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Jun 13, 2009 04:49 PM

VA-29 Eats

I was driving back to NC from NY and ended up on on VA-29 at lunch time. I noticed a distinct lack of road food between Charlottesville and Danville, apart from the various chains. In the end, I picked Hardee's in Amherst as the least worst option. Since I'll be making that drive again, does anyone have recommendations for decent lunch options on that route?

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  1. One of the best Thai restaurants in the country (yes, I just said that, and a lot of folks agree, including those that live in NYC), is located about 10 miles north of Amherst, just off US 29 by less than a mile. It's called "Thai Siam Takeout." Little hole in the wall. Owner grows much of her own veggies and herbs and sources meats from local farms. Entrees are all under $10. Even if you don't think you like Thai food, this place has redefined the genre for some of my friends who have tried it with me. See below for links to a few threads praising this place to the heavens:

    First post here:

    and here starting with my post on Feb. 23:

    4137 Tye Brook Hwy
    Arrington, VA 22922
    (434) 263-8577

    2 Replies
    1. re: mikeh

      Ate at Thai Siam this past Saturday. Got there early (5:20p) hoping to avoid the rush. We ate inside as the outside tables were taken.

      We were told the wait for food was 15 minutes. We ordered Thai dumplings, spring rolls (not fried), fried squid, and duck curry. In about 15 minutes (didn't put a clock on it because I was willing to wait however long it took) the food began coming out.

      The Thai dumplings were the absolute best dumplings I've eaten anywhere. The ingredients couldn't have been fresher and they tasted wonderful.

      The spring rolls also couldn't have been fresher and the peanut sauce was better than any I've had before. I'd never been a fan of peanut sauce until I had Thai Siam's.

      The fried squid was also very fresh and tasty with another excellent dipping sauce (plum?). My only complaint would be the batter on the squid was too thick. It was expertly cooked, however.

      The duck curry was very good but I would have preferred a little more duck. But, who can complain really when you factor in the price (under $10). The sauce was so good we got another bowl of rice to split and poured the remaining sauce over it for dessert.

      By the time we finished our dinner the wait for food was being quoted at 45 minutes. I didn't see anybody leave because of it.

      1. re: mikeh

        I stopped at Thai Siam with a friend on our return trip to North Carolina from DC because of this post.

        My expectations going in were impossibly high, and I still wasn't prepared for how good the food was. We had the Thai dumplings, the fried spring rolls and the duck basil. All of it was sublime, but the dumplings were groin-grabbingly transcendent. The owner assured us that all of the delicious sauces were homemade, and also told us about a group that had traveled down from DC earlier in the day just to eat there. After tasting the food, that sounds like a completely reasonable thing to do. I wouldn't have doubted her if she'd said the gods routinely called in orders from Mount Olympus.

        I have no idea if this is the best Thai food in the country, but I wouldn't argue with anyone who said so. You can taste the pride, care, experience, and freshness in every bite. Yeah, it's the kind of place that makes you gush like that.

      2. Almost directly across the road from Hardees is the Silver Pig some of the best East Carolina Pulled Pork you may ever eat. Main St. in Lynchburg has several good spots less than a half mile off 29. Also there is a small world class Thai place in Nelson County just across the line from Amherst on the Tye River Road. Oh yeah, how about the Lovingston Cafe in Lovingston. You can hit it with a rock from 29. And there are more but I don't want to hog the limelight.

        1. Mary's Diner in Danville is a great, cafeteria style place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carolinadawg

            yep. I second the rec. for Mary's. A frequent stop of mine when driving from Charlottesville back to Durham.


            1203 Piney Forest Rd., US Highway 29 Business
            Danville, Va
            (434) 836-5034

          2. Bodo's Bagels in location is very close to 29.