The Charlottesville 29

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

Tag: Market Street Market

#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

#19: Reuben – Holly’s Diner

The Reuben

While the exact origin of a dish is often unsettled, few would dispute that the Reuben was born in the USA. Some say it was created by a Jewish grocer in Omaha in the early 20th century who would request a specific corned beef sandwich during his weekly poker game at the Blackstone Hotel. Others credit it to a Jewish delicatessen owner in Manhattan. Whatever its roots, the sandwich has come to dominate menus at delis and casual restaurants across the country.

Here in Charlottesville, many restaurants make riffs on a Reuben, some substituting pastrami, turkey, smoked brisket, or even tofu. Among those that still use the original corned beef is Holly’s Diner. Every community needs a place like Holly’s, a come-as-you-are joint where everyone feels welcome and the kitchen staff actually care about the food they make. The care with which Holly’s kitchen prepares its Reuben has earned the sandwich a devout following. House-made Thousand Island Dressing coats warm thin sliced corned beef, sauerkraut and a slice of Swiss cheese on soft marble rye. As a bonus, on Wednesdays a mere $8 can get you the stellar sandwich and a side of Holly’s delicious fries.

#19: Reuben – Holly’s Diner
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: Reuben at Taste Shack (GFA), House Corned Beef at Market Street Market, Reuben at The Villa Diner, Reuben at South Street Brewery (GFA); Vegetarian Alternative: Tofu Reuben at Kitchene(ette) (GFA)

#23: Shack Pastrami – Taste Shack

Photo by Do Me A Flavor.

The Pastrami

Attention to detail is the calling card chef Justin van der Linde carries with him wherever he goes. Rather than seeking to create the next big thing, van der Linde’s focus has always been on devoting due care to his favorite time-tested classics, like the barbecued meats that drew crowds to his restaurant Smoked Kitchen & Tap.

Van der Linde sold Smoked in 2021 to return to one of his first loves: classic sandwiches. At his new restaurant Taste Shack, attention to detail abounds. For his pastrami, van der Linde starts with whole briskets, which he trims lean and brines for four days in pink salt, sugar, and house dill pickle spices. Next, comes van der Linde’s own twist. While a traditional pastrami is seasoned with white pepper and coriander and then smoked, van der Linde uses black pepper and coriander, and rather than smoking, just gives the brisket a hard sear and a slow roast in the oven. For the Shack Pastrami sandwich, van der Linde piles sliced pastrami on marble rye with Swiss cheese, house coleslaw, tomato, onion, pickles, and Taste Shack’s own creamy bbq sauce accented with house pickles. No detail is out of place.

#23: Shack Pastrami – Taste Shack
(GFA)
The Charlottesville 29 of Sandwiches

Others of Note: House Pastrami at Market Street Market, Tommy Pastrami at Ace Biscuit & Barbecue

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