Reviews

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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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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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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Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards 

View of rolling hills from the patio at Pippin Hill Farms & Vineyard outside Charlottesville, VAGo. To here. Now. Seriously. Stop reading and go while there’s still some daylight to illuminate the view. Go before 5pm, while they’re still serving food. Because there are great views to be had elsewhere – King Family or Veritas, for example – and then there’s this. There is perfectly fine food to be had elsewhere in the region – Blue Mountain or Dr. Ho’s, for example – and then there’s this.

If you ever went to… Read More

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Moto Pho Co. 

Flank steak pho with accoutrements at Moto Pho Co in Charlottesville, VAMoto Pho Co., Charlottesville’s answer to a high-low style of glammed-up street fare, promises a lot but falls short on the delivery. Tucked into the same West Main location as the new Eloise in Charlottesville’s increasingly developed midtown area, the restaurant looks inviting from the outside and impeccable inside. Bright white walls, minimalist lighting, and plenty of stainless steel, Moto Pho Co. feels like Charlottesville does L.A. The old auto service building has been scrubbed, painted, and shellacked into a place as stylish and minimalist as its menu. The restaurant offers a very brief list of options… Read More

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Citizen Burger Bar, a (mostly) Vegan Review

Vegan Burger at Citizen Burger Bar in Charlottesville, VALet me just start this post with this: I hate beets. I have had several people tell me I am really missing out: “I could make beets for you and you would love it.” It’s never happened.

I was really excited for a new dining option on the mall and even happier to see they had a vegan option (vegan bun is available too). My excitement soon waned as I learned Citizen Burger Bar uses beets, along with quinoa and millet, for their vegan patties. Bold move, very bold. Beets are such a hit or miss item, I was surprised the… Read More

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Lou’s Philly Steaks 

The famous cheesesteak at Lou's Philly Steak in Charlottesville, VAOn first sight, Lou’s Philly Steak doesn’t seem like much. Tucked away on Long Street in the Donut Connection shopping strip, this newcomer Philly cheesesteak shop doesn’t have any big signs or flashy lettering to draw you in. The interior is purple and gold with large UVa Cavalier posters. It looks like it’s been in Charlottesville for years, though it opened on July 1st. There are only six tables, which were all filled at 12:30. But if anything, the nondescript nature and worn-in feeling of Lou’s will only help entrench it in Charlottesville’s tried-and-true, locals-only category of restaurants.

I ordered a Philly cheesesteak with onions, peppers, American cheese, and lettuce, as… Read More

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Late Night at C&O 

Pastrami, swiss, and horseradish panini at C&O Restaurant in Charlottesville, VAFor most people out and about past a certain hour in the evening, the inevitable late-night snack attack hits. The Corner does a fair job of catering to the ravenous college set, what with Christian’s special hours at its 14th Street and West Main location. But what are the options for good food downtown after 9 o’clock, especially in settings where more fun — and alcohol — are still to be had?

The C&O, one of Charlottesville’s most venerable fine dining restaurants, offers a fairly extensive late-night menu to meet almost any bargoer’s cravings. Especially gourmet ones – pizza and burgers do not make the… Read More

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Aqui es Mexico 

A giant carne asada chimichanga at Aqui es Mexico in Charlottesville, VACharlottesville is home to many fine Mexican restaurants of all sizes and modes – think Baja Bean for students, Guadalajara for margaritas, the farmer’s market for tacos al pastor. But Aqui es Mexico, tucked away in a shopping center in Belmont, offers something special: a unique combination of Salvadoran and Mexican cuisines, an expansive menu, and a comfortable interior.

The restaurant itself is spotless, brightly decorated, and well-lit, with many seating options suitable for different party sizes and a rather impressive curved bar. The service was friendly yet not overly so; my server seemed interested in my enjoyment of the food… Read More

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Song Song’s Zhou & Bing 

Interior shot at Song Song's Zhou and Bing in Charlottesville, VAAfter the farmer’s market last Saturday, I found I’d strolled a little too far down the mall on a nice warm summer’s day, so I detoured down 5th St. SE where I was greeted with red Chinese lanterns I had never seen before and a sign boasting ‘Homestyle Chinese Cooking’. The snickering red devil on my left shoulder said, ‘Are you KIDDING ME? It’s home-style Chinese food time!’. The serene white angel on my right shoulder considered for a hot second and shrugged, ‘There’s no General Tso here, don’t say I didn’t warn you.’

Song Song’s Zhou and Bing… Read More

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