The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Blue Moon Diner

Five Finds on Friday: Jeff White

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Blue Moon Diner has reopened, and today’s Five Finds on Friday come from a man who cooked there more than thirty years ago. Jeff White manned the grill of the Charlottesville icon from 1985-1987, married one of the waitresses, and, now, more than three decades later, is the top sports writer for the University of Virginia. For many UVa fans, his columns are daily must-reads. History class from White:

I started cooking for then-owner John Grier at the Blue Moon Diner late in my undergraduate days at UVa and continued working there (and down the street at the late, great Cotton Exchange, whose owners were Grier, John Hoy and Kirby Hutto) until moving to Richmond in 1987.

Back then, the Blue Moon’s grill was out front, a few feet from the counter, and the pressure of cooking in a packed diner ––– in full view of customers, with the jukebox blaring, while hungover on a weekend morning –– no doubt helped prepare me for the stress of writing newspaper stories on deadline.

Most important, the Blue Moon is where in 1986 I met Beth Pearce, whose brother Tom was a fellow cook. Beth later waitressed at the diner, and we were married in 1989.

It’s wonderful to see the Blue Moon open again, and it’s hard to go wrong with anything on its menu, which has expanded considerably since my time there. Here are five of my other favorites:

1) Hot Sicilian at Durty Nelly’s / Wayside Deli. “The GOAT when it comes to sandwiches. I’ve been placing the same order at Durty Nelly’s/Wayside Deli for 30-plus years and hope to continue doing so for another 30. It’s a heavenly combination of Genoa salami, turkey, provolone, onion, peppers and mayo on rye, all heated.”

2) Greg Brady at Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint. “The burgers at Jack Brown’s are, to me, the perfect size –– not too big, not too small ­–– and complementing the beef on this delicacy are mac and cheese, Martin’s BBQ potato chips, and a blend of American and cheddar cheeses. The fries are great, too, as is the selection of beers from around the world.

3) Burrito Michoacana at La Michoacana. “This low-key restaurant on East High Street was once a hidden gem, but its excellence has been common knowledge around town for years now. Keep the option of a post-lunch nap open after eating one of these burritos. You may need it.”

4) Ragin’ Cajun at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. “I’m a sucker for andouille, and this pie also features Creole-spiced shrimp, green peppers, roasted red peppers and mozzarella. Dr. Ho’s, of course, has Blue Moon ties. Its founder, Jerry Danner, ran the diner after buying it from John Grier.”

5) Cookies and Cream Milkshake at Crozet Creamery. “A group of us in the athletic department has a tradition we hold dear. When one of the UVa teams we support (as writers, videographers, photographers, etc.) picks up a significant win –– almost any conquest of Virginia Tech qualifies as such – we celebrate by treating ourselves to milkshakes. My victory shake of choice is one of many fantastic offerings at my local ice cream parlor, whose other options include the (Jack) Salted Caramel.”

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Jeff White, Blue Moon Diner, 1985

Five Finds on Friday: Bo Stockton

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Stockton’s son.

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Bo Stockton, new owner of Michael’s Bistro and Tap House. A longtime manager of Charlottesville restaurants, Stockton says the biggest thing he has learned is that the keys to a restaurant’s success are “good food and good service at a quality price.” With an institution like Michael’s, Stockton is treading slowly with changes, but will debut a new brunch menu this weekend, and has started adding dinner items too. Stockton’s picks:

1) Hellboy Pizza at Lampo. “When I’m feeling down and need a pick-me-up, I remember how April revived the Ninja Turtles . . . pizza. Master Splinter says Hellboy and then Mitchell Shredders the cheese. A must in Cville.”

2) Breakfast BBQ at Blue Moon Diner. “The fact that they are back makes me want to dance. I have had everything from business meetings to dates to hangover cures feasting on their brunch menu. For me, always the pulled pork over English muffins with onion straws. So happy they re-opened.”

3) English Muffins at Belle. “This spot is new to Belmont but already feels like home. Grab a cup of Joe and get an English muffin made in house. How can you go wrong? I like egg and cheese on mine. They make whatever, and have a perfect place for the family.”

4) Fresh Rolls at Monsoon Siam. “If you haven’t had the fresh rolls to start and followed them with house hot anything, then you haven’t lived. Hands down my go to jiggity jam. Tell them Bo sent you if you want it hot.”

5) Fried Chicken from Brown’s. “So many arguments over the ‘best fried chicken’ in Cville. Stop arguing, head to Brown’s. Crispy, greasy, hearty and everything else but healthy. Yum.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Julia Minnerly

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Julia Minnerly, Space Lab Commander at Snowing in Space, which last week tapped their outstanding nitro coffee WhiSKEE Ball, aged in a whiskey barrels from Virginia Distillery Co. Tomorrow, Snowing in Space will host a pop-up brunch by the recently closed Blue Moon Diner. Devotees of Blue Moon Diner who can’t wait until it re-opens next year can get their fix tomorrow, August 19, from 10 am until 2 pm, with a menu of pancakces, biscuits and gravy, or a Cajun grit bowl. Details here. Minnerly’s picks:

1) Ham Biscuits from JM Stock Provisions. “I struggle not to get a biscuit from here every day of the week. Thinly sliced, high quality ham with honey and hot sauce on biscuits made fresh everyday, so delicious!”

2) Cheesecake Berry Swirl Ice Cream Sandwich from Wonderment​ Bakeshop and Creamery​​. “Stephanie makes incredible baked goods and ice cream, in a plethora of flavors. Put them together into a jam-packed homemade ice cream sandwich? Unbelievably tasty!”

3) Chicken Lunch Box from Doma​. “Such a great go-to lunch for me. Quick service, great ingredients, and a healthy portion of Korean-style veggies and meat, it’s always amazing!”

4) The Hangover Burger from South Street Brewery. “This burger is an undertaking to be sure, with bacon and a fried egg on top, but it is a must try. Definitely the best of it’s kind in the area and consistently cooked perfectly!​”

5) California Turkey Sandwich from Green House Coffee. “Love the avocado mayo on this sandwich, with sprouts, bacon and roasted turkey. For sure a yummy favorite!”

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