The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Little Manila

2020 Charlottesville Best Food Truck/Stand Finalists

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The 2020 Charlottesville 29 is coming soon, answering: if there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesille would be the ideal 29? But first up is recongition of our area’s great food trucks and stands. At breweries, vineyards, cideries, and elsewhere around town, Charlottesville’s food trucks continue to serve some of the best food in the area. As do food stands that feed hungry shoppers at farmers’ markets, among other locations.

Tomorrow, February 27, The Charlottesville 29 2020 Best Food Truck/Stand will be awarded. Among a great group, the finalists are:

Five Finds on Friday: Ryan Davidson

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If you work in the Charlottesville food industry, you may recognize this week’s Five Finds on Friday participant, a young lady who has joined me on my food adventures ever since she changed my life eleven years ago today. With a boundless love of life and people, it seems Ryan has told most of Charlottesville’s servers that she likes their earrings. Happy birthday, Ryan. Ryan’s picks:

1) Parker House Rolls at Prime 109. “When I go to a restaurant, I always like it when they have bread. But, Prime 109’s Parker House Rolls are not just ordinary bread. You can smell them coming from the other side of the restaurant. And when you get them you can’t stop eating them. We always end up ordering a second one! They are warm and have a nice salty taste when eaten with butter. They are also almost as good at home! And, Prime 109 is the place where I’m going today for my birthday!”

2) Fried Chicken with Waffles and a Vanilla Milkshake at Smoked Kitchen & Tap. “Chicken, waffles, and syrup. There are so many flavors and I like how they fit together. Smoked is also where I had my first milkshake. I love vanilla, and when I heard vanilla ice cream was in that milkshake, I was really excited! Their milkshakes are creamy, sweet and, best of all, taste exactly like vanilla! I’ve had more milkshakes, but that one is still my favorite! Their chicken always comes out nice and hot, and the waffles freshly made. It’s a bit of a drive, but it’s totally worth it!”

3) Lumpia from Little Manila. “Ever since I was young, my brother and I would go to the market on Saturdays. And every Saturday, my brother would get what he called ‘egg rolls’ from Little Manila. Then he introduced them to me and I loved them. They have great flavors on their own, but even better in the sauce.”

4) Dealer’s Choice at The Alley Light. “Sometimes after swimming at ACAC, I like to go to The Alley Light for a mocktail. Every time I go, Micah always makes a different one for me. But, the parts I like most are the fruity flavors and the tiki glasses.”

5) Kale Caesar at Chopt.  “After a soccer game, for me, the best thing to eat is a Kale Caesar from Chopt. I love salad, not only because it’s so healthy, but because of how many different types there are. My favorite by far is the Kale Caesar because I love kale and the dressing they use. I also think that one bonus is how they chop it. They chop it up so small, so that everything is mixed together.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Jennifer Mowad

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jennifer Mowad of Cocoa & Spice, the acclaimed chocolatier at 506 Stewart Street, off Meade Avenue. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram for updates and her latest creations. Mowad’s picks:

1) Chicken Pad Thai & Thai Iced Tea from Thai Fresh. “As soon as I finish setting up my tent at Friday’s After Five, I walk to Thai Fresh and am greeted with a big smile and warm hello from the owner. I opt for the not spicy version and am never disappointed. While I’m devouring it back at my tent my customers always comment on how delicious it looks. And the iced tea is so flavorful & refreshing on a hot summer night!”

2) Banana Nut Bread from Green House Coffee. “I’ve become addicted to this banana nut bread! Every time I re-stock my display at the Crozet Artisan Depot I stop by Green House and snag an end piece (it’s bigger than the middle piece…shhh). It’s not too sweet and has a great texture!”

3) Filipino BBQ Platter from Little Manila. “Most weeks you can find us both set-up at the UVA Hospital Market, Sprint Pavilion events, & the City Market. Lucky for me, Fernando and his family are keen on my brownies and chocolate drinks and I can often trade a few of those for a platter of his delectable food – marinated pork belly, chicken, pancit, & lumpia. I also love their Instagram page, especially the videos of the chicken or pork belly caramelizing on the grill!”

4) Cheese Pizza from Fabio’s. “I moved to Charlottesville from northern New Jersey and love a NY style pizza. After a long day at my shop on Stewart Street I head right around the corner to Fabio’s and snag a slice of cheese pizza. When I’m extra hungry I treat myself to the White Gourmet – broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, white sauce, garlic, & mozzarella!”

5) Trifecta from Pearl Island and Banh Mi from Vu Noodles. “Since they share a spot at the Jefferson City School I’m selecting a dish from each and counting it as one of my five! Pearl Island’s entrees are all so delicious it’s hard to pick just one. The trifecta combines their pork, chicken, and beans, not to mention a generous portion of rice, kale salad, and the fried plantains. Javier will often trade for one of my iced hot chocolates at our Thursday market! . . . A roll can make or break a banh mi sandwich – one bite of Vu Noodles’ vegan version and I’m transported back to Vietnam.”