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Short Order 

Looking for localism (and good Cantonese fare) in Ashland.

click to enlarge food35_mezzanine_200.jpg

Dine Another Day

Chalkboard challenged: A recent party of postgrads, in a Saturday night dinner at Mezzanine, figured out the best way to deal with that way-busy Carytown restaurant's lack of printed menus. They took a photo of the chalkboard menu and passed it around so that each diner could order without wine-induced forgetfulness. How many more complaints about this unwieldy system will it take for the owners to pony up a daily menu sheet? 

Aziza's at night: We've raved over the fresh, Lebanese-inspired fare at Aziza's on Main, a bright retro cafAc serving lunch and weekend brunch. Recently it's added dinner hours on Thursdays and Fridays, 5:30-9:30, cooking up fresh local ingredients on a changing-weekly menu. Full bar, wines, take-home items, smashing desserts. 2110 E. Main St. 344-1523.

Ashland appetites: For the best Cantonese fare north of town, cognoscenti visit Little Hunan at 525 S. Washington Highway. Style reader Pat Isaacs sums it up: “For us and most of the folks we know in Ashland, this is the Chinese restaurant of choice. It is in a small strip shopping center, between a convenience store and a Laundromat, so it is easy to overlook. The manager and chef have been on site every time we have visited, for at least the last eight years. They seem to care about the food and the dining experience. The environment is fine for eating in, unlike some storefront places. But note that the take-out business is brisk on weekend nights, and there will be people coming and going to the counter.”

Isaacs also recommends Houndstooth CafAc, 13271 Hanover Courthouse Road, “for its roots and its tenacity. The front porch is a fine place to wait for a table while watching over Route 301 through Hanover Courthouse, a road that used to be a main thoroughfare north-south. Once inside, the food is mostly pork and seafood, which can be ordered to be cooked various ways. ... There aren't many local places left in most towns. This is one local place that has survived, and that knows the importance of welcoming new customers as well as old friends.”

Do you know a local restaurant that's survived despite the most difficult of obstacles? Let us know at shortorder@styleweekly.com.

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