Out and About: Blue Moon Diner in Charlottesville

There are so many little secrets in Charlottesville. The Blue Moon Diner, a rock-and-roll eatery, is certainly one of them. Located on West Main Street, the largest artery in town, this one-of-a-kind diner is an institution. We’ve dined there for brunch, lunch and dinner and it has never disappointed our hungry mouths. The best thing is that it’s only a 3-minute walk from our apartment.

Aside from the Elvis-inspired decor, which is honestly the best I’ve seen around, the Blue Moon Diner’s food is the talk of the town. Sure, pretty amazing musicians grace the “stage” (more like a corner between two benches) on a weekly basis, and CLAW found its official home, they even have pancakes with faces on them! (Rainn Wilson, for example) but, again, the food is what it is all about. Hearty. Local. Simple. Perfect.

So, this time around, we chose brunch. Something Francesco and I love to do is wake up late on Sunday morning, take a quick shower and walk to Blue Moon. No matter what you get: “Huevos Bluemoonos ,” blueberry pancakes, meatloaf, any of the burgers platters, eggs any way you want, it’s always a solid bet. It’s going to taste good. On this day, I chose my own omelet with feta cheese, spinach and bacon. Delicious. It is served with house potatoes and a drink of your choice…hot tea for this girl.

And let’s spend a minute to discuss service. Servers are cool, fast and genuinely nice. Hearty brunch, good service and  fun decor. All things that point to a winner.

Out and About: Blackberry Harvest Festival in Nellysford

One of my favorite things about summer is the myriad of festivals around the Charlottesville area. On Saturday, we drove 4o short minutes from town to discover a little piece of heaven that is Hill Top Berry Farm. Nestled within luscious green hills, Hill Top is a small berry farm whose landscape is reminiscent of my beloved Tuscany.

Ok, maybe not Tuscany per se, but it was really a wonderful sight nonetheless. Right?

Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the overwhelmingly hot and humid summer—and we are talking about a relentless heat wave of 100-degree days—dried out all the fruit trees. What I thought would be the best summer find (imagine the cobbler I could have baked!), turned out to be a sad reminder that the weather does control our food source.

But not all is lost. Apparently, we are supposed to get some much-needed rain in the coming weeks and I bet all the dried, sad little blackberries will be coming back to life.

The ripe and fatty ones we tried, however, were fabulous. So, until next time, happy picking!