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Posts tagged ‘pho’

Happy Anniversary! Five Years.

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 and started in. Along the way I learned a few things. Let’s step into a time machine shall we?

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2012 Best Dishes. (Part 3)

My 200th blog post! Woot!

I ate a lot of things in 2012. But when the time came to compose my “Best Restaurants” post, I found it wasn’t the restaurants I remembered, but the dishes I ate. These are the bites (and brews) so scrumptious, so noteworthy, they deserve a mention. I outlined numbers 12-10 in this post, and numbers 9-7 in this post. Congratulations to all!

6. Chopped Liver. Sure, you hear everyone gushing about the appetizer served at Petit Pois, but have you ordered this delicacy at Bodo’s Bagels? Holy cow! Creamy, fatty, umami velvet reminiscent of the finest pate. I spread it on a bagel, but part of me wants to get out the kid gloves, toast points, and champagne. Bodo’s chopped liver is rustic, with flecks of onion, and a sweet nuttiness that makes you glad you ordered extra. We ate this as a special Christmas morning treat and fell into a deep love. Now EVERY Saturday you can kind find it on our breakfast table. Sure, chopped liver isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you love it, you’re pretty persnickety about how good it needs to be. Bodo’s is the best I’ve had anywhere.

5. Spicy Plum Chutney. This condiment has changed my life. Kath and Matt at Great Harvest Charlottesville slather this sweet-spicy treat from The Virginia Chutney Co. on their popular housemade pimento cheese sandwiches. How fortunate they also offer it in jars to take home. You can also find it at Feast! I use it to marinade pork, tang up homemade barbecue sauce, add a sweetness to chili, and create a sweet-spicy element to grilled cheese. Seriously? The best grilled cheese EVER involves cheddar and some spicy plum chutney. Amen. And don’t even get me started on what it adds to my beloved tomato sammies. I even dumped some on a block of cream cheese over the holidays in homage to my “redpepperjelly” roots and served it with crackers. This stuff rocks!

4. Moto Pho Co. You’ve been 25 times already, right? The most anticipated restaurant opening of the year, at least to ME, was Moto Pho Co. When it finally opened its doors on West Main last summer you could hear people cheering for miles. Me the loudest. Who doesn’t love a hot bowl of pho? Savory beef broth, noodles, basil, bean sprouts, chewy tendon and spices. Death row meal. Comfort food heaven. Perfect for whatever ails you. It was amazing to me in a town so restaurant-centric that this lovely Asian offering hadn’t presented itself before now. I’d been eating pho in Richmond and Northern Virginia for decades! At last, at last, I can slurp to my heart’s content. Moto Pho Co. offers up a beautiful bowl. While the “regular” isn’t as large as the one at your typical “Pho 75” the flavors are all here at stupendous levels. The tendon is the best I’ve had anywhere. What I love the most is they keep tweaking their recipe. In the ever-elusive search for pho broth perfection. THAT my friends, will keep me coming back again and again. Pho-reaking amazing.

Stay tuned! My top 3 Charlottesville dishes of 2012 appear right here. Tomorrow!

Food Seen.

Food writer’s log of local food seen during for the first and second week of June 2012:

Got a wonderful package of thank you goodies from Monticello for helping out with the Founder’s Dinner back in April. Yeah, I know, THAT particular story isn’t up on the blog yet. I’ve been drafting, redrafting, and collecting my thoughts. This package puts the period to the end of that sentence. Two lovely signed cookbooks by Mona Talbott and the Lady Alice herself, as well as some delicious Mast Brothers Chocolate and heritage tomato seeds. Probably too late to get them in the ground this year. Next? First of two blogs up by the end of the week, promise!

Charlotte Moss posted a beeeyooootiful photo blog of the Alice Waters Monticello event. And not one teeny tiny picture of me. I was there I swear! And I have the anxiety dreams to prove it ;) Flowers and biscuits and cows, oh my!

Spent last Tuesday photographing and talking with the two handsome dudes behind Potter’s Craft Cider. Jennifer Marley of Cvillepedia and Cville Tomorrow stopped by parents in tow, we sampled, tasted, sampled some more then I took notes and chatted as the fellows filled barrels and took copious notes on several batches of cider that have been marinating quite a while. And yes, THAT post up soon as well. Their cider is crisp, dry, delicious and apple-y, perfect on a hot summer day. Wednesday’s supposed to be a scorcher. How about heading over to Beer Run in the afternoon to try it out. They’ll be doing a tasting from 5pm.

Moto Pho Co. has pushed back their opening to mid-July, which makes me by turns sad and happy. Not to sound like a spoiled brat cat, but I’m sad because I’ve been craving a huge honkin bowl of pho for months now, and happy because that means when it’s finally open it’ll be that much better. Guess I’ll just have to drown my sorrows in some Ren’s Ramen while visiting my relatives in NOVA for now…

The Hubby and I have officially given up on Around the World in 80 Plates. These contestants are Top Chef rejects, obviously. Sigh….guess we’ll have to pin our hopes on the new Nigella Lawson slash Anthony Bourdain cooking show. Between her innuendo and his sardonic wit, should be at least a tad more chemistry then ol’ Curtis Stone and Cat Cora. My friend Scotty had me howling when he envisioned Cat’s wardrobe manager. In his words, “The Feminization of Cat Cora” hasn’t been the LEAST bit successful LOL

Cappellino’s Crazy Cakes now has a maple-bacon cupcake! I said it before and I’ll say it again, Chef Craig Hartman would be mighty proud.

I’ve eaten six tomato sammies so far, but my local tomato stores seemed to have dried up momentarily. I’ve seen posts of huge beauties on the Richmond “Farm to Family” Facebook page. Are there any to be had in this area? I’m drowning in peaches, thankfully, but what about the maters? Which makes me want to say, don’t you just love this time of year? Peaches. Tomatoes. Corn. Sigh……..I adore summer.

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