The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Vu Noodles

Five Finds on Friday: Marijean Oldham

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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: Jennifer Mowad

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jennifer Mowad of Cocoa & Spice, the acclaimed chocolatier at 506 Stewart Street, off Meade Avenue. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram for updates and her latest creations. Mowad’s picks:

1) Chicken Pad Thai & Thai Iced Tea from Thai Fresh. “As soon as I finish setting up my tent at Friday’s After Five, I walk to Thai Fresh and am greeted with a big smile and warm hello from the owner. I opt for the not spicy version and am never disappointed. While I’m devouring it back at my tent my customers always comment on how delicious it looks. And the iced tea is so flavorful & refreshing on a hot summer night!”

2) Banana Nut Bread from Green House Coffee. “I’ve become addicted to this banana nut bread! Every time I re-stock my display at the Crozet Artisan Depot I stop by Green House and snag an end piece (it’s bigger than the middle piece…shhh). It’s not too sweet and has a great texture!”

3) Filipino BBQ Platter from Little Manila. “Most weeks you can find us both set-up at the UVA Hospital Market, Sprint Pavilion events, & the City Market. Lucky for me, Fernando and his family are keen on my brownies and chocolate drinks and I can often trade a few of those for a platter of his delectable food – marinated pork belly, chicken, pancit, & lumpia. I also love their Instagram page, especially the videos of the chicken or pork belly caramelizing on the grill!”

4) Cheese Pizza from Fabio’s. “I moved to Charlottesville from northern New Jersey and love a NY style pizza. After a long day at my shop on Stewart Street I head right around the corner to Fabio’s and snag a slice of cheese pizza. When I’m extra hungry I treat myself to the White Gourmet – broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, white sauce, garlic, & mozzarella!”

5) Trifecta from Pearl Island and Banh Mi from Vu Noodles. “Since they share a spot at the Jefferson City School I’m selecting a dish from each and counting it as one of my five! Pearl Island’s entrees are all so delicious it’s hard to pick just one. The trifecta combines their pork, chicken, and beans, not to mention a generous portion of rice, kale salad, and the fried plantains. Javier will often trade for one of my iced hot chocolates at our Thursday market! . . . A roll can make or break a banh mi sandwich – one bite of Vu Noodles’ vegan version and I’m transported back to Vietnam.”

Five Finds on Friday: Julie Vu Whitaker

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Julie Vu Whitaker of Vu Noodles, which has just added a stellar Papaya Salad to an already stellar menu. Vu Noodles is open M-F from 11 am – 2 pm at both The Jefferson School and The Spot. Whitaker’s picks:

1) Fish Tacos at The Bebedero. “While there are lots of fish tacos out in the world of Latin cuisines, I like The Bebedero’s. I just love the taste of corn tortilla and the simple balance of savory, sweet/tangy salsa and a zing of jalapeno tartar sauce. A plate of the fish tacos and a margarita is perfection!”

2) Creole Beans and Rice at Pearl Island Foods. “You may be surprised that being Asian growing up, I mostly skipped the rice. The best days were noodle days. However after having Chef Javier’s Creole Beans and Rice, oh my gosh! I can’t have enough! And, the tangy kale salad (with mushrooms and watermelon radish) brings excitement to the meal.”

3) Seared Scallops at Hamiltons’. “I can eat my weight on this starter. Simple quality ingredients and colors, this dish has it all for me. Perfectly seared caramelized sweet scallops, and geez, the divine combo of Greek yogurt and jalapeno oil! Not to mention the texture of nuts and seeds. It’s gone way too fast!”

4) Roasted Veggie Bowl at Grit Coffee. “You can find me at Grit almost daily. I get my dark roast there when I’m working at The Spot. When I have time, my favorite breakfast and lunch is the Roasted Veggie Bowl. Oh my! Sweetness you get from roasted vegetables and then my all time favorite protein, hands down the incredible edible egg! The egg here is fried, crispy white and soft yellow. It is exactly how I love my fried egg.”

5) Cumin Tofu at Taste of China. “The menu is pretty extensive, with hot pots and hardy soups. Most times when I have been there, it looked like a lot of Asian people eat here so I’m thinking that this might be the real deal. Outside from my own tofu that I make for Vu Noodles, this place has my favorite tofu. It is the Cumin tofu. Quite simple, but oh so so good! The tofu is deep fried with a layer of a cumin seasoning. Served with plain white rice. That’s it! Not much to it! Doesn’t require much to please me though.”