Food Finds

Get Your Pho Fix at Lemongrass

If you haven’t had pho (pronounced “fuh”) – a Vietnamese noodle soup featuring beef or chicken or other more adventurous meats, with all kinds of fixins to jazz it up – put it on your calendar for lunch this weekend. Lemongrass, the Thai-Vietnamese restaurant on the Corner that is often though not always excellent, is serving up pho on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm – 5pm.

What’s so great about it? We haven’t tried this particular pho yet, but there’s a certain addictive magic to most of them that’s hard to describe. Something about the way the lime-cilantro cuts into the rich, complex broth, and the comforting textures of the thinly sliced meat… Read More

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Sweet Frog

Original tart flavor, blueberries, mango, strawberries, coconut, mochi: perfection.There have been signs that I’m rapidly developing a problem. It started out innocently enough when I heard that Sweet Frog, the new self-serve yogurt place on the downtown mall, was about to open. I began thinking about it an awful lot, thanks to a pre-existing addiction to Pinkberry, the original California-based yogurt trend. After its opening last week, I grew slightly concerned when I visited Sweet Frog three times in 38 hours. And I was downright embarrassed when I ate it so quickly last night that I developed the hiccups. So I may have a problem – but it’s a delicious one.

Sweet Frog (next door to Escafé) has ten yogurt… Read More

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Super Tacos at La Michoacana

If you ask someone in this town to direct you to the best tacos, you’ll hear one of the following:

Cinema Taco

• The tacos at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning

Aqui es Mexico

La Michoacana

In all fairness, I haven’t tried the Farmer’s Market samplings – I hear they’re the best – but among the others, my money goes to La Michoacana. They’ve been inconsistent over the years, and I don’t much enjoy their burritos or other offerings, but the tacos are tops.

Of the possible taco tortilla options – crunchy corn, soft corn, or soft flour – La… Read More

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Adam’s Apple Sandwich at Rev Soup

Rev Soup Adam's Apple - 4

It took me awhile to venture beyond Rev Soup’s forte – quite obviously, its soups – to try its non-liquid offerings. Which means I wasted valuable time in finding one of the most delicious sandwiches in town.

There’s a lot to love about Rev Soup.  The fact that they offer sustainably raised local food (their latest project is a recently purchased Rev Soup Farm).  The eclectic, delicious wine selection that tempts you in the order line, especially because all bottles are under $10.  And come on, Rev Soup could stay in business just serving the Spicy Senegalese Tofu Peanut Soup.  There’s… Read More

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German Chocolate Ice Cream at Chaps

Chaps German Chocolate Ice CreamIt’s currently 92 degrees out with the usual June humidity adding an extra level of discomfort. And yet I’m choosing to sit outside on the downtown mall, withering more in the sun with every passing moment. Why subject myself to this Virginia heat? Because soon it will make a cone of Chaps ice cream even more delicious and appreciated.

Chaps isn’t about espresso chile sorbet or ginger passionfruit gelato or mini mochi toppings or anything else fancy. It’s about ice cream, pure and simple. The ice cream is handmade, the flavors are classic, and the setting looks like the Peach Pit grew up and went through some rough times. Chaps is… Read More

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Brat Pizza at Blue Mountain Brewery

Brat pizza at Blue Mountain BreweryWhen we last visited Blue Mountain Brewery, we made the mistake of ordering only beer. We thought the food, though more creative than expected, was there for no other reason than to anchor the beer drinking. How naive we were!

Though our waiter eagerly pointed out the veggie pizza as his favorite item on the menu, we were inexorably drawn again and again to the brat pizza. We both spent a good chunk of our formative years in the mid-west, so sausage rarely gets past us uneaten, especially if it has wurst in its name. Besides, pizza with apples, balsamic… Read More

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Taste of China’s Crispy Shrimp with Scallion

Taste of China's delicious Crispy Shrimp with ScallionI’m still trying to catch my breath after Charlottesville’s Peter Chang roller coaster. He was here. It was awesome. Everyone went to eat there. Everyone wrote articles about him. “And poof. Just like that, he’s gone.”

We were curious if Taste of China would manage to hold onto the Peter Chang magic so he headed back there recently. As suspected, rather than three-hour waits for a table the restaurant was barely over a quarter full at 7 pm on a Thursday. The wait staff seemed relaxed and our order was taken right away. We waited apprehensively to see how the Chang-less Taste of China would fare.  I’m delighted to report that all dishes… Read More

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Food Find: Popcorn Favorites

Popcorn - 6

My friend and fellow popcorn addict Ike was once forced to take a popcorn hiatus after a doctor had to remove a lodged kernel from his esophagus. While I’ve never had a near death popcorn experience, it’s not from lack of overeating. So in celebration of popcorn gluttony, here’s a special food find on some favorites in Charlottesville.

Even devoted popcorn lovers have mixed opinions on kettle korn, the sweet and salty combo. Traditionalists may not like it, but I love it and Blue Ridge Kettle Korn makes the best I’ve had. I think it’s the best popcorn in town. Blue Ridge Kettle Korn is sold at various

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Coconut Macaroons at Penne Lane

A delicious coconut macaroon from Penne Lane deli.Slap some frosting on a cookie and some people get all crazy and start talking about imaginary horses and yee-haws. So let’s set the record straight: the Penne Lane sweet treat that deserves the real praise and Food Find honor is the Coconut Macaroon.

Maybe this is because I’m hip and know that cupcakes are out and macaroons are in for the latest dessert fad. All the cool people are eating macaroons these days, except for Jed, who is drooling over black and white cookies.

While macaroons are often the meringue-flavored variety in Easter pastel shades, I’m a fan of the classic coconut delivery. At their best, coconut… Read More

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Black & White Cookies at Penne Lane

Black & White cookie at Penne Lane on Main Street, CharlottesvilleSo, I was sitting there eating this black and white cookie, talking to my girl, when I stopped mid-sentence and was like, “Holy crap, dude. This cookie is outrageously delicious!” That’s when she looked up at me with those wild, sugar-crazed tiger eyes of hers and said, “No way your cookie is as good as my macaroon. This coconut is off the hook, yo! Moist and crispy all at once!” Then we jumped on our horses and chased each other around and around the block, yippeeing and yee-hawing all the way. In the end I caught up to her and… Read More

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