The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Lampo

#1: Roasted Vegetable Panuozzo – Lampo

Have you ever wondered what menu item you have ordered more than any other in your life? Is it something from a family restaurant during childhood? Maybe a go-to Bodo’s order. Or, is it from a fast food chain? For me, the answer is easy.

A great sandwich, like the ones on The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches, is a sum greater than its parts. The harmony of ingredients lends an additional savory element that itself elevates the experience even higher. Sometimes, that harmony compensates for the quality of a sandwich’s lesser components. Blah bread. Limp lettuce. Tasteless tomato.

But, for the greatest sandwiches, it’s not just the sum that is great. The parts are too. Every one.

Lampo does not start baking the bread for your sandwich until you order it. In Italian, “lampo” means “flash of lightning,” and the bread cooks nearly that quickly in the restaurant’s Neapolitan pizza ovens, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In just seconds, an oval of dough puffs into a warm, yeasty pocket, charred with leopard spots of umami. Upon removing the pillow of bread from the oven, the kitchen promptly slices it and stuffs it with fillings for your “panuozzo.”

Of the menu’s four options, three are meat-based. The Porchetta combines Lampo’s slow-roasted porchetta with house-made mozzarella, broccoli rabe, provolone, and house-made garlic aioli. The Polpettine stuffs house-made pork and beef meatballs between the bread with house-made mozzarella, pecorino, San Marzano tomato sauce, and basil. And, the Muffaletta combines carefully curated prosciutto, salami, and mortadella with house-made giardiniera, Castelvetrano olives, piquillo peppers, provolone, and garlic aioli.

Each has its loyalists, and each would be worthy of the top spot in The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches. But, that belongs to the fourth option, a special that grew so popular it became a menu fixture: the Roasted Vegetable. The vegetables are just three: mushroom, red onion, and long peppers. For such simple ingredients, key is sourcing, a longtime strength of the Lampo team, which has built relationships with the local farmers whose produce they prize most. To the roasted vegetables, Lampo adds aged provolone along with its house-made mozzarella and aioli, which meld in the warmth of the sandwich to lacquer the vegetables with flavor.

As if the sandwich were not excellent enough, added intrigue is the element of surprise. The varying heat of the locally sourced peppers makes ordering a roasted vegetable panuozzo like a game of roulette. Some weeks, the peppers bring almost no heat at all. Some weeks, moderate heat. And others, the peppers are so fiery that finishing a sandwich can evoke tears. No matter how the roulette game plays out, though, the sandwich is unfailingly delicious — just as satisfying no matter how many times you’ve had it.

The dish I have ordered most in my life is the Roasted Vegetable Panuozzo at Lampo. No sandwich in Charlottesville is more difficult to resist.

#1: Roasted Vegetable Panuozzo – Lampo
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: Porchetta Panuozzo at Lampo, Muffaletta Panuozzo at Lampo, Polpettine Panuozzo at Lampo

Five Finds on Friday: Jaclyn Shaffer

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jaclyn Shaffer of Jaclyn’s Cookies, which makes stunning custom-designed cookies for birthdays, weddings, corporate events, and other celebrations, as well as offering private cookie decorating parties for both kids and adults. Shaffer also creates holiday cookies for sale to the public, with her next batches planned for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Follow along on her Instagram page. Shaffer’s picks:

1) Basan Paitan from Basan. “Hands down the most delicious bowl of ramen that I’ve eaten. I’ve spent a lot of time stalking this food truck the past couple of years, and I can’t wait to see what Basan and Mama Bird do with their new space at Umma’s.”

2) Kao Soi Chicken from Chimm. “If you haven’t tried Chimm yet, you need to visit. I love this curry so much because it’s the perfect combo of spicy broth, rich dark meat chicken and crispy fried wontons.”

3) Financier from MarieBette.  “Everything from MarieBette is fantastic, but the buttery, crunchy outside and sweet, tender inside of their financier makes it my favorite.”

4) Funghi from Lampo. “I don’t even like mushrooms that much, but this pizza is the bomb. I always try to branch out when I visit, but I find myself coming back to this pizza every time. The earthy mushrooms with cream sauce and cheese, cooked in a woodfired oven is pizza perfection.”

5) Banana Bread from Green House Coffee. “I have to shout out my local Crozet coffee shop. Every time I’m there I can’t help ordering their addictive banana bread with an iced coffee.”

Five Finds on Friday: Chase Davidson

Twelve years ago today, this guy entered the world, which he has brightened every day since. Chase’s picks:

1) Lumpia from Little Manila and Manila Street. “I’ve been eating these for a long time. When I was younger, I used to look forward to Saturdays because we would always go to the market and Little Manila would have a tent set up there. It’s one of my favorite foods, and it goes perfectly with the sauce.”

2) Marinara D.O.C. from Lampo. “It’s been a tradition for a while that every year on my birthday, I get this pizza from Lampo. I don’t typically like really cheesy pizzas, so this one is perfect for me. Another tradition we had was every Friday in the pandemic my dad would go out and get this pizza for me.”

3) Pan Tomate at Little Star. “I could consume a lot of these.”

4) Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream at La Flor Michoacana. “My dad introduced this place to me. My sister wanted to go to Chap’s but I wanted to try this place, and I’m glad I did because it is some of the best ice cream that I have ever had.”

5) Mini Corn Dogs at Riverside Lunch. “Anytime I travel for a swim meet, my dad tries to find places close to the pool with mini corn dog nuggets because I enjoy them so much. I have gone to many places but none are better than the ones that Riverside has.”

%d bloggers like this: