The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Bodo’s

Five Finds on Friday: Claudia Cruz

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Claudia Cruz of Dulce De Leche. Among the silver linings of the pandemic, Dulce De Leche is a delivery-only bakery offering “handmade Peruvian sweets.” As Cruz works on her elementary education degree and cares for her two young boys, COVID-19 prompted her to launch her own business. Customers may order on Facebook or Instagram, or by texting (434) 989-9036. After sampling her baked goods, James Beard semifinalist Angelo Vangelopoulos of Ivy Inn pronounced: “Soooo good.” Cruz’s picks:

1) La Familia Chicken from Al Carbon. “It is very nice to choose for the whole family. We usually order La Familia size chicken after having a long day from work. It reminds us of our rotisserie chicken from back home, Peru.”

2) East Coast from Burger Bach. “When looking for a place for a good burger there is no doubt there are multiple places in Charlottesville, but my favorite burger is located here. The flavors of this sweet and salty burger are out of the world. Not to mention with my favorite cheese, brie, mixed with my favorite fruit, blueberries. Say no more, I will be there in a blink of an eye if possible.”

3) Shrimp Tacos from Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant (UVa location). “I’m kind of embarrassed to say but I don’t venture out with tacos, I only order shrimp tacos in every Mexican restaurant. Therefore, the shrimp tacos from this restaurant are absolutely amazing, with fresh cabbage and crème cilantro lime sauce. Delish.”

4) Shrimp Tempura Sushi from Snowfox Sushi (Inside Kroger, Barracks Road). “It’s a little-known secret but the sushi in Kroger is actually made by franchise owners of Snowfox Sushi. This means that the sushi chefs are free to get creative and bring their knowledge when it comes to making the best sushi possible. One of our best friends owns this location and is one of the best sushi chefs we have ever met.”

5) BLT on Everything from Bodo’s. “Nothing like a good bagel with hot coffee to start your day. We enjoy this Charlottesville staple very much. No matter how long the line is, it is worth the wait.”

Pionono. A soft, rolled cake filled with dulce de leche, traditionally sold on the streets of Peru.

Five Finds on Friday: Heather Broach

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from reader Heather Broach. In celebration of the Culture of Takeout, all autumn long Five Finds on Friday features readers selected at random in weekly drawings. Also part of the prize is a $100 restaurant gift certificate, like Broach’s to Zocalo. Check back Monday, November 16 to enter next week’s drawing, which includes a $100 gift certificate to Petit Pois. Broach’s favorites from the Culture of Takeout:

1) Cantarito con Tequila from Little Star. “A little bit spicy, a little bit sour, a little bit sweet. This marg hits all the taste buds. Perfect for any time of the year.”

2) Flautas from Al Carbon. “These chicken filled fried rolled tacos are topped with cotija cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. These are my absolute favorites and I order them every time.” 

3) Rainbow Bowl with Noodles from Poke Sushi Bowl. “I’ve been to Hawaii and lived in Southern California for 15 years. When I first tried this place I was floored by the authenticity of the flavors, the quality of the food, and the speed of the service. I always order the Rainbow bowl with noodles and add as many toppings as possible.”

4) Chicken Salad on an Everything from Bodo’s. “My absolute favorite thing to order is an everything bagel with chicken salad. It’s simple, yet so comforting. I’ve been ordering this since high school and every year I returned to visit my family, and continue to do so now that I’ve moved back.” 

5) El Jefe from Roots. “I was first introduced to Roots through a colleague. Delicious bowls that are filling and very nutritious. I will typically order the El Jefe. It’s the perfect blend of flavors that I like and it keeps me full all day long.”

Five Finds on Friday: Noah Comarovschi

Charlottesville lost a beloved member of its food community this week. Noah Comarovschi cooked all over Charlottesville, at places like Oakhart Social, Public Fish & Oyster, Bizou, and Brookville. In memory of Noah, today’s Five Finds on Friday are some of his favorites, as remembered by friends and family. Noah leaves behind his seven-year-old son Isaac, who suddenly finds himself without a father. As Isaac was the light of Noah’s life, in tribute to Noah, friends have established a fund for Isaac’s education and well being. Help Isaac here.

1) Cabeza Tacos at El Tako Nako and Tacos Gomez. “We all loved Noah and we are all heart broken. He was such a fun, loving person and truly part of our Oakhart family and DNA. He was the kind of guy who let everyone know how much they meant to him. When I think about Noah, I think about us laughing a lot. I think about us arguing about whether El Tako Nako or Tacos Gomez has the better cabeza. I think about listening to the Jesus Lizard way too loud and sharing a hidden a box of cornstarch in the walk-in (IYKYK). I think about us having a couple too many shifties after long, hot services. One particular memory that stands out, because of how it encapsulated his love of family and of food, was the day that he brought in a few beautiful Cherokee Purple tomatoes from his dad’s garden. He was so proud of these tomatoes and of his dad who he was very close with. Honestly we all agreed that they were the best tomatoes we had all tasted that summer. He cut them up, sprinkled a little Maldon, cracked a little black pepper on them and insisted that we all try them. Then there was the mayo pairing. Hellmans? Not a f-ing chance. Dukes or Kewpie, nothing less. He beamed with pride sharing his dad’s ‘maters and it was a really happy afternoon. He is loved and missed.” – Tristan Wraight

2) Bagels with Lox and Herb Cream Cheese from Bodo’s. “We are far from a religious family, but Sunday meal was always sacred to us. As Pops always says, ‘It is not a Comarovschi get-together unless there is too much food.’ Those family dinners are some of my favorite memories with my brother. It didn’t matter what we were noshing on, as long as we were all together. The simple stuff like a spread of Bodo’s bagels with herb schmear and lox, or a heaping pile of all beef Hebrew National hotdogs were just as enjoyable as a decadent pork belly or butter braised ribeye. 
I think at times he saw being the chef in the family as a blessing and a burden. He always volunteered to man the grill, or slice the turkey and ham at Thanksgiving, or pick the restaurant that we would go to when he and I went to shows in other cities. And even when his annoyance at a request to cook our step-mom’s steak to well done was palpable, Noah still did it because he knew we appreciated his culinary prowess and he just wanted to contribute something that everyone could enjoy.” Anna Comarovschi

3) Sesame Chicken at Ming Dynasty. “The classic Ming Dynasty of the 1990s was a favorite spot for Noah and I back in the day. I remember he always got the sesame chicken. We would go there after we got paid working at Cooper and Seacrest doing political surveying. All the old crew worked there at one time or another.” Jaison Burke

4) Empanadas at Guajiros Miami Eatery. “We went later in the evening towards their closing time. No one was in there but us. We pored over the menu and couldn’t decide, so naturally we ordered half of the menu. While we were waiting we began to chat with the owner. Noah may have been a chatterbox — never met a stranger — but I am certainly not. The owner was so friendly and kind that we ended up just talking for another thirty minutes after our order was ready. Even though we ordered half the menu, I forgot to try their fried cheese, and upon mentioning this the owner went and dropped some in the fryer for us to munch on while we waited. Noah was very excited about the Maduros served with crème fraiche, and they were great. We also got the Cuban and Pan Con Croqueta, all great. But what really blew us away were the empanadas. What makes these empanadas truly spectacular is that they are both crispy on the outside but the dough remains perfectly soft. The texture, filling and the house made sauces are all flawlessly executed and wonderfully brought together to bring the best empanada I have ever had, and one Noah could not work out an equal. Truly a rare feat. – Robbie Hall

5) Traditional Chinese at Yuan Ho. “Noah absolutely loved Yuan Ho when we lived together in the early 2000’s. They were the first Chinese restaurant where I ever encountered the ‘Non-Western’ menu. Noah knew the owners personally, and they would let us in the back area where the kitchen was. It was my first time seeing a few traditional Chinese dishes and my first time seeing chefs use a wok station and a cleaver. That sparked my obsession with Asian culture and cuisine, and I’ll always remember that day.” – Mitchell Beerens

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