The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: The Rock Barn

Five Finds on Friday: John Schaible


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from John Schaible, chef of the new-and-improved Fry’s Spring Station, under the guidance of Ben Thompson and Tommy Lasley. Schaible first worked with Lasley at Orzo and Thomspon at The Rock Barn, before they both suggested he take some time away from Charlottesville to train in other venues. After stints at two highly acclaimed spots – Westchester’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Brooklyn’s The Meat Hook – Schaible, who has been dubbed Johnny Meat, has returned to town to run the kitchen at Fry’s Spring Station. Schaible’s picks:

1)  The Gobbfather at Ivy Provisions.  “Always a healthy start to my day – hahaha! When I can squeeze past 40 other people and get a sandwich, it’s the Gobbfather and a Traeger Brothers coffee. The staff is actually really friendly and the space is fun and pretty accessible. They carry great product, wine, beer and lots of grocery for adding to your pantry or inventory.”

2) Potato, Egg, and Cheese Taco by Brazos Tacos from Atlas Coffee. “Atlas is right next to Fry’s, so if I can’t have a Gobbfather in the morning, I get a taco from the steam table. Laurie at Atlas is one of the coolest business owners and she introduced me to this great idea that Brazos has and their awesome tacos.”

3)  Cheddar Jalapeno Dogs from The Rock Barn at the City Market. “Though I don’t butcher with Ben any more, if I have some time Saturday morning, I stop by the Market to give him or his crew some guff and pick up these dogs. Ben’s products are  really great and he isn’t afraid to R&D new stuff and test it on the public.”

4)  Raw Fish Salad at Now & Zen. “Really just the best for a quiet lunch and to satiate any raw fish cravings a meat eater finds when they are low on omega 3s. I have always really liked Now & Zen. They do really good, fun sushi for a very affordable price. Their raw fish salad is pretty amazing. Fresh, light, citric and loaded with salmon, tuna, mackerel, scallop. It’s like their kitchen fish sink.”

5)  Manhattan at The Whiskey Jar. “Something about Charlottesville brought out my love of bourbon. The Whiskey Jar has pretty simple straightforward and perfected cocktails. A Manhattan does it for me. I like the casual and social feel of the Jar and sometimes, when I am lucky, I get to see Red and the Romantics there.”


Squeal or Scream at LOCKN’


Sure, it’s the music that draws thousands each year to LOCKN’, the festival which starts Thursday at Oak Ridge and LOCKN’ Farms.  But, the food is legit, too. With dozens of great vendors, the food seems to improve every year.  This year, a trio is teaming up to create the festival’s first full service, pop-restaurant.  Brookville Restaurant, Ivy Provisions, and The Rock Barn plan Squeal or Scream in a tented, sectioned-off area, complete with fans, TVs, and table-side beer service (at prices lower than the usual Lockn’ beer prices).

Guests will have the choice between two menus: one BBQ and one boil.  BBQ includes pit-smoked pork butt, beef brisket, and chicken, with baked beans, pickles, and Texas toast. Boil includes peel ‘n eat shrimp, Virginia clams, The Rock Barn sausage, corn, potatoes, Texas toast, drawn butter, and slaw. Plus, all tables get a “six-pack of sauces,”  with Carolina BBQ sauce, sweet and smokey BBQ sauce, Alabama white sauce, cayenne hot sauce, cocktail sauce, and tartar sauce.  For dessert, it’s a bag of Brookville’s famous chocolate chip cookies.

For advance reservations and more info, check the restaurant’s web page, or call Ivy Provisions at 434-202-1308. Reservations also may be available on site.

Five Finds on Friday: Laura Galgano


On Fridays, we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Laura Galgano, Diner Lady at Blue Moon Diner, which next weekend will be competing in the Cured Bacon Festival at nTelos Wireless Pavilion, where top area restaurants will present inventive bacon-themed dishes including bacon from the beloved The Rock Barn.  Galgano’s picks focus on the “Magic of Midtown,” as she put it.  “I rarely get out of Midtown Charlottesville,” she said, “and honestly, there are so many delicious things within a block or two of Blue Moon, that I don’t need to go far to satisfy any craving.”  Galgano’s picks:

1)  Lamb Bacon from JM Stock Provisions.  “Fantastic.  It reminds me of an earthy pancetta, and is so good seared with fresh peas and pasta.”

2)  Sautéed Green Beans with Toasted Almonds at Maya.  “These are always crisp, fresh, and delicious! Remind me of summers with my grandmother, snapping beans for supper.”

3)  Happy Hour Oysters at Public Fish & Oyster.  “Happy Hour has special pricing on their great selection of raw oysters, and I could eat a dozen every day.”

4)  Brussels Sprouts at Oakhart Social.  “Smokey and firm.  I sometimes have dreams about them.”

5)  Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve at Feast!.  “While I adore and support the growing local cheese culture, when I get nostalgic for our time in Wisconsin, I gorge myself on Feast’s Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese, which might be one of the best all-around cheeses I’ve ever experienced.”

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