FOOD- THE DISH- Spice route: George heats up Transit Center

Curry in Transit: Alex George gets back to his curry cooking roots and plants them in the Transit Center.

The Transit Center on the Downtown Mall has a whole new aroma. Walk in now, and you're confronted with the unmistakable smell of curry.

Yes, it's a artfully designed building, a green award winner, but now that Just Curry owner Alex George has set up shop inside, the place may finally be complete. In fact, we predict the man will dominate that place with his delicious Caribbean-style dishes in a dramatic, light-filled space. 

George says he's planning to keep his Corner location behind Littlejohn's, and even if the rumors of CVS taking over the building turn out to be true, he says he still wants to maintain a Corner location somewhere.

It'll be two years this month that he's been in Charlottesville, he says, and he appears to have found a home. For 12 years he was a private chef, with a background in classical French cooking, but he says he burned out on cooking heavy fancy food.

"I grew up on curries in Guyana," he says. "So I guess I'm getting back to my roots."

We're just glad he decided to plant them here. Oh, and you can check out the menu on his website at

Auf Wiedersehen Ludwig's

We hear that Ludwig's Restaurant & Lounge on Fontaine Avenue, which has been serving Bavarian and German food since opening in the 1970s, will close its doors at the end of April. Apparently owner Hans Gerstl Jr., who took over the restaurant from his parents in 2003, has decided to move on following their deaths in the last few years.

"Even people who come to my restaurant all the way from Germany have told me they can't get this kind of traditional food back home," Gerstl told the Hook in ‘03, saying he proudly used his mother's recipes.

"Mom was always in the kitchen," said Gerstl, who grew up in an apartment above the restaurant and went on to a culinary career managing restaurants from Florida to Missouri. "It was busy all the time. If someone didn't show up, I would vacuum or host, whatever needed to be done."

Gerstl was not immediately available for comment to confirm, but sources say the space will re-open in August as a family-run Korean restaurant.

 Nook at night

The guys over at The Nook tell us they're now serving dinner– they took a break over the winter months. They also plan to stay open late on dates with rockin' Pavilion shows. Heck, you could run down to The Nook in the middle of the show, grab a burger and a beer, and be back before the song finished!

N'awlins Flavors

Jim Winecoff, owner/chef of Mona Lisa Pasta, and Terre Sisson of Charlottesville Wine & Culinary are teaming up again to offer spring cooking classes at Mona Lisa Pasta on Preston Avenue. Classes last about two hours, using a demonstration format, and a light meal and beverage are included. On April 22, it's the flavor of New Orleans– wild mushroom, tasso, and angel hair pasta; chorizo, goat cheese, and pine-nut chicken pockets; southern-style black-eyed peas, and flaming bananas foster. Cost is $55. Reservations: 295-2494.

  Check out Beer Run's new Sunday brunch

Our new cool Carlton Road store/restaurant Beer Run is now serving brunch on Sundays from 11am until 7:30pm...quite possibly the longest brunch in town! Check it out... they'll be serving eggs, bacon, steak, Fritatta, salads, French toast, brunch drinks, and great beer. 156 Carlton Rd. Suite 203. 984-BEER(2337).

All this food news was first reported online. Check it out at