The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Pad Thai

Five Finds on Friday: Jin Bang

JinBang

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jin Bang, Chief Aloha Officer of Mochiko, the new eatery from longtime Albemarle Baking Company pastry chef Riki Tanabe. Mochiko will open a brick-and-mortar location soon, but meanwhile you can book them for catering and enjoy their “Good Hawaiian Eats” Saturday mornings at City Market. Bang’s picks:

1) Vegan Chili at The Juice Laundry. “This is one hearty soup! Great for lunch or dinner. I’ve even warmed up leftovers from the night before as breakfast. I love that this chili has a balanced texture and mouth feel. It may be vegan, but it’s not lacking in flavor.  Vegan food still gets a bad rap, but when it’s done well like this chili, there isn’t a lot of room for criticism. It comes topped with your choice of plain or jalapeno-accented cashew sour cream. Simply delicious.”

2) Beet Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette and Chevre at Bang!. “If you like roasted beets, this dish is sure to delight.  It features beets of different varieties and the resulting colors are unexpected. The beets come in a lightly ginger flavored broth topped with a little bit of crunch and goat cheese. I admire the finesse of this dish. I love when chefs find ways to elevate and highlight the simple beauty of high quality ingredients. This may not be the dish that jumps out at you amidst all of the other edibles on the Bang! menu, but it’s definitely one of my favorites.”

3) Panna Cotta Gelato at Splendora’s.  “I don’t think this needs any explanation.  Splendora’s kills with this one! Not too sweet, not too mild, just right. For anyone who enjoys light, rich, and creamy, the panna cotta gelato satisfies cravings for all of the above.”

4) Tom Kha Soup at Pad Thai. “When I get soup at a Thai place, I usually opt for the spicy version with lemongrass- Tom Yum. Everything at Pad Thai tastes magically of home.  I’m not Thai, but the flavors of the broths here remind me of the soup dishes my grandmother used to make for us at home. You can taste all of the time, labor, and love that goes into the food here. What I dig about the Tom Kha is the surprising acidity that cuts through the rich sweetness of the coconut. I was skeptical the first time I ordered it, in part because I expected the coconut would be cloying. Much to my delight, this soup was something I’d never expected to taste in a soup. It’s the right amount of rich, sweet, salty, tangy – it pretty much hits all of the flavors you might want in a soup. It’s not spicy, but you can always add your own spice. To this day, it is comfort in a bowl on a rainy day or when I’m feeling under the weather- and who am I kidding. Sometimes I just crave it for no reason at all because it’s that kind of good.”

5) The Mayweather Salad at Roots Natural Kitchen. “This salad combines all of the things I like in a salad. Not only does it have roasted beets and goat cheese, it also comes with sweet potatoes. Honestly, I customize my bowls so I don’t usually get the onions or bulgar- but both of those things come with this filling bowl too. I think what I love is that I can add avocado, or swap out my proteins. Depending on my mood, I can ask for tomatoes or a different kind of dressing. Every time I order this bowl, it looks a little different, but that’s what I love about Roots. Salad becomes an expression of self in the moment.  Who would have guessed ordering salad could be such a mindful practice?”

Five Finds on Friday: Frank Paris

FParis

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Frank Paris, chef and co-owner of Miso Sweet, which has been closed since a fire last week beneath the restaurant, at Ike’s Underground. Tonight at IX Art Park is a concert to benefit businesses recovering from the fire’s damage. Paris’ picks:

1) La Familia at Al Carbon. “A beautiful whole roasted chicken with three sides. When the wife asks me what I want for dinner, I always say the same thing, La Familia. For the sides, Elote con Mayonesa (Corn on the cob with Mayonnaise), yellow rice, and Camote (wood fired sweet potato), with lots of ahi sauce and chipotle crema. You can’t go wrong with this meal and sometimes we are lucky enough to have leftovers. Sometimes.”

2) Grandma’s Favorite at Pad Thai. “The husband and wife team behind this gem are the epitome of a family owned and operated restaurant. And the food proves it. Everything here is great, and that is why it usually takes me forever to decide on what to order. If there are any restaurant owners in Charlottesville who my wife and I want to emulate, it’s these two.”

3)  Fried Chicken from Wayside. “What more can I say? I love fried chicken and they are doing it right, plus they are within walking distance from my house. A short walk there, eat all I can, and then a short walk home, makes me feel good about eating their crispy fried greatness.”

4) Gold Nugget Ice Cream from Chaps.  “I said, Chaps, Gold Nugget Ice Cream.”

5) Linguine alla Carbonara at Tavola. “This luscious dish after one of their insalata verde is a perfect meal for me.”

Pad Thai Auction Creates 4,400 Meals for Hungry

Pad Thai

The Battle of New Ross took place during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. More than 200 years later, we had our own Ross battle yesterday right here in Charlottesville, this time over Pad Thai’s incredible auction item: a Thai Street Food Feast. On the one side, there was Justin Ross, co-owner of Parallel 38. And, unbeknownst to him, on the other side, there was another Ross – PK Ross (no relation), owner and magician at Splendora’s Gelato. In the end, after lots of bidding back and forth, PK prevailed with a $1,100 donation to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, which is enough to provide 4,400 meals to the area’s hungry.

Thank you to the Rosses and Pad Thai for their generosity and support of the food bank. It’s yet another example of how special Charlottesville’s food community is: two food business owners fighting over who gets to give more money to the food bank, in order to enjoy an amazing meal donated by a third business owner.

Addendum: As if this were not great enough, after PK read this and learned that her bidding rival was Parallel 38’s Justin Ross, she called him and offered two seats at her Pad Thai auction dinner.