Cosmic cuisine

Trillions of years ago, from a piece of matter no larger than a speck of dust, our universe sprang forth with a Big Bang. Fast forward to the present, and travel with us down to the corner of Second and South streets right here in Charlottesville, where another cosmic Bang!! should be taking place any day now.
    This time, however, the event will be studied by neither astronomers nor physicists, but by hungry diners from near and far. Bang!! is a new dim sum restaurant, brought to us by Tim Burgess and Vincent Derquennes, the visionaries behind the anything-but-dim downtown eateries Metropolitain and Bizou.   
    Dish caught a glimpse of the much-anticipated Bang!! menu earlier this week— as well as the red painted walls inside the swanky space— and we’re chomping at the bit to get in there. The fact that the menu is dated March 20 gives us some hope that we may actually be ordering from it by the time this paper hits the street.   
Dim sum is something like Spanish tapas— snack-sized dishes that you can combine to make a full-sized meal. Bang’s prices seem reasonable: from a Thai salad of apple, leek, carrot, and peanut at three dollars to sirisho-seared tuna with wasabi mayo and a pancake at $10, to prawn satay with black rice cake for $13, even penny pinchers should be able to check it out.

Oink… that’s aloha in pig-ese   
It’s time for Mark Cermele, owner of Belmont’s Hog Heaven barbeque spot to root around for a new place. His building on Monticello Road has been sold, but Cermele says he’ll stay open through May 31 before packing up and going into high gear with a Nelson County-based catering operation that will use the same name.
    “The Lord has given me a kick in the pants,” says Cermele, who explains that he’d planned to find a new location anyway, and that the moving deadline has just forced him to take action a little sooner.
    He says he’s excited about a brand new 16-foot mobile kitchen and catering unit that he’ll be using to serve food at events at place like Foxfield and Oak Ridge, as well as “any festivals I can get into.”
    One thing Cermele says we can all be sure of: Hog Heaven will continue to have a “major presence” in and around Charlottesville.   

Anything still goes
It seems that there are a few small changes afoot at Anything Goes, over in the Live Arts building on Market Street.
    Tammy Knock, who co-owns the business with Carolann Hugo, says the duo is taking a break from serving lunch to focus solely on the catering side of their business.
    Knock says they’ll reassess the lunch issue when the weather gets warmer, and they hope to be able to have some renovations done to that charming courtyard so Anything Goes can serve lunch outdoors. Until then, though, Knock says if you and your friends want to eat lunch there, a quick call is all that’s needed.

Emily’s Bakery
The Pita Inn closed months ago, but we keep finding its “Real Stuff Hummus” in a bunch of the local grocery stores. Wondering about the location of this secret hummus operation, we headed over to check out its replacement, Emily’s Bakery and Café, in the Long Street location next to Papa John’s. What do you know? George Nader, who owns both Emily’s and The Pita Inn with his wife Mili, was still there. Eureka! While the pair no longer bake bread, the Pita Inn continues to make hummus available at Emily’s and at local stores.

Read more on: Bang!!BizouMetropoliain