201 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA
$$$ – Entrees $19-27
We were in Charlottesville not so long ago and really loved exploring the area. The city, like Charleston, has plenty of historical sites and also a fun, “hip” scene, too. We spent a lot of time window shopping along the Downtown Mall, and decided there was no better place to have dinner than there.
Zocalo is located right on the main pedestrian street with a huge outdoor patio. Fall is the perfect time for the patio so we waited a few minutes for a table then sat right down for some people watching.
One look at the menu, and Jeffrey and I couldn’t decide what to eat – it all looked so good. And, it turns out…we were right. This was some of the best food we’ve had in a long time.
The pork we ordered, MOJO GRILLED PORK PORTERHOUSE ($23), was juicy and delicious, cooked in a broth with chili. The pineapple on top brought out a distinct Caribbean flavor. Served on top of collards and braised in chorizo… perfect. The sweet potatoes on the side were good and natural – not sugary. This entree was a mix between Mexican and Caribbean flavor, done well.
Next, the SEARED DUCK BREAST ($24) was almost as great as the pork. Cooked with lots of broth and topped with cherries and raisins, it was very sweet and dense– but light at the same time. While delicious, I’d have to say the pork won. And how could we forget manchego & caramelized onion bread pudding?
BOTTOM LINE: I can’t recommend this restaurant enough. So, if you’re in Charlottesville, make this a must-stop on your list.