Posts Tagged Neighborhood: The Corner

Vegan Burger at Boylan Heights

boylan-vegan-burger-3It’s funny, when you tell people you don’t eat meat there are three things they always say: “What about steak?? You don’t eat bacon? Come on now, a burger? Surely you can’t survive without a burger!” Yes, it is true, while turning away from steak and bacon, one truly cannot survive without a burger of some sort. It makes you feel good, and lets you re-live family cookout days. Thank you, thank you, Boylan Heights, for saving us vegans.

I know it seems odd that a mix of carrots, mushrooms, brown rice, and onions could possibly compare to a juicy burger thrown on the grill, but the Boylan Heights vegan burger really does. I had to look a few times to make sure… 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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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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Get Your Pho Fix at Lemongrass

If you haven’t had pho (pronounced “fuh”) – a Vietnamese noodle soup featuring beef or chicken or other more adventurous meats, with all kinds of fixins to jazz it up – put it on your calendar for lunch this weekend. Lemongrass, the Thai-Vietnamese restaurant on the Corner that is often though not always excellent, is serving up pho on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm – 5pm.

What’s so great about it? We haven’t tried this particular pho yet, but there’s a certain addictive magic to most of them that’s hard to describe. Something about the way the lime-cilantro cuts into the rich, complex broth, and the comforting textures of the thinly sliced meat… Read More

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Adam’s Apple Sandwich at Rev Soup

Rev Soup Adam's Apple - 4

It took me awhile to venture beyond Rev Soup’s forte – quite obviously, its soups – to try its non-liquid offerings. Which means I wasted valuable time in finding one of the most delicious sandwiches in town.

There’s a lot to love about Rev Soup.  The fact that they offer sustainably raised local food (their latest project is a recently purchased Rev Soup Farm).  The eclectic, delicious wine selection that tempts you in the order line, especially because all bottles are under $10.  And come on, Rev Soup could stay in business just serving the Spicy Senegalese Tofu Peanut Soup.  There’s… Read More

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Sushi Love 

Sushi Love on ElliewoodA local neighborhood rag in San Francisco once published an unfavorable review of the popular low-end sushi restaurant We Be Sushi, and titled it “They Be Mushy.” Another reviewer once wrote of Nobu, the famous global sushi hot spot, “No bull, Nobu is sushi nobility.” Therefore, in what appears to be a long and international tradition of cheap plays on sushi restaurant names, I unofficially dub this review “Sushi Hate.”

That may be a bit extreme, actually. It’s more like “Sushi I Think of You More as a Friend.”

When evaluating a sushi restaurant, we try to order the basics and steer clear of the pan-Asian dishes that many such restaurants feel… Read More

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St. Maarten Café 

Get your own stein at the bar or enjoy a beer under a marlin.Before there was Cheeseburger in Paradise there was St. Maarten Café. Tucked away on the dark side of the Corner, backed up against the railroad tracks, St. Maarten’s has been inconspicuously serving up juicy burgers, solid wings, and beachy cocktails for almost twenty-five years. It won’t win any prizes for popularity, but it’s not for lack of things to like.

The entrance is as drab and non-descript as a speak-easy, but the interior is festive, draped with enough ocean-faring paraphernalia to make Captain Quint feel at home. There are fish tanks, giant marlins on… Read More

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Cantina, Revisited

Cantina's WebsiteNot long ago, we received a nice email from a manager at Cantina. She had read our initial review and said that things had come a long way since their first week of business, when we ate there last. We had wanted to like Cantina more than we did so we agreed we would pay another visit sometime soon.

After giving it another shot, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that they now grill their burrito after wrapping it, giving it a much better flavor and texture. The bad news is that everything else was still below average.

The “Southwestern Shrimp” quesadilla was flavorless except for an unappetizingly spinachy aftertaste. Is there even… Read More

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Bubble Tea at Ni Hao Café

Ni Hao - 13If you’ve never had the oddly delicious experience of tapioca in your tea, now’s the time. At first glance, bubble tea looks much like iced coffee, but then you see the black spheres on the bottom, and a strange jumbo-sized straw that can only be there to grant passage of those spheres into your mouth. What are those things? Blueberries? Junior Mints? No. Boba balls. Made of tapioca and other stuff I can’t pronounce, boba balls are chewy morsels of unidentifiable flavor that sound weird but taste fun. It’s all about the texture. You have to try them to understand.

Ni Hao Café, which also serves our favorite Chinese food in town… Read More

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Food Find: Ni Hao’s Ma Po Tofu

Ni Hao - 10The sign of a truly authentic Chinese dish is when the tofu comes with meat sauce. We recently hit up Ni Hao on the corner (the new Chinese with some Thai restaurant in the old Ethopian Messob space) and asked the waitress about the Ma Po Tofu. “Very healthy choice,” she assured us. Which we felt good about. And then when it arrived in a thick gravy of meat bits drowning those healthy chunks of tofu, we felt even better about it. The tofu, pork, hot peppers, and scallions dish was beyond delicious. The tangy hot flavor was perfectly punctuated with szechuan pepper. If you haven’t had szechuan peppers before, they’re fascinating. They look like harmless peppercorns but actually… Read More

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