The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

The 2022 Charlottesville 29: This Year’s List of Charlottesville’s Essential Restaurants

The 2022 Charlottesville 29 is here.

Each year, The Charlottesville 29 answers: if there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29? Background here and here. Annual cuts become ever more difficult, as openings outpace closings. For the second year in a row, though, circumstances warrant an exemption from the removal of any restaurants from The Charlottesville 29. Whatever the criteria might be for entry into the The Charlottesville, they do not include how restaurants cope with a pandemic. And so, The 2022 Charlottesville 29 is comprised of the same restaurants as 2021. All are still worthy.

Stay tuned in 2023, though, for the likelihood of substantial changes to the 29. 2021 brought a stellar group of openings, which this year vied for Best New Restaurant, and next year will become eligible for The Charlottesville 29 for the first time.

As in prior years, this year’s Charlottesville 29 includes a description of why each restaurant was selected, as well as an updated ordering guide, with recommendations from the restaurant’s chef/owner and appearances in Five Finds on Friday.

With that: The 2022 Charlottesville 29.

The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches: Charlottesville’s 29 Essential Sandwiches, Ranked

Welcome to The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches — the ranking of Charlottesville’s essential sandwiches. Like The Charlottesville 29 does with restaurants, The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches asks: “if there were just 29 sandwiches in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?”

Unlike the restaurant 29, the sandwiches are ranked. What does this mean? Well, if there were 29 sandwiches in Charlottesville, the ideal set would be all 29. But, if there were just 28 sandwiches, it would be the top 28. And so on, leading up to the one Charlottesville sandwich that would be hardest to live without.

The list is based on 29 years of research and sandwich consumption in Charlottesville, narrowing hundreds down to a mere 29. A task this daunting requires clearly defined rules. Those are here.

And with that, The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches. Click each link to learn more:

#1: Roasted Vegetable Panuozzo – Lampo

#2: Stock Ham Biscuit – Stock Provisions

#3: Cemita de Milanesa y Chorizo – Al Carbon

#4: Ottobun with Beef – Otto

#5: Fried Chicken Sandwich – The Fitzroy

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Finds on Friday: Monique Moshier

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Monique Moshier of The Happy Cook. Charlottesville’s favorite kitchen supply store for decades, The Happy Cook also offers private events and hands-on cooking classes, which are now back in full swing and in-person, after a pause during the pandemic. Moshier’s picks:

1) English Muffins from Cou Cou Rachou. “I love just about everything from Cou Cou Rachou (particularly the Parisian vibe), but my regular indulgence is the English Muffins.  Their English Muffins elevate everything you pair them with. I love pairing them with homemade jam or my favorite use is making an egg sandwich from my backyard chicken eggs and aged white cheddar.”

2) Bison Hanger Steak from Mockingbird. “Melissa Close-Hart is such an amazing chef, and I love so much about her new restaurant in Belmont. The Bison Steak is delicious. I love that option on the menu as I feel like I don’t see Bison on the menu often around Charlottesville. You get the satisfaction from steak but with more complex flavor, and Mockingbird does a great job on this dish complementing the Bison with accompanying sides.”

3) Corner Bowl on Greens from Poke Sushi Bowl. “I feel so spoiled by having Poke Sushi Bowl across the street from The Happy Cook. They have so many good options but my regular indulgence for lunch is the Corner Bowl on Greens. This bowl features salmon, mango, eel and avocado over mixed greens so it hits my sushi favorites but feels healthier over greens with all the same satisfaction.”

4) Floral Funfetti Cake from Cake Bloom. “Cake Bloom is such a fun spot. Normally you can’t have that fancy wedding cake without the big event, but with Cake Bloom you can pop in anytime for a slice. This is a favorite spot of mine to get together with friends and enjoy a glass of champagne. The Floral Funfetti is both beautiful to look at and fun for the taste buds. The flower petals that run through the cake add to both the aesthetic of the cake as well as being well balanced in the flavor.”

5) Old Fashioned from The Mill Room. “I was never much into whiskey until the last few years but now it is my go-to liquor for cocktails. There is nothing more quintessential in the realm of whiskey than a well done Old Fashioned, and Mill Room does it right. I love that they use a large ice cube, a good quality cherry, nice slice of orange peel, and even the glass and ambiance add to the experience.”

Five Finds on Friday: Ann Dunn

There has long been a bond between Charlottesville’s fitness community and its food community. (Some have called it a “Paradox.”) As the New Year brings new fitness goals, today’s Five Finds on Friday come from one of Charlottesville’s best to help with those goals: Ann Dunn of Formula Complete Fitness. A former NCAA All-American runner, Dunn loves running, fitness, and training others. And Charlottesville food. Visit Formula’s website to learn how to get started, and follow along on Instagram and Facebook. Dunn’s picks:

1) Gentle Green from The Juice Laundry. “This juice has ruined any other cold-pressed juice for me. Other juices do not stack up. It is the perfect balance of health and flavor, with a unique combination of kale, spinach, cucumber, grapefruit, and apple juices. It is light and refreshing. When paired with a protein, it is a great start to the day. Plus, I feel like I’m #winning when I get in my greens before 8 am.”

2) Breakfast Bowl at Guajiros. “When beans and rice are a staple in my diet, I feel really good. This dish is a special treat though. I love gallo pinto (Nicaraguan rice and beans), and the pico and cilantro aioli add a tasty touch. The bowl comes with plantains or queso frito (fried cheese) too. I’m from Wisconsin, so I usually choose the latter. Pro tip: don’t miss out on the cafe con leche, the most decadent way to get your coffee fix.”

3) Blue Slate from Greenwood Grocery. “If I am spending the day at one of our amazing local wineries, I love picking up sandwiches and snacks from Greenwood Grocery. The Blue Slate is a classic turkey, havarti, lettuce, and tomato sandwich served on country bread with a perfectly crispy crust. This simple sandwich has a welcomed, unique twist with an ancho lime mayo spread, making it a perfect pairing for the wine and views of the Blue Ridge.”

4) Kale Caesar Salad and Bolo Pasta from Luce. “This Caesar salad, made with kale, shaved brussels, and tomato confit, is one of the best salads I’ve ever tasted. The Bolo is on point, especially if you order it at Crush Pad. There, the staff can share their wine wisdom and offer a perfect wine pairing.”

5) Fries & Flip at Tavern & Grocery/Lost Saint. “If I had to pick a guilty pleasure, it would be of the potato and salt variety. So naturally, the hand-cut fries at Tavern are the best $8 I’ve ever spent. Thin and crispy, they come with homemade spicy ketchup and garlic aioli. Drooling. Make sure you save room for a Flip at the Lost Saint, a speakeasy beneath Tavern & Grocery. I’m not much for cocktails, but the PB&J Flip is peanut buttery, milkshakey goodness. A really fun way to cap off an evening.”

How the Troll Stole Business

It began with a meal not as good as could be,
That made the Troll think: “Why’d they do this to me?”

“This Business must pay for their personal slight!”
As his heart filled with rage, and malice, and spite.

What made matters worse, other guests seemed so merry,
So merry they were, so very, very.

The more the Troll thought of the joy the place brings,
The more the Troll thought: “I must stop this whole thing.”

“Their joy is far more than my heart can allow.
I’ll stop Business from coming! But how?”

Then he got an idea! An awful idea!
The Troll got a wonderful, awful idea!

“I know just what to do!” the Troll laughed in his throat.
I’ll take from the Business what keeps it afloat.

“Just imagine the business the Business will lose,
When the world is exposed to my nasty reviews.”

“This is stop number one,” the Troll gleefully yelped,
As he signed into Yelp!, and his fellow trolls helped.

Then he signed into Twitter, hashtag #Badeats,
And tweeted 10,000 terrible Tweets.

Facebook was next, the Business home page,
He filled it with scorn, and rants, and rage.

He used 5,000 names on the site TripAdvisor,
5,000 fake posts, and they’d be none-the-wiser.

He didn’t stop there, he opened his Gram,
And posted a slam and a slam and a slam.

“The wait was too long, the service was rude,
The drinks are too pricy, there’s hair in my food.”

As the Troll’s mad trolling began to go viral,
He watched the star ratings spiral and spiral.

His plan was working! Just as he planned!
No Business could bear this blight on its brand.

The Troll’s evil scheme would soon come to fruition,
So he stayed up all night to await the attrition.

At a quarter of dawn, all the Hoos still in bed,
The Troll smiled to himself, and dreamt of their dread.

“Pooh-pooh to the Hoos!” he was Trollfully humming.
They’re finding out now that no Business is coming!

They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
Then the Hoos down in Hooville will all cry boo-hoo!

“That’s a noise,” trolled the Troll, “that I simply must hear!”
He paused, and the Troll put a hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low, then it started to grow.

But this sound wasn’t sad!
Why, this sound sounded glad!

Laughter, and joy, and wine glasses clinking,
A room full of guests, eating and drinking.

He hadn’t stopped Business from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Troll, with his Troll feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling. “How could it be so?”

It came without ratings! It came without posts!
Or hashtags, or clickbait, or webpage hosts!

He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Troll thought of something he hadn’t before.

Maybe Business is not a pursuit of acclaim,
Or online reviews or media fame.

That’s not the reason they do what they do.
The reason is Love. The reason is You.

Their passion, their drive, what keeps them obsessed
Is serving and caring for each of their guests.

The Business that came despite his attack
Was those who felt Love, and shared that Love back.

So, next time the Troll might have to wait,
He’ll love the Love back, not meet Love with hate.

%d bloggers like this: