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: Chrissy Benninger and Kyra Miller

Bluegrass

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come Chrissy Benninger and Kyra Miller – the mother-duo daughter behind Bluegrass Grill & Bakery, which Benninger owns and Miller manages. They have both joint and separate picks:

1) Princess Cake at Albemarle Baking Company (both). “This cake has been our family’s favorite for years, especially for birthdays, and it even made an appearance as Kyra’s wedding cake. I would break my strict autoimmune diet any day of the week for a piece of Princess Cake.”

2) Volcano Roll at Now & Zen (both). “Now & Zen is one of our ‘special dinner’ places to go. We’ve had numerous plates there but the one we love the most is the Volcano Roll. Everything there is fresh and huge, and the staff is amazing.”

3) Cinnamon Maple Twist at Paradox Pastry (Kyra). “I have had the pleasure of working with Jenny, and was able to try many of Paradox’s buttery, sweet, delicious pastries. The cinnamon maple twist is incredible and possibly one of the best sweets I’ve ever had.”

4) Campechano Tacos at Tacos Gomez (Kyra). “The closest you’ll get to a traditional Mexican street taco. The homemade tortillas and sauces are amazing! My husband I always order the campechano tacos. And make sure to get a horchata, if you’re lucky enough to go when they are serving them.”

5) Roasted Chicken at Al Carbon (Chrissy). “I had a different choice in mind and then, for some reason, I thought about this chicken. It is literally the best chicken I have ever had. The. Best. I can eat half a chicken by myself. Whatever they do to that chicken is something blessed by culinary angels.”

Al Carbon Rotisserie Chicken, Charlottesville, VA 10/05/2015

Photo by Tom McGovern

Five Finds on Friday: Whitney Foster

Whitney

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Whitney Foster, co-GM of Brasserie Saison, which this week became the newest entry into The Charlottesville 29, answering: if there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29? Foster’s picks:

1) The Hungry Norman at The Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. “Unless you arrive when they unlock the door, you’re probably going to have to wait for a seat at Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. It is worth it. The Hungry Norman is such a treat. It combines blackberry jam, sausage links, eggs, and goat cheese to create this mouthwatering dish that just melts in your mouth.”

2) Branzino at Brasserie Saison. “The Fish of the Day on Brasserie’s dinner menu always hits the spot. More specifically, the branzino. They open up the branzino and lay it skin side down on the grill so the skin gets crispy but the meat stays tender.  If that wasn’t enough, they pair it with seasonal vegetables and purees, such as a cauliflower or beet puree, combined with grilled veggies, sometimes pistachio butter, sometimes a fennel/arugula salad.  The combinations they come up with are unique and always take your mouth on an adventure.”

3) Late Night Burger at C&O. “There are only a select few restaurants that serve late night food, let alone amazing late night food. The C&O burger is a sigh of relief after a long day at work, and it’s affordable. Bless them.”

4) Iced Almond Milk Latte at Lone Light Coffee. “Lone Light recently started roasting their own beans, which is badass. They’ve always made their own almond milk. Their creamy nutty espresso paired with their almond milk is the best way to get each morning started, no sweetener required.”

5) Anything Pork at Brasserie Saison. “I recently experienced the best pork I’ve ever had. Followed immediately by the best pork I’ve ever had. Straight off the pig’s head and into my hand, Chef Devin knows what he’s doing. Try any pork on the menu. I dare you.”

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