The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Fry’s Spring Station

Five Finds on Friday: Eric Breckoff

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Eric Breckoff, Culinary Arts Director at Piedmont Virginia Community College, where he helps to develop skilled chefs to put into Charlottesville restaurant kitchens. Breckoff enrolled his first students in 2013, and since then graduates have gone on to kitchens like The Alley Light, MarieBette, and Red Pump Kitchen. More information on the program is here. Breckoff’s picks:

1) Carne Asada Gorditas at La Michoacana. “Tragically, only three gorditas come to an order, and my wife and I have to share one and supplement with our second choice tacos: also carne asada, Mexican style. Frankly, you can’t go wrong with anything here.  Simple, down to earth, family-run restaurant that takes pride in their food.  Did I mention the margaritas?”

2) Kofta Kabob with Chick Peas at Afghan Kabob Palace. “My wife and I both love Middle-Eastern food, and Afghan Kabob Palace never fails to please. When it’s cool outside, the aush soup is comforting and warm. For starters, we love the samosas and the bolanee gandana. Crispy, delicious turnover packets of love. My go-to entrée is the kofta kabob and my wife loves the vegetarian plate (make sure you get the pumpkin and the chickpeas).”

3) Moules Frites at Brasserie Saison. “I could eat this every day the rest of my life. Perfectly cooked. Perfectly seasoned. Just the perfect food made with love and care.”

4) Piggie Smalls Pizza at Fry’s Spring Station. “A perfect restaurant to sit outside on a Friday after work and enjoy well crafted, delicious food made with love. A Piggie Smalls  pizza and a beer with the crispy gnocchi & beet salad makes a perfect meal.”

5) Sausage, Egg, & Cheddar on an Everything at Bodo’s. “Ok, I know everyone puts Bodo’s on their list. Why? It’s that good. An everything with egg, cheese, sausage is my morning go-to. Some might say I have a problem. I say I can stop anytime I want to, but why would I want to?”

Five Finds on Friday: John McMahon

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from John McMahon of Schuyler Greens. You’ve either never had McMahon’s greens, or you love them. While most local produce suffers the whims of Mother Nature, hydroponically grown Schuyler Greens have great flavor and texture all year round. In addition to area restaurants, find them at Foods of All Nations, Feast!, Timbercreek Market, Crozet Great Valu, Reid’s, and Market Street Market. McMahon’s picks:

1) Ponch Burger at Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint. “After a long week on the farm, nothing beats a cold beer and a Ponch Burger (or two) at Jack Brown’s, which is only available on Fridays.”

2) The Bellissima at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. “When you combine country ham, arugula, lemon vinaigrette, and shaved parmesan on a pizza, what is not to love? Pro tip: Wash down with a Three Notch’d Pomegranate Gose (when seasonally available).”

3) Enchiladas Rancheras at La Michoacana. “It is borderline stressful to order only one dish at La Michoacana. The food is that good.”

4) Cheesy Bacon Potatoes at Smoked Kitchen and Tap. “Although known for excellent BBQ and home to the biggest burger I’ve ever eaten (#thanks Charlottesville29), make sure to order a side of the cheesy bacon potatoes. It might be the best ‘hash’ I’ve ever had.”

5) The Dude Abides at Fry’s Spring Station. Great food across the board but the Dude Abides = comfort food in pizza form. They also have a huge craft beer menu that constantly changes, so it pays to visit often.

Five Finds on Friday: Lindsay Dorrier

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Bold Rock Hard Cider’s Lindsay Dorrier, who will compete next week in the 2017 Shop to Stop Hunger, benefiting the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. At 10 am on December 7 at the Barracks Road Kroger, Dorrier and four other beverage insiders will each have one minute to fill their shopping carts with as much food as they can, all for the food bank. Visit the event page to survey the competitors and donate in the name of your pick to win. As cold weather approaches, your donations are more important than ever. So, go! Dorrier’s picks:

1) Dealer’s Choice at Cicchetti Bar at Tavola. “It’s been mentioned before but worth mentioning again: the Cicchetti Bar at Tavola features the best cocktails in town. I mostly drink hard cider followed by wine and some beer but Tavola’s Maiale Milanese wouldn’t be a complete meal without a Dealer’s Choice cocktail from the Cicchetti Bar to start. The talented bartenders are always able to take my vague suggestions on taste (something fresh, vodka, maybe a touch of sweetness) and turn it into an amazing cocktail. Fellow Scottsville Elementary School alum and longtime friend Christian Johnston did an awesome job building the Cicchetti Bar from the ground up, and Steve Yang has ably grabbed the torch and continued to push it forward. Kudos to both for running an operation that is distinctively next level in terms of quality and even showmanship with their approach to crafting the cocktails.”

2) Made To Order Mozzarella at Fry’s Spring Station. “I live a stone’s throw away from Fry’s Spring Station and am grateful to have such awesome food and ambiance in my backyard. One of my new favorite appetizer’s is the Made To Order Mozzarella. If the mozzarella is Batman then the flatbread is Robin. They go perfectly together and I’m confident I have not had better flatbread. Top with roasted tomatoes and you are cooking with gas.”

3) Shaved Salad at Oakhart Social. “The perfect start to any culinary adventure at Oakhart where you literally can’t go wrong with the menu selections. The shaved salad has varied textures, tastes and colors that combine together to create a beautifully simple yet complex dish. Arugula, watermelon radish, medjool date and a few other interesting veggies tossed in a creamy garlic dressing will keep you going back for a second or third scoop. Make sure you order more than one for larger groups!”

4) Sweet Heat Wings at Fardowners. “Just a touch outside of Charlottesville but worth the drive, Fardowners in Crozet dishes out an amazing house made wing sauce in the Sweet Heat which has a perfect dose of habanero spice blended with a delicious honey and raspberry sweetness. The wings are never scrawny or dried out and always thoroughly coated with this sweet and fiery deliciousness. I don’t dream about wings too often but my mouth has definitively started to water just thinking about this dish.”

5) Chili Dusted Sea Scallops at Zocalo. “I’ve had a longstanding aversion towards seafood, which is why extra weight should be given to the Chili Dusted Sea Scallops at Zocalo making this list. These scallops are flat out amazing, perfectly seared and served on a bed of sautéed spinach and fried plantains. I’ve tried to replicate them at home but have come to realize that there is just no matching this excellence at Zocalo.”