What caught our, eyes, ears, and forks in August?
Perly’s, Richmond, VA. We came across the marvel of Perly’s Delicatessen while on official Zub business. In February, while in Richmond, VA to see Joe Jackson (tinyurl.com/zubfool) at The National, I spied a deli called Perly’s near our downtown hotel. A search on my phone showed it was the real deal. We ate there before going home and the food and restaurant were perfect. Now, I don’t pretend to be any kind of a Delicatessen expert. I’m just a Goy from the tenements in Glasgow, but I know good food and this is the place. We usually get the pastrami which is tremendous, hot with cheese, choice of bread and any dressings you want. They have homemade ‘everything’ potato chips (same toppings as an everything bagel) and dill fries (mmmmm!). Another regular Zub choice (if you play your times right, you can stop on the way to AND from metro DC and develop your own favorites) is the all-beef hotdog, on a sesame roll with kraut and grainy mustard. Desert is always the warm chocolate babka with coconut macaroon ice cream. Yes, you heard right. I believe the deli dates back to the 1930’s, full of old world wooden booths and cool subway tile work. It even has a bar! Perly’s is now a destination. If you are headed up north on 95 from the less deli-full side of the Mason-Dixon, a side trip to Perly’s will make you forget where you thought you were heading. Except plotting your return. https://www.perlysrichmond.com/ - Steve
Nando’s Peri-Peri, Alexandia, VA. I saw this great video on the Eater website about Nando’s chicken. https://www.eater.com/2019/7/18/20699362/video-nandos-chicken-chain-explainer-video Needless to say after watching that video, I was feeling a bit cheeky for some Nando’s. They are all over the U.K., but in only a few locations in the U.S. Luckily, we had a few Nando’s near us on our D.C. trip to see Squeeze, one of the lucky U.S. Nando’s locales. Our Crystal City, VA hotel was a few blocks away, so it was lunch at Perly’s (see above) on the way up, late dinner at Nando’s. The space is comfortable and colorful, we were seated right in the front by the window for people watching. Here is what we ordered:
Which looked like (salad first):
The food was genuinely fantastic. The peri-peri sauce on the chicken skewers was hot and flavorful, great rice and a tasty side caesar. A said her salad was top notch, and there were plenty of leftovers. Nando’s was a real cheeky treat! You should absolutely try it if you are ever in the D.C. or Northern Virginia area. Get cheeky! - Steve
Duncan Reid and the Big Heads. We received a single from Duncan Reid and the Big Heads, entitled ‘Kelly’s Gone Insane.’ Reid was the bass player for The Boys, a British punk/pop outfit that came up with Gen X and The Clash. Astute readers will remember The Boys sticker on Paul Weller’s Rickenbacker on the back cover of All Mod Cons. Reid would have earned his bones in the Zub world for that alone. ‘Kelly’s Gone Insane,’ on Manchester’s Crocodile Records, has a light, power-pop feel. Duncan has a slight yet tuneful voice and the melody in the song is very strong. The production also has a light touch. I like the song and I bet it comes across even stronger live.
KoKyu Empire, Durham, NC. Flip Filippini has been conquering the notoriously rich (and maybe a little spoiled) Durham, NC food scene this past decade. His Korean barbeque fusion has been a standout since the days his brightly tagged KoKyu trailer was a fixture at music festivals like Shakori and at Motorco’s weekend brunch. In the past 5 years, he has mostly blocked his wheels and opened the brick-and-mortar Na’Mean, focusing on lunch fare, like bowls, bahn mi, and Italian subs (all crazily creative and cross-pollinated with each other’s influences) and now boasts a second Southpointe area location, which celebrates the street food that started it all. Back on the menu are my reasons for living: duck fat tater tots and short rib quesadilla. Flip understands how to combine disparate ingredients across cultural divides to create culinary alchemy. The quesadilla features not just the tender and smokily spiced Korean BBQ short rib but caramelized onions and melting gorgonzola on a tortilla. I think there is cilantro too. Anyway--it has the “4 flavors” perfectly balanced to perfection. He usually has a slider cousin version with the ingredients too, which is also fantastic. I can’t tell you how much I missed and worship this dish. It is perfection. Oh, and there’s chili sauce on the ‘dilla too! It is all flooding back, taste by taste…
The tots are not only cooked in duck fat but seasoned with rosemary and salt, and are not to be missed. The Southpointe location is bright, cheerful, and funky, with several self-serve bev taps. Service is friendly without being fussy or annoying. The signature order tracking by playing card from the food truck days has been kept too. I loved it when I drew the Lemmy card for brunch: Ace of Spades. Where was I? Oh... there are canned teas that are outstanding! I got the oolong both times and am not likely to change from that success. So worth seeking out when you are in the Triangle. http://www.kokyubbq.com/ -Adrienne