Many thanks to Amy Eastlack of SuzySaid Cville for allowing me to post restaurant reviews on her wonderful site. You can look for my reviews there, and here, at least twice a month. After all, even though I’ve branched out in my food writing, I still go out to eat…
My favorite meal of the day is Brunch. Something about eating eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, maybe grits, definitely coffee, and sometimes a Bloody Mary or two screams “WEEKEND!” to me. The fun can’t officially start until I’ve had Brunch, preferably outside. My perfect Saturday starts by visiting the Charlottesville City Market, strolling past the booths, picking up veggies, bread, cheese, flowers, then heading off to the Downtown Mall to enjoy Brunch with the Hubby. Only one problem. A lot of restaurants don’t serve Brunch on Saturday, only Sunday. If they do, you’re confronted with a “fancypants” menu chock full of stuff not containing eggs. It can’t be called Brunch without eggs people!
Which is why I LOVE The Nook. Open 7 days a week at the east end of the Downtown Mall, not only does The Nook serve eggs, they’ve got everything you’d find on a diner menu, including daily specials! Their salmon omelet with green onions and goat cheese is gorgeous. They don’t skimp on the salmon, and the goat cheese makes everything creamy and delicious. Got a sweet tooth? Try the strawberry frosted corn flake French toast. Yep, you heard right. My blood sugar spikes just reading it! Other specials include an Italian sausage breakfast sandwich, and a roasted red pepper & mozzarella omelet. Of COURSE they also have all your regular breakfast favorites like pancakes and Eggs Bennie. There are bottomless cups of coffee and terrific Bloody Marys, complete with celery and olive – a little salad to go with your breakfast.
If you don’t want eggs, they have burgers, sandwiches hot and cold, big salads, grilled cheese, and even country-fried steak. Last Saturday, I just HAD to order the hot pastrami sandwich with fries. The meat was tender, not greasy, and the fries!? Seriously, the best fries in Charlottesville. Crinkle-cut, not greasy, and so crispy you could actually hear me bite into them! Finally, a place that knows how to do fries. Hallelujah! If you want, you can get them topped with GRAVY – the hallmark of every great diner.
It was a beautiful day, so we sat outside next to the fountain. Children wandered over from the carousel to dip their hands in. We sipped our Bloody Marys and sighed contentedly. Listening in on a conversation, we heard a family of tourists raving about the food. One guy wished he could live, “right up there!” he pointed. “Can you imagine? I’d order a BLT and tell ‘em I’d be down in 3 minutes!” Everyone laughed.
The couple next to us was from out of town as well. We chatted. She had ordered the meatloaf and said it was out of this world. We both looked longingly at the huge chocolate milkshake being carried over to the next table. My new Brunch friend ordered one to go, caving in to the temptation. So did I.
What’s not to like about The Nook? They serve Brunch on Saturday, there’s never a long wait, you can eat outside, and everything is tasty. Plus, unlike some places that bring you the check before you can order a second cup of coffee, The Nook doesn’t mind if you linger. Lingering is the most important step in Brunch etiquette. It’s the perfect ending. Which is the perfect beginning to your weekend…