Eppie's is a Charlottesville legend that serves classic, down-home comfort food on the Downtown Mall. Allie's mother wanted to take us to lunch recently, and we picked Eppie's. I ordered the jerk chicken, which I had never had before, with mac-and-cheese and coleslaw. The chicken was less spicy than I would have preferred for something labeled "jerk." Even so, it was flavorful and the meat was tender and juicy. The coleslaw was vinegar-based and easily made up for the lack of spice on my chicken. The mac-and-cheese was a cup of gooey, cheesy deliciousness. All of the chicken plates are also served with a piece of cornbread. Eppie's cornbread is among the best I've had in Charlottesville - with pieces of real corn baked right in and served warm.
My mother-in-law opted for the lemon pepper chicken plate. She liked the flavor on her chicken, but unlike mine, felt that the meat was too dry. She chose a sweet potato and collard greens as her sides. She raved about the sweet potato - saying that it was so sweet and juicy that she didn't even need to put butter on it (which is definitely saying something!). She also really enjoyed the collards.
Allie ordered her favorite item from the Eppie's menu - the Santa Monica salad. The salad is definitely big enough to make a meal out of and filled with fresh veggies. Eppie's starts with crisp spinach and tops that with tomatoes, freshly sliced-off-the-cob yellow corn, goat cheese, and dates. The salad comes with a side of champagne vinaigrette, which Allie says compliments the fresh veggies with the perfect amount of sweetness and acidity. The salads at Eppie's are served with one of their famous pumpkin bread muffins. (Side note: If you haven't had it before, you should definitely try Eppie's ham biscuits - Kite's "pink salt" country ham layered on pumpkin bread - delicious!)
Overall Impression: Eppie's is the place to go for good ole' down-home country food! Though the chicken was cooked somewhat inconsistently at this visit, all of the flavors were spot-on!
412 East Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902 (on the Downtown Mall)