Preston Long



Photo Justin Ide

Song Song: Health first

For starters, Song Song’s Zhou and Bing’s pork and leek bing—a pancake, ever-so-delicately crisped and stuffed with an exquisitely-seasoned pork patty—is heavenly and, quite possibly, the best cheap lunch in Charlottesville. But that’s not really the point here. The point is that a woman with a business degree started a restaurant because she wants people […]

Photo: Billy Hunt

Carlos Pezua: Maestro

“I was working as a substitute teacher in an eighth grade science class while I was also taking my medical school prerequisites at UVA. There was no lesson plan for class one day, so I looked out the window to see if I could find a science project for us to do. And I said […]

Shebeen owner Walter Slawski takes what he learned growing up in Zimbabwe and incorporates it into the menu at his restaurant on Ridge-McIntire. Photo: Elli Williams

Veggie delight: Shebeen’s sadza cakes satisfy picky palates

Ah, the plight of the vegetarian. Even in this day and age, scrumptious grub options for those who don’t dig the flesh can still be scant. Everyone else at the table will be tucking into savory, juicy, chunky, flame-licked, and skillet-seared succulence, while the pitiful vegetarian sits there with his microwaved veggie burger getting cold […]

Gibson’s serves up a Nathan’s Famous hot dog with all the fixins’ on a steamed potato bun, which owner Chris Gibson says is essential to a good dog. Photo: Elli Williams

Good dog: Let’s get frank about the best wieners in town

Gibson’s Grocery owner Chris Gibson reckons the hot dog is still the number two snack food in America. That may not always be apparent around these parts, but the frankfurter’s presence throughout the rest of America is undeniable. From the take-out windows and lunch counters of Chicago, to the ubiquitous hot dog carts of New […]

At Buttz BBQ, you can mix and match Texas Red with Sweet Mustard, Alabama White or the heater Haba Haba. Photo: Preston Long

Quality ‘cue: How does local pulled pork stack up?

Barbecue can be so vexing—like one of those vague memories you can’t decide whether it ever really happened, or you maybe just dreamt it. You’ll be driving around the ragged streets of North Philadelphia trying to find that vacant lot where some guy had a half-barrel smoker and was selling brisket and ribs wrapped in […]

Pies from Tip Top, Sal's Caffe Italia, and Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard. Photo: Preston Long

Pizza, pizza! Top slices, personal pies, and surprises around town

The New York pizza slice, for years the pizza gold standard, inspired a lot of wasted effort and money, what with people trying to reproduce NYC pizza parlors, replete with transported ovens, in places like Kansas or Albuquerque or (gack) San Francisco. Pizza everywhere was measured against some non-specific New York City pie. If you […]

From left: Positively 4th Street, Basil Mediterranean Bistro, Bamboo House. Photos: Preston Long

Honey, let’s go out: Cheap dates for cheapskates

The cheap date is a tricky proposition. But there are ways to cut corners without necessarily revealing yourself for the broke-ass bounder that you really are. Despite the holdover notion that some here in central Virginia cleave to—the idea that we live in some bastion of Southern rectitude—you needn’t occupy your mind with chivalric conceits. […]

Fox's Cafe is home to the best burger in town. Photo: Preston Long

Order up! Who’s got the best burger in Charlottesville?

I used to plot burgers on the national map like I was tracking a serial killer. The Rusty Nail, Canton, Michigan. Casino El Camino, Sixth Street, Austin. Some Irish bar, west side of Clark Street, far north side Chicago. Pink’s, La Brea, Los Angeles. They all had their own thing about them. I took a […]

Sultan Kebab kebobs. Photo: Preston Long

You say kabobs, I say kebabs

They go by many names. Some are so elusive, the names may as well be aliases. But they could be what saves us. They are, after all, where everyone comes together. Greeks and Turks, Muslims and Christians alike can all get behind the kebab (anglicized Turkish spelling), the kabob (Afghan version), the döner, and the […]

The quesadilla at La Taza is a particular favorite of local veggie lovers. Photo: Preston Long

Veg out! Four healthy options for herbivores

Whether you’re a vegetarian or the kind of person who will pull over at he faintest waft of smoking hickory charcoals, sometimes it’s not a bad idea to just lay off the meat for a spell. Revolutionary Soup and Eppie’s may earn top marks for vegetarian fare in Best of C-VILLE every year, but the […]

At the City Market, Mexican Tacos serves ’em up spiced with guajillo chili. Staff photo.

Loco for tacos: Craving Mexican? Try these three

I’ve eaten tacos from propane-fired griddles outside my apartment near downtown Los Angeles, and from the street grills off Garibaldi Square while mingling with mariachis between sets in Mexico City. I’ve partaken of the ubiquitous taco stands of Texas and the cozy Mexican diners on the north side of Chicago. It doesn’t make me an […]