The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Bluegrass Grill and Bakery

Five Finds on Friday: Ashley Malcolm

malcolm

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Ashley Malcolm of Malcolms Market Garden, the Staunton farm she and her husband operate, whose CSA Farm Share resumes this spring. What’s a CSA Farm Share? Short for “Community Supported Agriculture,” it involves members buying all of a farm’s produce for the growing season early in the year, well before the harvest. Once harvesting begins, each week members receive bags stuffed full of the farm’s current best fresh-picked produce. Drop-off locations for Malcolms Market Garden farm share include Charlottesville, Crozet, Waynesboro, Fishersville, and Staunton.  Visit the website for info and registration.  Malcolms’ picks:

1) Fried Chicken at Wayside. “Skip all of the mediocre fried chicken out there and just go for this great chicken. Perfectly crispy and tender. When I’m on this side of town, it’s an easy choice for picking up dinner.”

2) Chicken Salad on an Everything Bagel at Bodo’s. “Everyone has ‘their sandwich’ that they usually order from here, and this is mine and has been for decades. Add some sprouts for more texture and freshness.”

3) Chocolate Praline Crunch Dome from Albemarle Baking Company. “Everything crafted by ABC is authentic and delicious and made with love and precision, but this is the type of dessert that will have you dreaming about it for years. The magic of the textures and layers beneath the ganache dome make for the most decadent individual portion.”

4) Two Eggs, Bacon, Home Fries, and a Biscuit at Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. “I’ve waited hours of my life to eat here, as all should, because it is just that good. This is great diner food at its best. The biscuits are a dream.”

5) Shishito Peppers at Citizen Burger Bar. “Obviously the burgers and fries are spot-on here, mainly because of their emphasis on local fresh ingredients. The shishito peppers are a real treat because they showcase the beauty and simplicity of the vegetable. With hardly any (spicy) heat, perfectly charred, completely dip-able and addictive, they are a favorite.”

Shishito

 

Five Finds on Friday: Alex Bryant

Alex

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Alex Bryant, Project Manager & Food Coordinator of the Tom Tom Founders Festival, which has formed a panel of great culinary minds in search of Charlottesville’s signature dish, and they need your help. “From the time that our nation’s first epicurean feasted at Monticello, the Charlottesville area has been known for its food. But, among all that our region has to offer, what dish distinguishes us most?” Be sure to review the criteria here. And, then make your submission here. The deadline for submissions is March 7. Then, the panel will consider all of the input and its own research of culinary history before announcing Charlottesville’s signature dish in early April. Submit your ideas and stay tuned. Bryant’s picks:

1) The Big Bad Wolf at Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. “Nobody does bennys better than Bluegrass, and the Big Bad Wolf is always a winner. Bacon Jam cream cheese and chipotle hollandaise – it is so worth the wait!”

2) Pretzel Bites at Three Notch’d Craft Kitchen & Brewery. “What better partner to a cold brew than a warm soft pretzel. Pro tip: slice that bad boy in half and slather on the warm gooey cheese and the spicy brown mustard!”

3) Fried & Raw Brussels Sprouts at Brasserie Saison. “An easy to overlook plate, the raw Brussels float wonderfully over the rich roasted notes of the fried ones, and just wait until you find the fresh tomato puree hiding at the bottom – a complete harmony of flavors!

4) Ceviche at The Bebedero. “Who doesn’t like fresh scallops and fish? The spice of the jalapenos and the tang of the lime are a perfect compliment to this already wonderful dish.”

5) Bora Bora Latte from Mudhouse. “My new go to for an after dinner coffee – the nutty hazelnut permeates every sip of this delightful blend of foam and rich espresso.”

Five Finds on Friday: Justin Vesser

Vesser

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Justin Vesser of The Tennessean Steakhouse, a brand new series of dinner parties at Vesser’s home to raise money for charity. Vesser is a passionate home cook, and The Tennessean Steakhouse is his way to play restaurant chef by creating a “bistro” on his back patio, all for a good cause. Guests do not pay for their meals except for a recommended donation to the SHE Shelter. There is a different theme each month, and first up is Argentina via Earlysville, a “fire-roasted, chili-rubbed tour through South America, celebrating the cuisines of Argentina and Brazil .  .  .with some Virginia and Tennessee additions.” Menu below. Book your slots here, and for updates on future events, follow along on the Tennessean Steakhouse Facebook page. It’s clear from his picks that Vesser knows his food, so grab some friends, support a good cause, and try something a little different for a way to spend a Saturday night. Vesser’s picks:

1) Spicy Fried Calamari at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. “The Fat & Sassy was our gateway food for Ho’s with that salty ranch dressing and those little garlic bombs, but the calamari is the sleeper hit, and my single favorite dish anywhere. The squid rings are great, but the little heady tentacle pieces, soaked up with all the spicy Thai sauce, are just a killer bite of food.”

2) Heaven on a Bun at The Barbeque Exchange. “The Heaven isn’t on the regular menu, but rather is taped to the glass along with the Hell and the Purgatory. I get mine with chopped brisket instead of pulled pork, and it is a total knockout punch with lettuce, tomato, a sunny egg, baconaise, two giant pieces of sticky love bacon, and the secret weapon, a single, house-made waffle cut potato chip. Add a few dabs of Poltergeist sauce and tell Saint Peter I said ‘Hello.'”

3) The Hungry Norman at Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. “The combination of English muffins with blackberry jam, spicy sausage links, goat cheese, perfect poached eggs and immaculate hollandaise sauce sounds totally crazy, but it is the definitive breakfast food for me. Plus, the place is very cool for families with little, crazy kids.”

4) Cavoletti Di Bruxelles at Lampo. “With all the stellar food and creativity at Lampo, it may sound odd to go with a vegetable. However, it’s the one thing we get every single time. Four-ish perfect forkfuls of crunchy, bitter shaved Brussels sprouts with a tangy dressing. It makes you feel better about attacking a meatball sandwich, to boot.”

5) Meat and Cheese Board from Feast! “The Feast crew obviously love their jobs, and enlisting their help in putting together the perfect charcuterie for a big crowd, or more likely for just one big guy, is always a blast. I have turned so many people on to my Feast discoveries like the Pig & Fig Pate, mole salami, and well-aged gouda, loaded with crunchy crystals.”

tsteakhouse menu

Beef 17

“Beef 17” – Timbercreek Farm rib-eye, strip, and short rib with 17 sauces and garnishes

elvis

“Elvis” – Amy Vesser’s banana bread, crisped in butter and bacon fat, with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter sauce, and lardons