The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Yearbook Taco

Five Finds on Friday: Rachel Stinson Vrooman


On Fridays, we feature five food and drink finds from local chefs and personalities.  In celebration of Virginia Wine Month, which begins next week, today’s picks come from Rachel Stinson Vrooman of Stinson Vineyards.  On October 1, Stinson is releasing its 2013 Meritage, which for the first time will include Stinson’s own estate grapes. Vrooman’s picks:

1) La Petite Frog Boxed Picpoul de Pinet from The Wine Guild.  “Boxed Picpoul has changed my entire summer! It doesn’t seem possible that this little gem from the Languedoc could actually cost only $20 for a 3 liter box (member price). Trust me, you need this in your life.”

2) Crozet Lemonade at Crozet Pizza Pourhouse.  “Crozet’s answer to the Long Island Iced Tea will have you feeling like a local in no time. Old Grand Dad 114 bourbon, orange liqueur, simple syrup and lime juice topped with Sprite and layered with maraschino cherry juice. This is also a great spot to watch football if you can coax your friends out of Cville.”

3) Chicken Liver Pate from Free Union Grass Farm.  “Chicken liver, bacon, onions, shallots, garlic, cream, whiskey, cloves, coriander and herbs sealed in pork fat. Put this on a piece of toast for breakfast and you won’t need anything else. Call or email to make sure it’s available before you swing by their farm stand (open Wednesday & Friday from 1pm to 6pm). We try to stock it in the tasting room if we can keep from buying it ourselves!”

4) Fried Chicken Skin Tacos at Yearbook Taco.  “The perfect combination of crunch and flavor. Recipes vary but the buffalo sauce version is my all time favorite. These are a daily special so its wise to obsessively stalk their Facebook page until they post and then head over immediately before they run out.”

5) CrabFest at Restoration.  “I’m originally a Maryland girl so I’m always on the hunt for steamed blue crabs. This happens once a year in late August – put it on your radar for next summer! $35 gets you all you can eat blue crabs and sides like mac n’ cheese and sweet potato/bacon hush puppies.”

Five Finds on Friday: John Meiklejohn


On Fridays, we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities.  Today’s picks come from John Meiklejohn, chef of Yearbook Taco.  Meiklejohn’s picks:

1)  Spicy Beef Tongue, Tendon and Tripe at Peter Chang’s China Grill. “I dream of this dish.  Those nasty bits are cooked perfectly. It’s served cold with chiles, cilantro and peanuts.  All I need is this dish and steamed rice – offal nirvana.”

2)  Chicken and Waffles at Ace Biscuit and Barbecue.  “It’s a toss up between the fried chicken and waffles and the Tommy Pastrami. Everything at Ace is made from scratch and you can tell. Brian Ashworth really knows his stuff. This is my family’s favorite place for breakfast.”

3)  Tongue, Tendon and Tripe Pho at Pad Thai. “Starting to see a trend? Mr. Ouypron puts together the perfect bowl here. All the flavors are in harmony – spicy, sweet, salty and sour. I can’t get enough of this, and it’s better than grandma’s chicken soup if you are sick.”

4)  Fried Chicken at Wayside Takeout. “I mean come on, it’s old school fried chicken with all the traditional fixin’s. And they serve fried livers, hearts and gizzards too? It reminds me of eating fried chicken at my grandma’s house.”

5)  Pork Belly Rice Bowl at Zzaam Korean Grill.  “Pork belly cooked to quivering, fatty perfection over steamed rice with a fried egg, kim-chee, house pickled veggies, seaweed and Korean Taco sauce. When I took my then 3 year old daughter here for the first time, the first bite she took made her get up and dance. This is the food that makes her booty groove.”


Five Finds on Friday: John Shanesy


On Fridays, we feature five food finds selected by local chefs and personalities. Today’s picks come from John Shanesy, the new Chef de Cuisine at Charlottesville 29 inductee Parallel 38, which has just updated its menu with handmade pastas, flatbread pizzas, and more.  A former sous chef of The Blue Light Grill, Shanesy has also spent time at Paradox Pastry, as well as Charlottesville 29 inductees MAS Tapas and The BBQ Exchange. Shanesy’s picks:

1)  Pulled Pork Sandwich with Garlic Pickles, Hog Fire and Napalm Sauce at The BBQ Exchange.  “Craig’s passion for food and cooking is something very contagious and it’s obvious why his restaurant is such a hit.”

2)  Thai Beef Consommé at Pad Thai.  “Perfect mix of hot, comfort and clean flavors put together in one bowl by Mr. Ouypron!”

3)  Chorizo Tacos Traditional Style with Whiskey at Yearbook Taco.  “John’s cooking is wonderful, and he was a wonderful teacher of mine. I love his food and it’s especially good when Ross Schiller is putting bourbon in me.”

4)  Bellisima Pizza at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie.  “Best ingredients, best dough, best sauce, best atmosphere! What else can you say!”

5)  OH Toro at TEN.  “Pei Chang does no wrong at his incredible Japanese restaurant on the downtown mall. The decor is so inviting and the quality of staff and food is at the highest level that this town has to offer. Absolutely wonderful!”

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