The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Spice Sea Gourmet

2017 Best Food Truck Finalists


Next week, the 2017 edition of The Charlottesville 29 will be announced, answering: if there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29? While the list is limited to brick-and-mortar restaurants with a Charlottesville address, much of our area’s great food these days comes from sources with no address at all. Although it took a while to take hold, the food truck scene is certainly upon us, with all kinds of great options visiting breweries, vineyards, cideries, and elsewhere around town.

Tomorrow, February 1, we will announce The Charlottesville 29’s 2017 Best Food Truck. To be eligible, a food truck must have been in operation since January 1, 2016, and must regularly serve the Charlottesville area.

The finalists for 2017 Best Food Truck are:


Five Finds on Friday: Merrill Robertson


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Merrill Robertson, the Culinary Institute of America alum who, with her husband Peter, runs the outstanding food truck Côte-Rôtie. The truck will be at Champion Brewing Company tonight and this Sunday. Robertson’s picks:

1) Double Bacon Cheesburger at Riverside Lunch.  “No shame in walking in there at 11 am on a day off after a long hike with the dog, and having a couple of ice-cold Full Nelsons and a double bacon cheeseburger with fries. The friendliest, sweetest people run that establishment. Best burger in this town hands down.”

2) Blanc de Blanc from Thibaut-Janisson. “Great value and well-made. On par with true Champagne.”

3) Shrimp Po’Boy from SpiceSea Gourmet. “Perfectly fried shrimp, spicy house-made aioli, and fresh greens. A winner.”

4)  Whatever David Pours at Citizen Burger Bar. “Friendly, very knowledgeable about beers, and fun to chat with at the bar.”

5)  Turkey, Havarti, Sprouts, and House Dressing at Take it Away. “Any sandwich with their house dressing is addictive. A spot I would always hit up while visiting Charlottesville prior to moving here.”


Introducing Spice Sea Gourmet


One of the many conveniences of food trucks is that they allow owners to relocate food business with ease – whether down the street, across town, or to event venues.  How about across the country?  Spice Sea Gourmet, a popular and award-winning food truck, has just moved to Charlottesville all the way from San Antonio, Texas.  Advantage: Charlottesville.

Chef Whitney Matthews is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and it shows.  In February, readers of San Antonio Magazine said that her truck serves the Best Seafood in all of San Antonio.  The seafood-dominated menu veers towards the South, with items like Virginia crabcake salad, a catfish po boy, and, Matthews’ personal favorite, the shrimp po’ boy.   A hoagie roll spread with spicy mayo cushions fried shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes, and cabbage slaw.  It is stellar — and would go great with a cold beer.  (Paging Hunter.)

Sure is a good thing Matthews decided to return to her native Virginia.  Follow her truck’s Facebook page for locations and times.