The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: The Blue Ridge Pig

Five Finds on Friday: Tasha Durrett

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Tasha Durrett, founder of Black Women Who Wine, which hosts regular wine events and works with Virginia wineries to increase diversity and agritourism opportunities. Durrett is the next featured guest in Blenheim Vineyards’ Oenoverse, an inclusive wine club that aims “to introduce Virginia wine in a comfortable, conversational setting for folks who have never joined a ‘wine club’ before or want to continue the path of learning about wine and want to experience a series of fun events and meet likeminded people.” Each session, a featured guest shares and discusses favorite wines, and on July 10 at Blenheim, Durrett will lead a tasting of her wine selections, paired with bites from chef Tim Moore of Early Mountain Vineyards. In addition to the tastings and conversation, Oenoverse members receive four bottles of wine, printed tasting notes, discounts, and more. Follow along on Facebook. Durrett’s picks:

1) Caipirinha at South and Central. “This is my favorite drink in the entire city. A caipirinha is such a simple drink, but it’s hard to find a good one in Charlottesville. The one at South and Central is amazing and really the only drink I get there.”

2) Grilled Pineapple at Passiflora. “Let’s be clear. I love Passiflora. But the grilled pineapple is one of my favorite things I’ve ever eaten. I add the garlic citrus jackfruit. and it’s a perfect dish. I’ve tried to copycat it at home and it’s never quite the same.”

3) Pancit at Manila Street. “One of the things I miss most about living in Northern Virginia is Filipino food. Manila cures that longing. The pancit is comparable to any I’ve had, and the staff is always great here. Grab some after work and pair with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Vidal Blanc. Add on some lumpia and it’s even better.”

4) Country Ham Croissant at The Blue Ridge Pig. “I’m from Nelson County and I couldn’t be featured here without including my favorite item from The Blue Ridge Pig. Country ham was a staple of every Christmas celebration growing up. It’s expensive and salty, so you don’t want to have too much of a good thing, but when you do have it, it’s amazing. The sandwich is served with dill sauce, which adds to its overall uniqueness.”

5) Fried Chicken Steamed Buns, Spicy Garlic Sauce, House Pickles at Bang!. “Bang! has been nothing if not consistent since I first started going here back when I turned 21. It continues to have some of the best cocktails and small plates in the city. These buns are an homage to the menu of the earlier 2000s and give me a nostalgic feel. I’m happy Bang! is still around. It’s a gem.”

Five Finds on Friday: Stu Rifkin


On Fridays we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  This week’s picks come from Stu Rifkin, the restaurateur and real estate maven who has done it all when it comes to Charlottesville restaurants: owned them, ran them, and brokered their sale.  From April 7 thru 14, restaurants of the Charlottesville Restaurant Group, for whom Rifkin has consulted, are offering $50 gift certificates for just $25 each, with all proceeds going to the care of Wes Chang, TEN chef Pei Chang’s todller son who is undergoing treatement for stage IV neuroblastoma. Purchase yours at MAS, Mono Loco, Blue Light Grill, TEN Sushi, and Three Notch’d Grill. Or, you can contribute directly at the website

Rifkin’s relationship with so many restaurants made his picks particularly difficult, as he might have chosen Calamari Tempura from TEN or a BLT on Rye with Fried Pickle Chips and extra thick Ranch from The Nook.  Excluding restaurants where he “eats for free,” Rifkin’s picks:

1)  Cherry Star at Spudnuts.  “Or any donut frankly.  We are truly blessed to have such a simply perfect donut shop in town. CW Llad immortalized the Cherry Star in a poem on the back page of C-VILLE many years ago.  I’ve been consuming them regularly ever since.”

2)  Pepperoni Pizza at Whole Foods.  “Sad but true that some of the best pie in town comes from a grocery store. It’s not consistent, but when they get it right it’s unsurpassed deliciousness.”

3)  Bambino Cone at Splendora’s.  “Choose a flavor and get a small scoop on a tiny cone. It’s a perfect palate cleanser and a tasty treat. Salted Caramel Gelato or Grapefuit Sorbetto works for me.”

4)  Tacos Campechanos at Don Panchito Taco truck on 29N.  “I’ve tried them all and these guys knock it out of the park. The campechanos combine carne asada and chorizo.”

5)  Smoked Turkey Croissant, Potato Salad and Limeade at The Blue Ridge Pig. “Their Dill Sauce is transcendent.  I would eat anything they put it on.”


Five Finds on Friday: Justin van der Linde


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Justin van der Linde, who runs the hugely popular food truck Smoked BBQ Co.  Van der Linde’s picks:

1)  Chili Broth Steamed Mussels at Zocalo.  “The smokey, spicy broth is awesome along with the grilled tortillas.  Never been there without ordering the mussels!”

2)  The Whole Menu at Kabuto.  “Super fresh, super friendly, and fairly priced,  This place is my new go-to!”

3)  Smoked Turkey Croissant at The Blue Ridge Pig.  “Yes, I do get extra dill sauce.  Don’t judge me!  Worth the ride every time.”

4)  Blueberry Spudnut at Spudnuts.  “I’m not sure how you make donuts better, but Spudnuts sure does.  If you haven’t been . . . Go!”

5)  Burger at Riverside Lunch.  “‘Flat Out’ still the best!  Crispy, cheesy and so delicious!”