Posts Tagged Outdoor Seating

Aromas Café 

Bliss-inducing gazpacho at Aromas Café in Charlottesville, VAPeople have funny ways of communicating deliciousness. Our friend Rachael’s eyes bulge as she stares at you in silence, thoughtfully liquidating her food like a cow chewing its cud. My mom slaps her hand on the table so hard that the silverware clanks and jumps, and then she says, “Y’all gotta try this” in a way that suggests your very life depends on it. My wife Erin’s reaction, however, is the scariest, as I remembered during our last trip to the always delicious Aromas Café in Barracks. More about her reaction below.

Aromas participates in the tradition of “strip mall chic” that restaurants like Lime Leaf and Copacabana – not to mention every… Read More

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Phil’s Fave Porko Platter at Mono Loco

I’m not sure who this Phil guy is, but I’d like to congratulate him on his excellent taste in pork platters. I’ve had his highly recommended “Phil’s Fave Porko Platter” at Mono Loco in heavy dinner rotation lately.

Even beyond the porko platter, Mono Loco has stepped it up in the past year to become one of my favorite dinner and drinks spots. Their food has been quite good (particularly any specials) during all our visits and their bar scene has become one of the most fun in town. But it’s Phil’s Platter that keeps drawing me back with its crispy pork and crispy plantains over rice and beans, topped off with pico… 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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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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Bazaar Salad at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar

My new favorite salad: The Bazaar SaladMy recent Food Finds have not been a study in dietary restraint: biscuits and gravy, ice cream, chorizo burrito, cookies, you get the clogged artery picture. The only salad that’s earned Food Find status included fried food, cheese, and buttermilk. So I’m grateful that the Tea Bazaar has provided a find that’s good for overall health in addition to taste buds.

The Tea Bazaar’s signature salad is full of delicious and unexpected surprises. It starts with an overflowing plate of fresh produce with mixed greens, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Golden raisins and candied walnuts add a touch of sweetness, and the entire thing is topped off with paper-thin pear slices and creamy feta cheese… Read More

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Cinema Taco 

Delicious looking and sounding empanadas that don't quite deliver.Shortly after I fell in love with Jed, he moved to Argentina. From that point on he had to share my love with empanadas, as it was during my visits there that I discovered this semi-circle of pastry perfection, a handful of happiness with various meat, veggie, and dessert fillings. They’re cheap, delicious, and a balanced late night meal, so I was giddy when Cinema Taco opened up adjacent to the Jefferson with a giant empanada display case front and center.

Cinema Taco has a fool proof concept: cheap Mexican and South American classics served up as lunch for downtown workers and late night food for hungry Jefferson concertgoers. The setting is… 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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The Local 

Tuna Steak Frites with wakame salad – good flavor but too thickThe local food movement has come a long way in two years. When we heard, in February of 2008, that there would soon be a restaurant in Belmont serving dishes made from Virginia farm ingredients, we thought it was a novel and brilliant idea. The Local opened a month later, and we were one of the first in line. That first meal was everything we hoped it would be – rustic and fresh, simple but whimsical. Unfortunately, all of the meals we’ve had there since have failed to live up to the promise of that first one, and… Read More

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Beer Run 

Beer Run - 05For those of you who aren’t familiar with Beer Run on Carlton Road, here’s the premise: take a convenience store and fill it with beer and wine, throw in a cheap menu with bar classics like nachos and burgers, and add some picnic benches outside. This simple but smart idea has created a popular spot that’s great for the casual and devoted drinker. But I must admit – bring on the ire of the Beer Run devotees – I’m perplexed when people get really enthusiastic about this place. Maybe I just need to change my perspective. As a convenience store to grab a six pack on your way to a party, it’s a gold medal winner. As a casual… Read More

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Maya Brunch 

Vegetable potato cake with smoked salmon, sour cream, and chivesWe have an unhealthy relationship with brunch. And by unhealthy I mean not only that we invest an alarming portion of our happiness in a positive brunch experience every weekend, but also that it is literally unhealthy. I eat lots and lots of bacon, and Erin eats lots and lots of fried potatoes. Our favorite brunch places and dishes are so entrenched in our lives that it’s an act of tremendous will to go somewhere else, as we did one recent Sunday when we went to Maya. It was fine, but I missed our usuals.

Maya offers a brunch menu that… Read More

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