I got ahead of myself with that post on Edley’s in Nashville. I had mentioned earlier, in my post on The Avenue, that I was then just back from an eating trip to Virginia, to the detriment of my waistline. Let’s get back to that and restore some order to this Blog, beginning with a great place for both wood-cooked barbecue and breakfast.
For my first lunch on my recent Virginia tour de barbecue, I stopped in Charlottesville at Ace Biscuit and Barbecue. I managed to find Ace despite the efforts of roving gangs of road workers who appeared to be tearing up streets at random, a clear sign of the hand of the Virginia Department of Transportation Prevention.
I arrived in time for a latish lunch, looked around the attractive room with well spaced tables, and ordered. Regular readers may anticipate an order of pork (a mere 1/4 pound!), greens, and macaroni and cheese. Regular readers would be right.
Let’s zoom in.
I look a bite, and I was delighted. The pork was delicious. There was that wonderful mixture of pork and smoke to which all barbecue places aspire. And that’s a generous quarter pound. I’m glad that I overcame my ingrained impulse, at times verging on brain stem activity, to get a half pound. I would have eaten it all. I was delighted to give Ace a Campaign for Real Barbecue certification for barbecue cooked only with wood.
The greens were very good, especially after I added some of Ace’s Carolina sauce. It’s and interesting mix of vinegar and … sriracha? along with other spices. And the macaroni and cheese was tasty, not baked, but with a nicely seasoned cheese sauce.
Ace is a good place. It has a nice atmosphere, everyone is friendly, and the good flavor of the food reflects a commitment to quality. Ace makes everything they serve in-house, except for the country ham and bacon. They grind their own sausage and make their own sauces. And the price is right. My meal cost $10 plus tax and tip.
You were wondering when I’d get to the biscuit part of Ace Biscuit and Barbecue. I went back to Ace for breakfast the next morning, lured by the siren song of country ham and biscuits. Ace is set up for you to order biscuit with (1) a meat, (2) an egg, and (3) a cheese.
I really just wanted a country ham biscuit, but far be it from me to disrupt an orderly routine. I’ve pretty much aged out of that now. I added a side of potatoes.
The country ham was extraordinary — two beautiful slices, not too thick, not too thin. It was wonderful, rich and salty, great country ham. The egg over easy was good and runny, and the cheese had been grated.
The biscuit itself was a surprise. It wasn’t a cat head biscuit, and the ham and egg flowed far, far beyond the boundaries of the biscuit. And it was overcooked and pretty dense. David Sanders showed me a photo of a biscuit he’d had from Ace and that biscuit was much larger, and not overcooked. It was the biscuit I’d expected, and that I hope to get next time. Frankly, though, with that great country ham, the biscuit was mainly there to soak up egg yolk.
I was forewarned that the potatoes were garlicky, which actually is generally an inducement rather than a warning for me. The potatoes had been roasted and then pan fried with fresh garlic, and they were really good. I have to say that garlic at breakfast is a bit out of my line, but I am nothing if not flexible. I gobbled them up.
Ace is an interesting place. During my lunch there, a coach was rushing a potential recruit, or so it appeared to me. It was fascinating to watch the mixture of eagerness, salesmanship, and obsequiousness displayed by the coach. At breakfast, a table of three UVA coeds ordered another round of bloody marys while I was there, and looked ready for yet another round as I left. Ah, youth!
I highly recommend Ace Biscuit and Barbecue both for their wood-cooked barbecue and their breakfast — at least as long as you have that great country ham. Or try their sausage, and I’ll bet the bacon is good, too. Whichever way, head on over to Ace. It’s a very good place to eat.
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