Five Finds on Friday: Jason Alley

by Charlottesville29

On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks comes from Jason Alley, the Richmond chef behind Pasture, one of the most anticipated restaurants to open in Charlottesville in years.  Featuring small plates of Southern food, Pasture is now open in Stonefield, directly across from the movie theater.  Alley’s picks:

1)  Cheeseburger and Chili Dog at Riverside Lunch.  “This place is so rad, really old school and comforting for me.  We used to go to the old location years ago when my band would come to town to play shows.  It fit our budgets well, and was always exactly what we needed after a late night.  I love that they do small burgers, so you can also cram in a hot dog.  It’s also on the way to the new restaurant when we are driving in from RVA.”

2)  Yucca Frita Con Chicharron at El Tepeyac.  “We are still exploring town, trying to find our way to the next delicious spot.  What a joy to come across this truly authentic Salvadoran/Mexican joint so close to Pasture.  I’ve eaten the whole menu (in only three visits) already, but always have the yucca.  The starch is perfectly cooked, and the crispy pork is as intensely porky as anything I have ever eaten.”

3)  Everything at Mas Tapas.  “Tomas has been a dear friend for years, and every time we have supper there I am reminded of what a talented cook he is (as are all of his chefs), and what it means to be a gracious host.  Any fresh vegetable in season is a must, and of course those crazy good shrimp.”

4)  Beverage Program at The Whiskey Jar.  “This place reminds me so much of home.  The Southern food is always great, but it is also the perfect place to enjoy a great local beer or cider, and a glass of well curated American whiskey.  Also, the folks here are really great.”

5)  Tasting Menu at The Clifton Inn.  “To say that Tucker at Clifton is talented is a bit of an understatement.  Every time I eat here I gain a new appreciation for the abundance that central Virginia has to offer.  The techniques that he employs always work to highlight the ingredients being used.  Smart stuff here.”