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Charlottesville, VA

Virginia Charlottesville

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#151 johnl

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 07:20 PM

Pretty new place on The Corner (or just off it, depending on how pure you are): Roots Natural Kitchen. As one can surmise from the name, it's predicated on healthy stuff. Given the location, it's catering to students (and faculty members, such as I). The prices are good. Parking is the usual Corner hassle (though not so bad during these summer months—and take the trolley!).

 

I've only been once. The food was O.K. I had a standard dish ("Mad Bowl," which is a bit of inside joke) and my date created a custom bowl. You can design the order, which is probably the way to go. More tests will follow. The concept could work out well, as the paths toward different cuisine-flavors get refined. 

 

Just east of the railroad underpass on University, almost across from the George Rodgers Clark statue. 



#152 johnl

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 07:23 PM

I can recommend one that only appears on their specials board called the For the Win. You have tortilla options, but if you're not going for corn I'm not sure if we can be friends.

 

The salsa/hot sauce selection was a bit mild for my tastes, sadly.

 

When I remember, I take my own salsa to any place. Those at commercial places are almost alwaysl too wimpy, but they have to cater to the public, of course. IF folks use habaneros, they are in low single-digit %s. I like 'em as a major player in my salsas.

 

By the way, check out "Mad Hatter" as a bottled local salsa available in various places around C'ville.



#153 johnl

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 07:33 PM

The Harrisonburg, VA, affiliate of NPR ran a story about truffle farming in central Virginia that I thought some folks might find interesting. 

 

 

For thousands of years Black Perigord truffles have been the purview of European cuisine, specifically of France and Spain. But a perfect storm of enthusiasm, demand, and production could soon make Virginia a source for truffle production.  WMRA’s Amy Loeffler has the story.



#154 pcollins

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 12:40 PM

Agreed that the salsas at Brazo's fall into the wimpy camp. Their hottest is jalapenos only. Instead of major heat, the interesting inclusion is that of pickled ingrediants. I've had their onions and watermelon pickles on different tacos and while they are certainly no habanero, they do add a nice vinegar flavor to cut the protein and get a crunch.  At the same time, before 9am at Brazo's they are doing two for one breakfast tacos now which helps lower the costs for that, and they just expanded to 7pm dinner hours during the week.

 

The Farm and Red Hill "Nuclear" Salsa is my go to hot salsa made in the area. For a spicy meal, the "Hell" sandwich at Barbeque Exchange is amazing. Anyone who can complete that has my respect.



#155 ktmoomau

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 11:26 AM

Going down this weekend to visit the in laws and go to wineries with friends.  One of the friends is vegetarian plus no eggs.  I am trying to figure out if it is easier to cook in or to find someplace she will be able to eat, thoughts?


But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#156 tentimesodds

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 01:18 PM

Going down this weekend to visit the in laws and go to wineries with friends.  One of the friends is vegetarian plus no eggs.  I am trying to figure out if it is easier to cook in or to find someplace she will be able to eat, thoughts?

This link is about 2 years old, so check to see if a particular place still exists (or I can tell you), but here's a start: http://iyfoods.com/b...charlottesville



#157 ktmoomau

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 01:22 PM

This link is about 2 years old, so check to see if a particular place still exists (or I can tell you), but here's a start: http://iyfoods.com/b...charlottesville

That's great!  Thank you.  I saw Orzo had some good options, I know Zinburger has a good veggie burger and I think she eats dried pasta that doesn't have eggs, and pizza, so thought Spring Fry Station and a few others might be an option too.  Her husband is a huge meat eater, so it's always funny going the places with the two.


But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#158 tentimesodds

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 01:24 PM

That's great!  Thank you.  I saw Orzo had some good options, I know Zinburger has a good veggie burger and I think she eats dried pasta that doesn't have eggs, and pizza, so thought Spring Fry Station and a few others might be an option too.  Her husband is a huge meat eater, so it's always funny going the places with the two.

 

No problem! I've only been to Zinburger of those 3 but can help recommend/raise red flags if you have other ideas.  I thought Zinburger was so-so (for a beef burger, no veggie burgers for me) but that was mainly the prices and fries...



#159 lizzie

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 02:35 PM

There is a Peter Chang's on Barracks Road - the tofu and bok choy dish is quite good and enough for a small army. Lots of other vegetarian options there as well. My vegetarian daughter has also always found something she liked at The Local. Lunch to go from Feast also has non-meat sandwiches.


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#160 pcollins

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 09:11 PM

Went to the new Timbercreek Market yesterday for lunch. Nice selection of meats and Flora's cheese shop inside. Lunch options were fairly limited. A specials board of two sandwiches (and they were out of one of them at 1pm) and then four everyday sandwiches. My coworker had been planning to try their "Steak on a Plate" option where you buy a steak at the butcher counter and then pay $10 to have them cook it up for you, but decided against it while we were at the store since he was afraid it would put him to sleep. Further investigation will be pursued at dinnertime one of these evenings. 

 

Both the Chicken sandwich and the Cheesesteak were on Albemarle Baking Company bread and had a pretty hefty amount of fat on them before being toasted. This was not a low-cal option. The cheesesteak had slices of steak, a variety of local mushrooms, peppers and provolone cheese. While it wouldn't satisfy a Philly Cheesesteak purist or that strange beast that is the Washington DC Cheesesteak, I found the sandwhich to be flavorful and highlighted the local beef well. The chicken sandwich was also a winner, with a welcome crunch added with some radish and pickle.

 

The only sadness was that the portion size was not abundant. I hesitate to call it small, but I could have certainly eaten another sandwich (and probably would have felt like a glutton doing so). I'd recommend this as a lunch stop with only that caveat.



#161 johnl

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 04:25 AM

Went to the new Timbercreek Market yesterday for lunch. Nice selection of meats and Flora's cheese shop inside. Lunch options were fairly limited. A specials board of two sandwiches (and they were out of one of them at 1pm) and then four everyday sandwiches. ...

 

Thanks for the report. I've not stopped there yet. Would it be accurate to say Timbercreek Market's emphasis is on its retail and not the food service, much like Feast?

 

It'll be interesting to see how things develop in the "center" as other shops move into it, though I suppose there probably won't be more eateries. 



#162 pcollins

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 09:44 AM

There is another eatery planned there. There is a plan for a September launch of Kardinal, which is the newest project by the owners of the successful Beer Run.

 

I think that Timbercreek Market was attempting not to steal/compete with that business while still trying to get a niche in the area, as there is a lot of lunch traffic at Bodo's or Sticks across the street. Nobody else is trying the "take home your dinner" model that they eluded to on the site and I haven't seen in person yet.

 

Honestly it has taken me some time to get over there because my normal time downtown would be Saturday mornings while going to the market and I am usually long gone by the time they open their doors at 10am.



#163 Seanchai

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 05:23 PM

There is another eatery planned there. There is a plan for a September launch of Kardinal, which is the newest project by the owners of the successful Beer Run.

 

I think that Timbercreek Market was attempting not to steal/compete with that business while still trying to get a niche in the area, as there is a lot of lunch traffic at Bodo's or Sticks across the street. Nobody else is trying the "take home your dinner" model that they eluded to on the site and I haven't seen in person yet.

 

Honestly it has taken me some time to get over there because my normal time downtown would be Saturday mornings while going to the market and I am usually long gone by the time they open their doors at 10am.

 

Ironically, it appears that Timbercreek's main competition is JM Stock, who once trumpeted the fact that they carried local meats from ... Timbercreek Farm.  Based on a small sample size, I would say the quality of retail meats and local food products is currently higher at JM Stock as is the service.  However, right now Timbercreek is signficantly less expensive than JM Stock while carrying comparable items.  Hopefully this means that in the near to mid future JM Stock will lower their prioces rather than Timbercreek raising theirs.



#164 johnl

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 05:51 AM

Parallel 38 in C'ville this past weekend was a bit uneven. A tomato-based vegetable soup was rather thin and plain. Artichokes seemed like they might have come from a can. Cheese board was uninspiring; perhaps we chose the wrong ones. However, I liked the citrus potatoes, the grilled asparagus, spicy shrimp, and the tuna tartar. 

 

We were a 4-top and sat inside near the back, close to the kitchen. 



#165 pcollins

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 08:49 AM

I wasn't blown away by their cheese plate either. They had some fairly tame options on there (Ricotta? Why?), but their meat options to go with it had a welcome surprise of a salt cured trout available. My go to option from Parallel 38 has been their spreads with fresh pita bread and their desserts. The olive oil cake in particular was worth coming back for.

 

Good to know on the rest of the menu. I've never been by for anything other than wine, spreads, dessert, charcuterie and cheese.


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#166 tentimesodds

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 11:43 AM

Ironically, it appears that Timbercreek's main competition is JM Stock, who once trumpeted the fact that they carried local meats from ... Timbercreek Farm.  Based on a small sample size, I would say the quality of retail meats and local food products is currently higher at JM Stock as is the service.  However, right now Timbercreek is signficantly less expensive than JM Stock while carrying comparable items.  Hopefully this means that in the near to mid future JM Stock will lower their prioces rather than Timbercreek raising theirs.

JM Stock is insanely expensive.  Mind bogglingly expensive. And I don't get why they have that huge space when most of it is just empty floor.


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#167 johnl

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 05:59 PM

I wasn't blown away by their cheese plate either. They had some fairly tame options on there (Ricotta? Why?), but their meat options to go with it had a welcome surprise of a salt cured trout available. 

 

I'll hit the trout next time. My dining partners had the prosciutto or the salchichon as the meat on that board and I notices it disappeared pretty quickly. (We got 3&1, as I recall.)

 

Yes, they are better with the spreads and dips. 

 

We had a nice Sancere.



#168 Seanchai

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 05:20 PM

JM Stock is insanely expensive.  Mind bogglingly expensive. And I don't get why they have that huge space when most of it is just empty floor.

The first time I bought a 6 pound pork shoulder for smoking from them I was in a state of shock.  $60 plus for a freakin pork shoulder with a generous fat cap?! 

 

I want to support local products/businesses but damn ...



#169 pcollins

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:45 PM

It's been getting hot out again, so here's a discussion topic. What are folks favorites for Ice Cream?

 

Splendora's is unique for gelato, but there's a place in my heart for some ice cream on a hot day. There's a few ice cream places in and around Charlottesville and a few creameries outside town which sell product you can find in stores. Three options that come to my mind:

 

- Moo Thru in Remington. Yes, this isn't in Charlottesville, but it's still one of the better options in the area

- Homestead Creamery. Their location is down in Wirtz, but you can find their ice cream in Kroger if nowhere else. I'm a huge fan of their lemon ice cream served with fresh berries.

- Kirt's. Location on 29N next to a Little Caesars isn't attractive, but they have some great flavors made right in the store. They also supply the ice cream for the Carpe Donut ice cream sandwiches and can be found at Whole Foods.


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#170 johnl

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:08 PM

Splendora's is unique for gelato, but there's a place in my heart for some ice cream on a hot day. There's a few ice cream places in and around Charlottesville and a few creameries outside town which sell product you can find in stores. Three options that come to my mind:

 

- Moo Thru in Remington. Yes, this isn't in Charlottesville, but it's still one of the better options in the area

- Homestead Creamery. Their location is down in Wirtz, but you can find their ice cream in Kroger if nowhere else. I'm a huge fan of their lemon ice cream served with fresh berries.

- Kirt's. Location on 29N next to a Little Caesars isn't attractive, but they have some great flavors made right in the store. They also supply the ice cream for the Carpe Donut ice cream sandwiches and can be found at Whole Foods.

 

Splendora: Yes, I get dragged there regularly, often when I've already eaten too much. When I do have something, it's very good. I want more. Triple dip. 

 

I don't know, pollens, about Homestead or Kirt's. I'll have to take lessons. Thanks for the tips. 

 

I will have to admit to having a soft spot in my heart (gullet? stomach?) for Chaps. Although they are now only on the DT Mall (right?), in the 70s-80s there was an incarnation in Shoppers World on 29N within a block of our house. We went there often. The 'cream was good and they did something I remembered from my childhood in Manassas: I could request a sprinkle of malt atop my scoops. Yum. 



#171 pcollins

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 07:04 AM

Without diving too deeply off the topic, I can heartily agree with you on the importance of malt powder as part of the experience. While a chain, the folks at the Tastee Freeze outside of Madison or Gordonsville can give you a generous serving to go with your shake or cone without too much difficulty.

 

I've never really done Chaps and that's part of the reason that I made this post. I'm hoping for more out there than what I've tried.



#172 tentimesodds

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 09:33 AM

The first time I bought a 6 pound pork shoulder for smoking from them I was in a state of shock.  $60 plus for a freakin pork shoulder with a generous fat cap?! 

 

I want to support local products/businesses but damn ...

I am new to grilling/smoking, but my experience went something like this:

 

"Do you have any flank or skirt steak? I want to make fajitas."

 

"All out of those, but we have a nice bavette that would work well for that purpose.  It's $23.99 a pound."

 

I googled it when I got home, feeling swindled.  24 bucks a pound for flap meat? 



#173 johnl

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 07:28 PM

Yo, Seanchai, pcollins, tentimesodds, and the rest of y'all in the Hookville area:

 

Anyone been to Oakhart Social? It's on West Main where Vu used to have Moto Pho, right next to the Public Oyster House. I'm thinking of hitting it soon, but would appreciate any guidance. 



#174 tentimesodds

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 10:57 AM

Yo, Seanchai, pcollins, tentimesodds, and the rest of y'all in the Hookville area:

 

Anyone been to Oakhart Social? It's on West Main where Vu used to have Moto Pho, right next to the Public Oyster House. I'm thinking of hitting it soon, but would appreciate any guidance. 

I have not been there, but would very much like to hear about your experience if you go. I am not a fancy restaurant guy but liked Public Oyster House when my wife and I went there last year.  

 

I'm not sure when the last time I went to a "new" Cville restaurant was.  I really want to try Lampo, but from what I hear it's always super packed.



#175 pcollins

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 11:46 AM

You have certainly heard correct on Lampo, and the restaurant does not take reservations or handle take-out.

 

I haven't tried Public either, but I heard favorable reports from the last restaurant week.



#176 Seanchai

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 04:37 PM

Oddly enough, despite the fact that I hardly get to dine out much in Cville, I HAVE been to Lampo, Oakhart, and Public.  I've given some feedback about Lampo upthread (in short, awesome).  Oakhart and Public I've only been to once or twice and not always for full meals. 

 

For me, those two restaurants are similar to Tavola in Belmont:  very good, but not superlative.  If any of them were in a major city, they would be solid to very good neighborhood options.  In Charlottesville, because no one is really doing what they are doing, they are more exceptional.  In my opnion, Lampo would be considered excellent no matter where it was located and we are very fortunate that they are in our little city/big town in central VA.


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#177 johnl

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 05:57 PM

Yo, Seanchai, pcollins, tentimesodds, and the rest of y'all in the Hookville area:

 

Anyone been to Oakhart Social? It's on West Main where Vu used to have Moto Pho, right next to the Public Oyster House. I'm thinking of hitting it soon, but would appreciate any guidance. 

 

O.K. Corey and I went to the Oakhart Social on Saturday early (about 5:40 pm). We sat indoors and the waitron recognized her from a previous visit, but asked if I was a newbie. I owned up to the status, so he took the opportunity and explained that the strategy is shared plates. O.K.

 

There was an oyster special, but they were (a) cooked and (b ) dressed with bacon. Off my list. Apparently the chef doesn't compete with the neighboring Public Oyster house. We ordered 

  • Shaved salad
  • A special crispy shrimp
  • Lentil toast 
  • Avocado crema pizza (bacon withheld)

The first three were really good and the last was good. I wouldn't usually order a prepared salad (too many inclusions), but this one is worth getting again. The shrimp had lots of interesting flavors. The lentil toast came to the table already halved and the ingredients melded quite well. 

 

Although we treated it like dinner, it's good to know that one could stop here for a snack on the way to something else. Also, bonus: They advertise a late-night menu! Yay!

 

Good first impression, I'd say. 



#178 johnl

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 06:01 PM

I have not been there, but would very much like to hear about your experience if you go. I am not a fancy restaurant guy but liked Public Oyster House when my wife and I went there last year.  

 

I'm not sure when the last time I went to a "new" Cville restaurant was.  I really want to try Lampo, but from what I hear it's always super packed.

 

Yep, Lampo. Worth taking the time to wait in line. 



#179 nonawkward

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 04:35 PM

From a recent trip to the Charlottesville area:

 

Barbecue Exchange (Gordonsville)

Two of us had: BBQ Lovers 4 Meat platter with ribs, pulled pork, chopped brisket, sausage, collards and mac and cheese. We also got an order of hush puppies, which come six per order. This was almost too much for two of us. But we managed... :)

 

The pulled pork was the best of the meats. I would describe the "chopped" brisket more as pulled and it came pre-sauced with a tangy, tomato based sauce, which I wasn't expecting. The ribs were good and I would probably think more highly of them if the ribs and the dry rub from Martin's in Tennessee weren't so recent in my memory. The sausage had an overwhelming smoke flavor and snappy casing.

 

The collards were excellent, in my opinion. (The BF didn't like them as much as I did.) Well balanced in terms of smoky, tangy and sweet flavors. The mac and cheese was good, but the cheese sauce wasn't as smooth as it should be. The hush puppies had excellent flavor and were not too dense.

 

Miller's - Downtown Mall

We stopped in here after a concert at the Pavilion, choosing this location mainly because 1) the kitchen was open and 2) there was available outdoor seating. The draft beer menu included a decent selection of local drafts and a 10 ounce pour option. We wanted the cheesesteak (they were out) but ended up with the roasted red pepper soup and blackened chicken sandwich. The soup had the tiniest amount of spice to it, which was nice. It also came with a large piece of toasted bread. The only thing it could have used was some sort of garnish. The chicken sandwich was a solid version of a chicken sandwich you'd expect to get from a bar. The big flaw I found with it was the potato roll, but I know I'm in the minority on hating potato rolls.

 

I probably wouldn't recommend Miller's as a place to get food, but it is nice to be able to sit outside, have some beers and know that the bar food you'll inevitably order might actually taste okay sober too.

 

 

Bluegrass Grill - Downtown

On Sundays (maybe Saturdays too?), go early or expect to wait. I added our name to the list, expecting the wait to be about 45 minutes to an hour, but were able to grab seats at the first come-first serve counter after about 30 minutes. The waiting list is not managed by anyone and is posted on the wall just inside the door.

 

We had Joan Marie's Omelet which includes herb cream cheese, spinach, swiss cheese and tomatoes. The omelets are made by folding very thin cooked egg around the fillings like a burrito, not your typical half circle shape. We ordered the omelet with cheese grits (garnished with fresh dill...an odd choice) and a biscuit, adding a side of gravy for the biscuit. We also ordered the Southern Belle Benedict from a paper specials menu. It was pimento cheese, bacon and tomatoes on an English muffin, topped with eggs over easy and a jalapeño hollandaise. I think there was a bit of confusion here (maybe just on my part?) because I assumed that a benedict would automatically come with poached eggs, but the eggs over easy produces the same runny yolk effect. The benedict came with home fries. The benedict was excellent because all of those things are good, but what really stands out are the home fries because they so far exceeded expectations. They were seasoned well, with onion and a small amount of garlic and rosemary, in addition to salt and pepper. The balance of soft and crispy potatoes was perfect.

 

I had been once or twice before, six to eight years before; the BF had never been. After getting a little cranky while waiting for a table, he later commented that the food was definitely worth the wait and commented that I didn't fight hard enough for it when we discussed going elsewhere. The food was excellent and exactly the brunch food that I was in the mood for, but what struck me was how nice all of the servers were, even under the brunch crush. And they let us take coffee refills to go.

 

Oakhart Social - Main Street

Late-ish dinner on a Sunday night. There were tables inside, but we chose a table outside, between a propane heater and small fire pit, on a crisp autumn night. I wasn't too hungry after beer and cider tasting on what some people are apparently calling Alcohol Alley (Route 151 between Wintergreen and 250) so we ordered fairly light:

 

Brussels Sprouts with Korean chili flake aioli and crispy shallot

Proveletta - Caramelized Provolone and goat cheese with harissa tomato, cippolini and lemon, served with grilled bread

Hanger steak with patatas bravas, chimichurri and aioli

 

The brussels sprouts came out first, which I didn't prefer. They were good, although I expected the aioli to be a little hotter. I wanted to save some to eat with the steak, but because of the outside temperature, they were cooling off quickly. Next came the provoletta, which was served in a small cast iron dish, which going back to the description makes sense. But I was expecting something more like a pre-assembled bruschetta. The flavors of this worked well; the creamy, salty cheese with the tangy lemon and spicy (not hot) harrissa. The menu indicated this was cooked in a wood oven. Not sure if they mean the dish or the toasts... The hanger steak came out last and was pre-sliced and served on thin slices of potatoes, which were on top of the aioli. There was some sort of micro green garnish along with the chimichurri. It didn't occur to me until we got it, but we were not asked how we wanted the steak cooked; it was rare-medium rare. Which was fine for us. I thought the plate was a little heavy on the aioli, but that was easy enough to avoid.

 

Overall, the food was good and I liked the setting, and would probably say the same if we had sat inside. I thought the service could use some improvement both in terms of the order the food came out and staff. If the menu doesn't explicitly say that food comes out whenever it's ready, shouldn't the server ask if we have a preference? Because I probably would have indicated the provoletta first, then the sprouts with the steak. I think the restaurant was coming off a busy Sunday night and the chef/owner's wife was with a group outside (I know this because one of her friends would announce the fact to anyone and everyone), so maybe our server was feeling some pressure because of it? This seems like a great place to go with friends, drink wine (they have wines on draft in quarter, half and full liter sizes) and order some plates to share. But based on the service I got, I'm not sure I'd feel that comfortable doing that. But I will definitely give it another chance next time I'm in town.

 

Bodo's - Preston Avenue

A more emotional pick than anything else. Sausage, egg and cheese on an everything bagel. The everything bagel at Bodo's has salt, which I don't think is the norm. Also, they don't toast their bagels, even if you're not getting a bagel sandwich.

 

Carter Mountain Orchard - Charlottesville (near Monticello)

We picked up some apples to take home, but had a few apple cider doughnuts and hot apple cider at a picnic table out back.

 

A bit outside of town, we hit:

 

Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub - Roseland (other nearby attractions have a Nellysford address)

We (accidentally, I swear) tasted all of the beers they had on tap. They do flights in specified groupings (standard, seasonal, experimental.) We ordered the standard (six beers) to start, then asked for the experimental grouping. They brought the seasonal instead but let us keep it when the corrected their mistake. Because of the extra beers, we decided we should get some food before we could safely continue on. We ended up with an order of wings. Everything else seemed too heavy. We got the order split between hot and dry rub (the two flavor options.) The hot had a good flavor outside of the heat, but I preferred the dry rub, which was smoky, salty and a tiny bit sweet. I thought it was kind of weird that the order had been split so that the drums were all the dry rub flavor and the flats were hot.

 

Greenwood Grocery - Crozet

We picked up sandwiches, some Route 11 potato chips (dill pickle flavor!) and drinks for a picnic on Skyline Drive. We got:

 

Devon - roast beef with horseradish-chive spread and arugula on focaccia

Wessex - ham with brie and apple chutney on ciabatta

 

The Devon was good, but I didn't taste too much horseradish. (Admittedly, I like a LOT of horseradish on roast beef sandwiches.) The focaccia was not overly dry or greasy, both of which can be a problem with focaccia.

 

The Wessex was really good, but the chutney was weird. It didn't seem like it was apple based; there was some fruit in it that looked like reconstituted golden raisins. The fruit was raisin-sized and kind of light in color which is the only reason I'm saying that. I honestly have no idea what it was. But it was not apple. The chutney had an overwhelming flavor of what tasted like tamarind to me.

 

They had a small selection of prepared foods outside of sandwiches and a variety of other foods. About a third of the store is dedicate to local wine, beer and cider.

 

Throughout the few days we were in the area, we hit: Castle Hill Cider, Potter's Craft Cider (popup tasting at Greenwood Grocery), Bold Rock and Keswick Vineyards.


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#180 Joe H

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 10:46 PM

From a recent trip to the Charlottesville area:

 

Barbecue Exchange (Gordonsville)

Two of us had: BBQ Lovers 4 Meat platter with ribs, pulled pork, chopped brisket, sausage, collards and mac and cheese. We also got an order of hush puppies, which come six per order. This was almost too much for two of us. But we managed... :)

 

The pulled pork was the best of the meats. I would describe the "chopped" brisket more as pulled and it came pre-sauced with a tangy, tomato based sauce, which I wasn't expecting. The ribs were good and I would probably think more highly of them if the ribs and the dry rub from Martin's in Tennessee weren't so recent in my memory. The sausage had an overwhelming smoke flavor and snappy casing.

 

The collards were excellent, in my opinion. (The BF didn't like them as much as I did.) Well balanced in terms of smoky, tangy and sweet flavors. The mac and cheese was good, but the cheese sauce wasn't as smooth as it should be. The hush puppies had excellent flavor and were not too dense.

 

Miller's - Downtown Mall

We stopped in here after a concert at the Pavilion, choosing this location mainly because 1) the kitchen was open and 2) there was available outdoor seating. The draft beer menu included a decent selection of local drafts and a 10 ounce pour option. We wanted the cheesesteak (they were out) but ended up with the roasted red pepper soup and blackened chicken sandwich. The soup had the tiniest amount of spice to it, which was nice. It also came with a large piece of toasted bread. The only thing it could have used was some sort of garnish. The chicken sandwich was a solid version of a chicken sandwich you'd expect to get from a bar. The big flaw I found with it was the potato roll, but I know I'm in the minority on hating potato rolls.

 

I probably wouldn't recommend Miller's as a place to get food, but it is nice to be able to sit outside, have some beers and know that the bar food you'll inevitably order might actually taste okay sober too.

 

 

Bluegrass Grill - Downtown

On Sundays (maybe Saturdays too?), go early or expect to wait. I added our name to the list, expecting the wait to be about 45 minutes to an hour, but were able to grab seats at the first come-first serve counter after about 30 minutes. The waiting list is not managed by anyone and is posted on the wall just inside the door.

 

We had Joan Marie's Omelet which includes herb cream cheese, spinach, swiss cheese and tomatoes. The omelets are made by folding very thin cooked egg around the fillings like a burrito, not your typical half circle shape. We ordered the omelet with cheese grits (garnished with fresh dill...an odd choice) and a biscuit, adding a side of gravy for the biscuit. We also ordered the Southern Belle Benedict from a paper specials menu. It was pimento cheese, bacon and tomatoes on an English muffin, topped with eggs over easy and a jalapeño hollandaise. I think there was a bit of confusion here (maybe just on my part?) because I assumed that a benedict would automatically come with poached eggs, but the eggs over easy produces the same runny yolk effect. The benedict came with home fries. The benedict was excellent because all of those things are good, but what really stands out are the home fries because they so far exceeded expectations. They were seasoned well, with onion and a small amount of garlic and rosemary, in addition to salt and pepper. The balance of soft and crispy potatoes was perfect.

 

I had been once or twice before, six to eight years before; the BF had never been. After getting a little cranky while waiting for a table, he later commented that the food was definitely worth the wait and commented that I didn't fight hard enough for it when we discussed going elsewhere. The food was excellent and exactly the brunch food that I was in the mood for, but what struck me was how nice all of the servers were, even under the brunch crush. And they let us take coffee refills to go.

 

Oakhart Social - Main Street

Late-ish dinner on a Sunday night. There were tables inside, but we chose a table outside, between a propane heater and small fire pit, on a crisp autumn night. I wasn't too hungry after beer and cider tasting on what some people are apparently calling Alcohol Alley (Route 151 between Wintergreen and 250) so we ordered fairly light:

 

Brussels Sprouts with Korean chili flake aioli and crispy shallot

Proveletta - Caramelized Provolone and goat cheese with harissa tomato, cippolini and lemon, served with grilled bread

Hanger steak with patatas bravas, chimichurri and aioli

 

The brussels sprouts came out first, which I didn't prefer. They were good, although I expected the aioli to be a little hotter. I wanted to save some to eat with the steak, but because of the outside temperature, they were cooling off quickly. Next came the provoletta, which was served in a small cast iron dish, which going back to the description makes sense. But I was expecting something more like a pre-assembled bruschetta. The flavors of this worked well; the creamy, salty cheese with the tangy lemon and spicy (not hot) harrissa. The menu indicated this was cooked in a wood oven. Not sure if they mean the dish or the toasts... The hanger steak came out last and was pre-sliced and served on thin slices of potatoes, which were on top of the aioli. There was some sort of micro green garnish along with the chimichurri. It didn't occur to me until we got it, but we were not asked how we wanted the steak cooked; it was rare-medium rare. Which was fine for us. I thought the plate was a little heavy on the aioli, but that was easy enough to avoid.

 

Overall, the food was good and I liked the setting, and would probably say the same if we had sat inside. I thought the service could use some improvement both in terms of the order the food came out and staff. If the menu doesn't explicitly say that food comes out whenever it's ready, shouldn't the server ask if we have a preference? Because I probably would have indicated the provoletta first, then the sprouts with the steak. I think the restaurant was coming off a busy Sunday night and the chef/owner's wife was with a group outside (I know this because one of her friends would announce the fact to anyone and everyone), so maybe our server was feeling some pressure because of it? This seems like a great place to go with friends, drink wine (they have wines on draft in quarter, half and full liter sizes) and order some plates to share. But based on the service I got, I'm not sure I'd feel that comfortable doing that. But I will definitely give it another chance next time I'm in town.

 

Bodo's - Preston Avenue

A more emotional pick than anything else. Sausage, egg and cheese on an everything bagel. The everything bagel at Bodo's has salt, which I don't think is the norm. Also, they don't toast their bagels, even if you're not getting a bagel sandwich.

 

Carter Mountain Orchard - Charlottesville (near Monticello)

We picked up some apples to take home, but had a few apple cider doughnuts and hot apple cider at a picnic table out back.

 

A bit outside of town, we hit:

 

Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub - Roseland (other nearby attractions have a Nellysford address)

We (accidentally, I swear) tasted all of the beers they had on tap. They do flights in specified groupings (standard, seasonal, experimental.) We ordered the standard (six beers) to start, then asked for the experimental grouping. They brought the seasonal instead but let us keep it when the corrected their mistake. Because of the extra beers, we decided we should get some food before we could safely continue on. We ended up with an order of wings. Everything else seemed too heavy. We got the order split between hot and dry rub (the two flavor options.) The hot had a good flavor outside of the heat, but I preferred the dry rub, which was smoky, salty and a tiny bit sweet. I thought it was kind of weird that the order had been split so that the drums were all the dry rub flavor and the flats were hot.

 

Greenwood Grocery - Crozet

We picked up sandwiches, some Route 11 potato chips (dill pickle flavor!) and drinks for a picnic on Skyline Drive. We got:

 

Devon - roast beef with horseradish-chive spread and arugula on focaccia

Wessex - ham with brie and apple chutney on ciabatta

 

The Devon was good, but I didn't taste too much horseradish. (Admittedly, I like a LOT of horseradish on roast beef sandwiches.) The focaccia was not overly dry or greasy, both of which can be a problem with focaccia.

 

The Wessex was really good, but the chutney was weird. It didn't seem like it was apple based; there was some fruit in it that looked like reconstituted golden raisins. The fruit was raisin-sized and kind of light in color which is the only reason I'm saying that. I honestly have no idea what it was. But it was not apple. The chutney had an overwhelming flavor of what tasted like tamarind to me.

 

They had a small selection of prepared foods outside of sandwiches and a variety of other foods. About a third of the store is dedicate to local wine, beer and cider.

 

Throughout the few days we were in the area, we hit: Castle Hill Cider, Potter's Craft Cider (popup tasting at Greenwood Grocery), Bold Rock and Keswick Vineyards.

Greenwood may have the single best collection of Virginia wine of any store I have been in anywhere.  



#181 pcollins

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 07:05 AM

Greenwood may have the single best collection of Virginia wine of any store I have been in anywhere.  

 

Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville is my number one source for Virginia wines in the area. Greenwood is good, but they don't have quite the size that Wine Warehouse does.

 

The 250/151 area south from Crozet has an awful lot of restaurants now with people doing winery tours in the area. Blue Mountain, Rockfish 151, Wild Wolf, Bold Rock, Devil's Backbone... It's a lot to take in. Glad you had a good visit!



#182 Seanchai

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 04:03 PM

Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville is my number one source for Virginia wines in the area. Greenwood is good, but they don't have quite the size that Wine Warehouse does.

 

The 250/151 area south from Crozet has an awful lot of restaurants now with people doing winery tours in the area. Blue Mountain, Rockfish 151, Wild Wolf, Bold Rock, Devil's Backbone... It's a lot to take in. Glad you had a good visit!

 

Pro tip  - Matt from Wine Warehouse provides the best selection and customer service in Cville on beer as well.


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#183 pcollins

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 10:25 AM

Starting tomorrow, even with the predicted snow, is Charlottesville's winter installment of the restaurant week

 

Had a mixed meal over at Moe's yesterday at lunch. Tried the Brisket platter, collard greens and the brisket stew. The brisket was meaty and juicy, but lacked much of a smoky flavor to it. The collards were pleasant, if lacking some kick to them. I'm not sure if I received the brisket stew or some variety of baked beans, but whatever it was it was outstanding. Plenty of beans, brisket and flavor in there.

 

Was surprised that they only have one house BBQ sauce and no other varieties. If you wanted something spicier, you had bottles of Crystal available.

 

Not sure how well this chain will do in town with other local BBQ options available, but I'd go back for another try.



#184 Seanchai

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 05:02 AM

Had a great birthday lunch at Lampo the other day.  The Hellboy pizza with soppressata piccante and the honey scorpion pepper sauce was amazing per usual.    We also hugely enjoyed the General Tso's Sweetbreads appetizer.  Made with a sauce of Calabrian pepper, honey, garum (kind of an Itailian fish sauce I'm told) and braised celery (I think; garlic scapes are used in season) covering batter-fried sweetbreads, one local food website called it 2015's Charlottesville dish of the year.http://charlottesvil...os-sweetbreads/

 

We in Charlottesville are lucky to have an affordable restaurant of this quality in our humble college town.



#185 pcollins

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 07:05 AM

Had a great birthday lunch at Lampo the other day.  The Hellboy pizza with soppressata piccante and the honey scorpion pepper sauce was amazing per usual.    We also hugely enjoyed the General Tso's Sweetbreads appetizer.  Made with a sauce of Calabrian pepper, honey, garum (kind of an Itailian fish sauce I'm told) and braised celery (I think; garlic scapes are used in season) covering batter-fried sweetbreads, one local food website called 2015's Charlottesville dish of the year.http://charlottesvil...os-sweetbreads/

 

We in Charlottesville are lucky to have an affordable restaurant of this quality in our humble college town.

 

Garum's an interesting flavor, agreed. They had a side for a while of roasted cauliflower with garum, mint and some chilis which I can recommend, but I haven't yet tried the sweetbreads. Thanks for the read.

 

For any of the other readers who are thinking of making Lampo a stop on a visit to the area, it's best to note the downside of the restaurant: it is small, no reservations, and no takeout. You can have over an hour wait without too much effort and you're going to have trouble with anything more than four people at a table. I love the restaurant, but I have to schedule the times I visit there more than any other in town.



#186 johnl

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 08:09 AM

For any of the other readers who are thinking of making Lampo a stop on a visit to the area, it's best to note the downside of the restaurant: it is small, no reservations, and no takeout. You can have over an hour wait without too much effort and you're going to have trouble with anything more than four people at a table. I love the restaurant, but I have to schedule the times I visit there more than any other in town.

 

Yep and yep! And the waiting area is outside. 

 

But, it is worth a wait.



#187 tentimesodds

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 10:11 AM

Yep and yep! And the waiting area is outside. 

 

But, it is worth a wait.

 

For any of the other readers who are thinking of making Lampo a stop on a visit to the area, it's best to note the downside of the restaurant: it is small, no reservations, and no takeout. You can have over an hour wait without too much effort and you're going to have trouble with anything more than four people at a table. I love the restaurant, but I have to schedule the times I visit there more than any other in town.

 

Anyone on this board have a recommendation for what time of day to go when it won't be so crazy? I have a birthday coming up and want to go, but have a newborn and probably don't want to spend a precious in-laws babysitting hour standing outside a restaurant in the cold...thanks!



#188 pcollins

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 10:23 AM

The first seating when the restaurant opens is the most common way for me to get a seat. There's usually not a line out the door waiting for them to start (but I have seen that happen).

 

I would recommend that if you are attempting to go there to just always have a second plan in case it is busy.







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