The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: The Local

Five Finds on Friday: Marijean Oldham

Marijean0035

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Marijean Oldham, author of the 100 Things to Do in Charlottesville Before You Die. “It could have easily been 100 Things to Eat, but I needed to expand the scope, rather than my pants,” says Oldham. Cross off all of the remaining names from your Christmas list with the newly-released second edition, now available at New Dominion Bookshop, The Virginia Shop, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.  Oldham’s picks:

1) Meatless Bolognese at Prime 109. “When I tell people a steakhouse is one of my new favorite restaurants, they are extremely surprised, because I don’t eat meat. And, while I could make a meal of a cocktail and Parker House rolls, the bolognese is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.”

2) Nachos at Beer Run. “Get the nachos your way, with meat, beans or both, add extra jalapenos, and avocado if you like. They get a highlight in a chapter of my book. They’re that good.”

3) Truffled Mushroom Ragout at The Local. “It’s possible I’d eat a truffled shoe, I love the flavor so much, but this dish with the house made fettucine, white truffle oil, dozens of local mushrooms and a just-right amount of parmesan cheese is the standard order every time I’m at The Local.”

4) Tofu Caramelized Onions from Vu Noodles. “This is one of those dishes I crave on a regular basis. Mostly it’s as takeout through the tiny window shop called The Spot on 2nd Street, to be eaten on a park bench if its nice or back at my desk if I’m busy. (Vu Noodles has a second location at The Jefferson School). Vegetarians crave umami, the category of taste that exists outside of sweet, sour, salt, and bitter. It’s hard to get when you don’t eat meat but the combo of rich caramelized onion, the texture of the tofu, and the noodles gets right to heart of that hunger spot.”

5) Deviled Egg Dip with Savory Waffles and Crispy Potatoes at Brasserie Saison. “I’m not ashamed to admit I had this dish two days in a row last winter. It is comfort food wrapped in a snuggly blanket. Next time I order it, I might even share.”

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Five Finds on Friday: Courtney Hildebrand

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Courtney Hildebrand of The Catering Outfit, the full service caterer that recently launched pop-up lunches and dinners at its Carlton Road kitchen. Lunches are every Thursday, and the first dinner installment will be Saturday, August 18: Basque Seaside Dinner, with chef Tomas Rahal of Quality Pie. Details and reservations here. Meanwhile, The Catering Outfit’s sister restaurant, The Shebeen Pub and Braai, serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday, with house made Bloody Marys, acoustic music, and even outdoor patio seating on swings (yes swings). Hildebrand’s picks:

1) Mexican Street Corn at Junction. “In a town with lots of new street corn options, Melissa still has my favorite! It’s one of their shared plates so you can enjoy a small order by yourself or get a large to share with your friends. The chili-lime dressing is amazing.  Junction also has my favorite cocktails in town. I love to try anything Alec creates. My current favorite is Rum Communion with brown butter rum and notes of pineapple & lime. It’s hard to have just one of these yummy cocktails!”

2) Spicy Shrimp Dishes at The Local, Bang!, and The Shebeen Pub and Brai. “I am a sucker for a great shrimp dish. I have a three way tie for the best shrimp dish in town, as I will always order these if I am at one of these establishments. My picks are the Crispy Shrimp at The Local, the Firecracker Shrimp at Bang!, and the False Bay Crispies at The Shebeen Pub and Braai. They are all so tasty and it is just too hard to narrow it down to just one pick!”

3) Green Giant Roll at Now & Zen. “Now and Zen is one of my favorite spots to go to dinner with a small group of friends. Everything on the menu is mouthwatering, but the Green Giant Roll is always a pleasant surprise for friends who shy away from vegetarian dishes. This giant roll with sweet potato tempura, avocado & cream cheese stands up to any of their other signature big rolls.”

4) Vella Jack Cheese Fritters at Zocalo. “My sister and I love to go Zocalo for dinner when we can make time to have a night out together. We always start with the cheese fritters & raspberry-chili glaze, and then split the salmon dish for our entrée. The entire menu always sounds amazing, but we rarely stray from these picks on our sister dinner date. Zocalo also offers margarita flights which is always a good start to a night out!”

5) Big Baby Sake from North American Sake Brewery. “They have not quite opened their doors yet, but I have had a chance to try the new Big Baby Sake from the soon-to-be-open North American Sake Brewery. Andrew Centofante’s creation is one of the best sakes I have ever tried. I am excited for what he & Jeremy have in store once they open their doors next week.”

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Braised short rib sandwich, a recent pop-up lunch at The Catering Outfit

 

Five Finds on Friday: Jessica Hogan

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jessica Hogan of Farmacy, a health-focused food trailer coming soon that will showcase local and organic foods. While the trailer remains under construction, tomorrow morning at the Tom Tom Fest farmer’s market you can be the very first to enjoy a sneak preview, when Hogan and her boyfriend and business partner Gabino Gonzalez will be offering their breakfast tacos and burritos. Follow along here for updates. Hogan’s picks:

1) Buttermilk Pancakes at MarieBette Café and Bakery. “MarieBette is one of my favorite places to go, especially for breakfast. In my opinion it’s the only place to get good buttermilk pancakes with strawberries. Quality ingredients are what make the difference. Delicious!”

2) Chicken Salad at Feast! “Feast has many things I like, but my favorite is their organic chicken salad. It’s perfect on a salad or in their chicken salad sandwich made on fresh ABC ciabatta. It is the perfect consistency and spice and tastes great. I am also a fan of their concept – a grocery store supporting our local artisans and farmers. I am all about supporting local and eating organic food.”

3) Pupusas at Beer Run. “Sunday Brunch at Beer Run is amazing. I have worked there for five years and yet I have even chosen to have my birthday brunch at Beer Run before! Where else would I go? The food is local, organic, and incredible. The pupusas and the strata are two of my brunch favorites, but in all honesty you can’t go wrong any day of the week. It’s just so tasty, and is actually why I wanted to work there to begin with.”

4) Gnocchi with Truffled Mushroom Ragout at The Local. “The Local has great food,  and my favorite dish of theirs is gnocchi. Since I don’t eat beef, they are very accommodating and let me put their truffled mushroom ragout on them instead, and it’s absolutely lovely! I love that they use three kinds of mushrooms in it from Sharondale farm.”

5) Chocolate Praline Crunch Cake at Albemarle Baking Company. “Albemarle Baking Company has so many things I like. Hard to name a favorite. The chocolate praline cake is so moist and delectable, with its layers of chocolate and praline. It’s creamy and crunchy, and made with some of the finest ingredients.”