Our first stop was Gordonsville Deli. Yelp led me here, and I was happy it did. The proprietor was coolly sitting at a tiny bistro table in his tiny deli with an impossibly minuscule netbook when we walked in. Then he made us delicious, fresh sandwiches (chicken salad and roast beef, respectively) and panini pressed 'em into grill-mark perfection. The side options were chips, slaw, or potato salad. The slaw wasn't from a industrial container of slaw, it was freshly shredded cabbage lovingly seasoned and tossed in a vinaigrette, not drowning in a mayo mess. It was crunchy and clean-tasting, maybe the best cole slaw I've ever had. J and I preferred our respective sandwiches. His had a horseradish bite that took me by surprise. *Disclaimer: everything tastes better on a ridiculously cloudless sunshiny day on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is where we ate these sandwiches.
Damn. Is there ANYTHING better than a delicious, fresh sandwich?!
C & O Restaurant
When we left C&O, J summed it up: this is a great, nice place to take your (nonadventurous eater-type) parents when they visit you at UVa. Agree. It's the Old Man Rafferty's of Charlottesville. Same old American stuff. It's fine. It's ok. But even things that sound interesting end up being...fine. We sat in the charming courtyard on this cool fall night, and I left my camera in the car. I had the assortment of vegetarian items, mostly because it was something I could choose where I could actually have 4 or so things at the same time. I think the soup was parsnip (and I didn't care for it), there was a slice of quiche/tarte of some sort, some raviolis that were good, and a slice of grilled haloumi on watermelon. Probably a salad with the watermelon and haloumi on it would have been a better choice for me, even as an appetizer! C&O is popular for the Steak Chinoise, which is what J got. He liked it. We shared a warm artichoke spread with pita that was pretty good, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Now here is some food. We ended up here by accident when Tavola was closed. Sunday and Monday are tricky nights for eating in C-ville. It was late, we took an awkward late afternoon nap, and we were a bit hung over from an afternoon of intense winetasting (without enough spitting out the wine). We needed warm, comforting, and delicious. Unfortunately, we also had to sit outside on this cool night because we also needed quiet. And it was loud in there. Gnocchi Bolognese, short ribs, and lots of water later, we were happy. I'd definitely go back to The Local.
La Taza Coffeehouse was a big crowdpleaser. Yummy, hot breakfast sandwiches and a list of teas and coffees rivaling any urban caffeination station. I had an enormous, delicious, steamy hot chai latte with an egg, sausage, pesto, tomato breakfast sandwich on a crusty (in a good way) French baguette. J had a croissant!
Bodos bagels is a local favorite, you should definitely stop by. The bagels aren't Brooklyn or even Bethesda, but it's a quirky place, and definitely a cheap bite. They have a bagel with honey and butter ON THE MENU, and excellent avocado spread.
Marco & Lucas Dumplings: Mmmm dumplings. For $3, share a snack with somebody. You won't regret it. There are two locations--fun fact is that I took the picture of the sign at one (the Corner) and ate dumplings from the other (Downtown). If there was one nearby it would be my go-to cheap, hot snack, undoubtedly.
Bluegrass Grill & Bakery was closed when we first wanted to go--La Taza to the rescue! But we went back, and we're so glad we did. It's sort of a hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon establishment, with all mismatching mugs that make you feel like you're at your great-aunt's house.
Obviously I had an enormous omelet filled with my favorite fixins and J had the corned beef hash. Each came with an enormous whole wheat biscuit. The CBH was more like the one at Art & Soul than any other I'd had because of the big pieces of corned beef. Not quite cubes though!