Vegan in Charlottesville: Boylan Heights
You know that feeling when you eat the best “x” you’ve ever eaten? That moment when the dish comes out, you take one look, one whiff, and you know, yes, you already know, that it’s going to be the best whatever it is ever? I was privileged with one of those moments on Friday and gosh darnit if I don’t get another excuse to experience it sometime soon–seriously, someone give me an excuse, any excuse to go an hour and forty-five minutes out of my way to Charlottesville again. Please?
Blurry camera phone picture of Malkmus & the Jicks (I was too lazy to take my camera in; also didn’t know the policy on professional looking equipment)
But, to rewind, the reason I was in C’ville was to see Malkmus & the Jicks play. Remember last year’s trip to Philadelphia to see Pavement? Well, somehow I really lucked out and Malkmus, the lead guy from Pavement, just put out a new album with his band, the Jicks, and they happened to stop in Charlottesville on a prime time Friday night to play. For $15. For serious.
Blurry camera phone pic of us (from left to right): G, me, Courtney, Brandon, and Eric
So some friends and I packed up in my car, G & I took a half day from work, and we headed up to Charlottesville to eat some good food, drink a few drinks, and see a great band play. Good news is that it was good all around–a stellar show, some extraordinary food, and, other than the local Star Hill brews I drank, I also had an amazing wheat doppelbock from Germany (hints of banana and coffee and raspberries and goodness all around, yum).
Ah, but the food, you ask? Let me let you in on a secret: the best vegan burger I’ve ever eaten (I’m not sure if this one in D.C. was vegan, but even if it was, the one in C’ville beats it) is at Boylan Heights. I’m seriously almost weeping at the memory of eating it. A mix of rice, mushrooms, carrots, toasted pecans, and some other goodness, you wouldn’t think from the ingredients that it would be all that interesting. But it is. Oh goodness it is. It’s meaty with just the right crunch from the rice and pecans that it feels like a good sear–it’s savory with a tinge of sweet, and it doesn’t fall apart at first bite. For a vegan burger in a restaurant, it holds together amazingly well.
Plus, when you build your own burger, there are plenty of options. I opted for a multigrain bun, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and spinach, and BBQ sauce. The options, though, are endless. And the build-a-burger was only $8 (with a tad more for specialty items). And the sweet potato fries? Well, I was so stuffed from the veggie burger that I couldn’t finish them off, but they were crispy and just like a sweet potato. None overcooked, none undercooked, all just delicious.
Boylan Heights, you hold the key to my heart, and if I lived in Charlottesville, god knows I’d gain a bajillion pounds. So it’s probably good that I don’t live there. But I’m looking for any excuse to go back…
102 Fourteenth Street NW
Charlottesville, VA 22903