Left at the Fork

the road | the food | a new direction

Category: Virginia

Virginia Pork Festival, Emporia VA, June 8th 2016

There are food festivals and then there are FOOD festivals. What we mean is, the celebrated food at many festivals often makes something of an honorary appearance, while the entertainment and carnival atmosphere become the primary attractions. And then there’s the Virginia Pork Festival in Emporia, where the focus is on pork, pork, and more pork! The 2016 edition, which takes place this Wednesday, June 8th, from 4 until 8 p.m., will mark the 43rd annual celebration of the Virginia pork industry. Continue reading

DC’s Ben’s Chili Bowl (Very) Slowly Backs Away from Cosby

The Ali family, longtime owners of Washington, D.C.’s famous Ben’s Chili Bowl, has maintained a steadfast public loyalty to entertainer Bill Cosby, who has been something of a mascot to the restaurant for decades. He famously eats free at Ben’s, his giant portrait adorns the mural on the outside of the original U Street location, he cut the ribbon at the opening of their Arlington restaurant in 2014 — the Alis say he is family and one does not turn their back on family when the going gets tough. There have been recent signs, however, that the Alis are having second thoughts. Continue reading

Moomers of Michigan Named America’s Best Ice Cream Parlor

They were named the makers of the nation’s best ice cream in 2008 by Good Morning America; they were chosen as Michigan’s second best ice cream parlor by MLive in 2012; and now, in 2016, USAToday’s 10Best poll has crowned Moomers Homemade Ice Cream of Traverse City, MI as the king of America’s ice cream parlors. Are you starting to get the idea that Moomers makes some pretty good ice cream? Third place Doumar’s of Norfolk, VA is famous for the invention of the ice cream cone. Coming in tenth (out of 20 finalists chosen by a team of experts) is our personal favorite ice cream spot, Woodside Farm Creamery of Hockessin, DE, where you can gaze upon the herd of Jerseys that produced the ice cream you are at that moment licking.

Tony Luke’s Expanding Down East Coast

Gotta admit, when we first started making regular visits to Tony Luke’s in South Philly in the early ’90s, we never imagined it would ever expand to a second Philadelphia outlet much less become franchised up and down the east coast. The roast pork Italian and Uncle Mike sandwiches had us thoroughly seduced, as did the very scruffy, bare-bones location, alongside a barbed wire encircled “parking area” beneath rumbling Interstate 95 next door. Continue reading

Garrett Popcorn Coming to D.C. Area

CaramelCrisp is making its Washington D.C. arrival soon as Garrett Popcorn Shops is opening their first area store in Arlington, VA, in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The most delicious caramel corn on earth, originally made in Chicago, can now be found in the U.S. in Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, and New York, as well as across Asia and the Middle East. No Garrett near your home? Not a problem; they deliver!

Ben’s Chili Bowl Expanding in DC July 8th

Ben’s Chili Bowl of Washington, D.C. will be opening a new location in D.C., at 1001 H Street NE, on July 8th. This will be their third “regular” restaurant — the others are the original on U Street and one in Arlington, VA. Ben’s is also available at the two area ballparks and the airport. So you should never be without a chili-topped half-smoke!

Checking In at: Demolition Coffee, Petersburg VA

Demolition Coffee opened in the Old Towne section of Petersburg, Virginia in 2010. As the Historic District name suggests, this is the oldest part of Petersburg, with many buildings remaining from the 18th and 19th centuries. Today’s Old Towne features boutiques and restaurants and is populated with young adults residing in warehouses-turned-lofts. The building Demolition sits in was built in 1879 for Southern Railway Express. The owner/developer has left much of the old brick exposed, lending the coffee house that classic urban adaptive reuse vibe. Continue reading

Checking In at: Port City Brewing Co., Alexandria VA

Port City in Alexandria, Virginia served as our rest stop on a drive from Petersburg, VA to Glen Burnie, MD. It’s a brewery, not a brewpub, located along a commercial stretch of light industry. As we parked and strolled in we expected a typical, sleepy little tasting room. We were confronted by a packed, loud party of twenty-somethings. For a moment we thought we must have entered a private party (one where we could blend in and score some free beer!). In actuality, this was just a popular spot for imbibing. Port City was recently voted Best Local Brewery in a Washington City Paper poll. Continue reading

Highland Maple Festival, Monterey and McDowell VA, March 14th and 15th, 21st and 22nd 2015

Let’s start with doughnuts. Maple doughnuts. As fried and glazed by the Mill Gap Ruritans. These pastries are a passion among Highland Maple Festival veterans. You’ll see a long line of folks waiting for their chance to purchase a pair, or a dozen, or multiple dozens. If it’s you first time at Virginia’s Highland Maple Festival (this is the 57th annual edition), which is going on this weekend and next weekend, you might want to make those maple doughnuts your first priority, as they stop selling at 1 p.m. Or would you rather begin your day with a stack of plain or buckwheat pancakes topped with local syrup? Choices… Continue reading

LAF in the A.M. March 12th, 2015

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day


An Interview with Owners of Portland’s Standard Baking

Sweet Water Cafe Part of Marquette Restaurant Week

VA’s Orlean Market Owner Takes On Partners, Plans Changes

NOLA’s Boucherie Moved Around Corner; Plans for Old Space

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LAF in the A.M. March 3rd, 2015

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day


Every State’s Best Burger

The Best Cookies in NYC

8 Classic Eateries in Indianapolis

Changes Coming to Sally Bell’s in Richmond VA

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LAF in the A.M. February 28th, 2015

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day


5 America’s Classics Named for 2015

Two New Boston-Area Shake Shacks Opening Next Week

KC Star Reviews Snead’s in Belton

Secret to Getting a No-Wait Seat at Al’s Breakfast of MPLS

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LAF in the A.M. January 13th, 2015

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day


Whence Came the French Dip?

10% Off Ben’s Chili Bowl in Arlington, VA

The Big Chicago Pizza Guide

D.C. Brunch Guide: Not Just for Jerks

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LAF in the A.M. January 3rd, 2015

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

Gino’s East River North Brewery Now Open

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Purcellville VA

Top 10 Dallas Restaurant Stories of 2014

20 New Restaurants in Indianapolis for 2015

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LAF in the A.M. December 10th, 2014

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

The Story (and Expansion) of Red Truck Bakery

17th Annual International Rutabaga Curling World Championship

Photographic Guide to New Haven Pizza

Expanded Menu at Polonez Outside Milwaukee

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LAF in the A.M. November 18th, 2014

A Morning Menu of Stories We Think You’ll Find Interesting

Frog Hollow Farm’s Olio Nuovo Is Here

Do-Nut Dinette of Norfolk, VA Is Reopening

Nick’s vs. Nick’s, the Battle of the Beef

Alton Does Buffalo

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LAF in the A.M. November 11th, 2014

A Morning Menu of Stories We Think You’ll Find Interesting

World Famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail Eating Championship

St. Elmo Steak House, an Indianapolis landmark since 1902, is famed for their jumbo shrimp cocktail with explosive cocktail sauce. We’ve had it and, yes, it’s everything they say it is. But nine pounds of it in eight minutes? That’s what Joey Chestnut did last year to set a world record and win the World Famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail Eating Championship. This year’s event takes place on December 6th, and Joey Chestnut will be on hand to defend his title. Read the details here. Continue reading

LAF in the A.M. November 6th, 2014

A Morning Menu of Stories We Think You’ll Find Interesting

Everything, Available Everywhere

When Shake Shack comes to Chicago and Billy Goat goes to Washington, and the Big Apple gets a Garrett’s, and Marshall Field’s is now Macy’s… does it all become less special? Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune takes the opportunity, with the arrival of Shake Shack in the Windy City, to look at the effect of all this regional homogenization. Continue reading

LAF in the A.M. October 28th, 2014

A Morning Menu of Stories We Think You’ll Find Interesting

Less Than $10 in NYC: 7 Finds

New York City is notorious for finding ways to separate you from your money, especially when it comes to dining out. But it is possible to find bargains, if you look hard enough, or start with a crib sheet. And that’s where this story from Wall St. Cheat Sheet comes in. They’ve found seven spots to dine well for under $10, from Chinese dumplings to falafel to tacos to the burgers at The Burger Joint in Le Parker Meridien. Check it out. Continue reading

“The Peanut Capital of the World” Honored for 85th Anniversary

On Thursday, September 25, the Virginia Diner, which has been famous for its peanuts since 1929, will be honored by the Commonwealth of Virginia. All sorts of Virginia muckety-mucks will be on hand, and there will also be a House Joint Resolution and a gubernatorial proclamation for the goober capital. Anyone’s welcome to attend. Sounds like as good an excuse as any to partake of the diner’s delectable peanut pie. Don’t forget to bring home a can of their incomparable nuts, too.

322 West Main Street
Wakefield VA 23888

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