Photo by Rachel Weatherly
Although The Black Sheep's "battleship" CSS Virginia was a regional finalist on Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America, I think the Travel Channel show may have missed a few local standouts. Without further ado, I give you my picks.
Bell Café (pictured)
Who knew that one of the region's best sandwich places could be found in a Mechanicsville strip mall? This quirky but stylish restaurant hosts an excellent craft beer selection and numerous delicious dining options, like the succulent California Reuben (oven-roasted turkey, avocado, Swiss, Thousand Island dressing and coleslaw on rye). 8319 Bell Creek Road, Mechanicsville, 746-4647.
Perly's has always been a downtown lunch hotspot, and with its cozy interior and sandwiches like The Downtowner (turkey breast, bacon, Muenster, tomato and mayo on a croissant), it's easy to see why. 111 E. Grace St., 649-2779.
Since 1952, Chiocca's has slung sandwiches and subs larger than you can fit your mouth around. It might look like a dive, and the food might take a while, but Chiocca's mountainous sandwiches are well worth the wait. My favorite is The Beast Feast (roast beef, pastrami, Swiss, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion and Italian dressing), but the sandwich's predecessor (The Beast) and sibling (Son of a Beast) are equally deli-licious. 425 N. Belmont Ave., 355-3228.
If The Roosevelt and Ipanema tickle your fancy, head over to Garnett's to check out how a Kendra Feather eatery does sandwiches. With a killer happy hour and 28 amazing sandwich options — like their hot Croque Monsieur (Black Forest ham, Gruyère and Mornay sauce on grilled Italian bread) — Garnett's is great for either a lunchtime nosh or an early dinner date. 2001 Park Ave., 367-7909.
Lamplighter Roasting Co.
This Fan coffeehouse is known for its dark and smoky micro-roasts, but the eatery's sandwiches deserve praise as well. The menu at this former service station includes both vegetarian and omnivorous choices, including the Apple Bottom (turkey, brie, apple, arugula and horseradish honey mustard on focaccia). 116 S. Addison St., 728-2292.