What's your favorite local restaurant, and why?


I have to go with Beer Run. 1) Beer Selection 2) Not too fancy, I can go in there in a t-shirt and shorts if I want and get a meal. 3) the food is pretty decent and I can have a sandwich or a plate full of something 4) the menu changes pretty often. 5) Outdoor seating. I know they do some locally-sourced foods, but honestly I don't care where my food comes from as long as it tastes good.

And the Beer Run owners & staff are just really nice people.

i will say, i have been to some of the country's best restaurants, bobby flays, capital grille, the four seaaons in ny, boston's hungry i, dc's i richii-

but cville is a pretender- lots of places that pretend but would never make it in a city-

for my $, i like real.... places that are comfortable & themselves-

mcgradys irish pub and lord harwich- no pretense, just good food and folks

i will say, i have been to some of the country's best restaurants, bobby flays, capital grille, the four seaaons in ny, boston's hungry i, dc's i richii-

but cville is a pretender- lots of places that pretend but would never make it in a city-

for my $, i like real.... places that are comfortable & themselves-

mcgradys irish pub and lord harwich- no pretense, just good food and folks . also, bizou is solid- food & staff

That too, Woolen Millie. I've never had an occasion at Beer Run where Josh or John hasn't come over to say hey and see how everything is. The Bartenders are always really friendly too.

Maya, bc it is the best.

Duner's, Clifton Inn, Ivy Inn, Fleurie, and Peter Chang's.

deleted duplicate

Duner's is still my #1 and the benchmark by which I've judged restaurants everywhere. I've been to better, but they are my yardstick for quality and value.

Petit Pois, Bizou and L'Etoile are next, but hard to rank. Fluerie (I know it's the same folks as Petit Pois) is an over-priced pretentious puff piece...all the pomp, but none of the real circumstance.

Bang! Always good and always has a buzz. Bijou too, Petit Pois, Mas. Charlottesville has a lot of pretty good restaurants, and a number of very good restaurants!

We love Tempo, Zinc and C&O. And Petit Pois when it's warm enough to sit outdoors!

@ Mike, you've been to the best, but C'Ville is a pretender, yet you suggest Lord Hardwicke's and McGradys? Um, yeah, maybe you should try to find some better food in C'Ville.

@ Mike - you mention going to some of the country's best restaurants and include Bobby Flay's in that sentence? C'mon. Then you go on to name Hardwicke's & McGrady's?

Charlottesville is full of very good, quality food at all price ranges. Having moved here from NYC a few years ago, I was surprised at how good the restaurant options are in a town of this size. Kudos to all of the Charlottesville restaurateurs/chefs!

Glass Haus is fantastic and would thrive in any big city. Orzo has always been solid but now the food is getting better and better. Petit Pois as many others have mentioned is quite good. Tavola is always enjoyable but I go rarely as they don't take reservations (which is fine as a policy, it just means I don't eat there as often as I would if I could make a reservation).

Belmont BBQ's chicken is fantastic.

I don't think I could pick just one restaurant. I moved to Charlottesville from Northern Virginia in 2011 and while there are a few places around DC I miss a lot, Charlottesville has some absolutely awesome local restaurants. Chinese? Peter Chang's. Kabob? Ariana. American? Brookville, The Local, Maya, Rapture (the burger is so f'in good...). Sushi? Now and Zen. Beer+Food Trucks? Champion Brewing!

Beer Run isn't my favorite restaurant (probably because it's everyone elses so it's always PACKED), but it is where I purchase most of my alcohol for at-home consumption. :-)

And I don't even feel qualified to answer this question because there are so many restaurants I haven't tried! Looking forward to trying Tavola, Downtown Grill, L'Etoile, and lots of others I am not even aware of yet.

Thanks to The Hook for posting another poll that just oozes the self-important elitism of this town. The "I've been to the best," "I moved here from (name big city)", and--of course--the classic "I love them because they use local produce."

Any column or article about food just brings out the we're-so-important in people.

Try Five Guys in Barracks Road or on the Downtown Mall. Knowing this town, they could probably really boost sales if they left the food the same, dimmed their lighting, and changed their name to "L'hommes cinq."


R.I.P.: Julia Child

@Liberalace Yeah, it's just awful when people express how much they like the city they live in and the local businesses that make it happen.

I love Peter Chang's but is it just me or is it occasional uneven. I have had fantastic meals 90% of the time but every now and then something comes out that is not right. I have on one occasion sent something back which I haven't had to do in many years. Don't get me wrong, it is one of my very favorite places to eat but was curious if anyone else has found this to be true.

I have also have had some great meals and ginkgo chinese in the 14th street garage, Basil, Aromas, Now and Zen, and Bizou. Also the new Noodles place in Stonefield was better than I would have guessed and has the coolest coke machine I have ever seen.

God was smiling on Charlottesville when it gave us Beer Run and the Blue Moon Diner....

@ Liberalace - NYC has tons of restaurants of all types - including some of the best in the country. It is a fact. I ate at some of them...good ones, bad ones, etc. Not self-important...just a fact. You sound like a curmudgeon. You can move away, you know?

Bizou, Brasserie Montiel, Baja Bean,Kyoto, Court Square Inn, Bodo's, Chaps, Timberlake Drugstore, Cafe 88, Ivy Inn. I could go on....What can I say? My desire to cook has waned in my empty nest:) Great question for this town!

Blue Moon and the pho place.

Dr. HOs in North garden is the real deal.

Love to see Duner's mentioned twice. Food, service, atmosphere are the best. 30 year anniversary coming up soon. It's a joyful place; go.

I sort of really like Wayside Chicken. I'm from up north and visit occasionally (my son was a UVA student). Wayside's food is tasty and always prepared exactly as it should be. Ya' can't get that type of fried chicken up north let me tell ya'. I also like Miller's downtown primarily for their lobster bisque. I like the atmosphere, so I guess that reveals my level of culinary sophistication.

5th Street Taco Bell/Pizza Hut. You either get a personal pan pizza and breadsticks or you can opt for the full Taco Bell menu. It's the only duel fast food joint in the city!

I love it when some psuedo sez cville does not match up with nyc or london for food. Duh. It is like trying to match up Lee Park with Central Park. Just a wee size difference. That said, try hiting up Bleaksburg or Lynchburg for food and come talk to me about pretending.

I like it that I can drive 3 minutes to a dozen places ( from my house with its $700/month mortage) that make great food, and dozen places that you can just kick back and chill and a dozen places well, you get the drift. Try doing that in NYC. Do we have super cutting edge joints? Not really, but can you get something world class good in Cville...yep.

Whoever put Peter Chang -- bet you haven't been there in awhile. Bad food with that fake crab stuff, served different folks entires at different times without comment, glasses were old pepsi plastic cups -- worst Chinese food experience I think I've ever had. Assuming Peter Chang is a good cook -- he's no longer in Cville, pretty sure.

Duner's and Ivy Inn. Outstanding food and outstanding service. The owners really care about their patrons and it shows.

please allow me to clarify- no offense taken

yes i have been to great restaurants- the williamsburg inn, ocean blvd., blue point grill, inn at highlands in carmel/monterey, inn @ little washington, many in boston, and nyc and chicago.

my point is- the restaurants here in cville would NOT make it in a real city- 24-48 hours tops- food is often ok @ best, service spotty, there is a bit of an attitude-

i mentioned of all places lord harwich, and mcgradys because they are what they are, no pretense- there is no being contrived, they just are what they are & i like that. the high end places here would close in a NY minute if in a competitive city environment. I know they work hard- but for example we went to thanksgiving to a local restaurant, pricing was predatory, food was awful, and sparse & service was POOR. Never again, and nor would it be tolerated elsewhere.


I have different favorites for different occasions. For breakfast, it's Tip Top. The best home fries in town. My lunch favorite is Revolutionary Soup, although it's not worth the effort of finding a parking space downtown. My dinner favorite, for the past 35 years, has been Bavarian Chef. I leave the restaurant with a doggie bag containing more that enough food for my next night's dinner. When I want a burger I head for the nearest Five Guys. Cravings for Chinese food bring me most often to A Taste of China. Bodo's is my favorite fast food place. I miss Long John Silver's, Ragazzi's, and Fortune Garden (which briefly occupied the site of the present Dragon Lady."

mike, I disagree on a few places. Certainly some of the lower cost places like Bodo's, La Michoacana, a handful of Chinese restaurants would all do well in many cities. A few others, like Petit Pois, Tavola and the Whiskey Jar would succeed in the right locations as exactly what they are now, good to very good neighborhood restaurants. No, we don't have NYTimes 4 star restaurants but we also don't have the money and population in town to support something like that, really. Glass Haus is something special and continues to grow quickly and they stack up to all but the very, very best places I've been else where. When you factor in cost of the meal, they do even better.

I'm a transplanted Midwesterner, single, hate to cook. It was torture trying to find some comfortable places here. For all you food snobs who make six and seven figures, there's an abundance of places for you to go, no doubt, especially on the downtown mall where you can afford the parking costs on top of your meal costs. Of those, my favorite is Hamilton's.

But I agree with Mike on Lord Hardwicke's -- good, hearty food, great portions, great prices, friendly waitstaff. I also love Tip Top (though ironically, Real Howard, I think their home fries are one of their worst concoctions -- and it's too noisy) for the same reasons. I love Wayside's food, but it's only good for take-out. And I really enjoy Vinny's up at Forest Lakes. Beyond those, in trying not to break the bank, it's pretty slim pickin's and I end up at the chains (Ruby Tuesday's is pretty good here, Red Lobster and Outback always a sure thing - but crowded with people like me). I'd appreciate suggestions for other unpretentious local places that have good seating, quiet atmospheres, friendly people, and reasonable prices!

I am a fan of Brickoven for pizza, Riverside (North) for a burger, Little Dino's for a sub, and Jack'n'Jill for a hot dog. I also favor Wayside for take-out chicken and the fixings! Yum!

Bodos, Spudnuts, La Michoacana, Riverside, Ten-Sushi. I wouldn't need anyone/anywhere else to feed me.

It all depends on what you're looking for, doesn't it?
Mel's is great for basic comfort foods, especially on a 70 degree sunny day for sitting outside. The Shebeen is great for nice atmosphere and a bit out of the ordinary cuisine. Aberdeen Barn for the hot beef injection. Barbarian Chef for the big group of adult out of town guests. The town is loaded with restaurants and many of them are overpriced, all hat, no cows operations, but I can't name them without having my post deleted for libelous content. For my money, I'll go with the ethnic restaurants to avoid boredom and $10 entrees masquerading as $30 entrees...

Good food can be obtained from the dumpsters in the back of any number of good restaurants in Charlottesville.

Try Pomme-Gordonsville. The place is beyond awesome. The drive to restaurant and through Keswick offers peace and gorgeous views. The spot on main street is a real winner.

Wow. Exactly what good ethnic joints get you out the door for $10?

What qualifies a place as "ethnic?" Staff? Owner? Clientele? Mel's serves burgers and Beer Run seems to have an entirely Hispanic kitchen crew.

How bout the Olive Garden on 29? Oh, wait....

i should have also included Bodo's , the food is good and a good value & they really know how to get you in and out efficiently. I'd also like to speak up for 3 notch'd grill in crozet- excellent food, innovative, good owners and staff. top notch wine list w/out being predatory on pricing.

I know it's a chain, but when my wife and I want a nice cozy night out we go to Bonefish. Food is awesome, service is unsurpassed and you don't have a bunch of screamin' kids running around (which is what we go out to get away from in the first place).

I am a native of C'ville. I was born here and I've lived here all my life. There are restaurants in here that are good, many have been mentioned on this page. One of my favorites that I don't think has been mentioned is Tip Top on Pantops, especially for their breakfast. On the other hand, I find it extremely annoying that I have to drive an hour or so out of town whenever I want to eat at an Olive Garden, a Cracker Barrel or Texas Roadhouse. What is really just pitiful is that C'ville doesn't even have a Bojangles, a Popeyes or even Long John Silvers and Golden Corral. Sure, they're all chains. So what? They're all great places to eat and they thrive in other communities, but for some unknown reason the powers that be thinks that C'ville is so "special" that we can't have these. Could it be that these places would put some of these here today, gone tomorrow local joints out of business? Anyone who thinks chain restaurants don't do well in C'ville needs to go to The Outback Steakhouse or The Wood Grill on a Saturday night and see how long the wait is. Even though it's good, there's only so many times anyone wants to eat at the Wood Grill and C'ville certainly does not need any more Chinese or Mexican restaurants. Those people who don't like and want to eat at a chain restaurant have the choice not to. Those of us who do, don't have a choice, other than to settle for what's here or take a road trip. Those who enjoy the local places, more power to you. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, but C'ville seriously needs to step things up and offer the same dining options many of us regularly drive out of town to enjoy.

My favorite resturant is Roma in Stevenscity, Va. exit 307 off of I 81. They specialize in Italian and Greek, but you can pretty much get anything. Almost always when passing through I stop. My favorite meal is their Gyro platter. Believe me these are among the best gyros I've had in the USA. The platter is so big I don't think anyone can eat it all

@ TiredOfCville - wow, just wow. There are a million places to experience homogenized America and you can move to anyone one of them. Can't tell if you are trolling or not, but enjoy your McFood. So much fail in these comments...

@ tiredofc'ville, we had a Golden Corral here but we ran them and their nasty food out of town.

There used to be a Bojangles, a Long John Silvers and (as WhoaNelly noted) a Golden Corral in town....they all closed. The only reason they closed is they didn't do enough business to afford the rent the property owners wanted. The local joints ran them out of town, in fact.

In my opinion Charlottesville is hurting for decent affordable resturants. Why don't we have more chains like: Olive Garden, Carrabas, Famous Daves, Longhorn Steakhouse,
O Charleys, Texas Roadhouse, Logans Roadhouse. Pizzeria Uno, On The Border.
Honestly many of the independant in Cville are over priced and cannot match the quality of the chains. I'm an avid viewer of Gordan Ramsey's kitchen nightmares. I'm scared to death to go to an independant resturant.

Dear Cville,

Please outlaw all of Charles choices. Not a menu item on the entire list that cannot be made at home with a few minutes work. You want overpriced, it is all of the above with no creativity.

You never hit Continental Divide, or Tavola etc.

Ethnic out the door for under $10? Lunch a Taiwan Garden. Plus, they're nice peeps (& the food is good)!

Charles: no.

Local places that do better and cheaper than all of the chains you mentioned: Eppie's, Blue Moon Diner, The Local, Beer Run, Continental Divide, South Street Brewery, The Shebeen, Boylan Heights, The Whiskey Jar, Lemongrass, Fry's Spring Station...

And that's just off the top of my head.

I respect everybodys opinion on my comments. I may consider trying some of the recommended resturants. I still feel Charlottesville has been overlooked by the chains.

@Charles: Thank you! So glad to know there is at least one other person who's stuck in this city full of snooty, uppity, I'm-better-than-you-are types who think they are the only people that live here. Yes, Cville once had a Bojangles, a Long John Silvers and Golden Corral. I remember them all very well and patronized them. If their food was so "crappy" as someone commented, these companies would not be in business at all in any locality. The problem with the ones C'ville had here were a combination of poor management and lazy unmotivated workers, certainly not lack of business. I, like many others, got disgusted with the poor service we got from them so no wonder they closed. There's several others in town where the service is pathetic. The local places here certainly do not offer anything "cheap" compared to any chain, plus chains have company standards of quality and cleanliness that local joints often choose to ignore because they can. Not saying all the chains are perfect, but trust me, most of you would be shocked to go into the kitchen of some of these local places and see some of the ways food is handled and stored before it gets to your plate. Like I said, I was born and raised here. My family has been here for generations. I've seen everything this place has to offer and this is my home so no one better tell me to 'move somewhere else if I don't like it.' The majority of the people that want to hold back any kind of sensable progress in this town, especially anothing that would cater to the average working person, are from some other place, typically from states north of Virginia where, from what I understand, are all such wonderful places to be that it just baffles me as to why they didn't stay where they were and not come down here and live amoungst us "locals" here as I have often heard us natives referred to as being. Seems there is never a problem for this town to get places like, most recently, Trader Joe's with all of their over-priced items (yes, I have been in there one - more than enough) that most people don't want, and only go there just to be seen as if to be impressing somoene. It's kinda embarrassing to have guests come to visit from out of town who want to go out and eat somewhere and one of the first places they'd say would be "let's go to Olive Garden" and they look at me in disbelief when I tell them that the closet one is an hour drive away. They don't want to eat at some local place they're not familiar with. People in C'ville need to get over themselves and realize that there are people here who do want the same things that the rest of "homogenized America" likes. Other cities have these because they are popular, successful and enjoyed by millions every day. It's funny how C'ville is all about Thomas Jefferson, who was historically a progressive man. If Jefferson was alive today I'm sure he would say, what the hell are they doing to my city? Let those of us who want the chains have them. Those who like them will go there and those who like the local joints can go their. It's about having a choice, something C'ville is severely lacking for many years.

@Jimi Hendrix: It's thinking like this that makes C'ville the sub-standard place that it is. @Loves C-ville "Wow - just wow?" Just to ease your mind, I am by no means in any way doing any sort of "trolling" as you've accused me of and for the record, I am not a huge fan of McDonald's, if that's what you were referring to by your "McFood" comment, but I centainly don't think I am too high class to go eat at one if I were to chose to do so. At least going to a McDonald's is a choice that we do have here since C'ville has plenty of them. Wonder why McDonald's is allowed to be here? Same with Wendy's and Taco Bell since the local places are so much better and cheaper? Look folks, all I am saying here is that the people of C'ville and the surrounding communities deserve to have the choice of being able to all of the places that Charles and I mentioned here without having to leave town. It was years before we had a Red Lobster. My wife and I often drove to the one on Broad Street in Richmond and even the one in Lynchburg every now and then. When we finally got one it was stuck in the back of a hotel in hopes that it would fail and close, but instead it flourished and has now moved to a beautiful new location next to Fashion Square Mall. Why? Because the food and service there are both excellent and consistant with others in the chain. Thankfully it didn't get killed off by the poor management and service that seems to dominate anything else good that comes to town. There have been rumors for quite a while that a Cracker Barrel is coming to Zion Crossroads. I say bring it on! The sooner the better! At least that would be a little closer than driving over to the one in Waynesboro. Anyone that has ever been to one knows that the quality and price of food is unbeatable and from what I've see during my travels that they are most consistant no matter where I've been.

Tired of Cville. I'm glad that there is someone else who feels the same. I've lived here for 23 years. Whenever I leave Charlottesville and return and have a chance to compare it to
somewhere else I'm always glad I live here. I feel the introduction of more chain resturants
would enhance the good quality of life we already enjoy here. Lynchburg which I believe is
comparable in size to Cville has considerably more chains and choices.

Blue Moon Diner for breakfast, lunch all over town, Duner's for dinner, Dr. Ho's for pizza. There are quite a few places on the corner worth a mention, but they are only on the list in the summer, when it's easier to move around on grounds.

When you are stuck in a town with nothing but chains, and where all the food tastes the same and it doesn't matter if you went to Outback, Olive Garden, Logan's Roadhouse or Golden Corral (and yes it all tastes the same), you will appreciate the variety you can get from what's available here.

For the life of me, I don't know why anyone would go into an Olive Garden except if they wanted an unlimited salad bar. The "Italian" food there is not italian, and is extremely poor quality.

In a blind comparison between Olive Garden and Fellini's, I'd bet even the most die-hard bland eater would approve of Fellini's pasta before the Olive Garden. I'd also bet they haven't gone down there because they are too scared to walk more than a block for parking, and maybe its because they're not in good shape from eating processed chain food all their lives.

I'm glad all the existing chains are up on 29. It creates a district of places I don't have to visit or shop, and segregates people that I generally with whom I wouldn't have anything in common.

If I wanted to eat at a chain restaurant all the time, I'd find the cheapest place to live in America, and move as close as I can to a Wal-Mart.

I'm sort of shocked at reading some of these posts. What began I'm sure as a light hearted story about peoples' preferences for various local eateries - including chains, degenerated into some sort of rhubarb between the chainers and the not so chainers. I think that if a thread was started about Lance Armstrong or heh, heh, Manti Teo, there would be those who would rise here to provide a spirited defense. This is just like a family gathering - there will always be a few nutty uncles to make sure there is a controversy.

For what it's worth, there are 2 small diners in Belmont that are worth mentioning. Foxs Cafe and Brenda's Restaurant at Moore's Creek.
Both have pro's and con's.
Fox's Cafe has really good home cooking food, is clean, but no late afternoon or evening hours.
Brenda's has Southern style cooking, friendly service, is clean but the food prices have gone
up which will push some customers away. They're only open on Thurs-Fri evening.

Just to clarify on Brenda's, they serve breakfast and lunch at least Monday through Friday....they only serve dinner on Thurs/Fri. (I live up the hill and drop in there every so often. It is a little more expensive than some breakfast spots, but it's good and for me the convenience makes up for the prices).

for tiredofcville and charles: i'm confused. are you saying that the supervising bodies of the city of charlottesville and/or the county of albemarle are actively trying to dissuade these chain restaurants from coming here? that seems ludicrous on the face of it. there are SO MANY chain restaurants in the area, and a couple more just opened at stonefield (burton's grill and noodles and company). are we supposed to feel at fault because there isn't an olive garden here? why is that our fault? maybe you should petition them to open a restaurant here. i'm sure the city or county would welcome them with open arms. i'd love to see the case you make for the conspiracy of "powers that be" that are keeping your favorite chains from opening here. because there is none to make, as far as i'm concerned.

buzzbomb: I never once said that there should not be any locally owned restaurants int own, no did I say that there was anything wrong with having them here. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them what-so-ever. If they have the food that you like, go there and enjoy. If they have what I like I'd go! I did, in fact, mention that Tip Top on Pantops was one of my favorites and it is a local joint is it not? Also, I don't think here anyone said anything about ONLY wanting to eat at a chain restaurant so I will say it again, THERE SHOULD BE A CHOICE! Compared to most cities this size, Cville is very limited on it's dining choices. I don't know what Olive Garden location you've been to, but the one's I've been to in Richmond, Lynchburg and Winchester were all wonderful. Granted, maybe it's not "authentic' Italian food. Taco Bell is not authentic Mexican but they are stormed by the masses daily for the food they serve and most Chinese American restaurants do not serve authentic Chinese dishes. Just ask anyone who hase been to China. The Olive Gardens I've been to have all been consistent with entrees containing more than enough delicious, great quality reasonably priced food, top-notch service from the staff and a modern well decorated spotless-clean dining room. The 29 north corridor and Pantops are the perfect location for these where they wouldn't interfere with the 'artsie-fartsie' downtown restaurant crowd. Few, if any, cities, especially cities the size of Cville would put any large chain in their downtown areas other than maybe something like a McD's, Subway or something small like that. Again, I applaude the local eateries in Cville, but the local places should not be the ONLY choice we have in town.

baconfat: Anyone that has lived in Cville for as long as I have knows all about it's silly politics. The on-going 'pissing match' regarding the Meadowcreek Parkway and the US 29 bypass are prime examples of what I speak of. Whether or not is is true or not, and I cannot confirm, however, there was a wide-spread 'rumor' shall we say, that Cracker Barrel wanted to come to Cville a few years ago. They wanted to build on 5th Street near I-64. Every Cracker Barrel located near an Intestate highway puts up a tall sign that can be seen by drivers while passing by. It was said that Albemarle County fought them tooth-and-nail and would not allow them to put up their tall sign like they do everywhere else until finally, Cracker Barrel gave up and built the one over in Waynesboro, one that I frequent. There's also been talk for quite some time about one coming to Zion Crossroads, but no sign of that as of yet. At least Zion Crossroads is in Louisa County where the powers that be seem to think progressively enough to have allowed Walmart, Lowes, Sheetz, and one of the best IHOPs around, all bringing jobs and tax revenue to the communty as well as the convenience to the residents of the area. Remember when Walmart wanted to put a store on 5th Street and what a fight that was? If it wasn't for the fact that I was born and raised here and still have family here, Cville would be one of the last places on earth I would ever relocate to. It has always my home, but there have been times, the the formentioned, when I have been embarrassed to admit that I am a resident. I have often thought of leaving the area, but I am ready to retire and I don't want to have to uproot everything I've worked for and accumulated all my life and leave the family I have behind. One other thing, if Cville can get these mostly unheard of places like Noodles and Company, Burtons Grill and Jason's Deli, why can't we get other well-known places? I just don't get it. I'm not knocking any of them, especially Noodles and Company and Burtons Grill since I have not tried either. I have been to Jason's Deli and I really didn't care much for what I got when I was there. I'm sure I could find something else on the menu that I would like better so I'm not going to judge the place on that one time. My apologies for my long slightly off-subject rant, but after all, I am indeed tired of Cville.

One more thing--in response to the "nutty uncle" comment made by 'mike not the other mike' I am a well educated individual and have an occupation that allows my family and I to live a comfortable life. I am certainly not one of the tree-hugging nut cases this area seems to attract. So unless you know me personally, or anyone else on this forum, I would appreciate it if you would keep your judgements to yourself.

"Walmart, Lowes, Sheetz, and one of the best IHOPs around" -definition of progress, so sorry we're too backwards for you...

"I am a well educated individual and have an occupation that allows my family and I to live a comfortable life." Oh the irony... If there isn't a name for a statement where someone claims to be educated while making obvious grammatical mistakes, well there sure ought to be. There is a word for a claim like that coming right on the heels of a barely coherent rant like that one posted at 7:18, but the bot will reject my post if I use it.

Finally, mumbling about some nefarious conspiracy to keep the common man from cheaply filling his gut at chain restaurants is exactly the sort of thing my crazy uncle might do. Must be something about uncles? Could just be crazy people though. Ockham's razor and all ya know.

Noodles and Company, Burtons Grill and Jason's Deli are setting up locations here because A. Someone who has just built a shopping center that they want to market as "upscale" has hired someone to seek out tenants who can help create that image. B. Those restaurants have management personnel who think that our market is a good fit for them. C. Someone else who has the cash to invest in a franchise and who wants to play with the persons mentioned in both A and B thinks they can make some money by making that investment.

There is no "we" that can't get middle to low brow focused chains to locate here and there is no "them" that is stopping it. It simply doesn't make sense and the failure of Long John Silver's, Popeye's, and others demonstrates that. Sure they offer consistency as was noted above, but clearly not enough people value the benefits of consistent mediocrity as much as they value the friendly service and much better food choices they can get at places like Bodo's.

We're quite lucky to have the choices we have locally. If you don't value that, just pop something frozen into your microwave and you can have chain quality any time you want it.

@ TiredOfCville

I can't resist......., What would lead you to think that I was specifically referring to you when I posted my comment about "nutty uncles?" (which was posted in advance of your rejoinder or rebuke). I'm not a dentist and I don't play one on TV, but I seem to have hit a nerve.

The point of my post was merely to point out how a benign topic quickly devolved into a controversy. I did not take sides between the "chainers" and non-chainers.

Irregardless (see I know big words), if the chainers who suspect a conspiracy to suppress chains in Cville (not to mention Albemarle County) scrape away the muck on top, they might find the black hand of Dragas and her backers behind this conspiracy.

"The Black Hand of Dragas" would be a great name for a punk or goth band.


I'm guessing that "the nutty uncles" might be a good name for a 60's top forty band, eh?

I feel that if our local officials are in fact throwing petty stumbling blocks in the way of any chain locating here be it resturant, retail, travelservices they are doing the community a great disservice. Think of jobs lost, tax revenue lost quality of life enhancements. The benefits would have a domino effect. Residents would not have to travel an hour or more to shop and eat out at a place they really want to patronize. It would also draw people from surrounding communitys ( Augusta, Madison Culpeper etc etc) to shop and spend money here. Charlottesville is a great safe place to live, but there is also considerable room for

@mike: Yes, I took your comment as an insult directed towards me. If that was not your intention then I humbly apologize to you. It would be a great name for a band! :-) As for "also curious" there's no question that your comments are a blatent attempt to insult my integrity, however, it only a sign a statement nade by someone we refer to as an "educated idiot" who is spoiled and self-centered and thinks what he or she thinks is best for them should be good enough for everyone else, and things they feel are so far beneath them should not be allowed no matter how popular they are. Sadly this town seems to be full of people like you who seriously needs to have a reality check and realize that you and your agenda are not the "world" and the rest of us are not your "satellites." Just because you think there should only be these so-called "upscale" places rather than what the rest of the real world outside of Cville wants and enjoys, those of us who want to have these choices should not be forced to make our choices from a list of some over rated some unknown places that people like you think are best for everyone only because you like them. I'm sure your kitchen has a microwave oven, does it not? Maybe not and you cook your food on a stick over a fire in your backyard so you can save up enough pennies to be able to afford to go to one of these over-priced and over-rated "upscale" places so you can impress your friends and collegues? Who knows? Derogatory comments such as the ones you made towards me would lead one to believe that for some unknown reason (possibly a note of jealousy maybe?) you have some sort of a dislike for the common everyday folks that live here who would love to have local access to the things I've mentioned here including people like me that live here who ARE college educated, I dare say possibly even more so than yourself, make more money and have roots in this area going back the early settlers, yet have the courtesy not to shove it all up everyone else's nose in some pitiful attempt to feel superior. The point I have been trying to make here is that Cville should have the same choices of everything most any other city it's size has. It does not by a long shot. Just because you do not like something does not mean there are not others here that do. You can take stabs at my character all you want. It will not get you anywhere with me and will never make you any better than I am or anyone else. At least I am fortunate enough to have the educational background that I do along with a little common sense along with respect for other people and their likes and dislikes. Maybe you should try it sometime. It's really not all that difficult. A good way to start would be to keep your degrading insults and attacks to yourself towards those of us who happen to have likes, dislikes and desires that are different from your own. I would not be the least bit surprised that if sometime when you're out of town and/or on vacation somewhere, you would be seen having breakfast at an IHOP, and lunch or dinner at an Olive Garden. At least when you're out of town your friends would not catch you lowering your high standards to patronize these establishments, huh? Yeah, right. One last note: If anyone following these posts finds my input about how I believe that Cville should have the same choices of any of the chain businesses that are commonly found in other cities as well as all the locally owned establisments in town that have been mentioned on this forum, I apologize. It's just that I really don't have any desire to live under any sort of a dictatorship no matter what level it's on, especially when the mentality moves into my hometown.

@Charles: Well said!

I am sure this is not 100% accurate but: Applebee's, Arby's, Blimpie, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Dunkin' Donuts, Five Guys, Hardees, KFC, Little Caesar's, McDonald's, Panera, Papa John's, Pizza Hut, Quiznos, Ruby Tuesday, Subway, Hardees, Taco Bell, Waffle House, IHOP, Red Lobster, Outback, Burton's, Noodles & Company, Chilis, Jason's, Chick Fil A, Wendys, Cookout, Brixx, Boston Market, Topeka's, Bonefish, Chipotle, TGI Friday's, Timberwood Grill, Jersey Mike's, Shoney's, Mellow Mushroom, Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wild Wing Cafe, The Wood Grill...I'm sure I'm missing some

also, the Long John Silver's, Golden Corral, Bojangles(?), and Popeyes that used to be here but closed.

So, no Cracker Barrel, Texas Roadhouse, and Olive Garden means Charlottesville is lacking in enough chain resturants for a small city of 50k in a county with a total of 120k? and that "for some unknown reason the powers that be thinks that C'ville is so special that we can't have these" and "C'ville seriously needs to step things up and offer the same dining options many of us regularly drive out of town to enjoy."? So with all of these chain restaurants listed above, and with the incredible variety and number of the privately owned/owner operated restaurants located here....in a town of 50k....to say that it is lacking in dining options or specifically, chain resturant dining options...well, this almost is not a matter of opinion. It's just not true.

and I believe Cracker Barrel was looking at the new Wegmans location area by 5th Street, no?

There you go, just like my uncle again Tired. Sort of at least. Instead of a 2000 word "paragraph" Uncle Jerry put it all in a single sentence.

If anyone is coming off as dictatorial its you with your repeated should this and should that. If you choose to eat junk, then eat junk. It isn't anyone's responsibility to help you do that. What do you want, a county Junk Food Czar to ensure that restaurant chains locate here? Maybe a new ordinance requiring shopping center developers to have at least one low budget feed trough that meets with your approval? Really, if high priced fast food what you think this area "needs" then get out your wallet and make the investment to bring it here. Can't fail right?

The Riverside is still always packed when I go there, maybe with people who mostly don't read The Hook -- and for the same old reason: reliably good burgers, far superior to the guys who think "thick means good." It does not. Aromas has been very, very tasty several times. I've had some very good meals at Feast (though it has been a bit uneven for friends, sometimes) and at least one can buy a baguette and some triple cream French cheese for a dynamite snack at Feast. I miss The Gaslight (not for the food, though Will Morris was a great cook) for its ambience. And Sonny Beau Fingers Hunnicutt tickling the ivories. Norman Goins and Will were both working at the Angus Barn, last I heard. Upstairs at the C&O is very hard to beat. My daughter Jessie Jane and I fought over every morsel -- literally! -- and left wishing we could have possible eaten some more. Wayside Takeout always worked for me. Professor Ruvalds often used to bring a bucket out to Wednesday nights at Biscuit Run - a party we started back in the 70s, and which, sadly, just faded away after David died. Or shall we resurrect it? Can one find a good risotto anywhere in Charlottesville? Or a passable Shrimp and Grits? I've had a few good meals at Mono Loco, too. I miss you all.

The Shrimp and Grits at the Whiskey Jar is a special, but a frequent one so far as I can tell and it's just what you want shrimp and grits to be in my opinion. Quite tasty.

Risotto....not on a regular menu that I know of since Rococo's closed up shop.

Thanks, Chris! I'll try to visit the Whiskey Jar for Shrimp and Grits. I spoke with the folks at Wegman's in Fredericksburg last week -- they're definitely still planning on opening on 5th Street in 2014. That store is the size of an old Walmart, has great Pizza and other good things to eat and tons of Organic. I had truly terrific Shrimp and Grits from Gibson's Grill and Posole Meatballs from Pasture, two Richmond restaurants, as finger food at the Marc Cohn concert. Richmond had no food scene whatsoever worth mentioning when I was reviewing restaurants for Style Weekly back in the 80s -- and except for the C&O neither did Charlottesville -- but thing have really changed a lot. I credit Food TV, primarily. And that really started with Julia Child. I miss the Unicaf and the UD. Where does one go for a bite to eat after hours these days?

@ Christian - I highly recommend the shrimp & grits at Hamilton's. I love to go there for lunch on Saturdays when it is offered at $11. I haven't tried the Whiskey Jar's version but have enjoyed other dishes there...I'll give their shrimp & grits a try next time.

You have made it plain that I am obviously some terrible awful person because God forbid, I want to have some other choices in this town that we do not have that other places do. EXCUUUUUSE ME!! Welcome to Cville...

My wife and I stopped one evening at the Wegmans on 29 near Warrenton/Gainsville. I was totaly amazed. Had no idea any grocery store like this existed. The fresh bakery,
deli fresh meat prepared food area is immense, beyond description. The supermarket aisles are full of products you wont find anywhere else. The decor in the fresh section is rustic and old world. Visiting a Wegmans for the first time is an experience you will not forget.