Five years ago this week I decided to start a blog about restaurants. I’d just moved to Charlottesville with The Hubby after living in Pittsburgh for 8 years where I blogged at “ediblepgh” about restaurants and travel. It’s still there if you want to peek. I can’t. The writing, the design. It’s god awful. Interwebs Dark Ages.
I’d also just finished Michael Ruhlman’s The Soul of a Chef and felt full of passionate foodie vigor for his writing and enthusiasm for seeking perfection in every preparation. His profiles of Thomas Keller and Michael Symon made me believe I too could be a stellar food writer with a following. So I purchased edible-cville.com and started in. Along the way I learned a few things. Let’s step into a time machine shall we?
Read Part 1 here.
Like I said yesterday, 2012 wasn’t about which restaurants were best, but the DISHES I ate that were memorable. Here are numbers 9-7. Cheers and congratulations to all the winners! Charlottesville is cooking up some grand food these days…
9. Taco Truck Tacos. No, I’m not talking about the ones at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. Have you seen the food trucks on the corner of Hydraulic and 29N that magically appear every evening? Carne asada, al pastore, chorizo HEAVEN. Served up with onions, lime, cilantro, green or red salsa on the side. For 2 bucks. Yep, 2 bucks a piece. I get at least 3 and inhale them before I’ve made it back to my car. They’re that good.
8. Fried Chicken. Back in July I had the good fortune to judge a fried chicken contest for C-Ville Weekly with Chef Harrison Keevil of Brookville (Congrats on the new baby dude!) and Joel Sleasak of Free Union Grass Farm. We all agreed on the winner (Michie Tavern), but personally? There was one bird I couldn’t stop eating. The Chicken Coop in Lovingston HAS to get a mention because their chicken had a green, herbal-like flavor throughout the breading I couldn’t place. In any case this crunchy on the outside, tender inside drumstick kept me going back for more tastes even after the judging was done. It was the only leg I stripped clean. Some seriously good chicken I craved long after judging was finished.
7. Ossobuco. Just saying the words gets me drooling. It rolls off the tongue and snuggles you close like a warm, fleece cuddy banky. Much like the food does to your tummy on a cold winter’s night. Veal shanks are slow-braised until they’re falling off the bone and served with sweet roasted root vegetables. Comfort food porn. You can’t make just a little of it. And the one I had at The Ivy Inn this year prepared by Chef Angelo Vangelopoulos is some of the best I’ve had anywhere. We took the leftovers home and ate on it with adoring love for the next two days! Do yourself a favor. If he has this on the menu, order it.
Stay tuned….we venture into my Top 6 tomorrow :D
photo credit: Chef Angelo Vangelopoulos of The Ivy Inn
Josh “The Goat Man” injects some “flavah” into the great beast
Have you ever watched those food programs where people are standing around on the lawn, probably barefoot, drinking beer, laughing, noshing on snacks while they watch a beast slowly being roasted over a spit? It’s probably a pig, or a lamb, and the smoke wafts up in such a way you can almost smell the barbecuing meat. The folks look joyous, without a care in the world, like the biggest problem in life is how they’re going to eat this glorious animal without any of its yummy juices dripping on their clothes. They smile demurely, when inside what they really want to do is go savage on that thang and tear it to pieces like starving cavemen.
I know I have. Too many to count. It’s my personal version of porn. Usually it’s Anthony Bourdain who’s grinning in some exotic locale as he guzzles the local brew, looks at the roasting animal with anticipatory, carnivorous glee and talks about how it was prepared with the local chef overseeing the festivities. I watch. And drool. And dream about someday being a part of something like that.
Just a few weeks ago I was whining about not having any inspiring food topics (#foodpeopleproblems). Okay, so inspiring isn’t the word – there’s plenty to write about. I was having a serious case of the “March Mehs”. Well Chef Angelo Vangelopoulos of The Ivy Inn must’ve intuited my wailings. Or I dunno, maybe he actually reads my blog. A girl can dream. He invited The Hubby and I to his 2nd annual Easter Goat Roast. And I tell you what. It twere the real deal. If you got an invite and DIDN’T go?! I’ve got no use for you. Church? Easter ham? Grandma Louise’s special mint jelly? Your family’s 10th annual easter egg roll and cornhole tournament? Whatever. You really missed out. And if you didn’t get an invite? Prepare to be jealous. Because I’m still drooling over how freaking amazing the whole thing was.