Posts Tagged Outdoor Seating

Hamiltons’ 

hamiltons - 01Hamiltons’ is one of those places that arouses in me only the mildest flicker of interest when I’m thinking about a night on the town. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the ethnic-American menu, which features stir-fry, spaghetti, and rack of lamb dishes right there next to each other. Or it could be the fact that no one ever recommends it to me or otherwise seems to be talking about it. Or maybe I would just prefer that the comma in their name come before the “s” instead of after. Whatever it is, I never feel much like going, which is still how I feel after our last visit.

We ate outside… Read More

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Baggby’s 

baggbys - 8If there is one thing that Charlottesville over-serves it’s sandwiches. We have a lot of spinach-artichoke dip and egg rolls and jalapeño poppers too — sometimes all on the same menu — but sandwich shops are squished into this city’s limits like so many turkey cold cuts. Some of them are skippable, but many serve up fresh ingredients in creative, well-executed combinations that are more than worthy of your lunch hour. Baggby’s is one such establishment. In addition to old faithfuls like egg salad and pastrami you can find newfangled genre-benders like the Sedona Read More

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La Taza Coffee House 

la taza - 7When the sun is shining and the temperature is warm, there’s nothing like a weekend brunch at La Taza. The patio is large, scenic, and dog-friendly. The coffee is strong, delicious, and fair trade. The juice comes with champagne (if you want it), and the food has a Latin American flair.

Humbly called a coffee house, I think La Taza has one of the more interesting brunch menus in town. Their Huevos Benicio is potatoes layered with ham, pepper jack cheese, and eggs covered in salsa and sour cream with tortillas on the side, while the Machaca includes scrambled eggs, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, tortillas, and… Read More

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Zocalo’s Fresa Negra

zocalo finds - 3When Zocalo’s Joya McMurray recently won Best of C-ville bartender for the second year running, it seemed time to make a return trip to the downtown hot spot for a fancy cocktail. I was looking for something different, although I’m not sure I expected something quite as different as the ominously delicious sounding Fresa Negra (“black strawberry”), a fascinating chili-infused blackberry lemonade with Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Skyy Vodka, or Cuervo Tequila. I chose vodka and awaited the first sip. Surprisingly, it worked: the spice was artfully balanced with the lemonade’s tangy sweetness. It was purple and pleasingly strange and I felt like I was at Happy Hour in a Tim Burton movie. True… Read More

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Miller’s 

millers   - 1You don’t go to Miller’s for the food. You go for the party. People-watching over a pitcher of beer in the middle of the mall outside, small jazz and alt music shows or weekday bar-flying on the ground floor, more civilized conversation upstairs, and rough-and-tumble billiards up the side stairs on the top floor. Food is there to assist you in whatever plans you might have at Miller’s that evening, not… Read More

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Vivace Bar

vivace bar - 7My nominee for the most underutilized bar in Charlottesville goes to Vivace, hands down and with great enthusiasm. Yes, the Ivy Road location is a slight drive from downtown. But the reward upon arrival is great. First of all, there’s the popcorn machine where you can fill up old school popcorn baskets as much as you’d like. They… Read More

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El Agave 

img_0136If you’ve taken any road trips in the last 10 years, you’ve surely noticed the Mexican restaurants popping up like Mexican jumping beans in all but the most far-flung reaches of this nation. For years I passed them by with a snicker, imagining the diarrhea-inducing dog food that they must serve at such places. Don’t get me wrong — I felt similarly about many truck stops.

Which goes to show how much of a snob I can be… Read More

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Horse & Hound Gastropub 

Bucket o' friesBrunch, the best meal ever, always poses a difficult question: high brow or low brow? Usually I prefer my brunch to be a low brow but delicious affair, which explains nearly weekly visits to the Tavern. But it’s fun to mix it up every once in awhile with a more… Read More

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The Balkan Bakery 

balkan bakery - 4Erin and I grudgingly decided to try The Balkan Bakery for lunch because it’s new and we’re trying to peel ourselves away from such downtown mall casual staples as Revolutionary Soup, Christian’s Pizza, and Baggby’s. When you’re hungry it’s hard to resist the old faithful stand-bys. How silly of us it was to grudge… Read More

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Cantina 

Cantina in the old Marthas Café building (photo from the Hook)
Though we were sad to see Martha’s Café go, we were happy to hear that a taqueria had arrived in its place. Cantina has preserved the same homey feel as Martha’s but the menu is straightforward Tex-Mex, with basically nothing besides nachos, tacos, quesadillas, and burritos.

I had the spicy chicken quesadillas, which sounded delicious — cumin, chili, cheese, etc. — with a tall limeade on the side. Erin… Read More

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