How did it get to be Tuesday already? Time really flies these days. But in a good way–Spring is sort of springing (although I’m sure another cold front will wing through any day now). And while I still have some snow in the shady parts of my yard, I already have crocuses! Two little yellow ones are poking their gorgeous and oh-so-welcome faces through the garden and I’ve never been so excited to see some flowers in my life.

But back to Richmond. After Saturday’s adventures, the Photographer, my uncle and his new wife, and I collaborated on some pizzas (which I forgot to take pictures of). We used Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza dough recipe for the crust and, while I was suspicious of the lack of kneading, it turned out great! We got a crispy, chewy, baked all the way through delicious crust. And my uncle, a chef, whipped up the most fabulous sauce which, of course, has no recipe, but featured tomatoes, oregano, basil, red wine, and my all time fave aleppo pepper, among others. I loaded my pizza up with garlic, onions, spinach, red peppers, and mushrooms and the combo was super super tasty.

The next day, Sunday, we all brunched at Ipanema and it was everything everyone said it would be. My uncle ordered the The Rhorer, a plate of toasted foccaccia bread with olive spread, roasted red peppers, melted cheese, and poached eggs, Priscilla (his wife) ordered the biscuits and gravy (which were oh so good), the Photographer ordered the day’s special–whole wheat walnut (I think) & banana pancakes with a cinnamon sugar Earth Balance spread–, and I ordered the Tempeh Benedict: an english muffin topped with smoky grilled tempeh, sauted spinach, mushrooms, tomato, and a citrus bernaise sauce. All dishes came with sweet potato hash and fruit, and I ordered, in addition to coffee, a tasty Bloody Mary. Thoughts: the dishes I tasted (the biscuits & gravy, my tempeh benedict, and the pancakes) were super delicious. I personally loved the hash, but The Photographer thought the dice was to small and cooked the sweet potatoes too much–no softness. My Bloody Mary was good but lacked the usual snacks (olives, celery, etc). I kind of missed the accoutrements. The staff was delightful and our food came quickly enough, and although I didn’t get to experience any of the amazing vegan pies, I will next time. And I’ll have to go back for lunch or dinner–their entrees look amazing!

After brunch, The Photographer headed home (road bike in tow–I’m borrowing it from my uncle so that I can compete in the Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon on May 1!) but made a quick stop at REI and Whole Foods on the way. At Whole Foods I found it–vegan pizza topped with Daiya cheese. The man working the counter was extremely grumpy and knew nothing about what brand the cheese was, but once I asked if it was Daiya, he said “yes,” so I’m going to assume that it was. The other toppings were mushrooms and shallots–a great earthy combo. The combo was a little strange with the cheddar Daiya, though, and the pizza maker definitely didn’t put enough Daiya on the pie to make it worthwhile. I could hardly taste it–even when I picked it off and ate it separately. Plus, he didn’t let it reheat long enough to melt. Super bummer. So, overall, my first taste of Daiya wasn’t all that exciting. I think I need to do an at-home experiment. If only I could afford shipping…

So that wraps up this month’s trip to Richmond and while I miss the great vegan restaurant food, it’s good to be home!

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