Posts Tagged Neighborhood: Main Street

Balkan Bistro and Bar 

balkan bistro - 02I was a pretty big fan of The Balkan Bakery. Rich sausages, thick breads, and spicy baklava, served up by a personable family who told you what you should order based on how you looked. “For you,” the matronly woman behind the counter said, pointing at me, “a big sandwich with lots of meat. Sausage. And onions.” Pointing now at Erin, “For you, our vegetarian sandwich with fresh roasted peppers and cheese.” Unfortunately, the ambitious upgrade in size and scope at The Balkan Bistro has meant a slight downgrade in the overall experience, even if the food is roughly the same.

For me, the main problem is that the rustic food and family… Read More

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2nd Annual Midtown Street Fair: BBQ Cook-off

Maya's smokily delicious pulled pork with peach mustard sauce at the 2nd Annual Midtown Street Fair in Charlottesville, VASaturday was the perfect day for the 2nd Annual Midtown Street Fair. Amidst live music, thumb wrestling contests, face painting, and the Derby Dames, was an intense BBQ Cookoff. We had the pleasure of being judges, alongside Police Chief Longo, City Manager Maurice Jones, and Director of Neighborhood Development Services Jim Tolbert.

Blue Moon Diner, Horse & Hound Gastropub, Maya, Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar, and Zinc offered up their best pork plates for West Main BBQ bragging rights. Orzo’s rich saucy Q was the winner, followed by runner-up Maya’s pulled pork with peach mustard sauce… Read More

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Hanging Fruit Smoothie at Calvino Cafe

I went into smoothie withdrawal when I moved from California to Charlottesville. Where was the spirulina, the frozen chunks of papaya, the gingko biloba powder, and the pressed kiwi juice that came together to provide me with a reverse-aging milkshake? There wasn’t even a sugary Jamba Juice in sight.

I suffered from intense wheatgrass withdrawal but over time I’ve managed. This is either because my California cravings have given way to longings for Riverside cheeseburgers and BBQ Exchange pulled pork, or because there’s been progress in the local smoothie department. First there was the delicious Cantaloupe Smoothie, and then Integral Yoga began offering a kickass juice bar. But life really changed when I found … 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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Blue Moon Diner Brunch 

Cozy Blue Moon interior with fire in the winter.I haven’t been looking forward to writing this review since a few friends told me that Blue Moon Diner was their favorite place in town, and then menacingly asked if we had reviewed it yet. So as fair warning: in the ancient blue brunch battle of Charlottesville, my loyalties lie with the Bluegrass Grill. Sorry Team Blue Moon – I know there are many of you – and you may want to stop reading now.

There is good food to eat and good things to say about the Blue Moon Diner on West Main. The ingredients are local and fresh, the coffee mugs… Read More

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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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The Palmer at Zinc

The Palmer at Zinc: as good as it gets.It’s that perfect time of year when the first warm weather brings scores of gleeful people out of hibernation to toast in the sun. So it was great timing this past Saturday to discover my new favorite seasonal drink at the always delightful Zinc.

The Palmer starts with an invention that, like the paper clip and sliced bread, is so simple and yet so brilliant that it’s a miracle it took this long to discover: Sweet Tea Vodka. That’s right, it’s the alcoholic cousin of the classic southern refresher. Zinc uses Firefly sweet tea vodka, made in South Carolina, and tops it with lemonade on the rocks to make an Arnie Palmer… Read More

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Fabulous bar area opening to courtyardOnly in a food town like Charlottesville do you find “anglo-franco tapas style comfort food” served up in a former service station. Zinc, the bistro on Main Street where you can get anything from fish and chips to steak tartare with quail egg, has a lot going for it. The beautiful courtyard patio feels far removed from the street and is one of my favorite outdoor eating spots. The bar area is cool and usually uncrowded, and the interior hints at its garage past while showcasing an open kitchen and funky industrial feel.

The menu reinforces the quirky blend of personalities with a wide range of options for… Read More

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Continental Divide 

Get in Here!If you have a friend who was an undergrad at UVA anytime after the mid-90′s, he or she will speak lovingly of Continental Divide. Outside the bounds of where most first and second-year students are likely to roam, tucked away in an easy-to-miss* slot between the thriving food hubs of the Corner and the Downtown Mall, Continental Divide felt like a place you could call your own. The slightly upscale Mexican food was like a more mature Baja Bean, and the margaritas were dramatically better. Unfortunately, if you’ve been back recently, you’ll notice that the food and whole experience is kind of lacking.

The space itself is warmly lit but not especially comfortable. It’s long… Read More

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