The very first time I saw Leesburg’s historic downtown, I was startled at how similar it looked to charming Waterbury, Vermont. But as I got to know the area, I was disappointed to learn that while the visual aesthetics are the same, with a few exceptions, Leesburg is not a culinary capital along the lines of the home of Ben & Jerry’s. That’s partly because it took me so long to get to Trungo’s.
Trungo’s adopted its current name and focus on handcrafted, local food in 2018, two years before I arrived in NoVA. So what’s my excuse for not trying it sooner? The fact that the restaurant is only open three days a week makes it tough to make time. But Thursday through Saturday, I have a new favorite spot for a meaty repast.
Everything is made in-house. My server told me, for example, that the bratwurst sandwich includes a housemade sausage with house sauerkraut on a baguette baked at Trungo’s. The friendly service and farm-inspired look of the room all took me back to Vermont. So did tasting the kitchen’s wares.
The Reuben sandwich is one of the most gratifying in the region. I’m sad that I hadn’t yet tried it when I named my favorites in NoVA. Sturdy, buttery rye bread is stacked with chubby slices of liberally spiced homemade corned beef. Gruyere binds the meat and the house sauerkraut to the rye along with a sweet-and-sour slick of what’s identified on the menu as “1001” dressing.
The flesh at Trungo’s is cooked on a Big Green Egg. To see what the ceramic kamado grill can do, order the short ribs. The boneless, local beef betrays “just a hint of smoke” as the menu advertises, but also an endearingly charred exterior that presents a keen foil to the tender strands of meat within. A tangy house barbecue sauce dresses up the smoked-then-braised protein. My favorite of the three sides that I tried was the soft, bright-tasting pile of collard greens, but next time, I plan to sample the barbecue jackfruit, also available on the menu as a stand-in for pulled pork.
The truth is, from that jackfuit and pulled pork to the monthly special of smoky chicken curry, I’m foreseeing a lot of “next times” at Trungo’s. And that means one very big, new-to-me reason to eat in downtown Leesburg.
2C Loudoun St. SW, Leesburg
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