CAPTAINS (BLOG)

Sep 22, 2011

SALAD LOVE FROM ETHELEATS

The Sexy Salad from The Pigeon Hole, Charlottesville, VA. Fresh spinach leaves, honeysuckle-sweet figs, salty gorgonzola, crunchy caramelized pecans, doused with a generous serving of balsamic fig dressings. This is one of the best salads I have ever had. FIGS. RULE.

The Sexy Salad from The Pigeon Hole, Charlottesville, VA.

Fresh spinach leaves, honeysuckle-sweet figs, salty gorgonzola, crunchy caramelized pecans, doused with a generous serving of balsamic fig dressings.

This is one of the best salads I have ever had. FIGS. RULE.

THANKS DARLIN!

from etheleats


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Sep 22, 2011

WRITE UP FROM TWO EAT PHILLY

 Fortunately, we had another solid brunch experience the following morning at The Pigeon Hole, a funky little restaurant located in the “The Corner,” a stretch of shops and restaurants popular with the students. Recommended to me by a couple of UVA grads, The Pigeon Hole was quite welcoming, with a great outdoor seating area extending off of a beautiful porch.
















 A & I weren’t all that hungry so we decided to split one “Belly Stuffer” item (all $7) and one “Nibbler” (all $4). The Huevos Rancheros certainly stuffed our bellies- a platter of slow cooked black beans, a couple fried eggs and a thick layer of melted cheddar layered with a pretty potent spicy red sauce. The hash browns accompanying the dish were cut on the smaller side and soft- not mushy, but I preferred the hearty chunks of crispy potatoes at Bluegrass. As for the huevos, Pigeon Hole keeps it simple, with the basic components playing well off one another. The beans were super thick and sludgy, making it easy to incorporate them into each bite.


 One of our friends dishes came with a side of grits- and I am not exaggerating when I say we had grits in some form in every single meal we ate that weekend- but he handed them off to A & I to split. Again, the chefs kept it extremely simple- just grits, salt, and perhaps a touch of butter. The stone-ground corn itself was grainier and grittier than some of the more milled versions, giving it a rustic texture that actually required chewing. Cooking them long and slow provided a super creamy texture without getting a whole lot of dairy involved. 



We finished up with a nibbler- two small sticky buns. Gooey cinnamon-tinted bread drizzled with a caramel sauce and embedded with halved pecans… a sweet and sticky way to end the meal. Perfect for sharing (and satisfying the inevitable sweet tooth).


 Our weekend wrapped up with a barbecue at home, and then we sadly said goodbye to a beautiful southern college town that reminded us of home… though perhaps with better food! Don’t worry Charlottesville… we’ll be back!

Check out more foodie blogging by these awesome folks here

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Sep 20, 2011

FILTERED YELP REVIEWS FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE

(DEAR YELP, WHAT’S UP WITH FILTERING OUR REVIEWS SO HARSHLY? LAMEO)

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Sep 20, 2011

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Sep 20, 2011

EPIC JAM SESSION ON THE PIGEON HOLE PATIO

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May 28, 2011

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Feb 17, 2011

From -> Chop Bouie

Located on Elliewood Avenue near the University of Virginia, The Pigeon Hole is one Charlottesville’s newest restaurants. Started by area natives, its speciality is classic Southern breakfast food, served all day, and with an old-fashioned charm; silverware is mismatched, drinks are in mason jars, and the interior — nicely renovated after serious neglect from previous owners — is bright and cheery.  To be fair, this is only the second time I’ve been to The Pigeon Hole for brunch. But it’s also the second time I’ve come away impressed. In particular, the biscuits and gravy (seen above) are excellent: large, thick pieces of Virginia ham, buttery biscuits, and an excellent —  if slightly soupy — gravy. Together with their excellent grits, it’s a great way to start the morning. Simply put, if you’re looking for a good — and inexpensive — place to grab breakfast, brunch or lunch (which they serve), you should check out The Pigeon Hole. Yes, Charlottesville is heavy on restaurants, but this one deserves to stay.

Located on Elliewood Avenue near the University of Virginia, The Pigeon Hole is one Charlottesville’s newest restaurants. Started by area natives, its speciality is classic Southern breakfast food, served all day, and with an old-fashioned charm; silverware is mismatched, drinks are in mason jars, and the interior — nicely renovated after serious neglect from previous owners — is bright and cheery. 

To be fair, this is only the second time I’ve been to The Pigeon Hole for brunch. But it’s also the second time I’ve come away impressed. In particular, the biscuits and gravy (seen above) are excellent: large, thick pieces of Virginia ham, buttery biscuits, and an excellent —  if slightly soupy — gravy. Together with their excellent grits, it’s a great way to start the morning.

Simply put, if you’re looking for a good — and inexpensive — place to grab breakfast, brunch or lunch (which they serve), you should check out The Pigeon Hole. Yes, Charlottesville is heavy on restaurants, but this one deserves to stay.

http://chopbouie.tumblr.com/post/3275094437/located-on-elliewood-avenue-near-the-university-of

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Feb 3, 2011

NEW YELP REVIEW

Ben A.

Charlottesville, VA

 2/3/2011 

The sign out front, “Welcome home!”, could not be more true. Though the location has been a death warrant for restaurants, The Pigeon Hole seems to have overcome it. And a big “knock-on-wood” for that, too, because this is the best breakfast in Charlottesville and I’d like it to stick around.

First thing’s first: the coffee. This may be the only place with both great food AND great coffee. This is the part-owner’s “secret blend” and it is a delicious and complex one, perfect for the coffee aficionado/snobs.

With my visits numbering near 5 or 6, I have yet to eat something that disappoints me. Through creative ordering and dish-sharing with my girlfriend, I’ve had the pleasure of at least tasting about ten of their menu items. My favorite so far is the Monte Cristo - a ham/cheese sandwich with French toast for bread, best eaten with syrup. This is the sort of thing I would want to start every single day with.

Also, the bag lunches: genius. They are as simple as it gets, but have great ingredients, homemade if possible. The love note in the bag also makes everything taste better.

Bottom line: eat at The Pigeon Hole. Then, you won’t need Yelp to convince you to go back.

THANKS BEN!!

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Feb 3, 2011

Introducing The Pigeon Hole

Disregarding location’s stormy past, new Corner spot opens strong

According to owner Lex Gibson, U.Va. students are like mythical unicorns within the downtown restaurant scene. “After West Main, Charlottesville ends for a lot of us,” she explains as a lifetime local. She hopes to change this with her newly-opened restaurant on the Corner, The Pigeon Hole, that serves home-cooked comfort food all day.

Confident and rightly so, Gibson has accomplished a lot for a twenty-four year old. The Pigeon Hole bravely stands in the place of many short lived restaurants, most recently, an Asian fusion establishment by the name of L7. Working as a manager for L7 under Jim Baldi, Gibson helped turn it into a “profitable enterprise.” And she adds, “I didn’t even ask for the proper compensation for that…just ‘cause I wanted it to be successful.” Lack of commitment is the reason why Gibson thinks L7 was left to her by Baldi, who has been missing for several months, leaving behind a string of lawsuits and debts. She claims, “I’m the only person in Charlottesville that he didn’t screw over.”

The Pigeon Hole was one of the more positive outcomes of the disappearance of Baldi, who left behind another restaurant in Belmont. Baldi sold Gibson the L7 for an undisclosed amount, but that is not to say that Gibson was given the restaurant for free. She put an astonishing amount of time, labor and money into converting L7 into The Pigeon Hole over the past eight months. “I refinished these floors on my hands and knees myself,” she said. “No power tools.” With the help of volunteers transforming The Pigeon Hole, it’s easy to see how it brings our community together.

“My vision was to really give everyone a kind of place to call home,” Gibson explains. It is a vision that elegantly brings the local Charlottesville community, usually concentrated in the downtown area, to the Corner. Gibson points to a stigma with the locals, or a separation between the two communities, which she says didn’t always exist. Instead of creating a restaurant that panders to students’ need for a quick meal, she hopes to bring a unique sense of creativity and originality to the Corner and to U.Va. students. This, she hopes, would “create more of a consensus between the community and the students.”

Inside the restaurant, closely placed chairs and tables help facilitate this harmony. Mismatched salt and pepper shakers, mason jars used as glasses, and a special blend of coffee from Shenandoah Joe’s adds to the charming atmosphere. Attentive servers, Gibson feels, are an important aspect of the experience at The Pigeon Hole. It goes well with her positive philosophy: “I struggled with depression all my life, all that jazz. So I know what it’s like to really appreciate having someone, even a stranger you know just calling you buttercup. And feeding you awesome food. It makes a big difference.”

Though neither writer is from the South, we both appreciate a good southern breakfast. And that’s exactly what we were treated to. Some breakfast menu items come with a choice of grits or hash browns. The stone ground grits were creamy and seasoned and the hash browns complimented the food perfectly. The best breakfast dishes were typical fare with a friendly twist. Our “Pigeons in a Hole,” sunny-side up eggs hidden in toast, were made with soft, fresh, well-toasted bread and came with extra toast in the shape of hearts.

One of the menu’s standout items and a Gibson favorite is the Baby Cakes Benedict which comes with light, well-spiced crab cakes along with smooth poached eggs and a scrumptious Hollandaise sauce. Served for Sunday Brunch, Gibson was apt when explaining that one could eat a truckload of the crab cakes. Other menu items ranging from four to eleven dollars included pancakes, eggs, sausage, sandwiches (available for carryout) and many other items that we honestly cannot wait to go try. Gibson believes that good food is possible without breaking the bank. In this regard we agree completely.

From loose-leaf doodles of unicorns to landscape models from the architecture school, Gibson welcomes any artistic donations to the restaurant. This is just one aspect of her welcoming involvement in the local music and arts scene. With the appropriate licenses, Gibson hopes to extend the hours for The Pigeon Hole and host local artists, bringing them to the attention of university students. Late night breakfast food for night owl students doesn’t seem like such a bad idea either.

Listening to Gibson talk about her story and her hopes for the future is nothing short of inspiring. “You create your own universe. You can do it,” she tells us. It’s easy to see that her spirit and work ethic are important reasons why The Pigeon Hole has already met with such success. Opening a restaurant on the Corner is admittedly a difficult process, but Gibson and her establishment seem up to the challenge.

She responds to this by saying, “I would much rather fail at something difficult than succeed at something easy.” In the end, though, money is not the final measure of success for Gibson. All she wants is to make someone’s day better or to give them a good start to the day. In the future, Gibson hopes to meet more students and professors from the university.

She adds that “It took a lot to first come up here. I’m opening the door and it can only open further.”

http://www.thedeclaration.org/article/introducing-pigeon-hole

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Feb 2, 2011

REVIEW FROM BAKINGGODDESS

the pigeon hole, charlottesville va

by bakinggoddess on January 31, 2011

sunday, the gentleman friend and i went to a relatively new restaurant in charlottesville for brunch. now, charlottesville has something like the highest number of restaurants per capita, which is (1) insane, (2) a blessing and a curse. sometimes a horrible restaurant will pop up and stay due to the economic power of drunk college kids. i can’t really say much on that, i’m certain that my inebriated undergraduate food decisions have helped keep some places around. and sometimes, great restaurants go completely unnoticed because, well, drunk undergrads, etc etc. also, when every other building in town is a restaurant, you can overload and just not care.

this, folks, is a case where a great restaurant needs to stay. please. go there. eat everything. tell your friends.

a friend told us about the pigeonhole (their website is here) at a viewing of mega-python versus gatoroid. she said she knew the owners, that they had done a great job renovating the interior of a building on the corner, and we should check it out. so we did!

and oh, i am so glad we did. first, i went to high school with one of the owners, which is totally awesome. here’s a quick shot of some of the interior – bright, cheery, a kind of diner vibe without feeling greasy.

any place that paints bubbles on the bathroom door wins my love.

i am battling the mini-plague, so went with tea. excellent tea selection, for what it’s worth. let’s see. things that charmed me. water is served in mason jars. mismatched silverware that appeared to be real silver. funky salt and pepper shakers. one of the owners was chatting with a guy near us about using his massive coaster collection in the restaurant, and their website asks for local art submissions. that kind of effort to bond with the community is great.

i went with a classic breakfast – french toast with warm spiced apples and grits. this was a good breakfast. not the best french toast i’ve ever tried, but good and delicious. the grits, though? i would come back to just order a bowl of the grits. or two bowls. or three. i do not know what they do to the grits there, but holy lord they are SO GOOD.

to the gentleman one table over who asked “what’s a grit?”…i’m sorry that you are so sheltered. you missed out if you didn’t get grits.

i completely plan to return for lunch one day. sometimes, it takes a brand-new eatery a bit of time to hit its stride. in this case, the pigeon hole has found its stride already – good southern-inspired food. what it needs is the love of our community. so go for an inexpensive lunch with a friend, take a co-worker there, send everyone you know there.

love,

me

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Jan 20, 2011

#5 FIVE BREAKFAST &
BRUNCH SPOT IN CVILLE

AND WE’VE ONLY BEEN OPEN THREE DAYS, WORD.

(So says yelp.com)

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Jan 20, 2011

REVIEW FROM YELP

1/16/2011

"The Pigeon Hole isn’t officially open until 1/18/2011, but I was able to attend a ‘soft opening’ of sorts today. I thought the concept was excellent, and I can’t wait to try the rest of their menu. 

The Good
- Decor. Ambiance. Personality. This place has it. The owner took great care in the smallest of details. Silverware and plates are endearingly mismatched, the salt and paper shakers take the form of various ceramic fruits and vegetables. Drinks are served in glass mason jars. I definitely felt like home here. 
- Food. I would like to preface this review by noting that I don’t like bread. Yep. Just don’t like it. Not my thing. However the blueberry muffins here are phenomenal. Light, fluffy and moist, these muffins seem to melt in your mouth and seem to strike just the right sweet/tart flavor balance. House cured ham was also delicious - not too salty, and just enough mustard to let the ham’s natural flavor shine through. 
- Coffee. The Pigeon Hole serves up a damn good cup of coffee. Better than Greenberry’s, Starbucks, and on par with Para Coffee next door. 

The Bad 
- It’s a small place - which I don’t mind. When the space is full the restaurant might feel a bit crowded. I can foresee long waits. 

The Verdict
- Go. This place is, again, absolutely adorable, cozy, quaint. The food is made-from-scratch tasty, and a perfect breakfast, brunch, and lunch alternative to typical Corner fare.”

http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-pigeon-hole-charlottesville

THANK YOU EMILY M!!

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Jan 3, 2011

Hole’d up?

Lex Gibson (right) and Naomi Annable have been in full-on renovation mode for six months now, doing nearly all the construction work (and even some electrical) on their own. “We just want to create a nice home for everyone—and for ourselves,” Gibson says.


BY RESTAURANTARAMA

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. When life hands you a restaurant, you make good, old-fashioned comfort food. That is, not until you overhaul the whole place.

That’s how it went for Lex Gibson, who about six months ago was handed the keys to L7, Jim Baldi’s former Elliewood Avenue Asian fusion spot, and given the reins to do as she pleased. When Restaurantarama first spoke to her in August, she was hopeful The Pigeon Hole, as she named it, would be up and running by the middle of that month. As it turned out, the building she inherited was itself somewhat of a, excuse the pun, lemon.

“We’ve been learning a lot about construction,” says her business partner, Naomi Annable. The women, who met while working at Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie, have put blood, sweat and tears into the space’s renovation, refinishing floors, retiling the bathroom, patching holes—and those are just structural improvements. The duo has big plans for the decor, too. They’ve handstained table tops and gathered a slew of mismatched white plates and silverware. Annable has amassed quite the collection of salt and pepper shakers, anything from a radish and cucumber-shaped set to a pair of roosters.

“If this fails,” Gibson says, “we could probably start a salt and pepper shaker museum.” 
But let’s talk food. Restaurantarama got a peek at the menu: The all-day breakfast spot has plans to offer a $5 bag lunch (complete with a sweet note, just like Mom used to include), different kinds of sammiches (their word, not ours) and, for Sunday brunch, The Crabby Florentine, among other things. They’ll also serve fresh squeezed juices (carrot, apple and, coincidentally, lemonade) and authentic mint juleps. In other words, they’ve thought of every last detail.

“When you run a restaurant,” Annable says, “you have so many opportunities to touch people throughout the day.”

Adds Gibson, “You have the opportunity to turn someone’s day around. I just want [coming to eat here] to be an experience.”

The restaurant’s opening date (they hope for real this time) is January 18.

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Dec 9, 2010

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