There is a buzz at 711 Henry Avenue, where former Zocalo sous chef Brian Ashworth is preparing to open Ace Biscuit & Barbecue. The location is close to Ashworth’s heart. Decades ago, as a high school student, Ashworth was a regular customer at the small building’s most famous tenant: Dottie’s Cafe.
It was also in high school that Ashworth began working in restaurants, first washing dishes, then tending the salad station, and soon cooking. After culinary school in Maryland, Ashworth returned to Charlottesville where he worked at a handful of restaurants, including Michael’s Bistro and Fuel, eventually finding his way to Zocalo.
Having spent five years as Zocalo’s sous chef, Ashworth feels the time is right to venture out on his own. He can hardly wait to open Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, which will serve breakfast and lunch. Ashworth expects a heavy carry-out business from the counter, but will also have seating, including a large communal table.
As for the food, Ashworth has been dabbling in charcuterie since culinary school, and his menu will feature three house made sausages: breakfast sausage, chorizo, and a Texas style smoky beef link. Other lunch offerings will include house smoked meats, as well as sandwiches and salads. For breakfast, Ashworth plans on waffles, pancakes, eggs, bacon, and biscuits so large he referred to them as “gut bombs.” Perhaps best of all, there will be scrapple, the delicious Pennslyania Dutch dish made of pork scraps that seems to be making a bit of a comeback.
If all goes smoothly, Ace Biscuit & Barbecue will open its doors on August 13.