The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Pad Thai

Five Finds on Friday: Frank Paris


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.


Five Finds on Friday: Polina Chesnakova

Polina Picture

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come a woman with many culinary hats, Polina Chesnakova. Most significantly, she writes the excellent new food blog Chesnok. She also is Baker for Greenwood Gourmet Grocery, and has previously baked at Brazos Tacos and Paradox Pastry, been sous chef of Feast!, and written for Edible Blue Ridge and Our Local Commons. On July 13 at The Spice Diva, Chesnakova is giving a Georgian National cooking class. Tickets and info on this rare treat can be found here. Chesnakova’s picks:

1) Apricot Jam from Jam According to Daniel with Ricotta from Twenty Paces on 5-Grain Batard from MarieBette Cafe & Bakery. “I could honestly write an entire paragraph on each of these items alone, they inspire that much fervor. However, since I am limited to five picks, I figured I’d cheat a little instead.  Each ingredient is perfect in its own right, yet when you combine the three, you somehow create something so . . . simply good. I find myself craving this toast almost everyday and if I had to pick one breakfast, this would be it.”

2) Tom Kha Noodle Bowl at Pad Thai.  “If I’m having a bad day, the weather has been bad, or I just want something that will warm me from the inside out, I go to Pad Thai for this dish. It’s so easy to be tempted by everything else on the menu (hello pork belly drunken noodles, cabbage, lamb curry!), and many times I am. But, when I stick to my initial goal and order myself a huge bowl of this spicy, sweet and sour soup I am left satisfied, wanting no more.

3)  Mr. Rech at The Alley Light. “This is my favorite dessert in Charlottesville, hands down. Hazelnut meringues sandwich a praline parfait, which is then all bathed in a dark chocolate ganache. Each bite is a delightful play of textures and sensations, and you can’t get much better than classic chocolate and hazelnuts together. It’s pretty rich so do yourself a favor and share it. Or don’t.

4) BFP at Brookville.  “This Big F****** Pancake is where it’s at. Fried up in a cast iron skillet, it’s over an inch thick and doused in maple syrup and butter. You can get it with slabs of bacon cooked right in or in the summer, and my favorite, fresh local blueberries! In college, it was mine and my best friends’ “thing” (usually after a rough night), and we have made it a tradition to go there every time they’re all back in town.”

5) Anything I Cook On my Blanc Creatives Carbon Steel Pan. “I cook at home more than I eat out and man oh man! Cooking on this baby: perfect, even sear every time. Once, I cooked eggs on it and I swear they could’ve slipped right off, it was pre-seasoned so well. The only thing better than the pans themselves are the guys who make them. They are extremely passionate about their craft (“We’re like, skilled artisans!”), and it really comes through in all that they make. Good work boys (and Catalina)!”

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