The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Barbecue Exchange

Five Finds on Friday: Mike Ketola


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Mike Ketola, who cooks at not one but two restaurants that have been inducted into The Charlottesville 29.  Ketola is the longtime sous chef of Mas, and also cooks at Barbecue Exchange.  Ketola’s picks:

1)  Glazed Blueberry Cake Donut at Spudnuts.  “Is there anything they can’t do?”

2)  Tequila-lime Chocolate at Gearharts.  “The aged anejo tequila-lime fondant is the perfect complement to the intensely rich and sweet white chocolate casing.”

3)  Seared Jumbo lump Crab and Corn Cake at Three Notch’d Grill.  “Lightly textured, virtually exploding with flavor- the velvety lemon beurre blanc and refreshingly crisp jicama slaw really take it to the next level.”

4)  Pappardelle Ragu at Tavola.  “Rich and meaty pork ragu, supple ribbons of housemade pasta: comfort food turned up to 11!”

5)  Chicken Shawarma at Aromas Cafe.  “I always get it with extra habiba sauce, which is really out of this world tasty!”

Five Finds on Friday: Harrison Keevil

Photo by Jen Fariello.

On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs, personalities, or readers.  This week’s picks come from Harrison Keevil, chef of Brookville, which he co-owns with his wife Jennifer.  Keevil’s five picks:

1)  Heaven and Hell Sandwiches at BBQ Exchange.  I love Craig’s Q and when he put these on his menu I had to get them.  They are filled with my favorite ingredient, pork.  Just prepare yourself when about to eat both because they will put you on the couch and into a food coma.   (Heaven:  pulled pork, over-easy egg, melted cheddar cheese, “Sticky Love” bacon, baconnaise, lettuce and tomato on a house made roll.  Hell: habanero fried mac and cheese balls, tempura-batter fried ghost pepper bacon, pickled Thai dragon chiles, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, spicy chimichurri, and “Caution Hot” ghost pepper sauce on a house made hoagie roll.)

2)  Korobuta Pork Belly Sandwich at The BoxI fell in love with Banh Mi sandwiches when I lived in San Francisco.  When Pei took over the menu at The Box and created this adaptation of the Banh Mi , I went straight to get it.

3)  Earlysville Sandwich on French at Bellair Market. Just love this sandwich.  (Note:  This sandwich typically comes on sourdough, but Keevil prefers French instead.)

4)  Chef Tasting Menu at Clifton InnTucker and his crew do a great job and I love going to the Clifton Inn, which is actually where my wife and I met, and just put myself in their hands.  They never disappoint.

5)  Two Al Pastor Tacos and one Chicken Tamale at City Market.  It is how I start every Saturday at 7 am before I go buy the day’s menu items at the market for Brookville.

Five Finds on Friday: Dave Kostelnik

On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs, personalities, or readers.  This week’s picks come from Dave Kostelnik, General Manager of Feast!, Charlottesville’s favorite gourmet food shop and cheesemonger.  Kostelnik’s five picks:

1.  Coriander Fish Rolls from Peter Chang’s China GrillMiniature, crispy fish cigar.  Yes please!  Be forewarned, I refuse to share these with anyone and will often eat two orders all by myself prior to entrees arriving.  Stop judging me.  Stop it.

2.  Pork Belly with Colonel Bacon BBQ Sauce from BBQ ExchangeConsume with a variety of house-made pickles for good measure.  It’s a little known fact that every time you eat BBQ pork belly an angel gets its wings and an obese kitten is rescued from a tree.  Do you not like angels and obese kittens?  Exactly.  Eat BBQ pork belly.

3.  Gambas al’ Parilla from MasGrilled shrimp + garlic alioli + grey sea salt.  Simple.  I am half convinced that Tomas puts an addictive chemical in the dish that makes me crave it fortnightly (which oddly enough I am comfortable with).

4.  Baked Currant Donuts from Albemarle Baking CompanyA relatively new invention by team ABC.  Admittedly I was not sold at first, but now things are different.  Now I eat at least 3 of these per week.  Gerry laughs maniacally whenever he sees me approach because he knows I lack the self-control to resist.  Thanks Gerry.

5.  Saganaki from Orzo Kitchen and Wine BarLet’s be clear about one thing: I love hot cheese even more than I love angels and obese kittens.*  If you can find a way to sear delicious Halloumi cheese, cover it in anise-flavored Greek booze, fresh herbs, tomatoes and garlic, then I will let you into my circle of friendship.  (*I actually loathe cats.)