Weekend: Out Of Hibernation

March 17, 2014

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I feel like we’ve been hibernating all winter. In the warmer months we are always on the Downtown Mall exploring new places and going to concerts. But I can’t remember the last time I walked downtown! I am MORE than ready to get outside again.

We are currently getting dumped with yet another Southern blizzard, but this weekend was actually quite beautiful. Not only were we able to go outside without a jacket and turn off the heat, but I finally got to check out some of the new local establishments in town.

Friday night I was invited to the soft opening of Zinburger, the new burger bar at Barracks Road Shopping Center. The Cville restaurant’s grand opening is tomorrow, March 18th.

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The décor was quite hip and modern, and the staff super enthusiastic about the opening.

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I took my friend Naomi as my plus one. Here she is enjoying some pie!

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We paid for a couple of glasses of wine, but the food was all on the house.

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Platters of burgers, fries, salads and shakes whizzed by our table all night.

We tried these two burgers – the El Diablo followed by the Kobe beef burger. Both were burger-licious.

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We also sampled their fries – the sweet potato rocked, per usual sweet potato standards, and the truffle fries were good too

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The salads were packed with flavor and texture – the BLT followed by the Napa (which I loved because of the marcona almonds and goat cheese)

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The highlight of the night for me was the desserts (obvi)

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A Banana Cream Pie and a Chocolate Pie – both great!

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AND – two mini shakes – Salted Caramel and Strawberry. I can’t remember the last time I had a real milkshake! I probably wouldn’t order a full size one, but if they had these minis on the menu they would make such a perfect petite dessert!

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On Saturday afternoon Matt and I ventured out for a wine + cheese tasting at JM Stock Provisions, a new butcher in town. Karen came over to play with Mazen in the beautiful weather.

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JM Stock is a locally-sourced butcher with cut-to-order meat. They have a huge selection.

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We bought some Andouille sausage and thick cut bacon for our freezer.

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They also stock a bunch of local products – including eggs, grits and greens

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On Saturday Nadjeeb, my cheese friend and owner of the new Flora Artisanal Cheese, was there showcasing cheese alongside Tracey from Blenheim Vineyards. {Flora is normally located inside Milli Joe coffeehouse on McIntire Rd}

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Gahhhhh cheese is the best! This was SO good but the name slips my mind! We bought some plus some Mt Tam cheese too.

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Caveman Blue!

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Tracey was there from Blenheim and we tasted the White Table Wine, just-released Chardonnay and new Painted Red. Liked them all a lot, but we added a bottle of the White Table to our wine rack at home : )

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On our way back down West Main Street we popped into the new Cville-ian Brewing Company space, which is still under construction.

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Owners Brian and Steve were there brewing some batches of beer for the opening, which they hope will be in a month or so. Matt geeked out with them for a bit. We can’t wait to try it out!

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We also took note of the new seafood place where One Meatball used to be – Public Fish + Oyster!

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West Main is just booming –

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Our last stop on the “checking out new spots” afternoon tour led us to Alley Light, a tucked away second-floor bar and lounge.

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In addition to cocktails, beer and wine, they have a menu of small plates and cheese boards. We’ll have to go back for food next time!

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Our bartender Micah took very good care of us –

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I had a special bourbon drink made with orange marmalade and Matt ordered a Manhattan

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We learned about different brands of vermouth and bitters – like this one

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We sipped wurt from a Three Notch’d brew that Micah then turned into an experimental spiked malted shake

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He knows his mixology!

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Back at home, we cooked a big dinner with Karen – Mona Lisa Pasta with two of their clam sauces {white + red} plus salads with the Mt Tam cheese we bought from Flora.

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I’m excited for our city to come alive again in The Great Thaw of 2014, which I HOPE is happening next week!

Mazen says Happy St. Patrick’s day with some Irish Soda Bread and green shoes!

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie Rosene March 17, 2014 at 7:06 am

Love everything in this post! I am also SO looking forward to getting out of the house. This northern Ontario winter has been the coldest in 20 years.

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2 Kinsey March 17, 2014 at 7:45 am

What a fun weekend! I believe that the unknown cheese is a Dutch Gouda known as Mimolette which is very hard, sharp, and incredibly orange in color.

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3 Margo March 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Mimolette is french, and not a gouda. It’s also a bit taller than this cheese since the wheel is shaped like a melon. This looks like a dutch gouda though.

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4 KathEats March 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

I looked on the paper and Nadjeeb wrote that it was from the Netherlands – good work!

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5 Kinsey March 17, 2014 at 11:34 pm

You’re so right, Margo! Once I took a closer look I realized it doesn’t have the webbed coating Mimolette normally has. Looks like I need to spend some more time tasting cheese! :)

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6 Livi March 17, 2014 at 8:01 am

Looks like such a fun weekend!! Mazen is too cute !

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7 Jackie March 17, 2014 at 8:14 am

I am so ready for spring too this weekend was a tease!

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8 Jesse March 17, 2014 at 8:35 am

my comment magically published with one word! ahhh. anyway it was 70 on saturday, so beautiful! and now 25 and six inches of snow. fingers crossed this is the end!
http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2014/03/atticus-outfit-3.html

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9 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

oh my gosh I would love to do cheese sampling! I grew up on fancy cheeses because my mom is very into wine and cheese. And lucky ducks that you at least had a nice weekend! Still pretty cold here in Chicago…

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10 Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} March 17, 2014 at 8:51 am

We had that teaser last weekend and it was so nice! It really looks like the city is booming; is great to read about these local places!

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11 Mary March 17, 2014 at 8:53 am

Your mystery cheese looks like aged Gouda!

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12 simple green moms March 17, 2014 at 8:56 am

doesn’t this weather make you want to want to skip up and down the streets? =) Love all of your yummy food pics. Looks like you had a super fun weekend!!

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13 Eva March 17, 2014 at 8:57 am

Mazen is getting so big !!!! and as per usual– your town looks awesome.

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14 Jess @ The Baguette Diet March 17, 2014 at 8:58 am

I’m just about ready to pack up and move to Cville after reading about all of the great spots you guys have! Fingers crossed for (lasting) warm weather soon!

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15 Leah March 17, 2014 at 8:58 am

Totally agree, I am ready for warm weather! Of course, in a few months I’ll be complaining about how hot it is, and how I want winter back. Seems like spring is the shortest season, no?

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16 Shel@PeachyPalate March 17, 2014 at 9:03 am

Happy Patrick’s Day! :) Sounds like the perfect weekend of exploring! The little milkshakes are so cute! I’d much rather have an array of mini’s for dinner all the time and get to try loads of different things! Yummers!

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17 Anna @ On Anna's Plate March 17, 2014 at 9:10 am

The snow/bad weather this winter has been crazy– and we’re in Alabama, so I know we haven’t gotten any of the worst of it! Still, I’m with you– SO ready to get outside in nice weather!

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18 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio March 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

What a fabulous weekend! So many awesome eats in cville!

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19 Beth March 17, 2014 at 10:32 am

I was/am seriously considering moving to Charlottesville, but didn’t realize that the winters were so cold and received so much snow for a southern state. Yikes. May have to rethink this one!

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20 Dana P. March 17, 2014 at 10:42 am

I love those mini-milkshakes! I hardly ever order milk shakes at restaurant because they’re just too big to finish and often don’t taste great with the meal. I hope more places start to follow this trend!

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21 Justeen March 17, 2014 at 10:44 am

We tried the Alley light on Saturday evening as well! The cocktails were good, but the small plates were…well, small. haha! Very tasty, though!

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22 Ali March 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

I love Zinburger!! We ate there in Arizona all the time and I miss it in Denver.

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23 Rebekah March 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

Dessert is always the best part, and if they’re tiny you can have more, right?!

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24 Katie March 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Can’t believe how big Mazen is getting! So handsome. Wish I had some of that soda bread :)

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25 Sam March 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Kath, I would love to see another organizing post sometime soon! Something along the lines of how you run your day, systems you have in place for handling all the various pulls at your time (Mazen, KERF work, bakery work, personal appointments, house/car maintenance, social engagements, exercise, food planning & prep, etc., etc.), yet are still able to manage to find time to read for pleasure and get enough sleep each night. These are my ultimate goals but I never seem to be able to make everything hum as smoothly as you seem to be able to! Thanks so much.

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26 KathEats March 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm

I have something similar to this coming soon!

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27 Matt March 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Haha, cheese friend!

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28 Kaitlyn March 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Love this post!! I am SOO ready for spring, and you have such cute spots downtown!

Also, Micah looks like a rather attractive bartender… <;-) I would definitely belly up to that bar..! haha!

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29 Alex @ Kenzie Life March 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm

I just got some Irish soda bread from my GH this weekend and it is so good! Sounds like an awesome weekend and I agree with you about mini milkshakes. A full one would just be too much for me but I’d love something a little bigger than a milkshake “shot” as a dessert! I too can’t wait for summer. It’ll be my first summer living in Boulder and I can’t wait for the hiking and walking outside!

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30 Elyse March 17, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Looks like a great weekend and those desserts look amazing!

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31 Amelia @ Eating Made Easy March 17, 2014 at 4:29 pm

If I’m ever granted my wish of growing a second stomach, Charlottesville will be my first stop! What a delicious post!

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32 Emily @ Life on Food March 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm

So much fun!! Those mini milkshakes are the cutest. I wish our little town had so many yummy foodie joints.

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33 Lauren March 17, 2014 at 9:03 pm

What a perfect town, so hip!

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34 Hannah @ eat, drink and save money March 18, 2014 at 4:45 am

I’m jealous of all the cool local establishments you have. Most of our local places are tourist traps. I would love to find a local butcher. It’s tough to get good Andouille sausage here in Florida. Hope the warm weather comes to your rescue soon!

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35 Tonya March 18, 2014 at 7:34 am

Look at that little leprechaun!

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36 Gwen March 19, 2014 at 1:19 pm

We spent the weekend in CVille for a bachelorette weekend! We stayed on Monticello Road close to downtown and I have to say, most of our plan were sourced from KERF! We went to Jefferson Vineyards, Albemarle Cider Works, Pippin Hill, The Local for dinner and then to Commonwealth + Skybar and Rapture. Thanks for the tips!

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37 KathEats March 19, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Yay! All great spots!

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38 Jeri March 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm

As the die-hard Hokie fan that I am, I would totally move to Charlottesville, just because of the pics you post of the city. I love the beach/ocean and never see myself really moving more than 30 minutes away from it, but I would totally move there and love it!

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39 Rachel March 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

So excited that you mentioned Brian and Steve! C’ville readers: be sure to check out the brewery’s facebook page, website, and twitter for updates on opening. All the info is in the picture Kath posted :)

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