The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Tacos Gomez

Five Finds on Friday: Steve Yang

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Steve Yang, bar manager of Tavola Cicchetti Bar, which now offers a late-night menu, Thursday-Saturday at 10 pm. Tavola after Ten’s menu will change each month to showcase favorites of a different Tavola staff member. Last month it was New England clam shack food from chef-owner Michael Keaveny, and this month it’s Yang, himself, with pork dumplings based on his mother’s recipe. Yang’s picks:

1) Torta Al Pastor at Tacos Gomez.”If you’ve ever talked tacos with me you’ve probably heard me rave about the cabeza tacos. But if you haven’t tried their tortas, you’re really missing out. They are probably the best sandwich in Charlottesville. Shout out to the late Luke Smith for introducing me not only to this place, but to a deep love for tacos.”

2) Steak and Fromage at Tavern & Grocery. “If you need any more indication of my opinions on this sandwich, I had two of them for brunch last Sunday. The staff upstairs at Tavern & Grocery and downstairs at Lost Saint are all fantastic and can always guarantee a good time. I also seem to have a reputation as a giant eater there. When I asked for a box last time I had dinner there, I could hear cheering from the kitchen.”

3) Chicken Philly at Beer Run. “This has to be my most eaten item on this list. I live right around the corner from Beer Run, and it’s an easy and delicious item to grab before I head into work. Plus, it was my first restaurant job in town and I can always see people I know when I go there. As a bartender, I know I have many bars I frequent but sitting at the Beer Run bar always feels like home.”

4) Milanesa Cemitas at Al Carbon. “People rave about the chicken and for very good reason, but the cemitas (a specific type of torta) are fantastic, especially when papalo is in season. Also, don’t miss out on their two styles of street corn. They just moved into their new location next door and everything about an already great experience is now even better.”

5) Polpettine Panuozzo at Lampo. “The beauty of a place that serves food until midnight is that I get off work before then in the early half of the week. If I haven’t had enough staff meal or am just particularly hungry after a shift, the meatball sandwich always hits the spot. My girlfriend and assistant bar manager Rebecca Edwards is particularly attached to the Margherita Pizza with a side of calabrian chili oil.”

Yang: “I just realized I accidentally did entirely sandwiches and I’m pretty okay with that.”

 

Five Finds on Friday: Priscilla Martin

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They love wine, restaurants, and each other. After last week’s picks from Will Curley, today’s Five Finds on Friday come from his fiancée, Priscilla Martin, General Manager and Wine Director of Tavola. Martin’s picks:

1) Sausage, Goat cheese, and Honey Hand Pie from The Pie Chest. “Growing up with an English father, savory pies were one of my favorite parts about winter visits to my grandparent’s house. The hot and flaky breakfast hand pie from The Pie Chest has all the good things about a savory pie but with a delicious modern twist. Walking the Downtown Mall in the winter with one of these and a cup of coffee is a great Charlottesville treat. Also it means I get to eat pie for breakfast – so let’s just say I ‘brexit’ one of these from the shop pretty frequently.”

2) Chicken Liver Pate at Oakhart Social. “My best friend is, ironically, the pickiest person in the entire world. I took her to Oakhart Social and she almost stabbed me for the last piece of what she referred to as meat butter.”

3) Beet Salad at Brasserie Saison.My fiancé is a manager here and so I am not exaggerating when I say that I eat this salad at least twice a month. I normally love roasted beets but something about Chef Tyler’s combination of creamy stracciatella cheese, crunchy puffed rice, and tart pickled red onions make it my all time favorite beet salad. Paired best with the Chenin Blanc by the glass from Wine Director Will Curley’s excellent wine list.”

4) Tacos Al Pastor from Tacos Gomez. “Coming from Chicago, my first question when I asked when I moved to Charlottsville was: ‘Where do I get good Mexican food?’ Our bar manager Steve Yang referred me to the food truck Tacos Gomez. Specifically, the al pastor tacos are my absolute favorite – perfectly cooked and extraordinarily flavorful. Since then, Steve brings them to me almost every Thursday for manager meeting and consequently has just been voted ‘best human alive’ in C-Ville’s ‘best of’ awards.”

5) Albarino from Afton Mountain Vineyards. “As a sommelier, one of the best parts about moving to Charlottesville is living in a wine making region. It’s been absolutely fantastic becoming friends with wine makers and actually seeing the ins and outs of the production. The wine itself here isn’t bad either, and my favorite summer white is the Albarino being produced from Afton Mountain. It’s a perfectly crisp and high acid white wine for the summer but with some great orchard fruit and floral notes that add complexity.”

2017 Best Food Truck Finalists

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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: