The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Afghan Grand Market

Five Finds on Friday: Nadjeeb Chouaf


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Nadjeeb Chouaf of Flora Artisanal Cheese, which appeared in Eater’s recent Charlottesville Heat Map.  Look for Nadjeeb at Champion Brewing Company for a cheese tasting every Saturday night from 6 pm to 9 pm (but he’s taking April 19th off).  Nadjeeb’s picks:

1)  Maiale Milanese at Tavola.  “I can’t say enough about how much I love Tavola. Andrew runs a fantastic wine list and always has something new and funky for me to try, and Loren and his crew are flawless in the kitchen. This dish is my go to. Rock Barn pork served over veggies with great acidity.”

2)  Chicken Kebob at Grand Market.  “This Afghani market across from the Greyhound station is run by Abdul Rahim and his four sons. Hands down the best kebobs in town. Make sure to ask for extra sauce, you’ll want to dip everything in it.”

3)  Peri Peri Chicken at Shebeen.  “I love spicy food and the peri peri chili from South Africa is at the perfect point of spiciness without overwhelming everything else.”

4)  Tart Berliner Weisse at Champion Brewing Company.  “Champion’s take on a cloudy sour wheat beer from Germany, the Tart is low alcohol, refreshing and the perfect warm weather beer. With rumors that they might start canning it, I see a lot being consumed this summer.”

5)  Pinot Noir at 22Brix. “The remote tasting room for Ankida Ridge winery that opened next to Bang! last fall has exposed a lot of people to wine from what is probably one of the top three wineries in the state. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay remind me of classic Burgundy wines.”


Five Finds on Friday: Walter Slawski


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Walter Slawski of The Shebeen and The Catering Outfit.  Slawski’s picks:

1)  “Newest addiction.”  Notorious P.I.G. at Ivy Provisions.  “A charcuterie-lover’s dream in some of the best baguette outside of Paris. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to write a sandwich menu.  It’s HARD!  PK Kamath at Ivy Provisions has crushed it with inventive deli sandwiches and a killer beer and wine selection.”

2)  “Classic.” Escargot at Petit Pois.  “Anything at Petit Pois!  I have found myself on a gorgeous fall day, three bottles of wine deep (not alone), ordering a third and fourth plate.  Restaurant folk don’t often get out for dinner.  Petit Pois’ super affordable, perfectly executed bistro offerings are about as good as a daytime meal gets.”

3) “Afghan.”   Lamb Curry at Afghan Grand Market.  “WOW.  A couple of months ago I ran into the Grand Market International to buy chick pea flour and za’atar.  They have a kitchen in the back complete with a ceramic flatbread oven and kebab range.  OK, I obviously don’t know the correct names for these pieces of equipment, but WOW.  The lamb curry is phenomenal as well as the mixed grill and all the sides.  I know because one of the sons ensured I tried eveything my first time in!”

4)  “Joe.”  Kenyan AA from Shenandoah Joe.  “It’s as close to the first cup of coffee I ever had as I can get.  Not to mention I just feel good every time I walk in to the Preston Avenue store.  Ask for yours with a side of Dave Fafara.  It’s well worth it.”

5)  “Beer.”  Trader Saison at Three Notch’d Brewing Company.  “First of all, so much gratitude to Devils Backbone for pioneering the Central Virginia beer scene.  The boys at Three Notch’d are making you proud.  The Trader Saison is out of this world.  Even unconditioned.  Even uncarbonated right out of the steel.  Derek and Co. keep it up!”

Two for Tuesday: Paradox Pastry and Afghan Grand Market

Food 231

1)  Italian Cream Cake at Paradox Pastry.  For most of our lives, dessert has been the course that interests us least.  Even from a young age, we found ourselves ordering an appetizer for dessert.  Paradox Pastry has got us re-thinking things.  They continue to crank out so many wow-inducing creations that we wonder if we’ve been giving dessert short shrift all these years.  Our latest crush is Italian Cream Cake.  Four layers of cake with coconut, walnuts, and cream cheese frosting, it’s like a cross between German Chocolate Cake and Carrot Cake, yet with no chocolate and no carrots.  A paradox, of sorts.

Food 227

2)  Shami Kebab at Afghan Grand Market.  It seems not long ago that we wondered why the Washington D.C. area had so many great Middle Eastern kebab shops, while Charlottesville had none.  Times have changed.  ArianaAfghan Kabob PalaceSultan KebabM&M LoungeBazlamasAromas. Sticks.  And, now, Grand Market, the tiny Middle Eastern food shop we have frequented for years that recently added a kitchen in the rear of the store.  It’s tough to pick a favorite.  The warm bread, puffed and charred by the tandoor?  The rib-sticking, spiced, stewed okra?  And, then there is the Shami Kebab — spiced ground beef skewered and grilled to order with a side of minty, yogurt-based sauce.  Yes, the menu is limited and unpredictable, and, yes the seating is even more limited — just a few chairs and tables at the front of the store.  But, the food will keep us coming back.

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