Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cafe Europa

An easy-to-miss mainstay on the UVA corner, Cafe Europa has been serving sandwiches longer than Rev Soup on 14th Street and nearly as well. The decor is reminiscent of the Seinfeld diner in the mid-90's. The main offerings are pitas, baguette sandwiches, and paninis. There are lettuce and other salad sides. My parisian sandwich, turkey, brie and honey mustard, was served with a hearty serving of potato salad. I really have no complaints about the food. There are fountain drinks and a couple coolers full of pops and juices for refreshment.

Without a good scrubbing or a renovating update, it's hard to consider this place as an attractive Corner lunch option, especially when compared to Take It Away or Rev Soup.

1331 W Main St
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 295-4040

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Boylan Heights Happy Hour

For weeks I've been going to 12th Street Taphouse for happy hour. There's something to say for the 20 ounce beers. Boylan Heights has regular old pint glasses, but on week nights from 6-9 they are only $2. With the students gone for the summer and the recession in full swing, this is a deal. Drinking to forget the world's troubles is rarely this cheap.

Monday, May 25, 2009

12th Street Patio

Since I'm obsessed with this place, I added a picture of the patio to my prior post.


This Lathyrus specimen grows on the corner of Wertland Street and 12th Street. I think it is most likely Lathyrus latifolius but I'm not sure. The Audubon field guide states there are 20 Lathyrus spp. in our range. This plant will produce peas which are either edible or may cause neurological disease depending on the source. It seems that in small amounts the peas are safe, but if they are eaten in large quantities, a toxic amino acid contained in the peas causes neuronal damage. This has been the source of epidemic lathyrism in places worldwide when populations resort to eating the wild pea during food shortages. The word lathyrus is derived from Greek, 'la' meaning very and thyrus meaning passionate, since the plant was considered an aphrodisiac.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Monument to the Real Estate Bubble

The stalled Landmark eyesore made Gawker via a photo from C-villain. How long will we have to look at this concrete shell?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bodo's Bagels

Three locations in Charlottesville, a local institution, Bodo's serves up bagels as early as 6:30AM on the weekdays if you're up. It's a good time to go because during regular hours or say 10AM on a weekend you'll have to wait a while before biting into the doughy goodness. Below is the Preston Ave location early one morning.Sticking with an order once I find it, I find the egg on a sesame bagel always satisfying. Bodo's must pack some calories because I'm not hungry for hours afterward. There are multiple cream cheeses to choose from if you're so inclined. They would probably add to the stick-to-the-ribs-ness.
The coffee is never very good. The website isn't clear about what beans are used. Locally roasted beans from Shenandoah Joe's would certainly be an improvement. Fortunately Shenandoah Joe's is right down Preston from this location.

The Corner location is famous for not being open for years. On my visits there I've seen a lot of happy undergrads. The other location, nominally on Emmet could also be considered the bypass location, as in the 250 bypass. The building used to house a Roy Rogers.

When I first moved to town after college before starting school again in the fall, I tried to get a job at the bypass Bodo's. The owner said I was over-qualified. For what looks like an intense, fast-moving work environment, I was certainly not overqualified; perhaps it was his nice way of saying that I wouldn't last.

505 Preston Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 293-5224

Charlottesville Beer

To take home from Harris Teeter?


For the Charlottesville area local beer scene, Starr Hill is one of two bottling breweries in the area. The other is Blue Mountain. South Street and Devil's Backbone brew their own for on-site consumption. Supposedly Kegler's has a limited batch a year, but I still haven't had a chance to try it. If anyone has details about this beer, please let me know.

Over the mountain, there is Queen City Brewery in Staunton and Cally's in Harrisonburg. I went to Queen City once.

The original intent of this post was to announce that The Barracks Road Harris Teeter was selling Starr Hill Beer 6-packs for $6. That was quite a deal.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bel Rio

This restaurant is not at all what I thought it would be like. Saxx always looked to me like a comedy club straight out of a 90's Seinfeld intro routine. Bel Rio makes good use of the space, what looks like the top floor of an old industrial building. The name sounds Italian but there's plenty of everything else. The complimentary bread was perhaps a bit salty, but I couldn't stop eating it. The panini had a few more pickled veggies than I would have hoped but it was good. The fries were excellent. I ate my date's second crab cake the next day for lunch and it was very good even after being heated in a microwave.

Before going I had a glass of wine and a cheese and bread plate at Mas, not realizing that Bel Rio would have been a good place to do the same thing.

Their is a full music schedule and an open U-shaped bar. Bel Rio is another great place to hang out in Belmont. With the outdoor patio, I think Mas still has it beat. Some home owners are trying to add their home to the neighborhood's restaurants. The Local still needs to pick up their service. I recently had a three hour meal there that should have been a comfortable two.

Bel Rio
407 D Monticello Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 979-5299