The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Fabio’s

Five Finds on Friday: Ivar Aass

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Ivar Aass, owner of Spirit Lab Distilling, whose flagship whiskey received lavish praise in last week’s Five Finds. Check out the distillery here, and learn more about the single malt whiskey here. Aass’ picks:

1) Head Cheese from JM Stock Provisions. “Delicious porcine goodness. You don’t know what meat is supposed to taste like until you’ve tried something from Matt and team, but the head cheese is an especially fun find.”

2) Open-faced Chicken Fried Octopus Sando at Oakhart Social. “Chicken. Fried. Octopus. Unbelievably tasty and tender. I could eat a dozen of these in a sitting.”

3) Meat Lovers Pizza from Fabio’s. “A staple for movie night at home. After living in NYC for eighteen years, I can tell you that Fabio’s gets pizza.”

4) Fried Chicken at Brown’s. “My favorite fried chicken in town with crispy, sinful skins and juicy meat.”

5) Canelés from MarieBette. “Caramelized crusts with custardy, vanilla-rum centers. Makes me nostalgic for Paris. Fun personal challenge: tell yourself you’re just stopping by MarieBette for a baguette and see if you can leave without a box of these.”

Five Finds on Friday: Bill Justus

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On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Bill Justus, Executive Chef of The Boar’s Head Inn, which this weekend is hosting the Charlottesville Men’s Pro Tennis Challenger, with Somdev Devvarman and several other Virginia tennis stars, among other pros.  Justus’ picks:

1) Linzer Cookie at Foods of All Nations“Beautifully decorative sandwich cookies.  Great store with an extensive selection of choices, and knowledgeable, helpful, and courteous staff.  A Charlottesville institution for more than 50 years.”

2)  Spicy Chicken Wings at Fardowners.  “The essence of pub fare.  Good vibe . . . comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.  Friendly, attentive service.  The beer doesn’t get much more local than at Fardowners.”

3)  Burger at West Main.  “Unfailing.  Burgers are always hardy and flavorful.”

4)  Enchiladas Camino at Baja Bean Co.  “The shredded meats and the perfectly melted queso blanco sprinkled with fresh cilantro.  Good place for a quick lunch.  Always fresh and consistent.”

5)  Pizza at Fabio’s.  “Pizza is always on the mark.  Again, a great place for a quick meal.  Lots of parking, casual dining with indoor and outdoor seating.”

Two for Tuesday: Fabio’s and Blue Moon Diner

1)  Slice of Pepperoni Pizza at Fabio’s.  Now that low-cal January is finally behind us, we are happily enjoying many of the things we had to forgo during those thirty days of torture.  One of our strongest cravings is usually for pizza.  And, we don’t mean the fancy stuff with exotic toppings like avocado, Thai Chicken, or even pasta.  Rather, we mean a good-old-fashioned New York style slice of ‘za.  In Charlottesville, there’s not much in the way of that kind of pizza, and Fabio’s may be the closest thing.  As is the case with slices at classic New York City pizza parlors, none of the components of a Fabio’s slice seems particularly noteworthy — not the cheese, not the tomato sauce, and not the crust.  Instead, the pizza has that sum-is-greater-than-its-parts greatness that, in short, hits the spot when you need a slice.

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2)  Bacon Baklava at Blue Moon Diner.  When most people think of baklava, they don’t say: “You know what this needs more of? Calories!”  But, then again, the venerable Blue Moon Diner has always marched to the beat of its own drum.  As part of the diner’s annual Bacon Dinner on Valentine’s Day, BMD takes baklava and adds bacon, and chocolate too.  The result is not just disgusting but also delicious.  Leftovers are often available during the week after Valentine’s Day, but after that, you might just have to beg.

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