Seizing Sandwiches: Part 1

Let’s be honest. We have been eating sandwiches since we first started making our way to school in preschool. As adults, our sandwiches stem far beyond the normal peanut butter and jelly or the ham and cheese.

I wanted to mix it up and try a few sandwiches around Richmond. And RVA knows sandwiches.

Lamplighter Coffee is known around for a lot of things. Their coffee, of course, their pasteries, sandwiches and primarily, the RVA hipster that frequents its locations. The Big Toni at Lamplighter was wonderful. There was the right amount of kick with the sausage and the peppers. And the bread was soft. The flavor of the sandwich was full of gusto.

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Strawberry Street Cafe, on the other hand, isn’t as much as “cafe” as you would think. It is a Richmond tradition and has been for years. They are namely known for their bathtub salad bar that is nestled in the middle of the establishment. But one day, I tried their French Dip and it was ah-freaking-mazing. The meat with deliciously seasoned and tender. The au joux was flavorful. The bread. The bread was soft, warm and accented the sandwich oh so well. It wasn’t too bready either.

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Olio is a cafe market located in the Fan District. Great for the office day take out lunch. It boosts a menu of different sandwiches and salads with names like The Londoner and the Arc de Triomphe. My sandwich of choice was the latter. The baguette was crusty yet still soft. The garlic aioli was just garlicly enough and stinking delicious. As Brie normally goes, it can sometimes tend to overpower all the rest of the flavors. With this, the flavors melded together perfectly. The smokiness of the bacon, creamy and pungent flavor of the Brie. Not to mention, the roasted nature of the turkey. The sandwich overall was full of flavor.

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These are just three sandwiches of probably thousands around the Richmond area. Get ready for sandwiches part too – coming soon. There may even be a French Dip face-off.

Soft Pillows of Nutella

I’m back after a week off. But update on my life: I am in the process of searching for other part time jobs alongside my job at Coda. I even started serving two weeks ago. And loving it! Hopefully this attitude keeps up. As a graduate, these two jobs will be my “full time” big girl job. I just like to do things little different.

Anywho, I haven’t given a sweet recipe in ages. But I saved it for a good one.

Nutella Cookies.

Thi   recipe came to me from a blog on Pinterest in high school, Lovin’ from the Oven. Ever since, it’s been a speciality of mine.

For those of us who love Nutella, I’d say the majority, these are just the best. They end up perfectly undercooked and deliciously chocolatey with a little bit of hazelnut. I decided to make them for a brunch I’m having at my house soon. But y’all get to enjoy the recipe as well!

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

½ cup Nutella

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ½ cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips – optional

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the softened butter with the sugars until thoroughly mixed and pretty fluffy. Stir in the egg, vanilla and the Nutella. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt into the wet mixture until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. You can omit the chips if you want. Drop the dough by tablespoons onto the baking sheet and bake for 6-7 minutes. I suggest 7 because the cookies may end up being too doughy.

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For children, this recipe is great. Easier than chocolate chip, and even more delicious. But who wouldn’t want that? Child or not. As long as you like Nutella, there is no doubt you will enjoy these cookies. They are just too too good!

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The Dogs’ Winery

On the wild chance you may find yourself in Southwest Virginia looking for something to do, there is one winery experience that I dare say ranks in the top 5, if not first in terms of Virginia wineries, if based on experience.

Chateau Morrisette is nestled on a lovely section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Being in the southwest part of the state lends itself to mountainous views in the first place, but the Blue Ridge Parkway unveils some of the best views of the state from the road. Even on the gloomy day we went, it was still beautiful The winery is comprised of a restaurant and a tasting room (house). Both are homey and very rustic. The tasting room is the craftsman’s style. The restaurant seems like a house turned commercial.

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The food at the restaurant was amazing, as it should be for the price. I ended up getting just a simple side of Mac and Cheese and Asparagus. I went with my boyfriend, my dad and his girlfriend. Josh, my boyfriend, go the BBQ sliders and my dad got the French Dip. The love of French Dips must run in the family or something. Even just nibbles of either, they were wonderful. The French Dip especially. The au jus was probably some of the most flavorful I have ever tried. The potato wedges and the potato salad served with either were not the expected. The potato salad has sweet potatoes and white potatoes. And the wedges were amazingly crispy.

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I opted for what some would call a measly dish. The mac and cheese has a great flavor and deliciously creamy. Many times in restaurants I find myself hating on the asparagus because it ends up being too limp and kind of, well, gross. This asparagus was cooked to perfection and spiced just the same. Even though I may not have had an extravagant meal, I still ha a mighty tasty one.

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Once in the tasting room, you purchase your wine tasting. This was personally my first winery experience in the first place. Chateau Morrisette boosts some odd 30 wines. Obviously, they won’t serve them all to you. So they compile a list based on the season to provide you with corresponding flavors. If asked nicely, they will even give you a tasting of one you might’ve eyed that wasn’t on the list.

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Some of their wines are named after the owners’ dogs, hence this blog’s title. Our Dog Blue is their most famous. The Chateau’s wines can be found in grocery stores across the country. Obviously, Virginia’s stores have some     of the widest selections. I highly suggest some of their fruit wines like the apple (a little sweet) and their blackberry (very tart).

If you’re looking for a great winery with an even better location, Chateau Morrisette is the place to try. The drive may or may not be worth it. I would say worth it considering the nature and beautiful views you get to see along the way.

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