Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eating at TJ's

I have an interesting habit when it comes to vacations. I recount my vacations by where I ate. Almost every vacation story has a piece that starts, "And we ate at this place..." Now, I'm not a foodie (I'm more of an omnivore), but enjoyable dinners are some of my favorite things about both vacations AND conferences I've attended.

But, how do you figure out where to eat if you are new to a place? And, how do you find someone with whom to eat if you didn't come with a lot of people from your institution? Your hospitality co-chairs are here to help you with these dilemmas. We have all kinds of information about where to eat and we can help you find colleagues with whom to converse over meals. This last Uniquely Charlottesville blog before you arrive in Charlottesville features food...and a service that hospitality is providing for all conference goers.

First, as you have read in other places on the blog, the regional conference is a friendly gathering. It is very easy to meet someone in a concurrent session and then head out to dinner with them. If you need a little help in coordinating that, Hospitality has a great service for you. On both Wednesday and Thursday night, we'll have sign up sheets for dinner as some of the area restaurants. So swing on by and sing up to have a meal with colleagues.

In terms of eating in Charlottesville, as a graduate student I was amazed by how many restaurants there were in TJ's backyard. Given that new restaurants have opened since I left, the possibilities are plentiful. There is no way I would be able to cover all of your options. Instead, I have chosen to highlight a restaurant in each of the following four categories: Chain restaurants, Ethnic restaurants, Quirky/Downtown Mall restaurants, and Uniquely Charlottesville restaurants. Don't forget that you can stop by the Hospitality Table or the hotel concierge for other suggestions for dining as well.

Chain Restaurant - Bonefish Grill
If seafood is your thing, you might have heard about this chain. New to Charlottesville and just a few minutes from the hotel, this is a great place for a nice dinner. A little pricier option, as entrées are often over $20, this is nice experience with a great atmosphere.

Ethnic - Maharaja (Indian)
One of the first restaurants I went to in Charlottesville was Maharaja. One of two Indian options in C'ville (the other is Milan), Maharaja offers a lunch buffet and dinner. They are open on Monday through Friday from 11:30 to 2 and 5 to 10pm. It will run you between $10 and $30.

Quirky/Downtown Mall - Twisted Tea Bazaar
This is a place for the tea lover. While they also serve food (the menu is on their website), the Tea Bazaar's claim to fame is tea. It is a place that tea lovers in C'ville swear by. It also has a unique atmosphere and a vegetarian friendly menu. It's locate on the Downtown Mall, so if you want to grab dinner somewhere else and then just drop in for tea, you can do that as well. Just a warning, you have to hike up and flight of steps to get into the restaurant, so factor that into your plans.

Uniquely Charlottesville - The Tavern
Not be confused with Miche Tavern, The Tavern is a C'ville institution. On its roof is written "Where students, tourists, and townspeople meet" and that is pretty true. When it is open there is often a line out the door. It was one of my favorite places to eat in Charlottesville, in part because they serve their whole menu the entire time they are open. So, yes, you have have a burger at 8am and scrapple at 2pm. The one drawback? It closes after lunch...which makes it a great place to stop by on the way in to the conference or on the way home. It's on 29 across from Barracks Road shopping center.

Want to go to a Charlottesville institution for dinner and have steak? Try the Aberdeen Barn. It's not that far away from The Tavern and will be open for dinner. Feel free to ask me about it at the hospitality table.

Did anyone say dessert?
Again, I could go on and on about dessert, but there are two places that are definitely worth checking out. If you are on the Downtown Mall, stop in Chap's Ice Cream. It is homemade and good stuff; some of the committee tried it out during a recent trip to Charlottesville on March 16th. Ice cream packing more calories than you would like? Then head to Arch's for frozen yogurt. With three locations (on the Corner, on 29, and on Ivy Rd), Arch's is easy to get to. Not only can you get frozen yogurt, you can get an Archer. Check out their soft serve menu to see what I mean. I can vouch for the Peanut Butter Delight. I had a lot of those in grad school.

1 comment:

  1. This is my favorite post so far probably because I too recount my trips by where I ate. I can't wait to get some personalized recommendations from you when I get there!