The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Category: Five Finds on Friday

Five Finds on Friday: Emily Harpster

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come Emily Harpster, who has just launched Sugarbear –  made-from-scratch ice creams celebrating great local ingredients of Charlottesville. Buttermilk with Strawberry Jam, for example, swirls in jam from Jam According to Daniel, while Honey Sea Salt Latte draws on Lone Light Coffee and Hungry Hill Farm honey, and Vanilla Blueberry Stracciatella features shards of Gearharts Blueberry chocolate bars. Flavors change often, so check out what’s in the the freezer at MarieBette or order online for pick-up at MarieBette.

A graduate of UVa, as well as ice cream college at Penn State, Harpster’s Charlottesville culinary roots run deep, all the way back to the original Tokyo Rose, where she worked as an undergrad. After more than a decade on the west coast, she and her husband returned to Charlottesville “because we love it here,” says Harpster. “In many ways, my ice cream is a love letter to Charlottesville.” Harpster’s picks:

1) Everything Prezzant from MarieBette. “I spend a lot of time at Marie Bette, so I feel like I am a connoisseur of the MarieBette baked goods library. Honestly, the everything pretzel croissant (prezzant) cannot be beat. It cannot. It is a perfect creation. Also a perfect creation in the cupcake department: cupcakes by Tammy. Have you seen what she can do with frosting? She is basically a magician.”

2) Coconut Shrimp from PineappIes Thai Kitchen. “I’m sort of obsessed with everything Pineapples Thai does. We always have to put in a double order for their coconut shrimp.  They are light, perfectly crispy, and perfectly sweet.”

3) Golden Milk and Cocoa Macarons from Bowerbird Bakeshop. “Good macarons are not easy to pull off, and we have world class seasonal ones from Bowerbird? They are like pretty, colored, delicious jewels. They are one of my favorite presents to give.”

4) Blackberry and Apricot Jam from Jam According to Daniel. “I’ve had a lot of jam in my life, and I have never had jam as good as the jam that Jam According to Daniel makes. Ever. You can put it on anything.”

5) Double Smash Burger from Oakhart Social. “I love a good cheeseburger. Shout out to Oakhart, whose smash burgers got us through some of our hardest pandemic days. Unfortunately, our kids no longer consider other burgers acceptable.”

 

Five Finds on Friday: Casandra Rodriguez

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Casandra Rodriguez of Vegan Comforts Soul Food, which opens this Sunday March 13, and will be open every Sunday and Monday to follow. Rodriguez has formerly served her vegan soul food at markets and pop-ups, and now has a temporary home at Royalty Coffee Sandwiches and Pastries on Cherry Avenue. A permanent venue is coming soon. Follow along for updates on Instagram. At Vegan Comforts, she’s particularly fond of the Vish Tacos, made from fried hearts of palm, as well as the “Slow Poke Rodriguez,” with Field Roast chorizo, simply egg scrambled in homemade salsa, topped with feta cheeze on a homemade buttermilk biscuit. Elsewhere in town, Rodriguez’s all-Vegan picks:

1) Pho and Crispy Rolls at Vu Noodles. “I get the crispy rolls just so I can dip them in the pho, and both together are so comforting, savory, and refreshingly delicious. I literally go here once or twice a week. Highly recommend.”

2) Portobello Philly at Firefly. “When I’m craving a Philly cheesesteak and don’t feel like cooking this is my go-to spot for it. It is so yummy.”

3) Creole Beans Platter at Pearl Island. “Wooo chile, this whole meal is the perfect combo. The creole beans are perfectly seasoned and the tostones with the sauce are to die for. Don’t get me started on the rice with the garlic kale. So so good.”

4) Won Ton Nachos at Botanical. “Ryan got me hooked on these nachos. They are so delicious. The cashew cheese sauce could pass for real cheese, first of all, and the toppings were so fresh and had the perfect crisp light touch. Def will be back for more.”

5) General Tso’s Cauliflower and Coconut Rice at Bang!. “Bring back the chickpea roll things, haha, no but seriously. My favorite dish from here right now is the General Tso’s cauliflower and the coconut rice. So comforting and filling.”

Five Finds on Friday: Jaclyn Shaffer

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jaclyn Shaffer of Jaclyn’s Cookies, which makes stunning custom-designed cookies for birthdays, weddings, corporate events, and other celebrations, as well as offering private cookie decorating parties for both kids and adults. Shaffer also creates holiday cookies for sale to the public, with her next batches planned for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Follow along on her Instagram page. Shaffer’s picks:

1) Basan Paitan from Basan. “Hands down the most delicious bowl of ramen that I’ve eaten. I’ve spent a lot of time stalking this food truck the past couple of years, and I can’t wait to see what Basan and Mama Bird do with their new space at Umma’s.”

2) Kao Soi Chicken from Chimm. “If you haven’t tried Chimm yet, you need to visit. I love this curry so much because it’s the perfect combo of spicy broth, rich dark meat chicken and crispy fried wontons.”

3) Financier from MarieBette.  “Everything from MarieBette is fantastic, but the buttery, crunchy outside and sweet, tender inside of their financier makes it my favorite.”

4) Funghi from Lampo. “I don’t even like mushrooms that much, but this pizza is the bomb. I always try to branch out when I visit, but I find myself coming back to this pizza every time. The earthy mushrooms with cream sauce and cheese, cooked in a woodfired oven is pizza perfection.”

5) Banana Bread from Green House Coffee. “I have to shout out my local Crozet coffee shop. Every time I’m there I can’t help ordering their addictive banana bread with an iced coffee.”

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