The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Mono Loco

Five Finds on Friday: Peter Griesar


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities. Today’s picks come from Peter Griesar, co-owner of Brazos Tacos, the former pop-up that recently re-opened for good. What Griesar especially likes about his picks is that “each has a super staff.” “Restaurants are as much about the people as they are about the food,” Griesar said.  Griesar’s picks:

1)  Porktopus Noodle Bowl at MAS Tapas.  “What seems like an odd pairing is a genius delicious mix. Served as a noodle bowl, it has a long spicy burn that builds to a fever pitch of mouth-watering flavors. Pair it with the rest of Mas’ fantastic menu, and let the amazing staff help you navigate their library of wines.”

2)  Margherita Pizza at Lampo.  “Sometimes when you’re overworked and exhausted the best thing is to load up on carbs, and what better way than with a gorgeous Lampo pizza. The margherita mixed with wine – it makes for the dreamiest sleeps.”

3)  Fried Chicken Thighs at Brown’s.  “When I first moved to Esmont, Brown’s Mini Mart was just around the corner. Eventually the Brown’s moved into Charlottesville, and my favorite chicken disappeared. So I was ecstatic to find out when the Browns took over the former Stoney’s and started up their pressure fryer again. Don’t let the gas station fool you, this is best fried chicken you’ll eat in these parts.”

4)  Greg Brady w/Bacon at Jack Brown’s. “Everyday at lunch during our build, it became a tradition to run over to the new Jack Brown’s downtown for a burger.  As I worked my way through the menu I came across the Greg Brady, a burger with mac and cheese and chips on it. Add bacon to take it over the top!”

5)  El Rey Burrito at Mono Loco. “Last but definitely not least this ‘surf and turf’ burrito is a favorite with fried oysters and steak. Filling and flavorful. Hands down the King of local burritos.”


Five Finds on Friday: Kirk Smith


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Kirk Smith, Chef of Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar.  Tomorrow, from 11 am to 4 pm, Commonwealth is hosting Soupapalooza, where top area restaurants will go head-to-head in a battle of soups.  You can sample all of the outstanding entries and then enjoy a bowl of your favorite, all while supporting Habitat for Humanity.  Smith’s picks:

1)  Santa Fe Enchilada at Continental Divide.  “With some ‘Danger’ and ‘Wait a Minute’ hot sauces.”

2)  Spicy Chicken Burrito at Mono Loco.  “Often on the weekly specials list.  I love the jalapenos inside and the refreshing side salad to cool things off.”

3)  Conserva al Spada and then Margherita D.O.C. Pizze at Lampo.  “Delicious selections at this new favorite.”

4)  Omakase at TEN Sushi. “Please include a couple of pieces of Hawaiian Walu!”

5)  Seafood Charcuterie Board at The Alley Light.  “Please.”

Five Finds on Friday: Michael Lewis

Lewis, left, with Rufus.

Lewis, left, with Rufus.

On Fridays, we feature five foods finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Michael Lewis, chef-owner of Mono Loco.  On Sunday, February 22, Mono Loco is doing yet another of its hugely popular pop-up brunches, from 12-4.  There’s great stuff on those pop-up brunch menus, so mark your calendars. Lewis’ picks:

1)  Double Espresso at Greenwood Gourmet Grocery. “This is how I start most mornings: a double espresso with David and Nina the owners, and joining in on the colorful conversations.  It’s a gourmand’s Mom & Pop!  In the afternoons, try an amazing chicken sope with fresh pineapple pico, hope Claude Thibaut is doing a wine tasting, and say hello to Rufus the dog.”

2)  Smoked Jalapeno Meatloaf Sandwich from South Fork food truck. “Phil used to work with us at Mono, so its awesome to watch his continued success. I never imagined I could derive so much joy from a meatloaf sandwich, but his is savory and rich with a hint of spice, and he won’t judge you if you order two!”

3)  Carne Asada at MAS Tapas.  “My happy place.  Tomas and crew are my go to spot for the Charlottesville uninitiated.  It’s crowded, brash, loud and unapologetic, and I love that.  Plus, the carne asada is always spot on.”

4)  Crabcake at Three Notch’d Grill.  “Out in Crozet, Haden and Cathy just run a solid, chill place.  Sit at the bar, have a Titos’s martini and my favorite crabcake in town.  They’re filled with crab, not filler, and the jicama slaw and lemon beurre-blanc just balance the dish beautifully.”

5)  Spicy Tuna Tartar at Zocalo.  “Some people complain that it’s the same menu, so what!!  It’s consistently good food, year in and year out, which is incredibly difficult to do.  And, the tuna tartar is the best app in town.”

%d bloggers like this: