i’ve decided to start a series on this blog about the best food in charlottesville. i’ve tried a smattering of restaurants around town, some icky, some mediocre, and some absolutely fabulous ones. i’ll share my favorite meals and restaurants here so that you can go try them out! the first post in this series is about my number one favorite place to eat around UVA: boylan heights.
i’m about to make you jealous.
if you have never heard of this incredible establishment, it is a “gourmet burger bar” where you can pick from a selection of ridiculous creations already set on their menu, or pick up a scantron sheet and make your own. they come with delectable shoestring or sweet potato fries (and sometimes tots!!) and you walk out at the end of the night in the middle of a food coma.
they boast natural and local ingredients (right up my alley!) which you can totally taste in each bite, from the burger buns from local bakeries around town, to tomatoes and lettuce grown from small farms that i see selling the same produce at the farmers’ market every weekend.
can i please just tell you about their veggie burger? it is about as far from a Boca burger as you can get. nothing is processed about this patty–and it is certainly not a flat hockey puck of rubbery beans. it is a quinoa base (a grain high in protein and fiber!) with fresh bell peppers, corn, black beans, tomatoes, charred zucchini and all sorts of green herbs (parsley, cilantro, and oregano i’m guessing). it is loosely formed into a fat patty and grilled on the flat-top just like a regular burger is, so it even has that crust on the outside. i recommend the veggie burger to absolutely everyone that i take to boylan and i have it almost every time i go (and i’m not even a vegetarian!)
|photo courtesy of boylan’s flickr|
there are other things on the menu besides burgers, however. i have heard tell that their BLT is just the right ratio of bacon to lettuce and juicy farm-stand tomato, and it is grilled to a crispy crunch on the griddle. their salads are refreshing (and you can get any burger bun-less in a bowl on top of a bed of mesclun greens instead of with fries!). but there is also my mother’s favorite item that makes her crave boylan every time the fam comes to visit: the grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich. it is a gorgeous creation of PB&B on toasty white bread, grilled until everything is melty inside. it even comes with a side of honey for dipping (which is my mom’s favorite part :] ). i’m not saying it won’t cause the onset of diabetes, but it surely is a treat every once and a while.
but by far my favorite part of going to this restaurant is finding out what the B.O.M.B. is (“burger of the month” for you first-timers). it is always some new and exciting creation that leaves me drooling once i see it pass by. i’m not just talking about making a “featured burger” that has some interesting topping every month. nope. these BOMBs go all out: salmon burgers on a bed of asian sticky rice and veg, chorizo burger with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and spicy siracha mayo, etc. absolutely nuts. this month (october), the BOMB was a pork, veal, and beef burger topped with a tomato/basil/mozzarella salad and a light pesto mayo on a local olive-oil roll. i went most recently for my birthday with a huge group of friends and had the masterpiece:
|the october BOMB, courtesy of boylan’s website|