Curtis and crew are at it again. If you’re unfamiliar with Sandwich Lab, background is here and here. Essentially, each month, chef Curtis Shaver and his team at Hamiltons’ dream up and prepare an over-the-top sandwich. The sandwiches usually sell out a week in advance, within seconds of the Facebook post announcing they are on sale.
This month, they may have outdone themselves. They started with green hickory smoked porchetta from none other than Craig Hartman of The BBQ Exchange. Then, they added bread & butter fennel pickles, melted McLure cheese, balsamic grilled onions, and watercress creme fraiche. They piled it all atop a Kimmelweck Roll from Richmond’s acclaimed Billy Bread. With a side of Asian pear-beet slaw. Wow. Pretty soon there is going to be an eBay market for these things.
Thanks to talented photographer Justin Ide, here’s a behind the scenes look:
On Fridays we feature five food finds from local chefs and personalities. Today’s picks come from Allie Redshaw, Sous Chef of Pippin Hill. (2017 Update: After leaving Pippin Hill, Redshaw became head chef of Timbercreek Market, and now runs her own catering company and helps out at Lampo.) Redshaw’s picks:
1) Scallion Bubble Pancake at Taste of China. “We all know this is a ‘chefs’ favorite,’ so seemingly no surprise that I am giving recognition to this strip mall Chinese restaurant, but T.O.C. is so much more; always a friendly face greeting Ian and I at the door, and a pot of hot tea waiting on the table. Apart from their service, the food is impeccably authentic Szechuan cuisine. I could list at least ten dishes that are favorites of mine, but the Scallion Bubble Pancakes are golden brown and delicious with duck sauce and spicy mustard; and, the spicy, crispy duck with its whole Thai bird chilis, charred scallions, and overly crispy duck skin completes every meal!”
2) Malai Kofta at Royal Indian. “This place just having moved locations is absolutely on point. Their table service is absolutely wonderful, and the food also meets those standards. The malai kofta, which is my go-to, is a vegetarian option derived of curried vegetable ‘meatballs’ of sorts submerged into a delicious creamy sauce; accompanied with the perfectly cooked basmati rice and jasmine tea, it is a wonderful meal!”
3) Chicken at Al Carbon. “This small storefront has slowly become one of my favorite places to go, not only because of the smell and sound of fresh chicken skin crackling upon the rotisserie spit just inside the front door, but you truly get your money’s worth of food here. With a choice of either a quarter, half, or whole chicken, complete with three sides and a drink, you can easily feed two or three adults for less than $30.00. The chicken is seasoned, and perfectly juicy, the esquites (sweet corn with crema, queso, and cilantro), and the saffron rice; ALL to die for!”
4) Pork at The BBQ Exchange. “This hub of pork goodness is off the beaten path but well worth the commute. The bacon doughnuts, the dopest pulled pork, and the thick-cut house made bacon, all rock my socks off! MY favorite aspect of this restaurant is that the integrity and consistency of the food never waiver, despite their exorbitant number of customers served every day.”
5) Massaman Curry with Tofu at Monsoon Siam. “Last but not least, this Thai food has been a comfort food to me since I first moved to Charlottesville. The massaman curry with tofu is my go-to, it lends a little sweetness, with a spicy finish; and the brown rice is just as well cooked as the white. All of their food is comforting, hot, and delicious, authentic Thai. And they deliver :)”