The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Pearl Island Foods

Five Finds on Friday: Janey Gioiosa


What is it about bakers and fitness in this town? Some might even call it a paradox. The latest to combine baking and exercise is Janey Gioiosa, the PVCC culinary school graduate who recently left MarieBette to focus on a fitness career at Purvelo while also launching her own baking business. Sweet Jane’s Pies sells beautiful pies by custom order and also at the Mineral Farmer’s Market. Gioiosa’s picks:

1) Pork Nachos w/ the Spice-a-Rita Margarita at Mono Loco. “Mono Loco has one of the best atmospheres here in town and you’re always bound to run into someone you know. I always get the Spice-a-Rita, and I am not ashamed of the joy that a large plate of corn chips topped with tender pork, cheese, jalapeños and beans brings me.”

2) Five Grain Bread from MarieBette Cafe & Bakery. “Just do yourself a favor and buy a loaf of this bread, get the mini one if you must, grab a libation of your choice and go sit and indulge. Do it.”

3) Green Machine Smoothie from Integral Yoga Natural Foods. “Simple, to the point, spot on every time. How they make blended fruit taste so good? I do not know.”

4) Chicken from Pearl Island. “Pearl Island just opened to the public when I was finishing up the Culinary Program at the Jefferson School. They also happened to open up when I was no longer taking classes that required cooking, so it worked out quite well. I would get a heaping plate of tender chicken, rice and beans, kale salad and twice fried plantains. Its one of those dishes where you can mash everything up together to create that perfect bite.”

5) Kettle Korn from Blue Ridge Kettle Korn. “Those who love me will tell you my obsession with this popcorn. I have been known to go on the hunt for it when its sold out at certain stores, which then prompts me to buy two very large bags of it.  What really sent my obsession into a tizzy is when I was able to get it warm at a festival. Never had a popcorn kernel so fluffy with that perfect sweet and salty combo. I shall now go buy some.”

jane pies

Five Finds on Friday: Daniel Perry


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities. Today’s picks come from Daniel Perry, creator of the outstanding and rave-winning JAM According to Daniel. Perry’s coveted jams are available at stores around town and also directly from him Saturdays at City Market. “Every Saturday until Christmas, rain or shine,” said Perry, “100 unique local producers are waiting to enlighten you about why their product is different and why you need it in your life . . . Vote with your wallet!”  Perry is particularly excited that his apricot crop this year is sufficient to make his popular apricot jam, which happens only every 3-5 years.  Perry’s picks:

1) Roasted Pork Sandwich with pickled fennel and chipotle mayo at Greenwood Gourmet Grocery.  “The perfect combo of crunchy, fatty, and tangy – refreshing after a morning of berry picking.”

2)  Roasted Chicken and Yucca Frita at Al Carbon.  “This chicken smells so good that utensils are too slow.  Eating with both hands is recommended. It’s ‘fall off the bone’ tender, in a literal sense. And seeing the green charcoal rotisserie really seals the deal.”

3)  Fried Plantains at Pearl Island Foods at the City Market.  “Crunchy, slightly sweet, with a spicy slaw and garlic aioli. Just right for a mid-morning snack when tomato selection leads to decision fatigue.”

4)  Pulled Pork Soul Bowl with Fries and Bold & Spicy Sauce at Ace Biscuit & Barbecue.  “Ditch the bun, it’s just in the way. Get in touch with your inner carnivore.”

5)  Ricotta from Twenty Paces.  “Creamy, fluffy, and so refreshing. It’s great on bread, and amazing on a spoon. Try it with olive oil, maple syrup, and coarse sea salt, all at the same time. Like ice cream meeting yogurt and butter, spreadable mellow creaminess. So fluffy!”