Five Finds on Friday: Javier Figueroa-Ray

by Charlottesville29

Javier

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Javier Figueroa-Ray of Pearl Island Catering and Cafe, where today and every Friday you can find Figueroa-Ray’s signature braised oxtails. Besides the cafe at Jefferson School City Center, Pearl Island’s soulful Caribbean cuisine is available at the Charlottesville City Market on Saturday mornings and the UTeam Farmers Market at UVA, Thursday’s 11-2. Figueroa-Ray’s picks:

1) Banh Mi at Vu Noodles.”Being in the kitchen for so many hours, appetite is hard to find. But whenever it comes, I really crave a banh mi from Vu Noodles. I love the crusty bread, 5 spice Tofu, the fresh cilantro and even the pickled daikon radish. Julie does a great job with this sandwich. I think it’s a must have for any foodie in town.”

2) Coming Home Tea by Wild One Herbs. “I’m a sucker for drinks. You could say I’m a “drinkaholic” (I walk around the kitchen with a gallon of water everyday). I love drinks. This particular tea blend by local tea maker/ herbalist Kayde Fen embodies the phrase ‘Coming Home.’ The balance among holy basil, nettle, spearmint, oatstraw licorice and lavender really agrees with my palate. Calming and sweet but not too sweet. Perfect tea for me hot or cold.”

3) Spam Musubi  from Mochiko.Growing up in Puerto Rico, spam was a family favorite. My mom would make it in every conceivable way. Then I found Mochiko in Charlottesville. Their Spam Musibi, or what I like to call Spam Sushi, with their spiced rice and marinated spam wrapped in seaweed, is the perfect bite after long hours of the city market or a late night of cooking with my favorite beer.”

4) Water Kefir Soda from Farmstead Ferments. “Like I mentioned before, I’m a drinkaholic. And every time that I can catch these guys at the Farmer’s Market, I can’t help but have two or three bottles of any flavor they have available that day. No matter how long the line is for Pearl Island, I have to get this magnificent elixir. The perfect drink to balance mind and spirit under the pressure of the hot sun of the market. Can’t have enough of it.”

5) Cold Hot Chocolate from Cocoa & Spice. “Jennifer’s delicious Iced Hot Chocolate is one of my favorite things to get at the Thursday market on Hospital Drive. Really nice balance of chocolate and sweetness makes this beverage for this particular drinkaholic a must have.”

oxtail

Oxtail Fridays