Reviews

Positively 4th Street 

Burger at Positively 4th Street in Charlottesville, VAA chalkboard outside of Positively 4th Street reads “Best Burger in Town”. If you’re going to make that proclamation only 10 yards from the entrance to a Five Guys, you had better be legit, right? Hamburgers occupy a special spot in the hearts of American diners. A well-constructed, perfectly cooked hamburger is a thing of beauty and is not to be messed with.

Upon settling in and evaluating the bill of fare at Positively 4th St, my hopes were high. The menu reads incredibly well (especially the burgers). Each selection is American comfort food at heart, but with a creative twist that entices and… Read More

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Zynodoa 

Zynodoa - 16Zynodoa’s (mostly) locally sourced food is cooked to perfection and has made Staunton a foodie destination in Central/Western Virginia with good reason. When chatting up the diners at the adjoining table we found that one couple had come from Richmond and the other from Portsmouth (via a weekend trip to Charlottesville) to sample this menu.

We started with ginger pear martinis. The vodka was from Virginia and infused with ginger and mixed with pear nectar. The ginger was subtle, but present and you could definitely taste the pears in the drink. Their wine list is impressive, but after those martinis, we stuck with water to drink.

The buttermilk chive biscuits that were served as bread were light and… Read More

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Peter Chang’s China Grill for Lunch 

Peter Chang's China Grill in Charlottesville, VAI, along with the rest of Charlottesville, have been waiting for months for Peter Chang to come to Charlottesville (again). On a whim, my boyfriend and I decided to go to Peter Chang’s China Grill  for lunch one Saturday afternoon. I had heard that you needed a reservation, but we popped in to see if they had any openings. Luckily, they had just started to take walk-ins and the hostess seated us moments later. Given that one of my areas of specialty here at Mas to Millers is cheap eats, we had hoped to be able to order some of the very affordable lunch specials, but unfortunately they were not available on the weekends. What… Read More

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Savour 

Jed and Chef Ed's favorite, the Umali brulée.Drinking the last of our wine at the table with Chef Ed Nafei hours after the other diners and servers had left the restaurant was the finale to a truly memorable and amusing dining experience at Savour. How did we get to that point? We have our friend and dining companion Liz to thank, as well as Chef Ed’s appreciation for a challenge and his uncanny ability to read people. When we were seated at our table several hours earlier, Chef Ed had warmly greeted us right away and asked if we had any questions about the menu. As he started to describe the three fish specials, Liz – who has a discerning palette… Read More

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Buttz BBQ 

Three meats, two sides platter: (clockwise from top left) pulled pork, ribs, baked beans, white slaw and pulled chicken.When considering the range of late-night food options on the Corner, one could wonder what more they could ask for. Between pizza, sandwiches, and burritos, it seemed that any eater could get their fill after midnight. Now, Buttz BBQ has stumbled onto the scene, and is serving delicious barbeque from 11:30 pm – 3 am. What’s even better than barbeque that tastes great at  2 am? Barbeque that tastes just as good at 7 pm. That’s exactly what Buttz delivers.

Buttz offers several types of meat and many different accompanying sides. After hearing rumors that this joint was serving up worthwhile barbeque on… Read More

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Basic Necessities for Brunch 

Basic Necessities in Nellysford, outside Charlottesville, VAIf you like any of the following things, you should get into your car and race out to Basic Necessities at your earliest opportunity:

  1. Scenic drives in the country that end with sausage.
  2. Cozy, fireplace-warmed dining rooms with friendly harpists strumming large harps.
  3. Enormous goblets of mimosas.
  4. Powdered sugar.
  5. Spectacularly fluffy pancakes.
  6. Cookies shaped like pretzels.

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Semolina 

Fig & Prosciutto at Semolina in CharlottesvilleWhy you gotta do this to me, Semolina? You and I had a special thing going when you were just another item on Basil’s menu. There were only a few pizzas to choose from but that was all we needed. When you told me you were going to move out and get your own place I was optimistic that this could be the right move for us. But you’ve changed. You’re different now. And not in a good way.

Sitting in Semolina’s vacant but charming second-story dining room on the Corner, we thumbed through an impressive menu of pizzas. Lamb with tomatoes and feta and mint, venison-blueberry… Read More

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Fry’s Spring Station 

Good-looking and average-tasting pizza at Fry's Spring StationIt’s hard to screw up pizza. We can debate the virtues of thick vs. thin, doughy vs. crispy, but the baseline pizza experience is almost always positive. Many a restaurant has ridden on the greasetrails of crappy baseline pies to mild success, whether by virtue of their proximity to drunken people, good delivery options, or a location free from better food options. But if you’re a start-up in the saturated (fat) Charlottesville pizza market, you’ve got to aim above the baseline to make it work, and Fry’s Spring Station isn’t doing that.

The restaurant space itself is fun. Charlottesville loves its gourmet and converted service… Read More

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Brookville 

Watermelon, feta, shallots, and pea tendrils.There’s an exciting restaurant newcomer in town that’s upped the ante on the local food scene. We’ve only had one meal at Brookville, but it was a delicious, memorable dinner that celebrated the best this season and area has to offer.

Brookville is located in the former Upstairs/Al Dente space above Escafé. It’s more out of the way than other mall spots that easily attract passersby, so I hope the spot won’t be tough for them. It’s a welcoming space that was far too empty for the delicious meal we were about to have. The entry room includes a large bar, exposed brick walls, bookshelves filled with cookbooks to thumb through, and a communal table… Read More

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The Downtown Hotdog Company 

The Downtown Hot Dog CompanyAh, the hot dog. Baseball and barbecue staple, street minute-meal for the suddenly starved. Proud poster child of American no-nonsense-ness, butt of mystery meat and wiener jokes.

Or so it was. The arrival of The Downtown Hotdog Company, along with such international crazes as Japadog, heralds a new era of thinking about and eating hot dogs. No longer content to be monopolized by Oscar Meyer or confined to white buns, Heinz ketchup, French’s mustard, and maybe some diced onions or pickle relish, the noble wiener is going gourmet.

At the Downtown Hotdog Company, you can pick from a dozen arrangements – including such stand-outs as “The Dragon” with… Read More

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