Food Finds

Phil’s Fave Porko Platter at Mono Loco

I’m not sure who this Phil guy is, but I’d like to congratulate him on his excellent taste in pork platters. I’ve had his highly recommended “Phil’s Fave Porko Platter” at Mono Loco in heavy dinner rotation lately.

Even beyond the porko platter, Mono Loco has stepped it up in the past year to become one of my favorite dinner and drinks spots. Their food has been quite good (particularly any specials) during all our visits and their bar scene has become one of the most fun in town. But it’s Phil’s Platter that keeps drawing me back with its crispy pork and crispy plantains over rice and beans, topped off with pico… Read More

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Curry Chicken Salad at Eppie’s

We just returned from an amazing trip to Ireland, a country that deserves a much better food reputation than it has. Who wouldn’t love a place where every restaurant has, on average, ten different potato dishes? I’m hoping we helped with the country’s economic recovery through our food and drink bill, but I think it will be awhile before I can order lamb, duck, or Guinness.

For my own Ireland recovery, I’m turning to a summer salad regimen for the foreseeable future. The timing is great as I just discovered my new favorite lunch order: Eppie’s Curry Chicken Salad. I’m averaging two a week and I can’t get enough. You can order the curry chicken as a sandwich as… Read More

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Peter Chang’s China Grill: Top Dishes

While there were some definite kinks in the frenzied opening days of Peter Chang’s China Grill, upon return visits we’ve found that the restaurant is hitting its stride. And by return visits, I mean we’re addicted and may soon reach a point where we have honorary plaques on one of the tables for two. But we’ve also found that there are definite hits and misses off the menu. If you know what to order, you’ll have an incredible meal that will be some of the best Chinese food of your life. If you take a more haphazard approach to the menu, it can be a disappointing experience.

Things are made more challenging because the menu does not provide descriptions… Read More

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Kapao Fried Rice at Lime Leaf

If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’m going to write a haiku about this most excellent of fried rice offerings:

Spicy rice mountain,
Teeming with brown-green goodness,
Chicken, basil, yum.

Thank you all so much. If you’d like to contact me for private parties or political speeches you can currently reach me at Guy Still Sitting at Table #11 Day After Day Eating Plate After Plate of Kapao Fried Rice with Chicken, c/o Lime Leaf Restaurant.

For real though, this dish kicks Thai and Chinese fried rice butt all over town, including the Chang restaurants. The difference is in the freshness of the… Read More

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The Batesville Store

The Batesville Store outside Charlottesville, VAWhen I was young, I was infatuated with a Spielberg-produced TV show called “Amazing Stories.” One episode was about an artistic ball turret gunner whose quaintly captivating drawings had a way of coming to life. I’m pretty sure he didn’t do any sketches of small-town restaurant-stores in rural Virginia, but if he had, they might have featured The Batesville Store.

If you’ve never heard of Batesville, it’s where you end up if you drive past the old Albemarle County Fair location on Plank Road, just off 29 South. You can’t miss it. It’s as if the tiny town of Batesville exists only to support the store… Read More

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Bazaar Salad at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar

My new favorite salad: The Bazaar SaladMy recent Food Finds have not been a study in dietary restraint: biscuits and gravy, ice cream, chorizo burrito, cookies, you get the clogged artery picture. The only salad that’s earned Food Find status included fried food, cheese, and buttermilk. So I’m grateful that the Tea Bazaar has provided a find that’s good for overall health in addition to taste buds.

The Tea Bazaar’s signature salad is full of delicious and unexpected surprises. It starts with an overflowing plate of fresh produce with mixed greens, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Golden raisins and candied walnuts add a touch of sweetness, and the entire thing is topped off with paper-thin pear slices and creamy feta cheese… Read More

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Biscuits and Gravy at l’etoile

Two mini biscuits with sausage gravy with l'etoile's Star Breakfast.

We recently asked for Facebook opinions on the best biscuits in town and were shocked by the responses. Bluegrass Grill & Bakery was the leader, although there was a strong anti-whole wheat contingent that disputed this pick. And the runner-up? Hardee’s. Seriously. I took it as a sign that we need better biscuits in this town, but after a Sunday brunch at l’etoile I think we’re doing just fine.

There are two options to enjoy the delicious biscuits with sausage gravy at l’etoile: a stand-alone starter biscuit ($6) or a mini pair of biscuits that’s part of the Star Breakfast ($10), where you can enjoy them with eggs any… Read More

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Relay Foods

For those of you who aren’t yet singing the praises of Relay Foods, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. The delivery and pick-up grocery service offers online shopping from local food favorites. You can pick it up at locations at various times and places throughout the week for no extra charge, or even have it delivered to your house for a small extra fee.

Online shopping and delivery is nothing new, but the local slant makes Relay amazing. Did you ever think you could get Gearheart’s chocolates delivered to your doorstep?

Here are a few of the reasons I love Relay Foods:

  • Agnes’ Very Very All Natural Bagel Spread Honey

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Maharaja Treat

A recent Maharaja Treat takeout.A tip for those, like me, who believe that Indian food is best enjoyed in large quantities: Maharaja has a brilliant menu option that will help you reach max stomach capacity in a budget-friendly way. I’ve always had a difficult time deciding between my favorite Indian dishes. That is, until we discovered the Maharaja Treat. This menu option allows you to select two “half” entrees for the price of one ($13.90 for Vegetarian, $14.90 for Chicken, $15.90 for Lamb) although we’ve always found the servings are much closer to a full size than a half. You can easily split one Maharaja Treat between two if you want a lighter experience, or… Read More

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The Double Bratoberfest at The Nook

It’s almost impossible for me to pass up brats when I see them on a menu or in a cart, especially at sporting events or anytime in the month of October. But I wasn’t  sure I had ordered wisely (sorry, Snooki) when I saw these two meat-pops land under my nose.

How mistaken I was. Not only was it a wise decision but it was real smart too. Beer-soaked sausage with sweet braised onions atop a couple of stripes of mustard on a potato roll, with kettle chips on the side? Huzzah! Great texture, strong beer flavor, extra soft roll, everything just right.

For all you sausage-eating types… Read More

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