Broad Appétit is not new to me or Richmond. Now in it’s fourth season, it draws a huge crowd of Richmonders eager to try what local restaurants have to offer. And for $3 a sample, you can’t beat that! I’ve been to Broad Appétit three times now, and I’m sad to say that this year was a little more of a disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, I had some good dishes this year, I just wasn’t impressed with any one in particular. I would have loved to see more of a variety and more restaurants not doing the same dishes each season. Even so, this is one of my favorite food festivals in Richmond. And if you haven’t been, you should definitely go next season!
Now lets take a look at the dishes we decided to try out:
1. Tomato and mozzarella skewer from Bistro 27:
Very refreshing on a hot day. The mozzarella was super fresh and soft, covered in basil and olive oil. A nice way to start off the festival.
2. Chicken and waffles from Tarrant’s Cafe:
I am not new to this dish at all. I’ve had it before and was amazed that they were serving this. Portion size was awesome and the waffle was very crispy. As always, it’s one of my favorites at Tarrant’s.
3. Crispy shrimp over polenta:
I totally forgot where this dish from. I liked the concept, but surprisingly it was on the bland side even with all the sauces. The polenta was very creamy and the shrimp had a nice tempura-like batter. Just needed more salt or seasoning!
4. Crab cake sandwich from Martin’s:
Martin’s crab cake was as just as good as last year. Lumps of crab meat and not a lot of filler always makes me a happy camper.
5. Asian beef taco from Boca Truck:
One of my favorites from the Boca Truck, I knew this would be good. I just love the kimchi!
6. Fried green tomatoes from Comfort:
I probably shouldn’t have gotten these because I’ve had them many times before. I was just a little underwhelmed with the lack of creativity from Comfort. Wish they did something different this year!
7. Truffle pizza from Grate:
There were so many different flavors on this pizza that I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. It had corn, mushrooms, caramelized onions, two different cheeses and truffle crema. Maybe one too many ingredients on the pizza? The crust was a little soggy too, but overall a very creative pizza.
8. Beef empanada with rice from Happy Empanada:
Really, really solid empanada. The dough was light and crispy. Perfectly baked. The beef filling was flavorful and moist. The rice though was bone dry. I took one bite and was really disappointed about that.
9. Pork belly from Savory Grain:
Who wouldn’t love this tender piece of pork covered with a sweet and savory sauce? Executed really nicely and the arugula salad added a nice pop of color.
10. Pork lettuce wrap:
By far my favorite dish from the festival. Loved the contrast of textures and flavors. The crunch from the vegetables, with the tender pork and herb sauce was outstanding. It was the epitome of Thailand. And of course, I forgot where this came from! Sorry!!
After 10 dishes, we were spent. We ate like champs and enjoyed the company with our family. Did you go to the festival? If so, what was your favorite dish?
Remember this kid? Look how big he’s grown since last year’s Broad Appétit! Kiernan is with his mom, Sheila, pictured above. My other sister, Sharon, and her boyfriend, Jeff, came along as well and they’re pictured below.
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