Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie
4916 Plank Road . North Garden, VA . (434) 245-0000
The full article on Dr. Ho’s is here. Short report below.
Why Dr. Ho’s?
Best American style pizza in the Charlottesville area? Best cheese bread? Best wings? Best french fries? Best nachos? Best strombolis?
A good case can be made that all of these can be found at the same place, the pizza joint nine miles south of town founded by Gerry Danner and now run by chef-owner Michael McCarthy and his wife Nancy. McCarthy’s passion for simple, honest food and his refusal to take short cuts mean that nearly everything on the menu is outstanding. There are few restaurants as craveworthy as Dr. Ho’s.
What to Order
McCarthy’s narrow focus on honest food means that if you close your eyes and point, you’ll probably be happy. The ever-rotating specials, however, are often standouts.
Among the pizzas, deserving special mention is the Bellissima, a riff on the prosciutto-and-arugula combination popular in parts of Italy. Instead of prosciutto, McCarthy uses thin slices of Turner Country Ham. Atop that, he piles arugula tossed in a lemony vinaigrette, and shavings of parmigiano-reggiano. McCarthy considers it his favorite pizza on the menu. And, he is not alone, as the pizza has developed a cult following around town.
Below are more of our picks, as well as the chef’s picks, and appearances in Five Finds on Friday, where chefs and personalities have named a Dr. Ho’s dish one of the best in town.
- The Fat and Sassy
- Wings with Buffalo Sauce
- Hand Cut French Fries
- Weekly Specials
- Spicy Fried Calamari, flash fried calamari tossed in a sesame ginger vinaigrette, topped with cilantro, peanuts, scallions, serrano peppers and sweet chili glaze.
- Gen Ho’s Chicken, tender pieces of fried chicken tossed in a sticky-sweet orange sauce.
- Spicy Vegetable Red Curry Bowl, Twin Oaks tofu, onions, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach and kale simmered in coconut milk and red curry.
- Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich, house made vanilla ice cream swirled with salted caramel sandwiches between double chocolate chip cookies
Five Finds on Fridays Picks
- Bellissima Pizza — Ben Thompson (formerly, The Rock Barn), Matt Turner (formerly, Public Fish & Oyster), Richard Ridge (formerly, Restoration), Megan Headley (formerly, C-VILLE), Kirsty Harmon (Blenheim Vineyards), John Shanesy (formerly, Parallel 38), Mike Perry (formerly, Brasserie Saison), John McMahon (Schuyler Greens), Brooke Ray (International Rescue Committee), Jamie Barrett (Bellair Farm)
- Annie Oakley Pizza — Jarad Adams (formerly, Clifton Inn)
- Popeye Pizza — Doug McLeod (formerly, Duner’s)
- Don Juan Pizza – Will Reed (Virginia Distillery Company)
- The Humble Pie — Ben Moore-Coll (JM Stock Provisions)
- The Big Schloss — Morgan Hurt and Gabe Garcia (Kitchen Catering & Events)
- The Fat and Sassy — Tracey Love (Hill & Holler), Rachel Pennington (The Pie Chest), Dr. Kelly Davidson (wife); Jim Winecoff (Mona Lisa)
- Nachos — Brian Helleberg (Fleurie, Petit Pois), Angelo Vangelopoulos (Ivy Inn), Twenty Paces
- Spinach Salad — Rachel Pennington (The Pie Chest)
- Spicy Fried Calamari — David Morgan (formerly, Tavern & Grocery); Justin Vesser (The Tennessean Steakhouse)
- French Fries — Corry Blanc (Blanc Creatives)