The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: West Main

Five Finds on Friday: Jenn Riesman


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  This week’s picks come from Jenn Riesman, pastry chef of Fossett’s at Keswick Hall.  A native Texan, before coming to Fossett’s, in Riesman was Bakery Manager of Austin’s Delish Bakery and Pastry Sous Chef of La Condesa.

1)  Monte Cristo at West Main. “You can’t go wrong with a well-made Monte Cristo. Also a great place for brunch.”

2)  Ham and Cheese Croissant at  Paradox Pastry.  “The perfect on-the-go breakfast.”

3)  Iced Coffee at La Taza. “The best iced coffee in town. It doesn’t even need sugar. Strong but super smooth.”

4)  Smoked Trout Sandwich at Blue Moon Diner.  “Nice to just sit at the bar, listening to music.”

5)  Papas Bravas at MAS Tapas.  “The only thing you really need on a late Friday night is a good drink and potatoes with aioli.”

Five Finds on Friday: Andy McClure


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Andy McClure, owner of Citizen Burger Bar, The Virginian, West Main, Three Restaurant, and The Biltmore.  “Loving the idea of this,” said McClure, “and owning five restaurants in town, I thought it best to exclude my own places from contention. So here goes the list of my 6th through 10th favorite places I would dine at or visit throughout the day.”

1) Eggs and Grits at The Pigeon Hole. “This relatively new Elliewood Avenue spot on the Corner is kitschy, fun, and cozy. The food is good, the people are good, and it’s a great addition to the Corner. It feels like one of those ‘been there forever’ breakfast joints in the Low Country.”

2) “Grab and Go” Sandwiches at Feast!. “They are all fast and easy and oh-so-good (they only make like 3 or 4 types), and the store itself is awesome. The amazing level of staff product knowledge at the cheese and meat counter is enough to make any restaurateur question their training program.”

3) Flat-top Burgers at Riverside Lunch.  “Grease everywhere, crispy edges, thick raw white onion, gooey American, and they’re served blazing hot.  When they’re on their game, they’re the best greasy spoon burger around. Plus I never really recommend getting gourmet burgers (or any large burger really) to go. Old school flat-top hamburgers travel really well . . . and sometimes gorging at home is all you want.  True burger lovers know that small diner-style burgers and large gourmet burgers aren’t really in the same universe, but they both can be perfect depending on one’s mood, and Riverside always helps my mood.”

4) Steak at the Downtown Grill.  “I love Mas…and I love TEN…and I love Continental, but sometimes you just need a giant steak, some raw oysters, and potatoes done 10 ways.  Gimme a bar stool, a well-cooked piece of meat, and a big red wine and I’m quite content. I can’t wait to see their renovations. In addition, I consider our little city so lucky to have a downtown area like we do, so an after dinner stroll on the mall is hard to beat.”

5) Late Night Cheese Breadsticks from The College Inn.  “The Corner is overlooked too often. It’s one of the oldest areas of town and offers the best bar crawl in the city. Though it has many food and drink staples, there’s nothing better for soaking up the booze after a night of excess than a nice delivery of cheese breadsticks with ranch from College Inn.”

“Now start a diet the following day.”

Five Finds on Friday: Bill Justus


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from Bill Justus, Executive Chef of The Boar’s Head Inn, which this weekend is hosting the Charlottesville Men’s Pro Tennis Challenger, with Somdev Devvarman and several other Virginia tennis stars, among other pros.  Justus’ picks:

1) Linzer Cookie at Foods of All Nations“Beautifully decorative sandwich cookies.  Great store with an extensive selection of choices, and knowledgeable, helpful, and courteous staff.  A Charlottesville institution for more than 50 years.”

2)  Spicy Chicken Wings at Fardowners.  “The essence of pub fare.  Good vibe . . . comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.  Friendly, attentive service.  The beer doesn’t get much more local than at Fardowners.”

3)  Burger at West Main.  “Unfailing.  Burgers are always hardy and flavorful.”

4)  Enchiladas Camino at Baja Bean Co.  “The shredded meats and the perfectly melted queso blanco sprinkled with fresh cilantro.  Good place for a quick lunch.  Always fresh and consistent.”

5)  Pizza at Fabio’s.  “Pizza is always on the mark.  Again, a great place for a quick meal.  Lots of parking, casual dining with indoor and outdoor seating.”