The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Grit Coffee

Five Finds on Friday: Julie Vu Whitaker

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Julie Vu Whitaker of Vu Noodles, which has just added a stellar Papaya Salad to an already stellar menu. Vu Noodles is open M-F from 11 am – 2 pm at both The Jefferson School and The Spot. Whitaker’s picks:

1) Fish Tacos at The Bebedero. “While there are lots of fish tacos out in the world of Latin cuisines, I like The Bebedero’s. I just love the taste of corn tortilla and the simple balance of savory, sweet/tangy salsa and a zing of jalapeno tartar sauce. A plate of the fish tacos and a margarita is perfection!”

2) Creole Beans and Rice at Pearl Island Foods. “You may be surprised that being Asian growing up, I mostly skipped the rice. The best days were noodle days. However after having Chef Javier’s Creole Beans and Rice, oh my gosh! I can’t have enough! And, the tangy kale salad (with mushrooms and watermelon radish) brings excitement to the meal.”

3) Seared Scallops at Hamiltons’. “I can eat my weight on this starter. Simple quality ingredients and colors, this dish has it all for me. Perfectly seared caramelized sweet scallops, and geez, the divine combo of Greek yogurt and jalapeno oil! Not to mention the texture of nuts and seeds. It’s gone way too fast!”

4) Roasted Veggie Bowl at Grit Coffee. “You can find me at Grit almost daily. I get my dark roast there when I’m working at The Spot. When I have time, my favorite breakfast and lunch is the Roasted Veggie Bowl. Oh my! Sweetness you get from roasted vegetables and then my all time favorite protein, hands down the incredible edible egg! The egg here is fried, crispy white and soft yellow. It is exactly how I love my fried egg.”

5) Cumin Tofu at Taste of China. “The menu is pretty extensive, with hot pots and hardy soups. Most times when I have been there, it looked like a lot of Asian people eat here so I’m thinking that this might be the real deal. Outside from my own tofu that I make for Vu Noodles, this place has my favorite tofu. It is the Cumin tofu. Quite simple, but oh so so good! The tofu is deep fried with a layer of a cumin seasoning. Served with plain white rice. That’s it! Not much to it! Doesn’t require much to please me though.”

Five Finds on Friday: Brandon Wooten

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Brandon Wooten, co-founder of Grit Coffee, now with four locations: the Downtown Mall, Elliewood Avenue, Crozet, and Stonefield. The new Stonefield location, Wooten says, has more of a “European cafe vibe,” and will soon introduce weekend evening service, with small plates, dessert, draft beer, wine, and craft cocktails. Evening service begins next Friday, April 28. Wooten’s picks:

1) Carne Asada at MAS Tapas. “I’ve probably had dozens of steaks since the first time I had the carne asada (8 or so years ago), and have still yet to have a better steak dish in this town or really anywhere else in the world. It’s that good.”

2) Rotisserie Chicken and Fried Yucca at Al Carbon. “Their rotisserie chicken is something special, as is everything else I’ve had there. I love sauces and theirs are exceptional.”

3) Cuban Sandwich at Grit Coffee Downtown. “Hopefully this doesn’t read as self-promotion because we can’t take any credit for the local iteration of this sandwich. (That honor goes to Tony Jorge of Cafe Cubano fame). All we’ve tried to do is carry on the legacy of what we think is the best Cuban sandwich outside of Florida.”

4) Red Hot Blues and a House Margarita at Continental Divide. “I know I’m not alone in coveting either one of these, but for me they are inextricably linked (and a necessity at least once a month).  I think often of the Wait-A-Minute mango habañero sauce – probably more than I should.”

5) Double Bacon Cheeseburger and Fries at Riverside Lunch. “My dad used to take me and my brother to Riverside back in the days when it was just a counter in the back of a laundromat. There’s just no beating the simple perfection of their burgers and fries. It’s a Cville tradition I’m more than happy to pass on to my two boys.”