The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Tag: Belle

Five Finds on Friday: Allen LeHew

School’s out for summer!

For many in Charlottesville, nothing says summer more than Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books, the iconic OBX shop that fuels vacationing Charlottesvillians with waterfront coffee. It turns out the love affair is mutual, as longtime owner Allen LeHew loves Charlottesville, and makes frequent journeys to Charlottesville for food (and sports!). Quietly, he is also a regular contributor to fundraisers when members of the Charlottesville food community are in need. No wonder Charlottesville finds his shop such a pleasant place to be.

To kick off beach season, today’s Five Finds on Friday come from LeHew. Check out his great picks, and don’t miss Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books this summer:

1) Seasonal Fruit Brioche at Albemarle Baking Company. “This delicate, light and fluffy brioche, filled with pastry cream and seasonal fruit, is perfect with your morning coffee, as an afternoon snack, or even for dessert.”

2) Jambon Beurre at Belle. “Belle’s take on this classic French sandwich is so simple yet so delicious. The house baked bread, using flour from Woodson’s Mill, is perfection. Finish your meal with one of Belle’s cinnamon rolls or chocolate chip cookies.”

3) Pig Mac at Little Star. “#11 on Simon’s 29 Sandwich list. A breaded pork cutlet with all the fixings to make it a Mac. Served on a brioche sesame seed roll. One of those thing I eat and days later think about and crave another.”

4) Quenelles de Brochet at Café Frank. “My wife Judy and I try to dine at Café Frank whenever we are in town. Nothing disappoints, but the standout so far has been the Quenelles. The pike dumpling practically melts in your mouth and the rich velouté is the perfect accompaniment.”

5) Ethiopian Qabballe Pourover at Mudhouse. “I’m partial to the fruit forward Ethiopian coffees and the pourover method really brings the fruit out. Leave the cream and sugar out, and enjoy the subtle nuances and mouthfeel of the coffee. You can’t go wrong with any of the single origin coffees Mudhouse has to offer.”


#5: Fried Chicken Sandwich – The Fitzroy


The Fried Chicken Sandwich

When an expert panel of chefs, historians, and others once convened to determine Charlottesville’s signature dish, the fried chicken sandwich received strong consideration. Fried chicken has a long history in the region, and sandwiches of it are all over Charlottesville. It’s one of the deepest sandwich categories in town.

Among a stellar lot, the most crave-inducing comes from the The Fitzroy. The difference is in the details. First, boneless chicken thighs receive a soak in a honey-dill brine. Rinse and drain thoroughly before another soak, this time in buttermilk, for several hours. Next comes a dredging in flour and spices and then, finally, they are fried. The finished thighs are placed atop a brioche bun with sliced pickles. The final twist is the addition of lemon to the cayenne-spiked aioli that gets smeared on the bun. The touch of acid works, and may be the difference-maker that has turned this into an industry favorite, drawing those who discover it back to The Fitzroy just to get their fix.

#5: Fried Chicken Sandwich – The Fitzroy
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: Ol’ Dirty Biscuit at Ace Biscuit & Barbecue, Fried Chicken Sandwich at Bizou, Shack Style Chicken Sandwich at Taste Shack (GFA), The Mother Clucker at Multiverse Kitchens. Vegetarian Alternatives: Crispy Artichoke Sandwich at Belle, Oyster Mushroom Sandwich at Multiverse Kitchens

#7: Notorious P.I.G. – Ivy Provisions

Photo by Do Me A Flavor.

The Italian

For many sandwich lovers, it is the ultimate sandwich. When a chef launched a podcast to dive deep into what makes a great sandwich, she devoted an entire episode to The Italian, which she called “everyone’s favorite sandwich.” At its best, it harmonizes elements as well as any other: salt, sweetness, fat, umami, creaminess, richness, crunch, acid, and more. It’s a sandwich where one bite just makes you want several more.

In recognition of the sandwich’s notoriety, when sandwich masters Ivy Provisions opened in 2013, they chose The Italian as their starting point, giving theirs the name Notorious P.I.G. With a team as committed to sandwich excellence as Ivy Provisions, there was purpose behind every decision that went into creating the anchor of their menu. Sure, the elements are typical: Italian cold cuts like salami, prosciutto, and capicola, along with provolone, pickled peppers, onion, lettuce, and a house Italian dressing. But, it is Ivy Provisions’ careful sourcing, portioning, and assembly that makes this the most irresistible Italian sub in town. Grab it by two fists, chomp, and enjoy.

#7: Notorious P.I.G. – Ivy Provisions
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: My Italian at Belle, Fugheddaboudit at The Wich Lab, Italian Job at Kitchen(ette), The Pelosi at Rapture, Italian Stallion at Hunt Country Market, AJ Soprano at Chickadee, Da Vinci at Mona Lisa, Italian Sub at Tubby’s, Belmont at The Market at Bellair (GFA), Authentic Italian at Foods of All Nations. Vegetarian Alternatives: Vegeletta at Belle, Roasted Vegetable Sandwich at Mona Lisa, The Local at Feast! (GFA), Roasted Vegetable Sandwich at Market Street Market (GFA)

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