Fans of the NBA in the ’80s and ’90s may recall writers’ efforts some years to give the league’s MVP award to someone other than Michael Jordan. No one doubted that Jordan was the most valuable player on the planet. And yet, whether out of boredom or just to do something different, pundits would sometimes find a reason to give the award to someone else.
Those pundits might find it uninteresting to give the same food award to the same recipient year after year. And yet, among an excellent crop of food trucks and stands in Charlottesville, one continues to stand out. Talented as they may be, the greatest virtue of Côte-Rôtie’s Peter and Merrill Robertson is not their talent. It’s their passion, which shows in everything that comes off their truck. Côte-Rôtie serves food made by people who love to eat for people who love to eat.
Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Eva Solano, the Little Star sous chef who has an immigration hearing this month to decide whether she may remain in the country. As the primary provider for her family, Solano is fighting deportation so she can continue to support her family in the United States. You can help her with her battle, as she incurs mounting legal fees and other costs. Help Solano here. Solano’s picks:
1) Tacos de Lengua at El Tako Nako. “It is not hard to know why I love tacos. Tacos are a part of my heritage and roots. As well, this food truck is open until midnight and is convenient. After working a long night in the restaurant, I want to get something fast and yummy.”
2) Ankimo at TEN Sushi. “For some reason, I like to eat liver. The technique used at TEN Sushi when poaching the liver and preparing the components that form the dish work well. It is a very unique and yet simple dish.”
3) Pollo at Al Carbon. “As a working mother, when I was not able to cook for my family, I would always get the pollo from here. My fiance always jokes that I cook all day for other people, but am not able to cook for my own family. We love this pollo. It reminds us of the times we lived in NYC and had all the cultural influences. This pollo is prepared in a traditional Peruvian style and is a family favorite.”
4) Menudo at Super Amanecer. “If you ever want to recover from a hangover, this stew made from cow’s stomach and red chili pepper can save you! This is again very traditional after a long celebration. It reminds me of what my mom would make after holiday parties.”
5) Mole at Little Star. “The first time Chef Ryan said we were going to make mole, I was concerned as it is one of the most difficult, signature Mexican sauces. Sometimes it can have more than twenty different ingredients and takes us two days to create. I have been a chef for fine dining French, Japanese, and Italian cuisines, and I am so excited to make such an authentic sauce from Mexican cultures that is used for celebrations. When I tasted it, I was impressed with the results. Chef makes me proud to show Charlottesville that Mexican ingredients and techniques can compare with fine-dining cuisines of the world.”