Rocktown Kitchen is open and serving the best food possible

Located in downtown Harrisonburg, Rocktown Kitchen is an intimate, farm-to-table restaurant serving elevated American cuisine in a casual fine-dining environment. Offering a lunch, dinner, brunch, kids, and a dessert menu, Rocktown Kitchen focuses on using locally sourced products. They also feature an extensive wine list and local craft beers.

With several different seating areas, which include bar/pub, dining room, and patio, Rocktown Kitchen gives you the opportunity to host private dining events and holiday parties.

Take advantage of this unique dining experience and reserve your table today!

Rocktown Kitchen is located in downtown Harrisonburg at 217 S. Liberty Street #101 and can be reached at (540) 217-2425.

Lavender Farm to Table Wine Dinner with Gypsy Jazz

Tomorrow, from 6:30 PM  to 8:30 PM, the White Oak Lavender Farm & Purple WOLF Vineyard will be collaborating with Executive Chef Brian Gooch from Bridgewater College for their Lavender Farm to Table Wine Dinner.

The event will take place rain or shine with a gypsy jazz celebration on the Lavender Deck with french style Hors d’oeuvres to match the ferver of Gypsy Jazz. There will be a four course meal with a wine to match each course! Lavender is included in creative ways!

For the detailed menu list, purchase tickets and register for the eve click HERE.

Breakfast on the Farm

Come out to Arbogast Farms this Saturday, May 27 from 9 AM – 12 PM for Breakfast on the Farm! Learn a little bit about agriculture, where your food comes from and take a tour!

On the menu: Pancakes and sausage, milk and fruit. Yum!

For those planing to attend the event, you are asked to park at Lacey Springs Elementary school and take the shuttle bus to the farm. Tickets are FREE, but REQUIRED. We look forward to meeting you!

Harrisonburg Strawberry Festival 2017

The Harrisonburg Strawberry Festival is back in town! This is a community fundraiser is being hosted by local Rotary Clubs for local park initiatives.

Admission to the event it FREE, but there will dessert sales to raise funds. $5 for your choice of strawberry shortcake, chocolate covered strawberries or strawberry sundae. To purchase a dessert ticket, click HERE.

There be live music by Strong Water and Who Shot John.

Join us this Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM!

6th Annual Chocolate Walk

Join the Collins Center tomorrow for the 6th Annual Chocolate Walk supporting victims of sexual assault.

From 5 – 8 pm participating businesses and organizations in Downtown Harrisonburg will open their doors and invite you in to taste the mouth-watering chocolates including truffles, fudge, cupcakes, brownies, and cookies.

Registration and day-of ticket purchase will take place in the driveway of the Ice House at the Check-In Tent between 5:00 – 7:00pm, where participants will pick up their maps and trays to collect chocolate at 15 different stops nearby. You may go to as many stops as you like between 5:00 – 8:00 pm and do not need to participate for the entire 3 hours.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. All proceeds with benefit the Collins Center.

For more information or questions, please contact Jess Balac at jess@thecollinscenter.org or 540-432-6430.

Construction work at Rocktown Kitchen in the Harrisonburg Ice House

New Restaurant Opening in Downtown Harrisonburg!

Rocktown Kitchen Logo

Rocktown Kitchen Logo

Rocktown Kitchen is coming to Harrisonburg with an upper-casual concept that focuses on fresh local ingredients all served with refreshing local brews and wines. But it gets better! The restaurant is currently hiring for all hourly staff! Candidates with prior experience in line/prep cook, serving (waiter/waitress), greeting (host/hostess), bartending, dishwasher/utility are encouraged to apply.

If you need any more convincing, Rocktown Kitchen’s team is led by an award winning Executive Chef with close to two decades of culinary experience!

With interviews starting soon, the team wants you to apply NOW for consideration. If interested in this high energy experience, all applicants are asked to submit their resume and cover letter to mira.rocktownkitchen@gmail.com.

Stay tuned! More about Rocktown Kitchen, including an opening date, coming soon! 

Construction work at Rocktown Kitchen in the Harrisonburg Ice House

Construction is under way at the new Rocktown Kitchen coming into the Harrisonburg Ice House!

Skyline Literacy’s Downtown Trivia Crawl

It’s time for the second annual Food 4 Thought Downtown Trivia Crawl! This Saturday, April 1st join Ruby’s Arcade, Capital Ale House, Jess’s Lunch, Pale Fire, and Bella Luna for trivia questions and scavenger hunts!

Eat, drink and think for a good cause! In teams of four, visit local downtown restaurants to enjoy amazing food and a chance to win great prices! All proceeds benefit Skyline Literacy, a local nonprofit helping community families improve literacy skills.

For more info on tickets follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/food-4-thought-downtown-trivia-crawl-tickets-31900198352

Check-in and awards will be at Capital Ale House Harrisonburg!

Taste of the World 2017

Taste of the World is NewBridges Immigrant Resource Center’s annual fundraiser. Every year, the event features an evening of food and music from around the globe.

This year, Taste of the World will feature the region of Southern Asia! (This includes India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangledesh, Madlives, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bhutan).

Join NewBridges Immigrant Resource Center at Park View Mennonite Church at 6:00 pm on the evening of Saturday, March 25th, 2017 for food and silent auction.

Doors open at 5:30 followed by a silent auction from 5:30-8:30 pm and dinner at 6:00 pm.

Purchase your tickets now! They are going to go FAST.
$65.00 per plate
$464.00 for a table of 8
Feel free to send a check to their office (64 W. Water Street, Harrisonburg VA 22801) made payable to NewBridges Immigrant Resource Center, or find them online on our Square online store:
https://squareup.com/store/newbridgesIRC

Note: Ticket prices are higher online due to processing fee. We appreciate your patience and cooperation. Thank you!

Jimmy’s New Year’s Eve Celebration

Are you a total fan of the New Years Eve celebrations? Jimmy Madison’s is having a “Back to the 80’s” NYE party and you are invited!

A special dinner menu is planned with special cocktails, a DJ spinning your favorite 80’s hits, dancing, party favors (while they last) and a champagne toast at midnight! Doesn’t get nay better than that! Get some friends together and go spend New Year’s at Jimmy’s!

The party starts at 11 am on December 31st! Happy New Year!

Pale Fire Brewing and Brothers Craft Benefit Beer Dinner

Join Pale Fire and Brother’s Brewing at Capital Ale House this Saturday, November 19th from 7:00-10:00 pm for a fall beer dinner benefiting the Rockingham Day Care Center.

The event will feature a hand-crafted menu of 7 courses all made with local ingredients. Each course will be paired with either a Brothers Craft Brew or Pale Fire brewed beer. With only 25 spots available, this is a must attend event. A portion of the proceeds going to the Harrisonburg Rockingham Day Care Center.

Get your tickets: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1353197?utm_medium=bks 

Valley Dish III: Bella Luna Collaborative Dinner Celebrates Cider Week

Valley Dish is back and just in time to celebrate Virginia Cider Week! As part of the celebration, Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza is hosting Valley Dish III, a collaborative dinner with local farmers and artisan producers, on Thursday, November 17 from 6:30 – 9pm.

This partnership with Shenandoah Valley Organics, Old Hill Cider and Project Grows will feature a 4-course menu designed by Bella Luna’s Executive Chef Colin Auckerman. Each dish was inspired by the autumn flavors of the Shenandoah Valley.

Valley Dish III Menu

first
Marinated chicken kebab
Wood-fired flatbread, minted yogurt, radish salad

second
Roasted apple salad
Tender greens, pickled root vegetables, gorgonzola, shallot-cider vinaigrette

third
Oven-fired chicken breast
Winter squash puree, braised collard greens, crispy parsnip, maple-cider jus

fourth
Spiced panna cotta
Cider reduction, ginger thin cookies

Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-valley-dish-for-cider-week-tickets-28764976820?aff=erelexpmlt
Tickets include cost of the meal; cider pairings will be available at an additional charge.

Black Sheep Coffee

Located at the Ice House in Downtown Harrisonburg, Black Sheep Coffee offers finely crafted espresso, drip coffee and manual pour-over service, using fresh roasted beans from a variety of roasters. Their baked goods–scones, cinnamon rolls and cookies–are made fresh daily in house with locally sourced dairy products. Black Sheep features both a breakfast and lunch menu that always offer something new to try and a rotating drink menu. As if you needed a better reason to go and check them out!

Skeleton Festival

Start off Halloween week on the right foot by joining the Harrisonburg community this Saturday, October 22nd for the Skeleton Festival! The event will take place from 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Turner Pavilion and Park. Activities will kick off with trick-or-treating at downtown businesses and will conclude with an all-ages party featuring kids, dog, and adult costumes contests, face painting, fire dancing, food trucks, live music, video art, “trunk-or-treating”, wacky shack, goober blobs, and whisker biscuits.

Harrisonburg Farmers Market

Make a weekly visit to the The Harrisonburg (summer) Farmers Market between now and Thanksgiving for your shot at fresh, nutritious, locally produced agricultural goods and crafts. Located at  the Turner Pavilion in Downtown Harrisonburg, the market is currently open from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Hours will change for the winter market (December – March) 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

Bro’s Coffee Fest

Do you like coffee, breakfast food, and beer? If you answered ‘yes’ to all three, it’s time to mark your calendars! This is your chance to join Brother Craft Brewing on Saturday, September 17th for their 2nd annual Coffee Fest!

From 10 am – 11 pm (yes, a whole thirteen hours) Brothers Brewing will be serving you the best in caffeinated drinks with coffee vendors, food trucks serving up coffee and breakfast inspired dishes, and of course, coffee inspired beer.

But wait! It gets better! There will be live music from 12:30 pm – 7:30 pm and guests will also have the opportunity at playing cornhole and giant Jenga!

Live music:
Mike Howdyshell (12:30-1:30)
Delaplane (2:00-3:00)
Britton James – Singer/Songwriter (4:30-7:30)

Coffee vendors:
Friendly City Food Co-op
Black Sheep Coffee Harrisonburg
Nova Coffee Labs

Food:
Rocktown Slops (serving breakfast inspired slops all day)
Mashita (serving lunch/dinner from 1:00 on)
Heritage Bakery & Cafe

Tap list:
Drunken Mornings
Coconut Vanilla Daylight Cravings
The release of Local Roast (Coffee Oatmeal Stout)!
Coffee pin (more info TBA)
Coffee infusion (more info TBA)

Pure Eats opens at Ice House!

 

Harrisonburg Ice House - Pure Eats

Harrisonburg Ice House – Pure Eats

Every morning you likely wake up and say to yourself, “Why am I not eating donuts?    Better yet, why am I not eating bacon covered donuts?”   We at Matchbox can empathize with this feeling and luckily there is a restaurant in town that can finally make these dreams come true.

Adding the Finishing Touches inside Pure Eats!!

Adding the Finishing Touches!

Pure Eats (217 S. Liberty Street, Ice House) opens this Friday, yes TOMORROW,  starting at 7am!   Pure Eats is a new American diner focused on high quality, locally sourced products and will feature breakfast sandwiches, wraps, salads, burgers, and DOUGHNUTS.    So don’t walk, RUN, to Ice House tomorrow to check out Harrisonburg’s newest dining experience.

Pure Eats

Pure Eats

Food.Bar.Food opens for lunch!

As more and more people are working and living in Downtown Harrisonburg, we are always asked, “Where can I get a great, affordable lunch in town?!?”   Well, it looks like Food.Bar.Food (126 W. Bruce Street) is taking great steps to answer that question.

Food.Bar.Food begins serving lunch today and will serve Tuesday – Friday from 11am to 2pm.   Banh Mis and Catish Po Boy sandwiches, do you need more?!?!  Make sure to check out the full menu below.

Food.Bar.Food Lunch Menu

Food.Bar.Food Lunch Menu

The Golden Pony taking over 181 North Main Street

 

Paul Somers signing a lease to 181 N Main

Paul Somers signing a lease to 181 N Main

Matchbox is thrilled to announce a lease between The Golden Pony and The Walton Hotel for the ground floor and basement of 181 North Main Street.   The space formerly occupied by The Blue Nile will house a new restaurant and continue the dynamic musical tradition of the space.  Paul Somers, The Golden Pony’s owner and general manager, describes the business below:

“The Golden Pony is an up and coming restaurant/bar/venue right on Main Street in Downtown Harrisonburg, in the space formerly occupied by The Blue Nile. Many changes to the space are already underway and it will show many contrasts to the previous tenants. The Golden Pony’s menu will be comprised of simple, down-to-earth American cuisine that is imaginative and easy to love. This style of menu will be quite affordable and appeal to families, groups of friends, college students and all sorts of other downtowners. Capitalizing on the success of the downstairs venue while under Blue Nile management, The Golden Pony will continue in the tradition of supporting the Harrisonburg music scene, while bringing in touring performers from all over. Friday and Saturday night dance parties will be back with all of Harrisonburg’s best DJ’s. This is all not to mention the poetry readings, comedy nights and other fun and cultural activities that will attract more people to our wonderful Downtown Harrisonburg. Other exciting plans that “The Pony” has for Downtown will be its Late Night Breakfast being served every Friday and Saturday night in the upstairs dining room and outdoor patio, from midnight until 5 am! This is sure to be a hit in a Downtown with no other breakfast service at that hour. There are many many more exciting things and developments, like the new and improved seating for the upstairs patio, or the interior murals painted by local artist Elliott Downs, etc, etc, etc. BUT you will have to wait for these details, as The Golden Pony wants to maintain your interest and intrigue with all of their plans. The Golden Pony will be here come February, but until then they tell us to “Stay Gold.”

For more information on The Golden Pony, check out their indiegogo page.

FoodBarFood is OPEN

 

Welcome to Food Bar Food!

Welcome to Food Bar Food!

Food Bar Food

Food Bar Food

Food Bar Food Bar Selection

Food Bar Food Bar Selection

 


FoodBarFood
(126 West Bruce Street) has officially opened for business! The menu, which was released here just a few months ago, has finally come to fruition with a dynamic cooking style that captures the flavors and techniques of various cultures from around the world and a bar menu that is second to none in the city of Harrisonburg. Where else can you get seared scallops with avacado and pico de gallo and a jalapeno margarita while your date gets a bowl of ramen in duck broth with a side of kimchi?!? This isn’t fusion, this is global representation right here in the Shenandoah Valley.

In short, do not wait, do not pass GO, proceed directly to FoodBarFood as soon as you can. There is nothing else like it in town.

Your guide to watching the World Cup in Downtown Harrisonburg

 

World Cup

World Cup

The World Cup is a big deal.   It’s not like they call it the Carolina Cup or the North American Bowl, no no, this is the WORLD CUP.   You have to prepare for an event of this magnitude accordingly.  So who will be showing the beautiful game here in Downtown Harrisonburg over the next 30 days?   Here’s a quick list of where to go:

Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza (80 West Water Street): Bella Luna is not known as a sports bar, but they have a great bar area and a big ol’ TV to take in the games.   Plus, they have $5 happy hour pizzas from 3:00pm – 5:30pm each day!   Visiting this place seems like a no brainer.

Billy Jack’s Wing & Draft Shack (92 South Main Street): Billy Jack’s is probably your go to sports bar in Downtown, but did you know the bar has a rich soccer tradition?   Owner Aaron Ludwig has a deep love for the game (hence the Premier League showings on Sundays during brunch), and I have feeling the World Cup will be a celebration of all things fútbol.

Capital Ale House (41 Court Square): Do you want like lots of TVs and lots of space to move and lots of different kinds of beer to drink?   You do?   Well this is a place that has all those things, plus a revitalized food menu that can help you hang in there for the long haul.

Blue Nile (181 North Main Street): Blue Nile recently added a large flat screen to their bar area and something tells me the dial will be permanently fixed on the World Cup over the next month.   Come for the Dark & Stormy happy hour special ($4 on Wednesdays) and stay for the Grilled Cheese Gouda sandwich with peanut soup (unreal).

El Sol (91 East Elizabeth Street): El Sol has soccer on the television every day.   Seriously, if you go in there for a lunch on a Tuesday in February they are showing a local farm team in Uruguay.   And the patrons are glued to the action on their lone 37” TV!    Bottom line: if you are looking for the passion and camaraderie that makes World Cup soccer must see TV, this is the best place in town to catch the action.

A full list of the World Cup TV schedule can be found here.

Bikes, Pizza, Beer, and a Movie

Breaking Away Flyer

Breaking Away Flyer

Just when you thought your Tuesday could not get any better, Bella Luna is teaming with Friendly City Co-op for an exclusive screening of Breaking Away, the 1979 cult classic about epic cycling in Southern California.   The fun begins at Shenandoah Bicycle Co. at 6:00pm for a ride around town, ending with the movie showing at Bella Luna (80 West Water Street) beginning at 7:00pm.   Come on!   Doesn’t that sound like the best Tuesday ever?!?   So pumped.

An Evening Downtown hosted by Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

An Evening Downtown Flyer

An Evening Downtown Flyer

WHEN: Saturday, May 17, 2014 beginning at 6:30pm

WHERE: Capital Ale House (41 Court Square)

Harrisonburg’s Downtown Renaissance will host its 11th annual Renaissance Night to celebrate, support, and recognize businesses through an evening of entertainment and revelry at Harrisonburg’s Capital Ale House.  The party is sure to be a huge draw this year with dinner, drinks, dancing, auctions, and raffle for a free trip.  In short, this will be a great place to be this weekend if you love and support Downtown Harrisonburg.

Tickets can be purchase here for anyone interested in attending.   Also, please notice that your very own Matchbox is listed as a sponsor for the event so we would love to see you all there!

Graduation Time

It’s Graduation Weekend…Get ready for the crazy!

Graduation weekend in Downtown Harrisonburg is kind of all over the place.  First and foremost, it’s great to see so many people downtown supporting our local businesses.   It’s an inspiring scene to see visitors from around the country appreciate the restaurants, art, and community that we have come to love.   However, it can be a little crazy because the streets are FLOODED with people and everywhere is booked!   So where should you go?   What should you do?   This is where Matchbox Downtown can help.

Local Chop & Grill
Now, you won’t be able to get a reservation at Local Chop this weekend (they actually open reservations for graduation day on January 15th of each year and are usually fully booked within 24 hours), but their bar area does NOT take reservations and you can still enjoy a cocktail, world class beer, or arguably the best appetizers in town.   It’s a bit of a roll of the dice if you’re coming with your whole family, but if it’s just you and one or two other people, give it a shot.

Clementine’s
Clementine’s is similarly booked up, but they do have a gnarly show on Saturday night featuring Funk Ark & Jonathan Scales.  Tickets are on sale for $10 presale and $12 at the door.   I would recommend you buy sooner rather than later though, as I imagine the show will sell out relatively quickly.

Capital Ale House with Three Brothers Brewing
Capital Ale is embracing all things Harrisonburg with a special event featuring Three Brothers brews and a limited edition pint glass with Three Brothers and Cap Ale insignia specifically for graduation weekend.   Cap Ale is large enough to house nearly any party size, but I would get there early if you want prime rooftop seating which seems like a must on what is looking to be a beautiful weekend.

Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza
From everything we know, Bella Luna is not accepting reservations for Friday or Saturday this weekend which is great for anyone without a place already reserved for this weekend.   First come, first serve service can be great on a weekend like this and just think, at the worst, you will be able to enjoy a cocktail in the awesome, open air veranda of the Livery building.   Sooo cool.

Blue Nile
Blue Nile is a great place to catch a meal during this crazy weekend (have you ever had their grilled cheese with peanut butter soup?!?).   The restaurant will be open until 9pm, after which the real party starts in the basement with DJs running until 2am.  Prepare to get sweaty.

Three Notch’d Brewery
And as you’ve seen from our previous post, it looks like Three Notch’d Brewery will also be opening this Friday so make sure to check out their awesome downtown location at the Urban Exchange!   Something tells me this will be a great place to take in all the craziness graduation weekend has to offer.

Date Night Thursday and Wilton Wednesday at Joshua Wilton House

Joshua Wilton House Specials

Joshua Wilton House Specials

The Joshua Wilton house has a rich and storied tradition here in Harrisonburg as a top of the line food and wine destination.   The space creates a sense of timeless elegance, the chefs and servers know any and everything there is to know about the menu and wine selection, and grounds create a warmth that is unparalleled.   Now, most people associate these qualities with outrageous pricing and “once a year” type of dining experiences.   To help combat that stereotype, Joshua Wilton (412 South Main Street) has Wilton Wednesdays and Date Night Thursdays.

Every Wednesday night, you can get a cocktail and an appetizer for $12!

And every Thursday night, you can share an appetizer, get two entrees, and share a dessert for just $55!

And keep in mind, we’re not talking about Chili’s here, this is THE JOSHUA WILTON HOUSE, the same Joshua Wilton house that has great reviews from Southern Living Magazine, The New York Times, and The Richmond Dispatch!  So run, don’t walk to Joshua Wilton as soon as you can.

Urban Exchange East Market St. Harrisonburg

What’s Happening at Urban Exchange

You may have driven by Urban Exchange recently and said to yourself, “My, that Urban Exchange is certainly active these days.   What is going on over there?!?”  Well, that’s why you read this blog.  In the next few weeks, Three Notch’d Brewery out of Charlottesville will open a location here in Harrisonburg at the Urban Exchange.  Three Notch’d will brew and sell beer exclusive to their Harrisonburg location that will not be sold anywhere else.  How exciting!

Three Notched Brewing at Urban Exchange Downtown Harrisonburg

Three Notched Brewing at Urban Exchange Downtown Harrisonburg

Simultaneously, you may have noticed that Benny Sorrentino’s has opened on the other side of Urban Exchange.   Benny’s has done incredibly well since opening their doors just two months ago by providing a laid back and accessible atmosphere for families and students alike.  We hope you all have enjoyed it as much as we have.   Side note, did you ever wonder how they got that beautiful mural on their wall?   Check out the awesome video below to find out.

BMBPRF @ Benny Sorrentino’s from Paul Somers on Vimeo.

Rocktown Beer Festival is a Comin’

Twice a year we have a little party in Downtown Harrisonburg called Rocktown Beer Festival.   If you’re unfamiliar, thousands of people come to the Farmer’s Market on Liberty Street and party the day/night away with music, food, and yes, beer.   And this year’s lineup is no slouch with beer from over 15 breweries and food from acclaimed restaurants such as Local Chop & Grill House and Clementine’s.

Now, in order to make sure you can attend, I highly recommend buying a ticket ahead of time.   You can preorder tickets here and also check out their list of breweries and food if you need further convincing.   But let’s be real, you’re going to be there, I am going to be there, and we are going to have an awesome time.  Can’t wait!

The Best Kept Secret in Downtown Harrisonburg

Downtown Harrisonburg is known for its vibrant scene of top notch of restaurants and bars.  People come from all around to dine and stay out until all hours just to eat and drink and breathe in the electricity in the air.   But did you know the best restaurant of them all is only open 5 days a week and closes by 9pm?  I am of course talking about the great, the tremendous El Sol.

El Sol (91 East Elizabeth Street) is a family business run by a group of lifelong Harrisonburg natives who carried the traditions and techniques of Latin America here to Virginia for all to enjoy and its indisputable greatness lies in its commitment and reliance on basic ingredients and delivering an affordable price to its customers.

So do yourself a favor Harrisonburg and get out to enjoy all that Downtown Harrisonburg has to offer.

V.O.I.C.E. Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

V.O.I.C.E. Speghetti Dinner Fundraiser

V.O.I.C.E. Speghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Are you familiar with the non-profit group Vocalists Offering Inspirational Community Enrichment?  It just sounds like a fun group of people, right?   A group of supportive, helpful of individuals who carry the spirit of song to help lift spirits and dreams throughout the Valley.  Think Sister Act but with less Whoopi and more soul power.
Anyway, V.O.I.C.E. is hosting a spaghetti dinner on Saturday, March 15th from 1:00pm to 6:00pm at Vision of Hope (1723 Port Republic Road).  Tickets are $7 for Adults and $4 for Children.  So make sure to get out there and support your community this Saturday!

The Best Coffee in Downtown

Blue Nile breakfast Menu

Blue Nile breakfast Menu

As a downtowner, it can be a bit of a struggle to find a good cup of coffee in the morning.   First of all, there just aren’t that many places open before lunch.  While we have a lot of great restaurants and bars in the area, downtown does not do mornings.  But that is changing with Blue Nile’s brand new breakfast menu and absolutely incredible coffee.

Blue Nile (181 North Main Street) has included their menu above, and let me tell you the sweet potato waffles and breakfast burrito are ridiculously tasty, but the real star of the show is Blue Nile’s fantastic coffee.  The coffee is styled with a lot of the spices that the Nile is known for, creatively capturing tastes and smells of an area of the world not known to many Valley residents.

So if you take one piece of advice from this humble correspondent, take this, get to Blue Nile immediately and enjoy the best coffee and breakfast in town.

And it begins…

Clementine's Downtown Harrisonburg

Clementine’s Downtown Harrisonburg

Harrisonburg’s bi-annual restaurant week HAS BEGUN!  Grocery store?  Who needs it, it’s restaurant week!   We’re talking great food at GREAT prices all in Downtown Harrisonburg.

Just look at what we got at Clemetine’s today!

Clementine's Taste of Downtown Lunch Special

Clementine’s Taste of Downtown Lunch Special

Ohhhh, yeah.  That’s the good stuff.   So come one, come all to downtown and enjoy our amazing food and drink.

Remember, these great deals only last from March 10th – March 16th so don’t miss out!

Festival Season is upon us

 

Maple Festival Crafts

Maple Festival Crafts

You refer to spring and summer as Festival Season, right?  Ok good, glad we got that out of the way because this week is the first of many local festivals that we will highlighted here on Matchbox Downtown.

And it begins…

56th Annual Highland Maple Festival

March 8-9 & 15-16, 2014

Come for the donuts.  Stay for the pancakes.

Each year, Virginia’s “Little Switzerland” located in Highland County celebrates all things maple.  This includes everything from pancakes and donuts to maple glazed chicken and sugar tours.  The festival centers around Monterey, Virginia as its hub.  There you can find everything from the famous donuts to local crafts and even, wait for it, a place where you can take a picture with sheep.  Real live sheep!  If this doesn’t sound like the coolest day trip ever, you might want to head to the doctor because something is wrong with you.

For more information please visit Highland County’s website.

Taste of Downtown returns March 10th!

Taste of Downtown Spring 2014

Taste of Downtown Spring 2014

Restaurant Week is a big deal in some of the bigger cities across America.  It is thought of as an opportunity for restaurants to unveil an affordable sampling of what their restaurants have to offer.  And the best part is, the prices are fixed, so you know exactly what you’re getting in to before you even sit down.

Harrisonburg has recently joined this fantastic tradition by encouraging its downtown restaurants (and my, there are a lot of options to choose from these days) to offer unique menu items bundled together at affordable prices.  Check out the flyer above to see who is offering what these days, but just glancing this over these are my favorites so far: three course dinner from Local Chop & Grill House for $36, a dozen Strite donuts plus donut holes for $11, and a Bloody Mary or Mimosa brunch at Clementine’s for only $10!

Now keep in mind, these deal only run from March 10th to March 16th so make sure to take advantage while they last!

Bruce St. - foodBARfood

FoodBARfood’s sample menu has arrived

It’s tough to write about food when you haven’t eaten yet, but as my innards growl I wanted to make our loyal readership aware of foodBARfood’s exciting sample menu that is currently on display at 128 West Bruce Street.  How do you feel about seared sea scallops, avocado mouse and teriyaki?  Or braised and crispy duck leg, cranberry balsamic and Yukon gold mash?  Or maybe even a bowl of Lo Mein, shrimp, carrot, scallion, ginger and sesame vinaigrette?!?

The menu is broken out into three primary categories (plates, bowls, burgers) featuring dishes that are considered “comfort food” from all around the world.  Also, just as a special treat they have also included their brunch menu which already looks amazing (Asian spiced fried chicken, honey and preserved lemon, buttermilk pancakes, and maple syrup?!?   ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!).  You better get ready for a whole lot of awesome this spring when they open!

For more information on foodBARfood, stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown or their facebook page.

foodBARfood Brunch Menu

foodBARfood Brunch Menu

foodBARfood Dinner Menu

foodBARfood Dinner Menu

Benny Sorrentino's Downtown Harrisonburg

Benny Sorrentino’s Opening at Urban Exchange Tomorrow!

Who’s ready for some PIZZA?  Benny Sorrentino’s (64 South Mason Street) will be open for business at Urban Exchange on Wednesday!  Finishing touches are going in place as you read this. So come one, come all, and get ready to eat the “Virginia Slice.”  As a public service announcement, we feel it is important to remind all readers that the slices are larger than the average human head, so please proceed with caution.

 

Benny Sorrentino's Finishing Touches

Benny Sorrentino’s Finishing Touches

 

Benny Sorrentino's Finishing Touches

Benny Sorrentino’s Finishing Touches

Benny Sorrentino's Finishing Touches

Benny Sorrentino’s Finishing Touches

 

Benny Sorrentino's Downtown Harrisonburg

Pizza. By. The Slice.

Have you driven by the Urban Exchange on South Mason Street lately and wondered to yourself, “My, I wonder what is being built in that fantastic space….?” Well, loyal readers, you heard it here first, Urban Exchange will now house the new Benny Sorrentino’s (64 South Mason Street), home of the Virginia slice.

Benny’s is the brainchild of two Virginia Tech students who felt that our lovely state of VA needed an authentic slice to call its own. So these humble gentleman created the first Benny’s, Benny Marzano’s in Downtown Blacksburg, and have received so much business and acclaim that Harrisonburg will be their fifth location in the state.

Benny Sorrentino’s should be open in the next week or two so be sure to go by and show them some love. You will not be disappointed.

Harrisonburg Culinary District Map

Culinary District created in Downtown Harrisonburg

In a historic move for Downtown Harrisonburg, the city has created a new culinary district to promote and encourage cohesion within Harrisonburg’s emerging foodie scene.  The new district is meant as a way for both the tourism board and city patrons to identify and market restaurants and bars that have long been beloved by Harrisonburg residents.  Two of Matchbox’s most recent restaurant tenants, food.bar.food and Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza, are included in this district along with the new Ice Factory.

Here at Matchbox we are thrilled to be a part of such innovative branding within our city.  Stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown for more updates and exciting happenings within the Friendly City!

foodBARfood featured in the Daily News-Record

foodBARfood (126 West Bruce Street) was featured in the Daily News-Record over the weekend!  The article describes the basic concept of foodBARfood and outlines how its space and name were conceptualized to fit the restaurant’s style with a laser-like focus on food above all else.  Even Matchbox got a shoutout for our efforts in renovating the space from an older, abandoned building to something new and exciting for downtown!

Stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown for updated photos and menu releases in the coming weeks!

Mexi Night at Little Grill Collective

Little Grill Collective - Mexi Night

Little Grill Collective – Mexi Night

In case you don’t already know, Little Grill Collective (621 North Main Street) is a staple of the Harrisonburg food scene and known for its dedication to locally sourced ingredients and made from scratch recipes.  But have you heard of Little Grill Collective’s beloved Mexi Night that runs every Tuesday?

Mexi night at Little Grill has come to define the restaurant’s dedication to authenticity.  Every Tuesday night for the past 20 years (a score!), Little Grill recreates the recipes of Josephina, a former employee who first began preparing meals out of her home for members of the community and became so popular that Little Grill asked her to come in and recreate those recipes one night per week.   Her dishes (and therefore the Mexi night staples) include two tacos (1 bean, 1 potato) topped with pico de gallo, sour cream, and parmesan cheese, one cheese enchilada, a side mexi salad, and rice and beans.

What does a potato taco taste like you may say?  Let me tell you, it tastes like love wrapped in the warm hug of soft tortilla.  Also, did I mention that Mexi Night is All You Can Eat, meaning your plate will never be empty?!?  Deal of the century.

Mexi night is a homage to all things beautiful and right in the world, nestled at the intersection of community and food.  For more information on Little Grill Collective, visit their About Us page or watch the video below created by JMU students in 2008 regarding their history and beginnings.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkboh6rQKDM&w=560&h=315]

 

Bella Luna Pizza Opens

Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza, the hotly anticipated downtown restaurant at 80 W. Water Street featuring local ingredients, handmade pasta, and the only wood fired (900 degree!) oven in town, is now officially open for business.  Last night, food and drinks were open to the public and the response was overwhelming with an absolutely packed house.

Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza - Bread freah out of th oven!

Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza – Bread freah out of the oven!

Bella Luna is housed in the Livery building, a new renovation project by Matchbox that will also feature 12 loft apartments and Shabby Love furniture, a prominent furniture retailer out of Orange, Virginia.

Stay tuned to Matchbox Downtown for updates on Bella Luna and any special offers/coupons in the future.

Matchbox In Motion: foodBARfood

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kyei7E1BiWM&w=853&h=480]

Amanda Cannon talks about foodBARfood, her new restaurant venture with Jeff Minnich located at 126 West Bruce Street.  Amanda discusses her downtown roots, foodBARfood’s concept and cuisine, and explains what it means to be a modern restaurant owner in the Valley.

For more information on foodBARfood check out their Facebook page and stayed tuned to Matchbox Downtown for updated construction photos and opening event details.

A Foodie’s Guide to Harrisonburg

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAC4AwHz5Gc&w=640&h=480]

Local businesses throughout Harrisonburg have experienced tremendous growth and success throughout the past decade and no industry has reflected that growth quite like the restaurant industry.  Downtown Harrisonburg in particular has become a beacon for food lovers and restaurant owners by offering a wide variety of cuisines across 20 different restaurants, all within walking distance of one another.

In response to this growth and the demand to know more about Harrisonburg, the city has created www.visitharrisonburgva.com as a way for people to learn more about the city and get excited about the Valley as a whole.  This video perfectly encapsulates the variety and breadth of Harrisonburg’s food scene and is highly recommended viewing for anyone looking to understand why people are so thrilled to be a part of Harrisonburg and downtown in particular.

The Official Visitor’s Guide to the city of Harrisonburg is now available!