The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Five Finds on Friday

Five Finds on Friday: Todd DeSorbo

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from the Tony Bennett of college swimming, Todd DeSorbo. In just his fourth season at UVa, DeSorbo became the first coach ever to lead an ACC school to a swimming and diving national championship, when his women’s team took home the title last month. DeSorbo was subsequently named Women’s Team Coach of the Year. DeSorbo’s picks:

1) Burger with Bacon at Wayside Takeout & Catering. “This has become our staff’s go-to pre-Championship lucky lunch. The Monday prior to every ACC or NCAA Championship (including two weeks ago before our women won the National Title), we head to Wayside for a burger. If I had to pick a favorite food of mine, it’s for sure a burger, and Wayside does them right. Not to mention convenient to our place of work, the AFC pool.”

2) Piggie Smalls at Fry’s Spring Station. “If you’re sensing a theme in locations, it’s likely because when I first moved to Charlottesville I lived just behind Scott Stadium, and pretty much went from the house to the pool, and didn’t know much other than that there were several great food joints within walking distance. This turned out to be a family favorite and a staff favorite. We often have gathered here with all our swimming and diving staff and families to hang out. The pizza is phenomenal and the casual atmosphere is right up my alley.”

3) Black Coffee at Atlas Coffee. “Sorry to be sticking with the theme again here, but this was my go-to Thursday morning treat. It’s always been a goal of mine to be able to walk into a coffee shop (or bar) and be ‘regular’ enough that the barista knows what drink you want. I only went a few weeks in a row and they knew exactly what I wanted. I finally made it! Great coffee, great spot.”

4) Mother’s Day Roll at Tokyo Rose. “My family and I have eaten more sushi since the pandemic hit than probably in the previous five years. Likely because my 12 year-old son has decided he loves spicy tuna rolls, and Tokyo Rose’s are the best. Personally I love the Mother’s Day Roll. We haven’t been inside the restaurant in a year, but the takeout/delivery is just as good as dining in.”

5) Kimchi Pork Wrap at Beer Run. “This restaurant was introduced to us by the myth ‘The Charlottesville 29.’ This is a go-to for our family and friends. From family night out to champagne celebrations when our staff won our first ACC Title three years ago, Beer Run has been a staple in our eat out rotation. Great beer selection (almost too good), great food, and great casual environment. If you can’t tell, I like casual.”

Five Finds on Friday: Brittany Miller

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Brittany Miller of Cakes by Rachel and Shenandoah Imagery. There are lots of great cake bakers in the area, but only one who was once head chef of Clifton Inn, Rachel Willis. Miller runs the office for Cakes by Rachel and also has her own food photography business, Shenandoah Imagery. As a classically trained chef, Willis still loves a challenge, like our request for a Manhattan-inspired cake to help us celebrate this weekend. White cake baked with a splash of whiskey and bitters, brushed with a whiskey cherry syrup, filled with homemade brandied cherries and triple whipped cream, and iced with a “Manhattan” buttercream: vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream accented with whiskey, vermouth, bitters and Fiori di Sicilia. Miller’s picks:

1) Vegan “Crab” Cake Sandwich at Firefly. “You can’t tell it’s not real crab. And this is coming from someone who orders crab cakes whenever I see them on a menu. I would recommend Firefly to any vegetarian or vegan looking for delicious eats.”

2) Southern Fried Chicken at South Street Brewery. “A huge piece of perfectly seasoned chicken is complemented by pillows of mashed potatoes and gravy. It’s comfort food at its finest. Better than Grandma’s.”

3) Chocolate Sour Cream Cake from Cakes by Rachel. “Everyone who’s had Rachel’s baked goods can attest to them being the best in the area, but Rachel’s chocolate cake reigns supreme, and I’m not historically a huge fan of chocolate cake. Pro tip: order yours with the chocolate buttercream. Absolute heaven. Everyone wishes they were her official cake taster, but that’s actually part of my job. I’m very lucky to work there.”

4) Sigara Börek at Sultan Kebab. “Hot phyllo rolls filled with Turkish white cheese and parsley should tell you all you need to know. They’re like mozzarella sticks, but better. Having shot their whole menu, I can certify that the owners are really great people who are passionate about their food and you can tell. Every bite amazes.”

5) Chicken Paffle from Iron Paffles. “What exactly is a paffle? I’m not really sure. I just know those paffle sandwiches taste really freaking good. I recommend the chicken with the macaroni and cheese and sriracha. The chicken is tender and the paffles are perfectly flaky. Mac and cheese just rounds it out to make it a perfect sandwich. I can’t wait to go back.”

 

Five Finds on Friday: Mary Bridget Kane

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from reader Mary Bridget Kane. In celebration of the Culture of Takeout, Five Finds on Friday has been featuring readers selected at random in weekly drawings. Also part of the prize is a $100 restaurant gift certificate, like Kane’s certificate to Conmole. Kane’s picks:

1) Ham Biscuits from JM Stock Provisions. “Absolute perfection and my favorite way to start a weekend morning. Also everyone who works there is just fantastic.” 

2) Wessex from Greenwood Gourmet Grocery. “One of my favorite things about the Charlottesville area is that there are at least a half dozen truly fantastic sandwich places. After years of taste tests and an extensive Google Doc ranking system, I’ve concluded that Greenwood Grocery tops the list. It’s tough to choose just one from their menu but I keep coming back to the Wessex.” 

3) Turkey and Swiss on Sourdough from Take it Away. “Couldn’t pick just one Cville sandwich. My go to is turkey and Swiss on their homemade sourdough with arugula, pickles, roasted tomatoes and of course extra house dressing.” 

4) Shaved Salad at Oakhart Social. “Perfect combination of sweet, savory, crunchy. I think it’s the dates that make it.”

5) Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup from C&O. “Best served with a dirty martini and some late night gossip. Makes me feel like I’ve traveled back in time.”

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