The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: El Tepeyac

Five Finds on Friday: Penn Webster


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Penn Webster, sous chef of The Ivy Inn Restaurant.

1)  Cheeseburger at Riverside Lunch.  “I order mine with chili, onions, mustard, and slaw. That is ‘all the way’ where I come from in North Carolina, and Riverside does it right on.  You have to order a basket of fries and onion rings to share at the table.  Plus, the nice lady writes on your cup what drink you are enjoying with your meal!”

2)  Spanakopita from Mr V’s Kitchen.  “I have been eating Mr V’s wonderful pastry for years.  I just don’t tire of it ever.  On special occasions, he makes lahanodolmades, meat-stuffed cabbage rolls. They are 100 percent awesome. Plus, he makes a mean pizza as well.”

3)  Rock Barn Bratwurst and Barefoot Bucha Cherry Root at the Lockn’ Festival.  “Odd combo for sure, but at Lockn’ it just seemed right.  It kept me going for four days of fun and working the festival.”

4)  Tacos at La Michoacana.  “It really doesn’t matter what type of tacos you order.  They all taste good, and I end up smothering them with fresh hot salsa out of the squirt bottles anyway. It is cheap and tasty.  And, remember to bring cash.”

5)  Chicharron en Salsa Verde at El Tepeyac. “Not something I would recommend eating everyday, but it is so good and spicy. I think I broke out in a sweat last time I ate it.”

Five Finds on Friday: Jason Alley

On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks comes from Jason Alley, the Richmond chef behind Pasture, one of the most anticipated restaurants to open in Charlottesville in years.  Featuring small plates of Southern food, Pasture is now open in Stonefield, directly across from the movie theater.  Alley’s picks:

1)  Cheeseburger and Chili Dog at Riverside Lunch.  “This place is so rad, really old school and comforting for me.  We used to go to the old location years ago when my band would come to town to play shows.  It fit our budgets well, and was always exactly what we needed after a late night.  I love that they do small burgers, so you can also cram in a hot dog.  It’s also on the way to the new restaurant when we are driving in from RVA.”

2)  Yucca Frita Con Chicharron at El Tepeyac.  “We are still exploring town, trying to find our way to the next delicious spot.  What a joy to come across this truly authentic Salvadoran/Mexican joint so close to Pasture.  I’ve eaten the whole menu (in only three visits) already, but always have the yucca.  The starch is perfectly cooked, and the crispy pork is as intensely porky as anything I have ever eaten.”

3)  Everything at Mas Tapas.  “Tomas has been a dear friend for years, and every time we have supper there I am reminded of what a talented cook he is (as are all of his chefs), and what it means to be a gracious host.  Any fresh vegetable in season is a must, and of course those crazy good shrimp.”

4)  Beverage Program at The Whiskey Jar.  “This place reminds me so much of home.  The Southern food is always great, but it is also the perfect place to enjoy a great local beer or cider, and a glass of well curated American whiskey.  Also, the folks here are really great.”

5)  Tasting Menu at The Clifton Inn.  “To say that Tucker at Clifton is talented is a bit of an understatement.  Every time I eat here I gain a new appreciation for the abundance that central Virginia has to offer.  The techniques that he employs always work to highlight the ingredients being used.  Smart stuff here.”

Five Finds on Friday: Jarad Adams


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Jarad Adams, sous chef of Clifton Inn, which is offering a great deal throughout August.  Sunday through Thursday, guests can enjoy the amazing tasting menu for just $75, which is half the normal price.  Perfect for August birthdays and anniversaries.  Adams’ picks:

1) Tacos de Lengua and Sopes con Longaniza at El Tepayac.  “This Mexican/Salvadoran restaurant is dishing out some of the tastiest (and least expensive) food in town.  Definitely wash it all down with an ice cold Michelada.”

2)  Pork Belly with Leeks at Taste of China.  “Skip the American menu and head straight for the pork belly with leeks.  My wife loves the crispy fish scented with cumin and green onions.  We stumbled in looking for some Chinese food close to home, and I don’t think we have been to anyone else in town since then.”

3) Octopus at Orzo.  “Chef Tommy and his crew make some rock solid food.  Seriously, I don’t get in there enough.  A great meal accompanied by a glass of wine and an after dinner stroll downtown for people watching makes for a really nice date night.”

4)  Annie Oakley pizza at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie.  (Spicy buffalo chicken breast, pineapple, pickled jalapeno peppers, mozzarella, and cheddar.)  “After a long hike on a day off, nothing beats a pie and a cold beer from these guys!”

5)  Meals at Home with my wife Nikki.  “We work opposite schedules so when we are both home we often just turn on some music, make a mess, laugh and create something together. The antithesis to a crazy week at work!”

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