Temperatures topped 70 degrees on Saturday, February 18, and eager eaters descended on the Downtown Mall to enjoy a meal in the sun. And at least two downtown eateries—Miso Sweet and Baggby’s Gourmet Sandwiches—had record business days.
Miso Sweet owner Frank Paris reports that his restaurant sold more than 450 donuts (all of which were made by hand), 184 bowls of ramen and 79 rice bowls (that’s almost 20 gallons of broth) to 276 guests.
Just a few doors down, Baggby’s sold more sandwiches that day than on any other Saturday in its 22-year history. It sold more cookies, too—every Baggby’s sandwich comes with a chocolate chip cookie, and owner Jon LaPanta says they went through more than 50 pounds of cookie dough that day.
LaPanta chalks it up to the mild winter weather and the Discovery Museum’s Kid-Vention event that took place that day, but he’s being humble—we’re pretty sure the delicious food at both spots had something to do with it, too.
Ah, sugar sugar
The heavenly scent of handmade donuts, fritters and cinnamon rolls will soon waft up and down West Main Street: Charlottesville is getting a Sugar Shack Donuts, across the street from the Uncommon Building, this summer. Sugar Shack owner and self-proclaimed “donut nostalgia nerd” Ian Kelley opened his first shop in a small building in Richmond’s Carver neighborhood in 2013 and has been searching for the right place to open a Charlottesville spot for a while. This will be Sugar Shack’s 11th location.
“Charlottesville is the town we always wished we were part of, and now finally get the opportunity to join. The people, businesses and university have created an incredible environment for community-driven businesses like ours and we are proud to bring our handmade donuts to a new home,” Kelley says in a press release.
Per Sugar Shack tradition, customers can earn a free house donut if they participate in the almost-daily quirky challenge posted on the store’s Facebook page. So, Charlottes-ville: What will you do for a free donut? Break out the air guitar and riff along to the chorus of Warrant’s “Cherry Pie”? Wear your clothes backwards (à la ’90s hip-hop duo Kris Kross)? Do the “Single Ladies” dance? Oh, this is gonna be good.
Stick a fork in it
Goodbye grilled pimento cheese sandwiches. On February 18, a drawing of a tombstone reading “R.I.P. South Fork, September 2013–January 2017” was posted to South Fork Food Truck’s Instagram account. The caption read, “After 3+ years of the grind, South Fork is hanging up its hat and journeying to the realm of spirits and rad memories. Infinite thanx to everyone who supported us and showed us love. We love you.”
Pouring on the accolades
The winners of the 2017 Virginia Wine Virginia Governor’s Cup were announced last week. Of the 490 Virginia wines that 40 world-class judges sampled from 102 Virginia wineries, just 24 wines—the 12 highest-ranking reds and the 12 highest-ranking whites—make up the Governor’s Case. Local wines—from Barboursville Vineyards, Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery, Horton Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards, King Family Vineyards, Michael Shaps Wineworks, Pollak Vineyards, Veritas Vineyards and Winery and Valley Road Vineyards—hold 15 of those 24 spots.