The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Guajiros

Five Finds on Friday: Ann Dunn

There has long been a bond between Charlottesville’s fitness community and its food community. (Some have called it a “Paradox.”) As the New Year brings new fitness goals, today’s Five Finds on Friday come from one of Charlottesville’s best to help with those goals: Ann Dunn of Formula Complete Fitness. A former NCAA All-American runner, Dunn loves running, fitness, and training others. And Charlottesville food. Visit Formula’s website to learn how to get started, and follow along on Instagram and Facebook. Dunn’s picks:

1) Gentle Green from The Juice Laundry. “This juice has ruined any other cold-pressed juice for me. Other juices do not stack up. It is the perfect balance of health and flavor, with a unique combination of kale, spinach, cucumber, grapefruit, and apple juices. It is light and refreshing. When paired with a protein, it is a great start to the day. Plus, I feel like I’m #winning when I get in my greens before 8 am.”

2) Breakfast Bowl at Guajiros. “When beans and rice are a staple in my diet, I feel really good. This dish is a special treat though. I love gallo pinto (Nicaraguan rice and beans), and the pico and cilantro aioli add a tasty touch. The bowl comes with plantains or queso frito (fried cheese) too. I’m from Wisconsin, so I usually choose the latter. Pro tip: don’t miss out on the cafe con leche, the most decadent way to get your coffee fix.”

3) Blue Slate from Greenwood Grocery. “If I am spending the day at one of our amazing local wineries, I love picking up sandwiches and snacks from Greenwood Grocery. The Blue Slate is a classic turkey, havarti, lettuce, and tomato sandwich served on country bread with a perfectly crispy crust. This simple sandwich has a welcomed, unique twist with an ancho lime mayo spread, making it a perfect pairing for the wine and views of the Blue Ridge.”

4) Kale Caesar Salad and Bolo Pasta from Luce. “This Caesar salad, made with kale, shaved brussels, and tomato confit, is one of the best salads I’ve ever tasted. The Bolo is on point, especially if you order it at Crush Pad. There, the staff can share their wine wisdom and offer a perfect wine pairing.”

5) Fries & Flip at Tavern & Grocery/Lost Saint. “If I had to pick a guilty pleasure, it would be of the potato and salt variety. So naturally, the hand-cut fries at Tavern are the best $8 I’ve ever spent. Thin and crispy, they come with homemade spicy ketchup and garlic aioli. Drooling. Make sure you save room for a Flip at the Lost Saint, a speakeasy beneath Tavern & Grocery. I’m not much for cocktails, but the PB&J Flip is peanut buttery, milkshakey goodness. A really fun way to cap off an evening.”

#12: Belle Cubano – Belle

The Cuban

A great chef knows to tread carefully with a classic dish. Invoking a classic’s name on a menu can create expectations that risk leaving some disappointed by even slight deviations.

Belle’s John Shanesy is a great chef. And his riff on a Cuban sandwich is outstanding. In hotspots like Miami and Tampa Bay, where the sandwich dates back more than a century, there are strong opinions about what belongs on it, or, more importantly, what does not. Traditional ingredients include roast pork, ham (sometimes salami), Swiss cheese, sliced dill pickles, and yellow mustard, pressed on Cuban bread.

Shanesy’s recipe tracks these fairly closely, but with a chef’s attention to detail, and only carefully considered deviations. For the pork, instead of the standard roast, Shanesy braises Autumn Olive Farms pork shoulder overnight, in salt, water, and the pork’s own fat, and throws in pig feet and skin as well to ramp up the swine flavor. The next day, he pulls the meat and cools it. Shanesy’s ham choice is prosciutto cotto for its ability to retain flavor and texture whether served hot or cold. The bread is his brother’s sourdough hoagie rolls made with Autumn Olive Farms cornmeal and local Deep Roots flour, which he fries on both sides in butter until crisp, and then smears on mustard and mayo. For assembly, he sears the braised pork and piles it on the bread with the prosciutto cotto, Alsatian Gruyere, and a generous handful of house-made pickle slices. Finally, there is Shanesy’s main tweak to the standard recipe: a salsa verde he makes from chopped herbs, jalapeños, fresh squeezed orange juice, apple vinegar, and oil, which adds flavor and offsets the sandwich’s richness, without upsetting its underlying appeal. The verdict? Spot-on.

#12: Belle Cubano – Belle
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: Cuban Pickle Crisis at Ivy Provisions, El Cubano at Guajiros, Ace Cuban at Ace Biscuit & Barbecue

Five Finds on Friday: Chris Martin

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Chris Martin, the Johnson & Wales graduate with a background in fine dining who moved to Charlottesville to launch a pop-up bakeshop. Her Baker No Bakery now pops up periodically at Guajiros and elsewhere, offering treats like sesame leaf glazed donuts, fritters, tarts, and more. And, cookie deliveries are always available here. Look for her tomorrow, September 4, at Guajiros from 9 am – 12 pm. Early bird gets the worm, because she can sell out fast. Stay up to date on her Instagram page. Martin’s picks:

1) Café con Leche at Guajiros Miami Eatery. “The perfect balance of espresso, sweetness, espuma, and milk. And enough caffeine to fuel me for eternity. I drink this iced every single day I can.”

2) Taiyakis from Basan. “Basan is delightful because of their specials, and I’m personally obsessed with their taiyakis. There is typically always a red bean flavor, but there was a banana cream flavor that lingers with me to this day.”

3) Baleadas at El Ciruelo. “This restaurant has amazing flour tortillas, and they shine in any and all of the baleadas. My Honduran coworker introduced me to these and I can’t get enough.”

4) Ddukbokki at Kuma Sushi Noodles & Bar. “Their ddukbokki is perfectly spicy, with chewy rice cakes that I adore. Also the iced honey plum tea is *chefs kiss*.”

5) Biko from Manila Street. “I love sticky rice, and Manila Street’s traditional Filipino dessert called biko in the Dairy Market is so good. The chewiness of the rice, just sweet enough, and toasted coconut are super yum.”

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