The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Ivy Provisions

#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
(GFA)
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: Italian Job at Kitchen(ette), My Italian at Belle, The Pelosi at Rapture, Italian Stallion at Hunt Country Market, AJ Soprano at Chickadee, Italian Hoagie at Anna’s Pizza #5, 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)

#13: Belle Cubano – Belle

The Cuban

A great chef knows to tread carefully with a classic dish. Invoking a classic’s name on a menu can create expectations that risk leaving some disappointed by even slight deviations.

Belle’s John Shanesy is a great chef. And his riff on a Cuban sandwich is outstanding. In hotspots like Miami and Tampa Bay, where the sandwich dates back more than a century, there are strong opinions about what belongs on it, or, more importantly, what does not. Traditional ingredients include roast pork, ham (sometimes salami), Swiss cheese, sliced dill pickles, and yellow mustard, pressed on Cuban bread.

Shanesy’s recipe tracks these fairly closely, but with a chef’s attention to detail, and only carefully considered deviations. For the pork, instead of the standard roast, Shanesy braises Autumn Olive Farms pork shoulder overnight, in salt, water, and the pork’s own fat, and throws in pig feet and skin as well to ramp up the swine flavor. The next day, he pulls the meat and cools it. Shanesy’s ham choice is prosciutto cotto for its ability to retain flavor and texture whether served hot or cold. The bread is his brother’s sourdough hoagie rolls made with Autumn Olive Farms cornmeal and local Deep Roots flour, which he fries on both sides in butter until crisp, and then smears on mustard and mayo. For assembly, he sears the braised pork and piles it on the bread with the prosciutto cotto, Alsatian Gruyere, and a generous handful of house-made pickle slices. Finally, there is Shanesy’s main tweak to the standard recipe: a salsa verde he makes from chopped herbs, jalapeños, fresh squeezed orange juice, apple vinegar, and oil, which adds flavor and offsets the sandwich’s richness, without upsetting its underlying appeal. The verdict? Spot-on.

#13: Belle Cubano – Belle
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: Cuban Pickle Crisis at Ivy Provisions, El Cubano at Guajiros, Ace Cuban at Ace Biscuit & Barbecue

#18: Ednam – The Market at Bellair

Photo by Do Me A Flavor.

The Turkey Sandwich

There is something distinctly American about our love of turkey. And, it’s not just Thanksgiving. Nowhere in the world does turkey dominate lunch boxes, sandwich boards, and refrigerator drawers the way it does here. It is the most popular deli meat in the country.

When it comes to turkey sandwiches, though, some purists insist on turkey that is freshly roasted. Others have come to prefer the processed turkey products more common at deli counters, supermarkets, and sandwich shops. In fact, it is this latter style of turkey meat that inspired the career of the most famous sandwich maker Charlottesville has ever produced. Mason Hereford founded the first sandwich shop to be named Best New Restaurant in the Country, Turkey and the Wolf. But long before he graced magazine covers and award lists for his New Orleans restaurant, Hereford grew up in Charlottesville, and credits his love affair for sandwiches to a place he’d go twice a week: The Market at Bellair.

Founded in 1991 by former caterers, The Market has since expanded from its Ivy gas station location to become such an institution that almost everyone has their go-to order from its menu of elaborate sandwiches, many with local names like Afton, Farmington, and Keswick. While all are delicious, the Ednam is hardest to resist. Boar’s Head maple turkey joins bacon, Havarti, lettuce, tomato, and avocado, on freshly baked bread. The kicker is the market’s own herb mayonnaise, an ingredient so habit-forming that some people go twice a week.

#18: Ednam – The Market at Bellair
(GFA)
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: Gobbfather at Ivy Provisions (GFA), Country Gentleman at Taste Shack (GFA), Herb Oven Roasted Turkey at Market Street Market, After the Hunt at Hunt Country Market & Deli, The Smokin’ at The Market at Bellair (GFA), The Drum Fill From In the Air Tonight at Chickadee, Turkey Muffaletta at Mona Lisa, Turkey Jack at Kitchen(ette) (GFA), Fifeville at Petite MarieBette, Hot Sicilian at Dürty Nelly’s, Farmington at The Market at Bellair (GFA), Turkey Bacon Club at Revolutionary Soup, Birdwood at The Market at Bellair (GFA); Vegetarian Alternatives: Yogaville at The Market at Bellair (GFA), Sly Fox at Hunt Country Market & Deli

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