Five Finds on Friday: Hunter Smith

by Charlottesville29

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On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Hunter Smith, owner and brewer at Champion Brewing Company, the newest brewery on the Charlottesville scene.  This Sunday, from 1-4 p.m., Champion is hosting an oyster and stout event, featuring freshly shucked oysters from Rappahannock River Oysters paired with Champion’s new oyster stout, made from those same oysters.  If you’ve never had oysters and stout together, Sunday’s event is a great chance to try this classic pairing.  Also, on March 14 at 6 p.m., Smith will be appearing at The Artisan Series, Blenheim Vineyards’ series of  lectures and demonstrations featuring experts in the art and science of fermentation.  Smith’s picks:

1)  Tres Colores Fish and Chips at Beer Run.  “I don’t know what it is, but this fresh twist on a pub favorite really nails it for me.  Moderate spicy heat, and really fresh pico on top of crunchy catfish is perfect with an IPA for me.”

2)  Carne Asada at Mas.  “I could order at Mas by using the menu as a dartboard and always be happy, but I particularly love the melt-in-your-mouth eyelid-squeeze-inducing carne asada.  A showcase of amazing beef that seems to just barely touch the grill.  Carnivore indulgence.”

3.  Baltimore-Style Pit Beef Sandwich at Ace Biscuit & BBQ.  “Brian catered our soft opening party and it was love at first bite. (Forgive the cliché.)  Everything I’ve had there is fantastic . . . . We rarely have time to do lunch outside of the brewery because of hectic brewdays, so when we can, we plop down at Ace and I love the tender, juicy Baltimore-style pit beef with a smooth kick from the horseradish sauce.  Can’t skip the side of fried green tomatoes.  Always motivated to work out after a trip to fat kid heaven.”

4)  Tacos de Lengua at La Michoacana.  “We have been the fortunate offsite venue of choice for La Michoacana to set up their truck and by god is their food every bit as amazing from the truck as it is at the restaurant.  Nothing off of the list is less than great, but I love the chewy and flavorful tongue, prepared ‘Mexican’ style, with their green hot sauce.  3 of these plus a Missile IPA = so bangin’.”

5)  Duck Confit at The Clifton Inn.  “I recently attended a beer dinner at Clifton Inn, and as usual Tucker, Tyler, and Collin were swinging for the fences. The highlight for me was duck confit with roasted endive, cocoa nib nougatine, and cherry fruit leather.  Seriously?  Seriously.”