Its funny because time to time I find myself saying things like, “ugh, I want to move” and then RVA does something like “RVA Sandwich Week“where you get $5 meal deals all week long. This reminded me of all that I love about good ol’ Richmond, Virginia.
So I was reading my trusty Style Weekly newspaper to find the latest happenings and events and low and behold I stumbled upon RVA Sandwich Week. Last week, from August 22-28, 31 local restaurants participated in having an RVA Sandwich special in which they showcased sandwiches of choice for only $5.00. Apparently this is something Richmond does annually, but the first time I became privy to it.
It was interesting to see that out of the 31 participating restaurants only 7 provided vegetarian sandwich options. Nonetheless, I highlighted each restaurant I made plans to go. I figured that while these sandwiches were $5.00 I could take the opportunity to see which ones I liked best and would pay visit to again in the near future. I even circled one option that I used for my “cheat day.” Once a month I allow myself to eat meat. Studies have shown that if you are going to eat animal protein choose chicken over all others. So I chose a chicken sandwich from the list.
On my own accord, I visited 4 of my 7 chosen restaurants. On my visits to each I took littles notes so I could rate and review each for you. If your in RVA this could be helpful, but if your not when you do visit I hope this helps if your seeking a good sandwich.
My motivation also came from the fact that Style Weekly offered an incentive, “Don’t be a sandwich short of $200!” During RVA sandwich week you could download an RVA Sandwich Week Passport at RVASandwichWeek.com . The idea was that every time you order an RVA Sandwich special you have the server intial and date your passport. After you visit 3 or more, you drop your passport off at the Style Weekly office for a chance to win a $200 Visa Card! I have already scanned and emailed my passport as this was an option too. On the aformentioned website, you could also go online and vote which was your favorite sandwich.
So heres to my week long sandwich journey…
My first stop, August 22, 2016, was The Local Eatery & Pub. Here I tried the “Veggie Grill,” grilled whole wheat with pepper jack cheese, roasted garlic hummus, peppercinis, black olives and sauteed onions.
Sandwich: I would rate it 3 out of 5. The sandwich was tasty. It was very fresh and light. The toast was crisp and warm. The peppercinis added heat, but the ranch they provided on the side allowed for a nice cool down. They also provided chips on the side that were quite good when dipped in the ranch also. The black olives had a strong taste, but in a good way. It gave the sandwich a nice crunch factor.
Restaurant: The Local Eatery & Pub is located at 1106 W. Main St. near VCU’s busy interaction at W. Main & Harrison St. I ate outside, as outside dining is available, but the flies were treacherous. The waitress was very friendly. Despite it being only 3 people there when I went the wait was longer than I expected. Inside is a full size bar and additionally seating areas both booths and tables. Overall it was a nice dining experience and I would go back again.
My second stop, August 23, 2016, was at the the vegetarian cafe, Ipanema. Here I wanted to try the, “Grilled Tofu Sliders” that were advertised, but to my dissappointment when I got there I was told that they were only beginning the sliders at 5:30pm for dinner. The ad in Style Weekly showed that the sliders would be provided M-F 11:00am until 11:00pm and Sat-Sun 5:30pm until 11:00pm. I was not at all happy about this.When I questioned the waiter he had no explanation. Nonetheless, he was nice. So what I actually ended up with was one “Grilled Tofu Sandwich,” with hummus, caramelized onions, and pickles.
Sandwich: I would rate this sandwich 2 out of 5. The hummus did not suffice as a good sandwich spread on this. It made the sandwich a very dry one. They do not have BBQ sauce, but do have Dijon Mustard and Sirachi Sauce as options. I ended up mixing Sirachia and Dijon and spreading that on my sandwich to give it some type of life. The tofu itself was grilled perfectly. I like it, but they could habe dressed it up more. They did however put shredded carrot, red onion, and lettuce on the side. No chips or fries were provided, but they did offer it for an extra $3.99. I politely decline.
Restaurant: Ipanema has been around for years since I attended VCU. It is located on 917 W. Grace St. This is a pretty busy street where other shops, stores, and restaurants are aligned, but also where VCU buildings and dorms are as well. There is a lot of traffic walking and many students and other pedestrians walking. Ipanema is underneath the main building that sits on Grace St. which is a tattoo shop. I have always called this place a “dungeon” because of its poor lighting. It is very dark and gloomy inside. Luckily they have an outside dining option. I ate outside ofcourse. It does give you that nice city feel experience. Overall the sandwich was okay, but had to be altered. I guess I will come back one day and try the actual sliders.
My third stop, August 24, 2016, was to the New York Deli. Here I tried the, “Traveling Troll,” served on wheat with spicy guacamole, muenster cheese, sour cream, and tomato in a forest of alfalfa sprouts.
Sandwich: This was by far my favorite sandwich of the week. I gave this a 4 out of 5! New York Deli actually describes this as their, “spectacular 70’s vegetarian favorite.” When initially reading the ingredients in the ad I had no idea what to expect. I must say, it tasted delicious. The sandwich was loaded and I got crispy fresh steak fries on the side for an additional $3 bucks. The combination of ingredients to dress the sandwich meshed perfectly. The guac made it a hit plus the cheese gave it an extra flavor that I can not describe. The tomato made it even more refreshing. It was very filling.
Restaurant: New York Deli is located in one of my favorite parts of the city, Carytown, at 2920 W. Cary St. It in a perfect location where you can walk off what youve eaten by strolling down the strip and checking out the small shoppes and boutiques afterwards. They have nice size restaurant with a full bar on one side and complete dining space on a another. There outside dining is located in the rear of the restaurant, but they also have large city windows in the front, where I sat, where you catch all the cars driving by and pedestrians walking by as you eat. This is another place located in the downtown portion of RVA that gives you the city feel. The waitress was nice, the service was fast, I will be back again. I voted this as my favorite at RVASandwichWeek.com.
My fourth and final stop was at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. This was my cheat day so I tried the, “Crispy Caesar Chicken Sandwich,” with romaine, oven-roasted tomato, roasted peppers and onions, and shaved parmesan.
Sandwich: Delicious. I give this a 4 out of 5. The chicken was exactly what they said, nice and crispy, but a little small sized portion. It was fresh and the onion, peppers, and tomato added robust flavor. I really enjoyed this sandwich. The bread was even good. I do not eat chicken that often, but if I was to crave a chicken sandwich I may go here again.
Restaurant: Cooper’s Hawk is actually located in Short Pump at 11792 W. Broad St. The restaurant is intended to provide you with an upscale dining experience. I actually fot my sandwich to go. I had my children with me and despite it having a kids menu the venue is not kid-friendly. When you enter they have walls of wine and other trinkets for purchase. It is very nice with even a chocolate covered fruits bar near the check-out cashier. Overall the sandwich was good.
To conclude, RVA Sandwich Week was pretty neat. It gave me something randomly and fun to do. That $200 drawing was def a motivating factor. Besides that, good eats make my day! I did not get to go to all the places with vegetarian sandwiches listed, but here they are below in case you want to venture off and pick up a veggie sandwich along your way:
- Citizen Burger Bar offers, “The Citizen Grilled Cheese,” with wheat bread, Tillamook Cheddar, jalapeno jack, tomator, crispy onion straws, and sirachi ranch. This is located at 2907 W. Cary St.
- The Camel offers, “Vegie Hummus Wrap.” This is located at 1621 Broad St.
- Cary Sreet Cafe offers, “Grilled Pimento Cheese,” house-made pimento chese on grilled texas toast. This is located at 2631 Cary St.
Which sandwich that I listed seemed most appealing to you? Do you have your own vegetarian sandwich you whip up from time to time? Any other great spots located n RVA or anywhere else that you would recommend?