The Charlottesville 29

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

Category: Uncategorized

A Charlottesville-Area Must: James River Batteau Co. Offers an Experience Unlike Any Other

I don’t have a bucket list, but those who do might consider adding a tour from James River Batteau Co. For those of us who value experiences over things, it offers an experience unlike any other to share with friends and remember fondly for a lifetime. I hesitate to heap praise so lavish that it triggers suspicions of paid advertising, but the praise is warranted, and no one paid me to write it.

The tours are led by life-long friends Will Smith and Will Cash, who share a passion for batteau culture on the James River. They founded their company last year to share with the public the joy they have experienced for decades. It is infectious.

To avoid the need for a spoiler alert, I will omit the fascinating history the Wills provided about a method of transportation that was once vital to our region’s economy and culture. As they used a pole to propel our batteau down the James River from the Scottsville boat launch, they interspersed just enough education to allow for both enrichment and conversation with friends. When they reached a shady spot away from the sun, they served on the boat a board of delicious meats, cheeses, and dried fruits. They provided cups and an ice bucket for the beverages we brought on board, local lager, wine, canned cocktails, and a batch of Manhattams. Batteaumen’s revelry earned them a reputation as “lovable rascals,” and we did not dare disrespect that legacy. As we ate and drank, Will Smith, a talented musician, serenaded us with covers of Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and, of course, Old Crow Medicine Show’s James River Blues. As we returned to Scottsville two hours after we left, the sun set over the river.

The batteau company remains relatively unknown, but that is bound to change. Booking now might be wise, before it’s too late.  There I go sounding like an ad again.


Brewer’s Choice: Until Högwaller Brewing’s Own Beer is Ready, the Brewpub Opens with a Tap List of the Their Favorites

If a brewer had to cretate a tap list from beers other than their own, what would they choose? It’s not often a brewer faces the question, but that’s just the position Högwaller brewer and co-owner Mark Fulton finds himself in. His brewpub opens Friday September 1 at 1518 E High Street, but, thanks to licensing delays, it could be another month before his own beer is ready. So, for the time being, Fulton is filling the brewpub’s tap lines with some of his favorite beers.

Beer-lovers are understandably eager to sample the latest creations of a brewer as skilled as Fulton. But, these should do just fine in the meantime:

Bingo LagerBingo Beer Co.
Dunkel LagerVon Trapp Brewing
LunchMaine Beer Company
PeeperMaine Beer Company
Oktoberfest MarzenPaulaner Brewery
Passionfruit MosaicPotter’s Craft Cider


What’s in a Name?: The Feel-Good Story Behind Lampo’s Pizza, “Paulie Gee Said We Couldn’t Call It the He**boy”

What’s the old Shakespeare line? “A Hellboy by any other name would taste as sweet”?

Lampo’s Hellboy is gone. Or is it?

A longtime favorite, the beloved pie dates back to the Neapolitan pizzeria’s earliest days. Not long after opening in 2014, one of Lampo’s first specials was an ode to a favorite pizza of the owners from the Brooklyn-based Paulie Gee’s. At Paulie Gee’s, the “Hellboy” is fresh mozzarella, California tomatoes, Berkshire soppressata picante, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Mike’s Hot Honey. Lampo’s version is fiore di latte, San Marzano tomatoes, soppressata piccante, Calabrian chili, and scorpion pepper honey.

The special grew so popular that Lampo regulars urged it be added to the menu. In deference to the pie’s creator, though, Lampo maintained its chalkboard special status.

Fast forward to 2022. When Lampo re-opened for on-premises for the first time since the pandemic began, to mark the occasion the owners decided to grant their regulars’ request. The Hellboy was finally on the menu.

“Hell(boy!) no,” said Paulie Gee (the pizzeria’s namesake, Paul Giannone).

You see, the pie had become so iconic that it now had one of those little (r)s next to it on the menu at Paulie Gee’s, which prohibited other pizzerias from using the name.

The good news is that Paulie was a great sport about it. After learning about Lampo’s use of the name and speaking with the owners, he had no objection to the pizza’s new name. He even quite liked it.

Introducing Lampo’s: “Paulie Gee Said We Couldn’t Call it the He**boy.”