Food Finds

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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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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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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Eppie’s Gazpacho (Best Vegan Lunch on the Mall)

Gazpacho at Eppie's in Charlottesville, VAI am a big fan of gazpacho. It’s so flavorful and there is zero guilt, no matter how much you eat. Today I walked over to Eppie’s to get myself a cup ($3.50! what a deal), and remembered something that not everyone knows: Eppie’s is a little hidden soup gem on the mall. They don’t overdo it by offering too many – they only have two soups per season. But they are all delicious.

The gazpacho at Eppie’s is blended nicely, garnished with finely chopped onions, cucumbers, chives, and peppers for those who like it a little chunky. The flavor is rather subtle at first but finishes with a nice kick. As… Read More

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Lemongrass Lafayette Scallops at Tempo

Brice Cunningham, owner of Tempo Restaurant in Charlottesville, VAReady for a history lesson? I’ll make this quick.

In 1824, Gilbert du Motier, a.k.a. the Marquis de Lafayette, traveled from France and paid a visit to his friend Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. During his two week stay, Lafayette and Jefferson chatted about UVA, the means of maintaining political independence in the republics in South America, and a host of other philosophical topics that only men of their time could make interesting. The online Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia via Monticello.org is a great resource if you want to learn more about the Lafayette/Jefferson bromance. But, this is a food blog. I digress… Read More

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Hazelnut Heaven at Blue Moon Diner

Hazelnut Heaven – nutella, bananas, and bacon – at Blue Moon Diner in Charlottesville, VAI know I write a lot about brunch these days but what can I say? It’s my favorite meal of the week, and our dinner adventures have been scaling back in inverse proportion to the baby that has been growing in Erin’s belly. Anyway, my favorite meal of the week just got a little bit more favoriter with the recent discovery of Blue Moon Diner‘s “Hazelnut Heaven” sandwich.

It’s the sandwich Elvis would have eaten every day had he been more a nutella guy than a peanut butter guy. Nutella… Read More

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Brunch at Brookville

BFP's – Big Bleeping Pancakes at Brookville Restaurant in Charlottesville, VAThose of you who have been out and about for Sunday brunch recently have seen what we’ve seen. Lines everywhere. I don’t know if it’s the Tavern closing down or media circus performers here for the Huguely trial or what. Bluegrass? One hour. Blue Moon? One hour. The Nook? Thirty minutes. The Nook! What all of these line-waiters don’t realize is that the best brunch in town is just a staircase and an open table away.

Brookville‘s BFP’s (Big Bleeping Pancakes) are enormous, fluffy, and spectacularly delicious. Pre-dressed with just the right amount of maple syrup, they flake off… Read More

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Tip Top Shawarma

Delicious lamb shawarma at Tip Top Restaurant in Charlottesville, VAThere are a three places in town that I generally don’t like as much as everyone else I know: Beer Run, Continental Divide, and Tip Top. I want to like them. I want to meet our friend Dave at Continental Divide and talk about kung fu over Red Hot Blues. I’d like to meet Whit at Beer Run and talk about religion over chicken wings. Maybe Paul and I could meet at Tip Top and talk about the city over shawarmas. Actually, this last one will definitely happen. Because I’m here to tell you, people: The shawarmas are where… Read More

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Espuma de Chocolate at Mas

Thursday nights were the highlight of my middle school years: not only was it was the best hour of television with The Cosby Show followed by Family Ties, but for some unknown reason my parents would let me make a bowl of brownie dough that I would eat raw by the spoonful while in sitcom heaven.

I somehow managed to avoid both salmonella and childhood obesity, but it did result in appreciation for a unique flavor combination. Since my baking skills were rudimentary at best, I didn’t quite grasp the difference between various oils and I would often add olive oil to my brownie mix. I became strangely fond of the nuttiness of olive… Read More

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Bacon Ice Cream Root Beer Float at Brookville

Intense heat waves trigger two cravings: the taste of sizzling savory meat off the grill (you’re sweating already, so you might as well be eating something good) and creamy ice cream to cool down. Brookville just made it easier to enjoy both with an incredibly delicious Bacon Ice Cream Root Beer Float.

I know bacon desserts have become all the rage—even Denny’s had a bacon sundae which may officially signal that bacon has jumped the shark— but usually they seem to be more about kitsch value than good flavors. I’ve tried all the bacon chocolate, bacon jam, and bacon brownies I can get my hands on… Read More

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