Five Finds on Friday: Phyllis Hunter

by Charlottesville29


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Phyllis Hunter, owner of The Spice Diva, soon to become The Spice Diva Emporium, in a new expanded space at Main Street Market.  The expansion will allow an even greater spice selection, cooking classes, weekly demonstrations, flours, beans, grains, nuts, oils, vinegars, more cocktail ingredients, teas, teaware, kitchen utensils, and even a cookbook corner for “finding the right recipe or keeping children entertained.” Follow along on their Facebook page for details.  Hunter said she had a hard time choosing among “superb Thanksgiving dinners at Ivy Inn, wild evenings at MAS, brunches at Brookville and Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, lunches at Feast! and Revolutionary Soup, and tacos under the stars at Brazos.” But her picks came down to “dishes that I have thought about over and over this year, and those that I can’t make at home.”

1) Beef Carpaccio at the C&O.  “When I had the first taste of this dish ordered for my husband Will’s birthday dinner, I swooned. It was seasoned with the perfect balance of arugula, truffled aioli, manchego and hashed potato. It was delicate while having amazing substance.”

2) Fried Chicken at The Barbeque Exchange.  “Last year was the first opportunity we had to attend the festivities at Porkapalooza. The legendary lard-fried deliciousness, prepared only once a year for this special occasion, has lived in memory. I think I might be able to get through the stress of moving the shop as long as I know that this coming Sunday is the day when I will taste it again.”

3)  Cucumber Martini at ZoCaLo. “One of best places to just sit at the bar to enjoy a quick bite and a drink before a concert at the Paramount is Zocalo. The original is made with Hendricks, but mine was made with Cucumber Vodka, Yellow Chartreuse, Orange, Lime, and Cucumber Water. Perfection!”

4) Santa Fe Enchiladas at Continental Divide.  “Being a Texan, one does occasionally crave really good Mexican. Each time we drag ourselves there at the end of a long week of Diva-ing, I tell myself that I will order something new from their menu. When I think of those stacked, cheese covered, plate-sized tortillas and their filling, it’s hopeless.”

5) Ham Biscuit at JM Stock Provisions.  “Saturday morning is our one day a week to get breakfast out. The artists at JM Stock take a luscious biscuit, spread it with hot mustard and fill it with layer after layer of mildly smoked, thinly sliced ham. It’s one of the joys of living in Charlottesville.”