Five Finds on Friday: Erica Hellen & Joel Slezak

by Charlottesville29

freegrass

Photo by Brianna LaRocco.

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Erica Hellen and Joel Slezak, of Free Union Grass Farm. Tomorrow marks the opening of the 2017 Charlottesville City Market, where Free Union Grass Farm is a longtime fixture and one of our favorite sources of meat, poultry, eggs, chicken liver pate, and duck fat caramels. This fall, the farm is hosting a special Outstanding in the Field feast with James Beard semifinalist chef Tarver King of The Restaurant at Patowmack FarmDetails and tickets here. Hellen’s and Slezak’s picks:

1) Potter’s Craft Cider. “Any of them, all of them. In a region dominated by wine and beer, their perfectly dry libations pair with everything and work year-round. The Farmhouse Dry is such a crowd-pleaser that we went through five pony kegs at our wedding!”

2) Ham Biscuit at JM Stock Provisions. “Seriously, it’s perfect. It’s moist and flaky and lofty, and sticks to your ribs without sticking to the roof of your mouth. Add a little peppery honey and a pile of their Tasso ham and baby, buckle up. We like to buy them in twos – one for now, and one for pretty much right after that.”

3) Chicken Salad at Feast!. “You know it, we know it: Feast is the OG. They’ve been sourcing locally since before it was even a thing, and they’ve been using our chickens for their chicken salad for years now. It’s our go-to lunch on delivery day and is perfect hot or cold.”

4) Baguette at MarieBette. “It’s hard to nail something so seemingly simple, but Marie Bette has done it. Who knew bread could be so elegant? #westilllovegluten”

5) Al Fresco Lunch at Greenwood Gourmet Grocery. “It’s the perfect pit stop on the way to Seven Oaks Farm, our satellite duck operation. We grab one of the aforementioned baguettes, a stick of salami, and a soft-ripened cheese. We spread it all out at a table under the trees, eat every last crumb, and wash it down with a ginger beer so potent you can feel it up in your nose.”