The Book is Out!

The book is out! Staff writer Casey did an awesome job capturing the history and modernity of Charlottesville’s local food movement. If you’re intrigued by the subject, please consider buying it one of our local bookstores or online at Amazon:

 

Smoked Habanero Hot Sauce at Horse & Hound

Housemade hot sauces at The Horse & Hound Gastropub in Charlottesville, VATo me, nothing says “we care” like housemade hot sauce. There’s a lot to like about Cholula, Sriracha, or the old faithful Tabasco, but a chef-crafted sauce, lovingly designed to match the style and particular flavor of the dishes it enhances, will or *should* always beat out the mass-produced grocery store competitors.

But therein is the problem. It’s not easy to make a hot sauce with good plate appeal, bringing the heat without sacrificing the flavor. Not running like water, but also not sticking to the spoon like sour cream. Too many sauces are the color… Read More

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B Blues BBQ 

B Blues BBQ smoker at the Joy gas station in Charlottesville, VAI’ve always felt like the number of BBQ joints in town is out of sync with the quantity and enthusiasm of pork-consuming Charlottesvillians. Consider the fact that we have at least 9 Thai restaurants, 26 Mexican restaurants, and 27 Chinese restaurants.* Many of the proprietors of these establishments have traveled 1000s of miles to set up shop in our fair town and have taken a gamble on forging a viable business out of a foreign cuisine where there are nevertheless many established competitors and where authentic ingredients can be harder to come by.

Now look at BBQ. Five restaurants in Charlottesville… Read More

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Cuisine Cage Match: Restaurant Week (The Hook) vs. Restaurant Week (vmvbrands.com)

In case you haven’t heard already, there are two restaurant weeks coming to town. One is the semi-annual tradition put on by The Hook 1/21-27, at cvilleyum.com, while the other is a new event this year by vmvbrands at charlottesvillerestaurantweek.com, arriving one week after The Hook’s, from 1/28-2/3. Calling itself the “official” 2013 restaurant week, this new contender clearly beat The Hook to the punch, bringing restaurants on board with great speed and agility. And it did so using The Hook’s own tactics – similar pricing, charity beneficiary, one week later. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. That’s what the great

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Fall Salad and Red Pepper Soup at Feast!

On a cold day last week, I decided to treat myself to a lunch at Feast. I had just read CVILLE’s post on Feast’s spectacular fall salad, so I ordered a half-size (minus butternut squash, since I dislike cooked veggies in salads) and a cup of smokey roasted red pepper soup. The soup was perfect for a crisp fall day – chipotle and smoked paprika added depth to an already-rich base of roasted red peppers and tomatoes with a touch of cream. Melted Parmesan shred added textural interest to the smooth consistency of the full-flavored soup. The salad was bright, fresh, and a perfect flavor compliment to the hearty… Read More

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One Meatball Place 

Pork meatball with BBQ sauce at One Meatball Place in Charlottesville, VAHaving jumped the gun on visiting uber-popular Moto Pho Co during its earliest days, I decided to wait a couple months before reviewing One Meatball Place, Moto Pho’s sister restaurant in both mien and conjoined location. On first sight, the space appears more cozy and contained than the pho restaurant to which One Meatball Place attaches, even sharing restroom facilities. The actual layout of the restaurant is relatively small, housing a long bar but only five tables. The combination of exposed brick, light wood accents, and large-screen TVs made for an elegantly simple yet comfortable atmosphere. The window booth in which my friends and I sat took in a… Read More

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Black Market Moto Saloon, a Vegetarian Review

Interior of Black Market Moto Saloon in Charlottesville, VAGiven that I work right around the corner, I really had no excuse for taking so long to discover this excellent lunch spot. Matteus, the proprietor, is very friendly and serves up ridiculously large portions of great food. I should have eaten half of my sandwich on both occasions, but they were both so tasty that I couldn’t resist and waddled out of there feeling like I needed an early afternoon nap.

The first meal I had there was the tempeh reuben sandwich with a side of fries. I must admit that I have been vegetarian for so long that I have never had a… Read More

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Tea Eggs at Song Song Zhou & Bing

Tea Eggs at Song Song Zhou & Bing in Charlottesville, VAIn this picture you can see something that looks more dangerous than delicious. It’s fairly close to the image I have in my brain when I hear someone say, “He’s a bad egg.”

But this is a decidedly good egg, delicious and undangerous. Boil an egg in tea, with seasonings like salt, anise, and peppercorns, and crack it lightly all over after it hardens to let the seasoning in. Serve.

The flavor is not intense – more salty than anything else – but it’s an intriguing and delicious take on the hard-boiled egg that provides a nice protein counterpoint… Read More

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Poetry for Food & Wine at The Paramount

Calling all oenophiles and locavores and haiku writers. We have two free tickets to this fabulous food & wine event at the Paramount Theater on Sunday 9/23 at 5pm and we’re dying to give them away. With wine tastings and food provided by Fleurie, Petit Pois, Tempo, and Paradox Pastry, and a screening of the movie Sideways – “Merlot?!” – this sounds to be a delightful event.

To raise awareness about local wines, we’re awarding these tickets to the person who most eloquently waxes poetic about their favorite local wine or winery. Details below the flier.

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Bellair Market 

The Jefferson Sandwich at Bellair Market in Charlottesville, VAAs much as I love a homemade meal or an elegant dinner, there are some days – or weeks – that don’t allow for leisurely dining. Though I’ve been known to knock back a couple Wendy’s junior cheeseburgers during a busy week, I decided to take a more local, and less greasy, approach to quick eats during this past week of moving and class-related chaos. Bellair Market, Tiger Fuel’s Ivy Road location, has always been my favorite sandwich stop in Charlottesville, but I’ve never loved it more than during a quick lunch break last Wednesday.

Though the shop consistently draws a large crowd from 12-2 on any given day of the week… Read More

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