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: Allen LeHew

School’s out for summer!

For many in Charlottesville, nothing says summer more than Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books, the iconic OBX shop that fuels vacationing Charlottesvillians with waterfront coffee. It turns out the love affair is mutual, as longtime owner Allen LeHew loves Charlottesville, and makes frequent journeys to Charlottesville for food (and sports!). Quietly, he is also a regular contributor to fundraisers when members of the Charlottesville food community are in need. No wonder Charlottesville finds his shop such a pleasant place to be.

To kick off beach season, today’s Five Finds on Friday come from LeHew. Check out his great picks, and don’t miss Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books this summer:

1) Seasonal Fruit Brioche at Albemarle Baking Company. “This delicate, light and fluffy brioche, filled with pastry cream and seasonal fruit, is perfect with your morning coffee, as an afternoon snack, or even for dessert.”

2) Jambon Beurre at Belle. “Belle’s take on this classic French sandwich is so simple yet so delicious. The house baked bread, using flour from Woodson’s Mill, is perfection. Finish your meal with one of Belle’s cinnamon rolls or chocolate chip cookies.”

3) Pig Mac at Little Star. “#11 on Simon’s 29 Sandwich list. A breaded pork cutlet with all the fixings to make it a Mac. Served on a brioche sesame seed roll. One of those thing I eat and days later think about and crave another.”

4) Quenelles de Brochet at Café Frank. “My wife Judy and I try to dine at Café Frank whenever we are in town. Nothing disappoints, but the standout so far has been the Quenelles. The pike dumpling practically melts in your mouth and the rich velouté is the perfect accompaniment.”

5) Ethiopian Qabballe Pourover at Mudhouse. “I’m partial to the fruit forward Ethiopian coffees and the pourover method really brings the fruit out. Leave the cream and sugar out, and enjoy the subtle nuances and mouthfeel of the coffee. You can’t go wrong with any of the single origin coffees Mudhouse has to offer.”

 

Five Finds on Friday: Casandra Rodriguez

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Casandra Rodriguez of Vegan Comforts Soul Food, which opens this Sunday March 13, and will be open every Sunday and Monday to follow. Rodriguez has formerly served her vegan soul food at markets and pop-ups, and now has a temporary home at Royalty Coffee Sandwiches and Pastries on Cherry Avenue. A permanent venue is coming soon. Follow along for updates on Instagram. At Vegan Comforts, she’s particularly fond of the Vish Tacos, made from fried hearts of palm, as well as the “Slow Poke Rodriguez,” with Field Roast chorizo, simply egg scrambled in homemade salsa, topped with feta cheeze on a homemade buttermilk biscuit. Elsewhere in town, Rodriguez’s all-Vegan picks:

1) Pho and Crispy Rolls at Vu Noodles. “I get the crispy rolls just so I can dip them in the pho, and both together are so comforting, savory, and refreshingly delicious. I literally go here once or twice a week. Highly recommend.”

2) Portobello Philly at Firefly. “When I’m craving a Philly cheesesteak and don’t feel like cooking this is my go-to spot for it. It is so yummy.”

3) Creole Beans Platter at Pearl Island. “Wooo chile, this whole meal is the perfect combo. The creole beans are perfectly seasoned and the tostones with the sauce are to die for. Don’t get me started on the rice with the garlic kale. So so good.”

4) Won Ton Nachos at Botanical. “Ryan got me hooked on these nachos. They are so delicious. The cashew cheese sauce could pass for real cheese, first of all, and the toppings were so fresh and had the perfect crisp light touch. Def will be back for more.”

5) General Tso’s Cauliflower and Coconut Rice at Bang!. “Bring back the chickpea roll things, haha, no but seriously. My favorite dish from here right now is the General Tso’s cauliflower and the coconut rice. So comforting and filling.”

Five Finds on Friday: Ryan Becklund

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come Ryan Becklund, who left a job managing a vegan restaurant in the D.C. area to launch her own vegan restaurant in Charlottesville. Botanical opens tomorrow, March 5, in the former home to Java Java on the downtown mall. Becklund’s picks:

1) Any Vegan Croissant from Bowerbird Bakeshop. “I can’t believe that vegan croissants exist in Charlottesville and on top of that, these ones are perfect. Flaky, buttery, and delicious. You would never know they are vegan.”

2) Vegan Tater Tachos from Firefly. “Firefly has an awesome vegan menu overall, but these are my favorite on the list. Who doesn’t love a good tacho, especially with some rich cashew cheese?

3) Chili from The Juice Laundry. “This chili is a showstopper. It is vegan, but it could stand the test against any traditionally made chili. Definitely get it with the jalapeño cashew cream.”

4) Sweet Potato Tempura Roll from Now & Zen. “There are tons of veggie sushi rolls on the menu and all are great, but this is my go-to roll. I could eat it everyday.”

5) Marinara D.O.C. from Lampo. “A pizza without cheese is the only way I eat pizza. Without the cheese, the sauce and bread are the stars and that is exactly the case on this comforting, satisfying pie.”

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