the car for that morning (or afternoon) jolt. Other tenants in the new center will include the area’s second Chipotle location and Jersey Mike’s Subs.


Is a plate of crunchy tacos with a sugar-laden (albeit delicious) margarita the size of your head the closest you generally get to authentic Mexican food? Step outside your ground-beef-and-cheddar comfort zone and check out Kroger’s Taste of Mexico campaign. The three-week series of events is bringing south-of-the-border tastes to 118 Kroger stores in the Mid-Atlantic region.

On Friday, June 13, stop by the Rio HIll Center Kroger for some freshly-made guacamole, samples of the Mexican yam-like root jicama with Tajin spices, fuego cheeses, $0.99 hot churros, and authentic desserts like tres leche and mango cakes. And if you want to try your hand at making traditional Mexican dishes in your own kitchen, check out the samples and presentations on easy-to-make meals like tinga de pollo, torta de Milanesa, and pescado a la talla.

Birthday bash 

Bold Rock Hard Cider is turning two, and what better way to celebrate a birthday than inviting a couple hundreds of your closest friends for some booze, grub, and tunes in the sun? On Saturday, June 28, Bold Rock is hosting an all-day celebration featuring live acoustic music by Gary Randal, local food trucks, and, of course, hard cider made with Virginia apples.

The new taproom is still under construction, but the August opening date is just around the corner, and birthday party attendees will have the chance to get a sneak peek tour of the new facilities.

Fancy feast 

A few weeks ago we announced that Parallel 38 owner Justin Ross and chef Alfredo Malinis Jr. are heading to the Beard House in New York City. Now that the Monday, August 18 dinner is approaching, the duo’s menu has been posted at www.jamesbeard.org to get everyone’s mouths watering beforehand. Hors d’oeuvres will include crispy pork belly with Baharat jam and lamb and goat keftedes with puttanesca and lemon verbena. Dinner will feature four dishes, including blowfish ceviches with squid, avocado, and ikura, and Ossabaw Island hog tenderloin with tomatoes, figs, whipped chèvre, radish salad, and eggplant crisp. And for dessert? Pistachio cake with saffron ice cream, chocolate-olive crunch, florentine, and candied orange. If you happen to be in New York that week, call 212-627-2308 to make reservations.

We’re always keeping our eyes and ears out for the latest news on Charlottesville’s food and drink scene, so pick up a paper and check c-ville.com/living each week for the latest Small Bites. Have a scoop for Small Bites? E-mail us at bites@c-ville.com.