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May 7, 2013 08:33 PM

Help a Canadian Chowhound narrow down my list - Alexandria, VA to Floyd, VA


I'm a Canadian Chowhound from Toronto and I will be heading down to Floyd, VA for the Jamboree on May 17th. I'd love some help narrowing down my food choices.

I promise to post reviews...

I'll be in Alexandria for 2 days (May 13th & 14th) and then planning to head west along 66 and then down Skyline Drive. I'll be stopping in Charlottesville & Staunton on my way to Floyd. I'll be heading back to Canada along 81 and then up 99.

Since we'll be driving I'm willing to explore for good food experiences but I'm trying to stay away from different ethnic cuisines that I can get in Toronto.

After trolling the boards & my other trusted sites I have a mixed bag of potential stops. I'm considering the following options:

-Definitely Virtue Feed & Grain for dinner
-Restaurant Eve vs The Vermillion. Is it worth going to both? I might do Restaurant Eve for the 3 course lunch menu and The Vermillion for dinner?
-Lunches at Eammon's and La Fromagerie (need to get some Meadow Creek cheese while I'm there)
-Breakfasts at either Pain Quotidien or Table Talk. My travelling companion loves a hardy American breakfasts so any suggestions on good breakfast spots are appreciated.
-Is the food at Gadsby's Tavern edible or is it mostly about the history?
-Opinions on Guajillo (the exception to the ethnic rule - Mexican food is sadly lacking in Toronto), Rocklands BBQ, Columbia Firehouse and The Dairy Godmother?

-Is the food at the Monticello Café edible or am I better to get a packed sandwich from somewhere like the Carving Board Café?
-Trying to choose between Maya and The Local for dinner. Discuss...

-Making reservations for Zynodoa
-Trying to choose between Wright's and The Depot Grille for lunch

-Floyd Country Store obviously :-)
-Considering Mickie G's, Chateau Morrisete and Natasha's Market Café

Along 1-81:
-Reservations at The Blue Apron in Salem
-Stop at Layne's Country Store in Glasgow, VA for a whole cured, smoked country ham
-Are any of the places in Roanoke (River and Rail, Local Roots, Tudor's Biscuit World, Padow's Ham & Deli) worth a stop?

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  1. Charlottesville has Shebeen, which is a South African place. I've eaten there but it's been a few years, but it was good back then. I've eaten more recently at Bizou and recommend it for good American fare in a relaxed setting.

    I've not been, but hope to sometime make it to Crozet pizza, as it's been regarded as near peer to New Haven pies. You can search on this board for reviews.

    1. Wow, you have really done your homework. Be sure to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway for your drive from the Charlottesville/Staunton area down to Floyd. It's possible that you could see all of these in bloom: flame azaleas, mountain laurel, azaleas, dogwood trees, and redbud trees. In any case, the Chateau Morrisette is seconds off the parkway. In addition to being a National Park, the parkway is a national treasure.

      1. The Dairy Godmother is great! Looking at their flavor forecast, the feature flavor on the 13th is German chocolate cake, which I bet would be very very good. They're closed on Tuesdays, fyi. And if you go there, check out Cheesetique on the next block, even if only to drool.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

          I love Dairy Godmother, especially this season when they have their fruit (varies) and rhubarb crisp w/ vanilla custard.

          Along the ice cream line towards Charlottesville (going out 66) is the Moo Thru. They make their ice cream from milk from local cows down the road. It's a fun stop.

        2. I'd skip Guajillo and head south on Route 1 to La Mexicana Bakery & Tacqueria or Tacos El Costalilla. The sopas at the former are outstanding because they bake their own bread, obviously. Wasn't impressed with Columbia Firehouse; it's not terrible, but there's no reason to go out of your way to go there. Table Talk does a solid breakfast. Restaurant Eve & Vermillion are both worth going to. 

          4 Replies
          1. re: monkeyrotica

            I will second la Mexicana. I like TECC on Washington Boulevard in Arlington, as well. For something a bit different, Jinks, you might try la Mexicana's tortas ahogada, though my spelling might not be right. It is a soupy, smokey mess of a sandwich/meal. It is smoking hot and spicy. I categorize spicy levels by no sweat, a little sweat on my forehead, to my hair is drenched in sweat and my mouth is on fire. The tortas is nearly hot enough to fit the last description.


            1. re: Ziv

              Yeah, that torta ahogada is one of those sandwiches the super-most-authentic-real-deal fetishists crave, then promptly can't finish because it's super-most-authentic-real-deal fiery hot. How people eat these with their bare hands at soccer matches in Guadalajara is a mystery. It's like eating a drippy cheesesteak that's on fire.

              1. re: monkeyrotica

                One of my favorites, but I definitely have to be in the mood and take my time with it as well - With lots of fresh juice to wash it down!

                Those that may be scared of the heat, try Costalilla's down the street - Not quite as good but not nearly as spicy, either.

            2. re: monkeyrotica

              I'll third La Mexicana. The best authentic Mexican in the region. I'd go for the tacos or tortas.

              Agree on Eve and Vermillion as well. Both solid.

            3. Very underwhelmed by Virtue Feed & Grain in Alexandria. Four of us had dinner there last Sunday for the first time and nothing was memorable, including the service. As for Roanoke, check out the downtown farmers market, along with the Quarter at 19 Salem Avenue SE for Cajun food.