The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Feast!

#16: Bocadillo – Mas Tapas

Photo by Do Me A Flavor.

The Ham Sandwich

It may be the most popular sandwich of the Western world. #1 in the USA, #1 in the U.K., and in France some even claim it accounts for 70% of sandwiches eaten in the country.

While many cultures have their own takes on a ham sandwich, Charlottesville’s peak form is the Spanish rendition at Mas Tapas. Chef Mike Ketola has been doing it the same way for nearly two decades, starting with a crusty roll, baked fresh every day in-house. Atop that Ketola slathers Mas’ famous garlic alioli, made by a slow, patient process. And, then there’s just ham and cheese. As with everything at Mas, though, sourcing is key. The jamon Serrano and queso Manchego are world class. As is the sandwich.

#16: Bocadillo – Mas Tapas
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: The Oliver at Paradox Pastry, Knoxville at Petite MarieBette, Jambon Beurre at Belle, Ham & Brie at Revolutionary Soup (GFA), Prosciutto & Mozzarella at Feast!, Smoked Ham, Bacon, Cheddar Melt at Tubby’s. Vegetarian Alternatives: K.I.S.S. at Ivy Provisions (GFA), La Giaconda at Mona Lisa, Caprese at Feast!, Caprese Panini at Tilman’s

#17: Pho-rench Dip – Feast!

Photo by Do Me A Flavor.

The Dip

“Soggy” is not often a compliment for food, but sometimes moisture can enhance a sandwich. A dip in a flavorful broth or sauce allows the liquid’s seasoning to seep into every last corner of the sandwich.

Among Charlottesville’s several stellar iterations, there is none better than Feast!’s Pho-rench Dip. It is the creation of Head Chef Dan Frosaker, who once managed the kitchen at Pok Pok, then one of the nation’s most acclaimed restaurants for Southeast Asian cuisine. Frosaker draws on that experience to combine roast beef, basil, cilantro, and spicy mayo on Albemarle Baking Co. ciabatta. But, the key is the side of pho broth, the product of a lengthy, but worthwhile process that starts with charred onions and ginger. Then comes toasted star anise, black cardamom, fennel seeds and coriander seeds, with beef stock. The broth reduces for several hours, breaking down the onions, which thicken the stock. To finish, Frosaker adds Sriracha and lime for brightness. It’s a heady, flavorful broth, and may be the reason that popular demand moved this former special to Feast’s regular menu.

#17: Pho-rench Dip – Feast!
(GFA)
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: Hot, Wet Beef at Kitchenette (GFA), Torta Ahogada at La Michoacana, The Drip at Peloton Station, Roast Beef Sandwich Au Jus at Kardinal Hall, The Hercules at Timberwood Grill; Vegetarian Alternatives: Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup at Taste Shack (GFA)

#25: Chicken Cheddar Fig Panini – Feast!

Photo by Do Me A Flavor.

The Sweet Sandwich

There are no dessert sandwiches in The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches. The rules forbid it. But sometimes a craving hits for a little sweetness in a savory sandwich. Not too much. It must be balanced.

The Chicken Cheddar Fig Panini at Feast! is just that. A smear of fig jam on Albemarle Baking Co. focaccia lends just enough sweetness to complement the rest of the ingredients on one of the most popular sandwiches at Charlottesville’s beloved gourmet shop: sliced chicken, Vermont cheddar, mayo, and mustard. A few minutes on the panini press yields a cracker-like crust and tender interior that make the sandwich even more addictive.

#25: Chicken Cheddar Fig Panini – Feast!
(GFA)
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: Jefferson at The Market (GFA), Turkey Trot on Whole Wheat, Pressed at Beer Run, Adam’s Apple at Revolutionary Soup (GFA), Jive Turkey at Kitchen(ette) (GFA), Berry Turkey at C’Ville Coffee & Wine, Prosciutto & Fig Panini at Tilman’s, New Italian Sandwich #5 at Foods of All Nations; Vegetarian Alternative: Wild Vine at Beer Run, Local Grilled Tofu at Revolutionary Soup (GFA)

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