Posts Tagged Good for Families

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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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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Moo Thru 

Moo Thru barn frontBeing born in Vermont and now a Charlottesville townie, it only slightly pains me to say Absolutely Forget about Ben & Jerry’s and Arch’s. Just don’t even bother (with the gentle exception of gooey brownie). The best ice cream you have ever eaten in your life is only an hour or so away, straight up 29 at Moo Thru. For your own sake, and the sake of your wardrobe which does not appreciate being drenched in summer sweat, take a field trip somewhere up 29 and stop by Moo Thru. The silkiest deeply flavorful farm fresh milk turned into fresh cold treats will draw your eyes into the back of your head and make your eyes smile and… Read More

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Mykonos Cafe 

Spanakopita "Spinach Pie" at Mykonos Café in Charlottesville, VAIt’s curious that the only reason I knew Mykonos Cafe existed was from walking past it from time to time. Regardless of their advertising shortcomings, the Greek-born owners know how to make tasty Greek food. This is not a restaurant with any conspicuously trendy leanings towards organic or local food, and the chefs certainly have no formal training in texture, contrast, or artful arrangement. However, I’d like to imagine that if I had a Greek family, this is exactly the food they would make for me. Just don’t tell Michael Pollan.

The spanakopita “spinach pie” was crispy, flavorful, and huge, while my gyro… Read More

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Crozet Pizza 

crozet-pizza-01When someone says they love or hate a fine French restaurant, dissenters will shrug and disagree. Maybe they’ll say they don’t understand what the fuss is about. When conversation turns to beloved or be-hated drinking holes, the response is the same. But when it comes to pizza or hamburgers, prepare for thermonuclear war. No other cuisine is so dangerous to discuss, and if you observe such a belligerent cuisine conversation in progress, you’re likely to find Crozet pizza at ground zero.*

In the 90′s, things were relatively peaceful. Some people said Anna’s was the best around, but the rest of us thought that the quaint little place just west of town was far superior. As Crozet pizza’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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Tip Top Breakfast 

tiptop - 9It doesn’t require a lot to make my weekend mornings happy ones. No alarm clock, a nice cup of coffee, hearty eggs, and some fried potatoes go a long way. Tip Top seemed like a sure bet given its constantly crowded parking lot on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Counter seating and cozy booths for classic diner ambience? Check. Swiftly delivered food at bargain prices? Check. Friendly service? Check, with a big “what can I get you, sweetheart?” and smile. All the elements were in place.

The food, sadly, was not. Now, let me say up front that people we’ve talked to are big fans of the Tip Top lunch… Read More

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Bodo’s Bagels 

bodos - 07If you live full-time in Charlottesville and have a mouth and haven’t had a bagel from Bodo’s you should be the subject of one those psych experiments at UVA where they pay you $10 to breathe through a juice-box straw for an hour while asking you questions about whether you think you’re… Read More

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Riverside Lunch 

riverside - 1We were out celebrating a friend’s birthday the other night and after a few beers the guy sitting next to me said, “Crozet Pizza and Riverside are the two most overhyped restaurants in the Charlottesville area.” I bit my tongue and told myself to find a happy place and then I asked… Read More

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Arch’s Frozen Yogurt 

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I remember when frozen yogurt first arrived. For me this was at a deli in Dayton, Ohio called “The Upper Crust.” At the end of the counter there was a huge metal machine that looked like something out of a 50′s science-fiction movie. You pulled the handle and out came pale pink strawberry goodness similar to ice cream but fluffier, and good for you too!
Fast-forward a few years and several hundred miles to Charlottesville in the mid-90’s. I’m at UVA with a really bad haircut… Read More

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