Diamond in the Sky: Pop-up Sandwiches at Little Star

Give the people what they want. And, the people want sandwiches.

That seems to be the mantra behind the new takeout menu at Little Star.

For some restaurants, the shift to the Culture of Takeout was a challenge. Not all foods and experiences translate well to disposable containers.

One food type made for takeout, though, are sandwiches, and Little Star chef and co-owner Ryan Collins is a sandwich fiend. Collins’ special affinity for a classic Italian sub, in fact, was a spark behind his interest in launching a sandwich shop out of Little Star. While Charlottesville has a few Italian sub riffs that Collins enjoys, nothing, he says, can scratch the itch like the original.

For an original, perhaps the most distinguishing factor is bread. There is great bread all over Charlottesville, but not much, if any, of the signature style for subs at Italian delis: hoagies with a crunchy exterior and soft, squishy exterior. For that, Collins turned of course to Charlottesville’s king of bread, Gerry Newman, at Little Star’s neighbor Albemarle Baking Company. Newman had already collaborated with Collins on pan estrella for Little Star’s instant classic pan tomate. Now, Newman’s bakery has fine-tuned a bread just for Little Star’s new sandwich program. “We listened to what Ryan was looking for and were always open to the changes necessary to improve the crust, crumb, and taste for the sandwich he had in mind,” said Newman. “We landed on a seeded semolina loaf that can hold an incredible Italian sandwich.”

Little Star’s Italians come either mild or spicy. The mild is the Fiat: mortadella, mild salami, marinated tomato, lettuce, onion, aged pecorino, and house dressing on ABC semolina Italian loaf. The spicy, the Alfa Spider, replaces mild salami with spicy.

The Bugatti is like the love child of a French Dip and classic pork and broccoli rabe. Braised beef cheeks, broccoli, aged pecorino, and hot peppers are stuffed into an ABC semolina loaf with a side of beef jus.

The Meep Meep is roasted cauliflower, Romesco, apricot mostarda, arugula, and onion, again on the custom ABC semolina Italian loaf.

Daily soups will change often. Salads include a Caesar and a salad of house made mozzarella.

Opening tomorrow, January 13, Little Star’s takeout sandwich shop will operate Wednesday-Saturday, 11:30 am – 7:30 pm. Meanwhile, Little Star’s regular menu will remain available for on premises dining  Thursday through Saturday.

Order takeout sandwiches here.